A quick follow-up to yesterday's post about RPG settings.
I spent a little time browsing Wikipedia, looking at some of the RPG settings out there. One game I thought I should mention is Talislanta, particularly for the reason that it is currently available for free. This is a fantasy RPG with a long history, originally published in the 80's, with the latest (5th) edition released in 2007. I haven't had a chance to really look into yet, but it seems to be a very large and varied world with a nigh ridiculous number of player character races to choose from (but, as they like to emphasise, no elves). Most of the various editions (including a d20 conversion) can be downloaded at talislanta.com.
Speaking of free RPG's, Eden Studios' WitchCraft can also be downloaded for free (I believe you need an account at DriveThruRPG, though). This is a modern day supernatural game, with a setting somewhat reminiscent of White Wolf's World of Darkness titles.
Turning back to commercially available games and settings, one aspect I neglected to mention in the previous post is... 'production values', for lack of a better word.. Call me shallow or materialistic but I really do prefer to hold, and read, a high quality, hardback, colour printed, beautifully illustrated volume. Naturally the content is what really counts in the end, but there's no reason why a game book shouldn't be an aesthetic object in addition to being a source of inspiration. The visual aspect is, after all, an important part of many fantasy and sci-fi games. (Also, I do much prefer to have an actual physical book than stare at PDF's on a screen.)
That being said, games these days can be bloody expensive. I've rarely been in a position to buy games just because I liked the way they looked, or was intrigued by the concept. (There are a few impulse-bought books on my shelf, of course, but they've invariably been bought at greatly reduced prices.) Rather I've tried to buy books that I've thought I might actually have a use for in the foreseeable future (though of course that hasn't always turned out to be the case).
Finally, since I've already been looking into White Wolf's games lately, I figured I should spend a moment reading about their fantasy title, Exalted, as well. Seems like a fairly interesting game, a little different from the typical D&D fare. But yeah, again we run into the same old refrain: so many games, so little time (and/or money).