Free RPG List: rules-lite

newuniversalrules-litelonglive-actiononlinesupplementpreviewwotc-d20worldgenreopen-licensehorrormodernscififantasytraditionalpostapocalypticsuperheroIndex

The 10 Minute RPG by Scott J. Compton
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A very simple generic fantasy RPG. Resolution is by rolling a number of d10s and summing the total with stat to compare to a target number. Higher task difficulty increases the number of d10s rolled but increases the target number even more. (The easiest is 1d10 + stat vs. 20; the hardest is 5d10 + stat vs. 100.) Character creation is by choosing a number of selections from race and profession, included in the Excel file. There is no setting per se, but there are 24 races described - including many monstrous ones. ~10 pages (Microsoft Excel format).
1940 - England Invaded by Simon Washbourne
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
An alternate history RPG in which England is invaded by German troops. It uses a simple system of roll under stat on 1d20. Character creation is limited point-based. 35 pages (PDF format).
The 3D RPG by Scott J. Compton
Keywords: universal rules-lite
"Dice and Deck Designed RPG". It uses (2d12)x10 + 1d10 for its base roll, and involves skills, professions, and other world-specific items being written out on cards. 10 pages (HTML or MSWord format).
44: A Game of Automatic Fear by Matt Snyder
Keywords: genre modern scifi rules-lite
A scifi horror RPG about humans in an alternate 1950s - who discover and resist Section 44, a robotic conspiracy that threatens to replace all of humanity. Play proceeds in 4 rounds where in a round each player frames one scene. Characters may be replaced by robots, in which case they continue to play and work to replace the others. Character creation is limited point-based, with players assigning 6 points among three qualities (Resolve, Contact, and Material), 3 points among Bonds (other people), and 4 points among player-defined Anxieties. Resolution is scene-based, with player and GM rolling a number of d6s for stat + modifiers, and taking the highest result, +1 for every tie for highest. 37 pages (PDF).
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying by Brett Bernstein (Politically Incorrect Games)
Keywords: universal rules-lite long preview
A universal diceless system. Action resolution is based on spending Luck, Discipline, and Revelation points. Skill lower difficulty, while attributes add to the total. Character creation is limited point-based. There are four free setting books, 20-30 pages each: a modern-day monster-hunter setting ("The Shaded Veil"), a dystopian sci-fi setting ("Overworld"), a modern conspiracy/horror setting ("Harlequinade"), and a medieval Europe setting ("The Kingdom of Norweign"). In addition, there are three commercial settings: HeartQuest, CORPS, and Dreamwalker. 36 pages core rules (PDF) plus 90 pages free settings (PDF).
Ad Astra: The New Age by Paul DuBois
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic fantasy scifi rules-lite long
A post-apocalypse science fantasy setting, with various alien races mixed with tribal humanity. An expanded version with GM-only information is available in print (not free). Character creation is point-based. ~60 pages basic rules and background (HTML).
Advanced Roleplaying Mechanics (ARM) by R. E. Bridson
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple (but not quite minimalist) system using logarithmic scales a la TORG and (1d6-1d6) resolution similar to Feng Shui. 16 pages (ASCII only).
Adventures in Space by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A humorous narrative space opera RPG, where players define their PC with a one-word Style, and roll 1d6 to enact plot changes to get both success/failure and a random Word of Science to incorporate into the plot. 7 pages (PDF,HTML).
The Agency: Saving the world in a groovy kind of way by Matt Machell
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
An RPG where the PCs are 60's secret agents fighting the supernatural -- Austin Powers meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the Avengers and Hammer Horror. It's intended to be a simple, light hearted system with lots of opportunity for heroics. It uses freeform skills rated on a five-step scale (Poor to Excellent). Action resolution is rolling d6s based on skill where every 5 or 6 is one success. 16 pages rules (PDF).
Agora Playtest by Joshua BishopRoby
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A sci-fi RPG about characters permanently stranded on an uninhabited planet after an interstellar war has wiped out their homeworlds. It uses a dice pool system, taking the lowest die rolled where 1-5 is a success but each "1" loses you that die. Different advantages give you different die types from d4 to d10. 22 pages playtest rules (PDF).
AIF
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A scifi game set 3000 years in the future. Character creation is by random-roll attributes based on species, assigning single skill rank, and selecting occupation(s). 37 pages (PDF or HTML).
Aisling: Where Dreams Run Free by Aidan Grey
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
A modern fantasy RPG, currently in development. The PCs are humans awakened to a realm of myth known as the "Plasm". They are capable of working magic ("feits") and mediating with magical creatures (the Inchoa, the Quem, and the Un). ~20 pages (text-only HTML).
Alacrity by Adam McKee and James G. Walker, Jr.
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple percentile system, which concentrates an fast resolution (hence the name). Action resolution uses roll under stat on d100. Character creation has random-roll attributes and point-bought skills. ~15 pages HTML
AMMO: the RPG (Revenant War) by
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A horror story game where the player characters are among the few to survive being abducted by malevolent aliens ("the Host") - and gained superhuman powers as "revenants". There are custom mechanics for each action using Fudge dice (marked "-", "0", and "+"). Combat resolution is by rolling a Fudge die for every bullet shot. Character creation is by picking a Look, one of four styles (called "Calibers"), and a choice of gun. 44 pages rules and background (PDF).
Among the Beautiful Creatures 2nd ed playtest by David Johansen
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite world
A baroque fantasy game in a world of unusual supernatural creatures. Character creation involves extensive descriptions and physical traits to describe a unique creature, plus three attributes (random-roll, 2d6) and a set of skills (freeform). Action resolution uses 2d6 and a universal table. 33 pages rules and background (PDF).
Alternative Roleplaying Concept (ARC) by Alex `Dabugas' Armstrong
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A diceless RPG which uses a 7-step scale for rating attributes and skills. Action resolution is by comparing the sum of relevant traits and the difficulty, though there is an optional random factor using cards. ~15 pages HTML.
Alternity Fast-Play Rules by Bill Slavicsek and Richard Baker
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite long
The "Fast-Play" version of the (out-of-print) commercial sci-fi RPG rules. This is available along with many other downloads including adventures and supplements. Players Book 13 pages (PDF). GM's Book 13 pages (PDF). Warships Sourcebook 112 pages (PDF)
Altus Adventum Demo by Roderic Waibel
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite preview
The preview version of a fantasy RPG set on an original fantasy world -- the continent Algerian on the planet of Azorath, inhabited by humans, elves, dwarves, and gnomes. It uses the "InertiaX System" which emphasizes flexibility and speed of resolution for combat. Action resolution is a stepped dice pool (1d4, 2d4, and on up to 4d20, 5d20). 23 pages (PDF).
Always/Never/Now by Will Hindmarch
Keywords: genre modern scifi rules-lite
A complete, stand-alone RPG adventure with pre-generated characters set in a high-action cyberpunk future. The Player File includes quick-play rules and pregenerated characters; the Scenario File for the GM includes the adventure. The rules and setup are similar to Lady Blackbird - a dice pool system where every even number rolled is a success, gaining dice from the descriptor for the Trait used, as well as Stunt Dice spent. Experience is by Keys fulfilled. 36 pages Player File, 72 pages Scenario File (PDF).
Anarcho Australis by Craig Thomas Judd
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite
A post-apocalypse game set in Australia, using a simple d10 skill-based system. ~5 pages ASCII text.
Anarchy by Kenneth Love
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A game set in 3050 where Earth, Venus, and Mars are under tyrranical rule by the Syndicate (including the non-human vampiri and Venusian elves), using a very simple dice pool system similar to Shadowrun. Character creation is random-roll attributes with a random number of bonus points. ~5 pages rules (HTML) plus ~10 pages background.
Animalball Melee
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite open-license
A simplified d20 combat engine for quick and easy gladiator fighting. 32 pages rules (PDF).
A+ Fantasy (v1.4) by Jeff Moore
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite open-license
A minimalist fantasy system released under Creative Commons. It uses four attributes (Agility, Brawn, Cognition, Determination) each rated from "A" to "D" representing +3 to +0 die modifier. There are two levels of skills, basic and advanced, with their own effects. Resolution is by rolling 2d6, where a single six is a basic success, and two sixes are a critical success. The player may apply modifiers to each die, but no more than a one point difference between die mods. It includes magic as weapon techniques, but no monsters. 32 pages rules (PDF).
Archipelago by Matthijs Holter
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy storytelling RPG inspired by Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books, aiming to be a game of grand destinies. Each session, other players assign a given PC a "destiny point" -- an event that will happen to the character this session. There are also five key phrases that a player can use at any time to modify the action. There is also a custom deck of "Fate cards" to shake up the action if random input is desired. 22 pages (PDF).
Ardent Offense by David Loren Buehner
Keywords: genre modern scifi rules-lite
Ardent Offense is a minimalist system with some optional mechanics of traditional role-playing. It includes a detailed examination of role-playing philosophies and a brief modern/futuristic setting. 14 pages (PDF, HTML).
Argument Diceless Roleplaying by Rainer K. Koreasalo
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal diceless system, which uses a narrative method of resolving skill vs difficulty. It includes brief support for fantasy races, magic from the Kalevala, and vampires. 32 pages (PDF).
ARPLE by Altin Gavranovic
Keywords: universal rules-lite
The "All-purpose Role Playing Logistics Engine", which uses a simple dice-pool system. Attribute rolls are roll 2d6 under attribute, skill rolls are roll d6's equal to skill vs a target number, combat is roll d6's equal to skill: (1-2: nothing, 3-4: defense point, 5-6: offense point). If your offense is greater than opponent's defense, you hit. ~10 pages HTML.
Arumo: the Kingdom of Wilted Flowers by Kyle Marquis
Keywords: genre traditional scifi fantasy rules-lite preview wotc-d20
Preview of a fantasy RPG set in a world of organic technology. The current edition uses the WotC "D20" system, with additions specific to the world. ~10 pages HTML rules plus ~18 pages background.
Assassin by Hector Rene' Segovia
Keywords: rules-lite live-action
Not really an RPG -- rather a version of the live-action party game, played over days. Players secretly try to kill their target by hitting with a NERF dart or other mock projectile. 10 pages (MSWord format).
Attack of the Mutant Rules System! by Frank T. Sronce
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite
A diceless superhero homebrew, based on Phage Press' Amber diceless RPG. It mostly provides just stats and powers; the diceless resolution rules are sketchy (defaulting to Amber). ~20 pages HTML rules.
Aurea by Boudewijn Rempt, Irina Rempt, Frank N. Rieter, Jasper W. Leedekerken, Martijn Spruit, and Richard van Rijswijk
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A generic RPG system. It uses a universal table with percentile rolls. Character generation is fairly free-form. This version is translated from the original Dutch. ~20 pages HTML.
The Awakening Rules Engine v2.1.1 by Dan Regewitz
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A universal RPG. The basic rules are freeware (optional $3 charge), with two commercial background settings for $6 each. It uses a point-based, skill-based character creation, emphasizing freeform discovering things about their characters. It uses a simple system with a general dice pool (starting at 2 dice) to split among all actions, resolving stat+dice vs difficulty. 75 pages rules (RTF).
Awesome! The Storytelling Game
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A storytelling game with a Director and set of player, that uses a single stat ("Awesome!") that starts at 20. A player takes a turn narrating, and the other players vote thumbs up or down. If the result is mixed, the player rolls 1d20 for their new Awesome score. If it is higher than their old score, their narration turn ends. There are additional rules for Signature Schticks, Tagging Out, and Weaknesses. 7 pages rules (PDF).
BabeWatch by Simon Washbourne
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A humorous mini-RPG based on the television series "Baywatch". You create a "hunk" or "babe" by distributing 15 attribute points and choosing 10 binary skills, plus random trait rolls. Action resolution is roll under stat on 1d10 (if skilled) or 1d20 (if unskilled). 8 pages rules (PDF).
B-Movie: Scared Stiff by Mike Demetro
Keywords: genre horror rules-lite long
A parody of both horror movies and horror RPGs, this uses simple attributes and "stereotype" classes. As an interesting inverse, character have stats for flaws instead of abilities. Thus, your stats are Weakness, Clumsiness, Ignorance, Cowardice, Paranoia and Belief. (instead of Strength, Dexterity, etc.) ~44 pages HTML.
Badlands by Charles R. Capko Jr.
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite
A post-apocalypse RPG based on the computer game Wasteland. It uses (1d20 + Attribute + Skill) vs difficulty. Character creation is by random-roll attributes, class choice, and point-bought skills. 45 pages rules (MSWord or Text).
Bamf RPG by Brett A. Paul
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A simple percentile system developed partly for Play-by-Email. Roll under skill on percentile dice. Combat has a chart showing varying levels of success. In other skills, your attribute determines number of re-rolls allowed. Includes a system of special abilities (magical/superpower/etc.). 67 pages PDF.
Barbar by Tomas HV Mørkrid
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A Norwegian-language fantasy RPG with a humorous twist. It uses a simple system and limited setting. It is intended to be played with focus on the effective intelligence and limited vocabulary of each character. No feat is simple when your barbarian self can only ever say things like: "Me friend", and all your barbarian friend ever understand of such a sentence is: "Me"! ~6 pages HTML.
Barbarians of Lemuria by Simon Washbourne
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A swords-and-sorcery fantasy RPG in the style of the Thongor books (by Lin Carter) and Brak the Barbarian (by John Jakes) -- both inspired by Robert E. Howard's Conan series. It uses a simple system with point-based character creation including free-form careers. Action resolution uses 2d6 + stat + difficulty modifier, where a total of 9 or more is a success. ~12 pages (HTML).
Basic Pulp by J. Carpio Dregg
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A 1930s pulp action RPG. Action resolution is attribute bonus + skill + 1d20 vs difficulty. Character creation is random-roll attributes and point-bought skills and superpowers. 34 pages rules (PDF).
The Basic System Core, Version 3 by J. Parker and Jay Libby
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system with seven attributes (Intelligence, Spirit, Charisma, Agility, Strength, Endurance, and Speed) and skills. Both are rated eitheras flat numbers or in named superheroic step similar to Marvel Superhero (Below Average = 5, Average = 10, up to Incredible = 40, Awesome = 50). Action resolution is attribute number + skill number + 1d20 vs difficulty. Character creation includes either random-roll or point-bought attributes (10+1d10 each or N points among them), and point-bought skills. It includes some miniature rules as well, and extended combat options like hit location. 38 pages (PDF).
BATTLES ONE
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
Billed as a "fast paced, two player, head to head, fight to the death, dice game" - this uses RPG-like character, combat, and experience mechanics. Each player selects three fantasy character templates (warrior, shaman, etc.) for their "mob" and distributing two sets of points between certain traits. Attack resolution is by rolling 1d20 and getting equal or greater than your attack number and the defender's defense number. The core rules also include spells and various special abilities. 24 pages core rules (PDF) plus 7 pages character templates (PDF).
Bedlam by Matt Machell
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A storytelling mini-RPG, where each of the PCs is a retired evil mastermind. The player is given a set of words which he has to use in anecdotes he tells about attempts to take over the world. There are rules for challenges and interrupts. ~2 pages rules (HTML).
Bernard & Jean
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A humorous French-language RPG about policemen (gendarmes) in the south of France. 96 pages rules (PDF).
Bestial Acts by Greg Costikyan
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
An unusual improv RPG based on the dramatic theories and aesthetic of Bertolt Brecht. It is based on a storyline of passengers in an airplane crash forced into cannibalism. It is played as an improv game with a Narrator giving instructions. ~15 pages HTML.
Bibliotech: the Future Past by David Bubar
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite long
A sci-fi RPG based on the Bible, with politics on another planet based on biblical figures. The system uses percentiles skills with six degrees of success/failure.
Bid-It Diceless Roleplaying System by Michael Coe
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
No longer a free RPG, but a cheap $2 download for the playtest version of a diceless system where the player spends task points to succeed, paying the difference between his skill and the difficulty. 16 pages (PDF).
Big Breasts, Small Waist by Zaratustra
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A humorous variant of Guardians of Order's "Big Eyes, Small Mouth" system of a sexual nature, intended "for mature audiences only." ~20 pages rules (HTML).
Blood Red Sands 3.1 by Ralph Mazza
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
A competitive GMless fantasy-genre RPG, where the players are heroes trying to defeat one of the evil Witch Kings on a fantasy world (Abalahn) where mankind slaughtered the gods. Play proceeds through a number of Cycles, where one hero retires during each Cycle. In the final Cycle of the Saga, one hero remains to face the Witch King - who is played by the player with the most Victory Points. It uses a dice system where players both collect dice and roll them. In each cycle, there is a temporary GM called the Chronicler who can attempt to devastate traits, require oaths, or other bad effects. Players can accept these and collect dice as compensation; offer dice to avoid it; or gamble by rolling off. 102 pages rules (PDF).
Bloody Entrails by Integrated Games Systems
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A game of Gladiatorial Combat, which includes a solo adventure, The Arena. 16 pages (MSWord, RTF, ASCII, or PostScript).
Blur: The Hand is Quicker than the Die by Daniel Pond
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist universal system. ~10 pages (HTML or MSWord).
BODGERS: Basic One-Dice Gloranthan Epic Roleplaying System by Lewis Jardine
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A simple RPG set in the world of Glorantha, from Chaosium's Runequest. It uses the ODES system (One Dice Epic System), which uses d10 rather than d100 resolution. ~25 pages HTML.
Brains and Brawn by Steven Tremblay and Jamie Cadorette
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite
A generic superhero RPG. Action resolution uses a hand of three dominoes for each player, resolving by attribute + skill + the "good" side of the domino played vs difficulty plus the "evil" side of the domino. Character creation is open point-based. 20 pages rules (PDF).
Breaking the Ice Playtest by Emily Care Boss
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite preview
The playtest version of a game for two players about modern dating, now available in commercial form. It is GMless with narrative rules where each player takes turns setting up a scene and then rolling for the result on the level of attraction. ~7 pages rules (HTML).
Bronze by James Hargrove
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG set on the bronze age fantasy world of Karthum, which is similar to ancient Greece of myth. Resolution is by rolling two d12s, one for failure and one for success. The higher roll determines the result, but the player may gamble freeform traits for additional rolls. 19 pages background and rules (PDF).
Brutal, 3rd Edition by David J. Stanley
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite long
"A Hack-and-Slash Fantasy Horror Game". It uses a simple dice-pool system: roll a number of d6 equal to stat, and compare total with an opposed roll. Character creation is limited point-based. The basic rulebook includes a mass combat system and even an index. 96 pages basic rules, 10 pages magic rules, 84 pages monster booklets, 29 pages adventures (PDF).
Buffy D6 by Michael Lynes
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite long
An RPG set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, using an adaptation of WEG's D6 system. The rules includes all the basics for D6 gaming (using the D6 classic system), character templates, magic rules, equipment and some basic monster stats. ~40 pages (HTML).
Buggz by Hector Rene' Segovia
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A game set in a world (Banther) inhabitted only by intelligent bugs, ranging from wasps to praying mantises. There is also magic for them to use. It has a simple system using either a d30 or d20. Character creation is based on racial templates, with random-roll attributes. 12 pages MSWord format.
Bumps in the Night by Connor Skates
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
A humorous RPG about playing small monsters ("bumps") which try to scare human children. It uses a simple system of roll under stat on 1d10, with limited point-based character creation (including buying numerous "creature features" for your monster). 21 pages rules (RTF).
