Between all those $60 hardcover books, extra Kickstarter add-ons, and crazy dice options, tabletop roleplaying can be a fairly expensive hobby.
If you aren't crazy about laying down even more cash for adventure modules and are looking for inspiration to kick off a new campaign, there are plenty of completely free PDF adventures out there for just about every system imaginable.
While Free RPG Day features a yearly supply of quality modules and source books, that is by no means the only source for no-cost RPG adventure downloads.
Here we're rounding up some of the best zero-dollar digital modules currently available for Savage Worlds, GURPS, Dark Heresy, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Edge of the Empire, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and even more systems.
You may notice a curious lack of Paizo, TSR, and Wizards Of The Coast here. That's because we're going to feature a separate list of entirely free Pathfinder/D&D modules shortly -- so stay tuned!
Much like We Be Goblins, this super fun adventure has the group playing tiny anti-heroes, but it goes in a very different direction than Paizo's hallowed entry. This one is a good deal more brutal and has far more crazy options, like fungus-powered mutant psionic goblins.
This one is also much, much more in-depth, with more than 100 pages on goblin tribes, deities, and adventure seeds. I recommend trying out both Saga of the Goblin Horde and We Be Goblins to see which one is more well received at your gaming table.
You can always count on Lamentations of the Flame Princess to go a direction that you weren't expecting -- and probably tick off a whole bunch of people along the way.
In 2017 they released a free hardcover book of new spells called Vaginas Are Magic. This year's Free RPG Day offering is titled James Edward Raggi IV's Eldritch Cock. Needless to say, this weird dark fantasy/horror mashup is on the NSFW side.
Better Than Any Man was a free adventure released in 2013 meant to introduce people to LotFP's blend of old-school fantasy with Cthulhoid monstrosities, and it's really incredibly well done for something that doesn't cost a penny.
Set in the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War, this massive 180-page (!!) adventure is incredibly fleshed out and features a sandbox style that lets the PCs do what they want ... so long as they get it done before the invading army arrives and kills everyone.
After a bunch of retailers and more traditional roleplayers got angry and accused the module of being about killing kids, the Lamentations of the Flame Princess publisher decided to thumb their nose at the naysayers and make a module that's *actually* all about killing kids.
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children is essentially Skyrim with the "kids can die" mod on steroids. If that sounds like something your group would have a good time with, you can grab the PDF of that amusingly offensive adventure for free over here.
The Suns of Fortune source book from Fantasy Flight Games covers the Corellian Sector of Star Wars lore and features nine different modular encounters meant to be quickly dropped into a campaign.
One of those modular encounters, Taming the Dragon, was released for free to the public as a PDF and throws your group of rebel scum into an underground illegal swoop race.
For some quick, high-octane fun with all sorts of unexpected dangers, you can't go wrong by throwing this encounter into your Star Wars roleplaying session.
If you haven't gotten into full metal fantasy just yet, do yourself a favor and pick up that Iron Kingdoms core rule book (or the Unleashed spin-off that focuses on monstrous races). The production values are off the charts on this one, and the Steamjacks-meet-magic world is a thing of absolute beauty.
To get started in this unique world, Fools Rush In has the characters engage in a heist to get back an object of blackmail, culminating with a crazy waterfront brawl.
Incredibly friendly to new players, A Star Once Fallen introduces a gaming group to the open-source RPG Open Legend by thrusting the players into a shipwreck scenario on an uncharted island. Adventure and danger abound as they try to survive between warring tribes and an active volcano.
Rules are introduced progressively throughout the adventure, so even if you've never played Open Legend before, a group can easily pick this up and get started without much prep at all.
This two-for-the-price-of-nothing offering from Goodman Games gives you a classic fantasy romp in the Lankhmar setting made famous by Fritz Leiber, as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure embodying the classic tropes of super science and murderous robots.
Both of these modules cleave closely to classic ideas like being captured by a mad wizard or going through a rite of passage in a radioactive wasteland, but they present their familiar concepts with quite a bit of finesse (and fun).
If you dig Gamma World or Fallout, then it's a good bet your group will have fun with The Museum at the End of Time in particular.
While most Call Of Cthulhu scenarios focus on a group of investigators delving into a mystery and slowly losing their minds before being messily devoured, this odd adventure goes full throttle into insanity right away by taking place in the Dreamlands.
Porphyry & Asphodel is unbelievably surreal and utterly nuts, and I highly recommend you give it a try. The link above goes to an updated version that has been expanded and fleshed out since the module was originally written back in the '90s.
There are a huge number of free Call Of Cthulhu/Trail Of Cthulhu/Cthulhu Reborn/Cthulhu Invictus/Cthulhu Dark Ages scenarios out there besides this one. A good place to start is to hit up a site like RPG Now, filter by your preferred publisher, and set the search terms to "pay what you want."
White Wolf pretty consistently put out roleplaying material that went in unexpected directions well outside the sword & sorcery norm, and Scion is no exception, having the players take on the roles of demi-gods and the children of various deities in a modern-day setting.
If your group loved the Starz TV version of American Gods, they will have a killer time here, and this intro module showcases the system well so that you can then dive in with your own custom godlings in future campaigns.
Oh boy, this one is as silly as it gets, and if you love Discworld, you'll want to jump in and try it out, preferably around Christmastime. There are stupid barbarians with muscles on their muscles, an adorable little girl who is somehow also a town watchman, and a diabolic plot to place possessed plush toys in all the homes of Ankh Morpork on Hogswatchnight. Get drunk, pull out your best accents and overacting, and have a good time!
Sadly, Dark Heresy is no more as Fantasy Flight lost the license for Warhammer 40,000 RPGs, but publisher Ulisses Spiele has picked it up and is currently working on a new version of the game.
In the meantime, some of the old PDFs are still available now through Ulisses Spiele, such as the free adventure Edge of Darkness. This one works well as an introduction for new players into the Warhammer 40K universe and features a good mix of investigation for the Inquisition and some good old-fashioned heretic-purging.
This free adventure for the A Time of War tabletop RPG from Catalyst goes a very different direction by jumping into an alternate timeline.
Everything you think you know about Battletech history gets turned upside down in this alternate universe, allowing the group quite a bit of freedom in straying from established canon.
This one is especially worth diving into now that the Harebrained Schemes PC game version of the franchise is just about to see release and Battletech mania is again setting in.
There's a certain subset of tabletop gamers who will try to argue that Fiasco isn't actually an RPG. Those people are flat-out wrong. If everyone takes on the role of a character, describes what those characters are doing while trying to get to an outcome, and dice are rolled, then it's unquestionably an RPG.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, there are plenty of free playsets available online to get new Fiasco games going that fully channel the darkly comedic feel of the Coen brothers. Saturday Night '78 is one such playset in the era of Studio 54 and the Son of Sam killings.
Hopefully you'll find something your group can't wait to play in these 12 free PDF RPG adventure modules! What did you think of our list, and what modules are you planning on playing first?
Know of any other killer free RPG adventures we should be checking out for any system, from Discworld to Warhammer 40,000 and everything in-between? Let us know your favorite free RPG download in the comments below!
For those who stick more closely to the big dogs like Paizo and Wizards of the Coast, stay tuned for our list of free Pathfinder adventures and free D&D modules coming shortly!