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Free RPG Day has gone to the dogs: the best games and free adventures for 2023

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Free RPG Day is on Saturday, June 24th. Like Free Comic Book Day, it has traditionally been an opportunity to visit your friendly local game store and stock up on miniature tabletop role-playing games and one-shot adventures. For 2023, publishers have turned the dial up to 11 by throwing several great quick-start guides into the mix. But what really stands out is how things have gotten to the dogs – literally.

Heckin’ Good Dogs

The cover of Heckin' Good Dogs is a pack of happy dogs running through the woods.

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Image: Wet Ink Play

Most interesting release of the year Heckin’ Good Dogs: Somebody’s Last Day on the TrackTTRPG quickstart document for all ages from Wet Inc Games. Using only six-sided dice and a regular deck of cards, players can crack open this slim, 33-page softcover book and be able to do their business. And that business, my friends, is to play the dog. It’s a wonderful introductory experience for families – or, really, for anyone new to tabletop role-playing as a hobby. This booklet contains all the rules needed to play and adventure. You can find the full game on DriveThruRPG.

Not to be outdone, the Annie-award winning team at Level 9 Games is back level 1, an 80-page softcover book packed with innovative rules-lit TTRPGs. here called standout Rainbow Bridge, In it, players take on the role of pets going to the afterlife. It is a short, three-page play that is full of emotion. You can trace past years level 1 The volume is available as a free download on the 9th Level website.

Rounding up the TTRPG trifecta of rare pet-lovers is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for Steamforged Games. animal adventuresWhich uses the rules from 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. Far Sea: Apocalypse Miao 27 glossy pages long and includes full-colour art and a battle map – the perfect add-on for a UK-based company Animal Adventures Starter SetIncludes seven miniatures of adorable lovable adventurers,

quick start for days

A “quickstart” document for a TTRPG traditionally comes with all the rules needed to play the game, as well as an introductory adventure and some pre-generated characters. Think of these as pamphlet-sized starter sets, and there are plenty of them available this year.

The cover art for Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game features several benders at work.

Image: Magpie Games

The biggest quickstart ever in the mix Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game, which made it all the way to Kickstarter with over $9.5 million from backers. The game is available to order now, but if you don’t want to jump in now and buy a copy, a 48-page quickstart guide is available. plus It includes pre-made characters and some quick reference sheets. You can read more about Magpie Games’ blockbuster in our feature story.

This year also includes quick start guides for the following games: Achtung Cthulhu (Modified Entertainment), dragonbane (free league, Root: The Roleplaying Game (magpie), and swords of serpentine (Pelgren Press).

Finally, there’s a neat little quickstart packet for ruleless games called Maze (9th level games) which I find really fascinating. It is literally a pad of paper with rules written on both sides. Simply tear them out in sequence, reading aloud what you’ve been asked to do, and your table is set and your players are ready to roll. If you only have 30 minutes to hang out in your FLGS this weekend, spend it with this game and you won’t be disappointed.

one time adventure

“One-Shot” adventures are short, multiple-encounter supplements that will require you to have the core ruleset in order to play. They’re all available for free in the store, but you’ll also need a special TTRPG ruleset to use them all. Thankfully, most of these rules are available as quickstart documents that you can download for free. We link to them below as they apply.

Here are the other one-shot adventures available during Free RPG Day:

  • taste of the moon For Vampire: The Masquerade (Find the quickstart on DriveThruRPG.)
  • Cobra/Con Fusion For gi joe roleplaying game And Transformers Roleplaying Game
  • Operation Seaside Park For starfinder (find Basic Rules Cheat Sheet on the Paizo website.)
  • Storm Eel’s Rest For adventures in rokugan (This game is adapted to the 5th edition rules. Dungeons & Dragons,
  • pierce the demon’s eye For dungeon crawl classics (You can find the Quickstart guide on the Goodman Games website.)
  • car Crush And oliver twisted For Zombicide: History (The quick start is on the CMON website.)

There are also plenty of surprises in store for those who visit their neighborhood game shop. But be aware that quantities of all of these items are limited, so before you pick up one of the more sought-after items, perhaps ask around to see if anyone is ready to do a quick shopping before you go home with your loot. wants to play the game.

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