Top 10 Games LIKE D&D...but BETTER! (Ep. 319) -

Top 10 Games LIKE D&D…but BETTER! (Ep. 319)

Dungeon Craft
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Professor DM counts down his top D&D 10 Dungeons & Dragons variants. Check out these INDEPENDENT creators!

0:00 Intro & Criteria
2:13 #s 10-6
8:04 #s 5-1

THEME MUSIC! “Fury of the Dragon’s Breath” by Peter Crowley Bandcamp:


  1. I've heard about Shadowdark, but I've been sitting on getting the OSE classic boxed set for a while (I have Basic Fantasy, but its attack, saving throw, and turn undead matrixes are in weird, weird, terrible places and monster blocks just say "Save as a Fighter level x" so I have to use the Matrix.), and this video was the push that made me order one from Noble Knight games.

    With shipping (but also a slight discount from Necrotic Gnome's $70 market price), I paid $77 on yet another RPG system when I don't even have a group. I love the idea of a box set, but I am not entirely sure I've done the right thing….

  2. I think Moldvay's Challenger game was 12 pages. It looks like a perfect D&D substitute.

  3. I own seven of these and man;are they good!

  4. I know this was a tough list prof, but I think you missed a big one with worlds without number by Crawford. Excellent DM section with dozens of tables and tools for world building, faction system, similarities to BX.

  5. Hyperborea is a great game, and certainly not just a Conan ripoff, please give it another look!

  6. DungeonWorld changed my life. It's not something that Dungeon Craft would like I'm guessing, but DungeonWorld most closely emulates epic, movie-like adventure and combat and fast-paced action.

  7. I don't like his politics which are pretty involved and controversial, but he seems like a good guy. Alexander Macris' Adventurer Conqueror King is a great B/X clone with an amazing chapter and resources on creating a fantasy milieu, in depth economics, an actual procedure for stronghold/domain management and an amazing supplement (Lairs & Encounters) that presents a fully stocked lair for every single monster that appears in the core rulebook.

  8. awww… i thought you were going to give a list of old school games, not new ones, uber disappointment.

  9. who did the graphic design for shadowdark?

  10. Very nice vid. I would also suggest "Basic Fantasy" rpg, wich is a free pdf, very simple "entry level" rules, and available in various languages.👍🏻

  11. Done with kickstarters, though Shadowdark already had the material ready to go at the end of the kickstarter it came to late for me. I have been waiting 2yrs for 5 different kickstarters and will not do another. 5E tanked and the books will eventually end up in a box in the closet. Wotc continues to shit on its customer base with political BS. Burnt out taking a break.

  12. So the #1 game system, in your opinion, is one that hasn't even been released yet and hasn't seen any significant play time or perhaps has seen no playtime at all?

    This must be just a speculative list, because it's very clear that this list was not based upon personal experience or any sort of consensus by seasoned GMs. Or maybe this is just a top 10 list of game systems at look like they would be pretty good

  13. I think there needs to be some clarification. Robert e Howard's Conan is in hyborea, not hyperborea.
    While it is true that the hyperborea game draws upon some of the works of Robert e Howard, It draws far more upon the works of Clark Ashton Smith. As such, it's a bit inaccurate to call HYPERBOREA a Conan game.
    People who have read the works of Clark Ashton Smith would be able to recognize this immediately, because Clark Ashton Smith is renowned for his works in the hyperborea cycle, from which this game system derives its name.
    If there is any game system in that list that draws heavily upon the works of Clark Ashton Smith, HP Lovecraft, Robert e Howard, It is surely the HYPERBOREA game and not Lamentations of the flame princess.

  14. I hate D&D levels, classes, and races. About the only thing I like is the six attributes. Even AC is kind of dumb the way its used. I feel like to hit a thing that doesn't want to be hit should be 100% guy swinging vs thing's mobility. If you do hit it should be damage you do vs armor's absorbing potential. Is there anything out there that plays like this?

  15. Thaco is pretty simple make your attack add or subtract the enemies ac to hit your target number. People talk about thaco like its a 4 step process but its really not. I started with 3rd edition but much prefer ad&d and ose.

