Tuesday, 5 April 2011
10 free RPGs you must play
Posted by Scott Malthouse
Free RPGs are all over the major PDF download sites like DrivethruRPG and RPGNow, but the real task is to sift through the mud and find the best free roleplaying games. Now, I'm not talking about introductory games here, I'm talking about full blown core RPGs for free. You can't go wrong there. So let's take a look at what RPGs the web has to offer our cheap and greasy hands.
CJ Carrella's Witchcraft - If you're looking for modern horror and urban fantasy you need look no further than Witchcraft. Playing out like Buffy and Supernatural, Witchcraft uses an easy system - Unisystem, that allows for a lot of variety in your game.
Labyrinth Lord - One of a couple of OSR games on the list. Labyrinth Lord is a wonderful re-imagining of the Dungeons and Dragons B/X rulesets. As long as you don't mind text-only, this is a free RPG you don't want to miss.
Tales from the Wood - Sure, playing as a vole or ferret doesn't sound like much, but once you get playing Tales from the Wood you'll realise there's a lot more to this little game that meets the eye. Rather than playing humanoid animals, here you take on the role of actual animals in their fight to survive in the woods.
Swords and Wizardry - This is one of my all time favourite games. Swords and Wizardry is a great free roleplaying game that emulates the original D&D edition. This is pure old school mayhem and it doesn't get much better than this.
D6 System - Bundling 3 settings for one great price of nothing, the D6 System is a simple and effective ruleset used in games such as Xena and Star Wars. For diddly squat you get Adventure, Space and Fantasy. You can't ask for much more than that.
Barbarians of Lemuria - This game rocks all kinds of face. BoL is set in a low fantasy, sword and sorcery world and contains some amazing streamlined rules. My favourite part is the freeform magic system, which allows the player to pretty much do whatever they like with their magical powers. Great free game.
Neverwhere 3rd Edition - Based on Neil Gaiman's book and TV series, Neverwhere is an urban fantasy game set in London Below, a magical parallel realm that co-exists with London, or 'London Above'. Check out the source material and get playing.
Mutant Future - Gamma World gets the OSR treatment with Mutant Future, a madcap post-apocalyptic RPG where you can play as a plant. Oh hells yes.
OSRIC - Here's a cleaned up ruleset based on 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Worth a play if you feel like harkening back to the glory days of roleplaying for free.
Four Colour System - Ah, the golden age of comic books, when heroes were heroes and villains were nasty but loveable. 4C has a great set of rules to run a supers game for free!