Wednesday I gave a quick review of what this year's offerings for Free RPG Day might mean if we were trying to read between the lines about what the big companies appear to be doing and pushing for in the next couple of months. There's some interesting things you can read in to when looking at who releases a new product and who puts out a token participation item. Today I want to get in to my top five picks for free swag tomorrow, but before I do, I have one more comment. I've been excited about Cubicle 7's upcoming crack at a Lord of the Rings RPG, but information has been scarce (even with looking at a Gencon release less than two months away). FRPGD would have been a fantastic opportunity to release a Quickstart adventure for The One Ring (TOR), but Cubicle 7 really missed the boat on not providing something. I can say without a doubt that a TOR Quickstart would have easily stolen the show tomorrow. Alas, what could have been...
Anyway, now on with the picks!
T&T is just one of those retro games that cannot be stopped. Offering simple rules for a simpler form of fantasy, what really has me excited by this is the fact that it's a solo adventure. Solitaire gaming is on the verge of hitting it big with the Lord of the Rings card game, many cooperative games having very viable solo options built into the rules, and companies generally realizing that there are a ton of us out here who can't pull a group together more than once a week, month, or even year. It's nice to see T&T, which was always known for its solo adventures, to offer some solo play for FRPGD. I don't believe any of the other offerings address this particular interest.
4. Savage Worlds Quickstart and Adventure (Pinnacle)
Savage Worlds is one of those systems that works across so many different genres. If you're not sure what system you might use for game X or game Y, chances are pretty decent that Savage Worlds will work for the game. What has me most excited is that we're going to be getting a new one-shot, and if you haven't used Pinnacle's one-sheets yet, you need to. There's a ton of adventures over there, and I'm excited to see Pinnacle release soemething that may have a little more heft after seeing the quality of their free pdfs.
3. All Flesh Must Be Eaten Quickstart and Adventure (Eden Studios)
It's great to see AFMBE to get some love and support. The rules for this system are simple and flexible, and you really can't go wrong with a zombie one-shot adventure, right? Moreso, as I mentioned on Wednesday, I'm excited by the aspect that Eden might be pushing AFMBE for some secret reason. Maybe we're going to see a new edition soon? Maybe they've got some kind of zombie starter box coming out soon? Man, speculation is fun. Of course, maybe the fact that the adventure is called "The Walking Dead" is reason enough to push the zed-word game? We shall see.
I'll be honest that I don't know much about Arcanis outside of what the art looks like, but you know what, this is what FRPGD is all about. Arcanis is the number one new game I'm looking forward to checking out. There really aren't enough RPG's out there that take a look at ancient heroics either Greek or Roman, and that warrior guy on the cover to the right there? That's damn cool. The character sheet looks like the game offers a highly tactical character offering the players tons of options in play, and sometimes some complexity is a nice thing.
1. Dragon Age Quickstart (Green Ronin)
Obviously DA is a big hit both here and else where, and a big part of that, in my opinion, is the ease at which one can pick up and run the thing. The system is simple yet elegant, and offers a lot of bang for very minimal buck. There are very few releases for the game line at this point (the first set, an adventure book, and a GM's kit), so anything official coming out of Green Ronin is a treat to get. Of course this Quickstart is also a great way to help keep the excitement for the second box set going from last month's pdf release through to whenever they decide to put the thing out. I love running DA adventures, so this is my number one pick.
No matter what you pick up tomorrow, just remember that FRPGD is a day to try something new you've never tried before. I highly recommend picking a free product you've always been curious about but never tried. This is one of the best opportunities outside of Gencon to try something new, so be adventurous!