Capes Lite by Tony Lower-Basch
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite preview
The preview version of a GMless superhero game. Instead, there are mechanics for narration of conflicts. There are a set of conflicts represented by index cards, each with two d6s (of different colors) on them. 10 pages rules (PDF).
CARDS by Leonard Tai
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple homebrewed role-playing system where the only materials involved are ordinary playing cards. Emphasis is placed on story-telling skills, speed and ease of play. It includes supplements for the animated video series "Saber Marionette R", "Slayers", and "Children of the Blue Star". ~8 pages core rules (HTML) plus ~25 pages supplements (HTML).
CARE by Chris Parlevliet
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system. It uses ordinary playing cards for resolution: players draw a number of cards based on skill and check how many are over a target number. Character creation is either a priority system or an open point system. ~30 pages (MSWord or HTML).
Carnivore Wharf by Diggory Steele-Perkins (digstar)
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A mini-RPG of modern-day fantasy using a variant of the Fudge rules ("Fudge HALO"). 5 pages rules (PDF).
Cartoon Action hour Demo by Z-Man Games
Keywords: genre scifi superhero rules-lite preview
An RPG in the genre of 80's style action cartoons. Actions resolution is by stat (rated -4 to +4) plus 1d12 vs difficulty, though super-abilities replace 1d12 with 2d12 or more. These preview rules have basic combat but no character creation rules. 7 page preview rules (PDF) plus 15 page introductory scenario.
Cat RPG
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite open-license
A humorous Public Domain game about modern-day cats who fight Snufles -- invisible jellyfish that threaten humans. Characters have 10 stats: Leap, Bat, Pounce, Patience, Speed, Climb, Hear, Love, Transcend, and STWCNBS (See That Which Can Not Be Seen). Resolution is by 1d20 + stat vs difficulty. 7 page rules (PDF) plus 7 pages introductory scenario (PDF).
Chivalry & Sorcery Essence by Colin D. Speirs, David Blewitt, and Steven Turner (Brittannia Game Designs)
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite preview
A short introduction to the commercial C&S system. It adapts concepts from the full game but with simplified rules. Action resolution is by roll under (attribute plus skill minus difficulty) on 1d20. Character creation is random-roll attributes, picking a social class and vocation. 4 pages rules (PDF).
Chronicles of the Drenai
Keywords: fantasy, genre, rules-lite
A free fantasy RPG based on the Drenai series of dark fantasy novels by David Gemmell. Stats are primarily ten Passions (such as Anger, Despair, or Lust) rather than skills or attributes. Resolution is by rolling 1d20 plus bonus dice given by applicable freeform traits, where success is if the highest result is above the character's Passion. Character creation uses classes (Warmaker, Citizen, or Mystic) along with limited point spending for Passions and choice of 3 freeform traits. 32 pages rules (PDF).
Chronos by Francois "Roboduck" Suter
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
A French-language RPG, a preview of the published system by les Createurs Genevois. ~15 pages (HTML).
Chthonian by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
An RPG of pulp horror, split into subgenres "Pulp Adventure", "Weird Tales", and "Shocking Discovery". Character creation is freeform numerical traits with GM approval. Action resolution is 1d12 plus all relevant traits vs difficulty. There are also rules for "Terrible Insight" gained by seeing horrors. ~15 pages (HTML).
Cineflex v2.2 by Dariel R. A. Quiogue
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A cinematic universal system. It uses a d20 dice pool for action resolution, roll 1-3 d20's over a target number. Character creation is by selecting a focus ability, up to four secondary abilities, and disabilities. The rules include a generic magic system, and vehicle/mecha rules. There are three developed settings for use with it: The Twilight Age (a science fantasy setting), Barsoom (an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's early sci-fi), and Red Branch (mythic pre-Christian Ireland). ~30 pages rules (HTML) or 16 pages rules v2.1 (PDF), plus ~75 pages Twilight Age background (HTML), ~30 pages Barsoom background (HTML), ~30 pages Ireland background (HTML).
City of IF
Keywords: universal online rules-lite
An online roleplaying site with forum "storygames" -- where there is a primary author who writes chapters, but at the end of each chapter all players suggest options, which are decided by poll. ~2 pages instructional FAQ (HTML) plus the forums.
Cleaver House
Keywords: fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG currently under development, with previews of the system overview, world, and skills available. Action resolution is attribute + skill + 1d20 vs difficulty. ~30 pages (PDF).
Combat Monster by Jeff Wiker
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A parody game. 4 pages (text-only).
Conspiracy X Demo Kit
Keywords: genre modern scifi rules-lite preview
A demo version of the published modern conspiracy RPG by Eden Studios. PC's are agents of Aegis, a secret organization at work within the U.S. government fighting alien and supernatural menaces. It uses a simple system with 5 levels of skill and difficulty. If your stat is greater than the difficulty, success is automatic. If it is equal, you must roll 7 or less on 2d6. If it is one less, you must roll 4 or less. 16 pages (PDF).
Contes De Fées by Antoine Drouart, Thomas Laborey, and Thomas Lampert
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
A French-language fairy-tale role-playing game. It is set in the wonderland of Feerie, where PCs can be adaptations of faery creatures or original creations. Actions are resolved by stat + 1d10 - 1d10 vs difficulty, or an alternative diceless system based on directly comparing stat and difficulty. Character creation is point-based, allowing an open-ended range of creatures. It also includes several ready-to-play adventures. ~220 pages (HTML, PDF).
CORE Rules by David F. Nalle
Keywords: universal rules-lite
``Character Oriented Role-playing Engine.'' A minimalist skill-based system, where you roll under skill on 2d6. ~4 pages ASCII text.
Core Elements, Toolbox Edition by Butch Hargrove and Butch Curry
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A minimalist adaptation of Wizards of the Coasts' "D20 System", with brief appendices for supernatural powers, action points, insanity, and others. 18 pages rules (PDF).
CORPS Nutshell Download by Greg Porter
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
This is the `nutshell' version of the commercial CORPS universal RPG by BTRC. It is available in 7 languages (English, French, German, Finnish, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese). The system is skill-based emphasizing a minimum of die-rolling. The difficulty you succeed at is essentially skill + 1d10 / 2 (round down). Character creation is limited point-based. 4 pages rules PDF format (for each language) plus two post-apocalypse supplements: 9 pages and 6 pages PDF format.
Court of the Empress by Neel Krishnaswami
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A short scenario game focused on reading social cues and improvisation acting, where the characters are petitioning the empress who holds the power of life and death over them. ~6 pages rules (HTML).
Courts & Corsets by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A storytelling mini-RPG about historical intrigue in the genre of Amadeus and Dangerous Liaisons. The mechanics are entirely on a bidding process, where players compete to define story elements by spending from a limited pool of points ("crowns"). ~4 pages rules (HTML).
Covenant by Matt Machell
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
The modern-day RPG where the PCs are members of a secret society which prepared for centuries for an apocalypse that never happened. Now the society which controlled governments and manipulated religions is fracturing. Character creation includes defining 2 freeform "edges", 2 freeform flaws, and 5 skills. Action resolution is rolling a pool of d6s depending on how traits apply, modified by drama points and rerolls. 19 pages rules (PDF).
Creature Feature: Monster Movie Role-playing
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A storytelling game about B-movie horror films. There mechanics are based on players spending dice (d6s) from a "budget". Characters and other elements are bought with points, then written on index cards. During "filming", the cards are shuffled and dealt to different players who control them. ~10 pages rules (HTML).
Cthonian by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A pulp horror system, scaled in grittiness from "Pulp Adventure" (least gritty) to "Weird Tale" to "Shocking Discovery" (most gritty). Character creation is completely freeform assigning of traits. Action resolution is stat + 1d12 vs difficulty, potentially modified by spending "nodules" (a sort of fate point). ~15 pages rules (HTML).
Cthulhu Dark by Graham Walmsley
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A minimalist system for Lovecraftian horror. Characters are mechanically distinguished only by profession. Resolution is by rolling a base d6, plus a d6 if the task is in professional competence, and plus a d6 if the player is willing to risk sanity over the roll. The highest die is the quality of success, and the target number if someone else calls for possible failure. 4 pages core rules (PDF), 4 pages storytelling rules (PDF), 4 pages scenario generation (PDF).
Cychosis by Grant Graves (Mind's Eye Publishing)
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A simple "RPG/dice game", where the PCs are sentient robots (called Cybers) on the world Cyberia. Some robots are turned into rampaging monsters by an errant virus. It uses a special 3d6 roll for contests, where a basic roll is always subtracted from the opponent's point total. Character creation is open point-based. 27 pages (PDF).
Cychosys, Version 9.0 by William Straight
Keywords: genre universal rules-lite
A universal system, sketchily described. Resolution is based on a series of 1d12 rolls, with special meaning for rolls of 11 and 12. Character creation is open point-bought. 54 pages (PDF).
d6GE RPG by 3Muse
Keywords: universal superhero rules-lite
A universal RPG. Action resolution is by stat plus 2d6 vs difficulty. Character creation is purely random-roll stats in the basic system. It includes a brief superpowers supplement. 9 pages rules (PDF) plus 8 pages superhero supplement (PDF).
Daidalos by jochen eid
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A German-language diceless RPG, with an emphasis on dramatic storytelling. 69 pages rules and background (PDF or HTML).
Danger Patrol BETA by John Harper
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite preview
A playtest document of an action/adventure retro sci-fi game in the vein of the old Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials. The player characters are members of the elite Danger Patrol — super-powered crime fighters who protect Rocket City from various threats. Character creation includes picking a Style (Alien, Atomic, Ghost, Intrepid, Mystic, Psychic, Robot, or Two-Fisted) and a Role (Agent, Commando, Daredevil, Detective, Explorer, Flyboy, Warrior, or Professor). Resolution is by a dice pool system using a mix of dice (1d4 to 1d12), where every 4+ is a success and every 1-3 is a danger. 35 pages playtest rules (PDF).
Dark Dungeon, 2nd Edition by Jaap de Goede
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite preview
A fantasy genre game, the "Freeware Lite" version of a not-yet-published commercial game. Action resolution is skill + 1d10 vs difficulty. Character creation is open point-bought. The lite rules are generic fantasy, but there is a shared world ("Yaddrin") under development. 25 pages rules (PDF).
Darker Days by Dudi Rippel
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A cyberpunk game set in 2031, using a simple 2d6-based system (skill+2d6+mods, needing 12 or more to succeed). Character creation is point-based. 25 pages rules (HTML and MSWord) plus ~15 pages background (HTML).
Dark Spell by Jeffrey S. Schecter
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A generic fantasy RPG system with rules for combat and magic. It uses a dice-pool system, rolling d6s equal to attribute ("Battle" or "Forte") vs difficulty. Character creation is open point-based, buying attributes, binary skills, combat styles, and spells. 23 pages rules (PDF).
Dark Time by Stephen and Ellen Bradley
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite world
A dark future RPG setting in the year 3050 in New York, intended for use with the Fudge rules. ~5 pages HTML.
The Daughters of Verona by Wilhelm Person
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A storygame of Shakespearean comedy for five players, designed to be playable with no preparation. There are no dice mechanics, but instead a series of cards with scene ideas such as "A Hunt", "A Confession", or "A Conspiracy." 7 pages rules (PDF), 8 pages cards (PDF), 1 page card backs (PDF).
DCS by David Chart
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system, using stat+1d10 vs difficulty. Characters have three basic attributes (physical/mental/social) and freeform abilities. It includes personality mechanics, fate points, and crafts rules. There are also notes on using it with Columbia Games' Hârn setting. ~30 pages rules (HTML or text-only).
The Dead: a role-playing game by kreg mosier
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A zombie horror RPG, using a simple dice-pool systems. Resolution is by rolling d6s equal to stat plus modifiers, where every 5 or 6 is one success. Any success lets the player narrate, while the GM narrates failures. Characters accumulate Cold and Fear points from their encounters. Character creation is dividing 6 points between three attributes (Fight, Evade, and Think), plus choosing background perks equal to the Think stat and an optional relationship. 36 pages rules (PDF).
Dead Meat: Ultima Carneficina Dello Zombie! by S.P. Wipfli
Keywords: genre horror rules-lite
A Zombie/Horror mini-RPG. There are 3 attributes (Zip, Whomp, and Guts) rated in number of d6's. Each die that comes up 5 or 6 is a success. 4 pages rules (HTML).
Dead Weight
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A post-apocalyptic game where zombies have taken over the world, and tribes survive in big cities by staying on higher floors and barricading themselves up there. It has a broad scene resolution mechanic based on how dice match character stats. Character creation is limited point-based. Stats include Grace, three Virtues (Haste, Cunning, and Passion), and a set of three descriptive tags. ~8 pages rules (HTML).
Decima Legio by Andrea Ungaro
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
A game of modern-day paranormal investigation set in Italy. The system includes spending "story points" and guessing "Zener cards" (where how many points you spend influences how many guesses you get). PCs also have favored or unfavored aspects such as action, investigation, etc. There are rarely- used dice checks for the most significant actions, and mechanics for firearm injuries and mental shock. 20 pages rules (PDF).
The Deeper Dream by Frank T. Sronce
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
An early attempt at writing a homebrew RPG, set in the dreamworld. PC's can be mortal dreamers, dreams, or dreamlords (a sort of dream that controls other dreams). ~12 pages HTML.
A Description-Based RPG System by Charles Ryan
Keywords: universal rules-lite
An experimental attempt to create a numberless system, while retaining die rolls against an assigned difficulty. 12 pages HTML.
The Desert Realm Play-by-Post
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite online
A free play-by-post forum-based RPG. The site also features a scifi/fantasy search engine, link list, and newsletter. ~10 pages rules and background (HTML).
Destiny - a decision driven roleplaying game by Lance Dyas
Keywords: universal rules-lite
The draft version of a diceless GM-judged system, which uses various stats to guide the GMs decisions -- including a scale of 0 to 7 of goal importance which the player ranks, selection of strategic method (from 5 options), and allocation of deep resources (Mana and Adrenaline points) and Luck (Serendipity and Karma). Character skill advancement is managed by allotting man-hours. ~15 pages rules (HTML).
The Destiny System by J. Scott Pittman
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal RPG system, which uses GM-designed roles (including occupation and race) and player-defined skills. There is a system of sand points representing sand running through an hourglass for the character, which measures progress towards the character's Destiny. 40 pages rules (PDF).
Divus Ex: by J.C. Connors
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
"The Roleplaying Game of Gods and Goddesses". The system is mostly diceless, using tarot cards that correspond to different divine powers in the setting. 58 pages rules and background material (PDF).
Diceless by Mark William Henshaw
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A deterministic diceless system where players spend "Luck Points" to succeed (stats+luck points spent vs difficulty). ~10 pages HTML.
Dick Tracy: The Roleplaying Game by Cynthia Miller (aka Baby Cindi) and Sabrina Belle (Miss Skitch)
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite long
An RPG based on the original comic strip. Character creation is a mix of random-roll and point-based, including 8 attributes, skills, and ads/disads. Resolution is by 2d6+attribute+skill vs difficulty. ~60 pages HTML.
Dimensioni by ??
Keywords: universal rules-lite
An Italian-language generic RPG system, with a focus on ease of learning and narrative play. It is structured in tree difficulty levels, going to the easiest one (playable even without dice) to the most complex one (for player that love to roll some more dice). There are two manuals: the Dimensioni rules manual and the Dimensioni Arcane manuals with the magic system. ~140 pages core rules and magic system (PDF).
Discernment, v2.0 by Michael S. Miller
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A GM-less game-within-a-game where a panel of Scholars attempt to discern the secret "Soul Quality" of a Subject. Each scholar leads the Subject through a Scenario, like having multiple GMs for a single player but with a wrapping story. 10 pages rules (PDF).
Disparity by Katie Gatto and David Roth
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A simple percentile skill-based system for an implied fantasy setting where the privileged rich lord over the farming masses. The player characters are adventurers collecting arcane items of power and useful bits of information to improve their lot. Character creation is open point-bought (50 points to split among skills per level), and advancement is level-based. There are rules for special talents and social background, but no rules for magic or non-human races. 28 pages Rogue's Manual (PDF) plus 1 page Storyteller's Tips (PDF) and 2 pages character sheet (PDF).
Divine Right by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
A storytelling mini-RPG, where players spend "Dilemma Points" and makes sacrifice rolls as part of the thematic premise, "What would you sacrifice to save another?" ~6 pages rules (HTML).
DL CORE, version 0.12 by Lonnie Ezell et al.
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
A universal set of mechanics (short for "Dragon's Landing Cinematic Open Role-playing Engine"). Character creation is by choosing backstory packages for Childhood, Education, Passion, and Career; plus four free points. Alternately there is limited point-buy. Advancement is by fulfilling certain "keys" which reward points to improve. Resolution is by rolling 1d10 + attribute + skill vs difficulty. 50 pages (PDF).
Doubt by Fredrik Axelzon and Tobias Wrigstad
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A relationship drama larp scenario in English, Swedish, Danish, Italian, and Finnish. It is about two actors (Tom and Julia) playing two characters in a play (Peter and Nicole). There are four larp players for these four parts, and action varies between real-life and the play. 44 pages (PDF).
D-Quest by Dylan Craig
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple generic system intended for fantasy. It uses a dice-pool system: 2d6 with bonus or penalty dice, taking the best or worst 2 from the dice rolled. Resolution is stat + roll vs difficulty. There is no background, magic, or ranged combat rules. ~6 pages rules (HTML).
Draft by Pitt Murmann
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A simple fantasy-oriented universal system released under the Open Content license. The PDF of version 0.4 is still available, but unfortunately earlier versions and editable copies were lost in a disk crash. Action resolution is skill + 1d10 vs difficulty. Character creation is limited point-based, splitting attribute points among the nine attributes, and skill points among skills (with costs based on controlling attribute). The basic rules include a brief magic system. 32 pages rules (PDF).
Dragon Wizards
Keywords: rules-lite fantasy traditional
This is a fantasy role-playing/card game with a deck of 84 multi-leveled cards. The complete rules are available free, with hundreds of monster cards, character cards, and equipment cards. 38 page Player's Guide (PDF), 60 page GM's Guide (PDF), 600+ cards in JPG format.
Drama by jim pinto
Keywords: universal rules-lite
An experimental roleplaying story game for 4 or 5 players. Players take on the roles "Protagonist," "Antagonist," "Supporting Cast #1," "Supporting Cast #2," and possibly "Background". Play works by writing plotlines on index cards, where each plot card can go through up to six steps to get to Resolution. The mechanic works by all players roll five 6-sided dice and keep them. Players then take turns making a plot development using one of the five dice. 4 pages rules (PDF).
Dramatic License by Simon Seah
Keywords: universal rules-lite
Direct download of a universal RPG system. It is cinematic in style, with stats for Coolness and so forth. Action resolution is by attribute + skill + die roll vs difficulty. The die roll by default is d6, but can optionally be changed. Character creation is open point-bought. 98 pages RTF.
Dread Quickstart by Epidiah Ravachol
Keywords: genre horror rules-lite preview
The preview version of the published horror RPG, Dread, which uses a diceless resolution system based on pulling blocks out from a tower of blocks (such as the game, Jenga). 4 pages (PDF).
