The Best Tabletop RPGs To Play After Dungeons and Dragons

Warhammer Fantasy RPG art

Thanks to a very well-received new edition and some extra attention from throwback pop culture shows (like Stranger Things), Dungeons & Dragons is once again one of the most popular non-digital games to play. The tabletop RPG seems to only be growing in popularity a few years into DnD 5th Edition and the rise in Twitch-based DnD shows is bringing the pen and pencil RPG system to more gamers than ever before.

As players start DMing and playing through their own Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, they may start to get a bit of a taste for the tabletop genre, in general. DnD is just one game in a giant marketplace of tabletop RPGs and there are dozens of fantastic systems and worlds for players to explore. From popular IP like Star Wars to totally original settings like Tales From The Loop, there are tons of great game systems for new players to dive into.

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6 Warhammer Fantasy

Players who enjoy the wizards and warriors Tolkien-esque archetypes available in DnD may want to begin their transition to other games with something familiar. Enter Warhammer Fantasy. The dice system in Warhammer Fantasy is very intuitive (like most games in the Warhammer universe) and the setting is similar to DnD, but magic is a bit more special and rare. Depending on the DM, Warhammer Fantasy can feel a bit like a more gritty, darker side of the DnD coin.

5 Tales From The Loop

If Stranger Things is what brought you to Dungeons and Dragons, then Tales From The Loop is an absolute must-play. Each player character takes on the role of a child in a mysterious town where technology has evolved just enough to be incredibly creepy. The game takes place in an alternate 1980s and is full of incredible mysteries to explore. It's a very story-driven experience, so it may not be the best pick for players who are primarily interested in combat systems. On the other hand, if you are just looking for some scary mysteries to solve, this is the game you need to be playing.

4 Call of Cthulhu RPG

CoC Art

Want to have nightmares after each of your tabletop RPG sessions? Then, Call of Cthulhu is the game for your group. The horror-based tabletop system is incredibly terrifying (and lethal to player characters) and is perfect for short campaigns that are played over the course of a single weekend or just a handful of sessions. The game also has a very dedicated following and tons of free scenarios available online that players can borrow from after they master the basics. CoC RPG works best when players feel their sanity starting to slip and worry that every simple action could kill their character or drive them into insanity, so we don't recommend getting too attached to the character that you decide to play.

3 Star Wars Roleplaying Game (Edge of the Empire or Age of Rebellion)

Although IP based boardgames and tabletops often end up being a disappointment in comparison to original creations, the Star Wars RPGs are a pleasant exception to the role. These games are great for players who like a detailed combat system and want to slip into a character in a world that they already know a ton about. The game works best when you have a mix of players who understand that not everyone in the universe is a Jedi. Playing with a group of rebels and smugglers is a ton of fun and offers the chance to write your own chapter in the Star Wars lore.

2 Dark Heresy

Dark Heresy art

Ever feel like playing as the bad guys? Dark Heresy offers players the chance to take on the role of Acolytes working for an Inquisitor who sends them on missions around the galaxy to lay down the law in the name of the God Emperor. It's a sci-fi setting that involves lots of investigation, politics, and a fair mix of combat. Much like CoC, Dark Heresy also features characters whose lives and sanity can easily be pushed too far. Dark Heresy characters can definitely live through a whole campaign, but it's perfect for players who want to feel a little more mortal and fragile than they do in a traditional DnD setting.

1 Fiasco

Fiasco art

Think you have what it takes to pull off an Ocean's 11 style heist? Fiasco will put your caper to the test. Much like Tales From The Loop, Fiasco is another story-focused system that is best for players who really get more into than roles than they do into combat systems. The game can play as serious, but usually ends up being pretty silly.

Again, these are just a few of the many fantastic tabletop RPGs available for players to dive into. Much like with video games, there are tons of settings, systems, and worlds for players to explore in the world of pen and pencil RPGs. Try a little bit of everything until you find the perfect game for your group.

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