June 21, 2024

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8 best tabletop RPG games & expansions that aren’t D&D to play in 2023

With D&D fans outraged after the game’s leaked OGL license, many players are looking for a new tabletop RPG experience to dive into. So, whether you’re looking to stray away from D&D or if you’re just trying to find a new title, we have the best tabletop role-playing games and expansions out there.

D&D is an extensive tabletop RPG slowly embedding itself into mainstream media after becoming arguably the most popular of its sizeable genre. However, with the new OGL soon to be coming into play, many are looking to find a TTRPG that strays from the traditional role-playing games they know and love.

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Luckily, there’s a plethora of fantastic tabletop RPG games and expansions for you to try out, all leaning toward the roleplay and combat many seek in similar titles. Here are the best tabletop RPG games and expansions that aren’t D&D you should try out in 2023.

Vampire: The Masquerade – 5th Edition

Vampire the Masquerade core book coverWorld of Darkness

Vampire: The Masquerade is a perfect TTRPG to sink your teeth into.

Key Features

  • Easy to learn
  • Affordable
  • Simple dice system
  • Varied characters with powers
  • Perfect for fighting or roleplay
  • Great for focusing on the morality of monsters with a political thriller mixed in

Vampire: The Masquerade is an easy-to-learn thriller experience that’s fantastic for anyone looking to dip into the supernatural with their tabletop RPG game, while still staying within society’s morality and politics.

This is a fantastic TTRPG for those who don’t like rushing into a battle without at least talking to the enemy first. Although, when you do get into a fight as a Vampire, you’ll have some extremely useful abilities based on your ‘clan’ or your class.

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Call of Cthulhu

Call of Cthulhu starter setChaosium inc.

Fear and horror is the baseline of this terrific tabletop game.

Key Features

  • Extensive franchise
  • A little overwhelming for players new to TTRPGs
  • Typically set in the 1920s
  • No high-powered characters
  • Roleplay Heavy
  • Horror and thriller inspired
  • Realism dotted with the supernatural

Most great TTRPGs focus primarily on the supernatural, directing players toward magic, monsters, and mystery.

While Call of Cthulhu takes the same mystical route, it feels almost realistic. Rather placing players in the midst of history and forcing them into an ungodly (or rather entirely godly) scenario where fear is the main category.

Ultimately, Call of Cthulhu, inspired by the great works of H.P. Lovecraft, is a great horror tabletop role-playing game filled with fear, vulnerability, and smarts. It’s definitely a more roleplay-heavy experience, with most battles putting you in serious danger, but it’s also certainly a game you’ll never forget, especially with the fantastic tabletop role-playing game expansions.

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Monsterhearts 2

Monsterheart 2Buried Without Ceremony

Filled with monsters, teenage angst, and few repercussions, this is a TTRPG unlike any other.

Key Features

  • Teenage characters
  • Monsters such as Ghosts, Ghouls, Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, and more
  • Affordable
  • Beginner friendly
  • Simple d6 dice system

Drawing inspiration from the likes of True Blood, Buffy, Twilight, and so many more classic supernatural teen films, Monsterhearts is a truly enjoyable experience for those new or seasoned in the TTRPG genre.

Monsterhearts 2 is a tabletop role-playing game where you get to embody all that teenage angst and push it into a young monster, struggling to deal with the notion of having a body that’s changing without your permission or control, in more ways than just puberty.

In this easy-to-learn tabletop role-playing game, you head back to high school, but instead embody the likes of Werewolves, Vampires, Witches, and so much more. Essentially, it’s the closest RPG you’ll get to the Wednesday TV show.

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Ten Candles

Ten Candles RPGCavalry Games

Set with only the book, dice, candles, and darkness, this is a truly atmospheric horror.

Key Features

  • Easy to understand
  • Roleplay Heavy
  • Atmospheric
  • Joint storytelling
  • Simple dice system
  • Beginner friendly

Ten Candles is a thrilling yet engrossing experience where the entire group has to be dedicated to creating a thrilling and tragic story, where nine times out of ten, none of you will make it out alive.

Essentially, the only light in the room is the ten lit candles. Whenever a player fails their roll or dies, a candle is blown out, making the room and the chance of success darker still. It’s one of those games where winning isn’t really the goal. Instead, the building of a combined story told through all players, as well as the DM, is the main aim.

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Alien: The Roleplaying Game

Alien The Roleplaying GameAlien RPG

Dive into the deadly expanse of space in Alien: The Roleplaying Game.

Key Features

  • Versatile
  • Beginner friendly
  • Pre-build lore
  • Horror sci-fi
  • Affordable

Set around the famous Alien films, this is another fantastic horror experience where fans of the film get to live out their dreams, and their nightmares as they roleplay their way through the vast and deadly expanse of space, with no idea what’s around the corner.

Alien: The Roleplaying Game is a fantastic exploration of Sci-Fi horror and is perfect for those wanting to engross themselves in a prebuilt world, rather than having to make their own. It’s easy to understand, tense, hilarious, and really whatever you choose to make it.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – Adventure Board Game

Elder Scrolls Skyrim the Roleplaying GameBethesda

Play as the legendary Dragonborn, a Vampire, and so much more in this TTRPG.

Key Features

  • Expensive
  • Complete starter set
  • Available expansions
  • Easy to follow
  • Beginner friendly
  • Aesthetically beautiful
  • Lore heavy

This tabletop roleplaying game allows you to take the thrills of Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls out of your chosen platform, without all the hilarious bugs. Now, with the recent tabletop roleplaying game expansion, you can take the game further than just being part of The Blades and instead take a dip into the Dawnguard, confronting a Daedric Prince and perhaps even becoming a vampire.

Ultimately, rather than taking focus on the roleplaying aspect with a DM and a more Dungeons and Dragons feel The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – Adventure Board Game combined TTRPGs with normal board games to create an engaging yet easy-to-follow experience set in everyone’s favorite chilly region of Tamriel.

Cyberpunk Red: The Roleplaying Game of the Dark Future

Cyberpunk Red TTRPGR. Talsorian Games

Key Features

  • Tough to learn
  • Recognizable setting
  • Futuristic
  • Combat and Roleplay focused

It might be one of the older additions to the tabletop roleplaying game genre but Cyberpunk Red: The Roleplaying Game of the Dark Future is an absolute classic and is perfect for fans of Cyberpunk 2077 and the popular Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

It’s set in the future, which when the game came out was around 2020 so technically you’ll be playing in the future yet in the past, which is just the kind of paradoxical experience you’ll be dipping into with this great tabletop roleplaying game. It’s a futuristic experience you’ll adore if you love the games and the idea of a gang-filled landscape.

The Witcher RPG Core Rulebook

The Witcher remake logocd projekt red

Become the legendary Witcher with this tabletop role-playing game.

Key Features

  • Multiple accessory books
  • Recognizable lore
  • Combat heavy

Fans of The Witcher will adore this tabletop roleplaying game. Filled with recognizable characters, monsters, and lore, you’ll be able to truly encompass the legendary Witchers in both strength and wit.

Essentially, The Witcher RPG pushes players into a world of danger and mystery where they must know when to fight, when to talk, and when to run. It may require a lot of preparation and a variety of books to get started but, if you love the world of The Witcher then this is a great tabletop roleplaying game and expansion for you to try in 2023.

Those are the best tabletop RPG games and expansions you need to try in 2023. While waiting for your group to come together for the next session, take a look at some of these:

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