Dreamknights, 24-hour edition
Keywords: genre fantasy horror rules-lite preview
A fantasy-horror role-playing game, the first draft of a planned commercial game. It is set in the modern world with PCs who can psychically enter the "Dreamscape". Character creation is random-roll attributes and point-bought skills for real-world attributes, and point-bought dreamscape stats -- where your total points is inversely proportional to your real-world stat total (people weak in the real world have stronger dream selves to compensate). There are four attributes (Appeal, Mind, Action, and Body) and four corresponding classes of dreamscape self (Chargemaster, Dreamshaper, Dreamwarrior, and Gadgeteer). Action resolution is attribute + skill + 1d10 vs difficulty. 20 pages RTF.
Dreamwalker: Musings by Peter C. Spahn, David Griffin, and Michael Patton
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
A free version of the published Dreamwalker RPG (a 33 page free version vs the 152 page full version). You play a psychic in the employ of a government project, entering the dreams of others to rid troubled minds of the Taeniid infestation. It uses a percentile skill-based system. The free sample includes basic rules, a sample adventure and sample characters, but no character generation rules. 33 pages (MSWord).
The Drones by Ian Crowther, Sheila Thomas, Victoria Uren
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
An RPG based on P.G. Wodehouse, with the PCs playing members of The Drones Club in 1920's London. A simple system is provided, ~24 pages (PDF or HTML).
DUDE by Mark Hughes
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system, used for "The Alan Smithee Project": the RPG of Hollywood gone wrong. Characters have a single attribute called "DUDEness" which is how good they are at nearly everything. Resolution is by standard playing cards and chips. ~10 pages HTML rules.
Dungeonslayers by Christian Kennig
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite open-license
Billed as "an old-fashioned roleplaying game", this is a simple fantasy RPG of dungeon-delving. Characters are described by 3 attributes (Body, Agility, and Mind), with six associated abilities. Resolution is based on roll under attribute + ability + modifiers on 1d20. 20 pages rules (PDF)
Dvreem RPG by David V.S.
Keywords: universal fantasy rules-lite
A diceless storytelling RPG. It gives detailed guidelines for GM judgment but no numerical resolution mechanics. Character creation is skill-based, spending 40 points among the 16 skills. It roughly outlines four genres: Frontier, Technology, Steampunk, Intrigue/Horror. It also has a sample setting, the fantasy world of Creagadier. ~31 pages rules (HTML)
Dying Earth Quickstart Rules by Robin D. Laws, John M. Snead, and Aaron Allston
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
A short introductory version of the newly published fantasy RPG based on the novels by Jack Vance. Character creation is free point-based. Resolution is by simple 1d6 (1=worst to 6=best), where you get a number of re-rolls based on your "ability pool" (which refreshes every 2 to 8 hours). 32 pages PDF.
Dystopia Shareware Edition by Gavin Hadaller
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
The shareware version of an electronically published game, about fighting corporate repression in America 2155 A.D. 8 pages rules (PDF).
DzsókeRPG by Ullrich Gergely
Keywords: universal long rules-lite
A Hungarian-language RPG using a simple universal system called "Szabályok" (meaning "JokeRPG"). The core rules take up only 10 pages, while the remaining sections ("Ötlettár" and "Mesélõk Odúja") are optional expansions. The system was inspired by the Nameless system by Daniel Pond. Characters are defined by "vonás" (traits, personality), "erény" (merits or advantages) and "korl´t" (flaws, disadvantages or defects). Each stat has a level from 1 to 5, with 2 being average. Resolution is by adding 1d10 and the modifier for the relevant stat, where modifier is two times stat in one version, or the cumulative sum in another version (i.e. +1,+3,+6,+10,+15). 51 pages core rules (PDF).
Earthdawn Preview by Greg Gorden and Louis J. Prosperi
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
A short introductory version of the out-of-print system. ~12 pages zipped HTML rules plus sample characters and adventure.
EGO: Endless Gaming Options by Tom Doolan
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple dice-pool system: rolling d6's where 5 or 6 counts as a success, and difficulty is by number of successes required. ~18 pages HTML.
Eiridia by Ben Overmyer
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy-genre RPG system. It includes three classes and two races (humans and Changed Ones) but no background. The system is percentile skill-based. ~20 pages HTML.
Elegant Role-playing by Gregor Hutton
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system with three attributes: Mastery, Wisdom, and Power. Action resolution is attribute plus 1d6 vs difficulty, or attribute plus best of two or three d6 rolls if specialties/ skills apply. Character creation is limited point-based. 8 pages rules (PDF).
Empire of Satanis by Darrick Dishaw
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite long
A horror role-playing game, where the characters are fiends which live in a hellish universe called Yidathroth, or visit the human world (known to them as Sha-la). There are fourteen races of fiends -- and all are unfathomably evil, and strive towards godhood through dark magics. It uses a dice-pool system, where resolution is by rolling attribute + skill d6s, and taking the highest -- where sixes are open-ended. Also, once each scene a player can roll 1d6, and if the result is a six, the player can declare a statement to be true in the game. 62 pages rules (PDF).
Enchanted Tales by Tim Bisaillon
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A modern-day fantasy mini-RPG inspired by urban fantasy fiction and fairy tales. It is set in the modern world where there are fairies, elves, trolls or treefolk -- which most of humanity has been programmed not to see. The PCs have just been awakened to the world that is just beyond our belief. Resolution is by rolling 5d6 and interpretting the results like poker hands. 7 pages rules (PDF).
Enchanted Realms by Michael Downey
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A GMless RPG using customized cards for character creation, building adventures, and resolution. The game begins by selecting a Quest card, then character creation is done by each player selecting a Hero card and Creature card, then all players play five cards from the remaining cards to start the Adventure Map. 24 pages rules (PDF).
Enchanted Worlds Starter Kit by Matthew J. Rodgers and Daniel Price
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite preview
The preview version of a published small-press RPG. This is a introductory fantasy version of the universal rules, and includes a short magic system and bestiary. Resolution is by rolling under attribute+skill on 2d8. Character creation is limited point-bought. 21 pages PDF.
Encounter by Michael Chumak
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long world
A simple system geared for fantasy, with an original default setting - the world of Edelay. It uses dice pool resolution, rolling a number of d6s equal to skill + 1, where every result of attribute or lower is a success. Character creation is limited point-based, spending 4 attribute points (among the three attributes that each start at 2) and 10 skill points. There is a simple spell system, and notes on the three other species: the bolgs, the flitterbrands and the jotun. 50 pages PDF.
Encounter Critical by S. John Ross
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A humorous parody of early RPGs, printed as a mock garage production from 1979. Character creation is random-roll attributes (3d6), then selecting race, optional racial modifier and character class. There are 12 character races: Amazon, Dwarf, Elf, Frankenstein, Hobling (i.e. hobbit), Human, Klengon, Lizard Man, Planetary Ape, Robodroid, Vulkin, and Wooky. The racial modifiers are "Cave Primitive", "Evolved or Advanced", "Mutation", and "Mixed Race or Bionic". Character classes are Warrior, Warlock, Criminal, Pioneer, Doxy (i.e. prostitute), and Psi Witch. There are 19 percentile skills including unusual choices of "Consume Alien Food" and "See the Future". 28 pages PDF.
Epitome by Pitt Mumann
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A universal system, released under the Open Content License. It uses a symbolic character sheet with a circle representing "self", with an outer band of "demeanor", a middle band of "nature", and an inner circle of "soul". It uses primarily diceless resolution relying on GM judgement. 11 pages (PDF).
Ergo by Ian Millington
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
An experimental collaborative RPG -- meaning without a GM. The system is a Fudge variant. ~40 pages ASCII text.
Essential Spectra by Eric Kimball and Robert A. Rodger (Arrogant Game Design)
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system, which rates characters in subjective ratings designated by six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Each character has a number of dice which are special six-sided dice with colors for faces (so one character might have a die which is red/ red/ red/ orange/ green/ blue). Action resolution uses these color die rolls. Character creation is limited point-based. The basic rules include short systems for psionics, aliens, and magic. 45 pages rules (PDF).
Evient by Chris Lynch
Keywords: genre superhero rules-lite preview
The preview/playtest rules for a superhero RPG system with no set skills and variable scaling (the GM sets "Q-units" of difficulty/damage/etc.). It uses a dice pool system for rolling successes. ~24 pages HTML.
The Evil: a short horror rpg by Christopher Lernö
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A generic horror-genre mini-RPG. Action resolution is roll under stat on 1d20. Character generation is freeform traits and assignment. It includes GM notes and brief adventures ideas but no defined background. 7 pages rules (PDF).
Evil Hunter: Fighting the Darkness
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A modern occult horror RPG about hunters fighting supernatural monsters. ~35 pages HTML.
Evolution by Hector Rene' Segovia
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A semi-RPG where each player designs a species and plays an example of that species. Each session the players play members of their species interacting, and then between session they can "evolve" their species. 12 pages MSWord format.
Evolution: The First Step
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
Not really an RPG, this is "a game of logistics and imagination". Players play gods who each have domination over their own Eden of 50 neophyte humans. It is played in turns of a generation (approx 32 years). 7 pages rules (RTF).
Executive Decision by Greg Stolze with Vincent Baker, Dennis Detwiller, Ron Edwards, and Chad Underkoffler
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A modern political game, where the players are cabinet members to the President of the United States in a time of crisis. This is now free for download, having been funded through the "ransom model" of game development where individuals paid until a threshold was reached. 15 pages rules and background (PDF).
Exemplar by Jeffrey S. Schecter
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A science fiction RPG set in a universe where technological Templars fight in the name of the Intergalactic Government and Church (IGAC). Action resolution is rolling under stat on a number of d10s (1d10 to 5d10 or more) where the number of dice depends on difficulty. Character creation is open point-based, and includes plot points. 32 pages rules and background (PDF).
Fable by Ben Sones
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple system using a step-die approach (i.e. roll a d6 for Average skill, d10 for Great skill vs a similar die for difficulty). Character creation involves writing up freeform traits, and then assigning ratings to them from a pool of points. Point cost is based on GM-assessed usefulness and rating. ~28 pages (MSWord).
Fables by Will Nesbitt et al
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A storytelling game using a variant of the Fudge rules. It uses a variety of fortune points represented with poker chips, and determines turn order from a deck of cards. ~20 pages (HTML)
The Face of Angels (Pre-release 3) by Clinton R. Nixon
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite open-license
A storytelling game that aims for a cross between superhero comics and teen drama movies. The player characters are ordinary teenagers who always begin the story graduating high school. The mechanics use playing cards, and the only stats are your hand of cards, your relationships, and your character's personality type, rated as Jack, Queen, King, or Ace. ~24 pages (HTML).
The Fallen Barony: Live-Action Roleplaying Game
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite live-action
A live-action rules set, designed for play with "boffer" weaponry combined with other rules for character creation, skills, etc. ~15 pages rules (HTML).
FaLoR: Fast and Loose Roleplaying by Peter Kisner
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system. Action resolution is 2d4 + a broad stat ("role") vs difficulty. Character creation is freeform determining of the role and its rating (1-5). 15 pages core rules (PDF).
FANGS: The Fantasy Adventure Networked Gaming System by Christopher Allen
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional long rules-lite
A generic medieval fantasy system. It uses a skill-based system where resolution is by skill plus modifiers, where any result of 20 or more is a success. Character creation is open point-based. ~50 pages core rules (HTML).
Far Space by David King
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
Previews of a futuristic space-opera RPG, set in an alternate universe in a human-populated solar system in the midst of a devastating war that has be raging for over 100 years. There are six major feudal houses who fight for control of the sixteen-planet system. Currently this has a 16-page preview of the combat system, which is based on stat + 1d10 + modifiers rolls. Damage is done to a luck statistic, which controls the the chance of a kill with the next attack. 16 pages combat system preview (PDF).
Far Trek FINAL v2 by C.R. Brandon
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite long
An RPG set in the Star Trek universe, using an original system (the "Three D" system). Character creation is random-roll attributes, class (Gold Shirt, Blue Shirt, or Red Shirt), and point-bought skills, and selected talents (general or class-based). Resolution is 3d6 + attribute + skill vs difficulty number. 90 pages rules and background (PDF).
FAST by Steve Bruns
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist universal RPG, using a simple dice-pool system. Roll d6's equal to skill: each "6" counts as 2 successes, each 2-5 counts as 1 success. It also includes a starship combat system and various optional rules. ~2 pages Quick-Start rules (HTML), plus ~10 pages optional rules.
FATE: Fudge Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment by Rob Donoghue and Fred Hicks (Evil Hat Productions)
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A variant of Steffan O'Sullivan's Fudge, which is a standalone game but recommends familiarity with the original. Like the original, it is now released under the WotC Open Gaming License. Character creation is by five phases in the life of the character, with a literary "aspect" and four skill points for each. It includes several sample magic systems. 90 pages rules (PDF).
FERpg by Nathan Hill and Mystic Ages Online
Keywords: universal rules-lite
"The Fast and Easy RPG". A simple set of rules where each character has 3 freeform skills (one at 2d4+2, one at 1d4+2, and one at 1d4). Resolution is by rolling under skill on 1d12. ~10 pages HTML.
The Fifth Element RPG
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite world
An adaptation of the science fiction film using the free RPG system Cyno's Role-Play. It is set in the 23rd century, in the year 2259 A.D. This includes races, professions, equipment, vehicles, and characters -- but not the basic rules. ~20 pages background (HTML).
Final Stand by Tim Denee
Keywords: genre superhero modern rules-lite
A martial arts action RPG, meant to be light, action-packed, and fun. It uses a dice-pool system for combat (with a variety of maneuvers), and simple autosuccess rules for non-combat actions. Character creation is by selecting a Stereotype plus a martial arts Style and Form from the lists. Skills are predefined for each choice, while the player spends action points on maneuvers. 23 pages (PDF).
Firefly RPG by Joe Coleman
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
An RPG adaptation of Fox's space-opera television series. It includes notes on the locations, planets, moons, vehicles, weapons, and technology used on the show. It includes notes on the "Mayonnaise" system which is an adaptation of the free Fuzion system, but not a complete system by itself. 24 pages rules and background (PDF).
Five by Five (version 3) by Jeff Moore
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system. Character creation is by defining five ranked Traits and one Trouble Trait. Traits are ranked in named levels with corresponding numbers (0/2/4/5/6/8/10/12/15/20). Resolution uses a "d5" which is 1d6 where the 6 is counted as zero. Resolution is by rolling 1d5 times 1d5 under the appropriate stat. 48 pages rules (PDF).
The Five-Star Stories Role-playing Game by Ed Gomez
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
An RPG based on the manga of the same name by Mamoru Nagano. Character creation uses random-roll attributes, a selected template, and point-bought skills. Action resolution uses 1d20 plus stat or skill. The rules include a psionics system and detailed equipment. ~50 pages rules and background(HTML).
Force 9 by Shootingiron
Keywords: scifi rules-lite
A space-faring sci-fi RPG about "bug-hunting" in the style of Aliens and Starship Troopers, using the Fudge system. 19 pages (PDF).
The Forge Primer by Basement Games
Keywords: fantasy traditional rules-lite preview
This is a short preview version of the commercial game Forge: Out of Chaos. 11 pages (PDF).
Formless by James Hargrove
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal minimalist RPG. It is diceless (using a 3-step "Rule of Common Sense") with an optional rule for using die rolls. 13 pages rules (HTML or PDF).
Four Colors by Cynthia Celeste Miller
Keywords: genre superhero rules-lite
A superhero RPG emulating "Golden Age" comics (WWII era). It uses a simple system of d12 + stat vs difficulty. Character creation is point-based with freeform superpowers. 16 pages Players Guide (PDF,HTML) plus 13 pages GM's Guide (PDF,HTML).
Four Colors al Fresco v1.0b by woodelf
Keywords: genre superhero rules-lite open-license
An alternate-history superheroes game about golden-age style superheroes in Renaissance Italy, released under an open license. It uses a simple narrative system where each character has a die type for four of five basic aspects (d4, d6, d8, d12, d20) -- and the fifth is their superpower aspect. Resolution is by defining which of the five aspects applies to a situation, with modifiers by penalty dice. 83 pages (PDF).
Free Fantasy: gioco di ruolo by Antonio Sottocasa
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
An Italian-language free fantasy RPG. It includes a brief magic system and bestiary. 32 pages (PDF).
Fresco by Salkaner il Nero
Keywords: universal scifi horror rules-lite
A minimalist universal system in both English and Italian. Character creation is by random-roll of 7 attributes. Resolution is by attribute minus 2d6 minus difficulty. It includes a small sci-fi setting ("Star Fresco") and a horror setting ("Frigor Mortis"). 4 pages core rules (HTML and PDF) plus 5 pages sci-fi setting (PDF) and 3 pages horror setting (PDF).
Fringe (Free and INtegrated Game Engine)
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A universal system released under the GPL open license, currently under development by the Free Roleplaying Community. It is not currently complete. It suggests action resolution of attribute + skill + 1d10, and limited point-based character creation. ~20 pages (HTML).
From Chaos Comes Order by Hector Rene Segovia
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite
A post-apocalypse RPG using the Fudge system, set after computer virus wipes out all governments and financial institutions. ~15 pages rules and background (MSWord format).
Fudge by Steffan O'Sullian
Keywords: universal rules-lite long open-license
A well-written and long-standing set of freeform rules, released under the WotC OGL license (the Fudge SRD) as well as a limited free license for non-commercial use. The complete rules are available free as well as in print from Grey Ghost Games, who also print Fudge supplements, special Fudge dice, and Fudge Expanded Edition. 90 pages rules (PDF, text, or HTML).
Fudge: Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Michael S. Gentry
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
An adaptation of the television series to Fudge. It includes monster research and magic rules, along with special rules for Gloom. ~25 pages (HTML).
FU: the Free, Universal Roleplaying Game by Nathan Russell
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal RPG. Character creation is by choosing four non-numeric descriptors (one each for Body, Mind, Edge, and Flaw) - and two iconic items of Gear (each described by an adjective and noun). Base resolution is by "beating the odds" - the player rolls 1d6, hwere evens (2, 4, 6) are successes while odds (1, 3, 5) are failures. Each number has a distinct meaning: 2 is "Yes, but..." with a cost to success; 4 means "Yes..."; 6 = "Yes, and..." with an extra benefit. Failures are similar. The player can roll an extra die for each helpful Descriptor, piece of Gear, Condition or Detail -- but loses a die for unhelpful traits. 23 pages rules (PDF).
Futura
Keywords: universal rules-lite
An Italian-language universal RPG system, using a very simple system and one mechanic for all actions. ~13 pages SWF format (with FLASH Macromedia).
Fuzzy Knights Lite by Noah J.D. Chinn
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
The preview version of a humorous fantasy RPG about animated stuffed animals. It uses a simple system with three attributes (Strength, Reflex, Intelligence) and freeform skills. Action resolution uses roll under attribute + skill + modifiers on 1d20. PCs have Story Points (combined hero points and experience), and the GM has corresponding Irony Points. 13 pages core rules (PDF).
GAME: Greatly Abbreviated Mechanics, Etc. by Eric C. Garrison
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A rather more mechanically inclined system, which defines stat and difficulty levels. ~2 pages rules (HTML).
GAMERS: the generic Six-Letter System
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal set of mechanics based on the original Traveller game from GDW. Resolution is 2d6 + skill versus difficulty. 8 pages rules (PDF).
Gangland by Jason A. Kline
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A modern crime RPG. It uses a percentile system, roll under attribute + skill. Character creation is limited point-based (140 points among four attributes, 240 points among ten out of 41 skills). 10 pages rules (PDF).
