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.
The downloadable D20 system reference documents provide most of what you need to play any of the d20 system games that stem from the original Dungeons and Dragons system.
Brutal is a basic hack and slash RPG that uses a dice pool system with opposed rolls to resolve an action. The game is designed to handle massive battles quickly. Author David Stanley writes:
This game is for serious players only! Hordes of Heart-stopping-pounding, Heavy-hitting, Hack-and-Slash action adventure await! This game is not for sissy players who don’t want their characters to die. In a BRUTAL game, your characters get killed all the time. How long can your characters stay alive?
Ars Magica is a role playing game set in Mythic Europe — nominally 1220 AD, but a land inhabited by faeries, daemon and other magical creatures. Its a great game that I’ve enjoyed playing over the years.
Ars Magica set the benchmark for magic in fantasy roleplaying. It pioneered the storytelling style of roleplaying that has become so popular today. Its setting, Mythic Europe, sparked the imaginations of fantasy fans and history enthusiasts alike. The 272-page fourth edition introduced improved systems in several key areas such as combat, character advancement, and covenant generation. This version of the game retained and improved upon Ars Magica’s powerful and flexible magic system – widely regarded as the best rules for magic in all of gaming.