Top products from r/rpg

We found 261 product mentions on r/rpg. We ranked the 1,242 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/rpg:

u/BrentRTaylor · 20 pointsr/rpg

There's a lot in this space and it's mostly pretty damn good.

  • Savage Worlds - $8.68 - As /u/HuddsMagruder mentioned, Savage Worlds is a great bang for your buck purchase. Lots of supplements and it's genre agnostic. You don't need to pick up those supplements if you don't want to.
  • Basic Fantasy RPG - $5 - This is an old school RPG. It's honestly really well done. You can pick up the base book and all of it's supplements in hard copy for about $35. Note, all of it's supplements are around $5. It should also be mentioned that the base game and all of it's supplements are available as free PDF's.
  • Dungeon World - $20 - The hard copy is temporarily sold out most places, but a new batch is on the way. Despite arguably being the worst Apocalypse World hack, there's so much damn fun to be had here. Me and my group love it, though admittedly we've rewritten significant portions of it.
  • Monster of the Week - $22.37 - Oh man, this one is loads of fun. It's what it says on the can. If you've ever watched shows like Buffy, Supernatural or even X-Files, you already have a fair idea of what's in this. Fantastic fun.
  • Urban Shadows - $20 - Kind of a cross between World of Darkness and The Dresden Files. High emphasis on debts and relationships in a sort of noir style. Honestly, it's probably my second favorite tabletop game.
  • Fate: Core System - $20.54 - Another genre agnostic system that's a little easier to work with. Note, this game is very GM dependent. It's great, but without a GM that's on the ball, games tend to stagnate.
  • Fate Accelerated - $5 - A condensed version of Fate. Easier to understand and arguably plays a little better. Still the same problem though, you need a GM that is on the ball.

    Honorable Mentions:

  • Mouse Guard - $22.93 - This can be a bit of a hard sell for a group, but man it's a lot of fun. The general premise is that mice have evolved over time to be more intelligent, build tools, etc. They have their own towns and such. Sort of a medieval mouse society. The heavily emphasis teamwork and problem solving over straight up combat. Great fun for all ages.
  • BubbleGumSoe - $21.90 - Teen mystery game based on the Gumshoe system. It's a hard sell but can be a ton of fun if you can get players invested. Sort of a primer for playing Trail of Cthulhu.

    As much as I love Mouse Guard, I just can't quite fit it in the list with a budget of $100. In any case, that's a lot of great tabletop fun for ~$100!
u/Mr_Jackson101 · 3 pointsr/rpg

Just gonna throw my hat in the ring here with some suggestions:


GURPS 4th Edition Basic (~60 USD): A simply fantastic game which, for everything that it can do, along with the absolute wealth of materials, both official and fan made, combined with it's pretty stellar price point (You can pick up everything you need to play anything you want for about 60 USD), it's hard to argue with. As I mentioned in one of my other comments, GURPS modularity is probably its key selling point, but on top of that, it sports a system that, when you break it all down, is actually incredibly easy to learn, and very simple. I've taught the "base" game in just a few sentences.

Savage Worlds Deluxe (~10 USD): I'm listing the lower price here simply so I can cram more into this list under the 100$ budget, but Savage Worlds is exactly what it says on the box: A fast, fun, and furious system, on top of that, I don't think I've seen a cheaper game that does as much as Savage Worlds. It shares similarity to GURPS in its modularity, you can run a lot of different settings and and hack in your own rules with relative ease. SWDX also has some unique rules from time to time (Using playing cards for initiative, the way that bennies work, etc.) and for speed, you generally can't beat Savage Worlds. Chargenning is speedy, and combats are among some of the fastest I've seen, allowing you to really get into the roleplaying aspects of a game more than just the crunch.

All Flesh Must Be Eaten (~15 USD): I personally got my copy of this game for 19.99 at my local book store, but it seems like it's been out of print for awhile. You can still get a digital PDF of it for 15 dollars at RPGdrivethru, however. I've run All Flesh Must Be Eaten numerous times, and with its ruleset, you can run a variety of different zombie games. Its fairly simple, with chargenning taking a fairly short period of time, combats running by fairly smoothly, and not a lot of "bloat" in the rules. It does what it does well, but might need some tweaking if you want specific types of games (I had a game where the PCs were zombie killing gods near the start of the game, for example, didn't play too well for my gritty game.)

FATE Core System (~15 USD): I listed 15 USD as the price here, but you can pay what you want for it on DrivethruRPG I've not actually run this game myself, but I do own it and have read the rulebook cover to cover. This is a very freeform system from what I can gather that takes narrative roleplaying to a pretty different level. It focuses on essentially creating "conditions" on characters, items, environments, and so on, and using those conditions to spawn the action and contribute to dice rolls. It's truly a unique system, and is designed to run any setting you particularly want. For 5 bucks, you can't go wrong adding another generalist RPG to your repetoire.



Shadowrun, 4th Edition, 20th Anniversary Edition (~50 USD): There is not a single game on this Earth that makes my imagination go gallivanting quite like Shadowrun. The setting, in my mind is one of the most finely crafted, and most fun settings I've ever played. The gist is that it's a fantasy-cyberpunk game, you got dwarves, elves, trolls, orks, humans, etc. in a cyberpunk world with nasty corporations waging wars in the shadows, and there's magic and technology and it's just wonderful. The 20th Anniversary edition is the one I recommend purely because it I'm familiar with it, but it ALSO is a basically a "done" edition, and it comes with the 4th edition errata already written into it. It's also full colour, with beautiful artwork and it even has Shadowrun fiction between each chapter. And the best part is that you can get this book for 50 USD on Amazon. I got mine for 60 almost brand new, and the hardcover book is worth the investment.

Shadowrun 4th, Augmentation (~12 USD): This book contains lots of new cyberware augmentations for characters, and I consider it one of the "Core" splatbooks to be used. You can get it for about 12 USD on Drivethru RPG.

Shadowrun 4th, Arsenal (~12 USD): Another one of the "core" splat books in my opinion, this one basically contains craploads of guns and new ways to kill people. Fun! You can pick up the PDF at DrivethruRPG for 12 USD.

Shadowrun 4th, Runner's Companion (~12 USD): Contains a metric crapton of character creation options, but for the love of god, screen the characters your players create. RC is fantastic, but it lets in some broken options. You can pick it up at DrivethruRPG for 12 USD.

Shadowrun 4th, Unwired OR Street Magic (~12 USD for either): I put these two in a lump category because you couldn't buy both on the $100 budget, so it's up to you what you pick. I consider both to be the final parts of the "Core" splatbooks. Unwired is an entire rulebook that elaborates all on the technical side of Shadowrun, about hacking and the matrix and devices and all of that. Street Magic gives new spells, adept powers, traditions, etc. You can find Unwired on DrivethruRPG here for 12 USD, and Street Magic here on DrivethruRPG for 12 USD.


That was long winded! But hopefully this helps out, if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know!

u/insanityv2 · 5 pointsr/rpg

4e is pretty simple. Even simpler than that is Swords and Wizardry which is made to resemble old school DnD. Microlite 74 is similar but does not hew as closely to any incarnation of DnD. All of these are free.

Swords and Wizardry has quick start rules here. I listed some beginner modules for it.

>Is there a D&D "basic" set in its latest incarnation?

You mean like this?

The Red Box, then Rules Compendium, Heroes of the Fallen Lands, and then the Monster Vault.

The Red Box comes with some premade characters and a quick adventure. Its pretty cheap and will help you determine if this is the system you want (note your free options.)

If you like it, then:

Then the Heroes book will help you guys build characters.

The Rules Compendium contain all the... rules. (What happens on each players turn, etc etc).

Monster Vault has monsters for the DM.

Not a lot of good adventures available for 4e though, though if you like 4e and want to run premade stuff for it, some options are laid out here.

You also have the option of subscribing to a service called DnD Insider, which will give you access to, among other things, an online character builder for the players and a monster builder for the DM with all the stuff from the books,. It costs like 10 bucks a month... but its an option that you should be aware of.

You might get some recommendations for Pathfinder, because redditors love them some Pathfinder (which is based off DnD 3.5 so if you know that, you know PF). It's a good system--I'm playing it right now--but its so complex that I have some trouble recommending it to absolute beginners in good conscience. You can look into it here. If you do go with it, I highly highly recommend a character builder like PCGen.

EDIT: Fixed some links.

u/totsichiam · 3 pointsr/rpg

Yes, the Core Book for Savage Worlds is this one. If you really like it, there are great expansion books for it, but the core can take you pretty far.

Monte Cook, the creator of Numenera/Cypher System thinks it's a narrative system, but that's because he doesn't know what that means. It's really not very good at being a narrative system, and is difficult to run that way. It's very good at being a more traditional rpg, though. It's also very easy to GM. I don't like the Numenera setting either. The Strange was really good, and yeah, Predation looks pretty good. There is also the setting neutral Cypher System Rulebook, which can run a very wide variety of settings.

BRP is definitely one of the % systems, and it's a good one. % systems can be a bit clunky, usually when it comes to things like character creation, but during play they are actually very simple (usually). The core mechanic is definitely easy to understand, as if you have a 62% in something, you have a 62% chance to succeed.

If you are going to try to do GURPS, grab the core book (maybe match the edition to the supplements you have, but I don't think that's super necessary, as the supplements are usually pretty universal). I haven't played a lot of GURPS, but from what I understand, you can choose to play without all the rules options and it can be comparatively light.

If you want to check out Iron Kingdoms, they have three different free quickstarts (which are all pretty different in feel, even though they are the same world/rules). Steampunk Fantasy pdf link, Playing as the monsters, and Playing as evil samurai elves pdf link.

u/Adamefox · 1 pointr/rpg

Ok. This a bit tricky. I'm aware that you want an adventure recommendation, but you need a system to play in as well.

With that in mind . . .


You might look at D&D 5e. Most of the adventure league adventures are pretty good and made to be run in one evening (double-check which ones).

  • The basic rules are available for free, so see how you feel about those -
  • Then you would just need at least one set of dice (more is better but you could just use an online dice roller) and an adventure.
  • Pick up some pregen characters or use DND Beyond for quick and easy characters.

    Edge of the Empire beginner box is Star Wars, but you could easily pretend it's just some sci-fi.

  • The beginner box will give you everything you need for a one-shot including pregen characters, dice and an adventure.
  • It's pretty straightforward once you get your head around the dice.

    Both of those are good systems, and they're well-known so easy to find advice on. They've also good for "beginners" because they have fairly solid rules. This means everyone can focus on the action, because it's easy to know what to do when a player wants to do something.


    Alternatively, your best bet for a gmless system is probably Fiasco. It's designed to be played in one evening. You make up the one-shot and characters and decide what happens as you go by rolling on tables and working together to tell the story.
u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/rpg

In regards to getting "some more cards and stuff," I suggest resisting the urge to invest a lot of money in items at this time. I say this from experience after spending hundreds of dollars on 4e materials and have a little bit of buyers remorse.

You can essentially go down two roads after the Red Box. You can either spend a lot of money on some very good products or you can go old-school and play with more basic materials that are more versatile.

If you want to stick with 4e, get a D&D Insider account. Others may disagree with me, but I think DDI is a great value. DDI basically gives you access to everything D&D 4e without having to by any other books or cards. The character builder is great for making printable character sheets and power cards that do all the math for you. It also gives you access to every monster, rule and item from every published book. Combine DDI with Masterplan (a free 43 DMing program) and your 4e games will be very smooth.

Once you have DDI and Masterplan, the only fancy accessories you may want to invest in are nice maps, miniatures and dice. However, the Red Box does have good tokens, which I love. I personally think that the Essentials DM Kit and Essentials Monster Vault are good values, but don't buy them until you have exhausted the resources in the Red Box.