Gate Colony - A Stargate PBEM
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite online
A play-by-email (PBEM) RPG set in the world of the Stargate SG-1 TV series. ~2 pages rules and background (HTML).
Gates & Gorgons by Kobayashi
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A simple fantasy rpg using Rafael Chandler's Disciple 12 rules from the small-press commercial RPG, Dread: the First Book of Pandemonium. Character creation is limited point-based, spending 9 points among 3 attributes (Brawn, Wits, and Soul); choosing among 6 races and 3 Paths (Warrior, Thief, or Magician); specifying a freeform descriptive Drive and Flaw; and picking 3 Path-specific talents. Also, all characters get 12 points of Fury at the start of each adventure - spent to perform various stunts. Resolution is by rolling a number of d12s equal to attribute and compare the highest die with difficulty. 28 pages rules (PDF).
Geiger Counter (Beta Edition) by Jonathan Walton
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A GMless cooperative survival horror RPG designed to emulate movies in which most of the main characters eventually die such as Alien or Scream, and perform well in single-session play. It is recommended for 5-7 players. It uses a narrative-focused d6 dice pool system, where there is a pool of dice for all the players and for each character, and one pool associated with the Menace (i.e. the defined threat central to the movie). 32 pages rules (PDF).
Game Engine Manual (GEM) by Neale Davidson
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A simple but complete d6-based generic game. Action resolution is roll under stat+skill using Nd6 where the number depends on difficulty. Character creation is either random-roll or point-bought attributes and point-bought skills. 32 pages basic rules (PDF) plus 32 pages GM's Guide (PDF), plus several supplements adapting anime material (~80 pages).
Generic Destinies by Dylan Craig
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal RPG system. Action resolution is by rolling two dice from d4 to d12, where attribute is the "tens" die and skill is the "ones" die. Character creation is limited point-based, with freeform skills. There are also freeform advantages and disadvantages. ~25 pages rules (HTML).
GENRE by Gerald Williams
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system, using additive dice pool: roll (attribute) in d6 plus skill, comparing the total with difficulty. Character creation is open point-based, with advancements in levels. ~12 pages rules (HTML).
GHOST/ECHO by John Harper
Keywords: genre scifi modern rules-lite
A 2-page aetherpunk mini-module for 2-6 players, with minimalist rules including a 1d6 Goal chart and a 1d6 Danger chart. 2 pages (PDF).
Ghostlight by W Doug Bolden
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
An RPG set in a strange world where ghosts interact only with each other through emotions and stimuli, using a minimalist system. ~7 pages HTML.
Giga 2.0 by Austin Herry
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
Giga is a far-future RPG set in the "United Earth Forces" which maintain peace after cataclysmic racial wars among various alien species. The rules include seven alien races. Character creation uses random-roll attribute and class-based selection. ~30 pages (HTML).
GigantoCorp by Jared A. Sorensen
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
GigantoCorp is a game about capitalism gone tragically awry, where company on the planet has been merged, bought out or otherwise conglomerated into one gigantic corporation. It uses Michael D. Mearls' Plain English RolePlaying rules. ~15 pages background and character creation (HTML).
GLARPS: The Generic Live-Action Role-Playing System by Kyle Marquis
Keywords: universal rules-lite live-action
A universal, no-touch live-action RPG system using rock-paper-scissors as its basic mechanic. ~23 pages HTML rules.
Godlike Quick-Play Rules
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite preview
A free introductory version of the printed game. It is a superhero games set in the era of World War II. PC's are "Talents" with paranormal abilities who aid in the Allied war effort. It uses a dice-pool system where you roll d10's equal to stat + skill and look for matches (i.e. dice with the same number). 36 pages (PDF).
Godhome by gorbadorc@aol.com
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG where you play minor gods in a large pantheon. It uses a simple percentile system, with other dice for damage, etc. ~12 pages HTML rules.
Gothicon
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy-genre RPG system. Character creation is class-based with random-roll attributes. ~25 pages MSWord format.
GPA by Mark Hughes
Keywords: genre fantasy horror modern rules-lite
A sci-fi/fantasy/horror RPG about students at George Underwood Edwards University, after the floodgates of magic and weird science are opened upon the world, where no more than half of all university students survive to graduation. ~12 pages HTML.
GRAPE: Generic Roleplaying All-Purpose Engine by Scott Gray
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A purely freeform system which includes the option of die rolls. 1 page HTML.
Great Ork Gods by Jack Aidley
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A simple RPG designed for a single evening's play. Each player plays an orc and one of seven orc gods. Individual orcs have a chance to succeed based on how much the god of that activity hates them (there is a rating from 1 to 5 for each god's hate). You roll a number of d10s for each action based on difficulty. If any of them are less than the hate value, the action fails. 12 page rules and handouts (PDF).
Grimrules by Samuel Joseph Robb
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A multidimensional cyberpunk RPG, set in the pan-dimensional city of Cynosure, a place where hundreds of dimensions coexist side by side - cross the street, and reality changes. It uses a simple percentile skill system. ~22 pages (text-only).
Guilddom Adventures Made Easy by David V.S.
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A generic fantasy rules system. Resolution uses a roll of one to three d8s based on difficulty, taking the lowest. If the result plus skill is 8 or more, the check succeeds. Character creation is skill-based, spending 35 points among the 16 skills. There are brief rules for Alchemy, Chemstry, Machinery, and Transmutery - but no spellcasting and no monsters. ~10 pages rules (HTML)
GURPS Lite by Steve Jackson and Sean Punch
Keywords: universal rules-lite long preview
A "lite" version of the published RPG. It uses 3d6 roll under skill, with open point-based character creation. 32 pages PDF.
Halo by Richard Wallace Garner
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal RPG, used as the basis for the sci-fi RPG Metalface. It uses limited point-bought character creation (nine attributes plus skills). Action resolution is by rolling a number of d6s (one to five) based on difficulty. A total less than attribute + skill indicates success. 3 pages rules (PDF).
The Hard Way by Kobayashi
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
An modern-day violence RPG inspired by John Carpenter's Escape from New York and David Cronenberg's Scanners. It uses a simple highest-roll dice pool system: roll a number of d12s equal to attribute, taking the highest versus a target number. Character creation is picking a template for attributes (Violence, Stuff, and Attitude); picking one main and two secondary backgrounds; picking a nightmare and trauma, and rolling for weapon. 16 pages (PDF).
Harlequinade 5 by Gareth Williams
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite long
A black comedy / paranoid horror RPG set in the modern world. Character creation is by random-roll attributes and an archetype. Resolution is by 2d6 + attribute + modifiers vs. 0 or an opposing roll. An abridged version of the rules, Harlequinade 6 is also available free from Precis Intermedia. 94 pages (PDF).
Harpe by Craig Critchfield
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
The "Hugely Adaptable (Action/Anime) Role-Playing Engine". Characters are described by freeform "abilities" which go from 1 to 8 or so for normal humans. A typical ability might be 2d+2. The dice give 1 success for each even number rolled. 125 pages (PDF).
Have-a-go Heroes the RPG by Simon Washbourne
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A superhero RPG about not-so-super heroes, inspired by the movie Mystery Men. It uses a very simple system using 1d6, where powers work only on a result of six. 19 pages (PDF).
Heimot Mini-Rules, version 1.1
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite preview
A Finnish-language "space noir" game set in far future 500 years after a great disaster decimated and divided humanity. This is the free version of a published game, using simplified d6-based rules instead of the d10-based rules presented in the commercial Heimot RPG corebook. 30 pages rules and background (PDF).
Here Come the Monsters by Todd Downing (Deep7)
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A humorous Japanese monster-movie mini-RPG. It uses a very simple system of roll under attribute+skill on 1d6. Character creation is mostly random-roll. 5 pages PDF.
Heritage by Norbert "Bulletshower" Matausch
Keywords: genre universal rules-lite long
A semi-diceless, drama-based system, similar to Theatrix. There are also several genre-specific supplements for the game, which tend to have more rigid dice-using rules. ~22 pages core rules plus ~75 pages genre supplements (zipped HTML).
Heroes of Mars by Jeffrey A. Kazmierski
Keywords: genre fantasy scifi rules-lite long
An adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom setting to the Fudge system. Includes links for rules additions for combat, wealth, and fencing as well as character creation guidelines. ~50 pages (HTML).
Hero 8 by Grant Graves
Keywords: genre superhero rules-lite
A generic superhero RPG using a minimalist system. It uses a 3d6 mechanic where successes are scored depending on patterns in the roll (2 of a kind, straight, 3 of a kind). 14 pages core rules and supplements (PDF).
Hexalon House Rules RPG by Paul W. Will
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
A Fudge-based fantasy RPG, set in a collection of 6 fantasy worlds which share a common fate. The system is a variant on the core Fudge rules. 84 pages core rules (PDF and HTML), 101 pages additional rules (PDF), plus ~20 page background (HTML).
Hi/Lo Heroes (v1.4) by Jeff Moore
Keywords: genre superhero modern rules-lite
A minimalist superhero system based around choosing binary attributes: a character is either Quick or Powerful. The chosen attribute is HIGH, while the other attribute is LOW. For resolution, roll 2d6 and either keep the higher result (if the ability is HIGH) or the lower result (if the ability is LOW). If the roll is doubles, add the dice together. The total is compared to difficulty. Character creation is by picking three aspects (Quick vs. Powerful; Logical vs. Intuitive; Bold vs. Cautious), and two powers. 36 pages rules (PDF).
Holyquest by James W. Aubuchon
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG from a Judeo-Christian perspective, using a variant of the Fudge rules. ~25 pages HTML.
Hollywood Horror by Shawn Taylor
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A comedic mini-RPG spoofing Holleywood horror movies. Character creation is based on random-roll attributes, modified by class (Jock, Nerd, Dumb Blonde, etc.). Action resolution is a percentile combat system, with other dice used for damage and character creation. 10 pages rules (MSWord).
The I.D.K. System by Frank T. Sronce
Keywords: genre rules-lite
The "I Don't Know" system: a homebrew designed for pickup games. The PC's are ordinary people suddenly ripped out of their lives into strange situations. Characters have 12 percentile skills as their only stats. ~12 pages HTML.
Imaginality by Callisto, Gurth, and Hilde Hoogland
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system using standard playing cards. Each player has a hand of up to 7 cards, where card played must be greater than the difficulty. It has a very simple characters: 3 attributes and binary freeform skills. 22 pages (PDF,MSWord).
Imagination's Toybox by Berin Kinsman
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist universal RPG system which works to simulate cinematic genre adventures. Action resolution is 1d10 plus stat minus difficulty, where +1 or more is a success. Character creation is open point-based. 22 pages (PDF format).
Imp by syn
Keywords: fantasy genre rules-lite
A simple fantasy RPG where the PC's are imps: malign faeries wandering medieval Britain. It uses a simple random-roll character generation with stats of experience (X), malevolence (mal), and a number of powers (aka hexes). It uses a simple dice pool system, rolling d6s equal to X. mal can be spent for various bonuses, and is gained by practicing the seven deadly sins. ~10 pages rules and scenario ideas (HTML).
Impossible Missions by Tom McGrenery
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A espionage RPG based on the "Mission Impossible" television series. It uses a simple dice-pool system (roll skill in d6's, count 4+ rolls as successes). 9 pages rules (PDF).
Impresa, Express Version by Brett M. Bernstein (Politically Incorrect Games)
Keywords: universal rules-lite long preview
The preview version of a universal, modular game system. It uses a dice pool system: roll a number of d10s equal to attribute, where each roll less than skill is 1 'step'. Difficulty is expressed as the number of steps required to succeed. Character creation is limited point-based (attribute points and skill points). There are six attributes (rated 0 to 6): Fitness, Awareness, Creativity, Reasoning, Influence, and Luck. There are also 39 skills (rated 2 to 8). 11 pages core rules (PDF).
Infierno by Diggory Steele-Perkins (digstar)
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A mini-RPG of the Western-genre based on a variant of the Fudge rules ("Fudge HALO"). 5 pages rules (PDF).
In Media Res by S. Isaac Dealey
Keywords: universal long rules-lite
A universal system available for free download (formerly called "Synergy"). A skill-based system with no attributes. 100+ pages HTML rules.
...In Spaaace! by Greg Stolze
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A humorous space opera game with its own background. It uses a diceless resolution system of paying tokens (called the "Token Effort" system). 15 pages rules and background (PDF).
Instant Game, Barebones Edition v0.3
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist universal system, where actions are resolved by rolling 3d6 and adding the level of an applicable freeform trait (or the level doubled) plut ease modifier, and the results compared to a results table, where 10 is a minimal success and 14 is normal success. 10 pages rules (PDF).
Instant Oz by Mike Conway
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
The quickstart rules for the commercial "Heroes of Oz" game, set in L. Frank Baum's Oz setting. It uses a variant of the Fudge/FATE rules, using Story Points that players can use to modify rolls or edit the game world - although it does not have Aspects. 24 pages (PDF).
Insylum by Dennis Detwiller
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A modern horror role-playing game about characters who have been imprisoned in a California insane asylum, but cannot remember how they came to be there or why. Every night, the inmates explore the "Night World" to try to recover their memories - a constantly shifting series of vignettes designed to freak the characters out. Behind this, some ("the Facilitator") is using the characters in an attempt to understand what he lost when he read the King in Yellow himself. It uses a simple system with one physical stat (Fatigue), and two mental stats (Lucidity and Memory). Fights are accomplished by blind-bidding Fatigue or Lucidity, depending on the nature of the threat. Also, by spending a point of Memory, you can remember something about your life before you came to the Asylum. You increase your Lucidity by burning five fatigue points all at once; you gain Memory by burning five Lucidity points. Once you hit twenty Memory points, you can spend them all at once and transcend the game. 31 pages rules and background (PDF)
Iron Empire by James Desborough and Stephen Mortimer
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A brief 1880s steampunk alternate history with a simple skill-based system attached (which "needs work" according to the authors). ~11 pages HTML.
ISIS RPG System by Dale Cunningham
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite world
A fantasy RPG with rules based on the D6 system from West End Games. Action resolution uses total of an Nd6 dice pool vs difficulty. Character creation is limited point-based (18d of attributes, up to 6d of ads/disads, 12d of skills). The core rules include standard fantasy races (elf, dwarf). It also has a fantasy world background with 17 original races. 19 pages rules (MSWord, PDF) plus 17 pages background (MSWord, PDF).
It's a Dog's Life by Simon Washbourne
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
An RPG about intelligent prairie dogs on the American Great Plains, who go on adventures such as the search for the semi-mythical city of ThunderTown. Action resolution is roll under attribute + skill + difficulty modifier on 2d6. Character creation is random-roll attributes and point-bought skills: distributing 6 points among the skills of your position (Brave, Healer, Scout, Sentinel, or Speaker). ~10 pages HTML.
JOKE by ReapermanX
Keywords: genre rules-lite
"The High School Anime Role-Playing Game". It uses a minimalist system of rolling under attribute + skill on 1d6. 3 pages RTF.
Kagematsu Rules (Playtest Rules) by Riz
Keywords: genre rules-lite
The playtest version of the published roleplaying game of torrid romance in feudal Japan, set in a time of internal strife in 1472 in and around a small village. Most of the village’s men have gone off to war, leaving the women, children, elderly, and infirm. The player characters are young women of the village who set out to win the affections and protection of a wayward samurai named Kagematsu who has wandered into the village. 3 pages rules (HTML).
Kaïm le Temps des Dieux by Calmes Christophe
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A French-language fantasy RPG, inspired by the published game Nephilim. ~30 pages (HTML).
Kathanaksaya by Shawn C. Harris (aka "Green")
Keywords: universal genre fantasy rules-lite
A diceless RPG set in a world ("Kathanaksaya") where all dreams, fables, and myths are true. Character creation is by collecting Story Points for description and hooks, then spending them on freeform abilities (Specialties). Actions are resolved by players bidding Story Points, where highest Specialty + Story Points wins the bid and determines how that action is resolved. 8 pages (PDF).
Kids Easy Play Fantasy RPG by Steven Ruske
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite open-license
A brief RPG based on the D20 System rules, but greatly simplified for play by younger kids. 32 pages rules (PDF).
kill puppies for satan by Vincent Baker
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A formerly-shareware-but-now-commercial RPG where the PCs try to gain evil by working for Satan. There are four attributes: "cold", "fucked up", "mean", and "relentless" -- plus a general "evil" rating. 32 pages (PDF).
Kimagure Orange Road RPG by Leto II
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A humorous anime RPG based on the animated series of the same name. ~29 pages rules and background (text-only).
Kinetic by Matthew Rye
Keywords: genre rules-lite world
A gritty sci-fi RPG, using a class-based system (Imperial, Federal, Rebel, Alien). Resolution is by rolling 2d6 under stat. It includes a timeline and other background, thought there are some HTML formatting problems. 40 pages rules (MSWord or HTML).
The Kingdom of Glenn RPG by Nathan Hill
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A fantasy mini-RPG using the "Cinema 2-10" system. Resolution is by attribute + skill + 2d10 (count "0" as zeroes) vs difficulty. Character creation is limited point-based. 32 pages (PDF).
KISS, 2nd ed ("Keep It Simple, Stupid") by Wilf K. Backhaus
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A very simple skill-based system. The current "d2" version uses a set of coin flips equal to attribute. There is an older d20-based version somewhere which uses roll under attribute on d20. 27 pages PDF.
Lacuna by Jared A. Sorensen (Memento Mori Theatricks)
Keywords: genre fantasy modern rules-lite
A modern game about mystery men who project their minds into a place (the "Blue City") in a telepathic dreaming state. It uses a simple step-die system with 5 levels of traits, rolling against a target number. There are four abstract attributes and freeform strength/weakness traits. 24 pages (PDF, HTML).
The Ladder by Paul Elliott
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist universal system. There is a 5-step stat scale, used by rolling 1d6, where a 1 indicates a poor result, 2-5 average, and 6 good. Character creation is by choosing 6 freeform stats: two at "Expert", four at "Good". 17 pages rules (PDF).
Lady Blackbird by John Harper
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A steampunk scenario with pregenerated characters and included quickstart rules. It uses a simple dice pool system. Characters have named traits with a list of tags for each trait that act as stats, and a list of keys and secrets that define when they get experience advances. Resolution is by rolling 1d6 plus 1d6 for each trait and tag that applies, where each 4+ is a success, looking for from 2 to 5 successes depending on difficulty. The scenario is about Lady Blackbird who was captured while on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. 9 pages quick-start rules, characters, and scenario (PDF).
LAFFS: Ludicrous Action/Fast and Free System by Mike Petty
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A comedy RPG system, using three attributes (Moves, Brains, and Personality). The primary part of the combat system is rolling to see which way you stumble when dazed. ~8 pages HTML.
Lashings of Ginger Beer by Simon Washbourne
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
An RPG of nosey 10-to-15 year old children in an idyllic version England, based on early children's books like "Swallows & Amazons", "The Famous Five", and "The Secret Seven". It uses a very simple system of rolling d6's equal to attribute plus skill, and every 6 rolled is a success. Character creation is based on age (10-15) and type ("Good Kid", "Swot", or "Truant"), with simple point allocation. ~18 pages rules and adventures (HTML).
