Basic Fantasy RPG
|First Publication||2006 (1e), 2008 (2e), 2013 (3e)|
A retroclone of the old B/X rules, Basic Fantasy is currently in it's third edition. The main book features the classic four classes: Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Magic-User; in addition, adaptations of the monster manual and equipment lists, all in one concise, easy to understand package.
What It Changes
- Races are kept separate from classes.
- It uses a d20 style attack style where you want to roll at or over your enemies AC.
- Speaking of AC, it is now ascending rather than descending.
- All race/class combinations may go to level 20.
What's Good About It
- It is completely free from it's website with steady updates in the form of rule clarifications, supplements, and adventures.
- If you need the book, the author sells them at cost through Amazon
- Being a retroclone, it is almost perfectly compatible with all other old school and retroclone modules.
- Being a community project, the website features a lot of curated player made content, including reintroduction of classes like the Paladin and Ranger as well as a lengthy list of magical items.
- The rules are simple enough that a GM and players can skim the book and have a party and an adventure ready very quickly (characters in under 10 minutes, an adventure in maybe an hour).
- There are several free adventure modules for it that emulate a lot of the old adventures (The Chaotic Caves=Keep on the Borderlands, Saga of the Giants=The Giant Adventures, etc.).
tl;dr: It's a cheap, well written, and accessible way of introducing younger players to how D&D used to be played without losing any of the beardiness.
In 2015, Gonnerman released Iron Falcon, an RPG aiming to be for OD&D what Basic Fantasy was for Moldvay Basic. Focusing on just adapting the original rules plus Greyhawk, the game is also free.