Wizards of the Coast is going to offer Free Basic D&D; there are a number of D&D-like games out there that offer a Basic Set for free. Here’s a list for you:
This RPG began as a fun experiment for it’s author and ended up a playable and unique variant of Swords & Wizardry with a unique set of player class/races, a whole caboodle of new monsters, a comprehensive spell list with a variant magic system, and a variety of interesting magic items. The Basic Set definetly gives you enough to explain the rules and get the apetite going for wanting more (not needing more).
Spellcraft and Swordplay
An introductory version of spellcraft and swordplay for levels 1 to 3. Enough to get you started on this variant on the classic.
This is a fantasy RPG builds itself on a foundation set by the rules and flavor of the original basic rules for the most famous RPG in history.
The publishers website: http://dreamscapedesign.net/category/blueholme/
The Blue Holme Prentice Rules for for levels 1 to 3, it’s pay what you want so you can get it for free or chip in a couple bucks if you wish: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/109409/BLUEHOLME-Prentice-Rules
Free/or Cheap and not just Basic (forgot to mention them last time):
As the author says it’s a pretty simple game with 12 pages of rules. It offers a new and clever spin on familiar themes with a different combat and magic system from the norm. Everything is laid out simply and a veteran can come to grips on the whole thing with a careful reading.
A rehash of the original rules avialble in pdf for free as a bundle or a separate download of each booklet.
Dangers and Dweomers
The autho’s personal spin on D&D.
A comprehensive retro-clone that emulates the cyclopedia version of D&D. The pdf clocks in at well over 300 pages and covers pretty much everything you are going to need in an D&D-like RPG.
Flying Swordsmen RPG
Fantays marital arts in a variant D&D rule set that does wuxia action well.
A whole collection of rule set to play fantasy RPG with minor tweaks to emulate specific older versions of the game.
Searchers of the Unkown
The original searchers of the unknown (and all it’s offspring) are very minimal versions of fantasy RPG, all the rules in a page (or a maybe a couple extra). A very easy means for people who have played RPGS before to play with a few casual friends as 1 page of rules isn’t very intimidating.
There’s a bundle of different rules sets here:http://www.retroroleplaying.com/content/searchers-unknown-rpg-collection