Free RPG List: modern

newuniversalrules-litelonglive-actiononlinesupplementpreviewwotc-d20worldgenreopen-licensehorrormodernscififantasytraditionalpostapocalypticsuperheroIndex

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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Angel/Demon: The Rapture by Christopher Blankley
Keywords: genre modern horror long supplement
A supplement for White Wolf's Storyteller system, about playing immaterial angels who manifest by entering human bodies -- fighting with demons who possess them. ~20 pages HTML rules plus ~10 pages sourcebook.
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).
Argh!: The Supernatural RPG, v1.01 by Joshua Macy
Keywords: genre fantasy modern long open-license
A modern-day supernatural thriller RPG inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other works of the genre, released under Creative Commons. It uses the same step die system as Kapow! and Zap!. Resolution takes the higher of two rolls, with an option to add to your roll by taking a hindrance or losing stamina. Character creation includes picking a templates (Mundane, Badass, Magician, and Unique are default) that define your attributes and power choices - customized by adding three Boosts. The core rules includes sample characters, GMing notes, and a 16 page bestiary. 233 pages core rules (PDF).
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.
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).
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).
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.
Bif Bam Pow by Stephen K. Fuelleman / Entropy Games
Keywords: genre modern superhero long
A medium complexity superhero game. Action resolution is roll under attribute on Nd6, or roll under skill on 1d12. Character creation has random-roll attributes (Strength, Will, Intelligence, Constitution, Personality, Dexterity, and Vitality); random-roll powers (rolling once on the Offense, Defense, Transportation, and Special powers); and point-bought skills (15 points). 109 pages PDF.
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).
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).
Bump in the Night RPG by Michael Dunlap
Keywords: genre modern horror
A modern-day horror RPG where the PCs are vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, and more in New York City. It uses a skill-based percentile system: roll under skill on 1d100, or roll 1d100 + attack bonus vs 1d100 + defense bonus for combat. Character creation is by random-roll attributes plus skill points and power points depending on your creature type. ~50 pages rules (HTML).
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).
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).
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).
Changeling: The Dreaming Preview
Keywords: genre modern fantasy preview
A freeware introduction to the commercial game by White Wolf, where PCs are fay creatures (elves, gnomes, trolls, etc.) secretly operating in the modern world. 25 pages (PDF).
Children of Fire by Erich Wambach
Keywords: genre modern fantasy long
An RPG where the PCs are angels, interacting with other celestials in Heaven, the children of clay (humans) on Earth, demons, and other creatures. There is extensive background on the angelic orders. Character creation is based on choosing an order and selected options. Action resolution is stat + 2d10 vs difficulty. It includes a "magic" system (Celestial Forces). 57 pages rules and background (PDF) plus 38 page "Children of Clay" supplement (PDF).
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).
Classroom Deathmatch Free PDF by Jake Richmond and Matt Schlotte
Keywords: genre modern horror long
The free release of a 2007 commercial game on PDF. This is a modern-day action/horror RPG based on Japanese fiction including the film "Battle Royale" where a class of high school students are forced to fight each other to the death for televised entertainment. It uses a dice pool conflict resolution system (using d6, d8, d10, and d12), with special rules for narration. 108 pages rules and background (PDF).
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).
Cosmic Synchronicity v3 by Joseph Teller and Kiralee McCauley
Keywords: genre modern scifi universal long
A universal system, which balances PC's by the principle that a more powerful PC (i.e. higher total attributes) will have critical failures happen more often. Actions are resolved by rolling under (stat or skill)*4 on percentile dice. There are personality traits ("Aspects") that determine the points available in different skill groups. It includes a setting book entitled "Earth Unmasked" -- about an alternate 2025 where aliens and supernatural monsters have emerged. 119 pages core rules (PDF or HTML) plus 151 page setting book (PDF)
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).
The Cursed RPG by Michael Evans
Keywords: genre fantasy modern long
A low-powered urban fantasy RPG, where the PCs are practitioners of magic in the modern world. Resolution is by skill + (attribute / 2) + 1d20 versus difficulty. Character creation includes picking one of seven classes: Shaman, Mystic, Sorcerer, Summoner, Psychic, Blessed, or Changeling. Attributes are either rolling 2d4 five times or allocating 10d4 attribute points, while skills are bought spending 15 + (total attributes / 2). It includes a detailed magic system with several dozen spells and a selection of inhabitants of the secret world. 159 pages basic rules (PDF) plus HTML extras.
