As you may have gathered, we’ve currently got a bit of a bee in our bonnet about media going missing. Ever since being described by the official site as the “potty-mouth archivists” of Red Dwarf, we’ve taken the epithet to heart, to the extent that this description is now backed up in a complete rebuild of said official site. We’ve come a long way since the 50s, 60s and 70s, when master tapes of major TV shows would be reused or binned as a matter of course, and any current releases of significant media are backed up by fans almost immediately. But there does seem to be a bit of a blind spot at around the turn of the century and a few years either side, things that were released recently enough to be documented online, but before decent upload speeds and significant storage space were available to all.

Which brings us on to the Red Dwarf RPG, released in February 2003 by Deep 7 – then a fledgling and relatively new indie, now going strong for nearly twenty-five years, with games such as ArrowflightSanta’s Soldiers and Grimmworld released to much acclaim. It was only ever officially released in the US, although it was easily accessible for purchase at conventions and online within the UK, and it spawned a couple of further additions, the A.I. Screen accessory (complete with the Extra Bits expansion pack), and the Series Sourcebook, which ambitiously converted each episode to a playable format.

All of which is long since out of print, and incredibly difficult to get hold of. Well, you can currently buy a copy of the main RPG book, if you’re willing to part with £1,774.05 for it. Furthermore, digital copies are very hard to find too, particularly in the case of the expansion packs. The licensing rights to produce such a Red Dwarf game have long since expired, which makes official reprints or digital releases extremely unlikely. So unless someone happens to, I don’t know, upload high-res PDFs of absolutely every piece of material that Deep 7 produced for Red Dwarf, it’s likely to be lost forever.

Oh, look at this! G&T regular Ben Paddon (they of Jump Leads fame), has sent us a link to archive.org, where someone has uploaded high-res PDFs of absolutely every piece of material that Deep 7 produced for Red Dwarf. What a coincidence! A huge thank you to all involved.

33 comments on “RPG Free

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  • Amazing! What an upgrade on the main rulebook-only PDF that was previously available on the IA. Hats off to Mr. Paddon for this public service.

    The pieces are all in place for a hypothetical DwarfCasts sub-series that will either last 1 episode or 8 years.

    Though I am already on the fence about whether I really needed to know what the full body of a Vindaloovian looks like.

  • What’s a role playing game? 

    I’m not interested in this in the slightest, until Ian, Danny & Cappsy start playing it, and video the game, and then it

    gets to the point where things get a bit weird and after a few dice roles and some dodgy leopard lager, some of the monsters come to life in a strange way from under the game table to a Kate Bush soundtrack and you release it online

    as The RPG Yeah No: Smeggier Things

  • I’m not interested in this in the slightest, until Ian, Danny & Cappsy start playing it, and video the game, and then it

    gets to the point where things get a bit weird and after a few dice roles and some dodgy leopard lager, some of the monsters come to life in a strange way from under the game table to a Kate Bush soundtrack and you release it online

    as The RPG Yeah No: Smeggier Things

    I mean, I’ve offered…!

  • Alright, is anybody working on drafts for the Dave Series Sourcebook?

    Ben Paddon™ has offered that too.

    This is definitely something I want to work on for next year, yeah. Long-term I’d like to revise and re-typeset the core rulebook as well, fix some small stuff that’s always bothered me. But a Dave era sourcebook is definitely on my radar.

  • But if the sourcebook doesn’t tell you how to run Last Human, what’s the point? I’m serious. Last Human has multiple populated GELF communities, multiple prison breaks, multiple monster fights etc. It genuinely seems quite RPG friendly.

    Not to worry, though. The sourcebook has Gunmen of the Apocalypse, Stoke Me a Clipper and Krytie TV, so there’s plenty of opportunities to make players roll to determine whether or not they had a successful wank.

