Monday, June 5, 2017

Free RPG Day 2017 Preview

Free RPG Day is an annual event across the world now in its tenth year. Interested gamers can find participating FLGS at the retailer locator.  Their site also has a list of all products offered, but I've decided to preview the top 5 products I think people might be interested in.

1. Dungeon Crawl Classics Adventure/Quickstart

You're no hero. You're an adventurer: a reaver, a cutpurse,
a heathen-slayer, a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets.
DCC is one of my top three games these days. Based heavily on Appendix "N", Gary Gygax's inspiration for original D&D. The core book is incredibly well designed and loaded with great art. They offer a full line of adventure modules written by some of the premier authors in adventure design. 

This quickstart offers rules for play up to level 2. You can build level 0 characters to run a 'funnel', one of the most innovative features of DCC. You take a bunch of level 0 characters into a lethal module called a funnel, and the ones who survive get to level up to 1. The booklet actually includes a funnel from the core book and a brand new level 1 adventure. This is a huge value in a free product. 

2. Runequest Quick Start

Runequest, from Chaosium, is the granddaddy of British fantasy RPGs. Based in the Glorantha setting, which is loosely based on medieval Europe, this game was one of the first with an extremely detailed fantasy setting. Using a D100 system similar to Call of Cthulu, task resolution is pretty simple. 

The fact this game is a quick start and adventure in one makes this a huge value.

3. Timewatch / 13th Age

13th Age is one of the top fantasy RPGs on the market right now. It's sort of a spiritual successor to D&D 4th Edition with simplified mechanics and more story elements. Characters define something special about their character when they are created: "I am the only Dwarf in the world who can channel magic" or "I am the last of an order of Paladins devoted to a dead god". Swords Against Owlbears is a really exciting title for fans of fantasy gaming. Owlbears are classic D&D monsters 

Timewatch is a time traveling RPG from Pelgrane where you play a band of time agents who defend the timestream from interference. I haven't played it but free adventures are always useful.

4. Conan RPG

Modiphius' Conan RPG has been getting mixed reviews because of its 2D20 system. People either love it or hate it. I'm interested in the adventure for the content, not necessarily the game system. Robert E. Howard's Conan stories are some of my favorite fantasy stories and heavily inspired D&D. 

5. Starfinder First Contact

I am not super interested in this, but many people will be. Paizo is making a Sci-Fi RPG using the Pathfinder rules. For me this is a pass because Pathfinder is already too complex and bloated. There are plenty of great Sci-Fi RPGs like Fantasy Flight Star Wars and Stars Without Number. But there are lots of Pathfinder fans who will be interested in this bestiary. 

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