As noted in my review of Magic World, I haven’t quite determined if I would choose a D100 system for fantasy gaming rather than an OSR/D&D game.
One advantage of D101 Games’ OpenQuest over Magic World and RuneQuest 6 is its use of the OGL (oddly enough D101 Games’ River of Heaven does NOT use the OGL); in other words, the text and game itself is open and not tied to the life and death of a creator or company. Does that really matter, as far as choosing a game I’d like to read now and hopefully run in the near future? Not really, but it does lend a little peace of mind.
Flipping through OpenQuest, it’s clear this doesn’t have quite the polish of RuneQuest 6; however, it’s a far cleaner look and layout than Magic World, not to mention about half the number of pages. The red headers and boxed text isn’t very appealing to my eyes, but otherwise I find OpenQuest quite easy to read and navigate. I also like the artwork, which in the latest printing, OpenQuest 2 Deluxe, is in color and looks great. Even after many releases, I can still pick out a number of editing mistakes and inconsistencies, which is annoying given the price of the deluxe PDF/hardcopy.
I like that OpenQuest like Magic World doesn’t use hit locations such as in RuneQuest6; I know that it lends to more realistic and brutal combat, but it’s just another complication to me. I also like that the tone doesn’t lean as far towards Roman/Greek/swords & sandals, but rather straddles the line with swords & sorcery. This game could certainly function for dungeon crawling as well, but that’s definitely not its main focus. Like RuneQuest6 and Magic World, OpenQuest assumes that humans are the primary race for players, but many if not most of the creatures can possibly be used if desired. OpenQuest does include Battle Magic, the magic system that assumes can be learned and used by any character. I’m not particularly fond of that, and would prefer just to have Sorcery like in Magic World.
I do greatly appreciate that D101 games offers a Basic Edition of OpenQuest that’s a free download, so I encourage you to check it out and see if OpenQuest might be the best D100, if not overall, fantasy RPG for you.