The tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons has been around since 1974 and has seen many editions and rewrites during its existence. Now, it is more readily available since it was bought by Hasbro entertainment – players can now enjoy adventuring as warriors and wizards on a bigger scale.
It has been made popular through media with actors such as Will Wheaton and Vin Diesel both being players and Dungeon Masters for many years, and with shows like the Big Bang Theory popularising it, many more people are trying it out.
But as twenty-five years in the hobby will tell you, there are other tabletop Roleplaying games out there, so without further ado: here is a list of five different games to play besides Dungeons and Dragons.
Although Cyberpunk Red could have easily have made this list, Shadowrun edges it out by a small margin. The reason?: it takes everything you like about the Cyberpunk genre and mixes in the fantasy element of Dwarves, Orcs and Trolls.
Add in magic and dragons and you have a game that is a lot of fun to play. The rules are hard to get used to at first but this makes for an awesome game night, whether you are playing a one shot game or a campaign.
In Shadowrun, it is a Cyberpunk future where the awakening has happened and magic has crept into the world. The players are ‘Shadowrunners’, where they must master Shadowrunning. In a world of run and gun where cybernetics and magic are at odds, there is some serious fun to be had.
Dungeon Crawl Classics/Mutant Crawl Classics
Both these games are put in here due to them both being the same game but with different settings. Ever wondered what old school D&D is like? Well, here is a game that will answer that question. Add in the idea of magic that can be powered up at the cost of corrupting the caster with a risk reward system and the idea that gods can disapprove their followers, forcing them to quest as a penance, than you have Dungeon Crawl Classics.
Mutant Crawl classics follows the same system except in an apocalyptic wasteland, think Thundarr the Barbarian where goblins are armed with laser rifles, and your deity is a rogue AI.
The only issue with these games is that they require what is known as Zocchi dice and they can be a little pricy. Regardless, the rules are simple to follow and this game is great for a night of pure old school dungeon crawl.
Take a game like Dungeons and Dragons, set it in the future, and make it a blood sport where you play as contestants as opposed to adventurers and you have X-Crawl.
Based off the Pathfinder rule set, you play a sports personality that is involved in the blood sport of dungeon crawling for fame and fortune. You get bonuses for grandstanding and any monster you slay can be photographed for merchandise.
Outside the dungeon you act like a sports personality, you go on talk shows do advertisements and even go fight opposing team fans. Although not ideal for a one shot, as you need the pathfinder 1st edition bestiary book to fill your dungeon with, a campaign or a league can be had with this game.
A game nearly as old as Dungeons and Dragons – Runequest is set in the world of Gloriantha where Dragons ruled, before the gods gave humans the gift of bronze and magic. In this game, which is set in the bronze age, the players play members of tribes, using their skills to keep their tribe going from one season to the next.
With creatures and other tribes harassing them at every turn, the gods have put runes in the world which allow the players and others to use magic bestowed by those same gods. More powerful magic can be gained by going on what is called a ‘Hero quest’ – a big adventure that can last weeks of real time.
Definitely worth checking out if you fancy playing a tribe member in a war between human and dragon.
Vampire the Masquerade
With Bloodlines Two, meant to be coming out for PC and consoles, the Tabletop version of the role-playing game has been brought to the fold.
Playing immortal vampires in different factions and playing as different clans with different powers in an immortal struggle throughout the nights, Vampire the Masquerade is a game set in modern nights with a gothic punk feel.
New players will struggle with this at first due to the amount of role playing and storytelling involved, but once they get to grips with it, it is an amazing game to be played over a long campaign.
It is a game of humanity and struggling to control the beast within, and it’s interesting to see what happens to the players characters over the course of the nights.