OSRIC (Old School Reference & Index Compilation) offers a free fantasy role playing game inspired by first edition Dungeons and Dragons. It’s not the first effort I’ve seen trying to recapture the magic of 1st edition, before the life was sucked out of it with the bloated later editions.
The Farland Mass Combat System is designed to help role players resolve large scale conflicts. There’s also a great — and free — program to help you do so.
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom novels are among my favorite guilty pleasures. Sean K. Reynolds has a page with material, including monster and character profiles from his d20 Barsoon campaign.
Mazes and Minotaurs is a free role playing game of heroic adventure in ancient Greece.
I am a huge fan of the old Metagaming series “The Fantasy Trip”, which included Melee and Wizard. I remember first seeing them in a hobby shop in Fort Collins, Colorado, and still get a warm fuzzy feeling when I get out my little plastic bags.
Sentimentality aside, they’re also great games. I’ve used them for both role playing, and miniatures skirmish games. Sadly, they are long out of print. Metagaming folded and inventor Steve Jackson went on to found Steve Jackson Games. You can find .pdf files of the games in various plaes on the internet, but I am sure that they are in violation of copyright. I’d love to host copies here on MiniatureWargaming, but have no idea who does hold the copyright.
Until then, there is a legal and FREE alternative: Dark City Games’ Legends RPG. It uses the same mechanics and has the same light tactical feel.