Summer is the perfect time for a holiday, but instead of another trip to the coast tabletop RPG publisher Free League is offering cheap travel to alternate history Scandinavia, the bowels of derelict space freighters or deep in a corrupted forest full of elves, trolls and worse during its summer sale.
Free League is once again running a seasonal sale through July 5th, during which the prices on several of their core tabletop RPGs will be slashed by up to 50%, depending on the series. This makes now a great time to pick up a map or adventure book for Forbidden Lands or perhaps those custom orange dice that match the 1980s aesthetic so key to Tales from the Loop’s worldbuilding.
Some of the bigger slashes to sticker price benefit the peripherals and supplements - dice, map packs, etc. - but there are plenty of hardcover books available for considerably cheaper than their usual fare. For example, Alien: The RPG is a considerably well designed horror system that our review found stood apart from the well-loved suspense of the movie but still managed to sell scares and tell interesting stories using familiar scenery and themes. You can pick up the core rulebook $34.49 (£28), which contains everything a group needs to start crawling around in the dark, jumping at every odd sound.
Groups that prefer their horror delivered as legends from old crones living alone in the woods should check out the ENnie-award winning Vaesen, which adapts Free League’s house Year Zero engine to monster hunters in a Scandinavia on the brink of industrialisation. Players will encounter old stories come to life, haunting the edges of humanity as the world grapples with modernity and losing the old ways for good. You only need the one book to start exploring, and it's currently available for $29.50 (£24).
Moving slightly away from horror and into mere apocalypse fiction, it’s worth checking out the RPG that established the foundational system running through nearly all of Free League’s catalogue - Mutant: Year Zero. Humanity failed to secure a future free from nuclear fallout, and whatever remains huddles in the few remaining safe cities, such as the Ark. Players will travel beyond this stronghold and into the zone, either for supplies or in search of answers, and the only thing keeping them safe are a handful of bullets and their mutations. Would-be mutants can nab the core rulebook for $20 (£16).
Free League recently released a Dungeons & Dragons 5E-compatible version of their dark fantasy Symbaroum, translating the ruleset into something more familiar to players of the world’s most popular tabletop RPG. Ruins of Symbaroum is one of the best bridges between D&D and any other game system of the past few years, but it’s well worth experiencing the sinister and foreboding depths of Davokar as the designers originally intended. Everyone has something they hope to find amongst the ruins of an old empire, but the corruption suffusing the very soil makes every step exceedingly dangerous. Symbaroum’s core rulebooks - two player guides, a monster folio and game master’s guide - are available for purchase between $20 (£16) and $30 (£24).
Anyone waffling on the fence over purchasing any of Free League’s RPG systems should instead consider the starter boxes. Most of the games mentioned above and more offer kits that will introduce the system and world of each game to a group without asking them to invest a hefty sum on several books, a GM screen, dice, and all that. Starter boxes are a tabletop standby, and the publisher regularly puts the same amount of care and craft into these taste tests as they do their hardcovers.
The Free League Summer Sale will run through July 5th on the publisher’s official website. More information about pricing and what all games are currently enjoying lower prices can be found there.