Top 10 Open Games

Overall Top 10

Yet to be decided. Email Chris Sakkas if you have any suggestions.

Retroclone Top 5

  1. The 4C System is a lite but robust retroclone of the Marvel Superheroes RPG. It's small and incomplete, lacking many rules found in the original. Nonetheless, it has potential and a robust community.
  2. Labyrinth Lord is one of the older retroclones and is still closely supported by Goblinoid Games. Though mechanically very similar to Dark Dungeons, Labyrinth Lord wins because it's more established and supported.
  3. The Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox Rules is a retroclone of the first Dungeons & Dragons ruleset published by Gary Gygax. It's incongruous and confusing, but only because it's a true representation of the original.
  4. OSRIC (download here) is a retroclone of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition.

Fantasy Top 5

  1. Lady Blackbird is a charming collage of gaming mechanics, with the pool from The Pool, conditions from Mouse Guard and keys and secrets from The Shadow of Yesterday. It has an imaginative setting, lite but robust rules and gripping characters.
  2. Redbox Hack was born from a desire to re-write 'red box' D&D (the Dungeons & Dragons Basic box). The end result has some amazing character classes and a clever combat system.
  3. Dungeonslayers is a fun game without complicated rules or in-depth character creation. It's got everything you need for an old school dungeon crawl.
  4. The Shadow of Yesterday is a worthwhile, solid game. 'Keys' sold me on this game, and they're worth exploring for adaptation in other games.
  5. E6 cuts Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition down to just 6 levels, and in doing so throws out the bathwater but keeps the baby. If you want to get your d20 fix, you could do worse than E6.

Generic Top 5

If you have any suggestions, contact Chris Sakkas.

  1. FATE's crowning achievement is Aspects, versatile chunks of character (like quotes, relationships, powers or equipment) that define who a person is.
  2. The Simple Game System is easy to grasp and easy to build upon. There are already several expansions for the game.
  3. The SKETCH System (download here) fits into about four pages and is so versatile it's been adapted into Bladerunner, space exploration and Highlander.