In yesterday's blog post I mentioned a couple RPG's that are available for free out there. Today, on a whim, I spent a little time browsing free products at DriveThruRPG. The ease of digital publication these days means that there are myriad small, independent publishers releasing material. Trying to find actually worthwhile games can be a challenge, but here are a couple that caught my attention.
Atomic Highway is a post-apocalyptic game in the vein of Mad Max or Fallout. The book is of fairly decent quality for an indie game, with a tongue-in-cheek tone (I imagine it may have been released in print as well, although I'm too lazy to find out). The setting info is pretty light, mostly generic genre stuff that the GM can customise. The rules are pretty lightweight too, using a die pool based system with d6's. Included are rules for vehicles, mutations and some very simple psionics. All in all a fairly entertaining read.
Stars Without Number is a science fiction, space opera game with a fairly simple D&D style system. There is a commercial version with some extra content, but the free version is still a complete game, with over 200 pages. The premise is fairly open-ended, allowing GM's to design planets and societies of their own. I participated in a game earlier this year, and it was fun, although I'm not sure the rules were quite to my taste, in all respects.
I should also mention that the last incarnation of West End Games' D6 System is also available for free download, comprising three rulebooks for different genres: D6 Fantasy, D6 Space and D6 Adventure. These are generic rulebooks with little setting material, but they merit a special mention since this is basically the same system used in WEG's Star Wars RPG, one of the first games my group played extensively (besides AD&D). A variant of the system was also used in the Hercules & Xena RPG, which I also ran at one point. It's a fairly light and flexible system, although its one flaw involves the basic roll mechanic, which can require adding up a large number of d6's, which is, perhaps, a little more cumbersome than what I generally look for in RPG rules these days. Still, I do have fond memories of the system.
Right. That's enough for today.