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Basic Fantasy RPG 3rd Edition

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This is the revised 3rd Edition of the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game, a rules-light game system based on the d20 SRD v3.5, but heavily rewritten with inspiration from early RPG game systems. It is suitable for those who are fans of "old-school" game mechanics, yet simple enough for children in perhaps second or third grade to play while still having enough depth for adults as well.

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Reviews (12)
Discussions (9)
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Lesley N March 26, 2023 10:15 pm UTC
A year later.

I might be refuting some of my earier comments in the process here.

I have purchased the softcover on Amazon, great price, only to decide, no, I want hardcover, so I bought that as well. Just means I have a spare item. I think I got a good deal.

Over the course of much of 2022, I have obtained by one method or another pdfs, printed outs of pdfs, purchased POD items and items on Amazon (more less the same thing as POD) for quite a few rolegames. Mostly some form of old school D&D wannabe. I have OSE and OSRIC and a variety of more or less the same basic objective, something that looks or feels like pre 2nd edition D&D.

Long story short, I mulled and fussed and generally had trouble making up my mind, until in the end, Basic Fantasy Role-playing Game won out over all competitors. Beat out some big names as well. Actual D&D editions, as well as big names like Palladium Fantasy and Warhammer.

Many reasons. But, mostly because...See more
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Lesley N October 09, 2022 5:37 pm UTC
I reserve the right to change my opinion :) (it's a rare skill).

Got my Amazon purchase yesterday. Sometimes seeing something in your hands makes a difference.
Ok, I'm not saying this comment is for the entire system's books, but I AM saying it for this particular book (Basic Fantasy).

With both books in my hands Rules Cyclopedia and Basic Fantasy, one can make certain observations.
Rules Cyclopedia is bloated. Basic Fantasy is concise.
Rules Cyclopedia is twice the page count of Basic Fantasy.
That might actually matter. Depends on your needs.

You CAN play a complete D&D experience with either book. You need no other books.
But Basic Fantasy is very well 'organized'. Organization is it's own reward.
Full game rules, bestiary, magic, nothing is missing.
Rules Cyclopedia has the maps and the world of Mystara built in.

You DON'T need any of the other books that have been made along with Basic Fantasy. But like usual,...See more
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Lesley N July 09, 2022 1:32 am UTC
There really is only one downside to Basic Fantasy RPG. Inconsistent product options.

I'd like to go to say Amazon, and just gulp it all down.
The first book is available as a hardcover. Not the others though.
Anthology 1 and 2 are there, not 3. First Field Guide, not 2 and 3.

There's a book worth of odds and ends call it a Companion potentially. But it hasn't been created.

A lot of fuss, to amass a unified purchase.

Or I take the pdfs, rip them apart, and do it myself I suppose.
Base manual, 3 anthlogies, 3 field guides, and a hand created companion.
Size wise, The base manual COULD be reorganized with the other content.
Sizewise, just make one big anthology and one big field guide.
It COULD be a really awesome set.

But it's easier to just buy the Rules Cyclopedia, Monster Manual 1, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Unearthed Arcana here in Hardcover.
I didn't mention the Players Handbook because I don't consider...See more
Customer avatar
Chris G July 09, 2022 5:24 am UTC
I'm sorry you're unhappy with the game. I'll say that I don't think you really understand the Basic Fantasy Project, which is a community effort to create content. The third Anthology and second and third Field Guide aren't in print yet because they aren't done... they are still under active, if a bit slow, revision and correction. And as to the Companion document you mention, there never will be such a book; I have stated my reasons for this in several places over the last 16 years, so I'm not going to do it here.

Of course you can buy a complete set of classic D&D or AD&D books. There will almost certainly never be any more of them.
Customer avatar
Lesley N July 10, 2022 4:50 pm UTC
Hey Chris, I was not aware it was more a free form community effort.

As I said, it could be more. But if what I have seen is 16 years of accumulated effort, I guess it is time it was unified.
Or not. That is for you to say though I guess.

I'm not saying the old D&D products are better. They're almost the same. Just a bit more organized.
Customer avatar
Lesley N October 06, 2022 6:53 pm UTC
Returning to the discussion.
Been a while, searched out a lot of versions.

Yes, there are other products doing the same thing.
I have recently realized, that sometimes it's the little details.
Basic Fantasy, the core main book, DOES have one feature that matters. Light weight physical simplicity.
I have pondered getting the core book as it is just smaller more compact easier to carry. Very low price on Amazon.
It's essentially a lot less weight and bulk than my Rules Cyclopedia. And combines well with a product by another Solo Dungeon Crawler and or Solo Wilderness Crawler.
Portable is something worth mention occasionally.
Customer avatar
Lesley N October 06, 2022 7:22 pm UTC
Update, I took the plunge :) Grabbed the softcover on Amazon. $7.50 CAD. Hardly a major expenditure. It will be my portable carry with me book for light solo adventuring. OSE is a nice product, but their book is priced higher than a full colour hardcover of Rules Cyclopedia :)
Customer avatar
Peter L June 22, 2021 5:49 pm UTC
I've just stumbled onto this - could older d20 stuff (like the Iron Kingdoms books from PP) be rolled into these rules?
Customer avatar
Chris G June 22, 2021 10:45 pm UTC
No idea, but the place to ask is our forums at
Customer avatar
Vincent H January 18, 2021 10:40 am UTC
Thank you very much for making it available as a harback copy here. I've been using bfrpg for about a year and it's a bliss, it made my whole family like get into rpgs. Imo, it's a quality product that is easy to read and understand, approachable and extremely enjoyable. Thanks again.
Customer avatar
Chris G January 18, 2021 5:09 pm UTC
You are welcome sir! Glad you are enjoying it!
Customer avatar
Juan H January 17, 2021 5:26 am UTC
Super Awesome...DM since 1979:)
Customer avatar
Chris G January 17, 2021 6:05 am UTC
Thank you sir!
Customer avatar
Chris G January 10, 2015 5:28 am UTC
Please, Samuel, contact RPGNow support and ask them to fix it.

You DID get the 3rd Edition from our website, right?
Customer avatar
Samuel K January 10, 2015 5:42 am UTC
I downloaded that and much, much more from your website. :) I'll contact RPGNow ... now!
Customer avatar
Samuel K January 17, 2015 11:14 pm UTC
FYI, I contacted support, they told me they would have to get back to me, never did. I tried downloading the file again just now, still says 2nd edition. I have the 3rd edition from your site, though, so I'm set. :)
Customer avatar
Chris G December 27, 2014 2:27 am UTC
The version of the file on RPGNow's server appears to be R96, the first print release of 3rd Edition. When you go to My Library, what filename does it show for the file?

Y'know what, let's cut out the middleman. All Basic Fantasy Project titles are always free in PDF on our site, Just go to the Downloads page, and you can get the current R97 version from there. The cover PDF is available there as well.

I would be interested in knowing why they sent you the 2nd Edition version; I removed it some time ago.
Customer avatar
Samuel K January 10, 2015 1:11 am UTC
Hey, Chris. Ya, I just went to your site. :) Lots of good stuff there, as always.
I just tried re-downloading it, still getting the 2nd edition. No worries, just FYI.
Customer avatar
Samuel K December 27, 2014 1:50 am UTC
When I download this file, the title page says 2nd edition (version 75).
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This title was added to our catalog on November 25, 2014.