Monday, September 10, 2012

Ultimate Free RPGs - Because Stealing is Caring

So, this is a post inspired by Ryan Macklin who was inspired by John Harper. Instead of putting out what's the must play games for designers, or ... whatever John Harper said because I didn't look that far back, I have a question for the few, the proud, etc.

What would you consider to be three free RPGs that you would recommend to people as some of the best free RPGs that are out there and why? Now, you don't have to have played them or even liked them, but what ones do you think people need to read.

Here are my three.

1. Warrior, Rogue, Mage
This is one of the tightest free fantasy games out there. It doesn't have a setting so you can drop it anywhere, and it's got a great premise in regards to how your characters are made. You're just basically made up of how much of a warrior, rogue, or mage you are. Any skill stuff that you do is based off of that, and for a traditional RPG it's so fast to plug and play that it's a great introduction game for a lot of people. They've got a pile of supplements, and you should check them out.

2. Metropole Luxury Coffin
One of the best cyberpunk games ever made that you might never have heard of.  The link for the game is in the review over at the Free RPG Blog, but it's great because it's not about doing all the cybercrime that you'd find in something like Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Tech Noir etc.  No, it's about the every day existence in a world where your credit is the only thing keeping you from being dragged off to the work camps. You and the other players are all living at the Metropole Luxury Coffin and you're all working on schemes that will help you get enough face time to get out of that dive. It's totally the cyberpunk version of the Trailer Park Boys. It has rules for fashion people, fashion!

It was the winner of the Cyberpunk Revival Project on 1km1kt.

3. Eclipse Phase
Now people might feel that this is a bit of a stretch, but Eclipse Phase is licensed under Creative Commons. That means you can get many copies of the book for free, they provide a bunch of epub formats on the website and have lots of different places you can pick it up. That said, if you like it buy the product because that's how they can keep making more stuff. What they're doing is allowing you to check it out before you buy, and you should the stuff is damned pretty.  That being said, they're really the only Transhumanity game out there, and they do a damned good job with it which means it's probably going to be the only Transhumanity game for a while.


Rob Lang said...

ONLY THREE? I'm allowed only THREE?! What are you doing to me! I'd normally pick WR&M but you've taken that one, so I'm going to pick another three. So there.

1. Heroes Against Darkness - how this is at all free is a shock to me. D&D done properly.

2. The Artefact, which has a Kickstarter - even though it is definitely free. It's excellent Science Fiction with only the slightest whiff of Opera.

3. Droog Family Songbook by Nathan Russell. Because it's nuts. And you only wanted three.

Paul Thornton said...

Before I started my blog, I actually had little to do with the RPG community as a whole, being part of a large society already with dozens of members in my home town. Possibly the best thing to happen since I started looking at the wider community is the staggering amount of product that passionate, enthusiastic people put out into the world for free. Right now, there's no way i could do a top three, as I haven't had the chance to play even a fifth of the free games that have been put under my nose.

All this I suppose is a massive thank you to everyone out there, for your wonderful generosity and inclusion. Something tells me that at some point in the future I'll do a run down of all the free swag I've gotten recently, but there's no way I could manage a top 3...

Jonathan said...

I will admit that I was thinking about Droog Family Songbook, because it's amazingly awesome but I think I stuck with Metropole Luxury Coffin because I think it's still the best Cyberpunk game that most people haven't really heard of.

I'm so glad you brought it up Rob.

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