5 MORE Alternatives to Dungeons & Dragons

ALTERNATIVES TO DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

I am back again with another list of good, nay, the best(!) alternatives to Dungeons & Dragons.  You see, no matter how GURPS and HERO System may try to convince you otherwise, there is no one-size-fits-all system or setting that’s perfect for everyone, and that includes Dungeons & Dragons.
In the previous list focused on five fantasy games I have come to know and love.  Fantasy games I sincerely hope others look into and, hopefully, love as much as I do.  In this post I am going to expand on the list and show you 5 more alternatives to Dungeons & Dragons you really, really should check out.

Castles & Crusades 8th Print [Physical]

CASTLES & CRUSADES

Castles & Crusades is a classic fantasy role-playing game that harkens back to the golden age of Dungeons & Dragons. With its easy-to-learn rules and fast-paced gameplay, it’s the perfect choice for both seasoned veterans and new players looking for an exciting adventure. Join us and immerse yourself in a world of dragons, wizards, and epic quests!

If there is a game out there that emulates the best parts of both modern and old D&D it’s Castles & Crusades.  From the character classes to the spell lists and on through the setting C&C brings back the heart and soul of old TSR D&D.  On the other hand, if you can figure out how to roll above a 12 or an 18 you understand 90% of the mechanics of the game.  Now it’s time to go have fun!

You and your friends can learn it in 15 minutes. You can make characters in 15 minutes. And then the game begins! Its fast and furious play, limited only by your imagination. Plunge into worlds of fantastic adventure where dragons lie and the undead stalk the shades of your mind’s imagination, where creatures of legend plunder wealth through the horror of their passage. Monsters grim and foul hold the ecstasy of gold and the renown of glory.

Check out our videos on both the 7th & 8th Printings of the game for a more in-depth analysis.

[Get Castles & Crusades here.]


Adventurer Conqueror King System [PDF]
Adventurer Conqueror King System [Physical]

ADVENTURER CONQUEROR KING SYSTEM

Adventurer Conquer King System is a unique role-playing game that combines elements of strategy, resource management and character development. Players take on the role of a powerful adventurer, building their kingdom, making alliances and conquering their enemies. With its deep character customization options and dynamic world, ACKS offers a truly immersive gaming experience that will keep players engaged for hours on end.

Adventurer Conqueror King is a game that so many of my friends won’t stop talking about — and with good reason! ACKS is developed from the ground up with the concept that your character grows from an adventurer (simple encounters), into a conqueror (mass combat), and finally into a king (domain play). The transition is smooth and seamless, and really let you feel the growth of the character over time.

Autarch’s Adventurer Conqueror King System fulfills the promise of the original fantasy role-playing game by providing comprehensive, integrated support for play across all levels of a campaign. Any referee who has ever checked for random encounters, and every player who has rolled a twenty-sided dice to hit a wandering monster, will find the rules of Adventurer Conqueror King as elegant, familiar, and comfortable to wield as an heirloom sword. The system’s cutting edge is the way every table, chart, and assumption in the game encodes Gygaxian naturalism, Arnesonian barony-building, and the designers’ own experience of hundreds of sessions playing and running old-school games. With Adventurer Conqueror King, you get both the verisimilitude and consistency of thorough world-building with the power of improvisation and discovery through play. We look forward to seeing what you do with these tools!

[Get Adventurer Conquer King System here.]


Basic Fantasy RPG [PDF & Physical]

BASIC FANTASY RPG

Basic Fantasy RPG is a retro-style role-playing game that brings back the nostalgia of the early days of Dungeons & Dragons. With its simple and intuitive ruleset, it’s the perfect choice for both beginners and veterans looking for a quick and easy fantasy adventure. Join us and embark on an epic journey filled with dragons, magic, and treasure!

Do you like things that are free? If so, then you’ll already like the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game (BFRPG). Whether it’s the free PDF or the at-cost physical copy, BFRPG offers a very old school D&D feel with the modern conventions that most players love. This is, without a doubt, the best game for players and game masters on a budget or who simply value their hard-earned income.

