I am arranging a small convention that will be open to the public in the small town where I live. More details will be coming about that in future articles, but the purpose of the convention is to introduce new people to RPGs. For this reason I am building the convention around the theme of using open source systems and materials, because a free sample never hurts when you are trying to gain new customers.
Free RPGs are a wonderful way for GMs to expand their styles and abilities without making costly upfront investments. Here are three of my favorite free RPG systems.
As many readers already know I am a huge fan of Fudge  and its derivatives. One of those derivatives is FATE , and a wonderful derivative of Fate is Free FATE. I find this version of the FATE rules to be the most concise and well-written version, especially for people new to FATE.
The MicroLite20 RPG Collection
Another derivative work, this one of the OGL System Reference Document for the d20 system, the MicroLite20 RPG Collection  is not only a great barebones game system but a wonderful assortment of settings. You do not need to download the whole collection, as many of the individual games are available on their own web sites (such as Where No Man Has Gone Before 2.0  which is what I will be running for my next campaign).
There is something about this 661 page PDF that reminds me of how much fun I had as a kid when I first started playing RPGs. Maybe it is the seemingly endless possibilities, or is it simply because I adapted D&D to be used for every setting I wanted to play back then? Who cares? This is good stuff!
Many a fan of Star Wars RPGs  knows about the West End Games  version that used the D6 system as its core engine. Well that system is open, and not only that but you can download four PDFs for the system: the core book, the fantasy supplement, the space supplement, and the adventure supplement. Not to bad of a start if you want to experiment with a different set of rules as well as build your own setting for your next game.
What’s Your Favorite Free RPG?
Those are my top three favorites, at least for now they are as there are more and more great RPGs being released by fans for free it seems. What are some of yours? Share your favorite free RPGs with the rest of us by leaving a comment below.