There has been some activity in the most prominent free (as in freedom) software 3D role-playing games DungeonHack, jClassicRPG and Radakan.
Green, water and village in DungeonHack [more]
DungeonHack (DH) 0.10 has been released in form of win&lin 32bit biaries and a few commits later I was able to compile the game on my 64bit Arch Linux machine. It is the first release of DH that does not rely on non-free libraries.
I played the game for the first time and I was positively surprised. Not only can I move around in the nice-looking (endless) landscape but also fight, cast magic, pick up items, enter houses and dungeons as well as talk to npcs. Physics also work (see barrels video below). On the downside: the current code is crash-happy and there is little content: In toto three houses, two dungeons, two enemy types, two items, one non-player character, one spell).
The next DH aim is to create a typical RPG village, add some inventory and status GUI and to write a dialog system (the current one runs on boxes). Maybe you feel like giving them a programmer's or artist's hand at achieving one of these or other goals? Then enter the DH chatroom and/or forum (which I find one of the most entertaining floss game forums to read).
When test-playing DH, it appears weird to me that enemies' bodies disappear when eliminated and wish they would drop and also drop loot, which I could then collect into the (also not yet accessible) inventory. When playing the latest release or watching the videos, is there something you feel is missing?
There has been much activity lately in jClassicRPG's Subversion repository. There are texture-roads now, the map not only shows terrain type any more but also infrastructure (roads and settlements). Shrines and Igloo buildings appear in the game world and a yeti creature has been added to the game's repertoire.
Usability has increased a lot through mouse menu integration and addition of buttons for map, character status etc. Though the drop-down menus don't act as the ones most of us are probably used to, the GUI-usage learning curve has dropped a lot. I especially like the tool-tip system, which shows usage instructions for the different controls or details about fields in the map. If only the font was better readable...
If you would like to help jClassicRPG grow, I can think of at least one Blender-modelling task: give attack animations to this gorilla. Apart from that you can find ways to help on this page and in this thread. And if you're hardcore, also read the TODO! (Search for "[ ]") :D
What I would like to see in jClassicRPG are cloth/armor items and a menu for equipping my party members with them. (EDIT: already there - left click character portraits.) Also the shiny flowers scream to me "pick me" and I hope that will be a gameplay option some day. Can you think of content or features that would enrich the game?
Radakan's developer announced a while ago, that the 3D view of the game will be postponed and a text/GUI interface would be developed first. Now Panda3D, a fun, BSD-licensed, python-powered game engine is being integrated.
What Radakan's developers could use help with now is exporting their already available media [.7z archive] and some media from OpenGameArt to the Panda3d .egg format. Instructions here (press "next" multiple times to see instructions for various 3D applications).
A little hint if you ever feel like making a gameplay video yourself: I prepared the videos for this post (and other posts) using glc to record and mencoder to encode. Sometimes (for non-OpenGL games) I use recordmydesktop to record. Feel free to ask in the comments or forum if I can help you with making videos.
Another little hint: If you are unable to use YouTube but curious about the videos and can play back mp4 files (vlc and mplayer can handle them), use youtube-dl to download videos for off-line playback.