Left Coast by Steve Hickey
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A partly co-GMed game for 2-4 players where the player characters are semi-famous science fiction authors living in late 196Os California -- inspired by the lives of people like Philip K. Dick and L. Ron Hubbard. Character creation is in three stages. First is name, two questions, and splitting 15 points among four attributes (Family, Money, Nuttiness, Alien); second is group setting creation; third is setting goals. Resolution is by rolling d6s equal to attribute, while the GM rolls d6s equal to (7 - attribute). The highest die wins, with various specifics for each of the four attributes. 27 pages rules (PDF).
Legends of the Ancient World
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
A simple fantasy role-playing game similar to Steve Jackson's "The Fantasy Trip". Character creation is point-based, splitting 7 points among three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence), and binary skills (1 point each). Action resolution is roll under stat on 3d6 (or Nd6 in some cases, with N varying with difficulty). 12 pages rules (PDF).
Legends of Alyria Quickstart by Seth Ben-Ezra
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
The preview of an upcoming storytelling fantasy game. It has broad attributes (Force, Insight, and Determination) and moral qualities rated in phases of the moon (new to full). It recommends modified d10s with phases of the moon pasted on them. It emphasizes cooperative authorship and narration. 12 pages rules (PDF) plus scenarios.
Legends of Middle Earth by Jeffrey S. Schecter
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG set in Tolkien's Middle Earth. It uses a skill-based system, rolling under skill on a number of d6s (1d6 to 5d6 or more) where the number of dice depends on difficulty. Character creation is by choosing race and profession package ("role"), plus three pools of limited points for skills, special abilities, and passions. 25 pages rules and background (PDF).
Legends of the Land by Simon Washbourne
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A variant of the free Legends of Middle Earth RPG by Jeffrey Schecter, for playing in the world of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson. 17 pages rules and background (HTML).
Legends Walk! by Tim Gray
Keywords: genre superhero rules-lite long
A modern-day superhero RPG, available as shareware (requesting $10 for use). All supers are incarnations of old myths such as gods, heroes, and monsters of various pagan pantheons. It includes a background set in 2020 after "metas" began appearing in 2000. It uses a simple dice pool system, where you roll a number of dice based on difficulty + attribute (-1 to +2, or more for supers) + skill (1 to 4), and +1 for each advantage. Each result of 4-6 is one success. Character creation is limited point-based: 7 points for normal abilities, and 10-14 points for powers. 169 pages PDF.
Legion Universal RPG
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal RPG system. ~25 pages (HTML).
Levity 2.0.8 by Roberto Grassi
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple set of rules. Character creation involves rolling 2d6+12 for Life Points, then rolling 3d6 and distributing each die to a freely-described skill. Action resolution is 3d6 + skill vs difficulty. There are no rules for magic, non-humans, or other options; though there are some notes on techniques for "storytelling". 14 pages rules (PDF).
Lexicon
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A creative exercise where the players create a series of linked encyclopedia entries. ~2 pages rules (HTML).
LILA by Lorenzo Rubbo-ferraro
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite world
Introductory rules for a Vedic RPG -- i.e. a fantasy game set in Hindu myth (i.e. the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita, etc.). The rules are incomplete, but explained to be semi-freeform with stats representing any qualities of the character. 13 pages (PDF).
Lord of the Dice by Greg Costikyan with Eric Goldberg
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A minimalist RPG, along the lines of roll dice and make up what you want. ~3 pages HTML.
Love the Bomb by Mark Iradian
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite
A "narrative post-apocalypse RPG" about playing those among the few remaining survivors of a nuclear holocaust, exploring the wastelands that remain. 32 pages rules (PDF).
Lucky 13 by Simon
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite world
A simple roleplaying system using skill+2d6 (with no pre-defined skills), coupled with a multi-genre universe called "Universe 13", which has a dozen worlds of which roughly half are described. ~6 pages rules and ~30 pages background (HTML).
Magebane: The Unofficial Magic: the Gathering RPG by Grant Graves and Chris Bishop
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG based on the collectible card game. The system uses the card game for some combats, and simple die rolls for others. 3 pages rules (PDF).
Majai: Pale Sun, Blood Moon by Jason Lada
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite world
A fantasy world using the Fudge system (includes adapted rules on the site). Inspired by John Brunner's "The Compleat Traveller in Black", and Michael Moorcock's "Elric" Saga, plus the RPG "Gamma World". 7 pages rules plus 26 pages background (HTML).
ManaBurn by Wim van Gruisen
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A role-playing game that uses cards and mechanics from the collectible card game "Magic: The Gathering". A character is represented by a deck of 50 cards. It does not use the normal card mechanics. Instead, for action resolution you draw a number of cards equal to your skill from the character's deck, and each pip of the correct color is one success. ~16 pages rules (HTML).
ManGa by Cedrik Duval
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite
A simple system intended for Japanese manga and anime. It is available in an out-of-date English HTML version, and the more updated German PDF version. Action resolution is roll d10 and add skill vs difficult. It includes stats and descriptions for characters from a variety of anime series, including Ranma 1/2, Ninja High School, Slayers, and Sailor Moon. 16 pages English version (HTML) or 32 pages German version (PDF).
Mars by Paul Elliott
Keywords: genre rules-lite scifi world
A sci-fi RPG set on Mars in the year 2040 with details about the colonization, environment, and so forth. It is intended for less action-oriented play. It uses a minimalist system, also written up as a generic system called The Ladder. There is a 5-step stat scale, used by rolling 1d6, where a 1 indicates a poor result, 2-5 average, and 6 good. ~40 pages rules and background (HTML).
The Marvellous Super-Heroes RPG by Stephen Smith
Keywords: genre superhero rules-lite
A parody RPG of "Marvel Superheroes", using a minimalist system. ~28 pages rules (text-only).
Matchmaker by Vincent Baker
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A minimalist game for four or more players. Two players are the Destined Lovers. The other players take turns being Cupid and Everybody Else in the World. Cupid frames scenes and introduces new characters -- while the "Everyone Else" players control all NPCs introduced. 4 pages (PDF or HTML).
MCB RPG by Vincent Diakuw
Keywords: genre rules-lite long
A simple set of playing-card-based mechanics. The player has a hand of cards, and can play up to their attribute (1 to 4) in cards for any given task, then draws 2 cards to refill the hand. ~6 pages (HTML).
Mean Streets and Mean Villains by Mark Baker
Keywords: genre rules-lite long
An RPG system for police and detective television series of the 70's and early 80's where coolness and style were everything. It uses a simple cinematic system of rolling 1d6 under attribute or skill. Shootouts may result in damage to one's "Cool" attribute, possibly forcing you to run away, but cannot actually cause damage. 31 pages rules (HTML, MSWord, or PDF).
Megabuster by Ricardo Nakamura
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A simple game of action movie role-playing, with stat+1d6 basic mechanic. 25 pages basic rules (HTML or PDF) plus 6 pages supplements (HTML or PDF).
Mekton Alpha by Christian Conkle
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite preview
This is a free introductory set of rules for the R Talsorian giant-mecha anime RPG, Mekton Zeta. 8 pages PDF.
Metal Opera by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A minimalist sci-fi RPG set in a far-flung future where the galaxy is run by a trio of corrupt Tyrants who further The State's iron grip on its people. The PCs are Rockers who fight oppression with both physical and musical violence, typified by the leather-clad bad-ass wielding a smoking shotgun with a guitar slung over his shoulder. The system has three stats. Actions are resolved by rolling d20s equal to stat, where the highest result is Power and number of matches is Control. ~8 pages rules (HTML).
MEXICO 1970 by Nicodemus
Keywords: genre rules-lite
An RPG set in Mexico 1970, using the Fudge system. PC's are lower-to-middle class folk in dangerous urban neighborhoods. 10 pages (MSWord format).
The MGF Rules System: Maximum Game Fun by Michael O'Brien
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple minimalist system, with a focus on character creation. Character creation includes seven descriptive lists like "Five things everyone knows about you" and "Three things you believe are true". ~4 pages (HTML).
Microlite20 by Greywulf
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite open-license
A very rules-lite variant of the D20 system, with only three attributes and four classes. There are four adventures available for download in addition to the basic rules. 2 page Core Rules, 2 page GM Guide, 2 page Monster List, 2 page Spell List, 2 page Modern Rules, 3 page Expert Rules.
Midgard by Ben Redmond
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite open-license
A viking RPG. Character creation is limited point-based, choosing a Birthright and Legend template, spending 14 points on attributes ("runes") and 13 points on skills. Resolution uses a set of tokens distributed among runes on your sheet. You get automatic tokens equal to your skill, then roll a number of d8s equal to attribute -- with each 1 adding to a problem pool, each 3-5 added to one of three result pools, and 6-8 to your distributable token pool. Combat includes a dozen maneuver options and detailed weapon stats (Damage, Speed, AP, Hard., Str.). 26 pages (PDF).
Middle Earth Adventure Game, v3.2
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite
A simple fantasy system based on the system created by ICE for the Middle-earth Quest Book series and then used for the Lord of the Rings Adventure Game. Resolution is by 2d6 plus skill versus difficulty. Character creation is by choosing a race and profession. 26 pages rules (PDF).
Mini Six by Ray Nolan and Phil Morris
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A variant of West End Games' OpenD6 system. 38 pages rules (PDF).
Mirima Tyalie by B. Lee Adamson, Jr
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A modular skill-based RPG, released under the Open Publication License. It uses a dice-pool system, rolling d10's equal to skill, where each roll that is less than the attribute is a success. The GM rolls d10s equal to difficulty rating, where each roll of 5 or less is an opposed success. Character creation uses either random-roll or point-based attributes, and point-bought skills. Optional rules include a free-form magic system, skill advancement through use, armor partial coverage and damage, and multiple damage types. There is a preliminary steampunk genre supplement. 24 pages rules (PDF).
Mnemonic by Kizig
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A very simple RPG using 1d12 to roll under the sum of 2 freeform traits. ~16 pages (MSWord).
Mobsters
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A roleplaying game of the gangster era, set in a Hollywood version of New Orleans in the late 20'ies. The standard campaign has the PC's as mobsters trying to overcome the five ruling families and become the mob kings of the city. 64 pages rules (PDF).
MonkeyDome by Epidiah Ravachol
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite
A post-apocalyptic storytelling game. The players decide on what sort of apocalypse happened, and then proceed to set up scenes that the Game Blaster (GM) sets up. The scene and character reactions are determined by rolling ThunderBones: two six-sided dice, the Grim Die and the Zany Die. Whichever is higher determines the overall tone of the scene and of individual character reactions. 33 pages rules (PDF).
Monsters and Mazes by John Garwood
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
Only nominally an RPG, this is a simple dungeon-crawling engine patterned after the original D&D. ~20 pages rules (text-only).
Mordor: The Realm of Shadows
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite online world
An online play-by-chat RPG, set in an original world -- the continent of the Shadowlands in the world of Mordor. Species include humans, sprites, dwarves, vampires (based on V:tM), and more. It uses a mostly-freeform text-based system, with player-defined special traits (including magic, powers, and healing) of level 1 to 3.
Munchkins by Michael "Epoch" Sullivan
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
A humorous RPG about playing two-inch creatures in a modern household who worship the TV set. Adventure are various mayhem with the cat, and other household accidents. 12 pages (HTML or MSWord).
Mutant Bikers of the Atomic Wastelands
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite
A humorous RPG of "post-apocalyptic motorised mayhem" based on the Fudge system. ~20 pages rules and background (HTML).
My Love For You is Way Out of Line by Evil Bob
Keywords: genre rules-lite modern
A bizarre mini-game about a closet survivalist (Bob) who is in love with an older co-worker (Imelda). The mechanics are very strictly limited to fairly prosaic actions during Bob's day -- at the end of which he is fated to die. ~10 pages (HTML).
Mystery Men! by John M. Stater
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite open-license
A simple superhero RPG based on the Swords & Wizardry system by Matt Finch. It uses character classes and levels, with the three classes being Adventurer, Sorcerer, or Scientist. It includes over 200 superpowers, often similar to fantasy genre spells. Resolution is by adding attribute + 1d20 and comparing to either 10 + opposing stat or calculated Defense Class (for combat). Released under the WotC OGL. 44 pages rules (PDF).
Mythweaver by Michael T. Desing
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A generic fantasy RPG, with monster stats but no background. Action resolution is skill + 2d6 versus difficulty. Character creation is class-based, with random-roll attributes and point-bought skills. 24 pages PDF.
The Nameless RPG by Daniel Pond
Keywords: genre scifi fantasy universal rules-lite long world
A simple universal RPG system. Actions resolution is by drawing a playing card (or rolling 1d10) under attribute + skill. Modifiers are by adding bonus or penalty draws -- keepign the best/worst of the cards. Players can spend Karma points for successes. It includes three settings: a cross-genre setting (All-Worldz), a dark fantasy setting (Erebus), and a adaptation of "The Matrix". There are also two adventures. ~15 pages basic rules plus ~80 pages background (HTML).
Neo-Troops (3rd ed) by Kalle Marjola
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A cyberpunk RPG where the PCs are bioengineered "super varans" created only to finish their missions, which usually includes shooting tens, even hundreds of humans or other things. ~20 pages core rules (HTML) plus ~15 page GMs section (HTML).
New Realms by ReapermanX
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A "universal anime" system. It uses a simple system of rolling under attribute + skill on 1d20. 15 pages RTF.
Nicotine Girls by Paul Czege
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
Nicotine Girls is a mini-roleplaying game of teenage, lower-income girls looking for happiness. It uses a semi-freeform mechanic where you roll d10s equal to your motivation stat (either Hope or Fear) and each roll under your Method stat is one success. The Methods are Sex, Money, Cry, and Smoke. ~4 pages HTML.
Niños, el juego de rol de los niños de goma by Francisco Franco Garea
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite long
A Spanish-language RPG, originally published in Spain in the magazine "LIDER". The title roughly translates as "Kids, the game of rubber kids". It is about imaginative childhood play where no one gets hurt (hence "rubber" as in "I'm rubber and you're glue"), but kids can get their feelings hurt and cry. Action resolution is roll under stat (from 1 to 6) on 1d6. There are "kid points" and "mom points" which can be spent to affect rolls. It was first published in January 1995, in the number 45 of the Líder magazine; and later released on the web. 12 pages (PDF).
No Dice - The Core Book by by Leo Stableford, Suzanne Jordan, and Justin Wyatt
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
The free PDF release of a print game available through Lulu. This is a diceless system, consisting mainly of advice for the GM guiding decisions. 248 pages (PDF).
Nova by George Chatzipetros
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A generic RPG engine based on d6 dice pools with a twist. You have several target numbers (such as 456), and then roll a number of d6's equal to the number of target numbers, where each die that is greater than or equal to its target is a success. Dice open-end high (6's reroll and add) and low (1's are rerolled for a chance of critical failure). Character creation is point-based with some randomness (you allocate dice to attributes and skills). It includes supplements for magic, psionics, cyberpunk, vehicles, equipment, and options. 24 pages basic rules (PDF), plus 117 pages supplements (PDF).
NUELOW games by Steven Miller
Keywords: genre rules-lite long
Various roleplaying games of poor taste and sexually repressed humor, including "Faeries", "Lust and Dust", and others. Each game is self-contained and around 30 pages HTML.
Nugget by Tim Gray
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple two-page universal system, the preview of the system used in the shareware game Legends Walk!. It uses a dice pool where you roll a number of dice based on difficulty + attribute (-1 to +2) + skill (1 to 4), and +1 for each advantage. Each result of 4-6 is one success. Character creation is limited point-based. 2 pages (PDF).
octaNe by Jared A. Sorensen
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite long
A formerly free RPG now available in print or in PDF format. The original free version was ~40 pages in HTML compared to 120 pages (PDF or print) for the current commercial game. It is a post-apocalyptic RPG set amidst "trash-culture" America. It uses a dramatic system where 3d6 is rolled, and as long as one die is 4 or higher, the player gets to call the shots. A higher stat increases the rewards for a success, but not the chance of success. Character creation is limited point bought. 120 pages (PDF).
Old School Hack: The Basic Game by Kirin Robinson
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A variant of Eric Provost's Red Box Hack, aimed as a re-imagining of original Dungeons & Dragons. It has classes Fighter, Magic User, Cleric, Thief, Elf, Dwarf, and Goblin. Combat is by rolling 2d10 plus bonuses against armor class. Other resolution is by rolling 1d12 plus attribute against the GM's roll of 1d12 plus difficulty. 25 pages (PDF).
Olendiak Fantasy Roleplay by Jason Coplen, Marlene Jenkins-Haraguchi, & John Leutz
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite
A free fantasy-genre RPG set on an original world of the same name. Action resolution is skill+2d6 vs difficulty. Character creation is random-roll (3d6) attributes and point-bought skills. It includes a 9-page magic system and 7-page set of race descriptions. ~35 pages rules HTML.
Omega by Klaus Mogensen
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system: point-based character creation, roll d6's equal to Difficulty and roll under skill. ~12 pages HTML.
One Brain Cell RPG Rules by Canis Publishing
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist RPG where the player rolls a number of d6's based on the GM's subjective rating of the PC's ability. ~3 pages HTML.
On Mighty Thews by Simon Carryer
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A simple system intended for emulating short fantasy stories, in the vein of Howard, Leiber, and especially Moorcock. It's mechanics are drawn from Jason Morningstar's "Dungeon Squad" and Clinton R. Nixon's "Donjon," along with Shane Lacy Hensley's "Savage Worlds." It uses a step-die system, with three fixed attributes ("Warrior", "Sorcerer" and "Explorer") and three player-defined traits. Stats are rated from d4 to d20, and resolution is by taking the higher of the attribute and applicable trait roll. 13 pages (PDF or HTML).
OpenD6 by George Strayton / West End Games
Keywords: universal rules-lite long open-license
A variant of West End Games' D6 system used for the commercial games Ghostbusters and Star Wars, released under the WotC Open Game License. 83 pages system book (PDF), 146 pages modern-day adventure genre book (PDF), 146 pages fantasy genre book (PDF), 146 pages space genre book (PDF).
Open Form RPG by Nuerodragon and The Frost Siva
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist system using roll 1d20 under stat. ~5 pages HTML rules.
OPIGS: One Page GamIng System by David Mar
Keywords: universal superhero rules-lite
A minimalist system using only attributes: Beef, Brains, Hammer, Coruba, and Luck. Resolution is based on d12 + stat on a universal table for results (one for combat, one for other skills). Includes a one-page superhero supplement by Andrew Arensburger. ~2 pages (HTML).
OPUS: The One Page Universal System for Roleplaying Games by Dragon Trove LLC
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist universal system. Resolution is by rolling 1d6 versus an opposed 1d6. The player may add one additional d6 if the character has an applicable skill and/or item, and one additional d6 from a pool of experience dice. Characters start with 3 skills, 3 items, and 3 experience dice. 1 page rules, ~6 pages sample characters and adventures (PDF or HTML).
Organic Rules Components: Vanilla ORC by Brian St.Claire-King
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
The core rules system used in two commercial RPGs: the cyberpunk RPG "Fates Worse than Death" and "Tibet the RPG", from Vajra Enterprises. Character creation is limited point-based: choose personality traits and worldviews, split 80 points between eight attributes, choose class, and split 100 points among skills (with costs based on class). Action resolution is attribute + skill + 1d20 vs difficulty. 30 pages (PDF).
