A week ago I posted a link to get free PDFs for the Basic Fantasy RPG. I downloaded the free basic rules and started reading them. I liked them so well I invested in the hard copy version which was under six dollars on Amazon. I have been reading the rules more in depth since then and I am sorely tempted to dump 5th and Pathfinder. I probably won't do that but I did teach my nine year old daughter this game and we had a blast playing it.
When I first started playing DnD in 1978 there were few options and most were incomplete. I remember playing for the first time and begging the DM (or moderator as Jerry liked to be called) to borrow the white boxed set of books. He relented after a couple of games and I poured through the books to discover their secret. I was surprised to find there was just the barest of bones to these rules.
The Basic Fantasy RPG is a razor thin rule set. Creating a character, the four basic character classes, equipment, spells, monsters and magic items crammed into 170 pages. Even in this thin state, by today's standards anyway, this book would have ruled in 1978. It still rocks today.
It has a familiar feel. Like I have read it before. Since it is a derived ruleset that is not surprising. What is wonderful about the rules is that they feel as if they would be easy to pick up and remember.
The system is based on the D20 system that WOTC introduced with DnD 3rd edition. The rules have been slimmed down and modernized. This leads to a mix of new and old mechanics. For example, a high Armor Class class is better just like the modern versions but the Thief skills (and Thief is old school as well) come from a table just like the old days.
The rules as just right for introducing new players to Fantasy Role playing games or if you miss role-playing and don't want to spend much to try it again. The rules are cheap and modules, aids and accessories are plentiful. What are you waiting for?