  • Don’t forget the errata page published on Deep7’s website, which catalogues corrections to the printed material. Mostly typos but it could potentially clear up confusion in a few cases were anyone to play this. It’s not on the current site but archive.org saves the day again with the Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20070731074629/http://www.deep7.com/product.php?cat=reddwarf&page=3

    Also, thanks very much Ben! I’ve been hoping for this for a long time!

  • I have an extensive collection of RPG books and solo adventure gamebooks which are all long out of print and… I’ve never thought to look up exactly what it’s all worth (and I’m not sure I want to) but even books which were in print as recently as 2010 now fetch three-figure prices for second-hand copies

  • Looking through the character types, one species stood out… did this game predict/inspire Mr Rat?

    Also I like their explanation about why Lister didn’t know what an iguana was. New headcanon!

  • Also I like their explanation about why Lister didn’t know what an iguana was. New headcanon!

    For me that bit struck me as ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ in micro. Lister was just being a bit thick, we don’t really need to devise lore just to explain his ignorance of tropical lizards. It’s not like iguanas roam the streets of Liverpool… as far as I’m aware.

  • I just think it’s funny that Lister wouldn’t know what an iguana is because any kid who’s read a few animal books can tell you that.

  • I just think it’s funny that Lister wouldn’t know what an iguana is because any kid who’s read a few animal books can tell you that.

    I don’t think I knew until my late teens.  Not exactly the type of animal one tends to encounter in Enid Blyton’s writing 😆

  • Next you’ll tell me you can’t name the next largest whale to the blue whale, or tell me how many eyes a tuatara has, or correctly identify birds as reptiles.

  • Next you’ll tell me you can’t name the next largest whale to the blue whale.

    Light blue whale?

  • I just think it’s funny that Lister wouldn’t know what an iguana is because any kid who’s read a few animal books can tell you that.

    I don’t think I knew until my late teens.  Not exactly the type of animal one tends to encounter in Enid Blyton’s writing 😆

    Well, she called them something else.

  • I just think it’s funny that Lister wouldn’t know what an iguana is because any kid who’s read a few animal books can tell you that.

    I knew it in relation to the Iguanadon dinosaur, though may have pronounced it “ig-yoo-arna” even until I saw Red Dwarf (if only in my head).

  • Just looking at the series sourcebook now and spotted this on the table of contents

    Personally I approve of this attempt at series VII erasure and would have liked them to have taken it even further 

  • The RDRPG was actually my first foray in tabletop RPG’s (both as a player and a GM), and it still holds up. It’s the right balance of rigor and playability, which my friends have successfully run on spec during a party at the drop of a hat like it was a board game, and it went awesome, and didn’t take more than 20 minutes to make characters and start running. Smegging excellent. 

    And yeah, I’ve always laughed at the Series Sourcebook episode titles in the Table of Contents. I feel bad for the poor guy who realized too late that Series VII AND VIII had expanded episode counts (when clearly six episodes had been allocated per series) and had to make some split-second decisions in a world where simply changing the layout or decreasing the font size weren’t doable. 

  • If someone does decide to undertake the task of making a Dave-era Series Sourcebook, in order to be accurate they’ll have to add the “Age” Liability to the Dwarfers’ stat blocks like the ones at the end of each series’ chapters in the original Sourcebook, reducing a stat by 1 but adding 4 Skill/Personality Points for every ten years past 30. Yikes.

    Actually, making stat blocks of the Dave-era Dwarfers likely involves the Inquisitor-esque challenge of weighing the Dwarfers’ value since their last “official” stat block in the Series VIII chapter of the first Sourcebook.  In the original Sourcebook, all the main characters gained a couple Skill Points in their successive end-of-series stat blocks, growing at a slow but largely linear rate each series. 

    The question becomes how that linear growth comports with the nine-year gap between VIII and BTE. How much did they really grow? Is there not a tragedy embedded within the Dave era of how the Dwarfers, especially Lister, have sort of stagnated and plateaued, which is why Kochanski left?

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