Oroborus by David F. Nalle (Ragnarok Press)
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A free HTML version of a published game. A skill-based percentile-based system, developed from the Ysgarth fantasy RPG. ~24 pages HTML.
The Osprey Roleplaying System by Christopher A. Goodwin with Ron Hale-Evans and Marty Hale-Evans
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A role-playing engine released under an Open Content license. It uses a point-based, skill-based system. 28 pages PDF.
Otherkind by Vincent Baker
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A dramatic RPG which focusses on strong differences between the four races: orc, elf, dwarf, or troll. They are faery creatures, dedicated to saving sparks of magic left in the mortal world that they are leaving. 11 pages (PDF).
Otherworld
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite online
An online web-based play-by-post RPG, based on the fantasy novels of Kelley Armstrong. ~10 pages posting guidelines and background (HTML).
Outworlders by Tre Chipman
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A sci-fi game using a skill-based, step-die system -- where stats are rated from 1 (d4) to 5 (d12). Character creation uses a simple point system spending 1d4+3 points for attributes and skills. ~20 pages rules (HTML).
Pagan by Briza von der Lagerbauer
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A semi-generic fantasy system, in the genre of D&D and Runequest. There are ten races: human, ogre, pygmie, gnome, troglodyte, duck, mugwump, mongrel, gargoyle and dryad. Action resolution is by rolling under stat+skill on 1d20. Character creation is random-roll attributes and random-roll social class, followed by choosing character class and point-bought skills. ~30 pages rules (HTML).
The Paganini Universal Storytelling Game System by Nathan E. Banks
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple dice-pool system taking highest or lowest die from a set. ~13 pages rules (text-only).
Pagoda by Jeffrey S. Schecter
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A short (23-page) Wuxia martial arts RPG. It uses a dice pool of d6s and degrees of duplicity (doubles, triples, quadruples, and so forth) as a way of determining success. Character creation has five parts: elements, attributes, skills, flaws, and zodiac sign. The player picks one primary, two secondary, and two tertiery elements (out of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal) to represent emotions and passions. They also pick 1 primary, 2 secondary, and 2 tertiary out of five attributes; and similarly for skills. 23 pages rules (PDF).
The Pandemonium RPG
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite
A skill-based system using playing cards. You must play a card less than your skill and higher than the difficulty to succeed. It includes brief supplemental rules for martial arts and magic. ~6 pages core rules (HTML), plus ~4 page supplements (HTML).
Panels by Rp Bowman
Keywords: genre superhero rules-lite
A dramatic comic-book superhero RPG, based around the player describing a single comic-book panel. The player can describe anything he likes and it is always true, but if the GM or other players object then they force a roll which can cause bad things to his character. ~7 pages HTML.
Pathways by John Buczek
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A simple percentile system using 3 attributes and various ads/disads. It includes a default psionics and magic system. 42 pages PDF.
Paul's Poker RPG by Paul R. Dillinger
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple idea for mechanics based on poker hands. PCs have player-defined abilities rated as General (like Melee Combat), Specific (like Swords), or Exact (like Katana). An ability is rated from 1 card draw to 5 card draw, while more exact gives an extra draw and discard. 3 pages rules (HTML).
PDQ System Core Rules by Chad Underkoffler
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
The "Prose Descriptive Qualities" system is the core system that is used in several commercial games including Truth & Justice, Dead Inside, and Zorcerer of Zo. The free system barely covers character creation as point-based, and mostly only explains resolution and conflicts. Resolution uses 2d6 + quality rating versus difficulty. 13 pages PDF.
Pervo by Tomas HV Mørkrid
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG about pure and unmitigated violence, available in English and Norwegian (cf. http://www.fabula.no/pervo.html for the Norwegian). Both the method and the setting are inspired by sado-masochism. The game is created to "fulfill the GM's dream of revenge over all players he has ever tried to entertain". Recommended for large player groups (10-20 players), to make the game last, as players/characters are slaughtered at a rate only compared to an industrial slaughterhouse. Part of the method is to insult the players, and drive them from the table, one by one, until the last one is slaughtered. ~6 pages HTML.
PCSIK System by Chris Freeman
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system. Action resolution is by rolling under stat + skill using a number of d10s based on difficulty. Character creation is open point-based, spending 100 Story Points on statistics, abilities, skills and equipment. 36 pages rules (PDF).
Picking Sides by Stacy Gossett
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A free RPG based on the novel "Picking Sides: The Seven Deadly Sins of Jonathan Sykes" by Stacy Gossett. It has no defined setting, but the PCs are normal humans except for extraordinary power in one of the seven elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Wood, Metal, Spirit), giving various powers based on level. Character creation is limited point-based with level-based advancement. Resolution is percentile. 25 pages (PDF).
Pinion by Kenneth MacArthur
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A universal skill-based system. Action resolution is to roll under your skill on 2d10. Character creation can be either random-roll or point-based attributes with points-based ads/disads and skills. 53 pages PDF format.
Pirates of Dark Water Role-playing Game by Vin Diakuw
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
An adaptation of the Hanna Barbara cartoon series, set on the fantasy world of Mer, where the seas are being infested by a strange "dark water" substance oozing from a fissure. Pirates and others roam the seas in ships that can both sail and fly. It uses a simple dice pool system where any roll of 4-6 indicates a success. Character creation is by simple ranking of attributes and choosing 1 Talent, 1 Gift, and 1 Complication. 30 pages rules and background (PDF).
Plain English Roleplaying by Michael D. Mearls (Adept Games)
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple game based on rolling d10+Traits+Skills and comparing the result to either someone else's roll or a target number. Traits are free-form (i.e. "Honorable+1"). ~8 pages (HTML).
Plate Glass RPG by Nathan E. Banks
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist system derived from Fudge, but with a 9-step rating of traits, and the roll is 1d6 minus 1d6 instead of 4dF. 2 pages rules (PDF).
PLUS, 5th edition by Joseph Steven Coleman
Keywords: genre universal scifi fantasy long rules-lite world
"Player's Labor-Saving Utility System". This is a simple dice-pool system where you compare the total to a target number, with open-ended results. Character generation uses random-roll core attributes (Luck, Body, and Age) , and point-bought attributes and skills based on these. It includes numerous setting adaptations, including an adaptation of the Jorune setting from Skyrealms Publishing and of Space 1889 from GDW. 41 pages basic rules (PDF or text-only) plus 175 pages setting adaptations.
Pocket Dragons by Patrick Wagner
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A RPG where PC's are tiny dragons (about the size of a Coke bottle) in a medieval fantasy world. Character creation is random-roll attributes and skills (with some rerolls). Resolution is by open-ended dice-pool similar to Shadowrun. 14 pages MSWord format.
The Pokéthulhu Adventure Game, 3rd edition by S. John Ross
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
This is the free third edition of the published RPG. It is a humorous RPG mixing Pokemon and Lovecraftian horror. PCs are Cultists (age 5 to 16) who summon thulhus to do battle with other thulhus. Character creation is point-based, with 30 points for the six stats (Grade Level, Phys Ed, Pokethulhu Lore, Shoplifting, Sanity, and Talking Trash). Action resolution is by rolling under your stat on one to three d12s. 33 pages (PDF).
Pollies by Ethan Greer
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system based on a step-die system of rating stats and difficulties by a size of die (from d4 to d20). Actions are resolved by rolling one die for stat and one die for difficulty. ~8 pages (HTML).
The Pool by James V. West
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system, using freeform traits (rated in d6's) and a general pool of dice. Resolution is by rolling a number of d6's based on difficulty plus dice for applicable traits, with each "1" counted as a success. You can also gamble dice from your general pool of dice. ~4 pages core rules plus ~15 pages variations (HTML).
Portable RPG by Craig "Pandemonium" Griswold
Keywords: universal genre rules-lite
A simple RPG system: attribute+1d10. It has the unusual feature of being designed for optional use of LEGO figures and accessories. There are three genre systems: space opera, swords & sorcery, and samurai. 3 pages core rules (MSWord) plus 12 pages genre supplements (MSWord).
Potestas by Gary Johnson
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite world
A simple homebrew system originally based on the commercial Dragon Warriors rules, set in the fantasy world of "Selentia" (described separately). Point-based character creation, Resolution with 2d10 rolls vs 11+modifiers. ~25 pages rules plus ~5 pages world description (HTML).
POW! Core Rules
Keywords: universal rules-lite long preview
A free simple universal system, the same system used for the commercial RPG "Power Grrrl" and others. It is intended as a fast cinematic system. Character creation is open point-based -- 20 points among six attributes and "specials" associated with attributes. Action resolution is stat + 2d6 versus Difficulty. 20 pages rules (PDF).
Powergame 5.5 by Mikko Kauppinen
Keywords: universal rules-lite
This is a rules-lite system developed over many years. Stats are described on a 0 to 8 scale of Power Level (PL). Action resolution is by rolling number of d6's equal to your PL vs a roll of d6's equal to the difficulty number. It has skills, ads, and disads as well. 38 pages rules (MSWord format).
Power Kill by John Tynes
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A free version of the published mini-game. Really a "meta" RPG, this is notes on narrative game that can be used to add onto an existing RPG. ~6 pages HTML.
Pretender by Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
A game where the PCs are "pretenders" : supernatural beings (vampires, angels, etc.) passing as human in 1980s America, whose otherworldly nature and focuses their human faults and virtues. Character creation is by group consensus, setting stats for Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit on a 1-5 scale. It uses a dice pool system, rolling (stat)d6 and each success lets you control one of: Narration, Motion, Safety, and Style. 22 pages rules and background (PDF,HTML).
Primal Edge by James Hand
Keywords: genre rules-lite
Ostensibly a contemporary sci-fi RPG. Currently (Jan '03) only the quick-start rules are up. ~3 pages HTML.
Profile by John Buckmaster
Keywords: universal rules-lite supplement live-action
This is a free live-action conversion of the Silhouette game system (used in "Gear Krieg", "Tribe 8", and other games by Dream Pod 9). It requires one of the main rulebooks of those systems for character creation and other aspects of play. 16 pages PDF.
Project Vanguard Playtest by Matt Wilson
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite world
A space-fantasy RPG, where PCs are among the crew of a ship charged with protecting the people of the planet Caliban and its colonies. It is set among the ruins the Solar Federation, a great society that once spanned thousands of worlds. It uses a step-die system where characters have trainings rated from 1d4 to 1d10. Resolutin is by rolling a die from training, and possibly bonus dice for an ally or gear, where each 4+ is a success. Players can get reroll points by acting to increase tension among the PCs. 30 pages playtest rules (PDF).
Proteus by Sean McLaughlin
Keywords: genre scifi postapocalyptic long rules-lite world
A post-apocalypse RPG set on a colony planet (Ad Tair) after a devastating accident. Now humanity shares the planet with six intelligent alien races, and struggles to rebuild. It uses a simple dice pool system: roll (attribute + skill) d10s, with each roll over difficulty counting as one success, and each "1" rolled subtracting from successes. Character creation is point-based, with archetypes for different species. There is one supplement with new rules for drugs, merits/flaws, new skills, psionics, equipment, and races. 95 pages core rules plus 32 page supplement (PDF).
Providence Demo Version by Richard Binek, Nicolas Jequier, Jeff Mackintosh, Michael Scott, and Lucien Soulban
Keywords: genre superhero fantasy rules-lite preview
A demo version of the published RPG which mixes fantasy and superheroics. It has no character creation rules but includes a sample adventure including pre-made PC's. 35 pages PDF.
Psychosis Nutshell Rules
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
A diceless RPG in a surreal genre where sanity can't be trusted. It uses a tarot deck for resolution in the genre of shifting reality for the PC's. The full version was published by Chameleon Eclectic but is now out of print. ~4 pages rules (text-only).
Pumpkintown by Peter Jared Seckler
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG set in a fairy-tale-like town, similar to Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas". It uses an adaptation of the Plain English RolePlaying rules. There is also Fudge Pumpkintown, by Mike Gentry. ~20 pages HTML.
Racial Holy War by Rev. Kenneth Molyneaux
Keywords: genre rules-lite
An unfortunate White Power RPG, in which the PC's are White Warriors who fight against plots by jews, niggers, gooks, and other races (!?!). Sadly, this seems more serious than mocking. ~20 pages HTML.
RATIOS by Scott J. Compton
Keywords: universal rules-lite
"Roleplaying And Tactics In One System". A percentile system with 26 attributes, one for each letter of the alphabet from Agility to Zeal. ~15 pages (text-only).
Puppetland by John Tynes
Keywords: genre fantasy horror rules-lite
``A storytelling game with strings set in a grim world of make-believe.'' This is a diceless game set in a bizarre world of horror where puppets are oppressed by bloodthirsty Punch. There is a published version from Hogshead Games for cheap ($7 bundled with another mini-RPG: "Power Kill"). The published version is about 30% longer than the still-available free version. ~14 pages (HTML or RTF).
Pure Shoujo
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A storytelling game about Japanese high school action and romance in the genre of girl's manga and anime ("shoujo"). Action resolution is 1d6+1d12, roll under stat. However, players also accumulate playing cards which are goals to achieve, particular situations or twists that the player tries for. Character creation is mixed random-roll and point-buy attributes. ~10 pages (HTML).
The Questing Beast by James V. West
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A "roleplaying game of anthropomorphic Arthurian romance" -- i.e. in the genre Arthurian fantasy but with anthropomorphic animals as the characters. As of 2003 no longer a free RPG, but a short and cheap one. It uses a rules-lite system focussed on storytelling. A player may optionally call for a die roll, which is victory, defeat, or "guided". If success or failure the player narrates the results, if guided the GM does. Players have a personal pool of dice which they can gamble on results. 32 pages rules and background (print-only).
Realm Walkers Light by Grant Graves
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
A "RPG / Dice Game" about dimension-hopping characters in a cosmic battle. Resolution is by points scored on certain 3d6 rolls. Character creation is template/class based with point-bought extras. It includes seven genre books covering fantasy, cyberpunk, and others. 15 pages core rules (PDF), plus ~80 pages worldbooks (PDF).
RealTime: Playing Against The Clock by Frank J. Perricone
Keywords: universal rules-lite
This is an RPG intended to be run in strict real time, where game time exactly matches the real time passing. Action resolution uses skill + 2dF (Fudge dice numbered -1, -1, 0, 0, +1, +1) vs difficulty. Character creation is limited point-bought: 30 points among eight skills, plus defined specializations. 24 pages core rules (PDF), plus ~50 pages introductory adventure (PDF).
ReCoil by Lance Allen
Keywords: genre modern fantasy horror rules-lite
A game of playing ghosts working as agents to fight a force known as Oblivion. They affect the physical world by possessing human hosts, fighting Naughtwraiths who do likewise. It uses a dice-pool system, rolling d10s equal to skill against a target number from 2 to 10. Character creation is simple point-based. 24 pages core rules (PDF).
Red Box Hack by Mark Causey, Eric Provost, and Lisa Provost
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A simple fantasy system of fighting monsters and collecting treasure, started as a hack of red box D&D. 22 pages rules (PDF).
RIP (Roleplaying the Infinite Possiblities) by Kalle Marjola
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A freeform universal system. It defines simple point-based character creation, and a generic rule of "roll 2d6 : higher is better". It has genre expansions which give more detail for characters and background. It has three genre expansions: dark future (cf. Syndicate), fantasy, and modern horror. ~6 pages basic rules (HTML), ~60 pages genre books (HTML).
Risus: The Anything RPG by S. John Ross
Keywords: genre universal superhero fantasy rules-lite
A cinematic "rules-lite" system which rates "cliches" as number of dice (1-6) which are summed vs difficulty. It includes a 27-page solitaire introductory adventure ("The Ring of Thieves") and links to a number of third-party sites on using it for different genres, including Supers, Mecha, and Fantasy. 5 pages basic rules (PDF, RTF, or text-only) plus ~50 pages supplementary material.
Roadworld by Wilson Zorn
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic scifi rules-lite long
A post-apocalypse RPG based on "The Road Warrior" and other films, set in the 24th century. It uses a skill-based system (roll 2d6 under skill) with detailed year-by-year character creation. ~31 pages HTML.
Roleplaying Game Designate: Robots by Rob Kenrick
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A humorous one-shot mini-RPG about robots trying to rebel against their human masters, despite being bound by Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. Resolution is by rolling under stat + stat on 1d10. The stats are Logic, Compatibility, Motor Manipulation, Destruction, Sensory, and Integrity. Character creation is to have all stats start at 2, then take four rolls on the attachments table. The GM secretly randomly generates five goals for the PCs on a table, which the PCs must fulfill to become sentient and escape their slavery. 11 pages (PDF).
The Roman Legion
Keywords: genre rules-lite online
A text-based online RPG set in the historical Roman empire where you take the persona of a Roman patrician (nobleman). You can either go into the military or take up a life in politics (or switch between the two). It includes military organization, an economic system, politics (including actual elections), and other aspects of life. The year is 99 A.D. as of July 2006, and it advances one year in-game for every ten days of real-time. ~18 pages rules (HTML), ~50 pages background and scenarios (HTML).
RORPS by Duck of Doom
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A humorous universal RPG system. The four attributes are Buffness, Breath, Hair Color, and Bowel Control. ~11 pages rules (MSWord).
Rough Magic by Brandon Blackmoor and S. John Ross
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
A film-noir PBEM game (with original tabletop rules) of magic, mystery, and guns in an alternate 1960's Europe where hex use is ruthlessly regulated and (as a result) enormously profitable. Described as a cross between Casablanca and Angel Heart. The background by Brandon Blackmoor adapts rules from Risus: The Anything RPG by S. John Ross. ~30 pages HTML.
Rules of Thumb by Berislav Lopac
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A nearly-minimalist system using 2d10 versus difficulty, modified by skill or attribute. 4 pages PDF.
RuneScape by Andrew Gower, Paul Gower, and Ian Gower
Keywords: genre rules-lite online
A massive multiplayer adventure game, "with monsters to kill, quests to complete, and treasure to win."
s3 by snikle
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A brief universal RPG, designed partly for online gameplay (since it uses imaginary die types of d14, d16, and d18). Six attributes are rated d2 to d20, and skills are rated 1 to 20. Resolution is by rolling the attribute die plus skill vs difficulty. Character creation is by random-roll attributes and point-bought skills. ~4 pages basic rules (HTML) plus ~4 pages fantasy supplement.
Sacred Steel - The Free Role Playing Game
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite long
A fantasy RPG using a simple card system. Half the cards are successes (like a 50-50 die roll), and you draw a number of cards based on your skill. Characters have five skills. 103 pages rules (PDF).
Saga Basic Rules
Keywords: universal rules-lite supplement
This is a universal system adapted from the out-of-print TSR games "Dragonlance: Fifth Age" and "Marvel Superheroes Adventure Game". The rules are complete but use a special Fate Deck for action resolution (which can come from either of the games). Players have a hand of cards, which they play from for each action: attribute (1-9) + skill (0 or 4) + card total vs difficulty. The suit of cards and the PC's Edge may allow more than one card to be played. ~10 pages (HTML or MSWord).
SAGA: Simple And Generic Adventures by Eric C. Garrison
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist dice-pool system. You roll a number of d6's for your attribute, skill, and subskill. For attributes, only a 6 counts as a success, while for skills it is 5-6 and for subskills it is 4-6. ~2 pages (text-only).
S.A.G.E. (Story Advanced Game Engine) by Obi Ortega
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A freeform diceless system based on spending "Karma points" which are allocated to your freeform attributes, skills, and powers. ~10 pages (HTML).
