Hm... seems like you're using IE. Can I suggest a better browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera? There are other choices too.

If you wanna stick with IE, or can't switch, I'll warn you right now, while most of this site should work with IE, stuff might come up buggy, so you might not enjoy it as much...

Looking: Legally free systems (SRDS/Free pdfs etc)

Aug 7, 2020 6:31 pm
Hi guys,

So my irl RPG group is university based (We have over 100 members) and we usually meet in a university building each academic year. Of course this years things are going to have to be a little different and at least for first semester we are going to be running online.

One problem with this is the DM's just can't pass their hardcopy around the table like usual, and as we are link to a uni we have to be very careful and aware of pdf/electronic file sharing rules.

One easy way around this is for DMs to run a game where the rules are available online like in an SRD, or that are free from the publisher. So the committee are looking to build a list for those considering running this year to look at. I said I'd ask you lot. Also two birds one stone I thought I'd generate a list that people here can see and use, as I know the issue sometimes comes up here.

To iterate I am only looking for systems where there is no question of the legality. Yes I am well aware there are places you can find whatever you are looking for, but that option is not on the table. Pretty sure it is also against this sites rules.

Mod's if you find a problem with the post,I am happy to change it/take it down.

Systems with SRDs

DnD 5e {I found too many of these to know the best one to link}
13th Age
Pathfinder/Starfinder/ Pathfinder 2e

System with free core books on sites like DriveThru RPG
Aug 7, 2020 6:38 pm
Check out Kalajel's big list, which includes SRDs
Aug 7, 2020 6:40 pm
I blind.

I think when I was first looking, I think I mistook it for the post about the giveaway as I was very tired. As someone had mention there was a similar list, but I think I found the previous one instead which didn't have quite what I wanted. Cheers for pointing that out
Last edited August 7, 2020 6:41 pm, a total of 1 time
Aug 7, 2020 6:44 pm
I would've linked you to this the other day when you were poking around on the GP discord, but I was late to the game (and on my phone, which doesn't have this handy link):

List of SRDs

Also worth mentioning: Stars Without Number has a free version on DTR (which includes the amazing world generator GM tools), as does Ironsworn (famous for it's solo and duo play modes). And of course, Lancer has the player rules for free.
Aug 7, 2020 6:45 pm
Question: Does your University Library have any access to PDF copy of some games? Public Library?

Both of these are resources that may not seem to be the most obvious places to look and can give you surprising results.

I did a quick look of my local library online system and found a few ebook copies of some DnD as well as a couple other systems.

Side note: Wouldn't this also be covered under "personal use" if one person with personal copies shared PDF's or scanned pages? I am unfamilar with those exact wording
Aug 7, 2020 6:51 pm
They are looking into the 'personal use' however all the games will be on the same server (though the categories will be role locked). Though there is also the issue of say me not wanting to pay for pdfs of Cthulu as my bf owns all the hardcopies. (And not everyone has a scanner). I'm no longer part of teh group leading it so I don't know everything they've looked into yet, but they have been delving pretty deep into copyright law (Also we are UK so there's some differences) to try and make sure whatever we do is above board.

I will suggest the public library.

The real shame is we as a society have a library full of physical copies of various systems, some popular, some obscure, that members can borrow. We have been looking into ways to try and expand that legally to e-copies but it is a mine field.
Aug 7, 2020 6:56 pm
Regarding personal use and sharing of digital content, it can get fidgety. You may own the license to possess that content on a personal device such as a laptop or tablet, but you might not have the right to "host" that content for others to see. You might not have the right to copy your personally-licensed material, even as a backup. There is also the issue of using an institution's resources (devices, bandwidth, etc) to share this content, in the event you made such an unlicensed copy to share with others.

This is far different from a book or other physical copy that you can pass around a table.
Aug 7, 2020 7:05 pm
Yeah, as Cancerman said. We had looked into maybe sharing with the ability to download turned off which you can do on some things, however that's still a no over here. Also we may end up with people in our groups we have never met before as it is mostly uni students, with a backbone of old timers, so we don't know if we can just people to not download/find someway to do so, and share it. While with my other irl group we are all very close friends and know we can trust each other not to do that.

(Also a slightly more subtle one, some pdfs, like paizo, have my e-mail address on as proof I own it, so some people would dislike sharing that. Again groups are strangers)
Aug 7, 2020 7:11 pm
For an old school fantasy fix, you can check out Basic Fantasy RPG. EVERYTHING on there is free. And if you want physical copies, they are sold at cost on Amazon and Lulu (print on demand). The core book costs $5

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