Updated list of my favorite games (with QuestWords falling to #11 and D&D 5e to #12, and therefore off the list). QuestWorlds has seen many delays and until I play a commercially available version, it will fall of my list. Similarly, Wizards of the Coast recent debacle with their OGL changes and the announced future of OneD&D have left a bad test in my mouth.

By game, I mean more than the core rules, I mean a combination of the game mechanics and playability of the game, the robustness of 3rd party products or related games, and the game community for that system.

  1. Fate (Core, Condensed, Accelerated). I like to use a hack to use a single d6 die instead of Fate dice, an extended skill lists or 2-level skill lists, multiple skills for combat, and starting characters have 0 stress.
  2. BX D&D (Old-School Essentials, Basic Fantasy, Starships and Spacemen, BX Gangbusters, Basic Fantasy, Labyrinth Lord, etc.). Simpler than AD&D, BX (or Basic / Expert, the Red Box D&D basic rules from the 1980s) have the largest suite of adventures and modules (except for maybe D&D 5e). The game focuses on rulings not rules and procedural adventure generation.
  3. d100 (BRP, Call of Cthulhu, Rivers of London, OpenQuest, Jackals Clash system, Amboria (coming soon), d00Lite). In particular, I like DWD’s  d00Lite series (FrontierSpace, CovertOps, Art of Wuxia, Barebones Fantasy). I have 65% in Shoot so my odds to hit with a gun are 65% — simple, intuitive, and very fast in gameplay to run these games.
  4. Traveller (Mongoose Traveller, Cepheus Engine Games, Classic Traveller). I most like Mongoose Traveller, but with house rules to add grenade deviation, and adding a change in character creation to prevent sequencing issues. 2d6 mechanic is simple and intuitive. There are also dozens of genre-specific settings like Wild West, Noir Detectives, etc.
  5. D6 (WEG Star Wars, OpenD6, Mini6). I like to use HP instead of wound levels (rules-as-written in WEG Star Wars 1e produces an invulnerable Wookie). Play it where all characters are Jedi or no characters are Jedi to prevent balance issues.
  6. Pendragon. Essentially a d100 RPG but scaling down to d20 rolls. The main appeal is the highly regarded, multi-generational The Great Pendragon Campaign. This rating is based on a read of the rules; I’ve never actually played it! This system could rise (or fall) after I’ve taken it for a spin.
  7. The One Ring 2e. I’ve mostly played Adventures in Middle-earth (5e), but in the future, I’d move to use the simpler and more narrative TOR rules.
  8. Savage Worlds. Both the latest Adventure Edition and Pathfinder Savage Worlds are cool-looking games. I’ve played Savage Worlds before, it is very focused on miniatures combat, so if that’s your thing, this is a great game!
  9. 13th Age. If you want a combat-as-sport game with balanced encounters, it’s hard to find a better system than this. Pathfinder 2e is also great at balanced combat but boy is it crunchy!).
  10. PbtA (Dungeon World, Masks). Narrative system, but mechanics and rules quality vary widely from setting to setting.