If you don't want WotC to take all your money, you could just buy the three core books (Player's Handbook, DM Guide and Monster Manual) and use them to hand make your power cards and character sheets. You don't need anything other than those three resources to play the basic game.

You may also want to invest in a reusable battlemat (like this one: rather than paying for expensive map packs or tiles.

You can also buy plastic beads at a hobby store as condition counters/markers rather than buying fancy glass ones from the game store.

I said that I have some buyer's remorse for all the money I have spent on 4e materials, but I should explain why. I regret it only because I ended up getting really into rpgs in general and now I no longer want to play 4e. Most of the materials can be used for any game system, but some are very specifically for 4e and now they will gather dust until I can find a group of players who can actually grok 4e. If you can commit to 4e, don't worry about investing in materials (that you can afford) because the quality really is good.

u/HighTechnocrat · 5 pointsr/rpg

There are two currently popular versions of Dungeons and Dragons: 3.5 and 4th edition. 3.5 is (obviously) the older edition, but a lot of people still play it because they thought the rules system was more complex and interesting than 4th edition. However, 4th edition is better ballanced and far easier to play.

Pathfinder is also a good alternative to both, as it takes the 3.5 rules and updates them to be more balanced and easier to play.

Pathfinder and 4th Edition both have starter sets for ~$25 and ~$17 respectively. These are great options, and a wonderful way to try out the game without dropping a ton of money on books.

u/nerga · 5 pointsr/rpg

This might belong a bit more in /r/boardgames but regardless...

The dnd board games can actually be pretty fun. I like the dungeon delver board games. A good board game you might like if you like these type of games is mageknight that also follows a similar play style (though pseudo random generation with different mechanics) of going through a world and getting stronger.

If you like these board games, but want to delve more into tabletop rpgs look into something like DnD 5th edition or the starter set. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think the starter set has everything you need for a small adventure, and if you get the basic book you can continue the characters if you want.

I am distinguishing between these rpg/dungeon crawler board games and rpgs. This might confuse you, so I will go more into what's different. In the rpg/dungeon crawler board games there may or may not be a dungeon master (someone who controls the game other than the players), in pen and paper rpgs this sub focuses on most of the time there is a separate player running the game. The main difference though is that a pen and paper rpg relies more on imagination, improvisation, and give much more freedom. In a game as you linked, you typically kill monsters, get some xp, and then just get stronger. You don't have much choice in how your character develops typically. Also the story is usually very linear as well. You progress, you get small tidbits of story, but the main goal is to just complete the dungeons. This is reverse of pen and paper rpgs, classic dnd being the main example. In these you normally focus on the story, the dungeons and fights being the obstacles to that. You also are not focused on a grid the whole time, you can have grid based combat, but there are a lot of "off the grid" moments where the board game variants are typically all on the grid.

They are both fun, are similar and related, but differ in a pretty fundamental way.

u/SargonTheOK · 3 pointsr/rpg

Easiest place to start would be a 5e starter kit. Why? They are cheap entry points to the hobby, they include an adventure module (this is a big deal, it makes the GM’s first go at things much easier), it’s in print, they have shorter manuals to read (which will get you right into playing to see if you like it) and frankly, 5e is a pretty approachable edition and is currently the lingua franca of the broader RPG community.

There are a couple of starter options:

Essentials Kit: the newer version, includes character creation options out of the box. I don’t know much about the included adventure module, but look around and you’re likely to find reviews.

Starter Set: the older one of the 5e starters, but well worth considering. It’s dirt cheap and I’ve heard lots of praise for the supplied adventure module “Lost Mines of Phandelver.” The only downside would be no character creation options out of the box (it comes with pre-gen characters which work fine but aren’t everyone’s thing), but this could be supplemented with the free Basic Rules which would let you generate characters with the “classic” race and class options as well.

If you like it, then consider picking up the core book set (Players Handbook for the big set of character options, DM Guide, and Monster Manual). If you don’t like it, come back to this sub with specifics on what you did and didn’t like: you’ll get hundreds of new suggestions that will point you in the best direction from there. Happy gaming!

u/BeginningSilver · 2 pointsr/rpg

I have the Savage Worlds Customizable GM Screen, and it's awesome. If I have enough prep time, I can print any charts -- like random encounter tables -- I'll need for that session out. It's so much more useful than the standard GM screen, which is typically loaded with the charts you use most often and thus are most likely to have memorized. Plus it's landscape orientation, so it both spans further across the table, while being easier to see and reach over.

But my favorite feature is that I can put artwork reflective of my campaign on the player's side, instead of the sort of generic artwork most screens feature.

Some other really useful toys I've picked up over the years include:

  • Alea Tools magnetic status tokens. These are basically just 1" plastic disks, maybe 1/8" tall, with a rare earth magnet inside so they stick together and can be stacked. You can glue magnetic film to the bottom of miniatures and then they'll stick to the tokens to, or you can just balance them on top of the tokens, or put the tokens next to the mini. They're very useful when you need to track who is on fire, invisible, or suffering a long-term status effect. They're also very useful as elevation markers -- I use the dark blue and light blue token to represent 25' and 5' respectively, so I can keep track of exactly how high flying characters are flying.
  • The Pathfinder Combat Pad is super useful for keeping track of initiative and ongoing effects, regardless of the game you play.
  • The GameMastery spell templates are very useful if you play a game system that uses a grid map. They're no longer available however.
  • Litko makes Horse Character Mounts that are SUPER useful for dealing with the issue of mounted characters on a map. Litko actually makes an insane number of extremely useful products, and I've used their custom tokens service to produce token sets for a lot of my favorite games.
u/memynameandmyself · 3 pointsr/rpg

Nova Praxis

Yeah, it has a kick ass setting in its own right, but the mechanical bits are easy to pull out and use separately. It does all the transhuman stuff you would need and more, plus the FATE system is awesome. (There is also a Savage Worlds version if you really don't want to use fate)

I could also recommend the classic "Sufficiently Advanced"

Its rules are a little old school but still work well, and push toward a really interesting style of game.

Beyond that I would have to say Smallville. Yes, it is built for Super Hero Soap Opera, but that actually works perfectly and has amazing narrative mechanics.

u/giantsparklerobot · 2 pointsr/rpg

Answers to your questions in order:

  1. You may want to pick up other books in the Essentials line. As a DM start with the Rules Compendium and you may want the Monster Vault as well. Both of these books have a lot of the same material as the old Core rulebooks but with up to date errata and the monsters in the Monster Vault are also written far better than those in the original Monster Manual. The Core rulebook you might want to get is the Player's Handbook since your players may want to use options out of that. The Essentials series of Player Handbooks are fully compatible with the Core book but the Core book has more options and has more complicated abilities like Rituals.

  2. You don't really need the DMG2 or the later Player's Handbooks. A lot of the material in the DMG2 was folded into the Essentials Rules Compendium or DM's Kit. I think the DM's kit is a better buy than the DMG2 since you get more tokens, some adventure modules, a book with monsters, and a DM screen. Note that if you get the Monster Vault and DM's Kit you'll end up with some duplicate monsters (stats and tokens) or ones that are only slight variations. The later Player's Handbooks have more class and race options for players so as a DM you probably don't need them. Let your players pick them up and share with the group. If you've got the money you can obviously pick them up but you don't need them.

  3. Every square on the D&D maps represents a 5'x5' square. So if someone is four squares away they are 20' from your character. Starting out I would get used to using a grid for combat situations. Those numbers are there to help you come up with consistent travel times and distances for your game. When your player asks how far they can travel in a day you can give them an internally consistent answer. You can have characters move at the speed of the plot if you want though. What I like to do for long distance travel is make it a Skill Challenge. Say characters need to get to a town several miles away. Their normal walking rate would say how long they could get their normally but if they hurried I'd make them make some endurance checks. If they passed their checks they could run the distance and get there in half the time.

  4. A staple of the classic D&D adventure is finding awesome loot in those dangerous dungeons the characters are exploring. Gold is kind of abstracted in the game. In the Rules Compendium and DM's Kit book you'll find suggestions for rewarding your players with gold and items. You can have them just find gold and other valuables and let them buy stuff back at town in Final Fantasy style or have them find magic items worth that much gold down in the dungeon. Some DMs like to ask for shopping lists from the players, magic items they want for their character, to give them some ideas about what they find inside the dungeons. It sucks as a player if you fight with a sword for the DM have you find a +1 quarterstaff. Magic items all have levels which tell you what level of character for which the item is appropriate. You can give a character an item a little above their level but don't give a level 5 PC a level 28 magical armor.
u/Captain_Sabatini · 1 pointr/rpg

Are you married to actually playing Dungeons and Dragons?

If not some other games I would suggest

Savage Worlds Deluxe - Quick and easy game that you can get for <$10. You can do fantasy but if you want to try out a different genre you can do that easily as well. The real meat to SW is the various settings that are out there. Some of my favorites are Hellfrost (fantasy) and Deadlands Reloaded (Weird west based off the Deadlands game).

OpenQuest is like a retroclone of old Runequest - This game has a "dev version" which is free but does not include the artwork (and 2nd edition will not include some new rules). The first edition dev kit is on the downloads page, second edition is not released yet. Sadly I have not had a chance to actually play this game but reading over the rules I like them and it is percentile based which is always good.

Runequest 6 The newest iteration of the Runequest game (first edition only came out a few years after DnD). Another percentile based game that is a bit more complicated (quite a bit in my opinion) but has rules about building a character not just a lump of numbers like in some games.

Then there are a lot of other games that I know if you want to get more narrative. But if you want to play DnD in particular the edition order that I prefer (I have only played 3 editions) would go 2e is my most favorite, then 4e, then 3.5 (I am not a fan of 3.5 at all really).

But DnD is not my go to game.

EDIT: Oh and I am not trying to talk you out of DnD per se, I just see too many people online and offline that started with DnD so every other game must of course be terrible. And, in my personal experience so I have no factual basis for this, it seems that people that start with a game other than DnD are more open to trying new games. And really this hobby has a lot of games to choose from and while you can have fun with (almost) any of them if you don't look around you may never find that game that is just perfect for you/your group.

u/LBriar · 2 pointsr/rpg

By Starter Kit, I'm guessing you mean this? If so, it's going to have an adventure along with the rules and whatnot, as well as pregenerated characters for you to pick from. The adventure, Lost Mine of Phandelver, also has lots of advice for whomever's GMing the game. It is, after all, a starter set for them as well :)

For a more complete game, you'll need to drop some doss on the holy trinity - Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual. All in, around $100 new, a bit less used. The PHB is going to outline most of what you need to run the game - character creation (all the options for races and classes and spells and whatnot), the rules for task resolution and combat, equipment, spells, and a lot of miscellaneous bits and bobs. The Monster Manual has a bunch of monsters in it, without which it'd be pretty boring to roam the world. The DMG is sort of a catch-all of everything else - magic items, extra/alternate rules, and a lot of generally helpful advice about things like what to do when the players go off the beaten path and designing worlds and campaigns. While it's helpful, I'd say it's the least crucial of the three to actually playing the game.

There's also a bunch of adventures and campaigns, published by both Wizards of the Coast and third party publishers. You might check some of those at as a good starting point for your adventures. While it's probably not as fun as making everything up yourselves, it'll be handy to play for awhile with the safety net of "here's what comes next" laid out in print.

You might check out Geek & Sundary's Critical Role, which is actual D&D being played by actual overly attractive people in a manner which is both fun and informative. Matthew Colville's channel has a lot of really great advice for people just starting out, especially related to running the game.

Hopefully that answered some of your questions. If you have anything specific, toss it out and I'll see if I can answer it.

u/OneCritWonder · 16 pointsr/rpg

Great news! You don't need to buy anything. You can play D&D as soon as you want without spending a dime.

    • -

      But even so, D&D 5th Edition is streamlined and easy to learn and there are tons of people willing to help teach you. Its not a game you need to sit and read the rules from cover to cover before playing, you can very much sit down to a table as totally fresh and learn by playing--I teach people this way all the time.

      Consider checking out your local gaming store and see if they do any tutorials, have Organized Play, or know of groups looking for any members.

      You can also use these resources:

      > If you're looking to play in person:

      > Check in with your local gaming store.

      Local board game/RPG Facebook Groups

      > Local board game/RPG Meetup Groups

      Post in the subreddit for your town / area

      > Search /r/LFG for posts or make one.

      LFG tools on Obsidian Portal and PenAndPaperGames
      > Sites like FindGamers, NearbyGamers, GamerSeekingGamer

      Check WarHorn for local postings

      > If you're looking to play online:

      > /r/LFG and /r/Roll20LFG

      Roll20's game finder and LFG forums

      > Fantasy Grounds has a LFG Forum

      Play via Tabletop Simulator

      > * RPG Discord servers: Dungeons & Downvotes, Pair O' Dice, etc...

    • -

      If you end up just reading up on the rules and wanting to start your own group. I highly recommend the Starter Set.

      It's $15 on Amazon, has the core rules, a set of dice, premade characters, and an adventure that will last you a half dozen sessions or so. It's a great place to start--go figure--and is designed for brand new players and brand new DMs. The adventure is laid out in a way that introduces concepts as you go along rather than expecting you to know everything up front.

      The premade characters are big because you want to get straight to the playing not sit there explaining character creation to a brand new player. Without the context of how things are used, its just a wall of data and memorization... which isn't fun.

      You can always bring custom characters in once the group gets to town or something if people want, and now they'll kinda know the ropes.

    • -

      If you decide D&D is the hobby for you, your first purchase goal should be the Player's Handbook. Its the core rulebook with all of the default character options, spells, etc.
u/Kalahan7 · 2 pointsr/rpg

I'm not a big D&D fan at all but I think, hands down, that the D&D Starter Set is the best product to get anyone started with RPGs.

It's designed to get you and your group playing, fastlike.

  • Comes with everything you need besides pencils and some sheets of paper
  • Prewritten characters. I know some will think that's a big loss, but more than likely some players don't know where to start how to build a proper character
  • A good prewritten campaign. An excellent adventure book in my opinion that offers a lot of freedom to the players. Having a prewritten campaign is a godsend for new gamemasters to have a frame of reference when you want to write your own campaign.
  • Can last your group a night or two or 50 hours of entertainment.
  • Not too heavy on the rules but not too light either. I prefer lighter systems but in a weird way they are often harder to play when coming in to the hobby. You kinda need rules to hold onto at first in my opinion.
  • Freaking cheap! $13.

    After you had fun with D&D Starter Set just take a step back first and realize that there's more than D&D. Don't think D&D should be the default RPG. But still I consider the D&D Starter Set the default starting point for the hobby.
u/mordrid3141 · 3 pointsr/rpg

Anima Prime and Anima Beyond Fantasy are not related in the slightest.

Anima Prime (the core rules are free and there is an awesome pre-packaged demo). The game is freaking awesome, but remember you are supposed to play BAMF's from the start so "advancement" is kinda minimal, which can annoy some players.

Anima Beyond Fantasy RPG

Also, if you like the idea of Exalted, but not a fan of rules. There is an AWESOME complete rules hack of the original Quickstart Rules they launched the game with that fix everything, and run smooth.

There is also a great Exalted hack for Cortex Plus.

Cortex Plus (smallville) also is perfect for any sort of "drama" based anime. It is also just an amazing game all around.

u/Giric · 2 pointsr/rpg

Just my opinion, but the beginners boxes for games are helpful for introductions. I know you can get a D&D starter box ( with some basic rules, dice, and such for getting your feet wet.

Alternatively, Steve Jackson has some things for free, like GURPS Light and some free modules compatible with that system. (

Atomic Sock Monkey has some freebies there ( including simple games with some mods, I think.

I haven't played Pathfinder, but that wouldn't be bad for the more complex side of things.

Dungeon World is good for a little less complex action:

Apocalypse World is based on Dungeon World for a post-apocalyptic feel. Has a world-building element to it, or at least that's how my group played last.

I hope these help.

u/lianodel · 7 pointsr/rpg

That's kind of a broad question. :p

There are TONS of tabletop RPGs out there, and they can have vastly different styles, including the genre and the rules.

Nowadays, lots of people record their sessions and post them online, and that is a fantastic way to get an idea of how things work. Some of my favorites:

Critical Role. A group of voice actors who have been playing D&D for years. Here's the DM of the group playing with Stephen Colbert.

The Adventure Zone. It started when the podcasters of My Brother, My Brother, and Me decided to play D&D with their dad as a goof. They actually got really into it and have kept playing ever since. Starts with D&D, then they experiment for a while, and now they're playing a game called Monster of the Week.

The Film Reroll. They play through movies as though they were tabletop RPG adventures, using a system called GURPS. Things often go awry in spectacular fashion.

Anyway, the most popular game out there by a HUGE margin is D&D. Since that's kind of a default and you'll probably have the easiest time starting or finding a game of it...

Here's the free basic rules

There's also a D&D Starter Set (MSRP $20) which is literally everything you need to get started with some friends. Currently $12.57 on Amazon.

And if you want to eventually upgrade (or just jump right in) to the full rules, you'll need the Player's Handbook, might want the Dungeon Master's Guide, and maybe eventually the Monster Manual (since you can find plenty of monster stats online anyway).

There's also unusual dice, but the basic rules will explain it (and the starter set includes them). Easily found at most game or comic shops.

EDIT: That said, there are a bunch of free RPGs out there, too. So poke around; check this subreddit's wiki, for instance, for a few of them.

And that's where I'd start. Then just go exploring, and start playing when you get the chance. And don't sweat the details like rules or how to play a character stop you from getting started—we all did most of our learning by doing when it comes to RPGs. :)

u/voodoochile78 · 3 pointsr/rpg

If you play Pathfinder, then note that they put all their rules and bestiary online for free and so you can save some serious dough. You can then spend your money on things like battle mats, paper miniatures, and adventure modules. They have an upcoming beginners box that would probably be perfect for you:

If you play D&D 4th Edition, you kind of have to choose between the original line and "Essentials" line (it's very confusing). Personally I say go with the Essentials line because it is easier, cheaper, and (to me at least) "feels" more like what D&D is supposed to be like. WotC doesn't publish anything online for free like Paizo, so you'll have to buy some stuff. I recommend:

  • At least one copy of Heroes of the Fallen Lands (class book for fighters, clerics, wizards and rogues: ~$14 on Amazon
  • Optional: At least one copy of Heroes of the Fallen Kingdoms (class book for rangers, druids, paladins and warlocks): ~$14 on Amazon.
  • Semi-Optional At least one copy of the Rules Compendium:~$14 on Amazon. The reason I list this as semi-optional is because most of the rules you'll need as a beginner are contained in the class guide books
  • Monster Vault. This contains monster stats and a whole bunch of tokens. ~$20 on Amazon.

    If no one wants to play a ranger, druid, paladin or warlock at first you can skip the one book and meet your $60 budget. Eventually you'll probably want to get a Dungeon Master guide of some sort. The kind of information in those books is mostly generic advice on how to run games and handle personalities, so it's possibly to buy an older used copy from the original line even though you are playing Essentials. Hell, since it's just generic advice, you could even buy the Pathfinder guide (which is amazingly well written) and use it for D&D.

    In summary - I think it's easier for you to meet your budget by going with Pathfinder, since they publish a lot of material for free, leaving you to spend your money on the adventure modules which is where all the fun is anyways. It's unanimous that Pathfinder does a much better job on published adventures too, since they are a company that started off as an adventure publishing company and that is their strength. However, D&D 4e (especially Essentials) is much easier to play, but you won't have as much money left over to spend on adventures (and those adventures kind of suck).
u/AwkwardTurtle · 2 pointsr/rpg

I'd check out the Marvel Heroic RPG (I'm starting to feel like a shill for this company, I've brought this game up a ton on this subreddit).

It's super simple to learn (both to run and play), it's got a ton of source material (all of the Marvel universe), there are tons of fan made characters and villains to use (here), if your players have seen any of the Marvel movies (especially the Avengers) then it'll be really easy to get them to start role playing (they know how Tony Stark is supposed to act).

It's a ton of fun, and really emphasizes working together to create awesome comic book actions scenes over getting your character to "win". Also, the core rulebook is less than $15 on amazon, and includes a mini event to get you started.

Every single time I've run or played this game has been a blast, and I've come away with amazing stories from every session.

u/ymmaviary · 2 pointsr/rpg

If you can, I would recommend playing at least a few sessions of a game with folks who have experience. Do you have a local game or hobby store that hosts open RPG events? If not, I would check for local RPG groups. It's an easy and generally very welcoming way to enter the hobby.

If you do want to try teaching yourselves without any prior play experience, it's difficult but doable. If you want to play a fantasy RPG with a strong combat system, Fifth Edition D&D is a good starting place. You can check out the basic version of the rules for free, though the $12 Starter Set is also a very convenient way to get going (and includes a sample introductory campaign).

Savage Worlds is also a great choice. I would avoid GURPS as a beginner - probably a bit too complex as a starting point. I'm not a fan of FATE, personally, but FATE Accelerated is very easy to learn and only $2.50 for the PDF to get going. This may be one of the better newbie-friendly options out there, and it's highly adaptable to any world setting. It does, however, require a certain flexibility and fast-thinking on the part of its GM (game master), so running it as a first-timer might not be the easiest thing in the world.

I'm not particularly enthusiastic about Dungeon World but it is hugely popular around here and on the rules-lite side, so it or another Powered by the Apocalypse game could be a decent place to start.

A lot of this is going to boil down to personal preference, and if you have no experience whatsoever with RPGs it's hard to guess what your preferences might be. Because of this I again strongly recommend playing at least a game or two with an experienced player, but if that's not an option don't be afraid to read a couple different systems and figure out what you like for yourself.

u/thadrine · 14 pointsr/rpg

Ah. It is considered by many to be one of the best supers rpg, it came a couple of years ago, but the publisher got the Marvel license taken from them. Here is a link to the game.

Margaret Weis is supposedly coming out with a generic setting for the rules late next year, called Heroic Role-playing.

It also uses the same system that a few other great new games have been using...Smallville, Leverage, Cortex Plus Hackers Guide, and Firefly (not the Serenity RPG, that was something different).

It gets mentioned A LOT on here, and I would recommend checking it out if you have ever wanted comic book super heroes.

u/McDie88 · 2 pointsr/rpg

will second others here

and there are many (SO MANY) rpg's out there

but Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition starter box set is really tight intro to the hobby

(here )

has everything you need to play in that box (including dice!)

it also has a striped down version of the rules, a starter adventure (that is fantastic and can last multiple sessions) and pre-made characters that you can choose from (so players can jump right in!)

grab the box set, read up on it, and grab a few friends (plays best with 4 players and 1 GM)

and just relax and enjoy it, you will make mistakes, you will get a bit lost but thats part of the experience of learning table top!

once you've caught the bug, pick up a players handbook, dungeon masters guide and monster manual (make sure all 5th edition haha!)

and you are set for YEARS of adventure

and if you want more tips and tricks

youtube up

"Geek and sundry GM tips"

"matt colville"

both will give loads of advice for GM's and players

u/KarateRobot · 3 pointsr/rpg

Either the Pathfinder Beginner Box or the D&D Red Box Starter Set will give you everything you need to start playing a simplified version of the full games, all in one box. Buy it, invite friends over, unwrap the box, start playing.

The rules are written in such a way as to let players get started immediately, but the person running the game (the Dungeon Master or Game Master) will probably want to look through it for a few minutes beforehand.

If you like the tutorials, you might move on to the full games. I like Pathfinder, so I'll focus on that one.

If you want to play the "full" Pathfinder game, you don't need the Beginner Box, instead you need:

  • One copy of The Core Rulebook
  • One copy of The Bestiary
  • One set (or more if you want) of polyhedral dice, such as this.
  • One character sheet per player [PDF]
  • Some pencils
  • Some tokens to represent characters and monsters (pennies, nickels and dimes will do)

    All other books you will see listed are optional: they provide more options, more content, more ideas. Don't buy them until you need more. You may never.

    You only need one set of books and dice, but having more copies will make life easier. It's totally optional. All of the important Pathfinder content is available for free on the internet in multiple locations, so technically you could skip the books altogether if you needed to. In practice it's nice to have a hard copy.

    Also, there are thousands of RPGs out there you could play instead of D&D or Pathfinder, but I would say try them after you've gotten your feet at least slightly wet.
u/notunlike · 1 pointr/rpg

I think I saw this posted on here before but I also was inspired by this Customizable Savage Worlds GM screen.

Here's how I made my pretty awesome screen:

  1. Take 2 binders - hopefully not purchased and with clear pockets on the front for cover pages.

  2. Use a utility or exacto knife to cut off the binder covers cleanly at the bottom and cut the little pockets out of the inside.

  3. Use packing tape or another really sticky clear tape to tape 3 binder covers together horizontally (the side you cut should be the bottom). Make sure not to tape up the openings so that you can put neat-o pictures in there.

  4. Take some of those clear plastic sleeves for keeping documents in binders and tape them to what will be the top of the inside of your new screen (I did overkill with 2 layers of sleeves but I'm new to SW and I'm running Hellfrost, which is pretty detail-heavy).

  5. Google for Savage Worlds GM screen inserts. There are a couple versions out there. might have one too. Make sure you get a post-SWD one.
u/ASnugglyBear · 1 pointr/rpg

You seem like you want to prepare. I'm also a person who prepares, so here are things you can do to come feeling like you have:

Email (or text or whatever) the GM and ask what version you're playing.

4th edition, D&D 3.5, Pathfinder or 5th edition are all very likely candidates, and all play different enough you will want to know a bit of the difference. The first night you don't necessarily need to have your own copy of the book, but it will be a lot easier if you do going forward.

If the group is totally new, everyone will be rolling characters. If you meant the group is new to you, and they're already playing, ask what character classes they have already.

You may be happy looking up what 'good' character classes are for that edition are (depends on how competitive you are)

Bring a cheat sheet on it the edition you're playing, a small notebook, 2 mechanical pencils, and a set of polyhedral dice

Cheat sheets:

5th Edition:

4th Edition:

Pathfinder Edition:

3.5 Edition:

You really need to look into which version it is to get specific recommendations from /r/rpg that will be at all helpful. Once you do get that answer on what edition you're playing, find 2 easy to play classes by asking here, or looking up "tier lists" on the internet.

If you're really up for it, after finding out what version it is, go buy the players handbook for that version, read it, and watch an hour or two of "Actual play" on the internet for that version.


Most of D&D is about 1> Standing in the right place 2> Hitting the baddie with your big stick/magic spell 3> Not falling into traps 4> Getting loot. The game is incredibly oriented on loot and small magical items that give bonuses to attack and defense. So when an item comes up that's appropriate to your character, ask for it! Don't be a hog, but don't make the mistake of not taking enough.

When making your character, there are a lot of okay choices, a couple really really bad ones, and some superlative ones. You're unlikely to figure out the superlative ones without looking them up, but you'll probably be able to avoid the really horrible ones.

If you're worrying about the Roleplaying part, instead of the game playing part, the book "Impro" is excellent at explaining how to play characters well (the chapter on status is worthwhile on life in general)

u/CitizenKeen · 6 pointsr/rpg

For something slightly different... I'm going to throw my vote behind Cortex Plus.

I've DM'd a dozen games of the Cypher System, a half dozen of SWN, and more Fate and Savage Worlds than I can count. Through all of them, I feel like I've been looking for something else.

I'm not going to lie, I've only started really wrestling with the Cortex Plus system. But it hits all the high notes.

A few big cons up front: It doesn't have a generic version (and in fact, as far as I can tell, it barely has three generic versions -> Action, Dramatic, Heroic). Its publisher, Margaret Weis Productions, seems like a borderline defunct company. Its rulebooks tend to be a little heavy on the fluff and a little light on the organization. And lastly, it maybe doesn't have the forum-posting cachet that Fate and Savage Worlds does (mostly because, with MWP's absence from the internet, there's no real home for discussion).

BUT! I'm still going to recommend it, I still think it's worth it. It was essentially written by Evil Hat (I mean, it wasn't, except, you know, it seems like everybody but Fred Hicks was involved, and he kinda-sorta came up with the Marvel Heroic initiative system). It's just a fantastic set of systems by some fantastic people.

It's crunchy enough to be adjudicatable without a lot of hand-waving by the GM (my biggest complaint about Fate, a system I love). But it's light and fluffy, and can handle most genres. (My gut is that, like all systems with a lot of player->narrative control, it would suffer a little in the horror genre.)

I'd recommend taking a look at the Firefly RPG, as it is the closest iteration to what you're looking for. Spaceship battles and light psychics out of the box. Cyber-technology and alien races handled the same way Fate would - a rules-independent description on the character sheet - but less thinking about metacurrency as a way to make things relevant. Depending on how crunchy you want to go, powerful psychics could either be more rules-independent descriptors (as in Dramatic and Action Cortex Plus), or a robust suite of powers with SFX and Limits (which you'd have to create, but I feel like MHR does Marvel powers well, so you can probably do whatever you need to).

Jesus Christ, /u/CitizenKeen, you're thinking to yourself. What a wall of text. And you know what, you're right. BUT. I wrote all this so you could get a sense of how excited I am, and I think you should take a peak, especially if you're thinking something narrative like Fate or Cypher. I want to make sure you understand the pitfalls, but, for whatever it's worth, I have extensive experience with every system in this thread, and I vote Cortex Plus.

u/darknyancat26 · 10 pointsr/rpg

Savage Worlds sounds perfect for what you're looking for! The game is centered around the players being hard-to-beat action heroes. There are rules for pretty much any type of combat you can think of, and you can run nearly any genre you could possibly want with the system. Player creation is also extremely flexible, and you gain plenty of "edges" as you level up. I highly recommend the system for all intense action RPG needs. I've run a Sci-Fi campaign with the system, and it was super easy to learn and the players had a blast. The core rule book is only $8.99 on amazon, so it's definitely worth a try! :)

u/stubbazubba · 1 pointr/rpg

I recommend Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. Obviously not a fantasy setting (though easily refluffable into one). Character creation is pretty free-form, though there is a way to randomly generate a character if you like. Powers bring quite a few options at any given moment. It was made with one-shots in mind, too. Character advancement is very non-traditional, you don't level up your powers constantly. You might gain access to new powers temporarily, or new resources, and some of these you can make permanent, but that's not the major thrust of character advancement.

But the biggest thing this has going for it is how much it draws out the personality of each character. Each roll is affected by a personality trait or characteristic, so you know with what attitude you are acting, e.g. Spider-Man has a "Wisecracking" die to add to his dice pool. Whether it's sarcasm, guilt-ridden melodrama, rage, or any other emotion, it feeds directly into your rolls. I've never seen a game where characters are so alive, even during combat. It's even easier when playing one of the many pre-made Marvel characters because they all have big personalities.

The downside is it obviously focuses on action set pieces. It can do other things, like anything else, but like any super hero story, the meat of it is combat. Honestly that's not much different from most games being recommended here.

PDF above is less than $8. It's worth it. If you want even more options, the Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide Covers the basic rules of this plus two other sister systems (Action and Dramatic - the former for somewhat more realistic action genres, the latter for TV drama-style games a la Smallville, Supernatural, even Firefly). It gives a ton of advice and optional rules for modeling different dynamics in games, all using the same basic system. It covers every genre imaginable, for less than $14. Also worth it.

Just my opinion, of course, but I think you would find at least MHR quite to your liking.

u/TheNerdySimulation · 3 pointsr/rpg

Personally, I have read (and listened to) RPO multiple times. I don't think D&D would be fitting at all for it, but maybe something like Savage Worlds? It allows for building your character out in a very open ended way, just as is demonstrated in the Story, and since it is meant to be the more intense and over the top, you could with ease work that in (They are actually working on a Rifts adaptation to Savage Worlds currently, which is also a ridiculously action packed kind of setting).

You don't have a class system in Savage Worlds, so characters can pick up skills as they increase in power, without having that sudden "Level Up," feel to it. And, because it is meant to be easily adaptable to any sort of setting, it even having a very good amount of varying settings/genres, there would be no problem in changing to different settings or worlds so quickly, since all you really have to do is copy the book's explanation, "Oh, yeah, your Phaser doesn't work here because this is a Magic Zone. Sword and Sorcery time, guys!"

Plus, the Main Book for Savage Worlds (which includes everything you would need to make characters, know all the rules, and craft a campaign) is only about $10.00, which you can find on Amazon or their Own Website. I highly recommend it, and trust me as someone who recently got into this system to say that it is very easy to learn and simple to teach. I honestly think it is a great system that isn't too heavy on the rules that they get in your way, but not too light to force you to try and make up too much on the spot.

And if you are worried about having content from D&D, converted over to this system for you to use, I recommend Zadmar's Magnificent Collection of Free Savage Worlds Content It even includes a load of Monsters converted to the system from both D&D and Pathfinder.

u/Congzilla · 2 pointsr/rpg

D&D really boils down to roll a d20 and add or subtract a modifier, they should be able to understand it fairly easily. And just run a straight forward dungeon crawl adventure like Sunless Citadel from the Tales From the Yawning Portal book.

D&D also just put out young adventurers books. And a series of choose your own adventure books.

Hero Kids is also a good option and has tons of free pdf stuff available. And then there is also Mouse Guard which uses a version of the Burning Wheel system. Mouse Guard has several cool graphic novels good for kids those ages.

Finally, the Fantasy Flight Star Wars games would be very good for kids. Kids know Star Wars so they don't have to learn the setting and can dive right in. The Edge of the Empire starter set has everything you need and a really good intro adventure.

u/Kazamz · 0 pointsr/rpg

I've been looking around since I'm in the same boat as you, and have been looking at buying a larger quantity of sets which you might also want to look at if you want to kickstart a collection. The bigger names I've found are Chessex, Wizdice and Q-Workshop.

Wizdice has a pack of 100+ random dice (with 1 guaranteed set) for 20$ (which I'll probably buy sooner or later). Most of the reports I read say they're random sets instead of pure random dice (people getting up to 16 sets of 7 dice), but you only get solid color, see-through and pearly (no fancy frosted or speckled). They are factory seconds but not too bad (think of small imperfections like an air bubble in a see-through or not enough paint on the letters)

Chessex has a pound-o-dice for 20$, a bag of 100+ random dice. Besides the standard colors, see-through and pearl you have special stuff like 2 tone pearl, frosted, blood-spatter effect and speckles. Most reports say they're very random. You might get a large quantity of d20 and 2 d10's, they might contain mini dice and bigger dice. They could have custom dice for a certain game with the highest number switched for some graphic indicating a crit or something. You probably won't get a full same colored set (besides the guaranteed one.) They are factory seconds which means they were rejected from being put in an individual set. This might range from pretty near prefect halfsies (after making blue dice they want to make red dice, the first set still has blue plastic in them), to usable ones with a little air bubble or small dent to useless misshapen ones or dice with missing numbers.

Q-Workshop dice look really pretty (example). Very fancy. A lot more pricey. Be careful because some of them have really pretty intricate designs but are harder to read. There's a "jar of dice" with 150 dice but they cost a whopping +200$ so I haven't even looked at those.

Then there's all those artisan dice (example company). Dice made from marble or metal, probably have a lot of weight to them but I wouldn't want to roll those on a wooden or glass table. Dice made of wood, looks really fancy but I would guess that their "trueness" can be a lot worse than an air bubble in a plastic die. As you can guess those are very expensive.

Finally with the rise of 3d printers we get 3d printed dice. Amazing looking, amazing price.

u/kodemage · 4 pointsr/rpg

List of Influential RPG Titles

Dungeons and Dragons - By TSR and WotC

Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition - TSR

  • Core Rulebooks
  • Adventures (Keep on the Boarderlands, The Tomb of Horrors, The Temple of Elemental Evil)

    Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition - TSR

  • Core Books (PHB, DMG, MM)
  • Unearthed Arcana
  • Campaign Settings (Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun)
  • Arms and Equipment Guide

    Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 - WotC

  • Savage Species
  • Deities and Demigods
  • Stronghold Builder's Guidebook

    Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 - WotC

  • Core Rulebooks (PHB, DMG, & MM)
  • Expanded Core (PHB2, DMG2, MM2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Psionics Handbook
  • Unearthed Arcana
  • Complete Series (Arcane, Adventurer, Warrior, Divine, Champion, Scoundrel, Mage, Psionics)
  • Campaign Settings (Ebberon, Forgotten Realms)
  • Adventures (Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil)

    Dungeons and Dragons 4e - WotC

  • Core Rulebooks (PHB, PHB2, PHB3, DMG, DMG2, MM, MM2, MM3)
  • Essentials (Heroes of Forgotten Kingdoms and Heroes of Fallen Lands, Rules Compendium)
  • Settings (Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun)
  • Adventures (Tomb of Horrors)

    Pathfinder - Paizo Publishing

  • Core Rulebook
  • Advanced Player's Guide
  • Advanced Race Guide
  • Ultimate Magic
  • Ultimate Combat
  • Ultimate Equipment
  • Game Mastery Guide
  • Ultimate Campaign
  • Mythic Adventures
  • NPC Codex
  • Bestiaries 1-4

    Not Dungeons and Dragons

    World of Darkness - by White Wolf

  • Vampire the Masquerade - Vampires are so mainstream now...
  • Werewolf the Apocylypse - Where there are vampires there are werewolves.
  • Mage the Ascention - and witches and wizards.
  • Hunter the Reckoning - and someone to hunt them.
  • Changeling the Dreaming

    "New" World of Darkness

  • Core Book
  • Expanded Core (Vampire, Mage, Werewolf)


  • Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition Core Rulebook
  • Legend of the Five Rings 1st Edition Core Rulebook
  • 7th Sea
  • Deadlands


  • Shadowrun
  • Savage Worlds
  • Dungeon World
  • FATE Core
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Paranoia - Super expensive on Amazon, not sure why.
  • Elf Quest - Also a very popular graphic novel.

    Authors to Look for

  • Gary Gygax - Role Playing Mastery and Master of the Game
  • Monte Cook
  • John Wick
  • Dave Arneston

    RPG Related Non-Fiction

  • Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress - Shelley Mazzinoble
  • Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It

    RPG Fiction, also essential

  • Dragonlance - Chronicles Triligy by Weise and Hickman - Set in a D&D campaign Setting
  • Drizzit's Series - By R. A. Salvatore. Icewind Dale Trilogy and The Dark Elf Trilogy
  • The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist - It's allegedly the story of the author's long running D&D game.

    Other Lists

  • Good Reads Popular RPG titles.
  • Wikipedia timeline of RPGs

    Honorable Mentions

  • Star Wars - d6 Edition, d20 Edition, SAGA Edition, Star Wars RPG (Fantsy Flight)
  • Star Trek - Various Incarnations
  • Serenity the RPG
  • D&D Comic Books
  • Buffy the RPG
  • Whatever the heck "Demon" is...

    *Please add suggestions below, I'll add to the list as I revisit this thread throughout the day. Adding Amazon links now.
u/gte910h · 2 pointsr/rpg

This is one of the reason I play a far less crunchy system (DungeonWorld) than D&D. I utterly hate the work part of RPGs, but love the play part.

At this point, I have 1 piece of paper for the entire adventure, It has the main twists, the main players, up to 5 stat blocks for monsters/adversaries, and then the rest is handwritten notes.

Maps are drawn on the fly, and that's it.

The only thing I use digital stuff for is making music. There are a few iOS apps that do great background music for gaming sessions (most songs stick out too much or are too short).

Play Unsafe is a good book for letting go of a lot of the paperwork. (And $6 in kindle form, or $8 from RPGNow).

When I make handouts, they're something either to be handed to me (and are put in an envelope first with the condition the players have to trigger to hand it to me), or it's something that's self contained for the players.

u/RattyJackOLantern · 7 pointsr/rpg

Dungeons & Dragons is the big dog, it's the only TTRPG most people have ever heard of and that name recognition means whatever the current edition of D&D is will almost always have the largest player base in a given area in the English-speaking world.

But if you want a different game you could go with something like Savage Worlds, which is a rules-medium system that can play in any genre you want. The corebook (which is the only book you'd need to play, though others are helpful) is less than $10, which is a plus. See the demo here:
Corebook here

If you want to get some friends together and try some D&D (5th edition, which is the current one) though, I'd try it with the free demo rules before dropping between $90 - 120 on the 3 core books depending on where you buy them. Free demo rules here:

If you play a game with your friends you'll want some dice, unless you just decide to use a dice roller app on your phones. I'd recommend buying a big bundle of cheap dice rather than paying a lot for individual sets. A bundle like this one

DrivethruRPG is the site you'll want for other RPGs and older Dungeons & Dragons material, they're the amazon or wal mart of TTRPGs, selling PDFs and print on demand books.

u/johndesmarais · 1 pointr/rpg

If you like D&D 5, I'll throw out the idea of using it, but starting with either the Basic Rules (free) or the Starter Set (cheap). Both of these reduce the rules to something relatively easy for new players to quickly grasp and are easily expanded later with great full rules. (An added benefit of the Starter Set is that the included adventure is surprisingly good)

Basic Rules:

Starter Set:

u/AllUrMemes · 3 pointsr/rpg

The only product I really recommend buying is this Chessex battlemat:

Also pick up some WET-erase markers (not dry erase). You can draw the walls of each room as they enter.

Miniatures are cool, but not necessary. Coins, paper tokens, cardboard (D&D Monster Vault) all work fine. But I think that having a map with miniatures helps everyone visualize the battle much better. It's practically a necessity for 4E.

I also really recommend making your own campaigns and adventures if the DM is up for the time and challenge. They are usually better because the DM has a deeper understanding and knowledge of his own world, and can customize it to his players better.

u/circuitloss · 2 pointsr/rpg

If you really want to understand RPG culture, I can recommend nothing better than Jon Peterson's brilliantly researched Playing at the World.

This book take you on a historical journey through the history and tropes of table-top gaming, with a focus on the early history of D&D. The quality of the research is breathtaking and I learned a great deal about the amazingly innovative gaming groups that gave rise to modern tabletop RPGs.

Essentially, D&D was the byproduct of two mutually compatible lines of gaming experimentation:

First, wargamers who began playing at smaller and smaller scale. (Gary Gygax and his Chainmail miniatures rules)

And secondly, a type of proto-roleplaying game played by some of the groups in the Upper Midwest where people took on the roles of medieval villagers. (Notably in the early Braunstein-style games and Dave Arneson's Blackmoor.)

These two forces collided with one another and the rest, as they say, is history. Gygax brought the serious-minded combat rules, and Arneson brought the ideas of "leveling up," and the entire idea of "Dungeons," which were originally the literal dungeons beneath the castle in his world, as well as much of the early fantasy tropes and roleplaying elements.

That's just the tl;dr though, and I highly recommend reading Peterson's work if you want to really grok the early tabletop gaming scene.

u/HawaiianBrian · 1 pointr/rpg


The problem with DIY low-magic or no-magic campaign worlds for 3.X D&D is that the system is both delicate and interlocking. Change something in one place (like switching to a Wounds/Vitality system, or a spell points system, or trying to move combat into skills, etc.) and you'll find it has wide-ranging and drastic effects all throughout the system. Without extensive playtesting, you're bound to run into all kinds of issues you never imagined.

You can avoid this by going with a published game world and/or modified d20 system, because those companies have done playtesting, taking lots of work and brain acrobatics off your hands.

Look into these:

Iron Heroes

The Black Company

Midnight (The second edition is probably better, but also more expensive. You can find the first edition for pretty cheap.)

Someone else mentioned using d20 Modern, which is actually a good idea, but your players might balk at the different approach to classes (six base classes, one each based on a primary attribute -- Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, Constitution).

u/rednightmare · 3 pointsr/rpg

Mouse Guard box set has a sticker price of $60. It looks like it might be out of print, though? That would account for the inflated price. You can buy the standalone rulebook for $30.

The main difference between the two is that the box set comes with all of the bits and pieces you need along with a bunch of introductory materials (adventure booklet, premade characters, etc.). You can play the game fine without that stuff, it's just going to be a little less beginner friendly.

>Second of all, is this the kind of game that I want? Is there something better for this situation?

I don't know, what is your situation? Mouse Guard is a good introductory RPG and is definitely a very good game. The (mostly) same rules system is also used in Burning Wheel and Burning Empires, which means you can expand into other genres and be (mostly) on familiar ground. It's also an independent game, if that makes a difference to you. If you dig the theme then you can't really go wrong with it.

The big downside with Mouse Guard, or any indie rpg for that matter, is that it is more difficult to find people to play with. Since you already have a group lined up this isn't a big issue.

u/mattigus · 6 pointsr/rpg

I've never played the d20 version, but I play the standard d100 game. If you want to just give the game a try, you can download the quickstart rules, which come with a sample scenario. You can print out the rules, character sheets, and scenario, and run a game off of just that.

The only book you really need is the Call of Cthulhu rulebook. This book is pretty much a player handbook/DM guide/monster manual built into one. The great thing about Cthulhu is that the game is so basic that you only need 1 copy of the book (for the DM, or keeper) and can give the rest of the players quickstart rules that you can print online. Cthulhu is such a simple game that I think about 70 percent of the book is just flavor text and sample scenarios.

In that book, you can get some beginning sample scenarios that you can run with your group, which will give you a sense of how the game is run. One of the great things about Cthulhu is that the game is very story driven. Combat has very simple rules, and there are no experience points or levels, although you do increase skill points. The whole point of the game is that you are presented with a mystery, and the players must gather information and solve the mystery, at the risk of their own sanity. So don't expect any monster mashes or anything like that, unless that's how you want to run your game.

u/OurHeroAndy · 1 pointr/rpg

It's important to find your own style of GMing, so that you are comfortable running the games you want to run instead of worrying about if you're doing it right. Try watching videos/listening to podcasts of people running games, lots of them. Even games you probably won't end up running just to see different styles of GMs running games. Observe other GMs to look at how they handle situations you're worried about and how you can use what they did to run your own game better.

If you're looking for more concrete advice, then I recommend Play Unsafe (Amazon has the physical book cheap). It is a lot of advice on how to get better at rolling with the curve balls that get thrown at you by the players. It is written to try show how the techniques of improv can help you run a better game easier.

It also helps a lot if you talk to your players about what everyone wants/expects from the campaign. Having them help decide if they want a combat heavy or rules lite or exploration or mystery/intrigue style of campaign can save you a lot of wasted prep.

u/chapel_truslow · 3 pointsr/rpg

i recently read a book called play unsafe about improving your GMing style and abilities, largely by practicing improvisation techniques. i found it enjoyable and with lots of usable ideas and advice. it's a quick read at 44 pages.

i got the reference to that book from the introduction of another book that i am reading called "Unframed, The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters." it in turn is from a selection of titles on game mastering that i picked up from the (still current) bundle of holding worldbuilder's toolkit which also seems pretty decent. there is a lot of material in those books that i am sure will give pretty much any gm some new ideas and help improve their game.

u/DG86 · 2 pointsr/rpg

You didn't specify an age, so hard to pin this down. D&D still sounds like an option. There are lots of published adventures (to help you with your creativity problem.) The latest edition (5th) is not too complicated. If you are worried about money, the starter set is a great way to try the game out and is pretty cheap

However, it sounds like your girl has a big imagination, and might enjoy some narrative freedom. Other games specialize in that, but require more creativity from the DM. Fate is free online and really lets players contribute to the world and story.

If she is very young, you might want to start with something even more simple: Describe a scene, have her respond, and then name a difficulty number. If she rolls this number or higher on a D20, then she succeeds. Otherwise, describe (or let her describe) how she fails. Forget hit points, leveling up, and all that extra stuff, and just cooperatively tell some stories with the dice for a while. (My suggestion for difficulty numbers is 5+ for easy, 10+ for moderate, and 15+for hard.)

u/plazman30 · 12 pointsr/rpg

Wizdice guarantees 15 complete sets:

Buy 3 sets of these and you're all set:

I bought a bag of Wizdice years ago when everyone was praising them for the number of complete sets. My son and I eagerly put together the bag and got ONE complete set. 3 days later Wizdice reached out to me via reddit because of a post I made and offered to send me a new bag, because the bag I got was a "bag of hurt."

I didn't even complain in the post. I just said that not every bag is a winner and that's the chance you take, I'm still happy with the purchase.

So, now I always recommend Wizdice to everyone, because they went above and beyond for me.

EDIT: These bags are even cheaper:

u/hamlet9000 · 3 pointsr/rpg

In addition to looking to hook-up with existing gamers (and you should definitely check out that store), ask your existing friends if they'd be interested in playing. With something like the Pathfinder Beginner Box playing an RPG can be as easy as picking up a new boardgame.

I've spent 99.9% of my gaming (over 20+ years) playing with friends I made outside of gaming. (Often by recruiting players who had never played an RPG before.)

u/M0dusPwnens · 14 pointsr/rpg

More than just requiring it, Dungeon World is particularly good at teaching improv.

The biggest thing is to focus on the GM Moves. You're improvising, but you're improvising within a very rigid system. The GM Moves aren't suggestions. When you GM Dungeon World, literally all you do is make GM Moves. Especially at first, you should keep the GM Moves in front of you 100% of the time, and you shouldn't be afraid to take a minute each time before you speak to deliberately look at the GM Moves and pick one.

Probably the biggest mistake newer GMs make is to think that GM Moves are things you do to punctuate your improv - like you're just riffing and then, when you want to "make something happen", you do a GM Move. That's how player moves work (to a degree), but it's not how GM Moves work, and playing like that will cause the game to stall out, especially when players are rolling a lot of successes.

GM Moves are the only kind of thing you do as GM. If you're talking, you're making a GM Move. New GMs usually quickly grasp the idea of making a GM Move every time the players miss a roll, but you also make one every time they look to you to see what happens next. Every time. When the PCs are having a conversation with an NPC, every time they look to you to find out how the NPC responds, they're looking at you to see what happens next: make a GM Move. Every single conversational turn should be a GM Move. You won't manage that, but the closer you get, the better the game will be.

Even when they roll a hit, when they succeed, as soon as they look to you, make a GM Move. Don't invalidate their success, but don't let success take the steam out of the game either. If they Defy Danger and roll a 10, cool. If they keep talking and say what they do next, cool - don't interrupt them. If they dodge out of the way of the falling pillar and then look at you to see what happens next, guess what, make a GM move. Don't do anything involving the falling pillar - they already succeeded at avoiding that, no double jeopardy and no hurting people for rolling successes - but that doesn't mean don't do anything: make a GM Move (maybe reinforcements show up, maybe the silence after the crash of the pillar is broken by a dragon's roar, etc.).

Don't wait for the game to stall out. GM Moves aren't just consequences for bad rolls, and they're also not just a way to kickstart a game that's running out of steam. GM Moves are just your half of the conversation. If you do it right, the game won't need kickstarting - it won't run out of steam in the first place.

For the most part, go with "hard" GM Moves when someone misses a roll. Every other time the players look to you, go with "soft" GM Moves.

Fronts and Monster Moves are the same thing. If you understand how GM Moves work, they just give you situation-specific GM Moves, which can make improv a little easier. If you treat them as conventional prep without understanding GM Moves and what they do to keep the game flowing, your game will stall out and you also won't be "playing to find out what happens".

The other big thing is to stop worrying about being fair. Play by the rules. That cuts both ways: don't screw players over unfairly, but also don't let them off the hook. And letting them off the hook is by far the bigger problem most of the time. It's not up to you to make sure they survive. There is no principle about building "balanced" encounters. If you want to play a tactics game, don't play Dungeon World. If you want to play Dungeon World, don't pull punches. Put things that make sense in the world and the story in front of the characters, and don't worry about putting things that are of the "appropriate difficulty" in front of the players. Uneven fights are fun.

Read the Dungeon World Guide for sure.

Personally, I think Dungeon World is far, far easier to play after playing Apocalypse World (the game it's based on) - it's easier to see how and why things work the way they do without all of the D&D flavor elements, which can be misleading. I would seriously consider running a campaign of Apocalypse World (typically about 6-10 sessions) unless the theme turns you off completely.

In terms of improv for RPGs, I really like the book Play Unsafe. It's a quick and easy read that has a lot of actual, concrete advice and instruction. I found it really helpful both as a player and a GM once we started playing more narrative games.

u/HeloRising · 2 pointsr/rpg

What I would recommend is looking online at WizKid's $20 assortment. The assortments tend to be pretty good, you can look around /r/diceporn for various unboxing pics, they tend to give you several complete sets.

If the cost is scary, talk to your gaming group and ask if they feel like chipping in for the cost in exchange for (potentially) a new set of dice for a few bucks.

You're gambling with what you get but when I bought mine, I got some great dice and it seems like most people who buy it tend to get really nice sets.

u/IamSparticles · 2 pointsr/rpg

All you really need is the Player's Handbook (or rules compendium), but if you're new to the DM role, I highly recommend picking up the Dungeon Master's Guide, as well. It has a lot of great advice for running a campaign that was helpful to me. It also has source material for the Nentir Vale campaign setting, if you don't want to start from scratch.

If you don't have one, consider getting a subscription to D&D Insider, so you can access the online tools, especially the compendium, which has all the released content from all the books and magazine articles. Of course, if you're a student, the cost may be prohibitive.

A Chessex wet-erase battlemat is only about $18. It has a square grid on one side, and hexes on the other. In the long run, it's better than wasting a lot of paper (IMO).

u/AquaSky · 1 pointr/rpg

RPG players can usually get plenty of use from the Chessex battle mat. You could also find her a nice folder to keep her character sheets organized, and a box of mechanical pencils are a tabletop gamer's best friend. Etsy is just full of dice-themed jewelry too.

If she listed other movie/TV show/book interests, many popular franchises have RPG rulebooks: Firefly, Game of Thrones, etc. You can always try searching for "(Series name) RPG" on Amazon and see what comes up. If you go this route, might be good to send a message and ask which books she has, so that you don't accidentally send duplicates.

u/not_a_troll_for_real · 1 pointr/rpg

Check out Mythweavers:

It's a play by post site and you can join games for all sorts of different rpgs.

Personally, I would recommend trying Savage Worlds. It's a really fun and easy to learn system, and it can be used for a wide variety of games, from fantasy to modern to sci-fi. There's a free test drive of the rules that you can check out here:

The full rulebook is $8.99 on Amazon, and it has everything you need to play:

u/chaotoroboto · 1 pointr/rpg

You will be choosing between Pathfinder and 4E, and as best I can tell the biggest difference between Pathfinder and 4E is personal preference. And as DM, you get to choose, frankly. Players will generally go along with what you think.

Both games sponsor in-store events where you can learn the basic feel of the game, especially combat, and it might be useful to go to those. Call up your game shop.

Pathfinder is my preference for not-combat. The combat's okay, but the character building and skill checking and all of that is awesome.

4th Edition D&D is my preference for combat. It can bog down, but the tactics and all offered by this are brilliant. If your guys are Warhammer players, this might be the better option. It might also feel too light for them, like it's trying too hard to be a miniatures wargame.

As a more expensive third option, there's this: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It's a comprehensive fantasy setting that lines up with the Warhammer Fantasy wargame. I've played a super-old version, never played one of the new ones, and never played the actual wargame. It's not really a recommendation because I honestly know nothing about it; but if you want to have a game where the story could lead to an actual military battle or wars, this might make a cool option.

u/Kulban · 3 pointsr/rpg

I agree. FFG Star Wars is my current favorite system. Super elegant, super friendly to newbies.

u/Bamce · 1 pointr/rpg

Savage worlds.

You can get the physical book off of amazon for 10$

Uses a target number 4 system, with raises and exploding dice. So they will have to add dice together the find out how many instances of 4 they got. Along with minor +/- modifers.

Uses playing cards for initiative keeping the game moving

There is a chip/resource system. The whole game is based around these “bennies” giving them out for all kinds of things and using them to re-roll and other stuff. This means you can quickly and easily reinforce good behaviors with a tangible in game benefit.

I have been known to get a small bag of candy and use them as “bennies” but you could only eat the candy when you used it. To help teach restraint.

It is built to be universal as such it has a pile of different settings people have made. This easily lets it keep up with a child’s flickering interests. You could be space rangers today. Pirates next week and cowboys the week after.

u/locolarue · 2 pointsr/rpg

Pretty sure 4e books aren't $40 anymore.. And yeah, 4e character creation is going to probably be a PITA. I assume character creation will take a session for most games. Make pre-gens or do it individually with each player...there are solutions to this problem.

Unless CoC has massively changed since I looked at it ten years ago, there's very little freedom in character creation, skill are pretty terribly split up and so the major selections are what archetype/class am I, how do I split up my few skills I'm free to choose, and do I have a gun (a standard one from the book) or some mundane equipment like flashlights or a car or whatever. Do I have it about right? Even winnowing all your choices down in D&D 3.5, that's fewer than most characters have, even simple ones like fighters and rogues.

u/Kujirasan · 1 pointr/rpg

Here is a very brief book about improv as it relates to RPGs.

The basic principle is to let your players guide the story by saying Yes. Your player will say, " my character jumps onto the table grabs the chandelier and swings across the room lands on the bar and kicks the sword out of his hand" some dms would say "no you can't do that"

When confronted with a player that wants to do something cool say yes and then add to what he wanted to do. So, when he says, say, " my character jumps onto the table grabs the chandelier and swings across the room lands on the bar and kicks the sword out of his hand." You say "OK, so give me an athletics roll" you set the Dc in secret, to say 16. But you also think that it would be cool that the NPC with the sword saw him coming. So he rolls good, with a 23. So you say, " Ok, you jump up on the table, grab the chandelier, swing across the room and land on the bar. You land adroitly in a crouched and ready position. What's your AC?" He says "14." You say, " well he watched you swing across the room and readied an attack he hits you with a 16 as he stabs you in the belly.

The difference is in the first example the dm put up a wall to possible options for the player.

In the second example the dm used judo-like fluidity to humor the player's desire while deepening the action of the fight.

u/foxual · 6 pointsr/rpg

D&D 5th Edition offers their basic rules online for free, which is more than enough to get a session or two under your belt. If you like it, I highly recommend the 5th Edition starter set, which you can order from Amazon for $12.50. It has dice, an adventure, a reprint of those basic rules, and pregenerated characters. It's a great value.

u/JaskoGomad · 3 pointsr/rpg

The most important thing is for her to make a character that's interesting to her. Ask, what's the best way this character could possibly end up? What's the worst? If both answers would be interesting to see exactly how, then it's probably an interesting character to play with.

The second thing is to avoid stoic lone wolves with no families.

This book helps explain how doing the obvious thing is usually best:

u/plexsoup · 7 pointsr/rpg

The first that come to mind are Apocalypse World and all the subsequent variants, especially Dungeon World and Monster Hearts. They specifically demand that you ask questions and use the answers, then play to find out what happens. They forbid you from preparing elaborate adventures on rails.

Also, Donjon has system mechanics for this. Players get to manufacture reality when they roll well.

There's a book called "Play Unsafe" that does a pretty good job of describing improvisational techniques from theatre, for use in Roleplaying. It's a bit short though.

Check out Steven Lumpkin's awesome GM'ing for apocalypse world on itmejp's channel. Rollplay R&D

u/Regularjoe42 · 5 pointsr/rpg

Wizard's of the Coast has released a bunch of their material for free in the SRD. If you want to play for free that should give you a good start. However, the material is rather scant as they want you to buy the full books. It would take a lot of work to turn just that into an adventure.

If you want to just start playing, the cheapest way to do so is the starter set. For under 20$ you get all you need to start playing (dice and adventure included). It should keep your playgroup engaged for some time.

If you want to have all the player's options and more detailed rules, all you need to play is the Player's Handbook. Hypothetically you could run from the SRD, but then the players would have a lot less options for their characters. (Or you could use homebrew and risk the game being unbalanced.)

The Dungeon Master's Guide is mostly about how to do worldbuilding. The Monster Manual is a whole bunch statblocks and lore to help the DM prepare encounters. Hypothetically you could just run it from the SRD, but then it would be a lot of work on the DM.

u/sockpuppetprime · 2 pointsr/rpg

For D&D4e, I recommend starting with Essentials. Personally, I prefer 4e because it has balance and encourages working together. You can get the 4e Red Box, but it is slightly inconsistent with everything else and will only take you so far. Anyway, here's a minimal shopping list:

  • Heroes of the Fallen Lands
  • Rules Compendium
  • Monster Vault

    The Essentials DM kit is also good. With the exception of the Red Box, all 4e material is compatible across the board, so adding in new player options or DM stuff is as easy as picking up a supplement or getting a DDI subscription.

    If you've never played before, WotC holds an "Encounters" programs on Wednesday evenings at local gaming stores. It is specifically designed to introduce players to D&D as well as sell their latest product. If you live in the DC metro area, I can give you some pointers on where to go, if you're interested.
u/cjdoyle · 20 pointsr/rpg

>but also less freedom.

this is just flat wrong my friend, and I'll tell you why.
your players are allowed to do anything, as long as you allow it, or give them the avenue to do it.

part of what makes DnD, and any tabletop rpg great is that as the GM, you are the arbiter of what happens.

personally I play pathfinder, however, I know from experience getting started and playing is much easier in 5E as it's quite a bit more streamlined. I'd say go with 5e and the beginner box

it's got plenty of content, and if you're buying on amazon, the books are around the same cost as pathfinder.

if you are dead set on pathfinder though, don't let me stop you, I love the system, but I just wish it had less number-crunching and interacting systems.

u/SoSeriousAndDeep · 7 pointsr/rpg

Honestly, I think you'd be better off looking at the full D&D5 starter set (Or the D&D 5 books, or the free basic rules download) as a new player! They do a much better job of explaining roleplaying and explaining the game how the game is played. The starter box is really good, with a nice little mini-campaign and premade characters; it's plenty to get a group started for a few sessions of play.

Microlite games like this are more designed for players with some experience, who want to cut out mechanics they don't think work for the way they play. As a new player, if you attended a group playing something like this then you'd be fine, but they're not good as an introduction on their own.

u/infinitum3d · 0 pointsr/rpg


D&D 5e. Start with the Starter Set. Easy to follow rules, a great campaign called The Lost Mine of Phandelver, and it can be used with or without the Essentials kit.

Good luck!

u/Peteyklop · 0 pointsr/rpg

I know you said no D&D, but 5th edition is definitely the easiest one to understand. The D&D Starter Set or the D&D Essentials are both good places to start.

u/wdtpw · 1 pointr/rpg

> And then we shell out $150 for the books at some point before we can even use supplements.

You don't need the GM's guide. However:

Player's handbook: $28

Monster Manual: $34

GM's guide: $30

Total $92. These are all Amazon prices, and other vendors are cheaper - eg Wallmart has each of the books for less than $30.

I still think you only need the Player's handbook plus an online 5e monster list, however. But even if you want a player's handbook and a monster manual the total would only be: $62.

I mean, if you want 'cheap,' then Fate Core is free and there are pay what you will scenarios for it on drivethrurpg. But it's not as universally accepted/popular as D&D and I personally think the D&D starter set does a better job at handholding a beginner through the learning experience. So I'd still recommend that.

u/illusio · 14 pointsr/rpg

Lets include more nonsense in this pointless debate.

4e D&D outsells Pathfinder!

4e Amazon Sales Rank: #4,549

Pathfinder Amazon Sales Rank: #14,423

Lets all just play the game you enjoy. Who cares which sells better.

u/gunsnammo37 · 4 pointsr/rpg

Amazon still has some copies left. They are less than $14.

I highly recommend it. It is the only supers game I've played that allows you to accurately play the character concept you envision without compromise. Plus, it is a lot of fun.

u/noncongruency · 2 pointsr/rpg

I hear this all the time, honestly, rolling those dice is so much better than counting successes on a d6, or aiming for a target number on a d20. It's worth the: what, $12?

*Note: Not an affiliate link, just a straight amazon link.

u/science_diction · 1 pointr/rpg
  1. Best way is to use description and only draw maps when you need to like combat or complicated areas. Get one of these:

    That will definitely help you. There's a larger version too, which I use.

  2. Yes, but don't make any plot points around part time characters. Also, avoid world hopping too much to prevent some type of explanation of why the party left a city but your gf's character did not.

  3. You should be rolling passives, not the players. You should use a screen and try to hide the fact you're rolling anything. The players should honestly not know what their character doesn't know - like the result of a passive perception check. Unless they specifically ask for passive checks, you should be rolling all of them. In fact, even when they ask, roll them yourself.

  4. Werewolves don't work like your friend is thinking in D&D. They are typically out of control and evil as well as being a magical illness that any good aligned character will want to wipe out with extreme prejudice. Have them play a Shifter (a sort of balanced to human power werewolf) instead, which is found in the Eberron book.
u/rup3t · 4 pointsr/rpg

Lost Mines of Phandelver. This adventure comes with the D&D 5E starter set. Its designed to be run as a first campaign for new players and new DMs. Its not the most intriguing of the adventures, but its fun and touches on a lot of different areas for new players to experience. There are lots of little spots for RP, but nothing overwhelming, and also in general the dungeons are short and not very grueling. I highly recommend this for you and your new group.

u/neilandherson · 2 pointsr/rpg

Take a look at the Edge of the Empire beginner box

Also take a look at some micro RPGs, they tend to be easier to get into due to less rules and you can try out different genres while getting used to the idea of playing a role. Games like; All out of Bubblegum, Everyone is John, Lasers and Feelings, and Dr. Magnethands are all great places to start with RPGs.

u/mostlyjoe · 0 pointsr/rpg

Start here.

It's the VERY GOOD Pathfinder basic set. It teaches the core concepts of the game, gaming itself, and how to ease into the full system once you are use to it. I always recommend it for newbie groups and GMs.

u/Jigawatts42 · 3 pointsr/rpg

3.5 is kind of jumping in the deep end, plus its a very fiddly unintuitive system. I would suggest picking up the 5th Edition D&D Starter Set, which is 13 bucks on Amazon and includes everything a group needs to play, including an adventure that goes from level 1-5. Plus 5E is much more beginner friendly. If later on you decide you want to check out a crunchier D&D system, I would suggest Pathfinder, which is an evolution of the 3.5 system.

u/kmj2l · 0 pointsr/rpg has all the basic rules for free. Also the "Starter Set", designed for new players with everything you need to dive into rpgs quickly, can be found at Amazon for $12. Given that the dice alone can run $6-$12, this is a good deal, and it's highly recommended for getting brand new players into tabletop RPGs quickly.

If Pathfinder looks more interesting to you, then you should look into the Beginner Box. It's a steeper buy-in (about twice as much on Amazon), but it does come with more content.

Both choices are good values, but you should read about D&D (5e) and Pathfinder a bit first before making a decision (if you decide to go this route at all). You'll find many people have "taken sides", so look for opinions from a variety of sources. (Me personally: Having only gotten back into RPGs in the past year, I have not played Pathfinder. But I'm absolutely enamored with 5e. There's no doubt they're both good, and anyone who says otherwise should not be trusted.)

u/lost-dragonist · 5 pointsr/rpg

To get the obvious out of the way, there's the Dungeon & Dragons Starter Set. All the stuff you need to start playing and get people hooked for less than $15. That's characters, an adventure, dice, and pared down rules.

As a GURPS fan, I need to plug the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. It's a different take on the D&D style of game. $60 gets you a full game, dice, cardboard figures, an adventure, and some large fold-out maps for the adventure.

u/defunctdeity · 2 pointsr/rpg

So jealous (and happy) that such a thing exists for some kids/schools these days.

Do you have any of the FFG Star Wars system books? Highly recommended if not.

The main thematic gap I see is moar "supers" systems. For that I personally like the HERO system - for its customizability. Though we just started a homebrew Marvel heroic roleplaying game system game - which uses the Cortex system - and it's pretty awesome too for a more narrative approach.

u/mortaine · 1 pointr/rpg

As a GM, I have had this in my amazon wishlist for absolutely forever.

Also the Terraclips (any of the kits, honestly-- just linking to one). They're awesome.

For a romantic evening once, I put together a "pirate night," with toy swords, a treasure map and poem, an eyepatch, a little locking treasure chest (key was hidden in my bra-- I played both the random pirate encounter and the siren our hero had to subdue), and chocolate coins.

Uh.... might count for a different kind of role-play, but dm;hs.

u/Bloody-Vikings · 1 pointr/rpg

/u/amightyrobot speaks truth. I'd mentioned CoC yesterday, but I guess it was easy to miss around all of the other posts. It's very simple to learn, has a ton of good adventures and setting books, and all of the published material is 99% compatible across editions.

You can even get the core rulebook for cheap.

Here's an Amazon entry.

Here's DriveThruRPG's PDF of the same.

You could no doubt find cheaper ones with some effort, but that was just off the top of my head.

u/lordfeint32 · 1 pointr/rpg

Although to be completely honest with you, you'd probably do better to just drop $20 on instead. It almost always includes a set of marbled blue that look pretty much exactly the same as the WotC dice and you get up to 15 other full sets too.

u/minotaur05 · 1 pointr/rpg

I would say print out the basic rules from D&D 5e and try it:

Also, the "Beginner Box" for 5e is great also. It includes premade characters, a set of dice and a really cool starting adventure:

It's $17 on amazon prime and a great place to start.

Personally, Pathfinder has some neat stuff but combat takes too long. 5e simplifies combat and also focuses a lot on RP which I personally enjoy.

u/looneysquash · 1 pointr/rpg

Interesting. (Btw, I had to come up with a Canada postal code to view that link.)

I used this for the last encounter, that I think it worked pretty well. I can quickly sketch whatever room they're in. But I've only used it once so far.

u/UnfortunateTruths · 13 pointsr/rpg

Savage Worlds is 9 dollars on Amazon for the softcover. It's a universal roleplaying system that is a lot of fun. Get that and a set of dice for 15 dollars and you're good to go.

u/fendokencer · 1 pointr/rpg

I can't speak about Thule, but have you tried looking for the 5e books on the internet?

If ordering it online isn't an option in your country then PDF+ printing you select pages is probably the best way to go.

u/DonCallate · 2 pointsr/rpg

I've successfully run about a dozen new groups through FFG's Star Wars game, all but 4 of the players have become long term players in the system. They make Beginner's Boxes for new players to get into the system, although I run them through something homebrewed.

I also just got the Delta Green beginner's set and it is a great intro session and a completely different tone and feel than a fantasy game.

u/trudge · 3 pointsr/rpg

For RPGs, check out Reign which handles low fantasy really well.

The Black Company novels have relatively low fantasy feel (even if high fantasy elements are going in the background), and there's an RPG for it that's pretty snazzy.

As for movies, a lot of 70s/80s fantasy movies were low-fantasy on account of budget limitations. So, movies like Lady Hawke, Sword and the Sorcerer, Excalibur, Krull, and Beastmaster would all be worth checking out.

u/randite · 1 pointr/rpg

Not 100% certain w/ that edition, but the likely answer is yes. You'll need the Savage Worlds core rulebook in some iteration. <-- This is the link for the free "test drive" version of the game system. It may be enough to get you some use from the book you've already got.

Amazon for the Core Book -->

u/0qualifications · 1 pointr/rpg

If you want to go all out I'd recommend these books:

Enough dice for you and whoever you're playing with:

If you want minis:

u/livrem · 2 pointsr/rpg

Gary Gygax was extremely involved in the nerd/hobby game industry for well over 10 years before D&D was published, was writing articles for several magazines and fanzines, traveling to game conventions, had several games published, was organizing play-by-mail games (Diplomacy at least, but possibly other games too?), and once D&D was released the first thing that happend was that it spread very fast through all his connections in the wargames hobby.

There were a few games that very well could have become the first fantasy RPG in the 1960's or early 70's, but most of the (war)games with RPG-elements people were playing were unique campaigns that the person running just did not even try to bring to the masses, or did not have the right connections to make it spread very far.

Source: Playing At The World

u/Solleret · 10 pointsr/rpg

Your best bet for this is going to be your local gaming shop. They usually have drawers of sorted dice and let you mix and match whatever you need for like ten cents a die.

If you can't go to a local store wiz dice has good, cheap bags of dice.

u/zoken · 6 pointsr/rpg

My D&D group hovers around five to six players, and we often end up with someone using "spares" or lacking a matching set. We decided to pitch in for more dice, and settled with Wiz Dice's 1 pound bags of dice. Total cost came out to $43, for 32 different sets. Overall, we've been really pleased with these, and would recommend them to anyone who needs more dice.

u/CleaveItToBeaver · 2 pointsr/rpg

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying is a pretty solid supers game. It's out of production, but you can grab a copy from for under $30.

u/Oreot · 11 pointsr/rpg

Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorers Edition (soft cover) is $8.66 on Amazon and is a fantastic little crunch medium system with a lot of free and cheap material covering most genres.

u/appBlu · 7 pointsr/rpg

Savage Worlds since this is r/rpg

If it's a fantasy setting, you could just rip Eberron and fit it to your liking.

Edit: saw your other post, since its the far future you could incorporate a Cyberpunk/fantasy setting such as Shadowrun. I'd recommend getting the Fantasy and Sci-Fi companions to give you some ideas and prebuilt objects for the world.

What I enjoy most about Savage Worlds is the amount of flexibility you are given as a GM/Player in that everything has a baseline, and you add flavor to make it something different. Great examples of this are the spells, where it could be a simple "Bolt" spell, but with added flavor such as Fire or Frost, you can change the dynamics of how they work. Plus, the main book you'll need is only 10 dollars.

u/Entice · 3 pointsr/rpg

I use Battlemats. They use Wet erase markers and you can draw what you want on the fly, and afterwards a quick bit of windex and a paper towel and its all gone. Takes some $ up front (just under $30), but after that as long as you take care of them, it will last years.

u/Blarghedy · 1 pointr/rpg

This really depends on your players and the complexity of the combats you're running. If your players really like tactical play and you want to have big, complex fights, maybe a grid would be the way to go. If your players don't like tactical play or you want to have small fights, not using a grid can make it go faster.

The Chessex Battle Mats are super great for grids. Do keep in mind that they're wet erase, not dry erase, though.

u/WoolyWumpus · 2 pointsr/rpg

My groups use one of these. They are perfect with a set of wet erase markers. The only thing is that it seems like each mat has a specific color that does not like to be erased from it (for mine it's red).

I have considered getting a digital projector and running with digital maps but I just don't have the cash right now. If I did do this I would probably use photoshop for my display program. Just create a layer for your map and another layer on top of it as a mask. When you need to uncover another area on the map you just turn off the projector (or your laptop's external display port), make your masking layer opaque so you can see the map below it, select and delete the are you want to display, make the mask layer solid again, and turn back on the projector. This takes more pre-game time to setup but much less time than drawing out each room you need for combat and explaining funky architecture. Just remember to have a DM map with secret doors and traps marked on it, and another map for the players that does not contain this info.

u/indiemosh · 2 pointsr/rpg

Also, possibly the best selling point: the core book is only $10. For a physical copy.

EDIT: Here's an Amazon Link.

u/theabnessofgucester · 1 pointr/rpg

Oh cool. Thanks. I'll definitely check out Cortex Plus & Smallville.

Is this it? I didn't see anything about the cortex system and I'd had to shell out $30 on the wrong book.

u/redditlien · 3 pointsr/rpg

If you're having trouble getting started with Pathfinder try the Beginner Box It starts off with a simpler sub-selection of Pathfinder rules to learn the game and how to play without overwhelming new players and comes with some pre-generated characters and an adventure to jump right in.

If Pathfinder is what peaked your interest in the hobby I would say go for it.

u/Pariah1974 · 1 pointr/rpg

Savage Worlds Deluxe Core Rules: Explorer Edition

  • Slipstream

  • Deadlands: Reloaded Player's Handbook

    Probably you could get by with the core rules and one or the other. Slipstream would be beneficial for the gear, space combat, and the edges, while Deadlands would give you edges, dueling rules, and both would have good stuff for Professional edges.
u/darkmooninc · 1 pointr/rpg

Risus and Dungeon World are about what you'll get under your requirements. I'd spring the $15 for a copy of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying (and the Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide is a godsend) or $25 for FATE Core as both are very quick, loose systems.

Shoestring gaming, though, still Risus. The man Risus material uses stick figures for art, so that goes to show you how simple and cheap it is.

u/kinderdemon · 11 pointsr/rpg

Jon Peterson's Playing at the World is the gold standard for high-quality historical research as far as I am concerned. He runs an excellent blog on games too.

u/slyphic · 2 pointsr/rpg

There exist no roleplaying games prior to 1974, so that avenue of inquiry is right out the window.

There's a good number of strategy and combat board games from earlier, but looking through the brief mechanical descriptions on BGG, and having actually played a decent number of them, I feel confident in saying that the idea of "leveling up" or persistent play with advancement did not exist prior to D&D.

To reiterate, D&D did in fact invent "killing things to get OP."

edit I also don't recall reading about any earlier games with progression in either Shannon Applecline's Designers & Dragons serires, or Jon Peterson's Playing at the World

u/Skittlebrau46 · 11 pointsr/rpg

100+ Pack of Random Polyhedral Dice in Multiple Colors Plus Free Pouch Set by Wiz Dice

$19.99 on Amazon.

Not scientific means and standards knife edge quality, but far from junk, and you are promised to get full sets. They will even fix things for you if you get a bad batch.

Highly recommend.

Edit: Here's the link I should have added in the first place, but I was in a hurry and forgot to add.

u/ameoba · 9 pointsr/rpg

You can get the 4th edition PHB for only $20.

I always bought previous edition textbooks in college to save money. Shouldn't I be able to do the same with D&D?

edit: /s

u/Allandaros · 5 pointsr/rpg

Jon Peterson's Playing at the World is probably going to be very helpful on this front.

u/lokizero · 5 pointsr/rpg

I bought two sets of dice and it's all we use. Thinking about getting one more set since they're getting more powerful.

u/djdementia · 2 pointsr/rpg

I use a wet erase. Pro tip on miniatures as long as you don't mind that they don't match your PCs... go to a gaming store and ask if they have a box of old miniatures from older games people don't play. The gaming store I went to were selling them for $0.10 each.

The huge advantage of Wet erase is that hands, dice, books, miniatures moving over it don't erase the map.

u/imperturbableDreamer · 3 pointsr/rpg

Technically you could play the whole game with a single d12 and d8 and a lot of tables.

I don't know why I would want either.

Then again, that is besides the point. For the same price I get one pack of FFG SW dice (that has to be shared at the table and, again, does not contain enough dice to make tests in one roll), I could get enough dice sets for myself and every player at my table, which can be used for most other rpgs and also look considerably nicer than the FFG dice and would still have money left over.

u/Nosterana · 2 pointsr/rpg

Was that the boxed set? You only really need the single rulebook to play Mouse Guard, and in my experience it's cheaper or in the same price range as other core rulebooks. Amazon has it for $23.

u/Reasonabledwarf · 6 pointsr/rpg

It may ruin a bit of the nostalgia, but Pathfinder might be of interest to you. The game is, at its core, identical to 3.5e, but with minor improvements throughout. It does lose the D&D name, but retains more of the flavour than 4e did. Plus, you can get it new, and you don't need to buy a Dungeon Master's Guide, as all that info is in the core rulebook! Neato!

u/Dall0o · 1 pointr/rpg

something like this one or this one ?

u/loudmouthman · 5 pointsr/rpg

alternatively go ahead and read Graham Walmsleys 'Play unsafe' bring that to the table as a GM or a Player and see how you can make a RPG session become those nights stories you remember .

u/JustAnotherGraySuit · 2 pointsr/rpg

>Buy dice instead.

Good idea! Dice of Awesomeness

They're 'random', in the sense that usually they're about 14-15 complete sets of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 sided dice, but it's not guaranteed.

u/curious_electric · 2 pointsr/rpg

Clearly you are looking for Graham Walmsley's Play Unsafe.

You can get it on Amazon (regular book or kindle) or Lulu or even in PDF form from the indie RPGs un-store.

I have used the techniques therein to improv whole games outta basically nothing. Very good resource.

u/inventor226 · 1 pointr/rpg

4th E did not follow that trend. MSRP for the players handbook $34.95. The price history on Amazon shows a price of about $23. That's a going price of 65% of MSRP. If we apply that to the MSRP of 5th edition we get about $32. That's $4 more than 2E in 1989 (in today's dollars). That isn't a big change.

u/tubeyes · 4 pointsr/rpg

Second for Savage Worlds, it's very customizable and adaptable to multiple settings. Also the D&D 5e starter set is currently less than 15$ on Amazon right now. But the 5e basic rules are free on the wotc website and so are character sheets so if you really wanted to give that a try you could.

u/BMErdin · 7 pointsr/rpg

My goto generic system these days would probably be Savage Worlds. Character creation is pretty simple, combat is quick. Power level kind of takes care of itself, based on what edges PCs take, but you could always limit what is available. Plus the Explorer's Edition of the rulebook, which has everything the hardback copy does, is only 10 bucks.

Quick start rules, if you want to take a look before buying.