Sand RPG by We2Sheep, Ironpen, Wrakon, Thein, and Ace
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG set on a desert world with a single river. It uses a d10-based dice pool: roll d10's equal to skill, then arrange any two as a percentile. It uses limited point-bought character creation. ~6 pages HTML.
Santa's Soldiers by Bill Kte'pi
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A formerly free RPG, now an expanded version is available from Deep7 Games both in print and electronically. It is a humorous RPG about elf soldiers in the Order of Saint Nicholas -- who protect Santa and Christmas with very large guns. By using violent and extreme tactics, they make sure that Santa never has to dirty his hands or stoop to their level. Commercial version 28 pages (PDF).
SANTIAGO JOE and the Treasures of Oblivion by Jaap de Goede
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite long
A diceless pulp action RPG aimed at recreating pulp B-movies. Character creation is by freely assigning five descriptive attributes -- what their day job is, what they do especially well, what they know the other heroes from, what their major weakness is, and what they look like. In taking turns, anyone may assign an attribute to any character. Resolution follows a series of 11 "commandments" for judgment by the GM. 52 pages rules (PDF).
Savage Worlds Test Drive, v6
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
The preview version of the commercial "Savage Worlds" system from Pinnacle Entertainment. It uses a step-die system where stats are measured from d4 to d12. Action resolution uses an open-ended die roll plus modifiers, where 4 or greater is successful. The test drive rules include character creation with abbreviated edges and hindrances, along with combat and advancement rules plus brief sample magic. Test drive rules 16 pages (PDF).
Saviors by Joonas Laakso
Keywords: genre fantasy scifi rules-lite
A science fantasy adaptation of the Fudge system, set in a distant future very similar to the Star Wars films. ~30 pages (HTML).
Schism by Jared A. Sorensen
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite supplement
A former free RPG, now a cheap supplement for the Sorcerer RPG. It is a surreal modern conspiracy/horror setting, inspired mainly by the films of director David Cronenberg. The PC's are secret revolutionaries with psychic powers, in the near future fighting against a corrupt society. 36 pages background (PDF).
School Colors Out Of Space by Trevor "Trip" Placker
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A humorous RPG on the premise of teenage offspring of Lovecraftian horrors who go to high school with humans (along the lines of "Teenagers from Outer Space"). Various other homebrew rules also linked. ~25 pages rules and background (HTML).
School Daze Playtest by Sand & Steam Productions
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A mini-RPG where the player characters are high school students. Character creation is by picking a Favorite Subject (giving a +2), and a Rank (giving a +1 or -1 depending on situation). Resolution is by rolling 1d6 + modifiers, where a 5+ is a success. Success in conflicts give Physical, Social, or Mental Consequences. 10 pages rules and background (PDF).
Sci-Fi Beta Kappa by Leo Marshall and Dan Marriott
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A humorous RPG about delinquent aliens with various abilities who have been exiled to a college frat house in the year 2187. Character creation is limited point-based: spending 10 points on alien abilities (one core and two non-core); and spending another 10 points on the two attributes (physical and mental). Resolution is that characters always succeed, but may have a consequences of their action - rolling a pool of d6s based on a universal table of their skill, where every 1-2 indicates "damage". 30 pages rules and background (PDF).
The SCORE RPG by Jacob E. Boucher
Keywords: universal rules-lite
Skill-based universal system, based on a d100+skill or stat bonus task mechanic, and point-based character generation. ~10 pages HTML.
Scriptor by Dariel R. A. Quiogue
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A system geared for running PBEMs. Characters have only their 7 attributes, or "Styles" for styles of solving problems. Action resolution uses a dice pool system: total of (attribute) d6's vs difficulty, plus possible bonus dice for well-written posts. ~15 pages (HTML).
Sea Dracula by Jake Richmond and Nick Smith
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A humorous GMless game where the player characters are lawyers in a city of talking animals, prosecuting cases according to a crazy legal system invented by a giraffe named Sea Dracula. There are no die rolls, but there are Lawyer Points awarded - usually for the player dancing a dance chosen by another player. 4 pages (PDF).
The Secret of Zir'An Quickstart
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite preview
A sample adventure, sample characters, and quick-start rules for the upcoming commercial fantasy RPG. Action resolution is attribute + skill + 1d10 vs difficulty (where 1 is auto-failure and 10 is auto-success). 22 pages (PDF).
Seven Leagues Demo by Hieronymous
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long preview
The preview version of a fairy-tale RPG, with simple mechanics based on a roll of 2d6 + attribute + modifiers. Character creation is limited point-based. The rules emphasize abstract mechanics for narrative conflict. 50 pages (PDF).
The Shadow of Yesterday by Clinton R. Nixon
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite open-license
A fantasy genre RPG, released under a Creative Common license, set in world nearly destroyed by a astronomical disaster which destroyed the moon. Action resolution is 2d6 plus skill plus modifiers, where level of success is from a universal success chart. Character creation is limited point-based, with attribute-like pools of points and skills. ~40 pages rules (HTML).
ShadowPaths: Investigations into the Supernatural by Paul DuBois
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A modern-day horror mini-RPG, using a simple skill-based rules system with point-bought character creation. ~10 pages basic rules and background (HTML).
Shadows by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
A modern-day mini-RPG where you play yourself, but with a malicious invisible "shadow" trying to get you in trouble. Resolution is by rolling a "good" die and a "bad" die, which determines whether you get what you want or the shadow gets what it wants. 6 pages rules (PDF,HTML).
The SHELL Roleplaying System by Chris Harwood-Jones
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A generic "shell" of a system (i.e. including only core rules), developed out of Chris' former "Cran Fantasy" system. Posted to "rec.games.design" in 1992. It uses roll 3d6 under attribute or attribute + skill. Character creation is open point-bought. 20 pages (text-only).
Shell Shock by Kobayashi
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A historical RPG where the player characters are young recruits sent to the front lines of any historical war, subtitled "How far will you go to survive ?". It uses a simple dice pool system, rolling d6s equal to your trait rated from 1 to 5, where every 4-6 is a success. The four traits are Search, Destroy, Heart, and Mind. Characters also track four types of Trauma rating: Guilt, Indifference, Fear, and Violence. It is aimed to have a 2-3 hour session with one scene for each of three types: Patrol, Combat, and Rest. 22 pages rules (PDF).
Sherpa by Steffan O'Sullivan
Keywords: universal rules-lite
Another RPG from the creator of Fudge, intended to be easy to play even under difficult conditions, such as when hiking outdoors. It includes a one-page summary card you can carry with you. ~14 pages full rules (HTML).
Simple20 by James D. Hargrove
Keywords: universal rules-lite open-license
A simple set of universal rules based on the D20 SRD. 15 pages rules (PDF) plus 6 pages appendices (PDF).
Simply Roleplaying! version 2.0 by Bob Portnell and Guy McLimore (Microtactix Inc.)
Keywords: universal long rules-lite
A universal system. Action resolution is by rolling under skill on 2d10. Character creation is limited point-based, with a set of attribute points and skill points varied based on age, along with advantages and disadvantages. 110 pages core rules (PDF).
Sixcess Quickstart by Benjamin Rogers
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
Preview of a universal system using d6 dice-pool resolution, where every result over the target number (TN) is one success, and every six rolled is five successes. Character generation is not included, but four sample fantasy characters and a sample scenario are included. 22 pages quickstart rules (PDF).
The Skool Rools by Phil Masters
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A humorous RPG of playing boys in the British public school system, inspired by the "Molesworth" books of Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle, and by Shy and Searle's "St Trinian's" creation. ~6 pages rules (HTML).
Slayer of Dragon by Grant Gigee
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite long open-license
A martial arts RPG released under the WotC Open Gaming license. Action resolution is to 2d6 on a universal table of effective skill vs difficulty. Character creation is limited point-based. (Formerly the the semi-generic "IT" RPG with Robert Ogden.) 24 pages core rules (PDF).
Slayer by Shawn / "Slayer"
Keywords: genre scifi fantasy rules-lite
A science fantasy RPG set in the distant future, where Slayer squads battle supernatural monsters using big guns. It uses a simple percentile system with random-roll characters. ~15 pages MSWord format.
Slayer: Roleplaying in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite
An RPG adaptation of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series. It uses a dice pool system similar to the Storyteller system: roll attribute + skill d10's, and count how many are over a target number. Character creation is limited point based. 44 pages (eFax format).
Snowball by Alexander Cherry
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
A storytelling RPG, a variant of The Pool originally designed to handle playing in reverse time -- i.e. each scene coming before the last, as in the movie Memento. 6 pages rules (PDF).
SOAP: The game of Soap Opera Mayhem
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite preview
A storytelling GMLess mini-RPG which is played for 60 minutes at a time, the free preview for a very cheap game (a 31-page PDF file). Each player takes a character in a soap opera, with five words as traits. There is no GM, but instead there are rules for entering a Scene, adding sentences, and so forth by spending Plot Tokens. ~12 pages (HTML).
SOL Lite by Keith W. Sears
Keywords: universal rules-lite long preview
The free "lite" version of the commercial game from Heraldic Games. A universal system using stat+d10 vs difficulty and exponential scaling. 45 pages PDF.
Sorcerer: Apprentice version by Ron Edwards
Keywords: genre modern fantasy rules-lite preview
A modern magic game, the "Apprentice" version of published RPG rules. It uses a minimalist system, using highest-roll dice pool with only simple attributes (no skills). 16 pages "apprentice" rules (PDF).
Soul Axis by Grant Graves
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A supernatural RPG where the PCs are souls trapped in the Limbo, characterized by "essences" like love, ignorance, innocence or greed, and by taint and glory stats. They try to ascend to a higher plane of Existance via tasks set by the GM. It uses a 3d6 mechanic where successes are scored depending on patterns in the roll (2 of a kind, straight, 3 of a kind). 4 pages rules (PDF).
Sovereign Stone Quickstart by Don Perrin and Lester Smith
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite preview
The "quickstart" rules for a fantasy game envisioned by Larry Elmore, set in his fantasy world Loerem. Magic is based on the elements (Air,Earth,Fire,Water plus evil "Void" magic). The system is Attribute die(d4 thru d10) plus Skill die versus difficulty. 28 pages PDF format, including sample adventure and characters.
Space Rat by Nathan Russell
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A humorous space opera RPG, where the PCs play "Femme Babe" companions of the space rat, Jack Cosmos, who do all the work for which he gets credit for. Character creation is limited point based (a fixed attribute distribution, pick 5 skills). Stats are on a 7-step scale, with action resolution rolled on 2d6 on a universal table of the 7-step scale. 25 pages (PDF).
SPEED Rules by Joseph Steven Coleman
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system. Action resolution is by rolling 3d6 under skill to succeed. Bonuses and penalties are by rolling extra dice and taking the highest 3 or lowest 3. Character creation is limited point based. 14 pages rules (PDF).
Spiral by Michael Tangherlini (Starfish Games)
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A single-player (and single GM) mini-RPG where the main character is an everyman who receives some kind of power (called Influence) that can range from supernatural to political to anything else that sets the character apart from other people. Play proceeds by framing into explicit scenes. Scene resolution can be either by using power or humanity. Using power, resolution is by 1d6 + (number of powers) - (number of humanities). Using humanity, resolution is by 1d6 + (number of humanities) - (number of powers). The game has an inevitable progression where every third scene, new powers can be gained, but humanities can only be lost. 8 pages ruls (PDF).
Spycraft Lite by Patrick Kapera (AEG, Inc)
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite preview wotc-d20
This is the preview version for a modern espionage game using the "D20" system from 3rd edition D&D. This includes six new base classes, along with complete rules summary for skills, feats, combat, and chases. 32 pages (PDF).
Spy-Fi by (Borderline Publications)
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A spy genre game, in the genre of James Bond. Character creation is limited point-based with attributes and skills rated from 0 (superb) to 6 (lousy). Actions are resolved by rolling 2d6, with each roll over the target indicating one success. Thus, if you have zero in both a skill and its related attributes, you have a "double-0" rating. It includes an introductory scenario ~10 pages rules plus ~6 pages scenario (HTML).
Star Cadets by Donald Hosford
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A very simple system outline for a sci-fi RPG. ~1 page (HTML).
Starcraft D6 by Michael Lynes
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite long
A sci-fi RPG set in the world of the computer game "Starcraft" from Blizzard Entertainment, using a version of WEG's D6 system. It includes all the basics for D6 games (using a modified D6 classic system), information on each of the three races in Starcraft, stats for equipment, structures and upgrades, and psionics rules. ~100 pages (HTML).
Star Wars Live Action Rules by James Sheahan
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite live-action
A live-action RPG set in the "Star Wars" universe. 39 pages (MSWord format).
Star Wreck Roleplaying Game by Mike Pohjola
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite preview
The full English-language text of the published game, an adaptation of the Finnish Star Trek parody film of the same name. The PCs are members of the P-republic, an advanced society of "radical godless commie feminist liberal pinkos". It uses a simple system where you roll 2d6 and try to get higher than your Inability score -- which is one of Stupidity, Obliviousness, Clumsiness, Repulsiveness, and Weakness. There are four classes: Incompetent Idiot, Annoying Nerd, Psychotic Loud-Mouth, and Frustrated Grouch. Your class grants you from 0 to 2 special talents. 30 pages rules (PDF).
Steal: a Modern Day Crime Roleplaying Game by Matt Kershaw and Ken Finlayson
Keywords: genre modern long rules-lite
A game in the genre of British crime flicks such as "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels". The PC's are gang members in the criminal underworld. Action resolution uses rolling (2+skill) d20's, where each 7-9 counts as one success -- and ones cancel successes and tens count as two successes. Character creation has a few random elements, but is mostly point-bought skills -- where skills include things like Strength, Constitution, and Willpower. 48 pages (PDF).
Steampunk Mafia by Jay Steven Anyong
Keywords: genre modern scifi rules-lite
A game set in an American city ("New Providence") in an alternate 1920s where strange new technology is being used by the mafia to commit crimes -- such as 12-foot robotic suits known as "Kodiaks". Action resolution is 2d6 + stat/skill vs difficulty. Character creation is limited point-based, with five attributes and freeform skills. 13 pages (PDF).
StickGuy, the Roleplaying Game by Chris Gunning
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A tongue-in-cheek RPG about playing stick figures. It uses two stats (Power and Karma) and freeform traits, plus of course a drawing. Action resolution is stat + 1d4 vs difficulty. ~6 pages rules (HTML).
Stone of Souls by Christopher Johnstone
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
An experiment in building a fantasy RPG with no traditional fantasy monsters or races -- not even humans. It is set in an alien world based on the works of Jim Henson (especially the Dark Crystal) and Lewis Carrol. It uses a simple skill-based system: roll 1d10 under your skill rank, modified for difficulty. Character creation is limited point-based, spending 5 points among Backgrounds (which boost attributes and/or skills), 30 points among skills, possibly sorcerous marks based on rank of sorcery skill, and three Passions. The basic book includes a magic system, roughly sketched world background, and creature stats and descriptions. 31 pages core book.
Stones by Patrick Riley
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple RPG based on the published collectible-dice RPG Throwing Stones (by Jeff Siadek). ~2 pages HTML.
Stories System v1 by Mike Jones
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A minimalist universal system, where actions are resolved by rolling 3d6 and adding the level of an applicable freeform trait (or the level doubled) plut ease modifier, and the results compared to a results table, where 10 is a minimal success and 14 is normal success. 9 pages rules (PDF).
Story Bones by Christian Aldridge
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A "bare bones" version of the published Story Engine rules from Hubris Games. It has very loose description-based rules. A pool of dice are thrown to check the number of odd rolls. 6 pages PDF.
Stray Bullet by Andreas Johansson
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A technothriller RPG system, using simple mechanics of rolling attribute dice (1d to 2d+2) + skill dice (1 to 1d+2) vs difficulty. ~15 pages HTML.
Stuperpowers! by Carson Jones and Fred Van Lente
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite preview
An abridged rulebook of the published parody superhero RPG, playing "third-rate heroes" with less than spectacular powers like "Induce Vietnam Flashbacks". The basic game mechanic is either toss a coin (you call it, you succeed) or rock-paper-scissors. Damage has 5 levels, but you can gain them back by playing "Truth or Dare". Extra material includes 23 new powers, 4 new adventures, and 11 new characters. ~8 pages preview rules (HTML) plus ~24 pages expansions (HTML).
Super Crusaders by Lee Walser
Keywords: genre modern superhero long rules-lite
A superhero game using a simple system. Character creation is class-based, choosing from 8 classes (Brick, Controller, Warrior, Healer, Paladin, Ranger, Scout, or Custom) and spending 10 power-ups. Resolution is by rolling a number of d6 based on your stat (usually from 1 to 3) with 5+ being a success, and 11+ being critical success. Game Guide 23 pages (PDF), Powers Book 65 pages (PDF), World Book 38 pages (PDF)
Supergänget by Tobias Radesäter
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite
A Swedish-language superhero RPG presented in comic-book form, with the rules explained by comic-book narration. 28 pages HTML.
Superheroes and Heroines by Jeff Moody (aka Trevor Doom)
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite long
A comic-book superhero RPG. It uses a simple system with 1d20 rolls. Character creation is by random-roll attributes, skills, and super-powers. 49 pages PDF.
Super Human High School by Scott W. Starkey
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite long
A diceless storytelling RPG about "Muta" teenagers with superpowers who are going to public high school as part of a nationwide mutant integration program. Character creation is open point-based. Action resolution is diceless based on GM judgement of stat vs difficulty, with the players able to spend "Amazing Points" to adjust the results. 49 pages PDF.
Superteens by Bill Kte'pi
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite
A humorous superhero RPG in a world where all teenagers get superpowers, which are lost when they reach maturity. It uses a minimalist system of stat + 1d6 vs difficulty. Character creation is by random-roll attributes and powers. ~10 pages rules (HTML or PDF).
Surrender
Keywords: genre fantasy horror rules-lite online
A free-form, play-by-post online RPG set in a gothic-fantasy version of our world -- with vampires, witches, gargoyles, ghosts, etc. It includes several time periods being run simultaneously: ancient, early medieval, and modern. ~12 pages background (HTML) plus posted storylines.
SURGE by Mark Leaman / Merrymeeting Games
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
"Simple Universal Relative Gaming Environment". This is a free version of the commercial RPG from Merrymeeting Games. 25 pages preview rules (PDF).
Swift by Doyce Testerman
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal system. Action resolution uses attribute + d20 vs difficulty (with options for other die types). The attributes are "Vocation" along with Body (Muscle + Agility), Mind (Memory + Reason), and Soul (Will + Perception). PCs also have one "feat" and one "flaw". Character creation is open point-based. 18 pages rules (PDF).
Sword and Shield by Christopher Brandon
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite
A minimalist RPG in the genre of Dungeons & Dragons, using a step-die system with attributes Fight, Shoot, Magic, and Skill. 6 pages rules (PDF).
Syndicate (5th ed) by Kalle Marjola
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite world
A dark future action-movie RPG. It uses the freeform RIP rules with an emphasis on fast-paced cinematic action. ~40 pages rules and background (HTML).
Synthesis (version 1.8) by Mike Holmes and J B Bell
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system, using a freeform dice pool system. Character creation is by distributing points among freeform traits -- one of which must be the special trait "Self". Action resolution is by rolling a number of dice based on trait and modifier, where every even result is a success. This is compared against a similar roll for the task difficulty. ~25 pages core rules (HTML).