Cyno's Roleplay by Chieh Cheng
Keywords: universal genre fantasy modern scifi long
A universal system. Character creation is random-roll attributes and point-bought percentile skills. It includes four genre books: (fantasy, modern, near-future). ~33 pages core rules, plus four ~10-15 page genre books (HTML).
D20 Modern System Reference Document, v3.5
Keywords: genre modern long open-license
The basic mechanics for the commercial game, D20 Modern, from Wizards of the Coast. The SRD is not a full game as presented, but contains most rules necessary for play, as well as stats (but not descriptions) on a host of monsters, items, and more. 200+ pages rules and stats (RTF)
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 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).
Dinosaur Cowboys v1.3 by Carlo Guglielmin
Keywords: genre modern world long
A post-apocalyptic skirmish game set in a world where a supervolcano devastated the Earth in 2037 and triggered the return of dinosaurs. The game is set in 2285 as a second generation of dinosaur tamers - called Dusters - are carving out a life for themselves in the American West. Each player creates a posse composed of up to 5 members and 1 dinosaur. Combat resolution is by rolling d12s equal to attack value, where each roll over the target number is a hit. Character creation is open point-based after setting defaults based on background type. 53 pages rules (PDF).
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.
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).
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).
Down in the Hole by Chris Kubasik
Keywords: genre modern
A variant of the Mouse Guard RPG for police-style investigative roleplaying, inspired by the television series "The Wire". This requires the original RPG, but contains many mechanics in the document. 10 pages (HTML).
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).
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).
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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Golden Age Official Roleplaying Game
Keywords: genre modern fantasy long world
A fantasy RPG set in a world of sorcery and steam-punk technology, the setting of the audio-drama of the same name. Character creation is by choosing a personality type, race, virtue, and profession package ("Calling"), as well as spending 10 points among the 4 attributes. Resolution is by rolling d10s equal to half of attribute, where every 7-10 is a success and every 1 subtracts one success. 70 pages rules and background (PDF).
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.
The Great War by Maarten Oord
Keywords: genre modern fantasy wotc-d20
A modern fantasy game set in a parallel version of World War I in a fantasy world ("Elon") complete with elves, dwarves and magic. The game presents variants of D&D3 rules (i.e. D20 System) for the setting. ~20 pages (HTML).
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).
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).
Haven: City of Violence by Louis Porter, Jr.
Keywords: genre modern long preview
The demo version of a published modern action RPG set in a fictional city ("Haven") on the eastern coast of the United States. Action resolution uses rolling under attribute or skill on 1d20. Character creation is skill-based, using templates for various professions. 39 pages (PDF).
Highlander Rules for the Storyteller system by Hank Driskill and John Gavigan
Keywords: genre modern long supplement
A detailed adaptation of "Highlander" for the Storyteller system. It includes character creation mechanics and a variant combat system, but is not a complete standalone system. 54 pages (PDF, HTML, or text-only).
Highlander Rules for D&D3
Keywords: genre modern long supplement
A detailed adaptation of "Highlander" for the 3rd edition D&D system. 38 pages PDF.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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)
Kapow! by Joshua Macy
Keywords: genre modern superhero long open-license
A superhero RP designed to scale to many different levels. Stats and powers are defined relative to the Scope of the game - from 1 (normal) to 12 (cosmic). Character creation includes picking one of four templates (Standard, Powerhouse, Jack-of-All-Trades, and Minimal) that defined your attribute and power choices - customized by adding three Boosts. The four attributes are three resistances (Toughness, Will, and Stamina) and Actions (number of choices per turn). Powers include any active abilities including skills and gadgets. Action resolution uses a step-die system, taking the higher of two rolls - with option to add to your roll by taking a hindrance or losing stamina . The dice rolls are from d4 to d8. Power Level 6 rolls 1d6+1d6; PL7 rolls 1d6+1d8; level 8 rolls 1d8+1d8; etc. 267 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).
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).
Live Free or Die: The Game of Suburban Insurgency by Michael Singleton
Keywords: genre modern
A modern action game set in a world where "everything the far right wing gun nuts say is absolutely true" and the U.N. has invaded the U.S. and removed all rights, and . Resolution uses dice pools of special color-coded d6s, where attribute determines die type (effectively target number) and skill determines number of dice. Level of success is found with a universal chart. Character creation is template based. ~40 pages (HTML).
Living Legends by Jeff Dee
Keywords: genre modern superhero long
A "sequel" / new edition of Villians and Vigilantes. It has a huge character design system (mainly superpowers), but only limited other mechanics available. 142 pages character design (PDF). 4 pages early combat rules (text-only).
