43 votes

Need to play D&D on a budget, at least for now

They are all fun, so you don't need to worry any on that count. For cheap, you're in luck—Basic D&D 5th edition (the current edition) is free to download and play right now. Fifth edition is an ...
40 votes

Maximum bookkeeping fantasy game with magic

Ars Magica Ars Magica may not have everything you asked for, but it has bookkeeping requirements for areas you probably never imagined. It doesn't go into the inventory-control detail of Torchbearer,...
  • 32.9k
31 votes
Accepted

Looking for a free, easy-to-learn D&D-like game that can be run with limited materials

Your situation sounds perfect for Dungeon World Dungeon World is a world of fantastic adventure. A world of magic, gods and demons, of good and evil, law and chaos. Brave heroes venture into the most ...
  • 21.5k
25 votes

Maximum bookkeeping fantasy game with magic

The system that comes into mind for me when reading your criteria is GURPS. One of the good things about GURPS is that it's exactly as complicated as you want it to be. Any bit of bookkeeping that ...
  • 47.3k
21 votes

European Medieval Fantasy RPG with an appropriate setting, minimal bookkeeping, random characters, and simple rules?

Try Dungeon World. It's an adaptation of the Apocalypse World system, and is simple and rules-light. You can create characters quickly by checking off a few boxes. Dungeon World really provides the ...
  • 6,212
21 votes
Accepted

Eberron-like world for Pathfinder?

The Case for Eberron, Itself Yeah, I know, no one’s ever written, or ever will write, an Eberron book for Pathfinder. That would be in violation of some copyright and trademark law (unless Wizards did ...
  • 326k
20 votes
Accepted

RPG system for "town management"?

Pathfinder includes kingdom building rules that were initially introduced in the Kingmaker Adventure Path (which is a prewritten campaign that sounds a lot like what you are describing). Being a ...
  • 13.8k
18 votes

European Medieval Fantasy RPG with an appropriate setting, minimal bookkeeping, random characters, and simple rules?

I’ve successfully used Fate Accelerated Edition in a similar situation. My game group had been on hiatus for a while, I wanted to put together a session with very little time to prepare or teach a new ...
  • 9,004
18 votes
Accepted

Would GURPS be a good choice for a non-magic, 19th century tech level, roleplay focused campaign?

GURPS is a pretty good ruleset for the kind of game you describe. It's got good rules for pretty much everything, and the pointscale that the system is built on works pretty well for a game where it'...
  • 47.3k
18 votes

RPG system for "town management"?

You are describing something I have quite a bit of interest in. Check the number of questions tagged realm-management for related information. I would suggest a pair of games to meet your needs: ...
  • 32.9k
17 votes
Accepted

System Recommendation: Traders/Truckers Spaceships Sci-Fi

Traveller. Traveller is an old game that's had a lot of editions, and several of them do what you want. It's... Well, it's basically Firefly. No, seriously: It's a game where the players are the crew ...
  • 21.1k
16 votes

Maximum bookkeeping fantasy game with magic

I'm going to suggest Eoris Essence (website) as, the most complicated system I've ever run across. (Also the most beautifully illustrated.) Character Sheet I know you didn't explicitly ask about ...
  • 3,399
16 votes
Accepted

What is a good game for a conflict-avoidant, disaffectionate player

There is a very low overhead game for collaborative storytelling, but it is not a RPG as many classically define it. Once Upon a Time by Atlas Games "One player is the Storyteller, and begins ...
15 votes

Looking for a free, easy-to-learn D&D-like game that can be run with limited materials

If you're happy to use a virtual dice roller to substitute for the dice that aren't d6's, you could just play D&D. (Widely known as a D&D-like game.) The Basic Rules for D&D 5e are ...
  • 142k
15 votes

Need to play D&D on a budget, at least for now

There is a huge number of options to get D&D basically for free, since there are so many different versions of D&D. My personal favorites are Basic Fantasy and Lamentations of the Flame ...
  • 3,900
15 votes
Accepted

Dungeons & Dragons starring Dragons: Which edition would work best for dragon PCs?

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Council of Wyrms had rules for players to roleplay as a dragon and dragon themed characters. However, this material is very dated, and roleplaying consists ...
  • 17.6k
14 votes
Accepted

Are there any RPGs that realistically prioritize speed and reach in melee?

The Riddle of Steel The Riddle of Steel is an early 2000s indie RPG designed by a practitioner of Renaissance Martial Arts, Jake Norwood. The game has a unique combat system that models what you're ...
  • 32.9k
14 votes
Accepted

Rule-lite titles available in Japanese (PDF would be even better)

I'm in the weird state of being one of the few English speakers who runs/plays Japanese RPGs. I even translated and published some, too ("Tenra Bansho Zero", "Ryuutama", "Maid"). Plus I've got buddies ...
14 votes

What would be good level-less and class-less system for high fantasy games?

I believe that Savage Worlds meets your requirements Easy to balance, no significant "tiers" of career paths Savage Worlds is classless, and allows you a great deal of flexibility in the way you ...
  • 17.5k
14 votes

Does Fate or Savage Worlds have a prebuilt, low-magic, gritty, fantasy campaign setting which feature a single big issue?

There are a number of Savage Worlds settings that fit some or all of the criteria you are looking for, and all are available in print and PDF: Evernight by Pinnacle Entertainment Group The world of ...
  • 15.6k
14 votes

Does a roleplaying game that uses continuous probability exist?

Ultimately, your “normal-distribution random number generator” is neither random nor normally-distributed. It’s also not actually continuous; all numbers in a computer are always going to be discrete. ...
  • 326k
14 votes

Where can I find a system-neutral herbal designed for RPGs?

This recommendation for The Guide to Herbs for RPGs cites my own experience using it for the purpose in the question. I've been using Shaun Hately's venerable The Guide to Herbs for RPGs, first ...
13 votes

System recommendation: Dynamic, engaging, and realistic skill rolls

Try Fate Core. Fate (Core and Accelerated) is available for free download here and are online here. It's a setting-agnostic engine (invent your own setting in collaboration with the group), which ...
  • 52.8k
13 votes
Accepted

What is a good, free, Space-faring RPG?

This is the only one I know of that is completely free: Stars without Number This was is part of the D6 universal system. However I am adding this because the progenitor system was Star Wars The ...
  • 39k
13 votes
Accepted

RPG system that best balances practical gameplay, meaningful player choices and a deep and open campaign setting

I think you should give Fate (and especially Fate Accelerated) another look. There isn't really anything in there that would hamper a sandbox campaign; if anything, Fate's loose, "Declare a Story ...
  • 3,131
13 votes
Accepted

Is there a class-and-level system that encourages horizontal character development?

I would suggest the excellent Dungeon World where you gain new moves when you level up instead of getting numeric increases to your stats. It keeps the flavor of the D&D worlds while taking a ...
  • 17.2k
13 votes

What is a good game for a conflict-avoidant, disaffectionate player

Thank you for reframing the question this way. I have been hoping to have an opportunity to suggest that you try: Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple with this player. The game ...is a ...
  • 32.9k
13 votes
Accepted

Are there any good, free introductory Dungeon World adventures for a DM used to D&D?

The point of Dungeon World published adventures is, like all published adventures, to take some of the burden of prep off of the GM. But in Dungeon World, prep is limited to detailing fronts and ...
  • 32.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Simple fantasy-themed RPG for just two players and a GM?

Dungeon World I can honestly say I've never seen a game recommendation question that's screamed the name of my favourite fantasy RPG so loudly. I've played Dungeon World with two players (my ...
  • 2,825

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible