Friday, August 7, 2015

RPGaDay 2015 #7 Favorite Free RPG

Free is such a funny word.

Some games are freely available for the downloading. Just find the right link and go. I'm not trying to condone piracy here. Only pointing out that there are games that the designers released into the wild for no charge. My favorite here would probably be Lasers and Feelings. It looks light and fun, as well as being inspired by a really fun song by the Doubleclicks.

Then there are the SRDs. When the Open Gaming License became a thing, it meant that system designers had to take the first step and release some of their content so third-party publishers had something to work with. Thus was born the SRD, or System Reference Document. For Wizards of the Coast, the SRD was a different beast than their actual rulebooks. Their intent was to release enough information that 3ppublishers could use, but not so much that they lost their ability to make money from their own content. So their SRD did not contain rules for character generation or advancement for players, and a couple of the more iconic D&D monsters from the first Monster Manual were left out.

Later publishers have been less strict about what they include in an SRD. For example, the Diaspora SRD pretty much gives you the entire game. But the most open Open Gaming Content would have to be Paizo's Pathfinder PRD. Every time they put out one of their hardcover rulebooks, the content winds up on their website a few months later.

The final category would have to be Pay What You Want. Evil Hat started this trend with their Fate Core project, but a lot of other people have jumped on the bandwagon (including me!). And $0.00 is a valid price, so they could be said to be free. In fact, both Fate Accelerated and Aether Sea (from my Day 3 post) are PWYW in PDF, so you can pick up that Complete Gaming Package I was talking about for a song (or less).

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