Let’s face it there a ton of retroclones out there and each has it’s own little tweak and interpretation of the rules. Sometimes, it’s hard keep track of all of them and sometimes on gets lost in the shuffle. Such is the case with the Basic Fantasy RPG.
I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of fanfare and hoopla around the game or if it’s just something as simple of getting lost in the mix of the Internet or an unassuming title that might get confused with Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying. All that doesn’t matter too much. Because it’s there, it’s free and it’s pretty darned good.
Oh, I know. We have plenty of retroclones. We don’t need yet another reinterpretation of the good old dungeon crawling rules. To that I say, poppycock. Each and every one of the retroclones brings something slightly different to the table either in slightly new mechanics or inspiration for GM’s to create their own. That’s not a bad thing.
On its own, Basic Fantasy brings a solid set of easy rules. Nothing fancy or over the top. It’s got your basic classes and races, old school saving throws, ascending AC and the usual spells, monsters and magic items. Some might say that’s kind of bland. In way, it’s a strength for Basic Fantasy as an intro game. The unassuming title and mechanics just give new players one less thing to think about and should put them more at ease. Not to mention, the similarities with other retroclones allows GM’s to quickly and easily convert adventures of their choosing. And speaking of adventures, Basic Fantasy is amazingly well supported with adventures and supplements. Sometimes even better than some of the other more recognized games. Plus, there’s some really handy tools on their site. Just go check them out.
So there you have it. A free, well-supported RPG that might have just fell off your radar. Great as an unintimidating intro game for newbies. It’s worth the time to add it to your library.