Dear Readers, after the D&D OGL debacle, some of you may be considering trying out other game systems, and that’s okay. Although I generally cater to D&D players, I try to make my gaming how-to’s universal in application. That said, here’s my list!
Tabletop roleplaying games have been around for decades and have evolved in countless ways over the years. Today, there are a multitude of different tabletop RPGs being played by gamers all around the world. From classic fantasy games like Dungeons and Dragons to new indie games with unique mechanics, there’s something out there for everyone. In this post, I’ll explore some of the most popular tabletop RPGs currently being played.
Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)
No list of tabletop RPGs would be complete without mentioning Dungeons and Dragons. This classic game has been around since the 1970s and has had a major impact on the gaming world. D&D is a fantasy game that allows players to create their own characters and embark on epic adventures in a world filled with magic, monsters, and treasure. The game is played with a set of polyhedral dice and a rulebook that outlines how to create characters, run encounters, and handle combat.
One of the great things about D&D is the sheer amount of content available. The game has multiple editions, each with its own rules and settings. There are also countless adventure modules, sourcebooks, and online resources that can be used to customize the game to fit any player’s preferences. D&D is a game that can be played for years without ever getting stale.
Pathfinder is often referred to as the spiritual successor to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition. It was created by Paizo Publishing in 2009 as an alternative to D&D 4th Edition. Like D&D, Pathfinder is a fantasy game that allows players to create their own characters and explore a richly detailed world filled with adventure.
The game mechanics of Pathfinder are similar to those of D&D 3.5 Edition, with a few notable differences. For example, Pathfinder features a more complex skill system, as well as a larger selection of classes and races. The game also places more emphasis on tactical combat, with a wide variety of spells, abilities, and equipment that can be used to gain an advantage in battle.
One of the standout features of Pathfinder is the sheer amount of content available. Like D&D, there are multiple adventure paths, sourcebooks, and online resources that can be used to customize the game to fit any player’s preferences. Pathfinder is a great choice for players who want a more complex and tactical RPG experience.
Call of Cthulhu
Call of Cthulhu is a tabletop RPG based on the works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. In the game, players take on the roles of investigators who are trying to uncover the mysteries of the Cthulhu mythos. The game is known for its dark and atmospheric setting, as well as its emphasis on investigation and horror.
Unlike D&D and Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu uses a percentile-based system to determine success or failure. Players roll two ten-sided dice and add their skill level to the result, trying to reach a target number set by the game master. The system is easy to learn and adds a level of tension to every roll.
Call of Cthulhu is a great choice for players who want a more horror-focused RPG experience. The game is known for its immersive storytelling and unique setting, which combines elements of mystery, horror, and the supernatural.
Blades in the Dark
Blades in the Dark is an indie tabletop RPG that was released in 2017. The game is set in a city filled with crime and corruption, where players take on the roles of thieves and scoundrels trying to make a name for themselves. The game is known for its unique mechanics, which allow players to take risks and make tough decisions in order to achieve their goals.
One of the standout features of Blades in the Dark is the use of a “flash back” mechanic. Players can spend a resource called “stress” to flashback to a previous moment and change the outcome of a situation. This allows players to take risks without worrying about the consequences and adds a level of unpredictability to the game.
Blades in the Dark also features a unique setting and lore, with a focus on criminal underworlds and occult elements. The game encourages players to explore the world and make their own mark on it, creating a collaborative storytelling experience.
Fate Core is a tabletop RPG that was first released in 2013. The game is known for its flexible mechanics and emphasis on storytelling. Players create their own characters and embark on adventures in a world of their own creation.
The mechanics of Fate Core are designed to be flexible and adaptable to any setting or genre. The game uses a system of “aspects” that describe a character’s strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits. These aspects can be invoked or compelled to influence the outcome of a situation.
Fate Core is a great choice for players who want a more narrative-focused RPG experience. The game is designed to encourage collaboration and creativity, allowing players to work together to create a unique and engaging story.
Starfinder is a science fiction RPG that was released in 2017 by Paizo Publishing. The game is set in a universe filled with alien races, advanced technology, and cosmic mysteries. Players create their own characters and explore the galaxy, battling space pirates, uncovering ancient artifacts, and discovering new worlds.
The game mechanics of Starfinder are similar to those of Pathfinder, with a few notable differences. The game features a more complex skill system, as well as a larger selection of classes and races. The game also places more emphasis on science fiction elements, with rules for space combat, high-tech equipment, and alien abilities.
Starfinder is a great choice for players who want a science fiction RPG experience. The game offers a rich and detailed universe to explore, with endless possibilities for adventure and discovery.
All that said, there are a multitude of different tabletop RPGs currently being played, each with its own unique mechanics, setting, and tone. Whether you prefer classic fantasy adventures or sci-fi space epics, there’s a game out there for everyone. So gather your friends, grab some dice, and embark on an epic adventure in the world of tabletop RPGs.
What do you think, Dear Readers? What kinds of game systems do you like? Let me know in the comments section below!
Until next time, Dear Readers…