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There are so many quality Free RPGs on the Internet that, even though Free games are considered for the Indie Game of the Year Award, they really deserve their own category. This category honors the game designers who make their works of passion and then offer them for free. Note: If a Free game wins the main award and this Sub-Award, the runner up for this Sub-Award is chosen instead.


Perfect20, by Levi Kornelsen / with 93 points

Selected Peer Feedback (Note: More Feedback on many of these games can be found in the Indie RPG of the Year: Runners Up section):

"Does my heart good to see someone come along and beat d20 up until it bleeds indie."

"In 40 pages, Kornelsen manages to put together the heart of D20 play more clearly and elegantly than anything put out by Wizards."


Burning Sands: Jihad by Luke Crane / with 24 points

"This captures Frank Herbert's Dune perfectly, with the serial names only lightly colored over (not even filed off)."

"Boy, was it hot!"

"It's as clear-eyed as anything Luke does, and it adds Vehicles, Propaganda, and (brilliant) Ancestry rules to the basic Burning Wheel."

JAGS Wonderland by Marco Chacon/ with 22 points

"This truly lives up to being a "Worldbook of Absurd Horror"... a terrific, terrifying setting that can (and should) be adapted to many systems."

"A surreal trip down the rabbit hole that captures the horrific side of there being an unreal dreamworld that you might fall into at any moment."

"Wonderland is well-written, the setting oozes atmosphere, and it has great illustrations."

Bacchanal by Paul Czege / with 22 points

"There are no stats or values for characters, and no conflicts to resolve, only stories to tell. ... I found it a brilliant way to examine nightmare stories, and I firmly believe that somewhere in here is the greatest King in Yellow game ever designed."

"The game itself, small as it is, has such a strong symbolic and metaphorical content that almost any event in the game can be reinterpreted as a meaningful thematic move. Look, for instance, at the player characters: their life is in danger, they really only want to flee Puteoli, but they cannot help but be caught up in the bacchanal. If that isn't a powerful metaphor for the relation between the rational and the lustful in man, nothing is."

"This is a white hot game. In a field of great games, this was probably my best GenCon gaming."

Dial S for Superhumans by Chad Underkoffler / with 19 points

"Shows off the strengths of the system in the diversity of the villains, heroes, and others presented."

"Dial S is chock full of free, superheroey awesome."

Basic V by Jay Libby / with 13 points

"Jay Libby states that Basic V system is intended to emulate the feel of a video game. Overall, I feel that he has succeeded. As it currently stands, the Basic V system presents a workable skeleton upon which a high-action/cinematic campaign or game world could be built with a minimum of work."