Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Challenger RPG -- Free!

When I was on Amazon looking for some books, this book popped up in my side bar as recommended. It was a kindle edition and it was free, so I decided to give it a look, hey its free.

First off on Amazon the author spouts off this:

#1 in Free Roleplaying and Fantasy Kindle Books "January, February, and March 2012"
#14 in Free Fantasy Kindle Books "January 2012"
Top 50 and under in Free Fantasy Kindle Books "From January 2012 Onwards..."
Outranked "Angry Birds" in Games on Kindle at one point.

This is a pen and paper tabletop roleplaying game, not a computer game. If you're looking for one of those, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere. I highly recommend the dungeon-crawling German rogue-like "Lost Labyrinth" which is free to download and a purely awesome game.

If you're looking for fiction, you're in luck! You will find the completely free comic fantasy novel "The End of The World" at the very back of this e-book. Enjoy.
Okay, well that is pretty darn good, and it made me really want to grab my kindle and start reading, as the game promises the following:

Free, 20+ Races, 36 Classes, 50+ skills including: specific skills, broad skills, power skills, and special ability skills. GM rolls no dice, completely player-driven approach to gaming with a core mechanic using the d20 and set damage ratings for most weapons so combat is faster and more furious than ever before. 2x faster combat than 4E Dungeons and Dragons.

More than 60 Pages of GM advice useable with any system. New rules on stacking monsters, monster subtypes, magic items, a list of monsters for use with Challenger, traps, and rules on non-combat obstacles complete with TN's.

The rules on Base Skills have been removed and clarified. No more must you roll 75 different base skills to start play. It's as simple as choosing your skills, classes, race, 5 powers, purchasing equipment and calculating your stats and you're done!

New rules on armor, equipment, and improved background powers to further detail your character like never before. Crazy races have been ditched and new races combined to make the rules on races simpler, more flexible, and even more entertaining!

You'll still find the classic traits generator for your character, improved formatting thanks to the masterful Matt Fleming (soon to be included in the game credits) and fantastic artwork by the incomparable L.E.C.D.
Well the first thing I noticed were a bunch of spelling errors, and sentences that should have a question mark on it, have nothing.  I can look past that, as I have be guilty of making the same  mistake (may not as bad as this though). First thing that stood out to me, was there was a novella sized story in the back of the book, set in its own world with many possible interesting characters. The thing that fell flat about it, was the characters didn't seem real, and it was like they were often sharing in some inside joke only the author knew about.

There is a diamond in here, the GM section of the book. It goes into some pretty neat details about creating adventures. Bonus for any person struggling to create something.

The rules and other things are a bit weird.. Here is the races involved:
Human, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Troll, Horse, Robot, Toad, Catgirl, Ooze, Stickman, Skeleton, Cyclops, Nymph, Centaur, Wraith, Gremlin, Alien, Squirrel, Satyr, Tin soldier, Puppet, Magical orb, T-rex, Narwhal, Immortal, Diety, and Killer chicken

Here is the classes involved:
Warrior, Wizard, Healer, Beastmaster, Bard, Ninja, Rage maniac, Pirate, Body/mind master, Magic Item Maker, Phase-shifter, Shape-shifter, Knifethrower, Diplomat, Loner, Master Cook, Spy, Handsome Dude, Collector, Hunter, Seductress, and Illusionist.

After seeing all this, I couldn't continue reading the book, the rules of the game for combat and other things are written so weird that I had to read them twice to understand how to do something. I see the passion that went into this book, but it needs to be polished up a bit.

You can download the kind edition here for free or you can download the full edition for free at RPGNOW.


  1. Hi there,

    I'm the author of Challenger RPG. I'd like to apologize for any spelling errors/confusing rules in the book. It's somewhat of a work in progress for me. If you have any ideas on improving the clarity of the rules, I'd love to hear them!

    That said, there is now a new revision of the book out and I've added in a TOC, updated the glossary, alphabetized, amalgamated some of the crazy races, and tried to better explain the fundamental rules and how the (admittedly many) classes work.

    At the request of the players, I've also added in weapon damage.

    There are new legendary and epic powers, clarification of power types, and new rules on creating dungeons and other basics.

    As to the novel, I wrote it long ago when I was a little over 15 so I'm sure it's a little bit confusing. I'm currently in the process of rewriting some of my earlier works. Editing is a very large part of the writing process.


    I really appreciate your taking the time to write about my game. Thank you. I'm committed to making it the finest RPG product I can possibly put out there. If you find anything at all that you think should be changed, have any ideas for improvement, or have any recommendations whatsoever: please let me know! My contact e-mail can be found on my website: http://www.challengerrpg.com/

    Like it says at the end of my product description: I've spend thousands of hours on the book, flown over 1,500 miles, and met countless gamers and designers. I know Challenger isn't done yet, but I hope to do all in my power to see it improve and become worthy of your invaluable time and attention.

    Again, thanks so much for understanding, and for the feedback!

    Best Regards,

    --David L. Dostaler
    Author, Challenger RPG (free)