Does anyone know where to find a copy of The World’s Most Popular Fantasy RPG? A quick Google search turned up nothing.
Are you talking about Dungeons and Dragons? The following are not, strictly speaking, D&D, but are “retro-clones” - the exact same mechanical rules as originally published, but re-written in different form in order to comply with copyright laws. (Rules are not copyrightable - they can be patented, but D&D’s never were). These are all free and entirely legal.
- Original “White Box” D&D (1974): swordsandwizardry.com/corerules.htm
- “Red Box” D&D (1981) (also includes Expert levels): goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html
- D&D Rules Cyclopedia (1991): gratisgames.webspace.virginm … geons.html
- AD&D First Edition (1977-1979): knights-n-knaves.com/osric/
- Dungeons and Dragon 3.5 edition: d20srd.org/
There are other retro-clones out there - these are the ones that are closest to the original rules and are freely available. (My personal preference these days is Labyrinth Lord.)
(Note: Edited to add Dark Dungeons)
That is a clever application of copyright law.
For D&D 3.0 and 3.5 the text of the books was released under an open-source-style license as the “System Reference Document”, which you can also find in various formats.
There is this: dndclassics.com/browse.php?pfrom=0&pto=0
Right - number 5 on my list is a link to the System Reference Document in a nicely-done hypertext form.
All I know is that someone made a world for it called Hawkmoor.
Hawkmoor by James Hargrove? (Risus version is here: scribd.com/doc/91978494/Hawkmoor-Book)
The “first edition” there is a clue he is talking about First Edition AD&D. (#4 on my list above).
Use of “World’s Most Popular Role Playing Game” is a typical euphemism from the era (1980s and 90s) when D&D was owned by TSR, Inc., which was notorious for threatening lawsuits against anyone who tried to publish their own material for the game, usually claiming a trademark violation if you mentioned the game’s name. (It’s quite probable most of those lawsuits would never have materialized or failed if they got to trial - but as is often the case, no one had the money to challenge TSR’s lawyers).
oh… didn’t know. So yeah, Dnd.