Adventurer's Atlas is your guide to the best role-playing adventure
games for young people, a sort of road map to other worlds where you
are free to explore as another character, a tour guide of places
to go and people to be (which would have been an even
better title for this section if someone hadn't already beaten me to it).
Be aware that
there is a lot of information here. Please don't
be daunted by the number of entries on this list. The purpose is to
give you several options from which to choose, not to overwhelm you
Understanding the entries
roleplaying game in the Atlas is detailed with a series of criteria,
followed by a few paragraphs that supply any extra information you may
need to know. Explanations of the criteria are listed below.
Publisher: The name of the company (or companies) that
publish the game. This is good to know if you're trying to order a game
from a game or book store that has never heard of it before.
Cover Price: What you can expect to pay for the game
brand new, or in the case of out of print games, a general figure of
what it may cost in an online auction. Prices listed for PDFs are for
downloadable digital copies that you can view and print from your
computer. Sometimes, these listings will include a PoD price directly
after them - this stands for "Print on Demand," a service where the PDF
document is printed, assembled into a book, and shipped to you
directly. Many books that are out of print can be found for sale in PDF
format. You may occasionally see a "PDF & print" price listed -
this is a package deal that some publishers offer where a PDF is sent
to you to read and enjoy right away, while waiting for your print
edition to arrive in the mail.
Availability: Explains whether the book is still in
print or not - which tells you whether you'll be able to find it new in
a store, as a PDF download, or have to hunt for it in some secluded
forbidden bookstore in the slums of Calcutta.
Summary: A general idea of the kinds of adventures this
This is a rating of how complex the rules of the game are, using
three different categories: Easy, Medium, and Complex. Easy
are usually very rules-lite, have less detailed characters, and involve
little or no die rolling. Medium RPGs have more involved rules, have
characters with several stats and/or skills, and rely on more dice
rolling (and may even use more than one type of die. Complex games have
many rules, very detailed characters with lots of stats, skills, and
other abilities, and require a lot of die rolling (possibly with
modifiers), using many different types of dice.
Dice used: An explanation of the dice you will need to
play the game. If all of the "d4s" and "d12s" make no sense to you at
all, you may be well served by a trip to the F.A.Q.
Supplements: Explains the availability of supplemental
material for the game - additional books and online material that
expand the rules, setting, or both. Remember - you don't usually need
extra books to play a roleplaying game; they add interest, and can fill
sections of a game that you would like to see fleshed out, but you can
function without them.
The Good: Positives about the game - what makes it fun,
what players will like most about it, and what features of the game
might even teach them something, if they're not careful.
The Bad: Negatives about the game - usually price, or
complexity of the rules, that sort of thing. Weigh this against the
good to judge what value the game will have to you.
Advisory: Elements of the game that parents, guardians,
and/or teachers may want to know about. None of the games listed here
contain graphic violence or realistic occult practices, but those that
might contain cinematic/cartoon violence or fantasy magic are pointed
out here, so that parents and others can make informed decisions.
entries, you will see the edition of certain games mentioned frequently.
In most cases, when a role-playing
game has a new edition printed, the rules are updated - and sometimes
there can be drastic changes to them. Because of this, supplements for
one edition may not be compatible with editions that came before or
after it. It is almost always possible to convert the material to the
different rule system once you have a working knowledge of the rules,
There are many
games listed here. The guides below are here to help you navigate the
atlas, depending on your interests. Click on any link to jump directly
to the entry for that game, or scroll down to look at the whole list.
If you know of
a role-playing game that is great for young people that isn't included
on this list, contact me at and
let me know about it.
~ The land of
talking, upright-walking, opposable-thumb-having critters. If you've
always wanted to be an animal or insect who walks, talks, and
adventure, then this is the place to be.
& Burrows - Cat
- Dragon - Eco - It's a Dog's Life -
Guard - Superpets
- Tales From the Wood
- Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles - Tooth
& Claw - Warriors
- Woodland Warriors
FALLS ~ Action!
Adventure! Excitement! Peril! These are all
words that should have an
exclamation point after them! If you yearn to have adventures that can
only be described with exclamation points, then you've come to the
S.E.V.E.N. - Bloode
Island - Dime
Heroes - Disaster!
you'd much rather go somewhere that you recognize, a
familiar to you instead of a strange new world. Here are some
roleplaying games based on worlds you have likely been to before,
through a big or little screen, or in the pages of a book.
Oz - Broomstix
(Harry Potter) - Ghostbusters
- Marvel Super Heroes
- Men In Black -
Guard - Pokemon Jr.
- Sailor Moon -
Wars - Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles - Warriors
~ Here you will find worlds of
marvelous magic, fierce monsters, brave heroes, and dark dungeons!
Adventures in Oz - Argyle
& Crew - Azamar - Blue
Rose - Broadsword
- Broomstix (Harry Potter)
& Crusades - Changeling
- Do: Pilgrims of the
Flying Temple - Dragon
- The Dungeon
Adventure - Dungeons
& Dragons - Eldritch
High - Faery's
Tale - Kids, Castles,
& Caves - Mazes
& Minotaurs - Mouse
Guard - The
Kingdom - Redhurst
- rpgkids - Swords & Wizardry - Witch Girls Adventures
- Woodland Warriors
- The Zantabulous
Zorcerer of Zo
you've always dreamed of being a superhero, you really should try one
of these RPGs - but make it quick. There are dastardly villians to
defeat, and only one hero can possibly save the day!
Cartoon Action Hour - Hero Force - Marvel
Heroes - Superpets
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Truth & Justice
all monsters are bad. That's just a negative stereotype! Fight for the
rights of monsters with one of these RPGs, and show the world what good
monsters can do.
Dragon - Monsters
and Other Childish Things - My
Monster - RAWR!
REALMS ~ Strange
aliens, sentient robots, distant planets, massive starships, and
advanced technology - if these sorts of things are up your alley, you
should try one of these sci-fi RPGs.
A-OK - Men in Black
- Star Frontiers
- Star Legion -
LANDS ~ Ghoulies,
ghosties, long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night -
these are the sorts of neighbors you'll have in the Slightly Spooky
Ghostbusters - Meddling Kids - Monsters and Other Childish Things
SYSTEMS & RESOURCES ~ Here you will find RPG systems
- just the rules, and little or no setting
material included - that could work well with young people, and replace
any clunky rule sets that you don't care for.
- GURPS Sourcebooks
- Risus - Savage Worlds - Tri Stat dX
~ Take a step back in time to
bygone eras. Experience histories (or alternate
in - The Time
Bloode Island - Daisho - Og - GURPS Sourcebooks - Pax Gladius - Six Gun
TOONBURG ~ Welcome to lovely downtown
Toonburg, where chaos and mayhem are the
order of the day. The weather forecast for today calls for sunshine,
followed by the occasional shower of anvils, and the department of
natural resources has announced that they're still not certain if it's
duck season or rabbit season. The mayor would like to remind you to
please exercise extreme caution when visiting Toonburg - it is a very
Buggin' - Cartoon Action Hour - Marvel Super Heroes - Meddling Kids - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Toon - Truth & Justice
Person's Adventure League - Main
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