So you've looked through a lot of the free RPGs available, but still have an itch to scratch. Problem is, you don't have much of a gaming budget, but you still want to check out something new. Not a problem--here's a list of 5 solid RPGs that you can check out for a fin or less each:
1) BASH! (Basic Action Super Heroes) This supers RPG has been out for a while now, and is still going strong. Easy character creation, quick action, light bookkeeping, and an impressive array of superpowers to choose from make this a continued winner. $5.00 at RPGNow (on sale from $6.50).
2) HardNova 2 I've mentioned HN2 before, but it remains at the top of the "pick up n' play" style of space and sci-fi RPGs. With an impressive number of cheap supplements to boot, this is a great game for the budget-minded supplement hound as well. $4.95 at RPGNow.
3) Houses of the Blooded John Wick's stuff has always been hit-and-miss with me, but when he does hit, its a big one. I first saw Houses of the Blooded at Gen Con this past year, where it was selling like hot cakes. This game of intrigue, cut-throat ambition, courtly politics, and deadly vendettas absolutely sings. $5 at Indie Press Revolution.
4) Resolute There's a lot of game squeezed into this 24-page superhero RPG. A simple 2d6 system (as a Traveller partisan, you know that alone will please me) masks a lot of customization options. $3 at RPGNow.
5) 1PG RPG Line Deep 7's series of quick-play RPGs perfect for one-shots have received a lot of praise, and rightly so. Sword n' Sorcery fans will want to check out Broadsword; I really enjoyed Bloode Island for some one-shot pirate swashbuckling. $3.95 each at RPGNow.
Thanks to some of the folks at theRPGsite for helping me research and check out the games on this list! There are plenty more solid bargain RPGs out there, so look for a Part II to this list shortly.
(I should add I was also turned on to Realm - Antique, which didn't quite make the price cutoff, but which I had downloaded at some time past but never really got around to reading. French Revolution + a little bit of a fantastical bent is really an interesting idea)!