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A 5d100 of free RPGs
February 15, 2008 11:16 AM   Subscribe

One Thousand Monkeys, One Thousand Typewriters is the largest online source of free role playing and story games. With so many choices, you may want to look at the winners of the 2006 Game Chef contest, with its interesting rules: Crime and Punishment, the RPG about being a writer for a crime procedural TV show; Liquid Crystal, about a robot with no memory; Time Traitor with its mysterious Factors; and the haunted house story Merryweather.

The 2007 Game Chef competition results don't seem to be listed on 1km1kt, you can find them here, the top winners are listed here, including the clever Scheherazade story-telling game [pdf]. Although it didn't win, one interesting choice is Poking the Emperor: A Game of Courtly Intrigue, Epic Adventure, Eldritch Sorcery and the Vital Importance of The Regularity of the Imperial Bowels, reviewed here.
posted by blahblahblah (5 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Forgot to mention - 1km1kt also hosts the 24 Hour RPG challenge entries, which are pretty fun to read, at least.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:56 AM on February 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


I participated in a playtest organized by Moyra Turkington in Toronto for her game "Crime and Punishment." It really was a pretty fun and fast-moving game. You can read the rules yourself, but the key concept was brainstorming the key parts of a scene beforehand on a large sheet of paper and then players voted with using a certain number of tokens which ideas made it into the scene and then played the scene. I think the player whose ideas got chosen won tokens placed on those ideas by the other players (you couldn't vote for yourself, of course), so it had that vital play mechanic of accumulation for a pretty free-form game in the scenes themselves (your loot).

I remember when I first saw the site (I think) after that Animal Farm RPG got made, and it wasn't immediately obvious to me that the site was devoted solely to RPGs.
posted by Gnatcho at 11:56 AM on February 15, 2008


They probably aren't on this site, but it's as good a time as any to point to some favorite free RPGs I've seen over the years....

The Drones is a P. G. Wodehouse RPG, where players assume the role of a member of Bertie Wooster's inner circle. For maximum enjoyment of this one it helps to get Bertie's hyper-British lingo down.

Bad Attitudes is an action movie RPG in which the player can recover health purely by coming up with an appropriate situational catch-phrase in response to a situation.

Puppetland is a strange game in which the player's characters are all naive living puppets (think Pinocchio), who try to take back their homeland from the gruesome, militaristic Punch. It actually got a commercial release a few years back, don't know how well it did.
posted by JHarris at 1:11 PM on February 15, 2008


Now I want to see the Knights of the Dinner Table do a Drones strip. Thanks for the links, folks.
posted by jtron at 3:08 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nothing will ever beat F.A.T.A.L. in the arena of free amateur RPGs. Unfortunately, the creators started charging for it and then disappeared, but the sourcebook was the finest work ever produced by creepy, sexually dysfunctional autistics. I was able to find this choice snippet:

Jewy Jewbacca, of: Whosoever dons this armor will acquire a nose twice the size and a manhood half the size. Further, the wearer will become extremely greedy and fight to the death for one silver piece. Finally, the wearer acuires 2 inches of hair all over their body, resulting in halving their Facial Charisma and Bodily Attractiveness. While Hairy, the wearer must bathe every 1d6 hours or smell foul. The armor may be removed at any time and the wearer will return to normal.

Nigrous Nincompoopery, of: Whosoever dons this armor experiences a loss of 1d100 points from each sub-ability of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. The ass of the wearer will grow by 50% and be abnormally high. If the wearer is male, then those around him are 80% likely to believe that his manhood has increased, though it has not. The skin of the wearer becomes cursed and dark as night. Disposition turns to UI. Temperament becomes phlegmatic. The eyes of the wearer are visible 3 miles away at night. The wearer will have a body odor for 1d10 feet. On the bright side, the Physical Fitness of the wearer increases by 10%. The armor may be removed at will.


There were statistics for breast size, penis size, and vaginal diameter. Man, I wish the sourcebook PDF was still around, it was the most pathetic, hilarious load of crap ever. It was about a thousand pages long, too.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:51 PM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


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