Indy RPG’s take a firm foothold during this period. PDF and other online publishers begin to shine. The Forge, RPGNOW, and DrivethruRPG pick up traction. Lots of stuff hits the shelves this year, probably held back from last year’s OGL from Wizards.
Skirmisher Publishing LLC begins ‘doing business’, but will not officially open its doors until 2005. Mongoose Publishing also opens its doors this year, developing after a strong focus was put on the monsters of the d20 system. Hawthorn Hobgoblynn Press opens to publish the game Godlike. Goodman Games, Sovereign Press, Inc, and Vajra Enterprises are founded. Highlander Designs goes bankrupt and is bought out by Brittannia Game Designs Ltd. ICE’s assets are purchased by Aurigas Aldebaron LLC (intellectual property ownership company), assets are further licensed by Aurigas Aldebaron LLC to Mholnir LLC.
In 2001, when FASA closed, FanPro founded a sister company based in
RuneSlayer (RuneQuest: Slayers) by J.C. Connors and Christopher Lawrence. First developed by Avalon Hill as a sequel to RuneQuest, but play system rights were not part of the property. The authors developed it from notes and published it as a free PDF.Creation (Exalted) by White Wolf Publishing. This is a d10 variant to the Storyteller System. This ‘high fantasy’ Tolken-esque game titled ‘Creation’ then changed to ‘Exalted’.
Arcanis by Paradigm Concepts and was originally a campaign setting for D&D. This game focuses on moral ambiguity and political intrigues.
Earthdawn 2e by Living Room Games. Second edition of the D&D meets RuneQuest fantasy world.
Legend of the Five Rings RPG second edition by AEG. This is the hardcover core book where honor must prove that it is stronger than steel.
Drakar & Demoner, by Riotminds as a sixth edition based upon a customization of Basic Role-Playing game system. This release included a poorly-received ‘level’ system called ‘yrkesnivaer’.
d20 System is published by Wizards of the Coast, originally developed for the third edition of D&D.
Corum by Darcsyde Production. Enter the Stormbringer realm of the Five Planes where the elder races fight against the Mabden.
Agone by Multisim Publishing. Play in the Twilight Realms from anything from sprites to giants as PCs. Magic is either art-based or ‘dancer’-based.
Iron Kingdoms by Privateer Press. This is a fantasy / steampunk “Full Metal Fantasy” game environment.
Arrowflight by Deep7. High Renaissance fantasy with a swashbuckling feel.
HackMaster by Kenzer & Co. This initial edition is based upon the most ludicrous aspects of D&D.
Talislanta 4e by Shooting Iron. Flamboyantly diverse fantasy pulp-era settings within the world of Archaus.
Chivalry & Sorcery Rebirth edition by Brittannia Game Designs Ltd. This re-release and technical 4th edition expanded some of the combat and magic mechanics.
FVLMINATA: Armed with Lightning by Thyrsus Games. A fantasy-light altered-historical game set in ancient
Dragonstar by Fantasy Flight Games for the d20 OGL. This space opera game with the universe under control of 10 dragon Houses and looking at the galaxy filled with fantasy races and powers.
Dying Earth Roleplaying Game by Pelgrane Press. Based in the Jack Vance fantasy world of a future Earth.
Fading Suns by Holistic Design, Inc. This is a space opera d20 OGL edition, akin to a 2.5 edition. This is a hard science universe that has fallen to medieval trappings.Metabarons by West End Games, but published under Humanoids Inc. This is a d6 space opera, where a person works for the metabarons and adhere to specific codes.
Synergy by Fantasy Flight Games. Set on the planet Poseidon in the year 2199.
Kult byLittle Fears by Key 20 Publishing. Play children haunted by horrors, supernatural, or mundane terrors!
The setting is a nightmare parallel universe that is heavy with Gnostic
Pokethulhu by Dork Storm Press. The second incarnation of this game, where you use the Shining Dodecahedron to capture things to battle for sport.
Cthulhu Live: Delta Green LARP: by Fantasy Flight Games. This supplement for Cthulhu Live covers Delta Green Ops.
De Profundis: Letters From the Abyss by Hogshead Publishing. A Lovecraftian horror game where the primary mechanic is players writing letters to one-another.
The Last Exodus by Synister Creative Systems. Set in 2001 after a ‘quiet apocalypse’ opened the door for thousands Messiahs and Antichrists set to lead humanity back to
Deadlands d20 by Pinnacle. An OGL rule set for the previous edition’s of Deadlands.
Sorcerer by Adept Press using the Sorcerer system. It addresses the question of what would one do to garnish power, using a Humanity mechanic to measure the cost. Various supplements provide a variety of game settings and time periods.Laws of Ascension by White Wolf Pub. Minds Eye theater rules for the Mage: the Ascension game world.
Laws of the Night LARP: by White Wolf Pub. Minds Eye theater rules for the Vampire game world.
Laws of the Wild LARP: by White Wolf Pub. Minds Eye theater rules for the Werewolf game world.
BESM 2e (Big Eyes Small Mouth) is published by Guardians of Order. Return to the action of anime and manga through Guardians’ “Ultimate Fan Guides”.Tenchi Muyo and Demon City Shinjuku is published by Guardians of Order. Enter the worlds of these anime properties and experience the action.
El-Hazard by Guardians of Order. Set in the anime and manga franchise of humans transported from Earth to the planet El-Hazard.
Terra Incognita by Grey Ghost Press. This pulpy rpg of exploration, intrigue, and mystery set in early 20th century Earth.Gear Krieg by Dream Pod 9. An alternate-WWII game system with Jules Verne-esque tones of giant tanks and walking attack pods.
Adventure! by White Wolf Publishing. The third book in the Trinity Universe, set in the 1920’s, and sporting ‘inspired’ characters gathered by Mr. Maxwell Mercer.
Terra the Gunslinger is a western steampunk rpg published by F.E.A.R.
Weird War II: Blood on the
Godlike by Hobgoblynn Press. A superhero rpg set in WWII that also allows for magic-like powers and effects.
Double Cross RPG is a superhero game published by F.E.A.R.
Risus: The Anything RPG by
Games is a rules light generic system. It is named for the Latin word for
‘laughter’, and is based upon the earlier GUCS: The Generic Universal Comedy
This year, Steve Jackson Games produced:Vigilante. This is a tongue-in-cheek LARP vehicle that illuminates urban violence, Tarantino-style.
GURPS 3: Cops
GURPS 3: Cabal
GURPS 3: Discworld
GURPS 3: Atlantis
GURPS 3: Deadlands
GURPS 3: Low-Tech
GURPS 3: Screampunk
GURPS 3: Spirits
GURPS 3: WWII
Hosted blog tools born in the previous years (Open Diary, LiveJournal, Pitas.com, and Blogger) begins to rapidly expand the RPG remote gaming capability. Online RPG games offer: Gothic by Pirahna Bytes; medieval fantasy battles between humans losing a war against the orcs.