This is the year of Dungeons & Dragons rebirth ala Hasbro and WotC. Personally, I have a feeling that this is the point in time where folks are going to buy the core books and a lot of multi-system generic accessories, but the core additions will flounder. Only time will tell what will come…
Segue-ing off from that idea comes the fact that I’ve hit the end of what began as a ‘ten best’ type of list. Instead, I’ve looked at over 1,500 core rules spanning five decades of gaming. The crazy thing is that there is easily twice that number. I was only hitting the more or less common titles for each year!
Wow. 50 years of this nutty d20 stuff and still going strong with no end in sight. I’m wondering when the ‘new’ core rules will begin to taper off and folks will simply begin authoring more content for the already existing rule sets. Like dice and cards, there are only x-number of combo’s that one can manipulate before settling into a routine of “play genre ‘x’ in system ‘y’ for a ‘z’ type of game”. In this example, the GURPS and d20 rules fit nicely…
Horror / ThrillerDead Teenager RPG by Creepy Doll Studios using a generic system. Play the victims in a card-based RPG horror genre game.
Legacy of the Slayer by The Game Crafter using the Legacy Game system. This card-based rpg is set in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer knockoff universe.
Neon Sacntum Playtest Kit by Grenade Punch Games. A dystopian cyberpunk post-cyberpocalypse card-based RPG… featuring cyborgs!
Sci FiFirefly RPG by Margaret Weis Productions. Out run
The Gaean Reach by Pelgrane Press. Enter the interstellar challenges of Jack Vance classics.
Mindjammer: The RPG by Modiphius Entertianment. Newly updated to Fate Core rules for the transhuman sci-fi RPG setting.
Warriors of the Red Planet by StudioDenmark. This is a planetary romance set on a Burroughs-esque Mars.
Star Wars: Age of Rebellion by Fantasy Flight Games. This is the hardcover to last year’s box set.
Atomic Robo: By Evil Hat Productions. A sci-fi Fate Core game where you play as a two-fisted action scientist, immortal robot, super spy, etc. Multi-era and pick-up-play oriented.
Dr. Who: Adventures in Time and Space by Cubical 7 Entertainment. Third edition of this exploration into the Whoverse!
Myriad Song by Santuine Productions Ltd. Play as an adventurer travelling in the strange reaches of an alien empire.
Second Coming 2e by Modern Paradise using a custom d20 system. Aliens have attacked and humanity has spread across the spiral arm.
Modern / Last CenturyHigh Strung being developed by Flying Mice. a game set in the 1970s, where the player characters are rock musicians.
AMP: Year One by Third Eye Games. Set in 2015, when supers begin to become publicly known.
Heroine by Ginger Goat. A coming of age game where the singular Heroine is surrounded by her Companions to bring closure to the story arc and personal issues.
Out of Dodge by Bully Pulpit Games. Designed to be played literally on a road trip, where the passengers in a car take on the roles of fugitives fleeing a botched crime scene, with little swag to divide between the lot of ‘em.
Amazing Adventures by Troll Lord Games. Second edition of the 2012 game.
Corporia by Brabblemark Press using the GRAIL 0 system. Knights of the round table battling the magic of chaos… in contemporary, corporate 2014!
Historic-esqueBuilding, Talking Playing: A Beginner’s Guide to Bleake Rebellion by Houseless Hills. A low fantasy, simplified version of the 2013 Bleake Rebellion game.
Humor / ToonFantasy Heartbreaker RPG 2e by Subcellar Games. Featuring 111% fewer typos! This is a fantasy / humor d20 system.
FantasyThe One Ring RPG by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Based on the LotR beginning in the region of Mirkwood. This is the hardcover of the box set released in 2011.
Castles & Crusades Collectors Edition: Black Box by Troll Lord Games. Abbreviated core rules books in a box.
D&D Next, or 5e; whichever you choose to call it! It has been whispered that this is the edition that will make or break its presence under the Hasbro umbrella. So far, the hype has been strong and most of the reviews have been ‘average’ or ‘a little above average’.
D&D PDF (free) Basic rules for play.
D&D Starter Set a box set with stripped down rules.
East Mark by eXtra-Dimensional Publishing. OK, bear with me on this one: This box set is the English translation of the Spanish-language retro-clone that was inspired by Menzter’s red box D&D.
The Clay That Woke by Paul Czege. Play as a minotaur upholding the stoic minotaur philosophy of silence.
Parallel WorldsQalidar by Peryton Publishing. Where there is a hole in time, there are cracks called Qalidar. Adventure in the cracks of broken reality and seek alien worlds.
Generic / Non-genreP.E.R.K. by Dire Ninja Media. A simple, generic-setting / genre RPG system.
Insight RPG by NEVR using a generic system. This is a universal game world using a d10 system.
Simple System RPG by Dashing Inventor Games. Using a generic system that employs cards, this is a genre neutral system.