Alternatives to 5E (I ask for no particular reason...)

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
As for "alternatives to WOTC": what are you and your group looking for?

Is it levelling up fantasy?

Shadow of the Demon Lord. Like D&D, but with a consistent implementation of subclasses and race. This allows for a re-thinking of how characters can develop -- there are no dead levels, and all classes advance at the same rate, so instead of subclasses, there are "novice paths" (warrior, priest, rogue, wizard) that give ability bonuses at levels 1, 2, 5, 8; "expert paths" (e.g. druid, berserker, assassin) that give abilities at levels 3, 6, 9; racial benefits that advance at level 4; and "master paths" (e.g. acrobat, apolcalyptist, gladiator, etc.) that kick in at levels 7 and 10 (or you can multiclass and choose a second expert path). It's so tidy, and gives options that you can lean into (priest > cleric > diviner) or that you can play against type (rogue > druid > chronomancer).

Or are you looking for a game that plays differently? (a different engine).

Powered by the Apocalypse. There are a lot of PBTA games out there. They are great for new players and short campaigns of a few sessions, with a rules-lite feel (Others can talk about how they work long-term). Dungeon World is the best known port of D&D ideas.

Reign. A second edition has just come out. Rules-heavy, but with a really fun "one-roll engine" system for character generation that lets you choose how much control you want over your character's origin.

One Ring (as above).

FATE. I've done a lot with FATE, but most has been sf or modern settings. Happy to talk about those if you want.

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Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.
Great fun, cool art, fun to read, interesting mechanics based on the standard "d20 D&D'esque" game. Oh, and it has the Character Funnel. :) If you ever want to show a jaded Player just how amazingly powerful and strong his 2nd level Rogue this game and start it with the Character Funnel.


Paul L. Ming

aramis erak

Curious about Warhammer . . . heard about it but not much more than that.
Many Warhammer fans are unhappy with WFRP4; some like it, some more like it after a few fairly fundamental houserules.

Many more are going over to Sweihänder.

Fate Core can be used for fantasy, and is top 10-ish...
Fate Accelerated is a less gritty version of Fate, and about equally popular as Fate Core.

Sticking closer to D&D themes, Dungeon Crawl Classics is very popular.

And, while not exactly top 10, The much underrated Tunnels and Trolls is always worth a look. It's simple and elegant... very OSR, even in the new edition, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls.



Anyway, aside from Pathfinder and Level Up, what are some other top dog alternatives to WOTC? I know there's a lot, but what are some of the big players?

Came across Necrotic Gnome - read free stuff looks pretty good. Also generally familiar with Castles & Crusades.

Looking for stuff with lots of support, material available etc.
Dungeon Crawl Classics offers a pretty radical rethink of fantasy RPGs, with a ton of modular material.

Voidrunner's Codex

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