I was reading the free fantasy RPG Dungeonslayers yesterday and was having a great time of it. It is a very simplistic system that has a large amount of customisation about it. It is well worth a good look at this game as the simplicity of the system hides a breadth and depth of game as good as most fantasy offerings out there.
|The cover of the Dungeonslayers book depicting
an elven mage, a human scout and a dwarven
fighter. Image from the Chronicle Cities site
There are some limitations of course. For example, there are only three races to choose from being a human, elf or dwarf. As a starting character there are really only three classes (five really) that you can choose. The fighter and scout are the first two and then there is the magician but that gets broken into three styles of magician – the healer, the wizard and the sorcerer as basic classes. Now when I say basic classes that is a little bit of a fib as the classes have talents that they can build with and there is a level of multiple talent selection customisation that works really well. Just because two players take a fighter at first level certainly does NOT mean they will look the same.
The characters, on reaching 10th level can continue on with their selected classes or they can choose a hero class, of which there are three selections per base class. For the fighter the options are beserker, paladin or weaponmaster. The scout has assassin, ranger, rogue. Healers get to choose from cleric, druid or monk. Wizards selections are archmage, battle mage, elementalist and finally the sorcerer can choose from blood mage, demonologist and necromancer. Each of these offers a unique path and also a longevity to the game with a great level of depth to the characters.
The characters are made up of 3 main statistics with two sub statistics that stem from these. From this collection of statistics there are a bunch of derived chances that are applied giving the player the numbers they need for in game play. The rolling convention centres around a d20 but not in the way that most people would expect a d20 to be used. The system is swift, simple to use and very easy to understand.
The system portion of the game is a small section of the book and does not cover character details or generations. It just shows how the game runs. I have not finished all of the book as of yet but I am excited to keep reading through it! Oh, and did I mention it is free and comes with some great free source books. They also have some nifty one page adventures that I am keen to look at too!
I am liking this game so much that I am actually going to purchase a print copy of the rules. I was playing with the idea of printing one myself but it is available at Chronicle City for $24.99 USD plus postage and handling. The PDF and cover look fantastic so I can not wait to get my greedy little hands on a copy to use at a table or a Google+ hangout.
Quite seriously, I think Dungeonslayers is one of the best fantasy RPG’s out there. I often lament not finding a simple elegant system when my players open up the Advanced Race Guide while perusing Ultimate Magic for a variant archetype on the druid class in Pathfinder! I understand the player desire to build something unique and I think that this game offers that up in a nice tight package. Sure, there is some restrictions like races but the build of a character can be quite dynamic.
If you are looking for a break from your normal game and want a quick, easy to use system to play with, look no further. It will cost you nothing and you may just enjoy it so much that the one off game becomes something regular! Until next time, keep rolling!