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3 Indie RPGs We Can’t Stop Talking About

3 Indie RPGs We Can’t Stop Talking About

We love Dungeons and Dragons around here and, judging by our readers’ reactions to the articles we post, they do too. But trying something different can lead to some great experiences. The more games a person plays, the more likely they’ll find a system and a play group that fits their expectations perfectly.

We strive to offer plenty of D&D content but also love talking about smaller games and introducing them to a larger audience. Indie RPGs are on the rise thanks to the ease of self-publication and the rise of crowdfunding. There are a few indie RPGs that we mention a lot, so why not try not try something new in the next couple of weeks? Say, during a day set aside for international tabletop gaming?

  • Dungeon World This game takes the old-school feel of a dungeon crawl and merges it with modern day mechanics. It is also one of the best Game Master advice books out there. DMs can learn a lot from the agendas and moves inside the book. Fellowship bonds connect the players quickly and amp up drama in the dungeon. The simple mechanics make it an excellent choice for introducing friends to RPGs and the collaborative world building make it a very low-prep game for the GM to run. Building a world together provides great buy-in from players and the GM, which is likely to make the world that you build together one of the best campaign worlds ever. Did we forget to mention there’s an app for it, too?
  • Pugmire: The logline is simple—D&D with dogs—and yet the game is so much more. Fans blew up the Kickstarter last year because the game walks the line so well between serious and silly. The setting, long after the days of Man, makes magic not just sufficiently advanced technology but also just creepy things that have evolved in the world since then. The system is a modified version of D&D Fifth Edition, made simpler to make it easier for kids to play as well as additions that add flavor to the setting. The PDF in the hands of backers right now, but things are looking good for books to be available at this year’s Gen Con. You can check out our crew playing it here. And feline lovers, don’t fret: the sister game featuring the intrigues of cats in the same world, Monarchies of Mau, is coming soon to Kickstarter.
  • N.E.W.: There are some excellent sci-fi RPGs on the market based on well-loved properties, but there’s a lot of fun to be had in mixing and mashing elements from different stories into something different. N.E.W. provides a space for GMs to create create a world where the lightsabers of Star Wars clash with the chainsaw guns of Gears of War. EN Publishing created its W.O.I.N. system for a variety of toolboxes. In addition to N.E.W., there’s O.L.D. for fantasy settings and N.O.W. for modern ones. All the games are compatible, too, for a truly epic mashup of genres this year.

What is your favorite indie game? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: pixabay


Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes about kaiju, Jedi, gangsters, elves, Vulcans and sometimes all of them at the same time. His blog is here, his Twitter is here and his meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.

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