Free RPG Day 2019 Guide: What to Get and Where to Get It
Want to see what's new in the world of tabletop gaming without spend and arm and a leg on a bunch of hard cover books? Free RPG Day is coming soon, and it can serve as a springboard to radically expand your gaming group's normal lineup of systems.
While it won't affect the lineup for this year, there are changes coming to the annual gaming celebration as Free RPG Day was officially acquired by Gaming Days LLC recently.
While we wait on what news that acquisition brings, for now we can ooh and aah at all the free gaming goodies that have been announced for the 2019 iteration, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 15th at your local game shop.
Can't make it to a local store to pick these up, or not interested in the lineup included below? There are plenty of epic free modules for D&D, Pathfinder, and every other pen and paper RPG system out there available for download any day of the year. Check out our best roundups here:
- The 11 Best Free Pathfinder and D&D Adventure Modules
- The Best Free PDF RPG Adventure Modules That Aren't D&D
Free RPG Day 2019 Publishers
Not sure where to go to grab these books and dice? Find your closest Free RPG Day participating retailer by heading over here.
Make sure you know what you want to grab ahead of time, as each store gets a limited number of copies of each product, so its best to have a plan of attack before you enter the doors!
All the other names you'd expect from previous years make an appearance here in 2019, sans Lamentations Of The Flame Princess, which some may find understandable.
Don't forget that while these products are free for you, each store has to pay for the Free RPG Day box, so make sure to show some support and consider picking up something else from your local game store!
We'll start off with the big dog in the race. While Pathfinder 2nd edition has divided the fan base, its safe to say Paizo is still among the top tier of RPG publishers at this point.
Of course Paizo has another We Be Goblins entry this year, and if I'm going to be honest, its starting to feel like this series has run its course. Those first couple of modules were a breath of fresh air that allowed roleplaying groups to let loose and play insane singing goblins for one-off sessions, but it seems like the quality of the series has gone downhill with subsequent iterations and the joke has pretty well played out at this point. Maybe We Be Heroes will revive the franchise?
In addition to the adventure module, Paizo is dropping an 8 page storybook with goblin characters for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game this year.
If you aren't keen on making yet another goblin song and getting messily devoured by anything bigger than you, there will also be a new Starfinder entry for Paizo's sci-fi spin off.
R. Talsorian Games
After Paizo, this is probably what RPG fans are most looking forward to checking out for Free RPG Day 2019 -- quick start rules for a Witcher RPG!
If you want to jump into the Interlock system used to power The Witcher in tabletop mode, this 24 page book gives you a simplified version of the rules to get start.
This is from the same company making the Cyberpunk Red tabletop RPG (and yes, its connected to the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 that will be released at some point between now and the year the earth plunges into the sun).
If you haven't tried out the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) rules yet, Green Ronin is offering up a quick start guide for the Modern Age system, which as the name implies is the modern day offshoot of the fantasy version.
Since there aren't that many publishers focusing on modern day games lately, this is a great one to pick up if you want to expand your gaming group's horizons past the typical fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.
That Dungeon Crawl Classics cover on the left may look awfully familiar, and that's because this two-sided product contains the quick start rules from last year (although with an updated spell list) on the front.
If you flip it over, the opposite side is a brand new adventure for level 1 characters titled Geas of the Star-Chons. If you've already got the quick start rules, that's really the only reason to grab this one, since the half the book will be nearly identical to what Goodman Games released in 2018.
Renegade Game Studios
Following last year's look at the groundbreaking and non-traditional Overlight, for 2019 Renegade is radically shifting gears with two entries.
Want to roleplay in the grim future where the undead have overrun humanity? The quick start intro rules for survival horror game Outbreak Undead will help you decide if you want to pick up the full rule books.
On the total opposite end of the gaming spectrum, there's also a new free adventure for Kids On Bikes, which is exactly what it sounds like as kids from small towns go on big adventures.
Not a fan of the normal D20-based systems? Khepera has a D6 rule set that serves as spiritual successor to those iconic West End Game titles from decades past. There will only be 5 of these quick start rule books sent to each store however, so grab it quick if you see one still out on the table!
Pelgrane has a double product this year, but sadly there will only be 3 per box sent to stores, so its unlikely you'll be able to grab one unless you are the first person in the store.
The first half is a tale for the 13th Age fantasy system, while the second will appeal to the horror fans.
That half includes a story for the company's newer King In Yellow RPG based on the famous Robert Chambers mythos character (who hit the public consciousness pretty widely back in 2014 with that first season of True Detective).
King In Yellow uses an updated version of the GUMSHOE rules, so if you played Trail Of Cthulhu, you already know the basics.
Prefer historical settings over high fantasy universes? Land Of Myth features only human characters in ancient Greece, and while it does include a host of gods and magic abilities, it tends to focus more on characters than fantasy powers. Best of all? It's meant to be fifth edition compatible, so your group can jump right in.
While I haven't kept up with the latest expansions, Red Dragon Inn remains one of my favorite board games, and its a hell of a good time even when drinking with a group of people who don't normally play RPGs.
Slugfest is offering up a new card to add to the pile this year, but unfortunately there will only be ONE of these cards sent per store, so don't expect to be able to grab it.
The ever-reliable Q-Workshop is including 15 sets of these black and silver Starfinder themed dice per store. I'd expect them to get snatched up quick, so you'll want to show up early if you plan on getting your own set!
Aside from what was covered above, there will of course also be the annual t-shirt and Chessex Free RPG Day branded dice, but the quantities are extremely limited and will probably be taken by the store owners (and hey, they earned 'em by buying the box).
What are you most excited about grabbing this year, and which products are you going to avoid? Sound off in the comments below, and see you at the game store on June 15th!