Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free RPG, Why Buy?

That's only the ones reviewed by the Free RPG Blog. If you can't find something interesting there to play or riff ideas off of, man, I just don't understand you. And if you think it's all low production, amateurish schlock. One, you're wrong and two, get off your high-horse you pretentious wanker.

There is a nearly endless stream of creative, innovative fan-based material on the net or printed at cost like Fight On! More than you could easily get through. Tis why the Free RPG Blog is one of the most important blogs/resources the RPG community has. Finding, filtering, and reviewing some of the hoard that is out there for all to use. Rob Lang is most deserving of a Tip of the Hat.

From that list of reviewed free RPGs I've played (and would recommend) FUDGE, Brutal, the unrevised JAGS, FATE, Star Frontiers (back in the day). I'm really interested in trying out Midgard and Dominion Rules. And so want to run a short campaign of Digitally Remasterd Star Frontiers. Also ripping tons of great ancient flavor from Zenobia.

There's really no need to buy another RPG product ever. For me games have always been a hobby, not an industry. Never wanted to make it a job and after discovering FUDGE I understood there was no need for publishers. Of course I still buy stuff (although often used and mostly from small pubs). Except for a few major players, publishers are all right. They just don't provide a needed service anymore. But neither does Starbucks.


  1. Thanks for the linkage and the Tip of a Hat!

    What free games can give us all is ideas and by the truck load. For that, we have a merry band of philanthropists to thank.

    May I sneakily add a link to One Thousand Monkeys, One Thousand Typewriters (1KM1KT), a great place to find free RPGs and for those who write them to hang out.

  2. I am 1000% behind the "Free RPG Movement" - a lot more interesting to me than the OSR. Thanks to free printing at work and a Staples close to where I live, I've printed out a metric ton of free RPGs over the last few years, and I keep finding more out there to print, bind, read, and play.

    I am fully appreciative of the cost that goes into producing a mass-published hardcover game - it can't be cheap and the RPG business isn't an easy one to get into or stay afloat in. However, I find it increasingly difficult to justify buying a $40 softcover campaign supplement, or a $50 "core rulebook" that has lined up behind it a couple hundred more dollars worth of supplements. Mongoose's antics with the Conan RPG are a perfect example of what I loathe these days about the RPG business.

    And then you compare it all to games like LL, BFRPG, OSRIC, S&W, Mazes & Minotaurs, Barbarians of Lemuria, GORE, Mutant Future, Encounter Critical, Midgard...the list goes on and on. And there's also companies like TLG which, although they're selling you a product, manage to do so at relatively low prices, not to mention the legion of games out there like the Broadsword RPG or the Revised Barbarians of Lemuria, games that you pay for but only cost a few dollars for a PDF download.

    Now and then I might buy a new RPG - a couple of weeks ago I bought the Delta Green supplement - but I think we are pretty close to the point where you can find something out there for free or for only a few dollars that's just as good, in a workmanlike fashion, as any mainstream published RPG.


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