Tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) have captivated the imaginations of players around the world, offering boundless adventures and countless hours of entertainment.
With Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) laying the foundation, the genre has expanded to encompass a variety of themes, including cyberpunk, magic, science fiction, and fantasy.
In today’s post, we’ll explore alternative RPGs, which might just pique your interest if you’re in search of board games like Dungeons and Dragons.
1. Dragon Age RPG: A Portal to Dark Fantasy: Chris Pramas’s Dragon Age RPG springs forth from the beloved BioWare video game series, transplanting players into a rich fantasy world replete with heroes, villains, and dark, mystical environments. Featuring an original and easy-to-grasp game system, it provides an accessible entry point to novice players while maintaining a depth that veterans will appreciate.
2. Bunkers & Badasses: Gunslinging Adventures Await: Blast through enemies and explore an action-packed universe in Bunkers & Badasses, a game where streamlined rules meet explosive adventures. This game stands out with its meticulous balance between strategy and straightforwardness, ensuring every encounter on its square-based grid is both exciting and tactically stimulating.
3. World of Darkness: Horror and Supernatural Intertwine: In the World of Darkness, players navigate a hidden supernatural world where creatures of the night vie for power and survival. This RPG introduces a dark, horror-infused universe where the struggle is personal and the monsters are not always the enemies.
4. Risus: Unleash Your Imagination: Risus: The Anything RPG offers a lighthearted and hilarious platform for adventures where cliches dictate character capabilities. Offering fast-paced creation and dynamic play, it’s an ideal choice for those who favor quick setups and engaging, whimsical adventures.
5. Fallout: The Roleplaying Game: Navigate the Wasteland: Embark on a survival adventure in the aftermath of nuclear devastation with Fallout: The Roleplaying Game. Your choices shape the newly-emerging civilization, offering a narrative deeply impacted by player decision-making and strategic alliances.
6. 13th Age: Seeking Fortune in the Dragon Empire: 13th Age incorporates various familiar mechanics for seasoned fantasy RPG players while introducing fresh, engaging story development features. Navigate through levels, alliances, and conflicts, ensuring no two adventures are ever the same.
7. Pathfinder 2E: Crafting Legends in a Fantasy World: Pathfinder 2E welcomes adventurers into a fantastical world where their characters, from myriad available races, can ascend from mere adventurers to legendary heroes. Renowned for its detailed skill-based system, it ensures every choice shapes your path.
8. Shadowrun: Cyberpunk Meets Fantasy: Shadowrun marries dystopian cyberpunk with traditional fantasy, creating a universe where advanced technology and mythical creatures coexist. Players navigate this combination, balancing dealings with mega-corporations and encounters with fantastical entities.
9. Cyberpunk 2020: Dystopian Futures and Urban Action: Step into a dark, future society where mega-corporations rule in Cyberpunk 2020. The game offers a blend of high-stakes urban action and a gritty, over-stylized dystopian narrative that promises to keep players on the edge of their seats.
10. Star Wars Roleplaying: Galactic Adventures Await: The Star Wars Roleplaying game grants players the opportunity to carve their own tales within the expansive Star Wars universe. With familiar d20 system mechanics and an epic space-faring backdrop, it offers an array of paths and adventures among the stars.
11. Call of Cthulhu: Horror in the Shadows: Call of Cthulhu immerses players in a dark version of our world, governed by H.P. Lovecraft’s chilling narrative and mysterious entities. Here, horror thrives not in the monsters that roam but in the suspenseful and psychologically taxing journeys players undertake.
12. Quests Of Yore: Pixar’s Fantastical Universe: Quests Of Yore invites players to traverse the enchanting lands introduced in Pixar’s “Onward”, offering a family-friendly RPG experience brimming with mythical creatures, epic quests, and magical mysteries.
Whether you’re slaying dragons, navigating the dark underbelly of a cyberpunk city, or surviving in post-apocalyptic wastelands, each game offers its own unique world, system, and adventures, providing varied experiences for every RPG enthusiast.
With themes ranging from horror and fantasy to sci-fi and dystopian futures, these games ensure that your tabletop adventures remain endless and thoroughly enthralling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Navigating through realms of RPGs? Here’s a brief FAQ to shed light on some popular titles.
How does the Dragon Age RPG relate to the video game series?
The Dragon Age RPG draws its rich lore and dark fantasy settings directly from the BioWare video game series, allowing players to immerse themselves and create their own adventures within this beloved universe.
What makes Bunkers & Badasses stand out among other tabletop RPGs?
Bunkers & Badasses uniquely balances deep strategy and simple, accessible rules within its square-based grid gameplay, delivering an action-packed, gunslinging adventure that is both exciting and tactically engaging.
Can World of Darkness be played by those new to horror RPGs?
Absolutely, World of Darkness introduces players to a supernaturally infused, dark universe, providing a horror experience that’s not overly reliant on monstrous enemies but rather focuses on a personal, and at times political, struggle which can be tailored to various experience levels.
Is Risus suitable for serious RPG campaigns as well?
While Risus is generally light-hearted and leans towards whimsical and fast-paced adventures, its anything-goes approach can be adapted for more serious narratives, giving GMs and players plenty of creative freedom.
How does player choice affect the narrative in Fallout: The Roleplaying Game?
In Fallout: The Roleplaying Game, player choices are pivotal. Decisions regarding alliances, moral dilemmas, and survival strategies directly shape the emerging civilization and narrative arcs within the nuclear wasteland.
What sets 13th Age apart in terms of story development?
13th Age prioritizes narrative and character development, with features such as Icon relationships and One Unique Things, ensuring stories are deeply personalized and that no two adventures, or adventurers, are alike.
How beginner-friendly is Pathfinder 2E for newcomers to tabletop RPGs?
Pathfinder 2E, while renowned for its detailed and skill-based system, also provides clear guidelines and an extensive range of options, ensuring newcomers can gradually learn and immerse themselves in its rich fantasy world.
How does Shadowrun blend cyberpunk and fantasy elements into its gameplay?
Shadowrun creates a universe where high-tech cyberpunk and classic fantasy collide, allowing players to navigate scenarios involving both dystopian technological advancements and mythical, fantastical creatures and magics.
What kind of adventures can players expect in the Star Wars Roleplaying game?
Star Wars Roleplaying offers endless possibilities across various paths and adventures set within the expansive and beloved Star Wars universe, utilizing the familiar d20 system mechanics to propel space-faring adventures.
How is horror portrayed in Call of Cthulhu?
Call of Cthulhu emphasizes psychological and suspenseful horror, immersing players into a world where the eerie unknown and unseen is more terrifying than the visible monsters, following H.P. Lovecraft’s chilling narratives.
Is Quests Of Yore suitable for young players?
Yes, Quests Of Yore is family-friendly and designed to be accessible for young players, offering a magical RPG experience set in the mythical and enchanting lands introduced by Pixar’s “Onward”.