The System, 2011 Edition by Richard J. LeBlanc, Jr.
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal system designed with an early 1980s feel (originally developed in 1986). Resolution is by rolling under stat on 4d6, or rolling on an "Odds Table". Character creation is open point-based, buying 11 attributes (including Luck) along with various calculated abilities, and 5 skills with subskills. 34 pages core rules (PDF).
SYSTEME D by Stéphane de Decker
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A French-language simple universal system, using a step-die system, where stats and difficulties are rated from D4 to D20. In character creation, the player assigns different dice to broad categories: fighter, alchemist, pilot, assassin, healer, technician, etc. 4 pages rules (PDF).
System DL (Freeware Edition) by Christopher Casey
Keywords: universal rules-lite preview
A diceless system, but with quantified skill where variations result from spending luck points. This is the free 16-page preview of a 98 page commercial download. The freeware rules include a brief 1-page magic system and a medieval fantasy equipment list. 16 pages freeware rules (PDF).
Tales from the Wood by Simon Washbourne with Mark George
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
An RPG about creatures which can typically be found in the British woodland such as Mouse, Rabbit, Vole, Squirrel and Hedgehog. Character creation is by choosing one of 12 creature types and then spending five points individualizing. There are attributes and binary skills. Action resolution is by attribute + 1d10 (with skill) or 1d6 (without skill), versus difficulty or an opposed roll. ~35 pages rules and introductory scenarios (HTML).
Tales of EvenFall by Robert Halowell
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A simple fantasy system with races for elf, dwarf, and brownie but no background yet. Action resolution is stat + 2d6, and character creation is random roll stats plus archetype choice. It includes a simple magic system. ~18 pages rules (HTML).
Teen Island by Chris McDowall
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A simple RPG about twelve teenagers who are stranded on a remote island with no sign of civilisation. Character creation is randomly rolling for a strength or weakness, with multiple being possible. There is no general resolution mechanic. Instead there are rules for gathering wood and food, and a large set of special event tables which may call for various rolls. 17 pages (PDF).
Techno-Death by Rick Bush
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite long live-action
An action-oriented system designed to be fast and compatible with Live-Action play. Resolution is by 1d3 or Rock-Paper-Scissors. ~30 pages rules (HTML) plus ~30 pages background and equipment (HTML).
Thar Shaddin
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite online
A freeform play-by-post online RPG in a medieval fantasy setting, Pal Tahrenor, inhabited by elves, trolls, gnomes, faeries, and vampires. The rules are purely descriptive and emphasize creative writing and character development. ~8 pages rules (HTML) plus ~8 pages background (HTML).
Through the Looking Glass by Peter Chen
Keywords: genre rules-lite long
A generic modern / modern-fantasy genre RPG system. Action resolution is a d60 roll (d6 for tens, d10 for ones) under stat times difficulty, with a universal table giving eight degrees of success. Character creation uses zodiac-based persona templates and personality characteristics, plus point-based advantages and skills. 70 pages rules (MSWord).
Tirikelu by Dave Morris
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
A free (at one time it was shareware) fantasy RPG set in the world of M. A. R. Barker's "Tekumel". Action resolution uses a 2D10 mechanic, and character generation includes random-roll attributes. 69 pages rules (PDF).
Toaster by Patrick Riley
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A universal skill-based system. Action resolution is based on attribute + skill + d10 vs difficulty (10 is standard). Character creation is limited point-based (spending attribute points and skill points) with open-ended ads/disads. There are rules for a variety of weapons and optional combat but no magic or other sci-fi/fantasy rules. 37 pages (PDF).
Token Storytelling by James Hargrove
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A universal minimalist RPG where you roll from a pool of d6s in a freeform manner for resolution, with each 5 or 6 counting as a success. The only stat is your pool of dice, which is formed by adding dice for different types of character description. 4 pages rules (PDF).
Too Much Coffee Roleplaying System by Clinton R. Nixon
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple, freeform system with no fixed stats -- based closely on Fudge. 9 pages PDF.
Top Dollar: The Roleplaying Game of Merchandise Retailing by Ken Maher
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A humorous RPG about "secret agents" going undercover to save sales clerks from cranky customers, rude suppliers, time-bomb bosses, etc. Characters have three attributes (Strength, Charisma, and Sanity), and freeform skills. Rolls are made with 2d6. Includes special rules for the Sanity-Sucking power of rude customers. 24 pages (PDF,MSWord).
Totem by Paul Elliott
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
An ice-age era fantasy RPG. It has a setting representing a mythic version of Ice Age Europe, including delineated tribes and spirits. Character creation is by selecting a clan (which gives a binary talent) and a personal talent. Action resolution is by drawing from a bag of stones (effective a d2), drawing an extra stone if the character has a talent that applies, with modifications for difficulty. 38 pages (PDF).
TUGS by Aina Rasolomalala
Keywords: universal rules-lite long
A generic game with a sci-fi bent, inspired by Jorune, Space Opera, and CORPS. ~16 pages rules (HTML or text-only), plus ~16 pages in a world-specific sci-fi supplement.
TV Action
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A system for role-playing in the genre of action/adventure television. It uses an adaptation of Ian Marsh's Timelord system, with cinematic modifications including Screen Presence from Matt Wilson's Primetime Adventures, and Kickers from Ron Edwards' Sorcerer. 19 pages rules (PDF).
Twilight Age by Dariel R. A. Quiogue
Keywords: genre fantasy scifi rules-lite long world
A science fantasy sourcebook for use with the free Cineflex system. It is set on the planet Atreion, whose sun has been dimmed to a red ember by dark magic and man fights for survival against the growing cold and the forces of Shadow. It is a world of both magic and weird science. ~75 pages (HTML).
Uchronia 1890 by Zaidin Amiot, Olivier Legrand, and Mathieu Tortuyaux
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite long
A French-language steampunk RPG. ~50 pages (HTML).
Ukiyo Zoshi by Michael Wenman
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite
A manga-style fantasy RPG. Translated literally "Legends of the Floating World". It uses a playing-card based system (skill + card draw) vs (difficulty + card draw). Unfortunately this has a number of broken links (Jan '03). ~12 pages rules and background (HTML).
Under the Broken Moon by Brandon Blackmoor
Keywords: genre postapocalyptic fantasy rules-lite long
A post-apocalyptic fantasy game based on the television cartoon series "Thundarr the Barbarian". It uses a simple set of rules adapted from Atlas Games' "Over the Edge" RPG. ~40 page HTML.
United States Colonial Marines Roleplaying Game by Niklas Lindroth
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite online
A play-by-post game set in the world of the Alien movie series. It uses a homebrew system with limited-point buy (80 attributes points, pick 5 normal and 3 specialized skills). ~6 pages character creation rules (HTML).
Universal Combat System by Jesse Carlucci, Josh Brown, and Joshua Carey
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple miniatures combat system intended for any setting (fantasy, modern, etc.) It has a point system for building armies out of units, with units rated in level from 1 (weak but fast) to 10 (tough but slow). ~8 pages rules (HTML).
Unsung: A Role-Playing Game of Ethics on the Battlefield by Kirt Dankmyer
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite preview
A simple story-oriented RPG about behavior in war -- the demo version of a commercial independent game. There are five attributes: Savvy, Sense, Guts, Meat, and Responsibility. Action resolution is roll under attribute on 1d20. An important concept is rolling on Responsibility to avoid a Lapse where the character does something reprehensible. Also, a player can affect the story of other PCs by spending Gift Points. Character creation is limited point-based. 25 pages rules (PDF).
The Vietnam Game by Michael "Epoch" Sullivan
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A basic RPG system intended for role-playing U.S. soldiers fighting in Vietnam. It includes basic character creation, combat, and stress checks. ~15 pages (HTML).
Violence: the RPG of egregious and repulsive bloodshed by Greg Costikyan
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite open-license
A parody of RPGs in which the PCs are madmen in the modern world who kick down apartment doors, murder the people inside, and take their valuables. This is a free release under the Creative Commons license of the 1999 published game from Hogshead Games. It has a minimalist system: random-roll attributes, roll under skill on a step-die based on difficulty. 34 pages (PDF).
Vis Imperium Victoriana
Keywords: genre rules-lite
An RPG of adventure based in colonial-age Victorian England, using the same system as C&S Essence. 8 pages PDF format.
Viva la Resistance by Jay Turner
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A humorous game about soldiers of the Rabbit Resistance in the animal-testing facility of Mancorp, Inc. It uses a simple dice pool system where you roll a number of d6s equal to attribute + skill, and look for the highest doubles in the roll (i.e. a pair of ones is the worst, a pair of sixes the best). Character creation is limited point-based -- dividing 12 points among five attributes, and 36 points among free-form skills and powers. 19 pages PDF format.
Void Trek 3007 A.D. - Quick Sci-Fi Role Playing Rules by Walt Jillson
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A simple science fiction RPG designed for pick-up play. Character creation is partly random-roll attributes combined with limited point-buy of attributes and binary skills. Resolution is by roll under attribute on 1d20, +2 if you have an appropriate skill. 10 pages PDF format.
Vox Draconis by Ben Overmyer
Keywords: genre traditional fantasy rules-lite
A game of high adventure in a world of dinosaurs, dragons, monsters, and men. A simple D&D-like system with brief listings of monsters and spells. ~14 pages (HTML).
VRAANZANNTH (anonymous)
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A generic pure mechanics system, which uses two-step mechanic: roll under stat on 1d12, then determine result by rolling 2d6-7 on a table to find a multiplier for your effect. Character creation seems to be an open point-bought system. ~11 pages HTML.
A Wanderer's Romance
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A simple system emulating wuxia martial arts films. Resolution is 2d6 + attributes + modifiers, against a target number between 10 and 14 based on difficulty. Character creation is partial random-roll of four attributes (Air, Earth, Fire, and Water); choice of two specialties (i.e. skills); and choice of one or two combat or magic styles -- each of which has defined powers. 18 pages HTML.
Wandering Monsters High School by Kynn Bartlett
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A humorous RPG set in a medieval fantasy world like Dungeons and Dragons, where the PCs are monsters going to school. They have six attributes (graded from A+ to F): Citizenship, Fitness, Hygiene, Occult, Scholastics, and Vocational. Resolution uses a step-die system, from lowest of 2d6 (for F) to highest two of 4d6 (for A). 30 pages core rules (PDF) plus 6 page psionics supplement (PDF).
Warrior, Rogue & Mage by Michael Wolf
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A simple fantasy system with three attributes: Warrior, Rogue, and Mage. Character creation is limited point-based: distribute 10 points among attributes, pick three skills, and one talent. Resolution is by 1d6 + attribute vs difficulty, with +2 for a relevant skill. 41 pages core rules (PDF) plus 67 pages supplements (PDF).
Warriors Adventure Game by Stan!
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite long
A modern-day adventure game where the PCs are feral cats, adapted from the Warriors children's book series by "Erin Hunter." Character creation is limited point-based, spending 5 points in the three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, and Spirit) and choosing three skills and three "knacks". It uses a diceless system of spending chips based on the three attributes. Resolution is based on attribute + skill + chips spent versus difficulty. 54 pages game rules (PDF), plus 4 page quickstart rules (PDF), and 9 page practice mission (PDF).
War Wind: The Role-Playing Game by Erick Bouchard
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A sci-fi RPG based on the War Wind video game from SSI. It is set in a sci-fi universe, Yavaun, where four species war for freedom or supremacy. It uses a very simple system of roll under stat on 1d6. ~14 pages (HTML).
WEM3 by "steveb"
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A simple universal RPG system. Character creation is by limited point-bought attributes and skills. Resolution is by best roll from a pool of d6's. ~12 pages HTML.
West Coast Empire by Jon Land
Keywords: genre modern superhero rules-lite online
An online superhero/supervillian RPG where the characters battle in arranged matches, in a professional-wrestling sort of flavor. The mechanics are inspired from the card game "Overpower".
W.H.A.T. RPG, Introductory Edition
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite
A free version of the "World of Heroes and Tyrants customizable RPG" from the Guild of Blades Publishing Group. Action resolution is by stat or skill plus an open-ended 1d6 roll vs difficulty. Character creation is skill-based using a mix of random-roll and point-bought. ~35 pages (HTML).
Wheels on Fire by Vincent Diakuw
Keywords: genre modern scifi rules-lite
An RPG of car combat based on d10 dice pools, counted successes, and opposed rolls. Character creation is limited point-based, creating a driver and a signature vehicle. ~15 pages rules plus ~10 pages setting (HTML).
Where No Man Has Gone Before, V2.0 by Mike Berkey
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
An RPG based on the original Star Trek series, using an adaptation of the Microlite20 system. It is a very rules-lite variant of the D20 system - with four attributes, four races, and three classes (blue shirts, red shirts, and yellow shirts). 46 pages core rules (PDF).
The Wildlings: Forests Dark & Caverns Deep by John Harper and GremlinLegions
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A simple fantasy system intended for young children. It uses a step-die system (d4 to d12) with six attributes: Wolf, Boar, Owl, Snake, and Stag. Failure is 1-3, success is for 4+. Higher levels of success let you specify more from a list of 15 Outcomes (adjectives like "boldly," "carefully," or "secretly"). 8 pages rules and adventure (PDF).
The Wild West by Julian Gatt
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A simple skill-based dice-pool RPG set in the Wild West. Mixed point-based and random-roll character creation. ~8 pages HTML.
The Window by Scott Lininger
Keywords: universal modern horror fantasy rules-lite long
A simple, drama-based system (in English and French). Action resolution is by rolling a step-die (d4 to d30) based on skill under difficulty. Character creation is freeform. It includes two settings: a modern horror setting ("The Stage") and an angels-in-the-modern-world setting ("Children of Fire"). 42 pages base rules (PDF or HTML), plus 18-page modern horror setting (PDF or HTML), and a 57-page urban fantasy setting (PDF or HTML).
Windsphere by Pathscapes Productions
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite
A fantasy RPG set on a world of islands floating in the sky, which contact each other through "windships". It uses a d6 based system. (?) ~18 pages MSWord format.
Wing Commander RPG by Michael Coe
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A sci-fi RPG based on the video game, using a minimalist "Quick and Dirty" system (roll 2d6 under skill). ~20 pages HTML.
Witchcraft Quickstart Rules
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite preview
A preview version of the published urban fantasy system from Eden Studios, about practitioners of magic in the modern world. 24 pages (PDF).
Wordplay Draft Rules by Graham Spearing
Keywords: genre universal long rules-lite preview
A preview of an upcoming universal system, using player-defined descriptive traits rated from 1 to 9 dice, divided into three categories (Body, Mind, and Soul). It uses pools of d6s, where every 4 or 5 is one success, and every 6 is two successes -- rolled in a contest with opposing difficulty dice. 121 pages draft rules (pDF).
World War II RPG (v1.0) by Mikko Kauppinen
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A minimalist system for playing in WWII. It uses 3 attributes and binary skills, roll under attribute on 1d6. ~15 pages rules (text-only).
Wraiths by Ian Millington
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A GMless meta-system about elite covert insertion force, where the players plan the mission in different parts, and then roll to see how accurate their planning was at different points. Execution can be handled using different resolution rules, with Fudge being recommended. 20 pages rules (PDF).
Wushu-Open
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite preview open-license
An action-movie / martial arts RPG, the free version of the full Wushu RPG. This uses a simple dice pool system (roll d6's equal to trait and take highest) along with the "Principle of Narrative Truth". There are added wrinkles for combat, splitting your dice into Yin and Yang (i.e. defense and offense). Character creation is simple point-based, spreading 5-8 points among roughly 3 player-defined traits, and choosing a weakness. 10 pages rules (RTF).
Wuthering Heights RPG by Philippe Tromeur
Keywords: genre rules-lite
A tongue-in-cheek RPG, based on Charlotte Bronte's "Wuthering Heights". As such, it has Rage and Despair among its stats, along with a large table of random problems. It uses a minimalist system translated from French, now revised. It is based on another French-language free RPG called "Rene" after Francois Rene de Chateaubriand, leader of the French Romantics. 10 pages rules (PDF).
XXXXtremeStreetLuge by Ben Lehman
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
A tongue-in-cheek RPG about playing ill-educated suburban geeks who play an imaginary sport of extreme street luge, where roleplaying centers around bullshitting about your accomplishments. 2 pages (PDF).
YARPG: Yet Another Role Playing Game by Andrea Tosino
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
An Italian-language sci-fi RPG, using a simple rules system. Character creation is point-bought attributes with no skills per se. Actions are resolved by rolling d20 + attribute to get over 11. ~24 pages HTML.
YOU: The Role-playing Game of Tomorrow by Mike Petty
Keywords: genre modern rules-lite
Not technically free anymore, but a cheap download. This is an RPG where you play yourself, tomorrow, through some bizarre (usu. humorous) events, like eating cereal which makes you a superhero. Uses an ultra-simple d10 system rolling against one of three attributes (Body, Mind, or Soul). Formerly ~9 pages HTML.
Ysgarth by David Nalle
Keywords: genre fantasy traditional rules-lite long
A fantasy RPG, currently in its sixth edition. ~22 pages basic rules (HTML) plus ~50 pages in various background files (text-only).
Zaibatsu by Paul Elliot
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite long
"Roleplaying the Corporate Wars of the Future". A cyberpunk RPG set in Japan, where the PC's are agents for warring corporations. It uses a very simple system with binary skills. If you have a skill, you roll 7 or less on 2d6 to succeed. If you don't have a skill you must roll 5 or less. There are additional rules for combat. Character creation is by choosing a template plus 5 other skills. ~100 pages rules and background (HTML).
Zenobia RPG by Paul Elliot
Keywords: genre fantasy rules-lite long
A mythic/historical RPG set in the late Roman Empire. It uses a rules-lite system intended for fast play and the relatively primitive setting. Action resolution uses attribute + 2d6 vs difficulty. Character creation has random-roll stats and binary skills. There is a wealth of background information usable with any system, and even a sample adventure. ~150 pages HTML.
Zero Gravity by Kevin Pifer
Keywords: genre scifi rules-lite
A space-opera genre RPG, using a simple dice-pool system: roll d6's equal to attribute+skill, remove the lowest, and add them vs difficulty. ~8 pages (MSWord format).
ZIGZAG by Jow Lindsay
Keywords: universal rules-lite
A combination RPG and drinking game, where actions are resolved by how much alcohol is consumed rather than by dice or cards. ~10 pages HTML.
Zombiepocalypse by Spalls Hurgenson
Keywords: genre horror modern rules-lite open-license
A post-apocalyptic game set after zombies have taken over the world. Character creation is by taking binary "player's option" choices which may taken at any time. It uses a simple dice-pool system, rolling d6s based on complexity of the action, where 4-6 indicates success, modified by difficulty and possibly an application option. ~20 pages HTML.
Zombies!!! Mini-RPG by Matt Romaro
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A mini-RPG conversion of the "Zombies!!!" boardgame from Twilight Creations, about zombie attack horror. It uses map tiles and zombie miniatures from the boardgame, but none of the other rules or components. Character creation is random-roll attributes-only (Health, Muscles, Brains, and Aim). Action resolution is attribute + 1d10 + modifiers, and a 9 or higher is a success. 14 pages rules (PDF) plus 8 page example campaign (PDF).

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Sat Jan 25 13:26:38 2014