Free Tabletop RPGs:OSRIC: This is my tabletop RPG system of choice. It's a retro-clone of AD&D from the late '70s and early '80s. For more information visit the OSRIC home page.
To save money on printing I've also done some adobe acrobatics on the original PDF and done an OSRIC Player's Handbook. It's exactly the same, but only the player relevant sections are included. Fewer than half the pages means less than half the printing costs, after all. If you'd like to have a few copies to toss out on the table for your next game you are welcome to use it, too.
I don't like the OSRIC character sheets. This is a custom OSRIC Character Sheet I developed with a much more old school look and feel. Yes... the left margin is kinda big. That was on-purpose so you can 3-hole punch the sheet without messing it up.
A good DM's screen is a must for running a session of OSRIC or AD&D. This custom DM screen borrows heavily from the original 1st edition DM screen, but does not include tables for psionics.
Labyrinth Lord: Another great retro clone, this time for Basic/Expert D&D. This link takes you to the No-Art free version, but you should seriously consider getting the Labyrinth Lord full version from the Goblinoid Games website. It's six bucks well spent. The website also has a free companion supplement, character sheets, and a number of other games that are a bit less on the free side.
Swords and Wizardry: Yet another D&D retro clone, this time for the original game. This is the edition us old schoolers called "The White Box" including all the supplements. Nowadays this edition is typically referred to as "OD&D". You can visit the official website here to see what else this publisher as to offer.
Mutant Future: This is a retro-clone of TSR's Gamma World. There are some cool accessories on the publishers game page.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons/OSRIC
BattleSystem Counters/Miniatures Substitutes:
I lost my BattleSystem counters years ago so I remastered these from some photos I found on BoardGameGeek. These also make great substitutes for expensive tabletop miniatures. Perhaps some time I shall number them to make them even more useful for melee combat. They come in 3 colors, Gold, Tan, and Mauve. Of course, I took the liberty of adding a few new counters that were conspicuously missing from the official release, like pikemen, crossbowmen, and kobold infantry. And I also needed new Status Counters.
Top SecretTop Secret Driving Rules.
Free Video Games
Mech Commander 2
I couldn't believe my luck when Microsoft released the source code for MechCommander 2, one of my favorite all time computer games. This version is 100% free and legal.
There are two features missing from the freeware version of the game. The source code release doesn't include support for multiplayer or video, so there are no cutscenes. It DOES include a mission editor so you can make your own missions and campaigns.
MC2 was the first game I ever modded and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I still have two copies of the game disc, and I always have a backup ISO on my hard drive and my weekly backup.
Wolfman's MC2X. If you've never played this game before make sure you start with the Carver V campaign from the MS source code release or the Return of White Company version of MC2X. Wolfman has given us a great mod, but his campaigns are altogether too difficult for newbies.
Omnitech is a work in progress, and it's already a completely different game. Beyond the wild improvements to the games graphics Magic is also making resource management much more challenging and fun.
Best of all, both of these mods include working mission/campaign editors!
Mechwarrior 4: God I love Battletech. MW4 was a bit of a disappointment, but it's still a good game and the price is right. The boards are small. The action is fast and furious and not very strategic, and it doesn't get along well with Windows Vista. On the up-side there are expansion packs available that add more than 100 new mechs as well as an assortment of new units and equipment.
Ur Quan Masters: Originally released as Star Control 2 this is an old DOS game made windows compatible by the miracle of DOSBox. This game is old school. It's HARD, but it's one of the best games EVER even if it is just a glorified "Asteroids".
FlightGear: This is a first class flight simulator and it's completely free. Because it's open source there are literally hundreds of mods for it allowing you to add new planes, terrain packs, and airports pretty much at will.
Lord of the Rings Online: I hate MMO's. Honest I do. But I admit it. Every blue moon or so I get the hankering to socialize with complete strangers and kill some trolls, and LotRO is a good deal. It's got great graphics, an active and friendly community, and most importantly there's no monthly fee. Besides... I mean... It's MIDDLE EARTH!
Excelsior Freeshard: I hate MMO's. Honest I do. No really. But... Back in the day I played Ultima Online like a madman. Of course now I realize that paying hundreds of dollars a year for an MMO I almost never play any more is... well... stupid. So I have abandoned my tower in Felucia. Every now and then I get nostalgic, though. And this is a great place to get a quick UO fix. It's very pet trainer friendly, so if you get enough high level pets you can pretty effectively solo most areas.
Star Trek Online: This is the last MMO I'll be talking about for a while, but Star Trek Online, or STO, recently went Free to Play (or F2P). My love of all things trek (except for Jar Jar Abrams) is pretty well documented so I jumped on board immediately and I'm having a great time with my fictional career in the UFP. Truth be told it's quite easy to turn off the chat client and just pretend it's a single player game.
One unique element of STO is the Foundry, a tool that lets users create missions. It sucks. It is without doubt the most useless toolset ever released for any game, ever. That said... I'm having a great time with it. Look for my mission "Facets 1- A Brief Diversion" while you're in there.
FreeCiv: The old school classic, Civilization. I still play the SNES version on my phone all the time.
UFO Alien Invasion: This is a modern take on a DOS classic, UFO: Enemy Unknown. It is one of the best turn strategy games ever made. I have the DOS version, but if you want to give it a play but don't want to spend any money (or if you think modern graphics are more important than an authentic experience) UFO Alien Invasion is the game for you.
TORCS: The Open-Source Racing Car Simulator is the best most modable racing game ever made. It has a fantastic core engine and tons of downloadable content including new tracks and cars.
Oolite: This is a freeware version of Elite, one of the first and best sandbox style space sims ever made. It's open hooded design have allowed it to be heavily modded and there are scores of new ships, systems, HUDs, and texture packs available. One word of warning. I never did get this game working on my laptop. I don't blame Oolite for this though. Intel integrated graphics chips just suck.