Lost Souls by Joe Williams and Kathleen Williams
Keywords: genre modern fantasy long
A simple electronic edition of the 1993 published horror game, put online by the author, where the PCs are ghosts trying to reincarnate, fighting evil ghosts and other creatures to improve their karma. The system is percentile-based, with degree of success indicated by a universal chart printed on the character sheet. There are five degrees of failure (from Catastrophic to Poor) and five degrees of success (from Passable to Awesome). Character creation has many random rolls, but the key selections are profession in life and lost soul type -- which may be either rolled or chosen. Creation begins with generating appearance, then profession, then how you died, and then the type of ghost you become (which determines your powers). There are 22 types of ghosts, including Bansee, Doppelganger, Haunt, Shade, and Spook. There are also 12 attributes, each of which has 4 associated skills. Ghosts have "will-to-live" points, which when you run out of you have a chance to reincarnate. Experience is via karma, which grants powers as well as improving your luck in reincarnation. 245 pages rules and background (HTML and PDF).
MafiaRPG
Keywords: genre modern online
An online play-by-post forum of mafia crime and law enforcement. There are the usual play-by-post rules along with some specific guidelines for wiretapping, arrests, mercenaries, and vigilantes. ~5 pages rules (HTML).
Malls & Morons by Orion Cooper et al.
Keywords: genre modern open-license
A humorous RPG about teenagers in the mall, based on the D20 system -- with classes like "Computer Geek", "Football Player", and "Trekkie". The rulebook is implemented on a wiki. ~30 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).
Marvel Superheroes by Jeff Grubb (TSR)
Keywords: genre modern superhero long
This is the original TSR game (published 1984 and 1988), now out of print and made available online by Zan of HeroPlay.com in both low-res and high-res PDF formats. Besides the basic rules, there are the Ultimate Powers Book, Realms of Magic book, the Fantastic Four Compendium, and two adventures modules available. Players Book 96 pages (PDF), plus Judges Book 68 pages (PDF), plus ~200 pages supplements (PDF).
Men and Supermen by Jerry Stratton
Keywords: genre modern superhero long
A superhero RPG, emphasizing allowing variable power among heroes, so average humans can fight alongside gods. It uses roll 2d10 under stat for most resolution, as well as some percentile rolls. Other dice (d4,d6,etc.) are used for damage and miscellaneous rolls. It has random-roll attributes and powers, with point-bought skills. 232 pages PDF rules plus 103 page "Heroes Guide" campaign book (PDF or HTML).
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).
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).
Nemesis by Dennis Detwiller, Greg Stolze, and Shane Ivey
Keywords: genre horror modern long
A free generic modern horror RPG using the ORE system (One Roll Engine) that originated with Stolze's commercial game "Godlike". 52 pages rules (PDF).
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).
Paragon by D. Jon Mattson (aka "Cwylric")
Keywords: genre modern superhero scifi long world wotc-d20
A superhero RPG based on the WotC "D20" system, used in 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons. It contains new races, new classes, and superpower rules. It includes a sourcebook for "Vancouver 2020", a shared-universe superhero setting. 104 pages basic rules (PDF or MSWord) plus 120 pages background (PDF or MSWord).
Phantasm by Lamar Henderson and Chris Adams
Keywords: genre modern fantasy long
A game of magic in the modern world, using a simple d10 based system. The rules are focussed on the involved magic system. 130 pages rules plus 80 pages background (PDF or RTF).
Phobos by Mark Hughes
Keywords: genre modern fantasy horror long
A partly universal system geared for modern fantasy/horror. It includes a magic system but no setting. Task resolution uses an open-ended d20 roll (20 is reroll and add, 1 is reroll and subtract). Stat or skill + d20 + mods over 20 is a success. Character creation is open point-based. ~48 pages rules (HTML).
Phoenix Command High-Speed Pursuit System
Keywords: genre modern long supplement
This is a extensive supplement to the published Phoenix Command system (from Leading Edge Games) for motor vehicle chases and engagements. 160 pages (PDF).
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).
Project Angel Task Force
Keywords: genre modern horror online
An online play-by-post campaign of White Wolf's Mage: The Ascension. ~12 pages background (HTML).
Punisher X RPG by Jack Wolf
Keywords: genre modern scifi superhero online
An online web-based play-by-post RPG based on the Marvel Comics character, set in the year 2023. ~2 pages background HTML.
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).
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).
Recon (1st edition) by Joe F. Martin
Keywords: genre modern long
An officially-released PDF of the 1982 Vietnam War role-playing game, later acquired by Palladium Books. Resolution is percentile-based. Character creation is random-roll attributes (2d100 for Strength, Agility, and Alertness), selecting 1d10 binary skills, and picking a primary and secondary Military Occupation Specialty (MOS). 43 pages core rules (PDF).
