January 12th, 2009

kevinkellme

Your Morning Gaming Freebie

Years and years ago, when I was a much more active gamer, I had a brief professional relationship with Ral Partha. They wanted some simple RPG rules to hand out with their figures, and I tried writing a set to fit on one page. (I also worked up stats for a bunch of their figures, monsters and NPCs, to be used in pretty much any game. If I ever find those, I'll put 'em up here.)

Well, Steve Jackson Games has actually gone and done it. GURPS Ultra Lite is a one-page set of rules that folds into an eight-page microbook. It's version 0.8, and can still use a bit of playtesting, so if you're interested, go download a copy, give it a try, and then hit the forums. (And don't forget, they've got a buttload of other free stuff. So does DriveThruRPG.)

If you were going to recommend role-playing rules to someone, what system would be at the top of your list? Mine would be RuneQuest (still going, I'm pleased to say, thanks to Mongoose Games -- the Heroquest system that the original publishers moved to is a magnificent contradiction, too simple to cover everything yet darn near impossible to understand) or GURPS. Both hit the right balance of complexity, ease of use (and teaching), and comprehensiveness, along with vast quantities of ready-made gaming world to play in.