The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game is a rules-light game system modeled on the classic RPG rules of the early 1980’s. Though based loosely on the d20 SRD v3.5, Basic Fantasy RPG has been written largely from scratch to replicate the look, feel, and mechanics of the early RPG game systems. It is suitable for those who are fans of “old-school” game mechanics. Basic Fantasy RPG is simple enough for children in perhaps second or third grade to play, yet still has enough depth for adults as well.

Basic Fantasy RPG is an Open Source game system, supported by dedicated fans worldwide who have contributed hundreds of pages of rules supplements, adventure modules, and other useful and enjoyable game materials as seen on our downloads page. We’d love for you to join us on our forum where we discuss the game as well as creating new materials for it.

[Get Basic Fantasy RPG here.]


Adventures Dark & Deep – Player’s Manual
Adventures Dark & Deep – Game Master’s Toolkit
Adventures Dark & Deep – Bestiary

ADVENTURES DARK AND DEEP

Adventures Dark and Deep is a role-playing game that offers a rich and immersive fantasy experience. With its deep character classes and races, detailed magic system and vast world, players will be able to fully explore and customize their characters, while embarking on epic adventures and uncovering ancient mysteries. Join us and discover a world of endless possibilities with Adventures Dark and Deep!

When I first looked at Adventures Dark and Deep I thought it was an AD&D 1E clone, like OSRIC. Man, was I mistaken! Instead, this new AD&D is a fabulous update and expansion of the original AD&D game, as if the spirit of E. Gary Gygax himself said, “Okay, maybe AD&D 1E does need some improvements.” If you love AD&D 1E, but feel that it maybe needed some clarity and some additional content, you will fall in love with Adventures Dark and Deep!

Adventures Dark and Deep is an expansion and revision of the original 1st Edition Advance Dungeons & Dragons rules that defined the role-playing hobby for a decade. Based on the original plans for expanding the game, Adventures Dark and Deep gives you new character classes like the jester, savant, mystic, and mountebank; new spells; a new combat system; new monsters; rules for weather and natural hazards; new magic items, and tons more. And it’s all compatible with most old-school games, so you can use it with all your old and new adventures, settings, and supplements.

[Get Adventures Dark & Deep here.]


Dungeons & Delvers

DUNGEONS & DELVERS

Dungeons & Delvers is a classic fantasy role-playing game that combines fast-paced, old-school gameplay with modern mechanics. With its easy-to-learn rules and wide variety of character options, it’s the perfect choice for both experienced gamers and newcomers. Join us and explore treacherous dungeons, battle fierce monsters and uncover ancient treasures in a world of endless adventure.

Dungeons & Delvers is an incredibly amazing game from indie publisher Awful Good Games. There are two versions of the game, but the one you’ll probably want is the “Black Book” version, as it emulates D&D more closely than the “Red Book” version which uses a dice pool system (and is the version I prefer). Dungeons & Delvers – Black Book is a great way to get stared playing an alternative to D&D, while also familiar enough where you won’t feel like you’re trying to learn something wholly new and potentially confusing.

Like the black box, the Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book contains four races (which function as races do in later editions: they’re not racial classes), four classes, and five levels, though each class has far more talents than you can possibly choose from in a five-level spread, and there are guidelines if you want to go beyond 5th-level (there are also guidelines for making and converting monsters if you want more variety).

Fresh Take, Familiar Feel: Overall the game has a similar feel to the original roleplaying game, but there are a number of differences.

For example, kobolds and chimeras are more inline with their mythological counterparts, everyone gets to choose something at almost every level (and you can for the most part control how complex your character gets), fighters have build in scaling damage, armor both ups your Armor Class and reduces the damage you take (usually, some things mitigate it’s DR or even ignore it), clerics and wizards don’t share the same pseudo-Vancian magic system (cleric magic is safe but more limited in scope), and magical healing (and magic in general) isn’t assumed.

[Get Dungeons & Delvers here.]


All right! There’s a list of five games to get you started on your heroic journey away from Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. I’ll introduce you to five more TTRPGs in the near future, but don’t wait until then! Grab one of these wonderful games… now!

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