Rise of Heroes
Keywords: genre modern superhero long
A superhero RPG. Character creation is by random-roll attributes and superpowers along with point-bought skills. Combat is resolved by 1d20 to hit and varying dice for damage, while skills are percentile. 70 pages player's book (PDF), ~12 pages Survival Master articles.
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).
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 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).
Shadow Heights
Keywords: genre fantasy modern online
An online play-by-post modern fantasy game, in a version of the modern world (the "Eververse") inhabited by humans, psychics, witches, vampires, weres, ghosts, and royal and common demons. It is set in an isolated town in upstate New York, where many of the magical races live together -- i.e. the Mayor is a psychic, the school principle is a were, and so forth. ~12 pages rules and background (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).
Shadowrun Quick Start Rules
Keywords: genre modern scifi fantasy long preview
A free PDF quick start for the commercial Shadowrun Third Edition system. This includes a brief version of the rules, a sample adventure and eight pregenerated characters. 66 pages rules (PDF).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Spirit of Fighting.v2 by Lawrence Zeigler
Keywords: modern scifi long
A sci-fi martial arts genre RPG. It is apparently set in modern-day Earth after a god travelled back in time to deal with invading aliens. Now various humans have mystic powers and well as inventions through mystical aid. Character creation is class-based, split between human, cyborg, and robot character types. Resolution is using a d20 on a universal table or percentile rolls. 88 pages rules (MSWord).
theSpookEngine by Matt.K
Keywords: genre modern long
theSpookEngine is dedicated realistic system to recreate the world of modern covert operations; including the activities of spies, special operations, mercenaries, paramilitaries (terrorists) and bodyguards. It uses a simple dice-pool system. Roll d10s equal to 2 + skill. Each 7-9 is one success, 10 is two successes, and 1 cancels a success. Character creation is limited point-based. There are no attributes per se -- everything is described as broad skills (Athleticism, Awareness, etc.). 220 pages (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).
Squadron UK Basic
Keywords: genre modern superhero preview
The basic version of a 40 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).
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.
Super Powers Unlimited, Basic Version by David Michaels
Keywords: genre modern superhero preview
The basic version of a superhero RPG published as a browsable website with character sheets as spreadsheets for Excel or Open Office. It uses a combat-focused resolution system, where actions usually have fixed result from spending energy points. A roll of 1d20 is used to determine criticals for an action - a 20 is a critical hit (200% of standard result) while a 1 is a critical failure (50% of standard result). Character creation is limited point-based, spending 100 points among the four primary attributes (Health, Energy, Attack, and Defense), 25 points among the five secondary attributes, and 6 "slots" among power, equipment, skills, pets, and property. ~60 pages online HTML browsing only.
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).
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).
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).
Tribal Earth by Chris Parlevliet
Keywords: genre modern fantasy supplement
A worldbook for the free CARE system, for a magical version of modern-day earth, where five tribes (humans, were-creatures, magical "shapers", undead, and gods) live together in the 20th century. ~20 pages rules and background.
Twilight 2000, First Edition by Frank Chadwick
Keywords: genre modern long world
The free first edition of the Twilight 2000 system, as published by GDW in 1984. This is a post-nuclear-apocalypse RPG where the characters are soldiers in military units stuck in Europe just after the bombs fell and civilization collapsed. It uses a percentile system: roll under skill*10 ("easy"), skill*5 ("average"), or skill*2.5 ("difficult"). Character creation is random-roll attributes and point-bought skills, with a military career life-path. 104 pages (PDF).
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).
Vampire: The Masquerade QuickStart
Keywords: genre modern horror preview
A freeware introduction to the commercial game by White Wolf, where PCs are vampires among numerous competing clans secretly operating in the modern world. 29 pages 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).
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).
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".
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
Yellow Dawn, v1.13 by David J. Rodger
Keywords: genre modern horror scifi
A horror RPG blending the near future and Cthulhu Mythos in a post-apocalyptic setting. 10 pages (PDF).
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.
Zehn Core Rules by Robert Towell
Keywords: universal fantasy modern long
A universal system, with powers and characters provided for a fantasy background or superheroes. Action resolution is by stat + 3d6 versus difficulty, and uses a general logarithmic scale where each +10 stat is x10 units. Characters creation is open point-based. 78 pages rules (PDF).
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).
Zombie: The Coil by Daniel Solis
Keywords: genre modern horror supplement long
An adaptation of White Wolf's Storyteller system for zombies. Currently in alpha release. 66 pages MSWord format.

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