Welcome to Sad Press Games, home of slightly strange, slightly thorny, independent tabletop RPGs. Everything here is free and/or pay-what-you-want. It is also (more or less) mothballed. That said, if you are a games designer who has something very cool and weird and radical that is looking for a home, do get in touch.
- Skycrawl, a text-based adventure game that runs in your browser. A fragment, and likely to stay that way, but still a pretty big fragment. (Skycrawl is set in The Vale, same as Dungeons & Drapers and Shadows & Shapes, only it is set in the Second Age, before the banning of the Adventuring Guilds. So you're not forced to be a Reeve or whatever).
Tabletop RPGs available now:
- Daiquiris & Demigods, also known as Dungeons & Drinking, a featherweight universal system where drinking replaces dice.
- Drama & Dice, a featherweight universal system with a core mechanic you can retrofit to most tabletop RPGs.
- Shadows & Shapes, a lightweight dungeoncrawler based around a trick-taking card game.
- Dungeons & Drapers, also known as Hunger Games & Dragons. Play a candle-maker moonlighting as a mage. Try not to get swept into the Prosperous Game ...
- Ends, a diceless system where you search for your lost friends in a semi-submerged New York City.
These two games have all the rules you need to play them, but they're by no means finished. Realistically I don't see much opportunity to continue work on them in the near future. Sorry!
- Dungeons & Dead Presidents, guidelines on gambling and tabletop RPGs.
- Ambershadow Ambler, an experiment in collaborative game / story authoring, using Twine. Star Trekky.
- Bardabracadabra, a ridiculous bardic magic supplement for use with any fantasy tabletop RPG.
- Dungeons & Decks, a hack for using tarot cards to cast magic in D&D and other fantasy tabletop RPGs. Instrumentalizes the numinous & numinizes the instrumental. What if you do real magic while you're doing fake magic? Includes Excel grimoire.
Tabletop RPG "under development":
- Dreams & Dystopias, near future mutant teen adventures, based on the diceless Disempowered by the Apocalypse (TM) rule set. Working on this is at the bottom of a really long list.
Skycrawl: I'm gradually teaching myself the interactive fiction engine Twine, & like everyone else I'm doing that by building a little text-based dungeon crawler. You're very welcome to playtest! It should just run in your browser. The setting is similar to that of Dungeons & Drapers, though without the "adventuring in secret" premise (it's set a little earlier, perhaps). Also, here's a very short unseelie bit excerpted, and a YouTube video describing one of the techniques (using arrays to create locations). I don't think I'll work on Skycrawl much more, but the fragment is big enough to play around and start a story. When it glitches, maybe you can finish the story in your mind ... ?
- Sad Press Games at DriveThruRPG
- Sad Press Games at Patreon
- All That Is Solid Melts Into Aargh! (SF&F fiction etc.)
- Sad Press Poetry
- Economic Humanities
- The Boarding Kennel: board games reviews
- Mhairi Simpson's Be a Bard storytelling game
- Risus: a free universal rules-lite RPG -- use its cliché-based aptitudes concept to improve Drama & Dice (and maybe Daiquiris & Demigods) immeasurably
- E. Chris Garrison's list of free RPGs
- Rob Lang's Free RPG Blog
- Jenna Moran's WTF
- Design Patterns: almost an RPG design notation system?
- John Wick's Flux - a multiverse meta-RPG
- Bounty Hunters of the Atomic Wasteland - another free post-apocalyptic RPG
- The Republic
- Runed Age magic system
- Fear Fetchers (I like Sarcastic Teen as an upgraded enemy)
- John H. Kim's RPG site (with many many more links)
- Stephanie Bryant's games
- David Schirduan et al.'s 200 word RPG challenge
- Game Chef - annual RPG competition
- First Person Scholar - games studies articles, essays, etc.
- Emily Clare Boss's site (including games & fictional games)
- Icar: free space opera RPG
- Sufficiently Advanced: a posthuman / singularity themed RPG
- Geomorphs (dungeon tiles), Dave's mapper, Donjon (random dungeon generator)
So: This site is kind of shambolic. If you have any trouble ordering or downloading, please accept my curt, clearly reluctant apologies, & let me know via Twitter or Gmail (josephclwalton). Or if you'd like to pay in kind or not at all for something, do hit me up & I'll arrange it.