Today's post is about Quickstart rules for rpgs. When I was younger I would buy rpg books with the anticipation of running a grand campaign. Often I would start to read the rule book and I would immediately become confused. The rules would be written in a complex manner and there were so many rules to remember. I would usually get bored and end up just reading the fluff and looking at the pictures.
That is why I think the idea of a quickstart rule set is one of the best ideas to happen to rpgs. I didn't realize as a kid that while a game like AD&D had hundreds of rules there were only a handful that were absolutely necessary to run a basic game. Quickstart rules are genius because they allow potential players to jump right into the game. Nobody has to do a lot of work. Everyone can put a minimum investment into a game to decide if they want to invest in the full version. They are also great for GMs who want to get a feel for the rules or need to reference a game's most used mechanics.
There are tons of free quickstarts available to download for free, so I am going to pick four that I like the most and give you links.
Valiant Universe RPG - This is a very narrative superhero system where the players rotate as GM. It takes place in the Valiant Comics universe.
Call of Cthulhu - Here is a quickstart to one of the best rpgs ever. I believe this is the 6th edition quickstart. There is a 7th edition quickstart available as well.
Shadowrun - Shadowrun is a game I have wanted to try for a long time. I here the rules are crazy but this quickstart boils them down nicely. Quickstart rules for the 3rd and 4th edition are also available, but I will let you hunt those down.
Delta Green - I recently ran a scenario of the new Delta Green and it is awesome. This quickstart is beautifully produced and has everything you need to start playing.
Edge of the Empire - Fantasy Flight Games released the Free RPG Day adventure Under a Black Sun as a free download on their website. It has everything you need to run their Edge of the Empire Star Wars rpg. You will need their special dice or use the conversion chart in the book. I recommend just spending $5 on their dice roller app, as it has dice for all of their Star Wars games and can roll a standard polyhedral set of dice.