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

innerdude

Legend
Please please please please, when someone suggests Dungeon World for a Powered by the Apocalypse option, please please substitute Ironsworn instead.

It actually delivers on the promise that Dungeon World only partially realized, IMHO.

Also, Shaintar or Pathfinder for Savage Worlds, Fantasy Craft, Radiance RPG, Swords of the Serpentine, Genesys w/ Realms of Terrinoth would all be good options.
 

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Henry

Autoexreginated
My local gaming group has been really into both Zweihander and Shadow of the Demon Lord recently. They have a much more “dark fantasy” and ”gritty fantasy” feel that is not in D&D 5e‘s default rules assumptions. I highly recommend giving them a look-over, as the PDFs for each are under $20 (actually, I think Zweihander’s PDF might be $25 for the basic player book.)
 

niklinna

my secret fighting dictionary is unbeatable
Please please please please, when someone suggests Dungeon World for a Powered by the Apocalypse option, please please substitute Ironsworn instead.

It actually delivers on the promise that Dungeon World only partially realized, IMHO.

Also, Shaintar or Pathfinder for Savage Worlds, Fantasy Craft, Radiance RPG, Swords of the Serpentine, Genesys w/ Realms of Terrinoth would all be good options.
I had a look at Ironsworn and found it very enticing! Much more interesting and gritty than Dungeon World. But as chance would have it, I've wound up in a Torchbearer 2e game instead, for now.
 

aramis erak

Legend
They released a version of GURPS 4th edition specifically for doing dungeon-crawl-type fantasy:

Plus there's always Discworld and Girl Genius.
SJ also reworked slightly and rereleased The Fantasy Trip - a good bit simpler, but GURPS 1E was "TFT redeveloped from second principles." TFT is simpler, but not simplistic.

40 years of people loving it. (It went OOP in 1984. Back in print a few years ago.)
 

Aldarc

Legend
Please please please please, when someone suggests Dungeon World for a Powered by the Apocalypse option, please please substitute Ironsworn instead.

It actually delivers on the promise that Dungeon World only partially realized, IMHO.

Also, Shaintar or Pathfinder for Savage Worlds, Fantasy Craft, Radiance RPG, Swords of the Serpentine, Genesys w/ Realms of Terrinoth would all be good options.
I would also recommend Stonetop. It's much closer to the Dungeon World chassis, though it shifts the game to Iron Age Fantasy, but it respresents a greater polish and evolution of Dungeon World with a lot of advice for running it that comes from firsthand DW experience. It's not out yet (April 2022), but it will probably be one of the new go-to books in this system.

I also recommend either Homebrew World (from Jeremy Strandberg, the creator of Stonetop) or Freebooters on the Frontier by Jason Lutes. These are much better variations of Dungeon World. The former polishes DW considerably while the latter moves DW closer to the OSR movement or old school feel of B/X D&D.
 



Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
The best "alternatives to current D&D" are typically older editions of D&D. The OSR is small potatoes by comparison to current D&D, but there's a lot of wild creativity going on in that space. Especially if you like the wild, weird, and strange. Old-School Essentials is currently the top dog in that space. There are others, of course, but it seems the most popular. It's a B/X retro-clone that recently came out with Advanced Fantasy which brings in the races and classes from AD&D. If you're looking for smooth, quick to play, and well supported...you can't go wrong with OSE.
We played some good ol’ BECMI with my youngest kid and two veteran players who are into 5e.

it was fast and crazy! A different game but fun. No losing D&D theme either…

we just wanted to do something simpler for a brief change…I bought all the pdfs….
 



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