  16. Hrm…That Doom thing sounds like 2d20 but with d10's.
    Kudos promoting non-D&D games. It's definitely the right time for it. Of course Pathfinder 2e is a lot like D&D and Paizo doesn't even care about money, as all the rules are available for free on archives of nethys since the 1st edition, but I appreciate promoting smaller companies.

  17. Fantastic video! Loved your review of Castles and Crusades for that is a personal favourite. I was wondering about your opinion of their rules regarding Primary and Secondary attributes. It’s a system that elegantly replaces Skill lists.
    When I buy ShadowDark I’m hoping I can combine both games – Castles and Crusades feels like an old friend I want to include in every game.

  18. did you get a new camera? you look washed out. turn off the beauty filter. good video tho, like DCC and Lamentations

  19. A little sad you didn't mention the Whitehack, as I feel it's an absolutely brilliant game in its own right.

  20. Feels weird giving first spot to a game that isn’t even out yet. That being said, I probably totally agree 🤣

  21. My list would have many of the same entries with the inclusion of Whitehack and Worlds Without Number

  22. Have not come across any games you have hosted, plan to post any?

  23. What about some of the original trailblazers like Basic Fantasy, Labyrinth Lord, and OSRIC?

  24. Great to know since dnd is becoming a woke cesspool

  25. For someone who claims to not shill kickstarters you sure have been doing so a lot lately. I also think you might not know what grimdark means since you use it so liberally.

    I’m also curious how many of these systems you have actually run/played since you can’t really speak to the quality of a game until you’ve actually put some hours into it.

  26. My favorite is OSE… but specifically Advanced Fantasy. It's like a mix of B/X with a bunch of the good stuff from AD&D 1e. 🙂 And the layout is the best there is, if you ask me.

  27. I wonder if Prof. GM is familiar with Godbound? It's like a (greatly simplified) D&D version of Exalted.

  28. Look up Earthdawn and shadowrun by fasa. 2 of my favorite systems to rp

  29. My favourite is Dungeon Fantasy (powered by GURPS)

  30. Yes, Lamentations of the Flame Princess is there. This list is correct.

  31. Most of those games are in my inspiration folder when I design my game ^^

  32. I love the fact that Wotc has so much competition! Muhahhaa!!!

  33. When is Top 20-11 Games LIKE D&D…but BETTER!

  34. Games like DnD but better?
    Ha, if the bar was any lower it would be lying on the ground. DnD has spawned many great settings to play in but no matter which edition I've always found the rules to be bizarre.

  35. How could you leave out Basic Fantady and OSRIC?

  36. Do you have any tips for creating more immersion while not being gimmicky? Thanks for the great content PDM!

  37. LotFP used to be so much fun but it's kind of dropped off for me. DCC RPG is amazing and I love playing it. Honestly wish you mentioned BFRPG, For Gold & Glory, and Dark Dungeons RPG though…

  38. I expected a joke like: "Deathbringer… that is all thanks folks! See ya next week!" 😝

  39. I would add, World's Without Number, Fantastic Heroes & Witchery and my special favourite Beyond the Wall (and it's sister game Through Sunken Lands).

  40. Deadlands Reloaded and the Spire: rpg is excellent.

  41. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay v2.0 caused me to leave D&D and never look back. The system is based entirely on percentiles. d10's are pretty much all you need. Any the use of percentages is easy for the novice player to easily grasp. Yes, it's MUCH darker, and more lethal than D&D, but that is a plus for my group. Sadly versions 3,and 4 of WFRP leave a lot to be desired. And GW is a horrible company. But D&D today is a game for young anime fans. Too many options and far to unrealistic (from a physics point of view). for my taste.

  42. Old school did not pay homage to original spell casting. If they had kept the old ramp up of spells (damage dice and range are based on character level so all spells auto boost) I would go with this game. They kept most of the things that made mages suck at low levels like in old days but they totally eliminated the payoff at the end for surviving the low levels.

  43. "Mythras – Classic Fantasy" should be on this list

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