Hive Mind: Finding Indie TTRPGs

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Maybe you’ve already established a good library collection of commercially available Tabletop Role Playing Games (TTRPGs), like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. Maybe you’ve had requests from patrons for more diversity or variety in your TTRPG collection. Or maybe you’re looking to support smaller creators, lift up voices from different communities, and explore fresh and exciting game mechanics. 

There are a lot of different reasons why a library collection developer or programmer might start exploring Independently published (Indie) TTRPGs, and all of them are awesome! There’s a whole world of amazing artists and game designers working to put out incredible creations that you can enjoy in your library!

How do you find good Indie TTRPGs? This month for the GameRT Hive Mind, we’re talking about our favorite games, and the resources that can help you find out more about them!

Emma Fish, GameRT Outreach Co-Chair

My favorite places to find new Indie TTRPGs are my friendly local game stores! I’m lucky to have several great ones in my state. I often check their websites or give them a call to see if there are any local creators who have new games out. This is a great way to find indie TTRPGs that might never have popped up on my radar, and then I can follow those publishers on social media to see when they have new items released. Another resource that I use is RPGgeek. If I’m trying to see if a game is right for my library’s collection, this is a great reference for user reviews and ratings. Finally, you can also check out the GameRT Low Stress High Mayhem event sessions! These can be streamed on Twitch and are a great way to get introduced to new gaming systems!

Danielle Costello, GameRT Programming Co-Chair

I first started learning about indie TTRPG through Zine Quest, an event started by the indie TTRPG community to encourage new game designers to actually publish games out into the world. It was done through the platform of Kickstarter. When KS played with the idea of crypto and chain blocking lots of the TTRPG community thought that the idea should be moved off the platform and Zimo was created. Throughout the month for both Zine Quest and Zimo people will promote all kinds of amazing new games through social media.

Social media is also an excellent way to find great new indie TTRPGs! I like following designers of games that I like and inevitably they will tag some amazing work that the community is creating. @momatoes @jdragsky @jeeyonshim are some of my personal faves. But there are also amazing hashtags to follow like #rpgsea (indie TTRPGs created by the southeast Asian community) that the community has created so people can find more games that fit within the same theme or vibe.

RPG SEA also has its own archived website now, so you don’t have to just be on social media to find the games

I’ve also been very happy with how gaming new media has picked up RPGs beyond D&D and both Polygon (The best indie tabletop RPGs of 2021 include Wanderhome and .dungeon – Polygon) and Dicebreakers (Best tabletop RPGs 2023 (that aren’t Dungeons & Dragons 5E) | Dicebreaker) report regularly on new games coming out.

Regularly their staff do actual plays of the games so you can see everything in action which is fantastic. Actual plays are another way I find a lot of new things to play and explore. While some streaming groups usually stick to one system others rotate around pretty regularly. HyperRPG has played a variety of systems. I was watching their Twitch when I first learned about Halo ‘n’ Horns. 

And if you like listening more than watching the OneShot Podcast is dedicated to new rule systems each month.

There are podcasts and youtube channels outside of actual plays that showcase, examine, and review games as well of course. Asians Represent! & Questing Beast are two of my faves. And I came across them because I was exploring the Ennie Awards ” annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming.”  While there aren’t as many awards for TTRPGs as there are for books or other types of analog games there are some, or some that are part of a larger award, that are helpful when looking through the vast and expanding landscape of indie TTRPGs. 

 Mackenzie Johnson, GameRT Member

Bundle of Holding frequently taps into the Indie community to some extent, including their annual Indie Cornucopia every American Thanksgiving.

I’d also shout out the Party of One podcast as another intro to indie games, as well as Cannibal Halfling (who has frequently done Kickstarter roundups)

But in the days when Twitter was better, I think some of my best discovery was from following people on Twitter and then the algorithm doing its work.

Friends at the Table is another good actual play that only engages with indie TTRPGs for their games (and if you love GMs who go hard on worldbuilding, Austin Walker is one of the greats).

I’m enjoying the latest campaign of The Adventure Zone (Steeplechase) in part because it’s doing a good job showing the McElroys grappling with learning Blades in the Dark.

Rebecca Strang, GameRT Past President

My faves:

 — bundles, especially the queer bundles and solo bundles; here’s this year’s solo: 

— jams, especially the one-page jams, here is this year’s:; here’s the hashtag on Twitter: 

— Sam Leigh (@goblinmixtape) on TikTok/Twitter, does such great videos, 

— ENNIE awards, — Zine Quest,

 — Zine Month, — Generation Analog annual online conference, this year it’s July 26/27, 

Liz Brown, GameRT Secretary

I love the More Seats at the Table newsletter. It comes out twice a month and features projects by gender-marginalized creators. I always find cool, new projects through them in a wide variety of genres and styles. Also on Twitter @MoreSeatsRPG

If you have thoughts on how to curate a great indie TTRPG collection or program, comment below! If you have a question you’d like to ask, comment and let us know, or send us a message at

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