Saturday, 3 March 2012

West End Games D6 RPGs - Free!

D6 Fantasy, D6 Adventure, D6 Fantasy Creatures, D6 Space and more on DriveThruD6 Fantasy, D6 Adventure, D6 Fantasy Creatures, D6 Space and more on DriveThruD6 Fantasy, D6 Adventure, D6 Fantasy Creatures, D6 Space and more on DriveThru

I'm fairly easily impressed by a good deal, "free" can send me into a downloading fervour.  I'd been aware that the odd D6 PDF title had been cheap and occasionally free, but I hadn't put two and two together to see that there's quite a library being given away in the West End Game's store on DTRPG/RPGNow ( -free D6 titles in the WEG list).

When rebels struck from a
hidden base using only d6s.
Before the dark times,
before the Leveling-Up.
Ghostbusters 1986 WEG
(Image source: Wikipedia)
My only play experience of the D6 System was with WEG's Star Wars RPG - and I really liked it.  The only shortcoming being my own slow adding of the d6's as they hit the table (my slow adding made me self-conscious in front of other players).  I have a copy of the Space: 1889, but never owned the boxed Ghostbusters RPG, but I remember years back looking at it in Games Workshop and marvelling at the low numbers on accessible character sheets.

There is great affection amongst some players online for the D6 system with stat-and-skill dice verses challenge levels.  Star Wars was the first system I'd bought where attributes were defined by a applied dice range e.g. Strength = 4d+2 and not a flat number, now it's a lot more common.  Increments to skills and bonuses from equipment had a lush simplicity  +1, +2, 1d6, 1d6+1, 1d6+2, 2d6.  It always looked like a pretty big leap to go from 2 to 1-6, but once the dice add up the averages just about make sense. I'll always remember in SWRPG that a helmet gave +1 protection, then vest armour gave another +1, but a stormtrooper's full body suit provided 1d protection (made them pretty clumsy as well, which work for me).  Come to think of it, SW RPG was one of the last games I purchased for play before A-Levels and University ushered in a long unfortunate gaming pause.  Naturally, D6 Space looks similar to SW RPG in places.

I still can't quite get it out of my mind that in the 80's and perhaps now that anything using a lot of d6s was seen as a gateway or introductory game.  One assumption I had about games was that they choose d6's because those rules they weren't sold in boxes - you'd buy the rulebook and then raid the monopoly and ludo sets at home. The idea was that you were new to the hobby so you hadn't found the dice in the shop yet. ;)  In boxed games like Basic D&D, Star Frontiers and MERP poly dice would be included.  I'm sure not long after formulating this theory I realised that a majority of RPGs were sold as rulebooks (AD&D! *smacks head*), as they are today and made full use of a whole range of dice.  Part of me still wants to say "games running the d6 system will make perfect introductory gifts to non-gamers wishing to start role-playing ..."  so I won't.

My only problem with over these free titles is the cost of my own ink and paper! :)  Also watch out for the download size of D6 Fantasy Creatures, it's a chunky 120MB.

An excellent selection of complete rules systems and source books.  Definitely worth a browse.


  1. One of my favorite systems to run. Having been created to simulate the Star Wars universe, it works well as a basis for Pulp adventures, which is what I use it for.

    So easy to learn and once you learn it, you can whip out characters and encounters in your sleep.


  2. @Eli Arndt

    The d6 System was created for Ghostbusters (1986), not Star Wars (1987). It was re-tooled a bit for Star Wars, however.

    1. I think we're all on the same page here. I'm less familiar with how the system worked in Ghostbusters, but there's a fair amount of emphasis on heroic action in the SWRPG which probably paved the way for more pulp style games.