5 Dungeons and Dragons Alternatives to Spice Up your Quarantine RPGs
Everyone knows about Dungeons and Dragons. The game has been a household name for decades. Sometimes, it was because your parents were convinced the game was a gateway to summon demons, and other times you were scrolling through your Twitter feed when you found your favorite actor playing the classic game. Either way, across five editions, D&D has become the gold standard. But what about the others? What if you wanted to spice up your TTRPG experience with something new and exciting. That’s what I have to offer you today: five D&D Alternatives to spice up your gaming sessions.
Pathfinder is a relatively new game, but has found a lot of love in the RPG sphere. It was created when Wizards of the Coast announced Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, which had a more restrictive game system license. Using the baseline of D&D 3.5, the folks over at Paizo developed their own system with heavy community input through playtesting. Pathfinder just last year released their Second Edition, which changed up a decent amount of content while keeping true to the original Pathfinder’s goal. Overall, this is one of the closest alternatives to D&D, if you don’t want to stray too far from the path.
Fate is unique because, unlike a lot of RPG systems, Fate has no base setting or base idea. Instead, it is a fairly simple system designed to be spread across any setting or idea. Popular variations of Fate include games like Monster of the Week, which turns the system into an adventure where you fight monsters not too unlike an episode of Buffy or Supernatural, or Sails Full of Stars which turns it into a space pirate-hunting extravaganza. Overall, Fate is one of the most versatile systems on this list, and can be used in wild ways in the right hands.
In the distant, distant future, the universe is a pretty sh*tty place. A hundred years after a massive genocidal war, the only species left are four genetically engineered species who, after having spent a hundred years getting back on their feet, must reforge society. Fragged Empire is one of the several games using the Fragged RPG system, and is my favorite of the bunch. A post-post apocalyptic space-faring sci-fi romp designed for lengthy play? What’s not to love?
If you just can’t wait to get your hands on Cyberpunk 2077, then maybe take its source material for a spin! Cyberpunk, often referred to by the names of its 2nd and 4th editions (Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk Red) is an intense journey through a hellish future. This is the RPG that helped to create the genre of Cyberpunk, and you have the chance to play it. Cyberpunk Red is the game’s latest edition, and has not even been completely released yet. You can get your hands on a digital copy of the Jumpstart Kit, but the formal books were last slated for a June 2020 release.
#1–Lasers & Feelings
Lasers & Feelings is, yes I know, the third sci-fi system on our list, but I promise you it’s worth it. Lasers & Feelings is a One-Page RPG designed for quick one-off sessions. While there is a basic setup for the game, everything is largely up to you. Gameplay is simple, and uses the two aforementioned stats: Lasers and Feelings. Players roll dice for actions that are cold, logical, or scientific based on the Lasers stat, while they roll dice for actions that are rash, illogical, or emotional based on the Feelings stat. Just about everything else is up to you, and the system is simple enough that it could be formatted in countless ways!