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Long Week -- Drafts Available: Gryphons & Gramarye, Adventurer's Saga, and Microlite81 Advanced

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Little Lucy: R.I.P.It's been a very long and not so good week personally. My wife heard from her neurologist, who confirmed that she apparently does have multiple sclerosis instead of radiation damage to her spinal cord from her radiation treatments for oral cancer. This was not unexpected as that is what all the signs had been pointing toward, but it is still upsetting to receive such a diagnosis. We also lost our 17-tear old foster chihuahua, Lucy, to a bug her system could not handle even with medication. At her age, this wasn't unexpected either, but it was a bit hard because she seemed to be recovering. However, when she went back to the vet Thursday for a check-up she started having grand mal-like seizures in the examining room and when they could not be controlled, we had to euthanize. The vet said the infection had probably moved into her brain. The picture leading off my blog post today is of my wife holding Lucy just before before she went to the vet Thursday (and when she appeared so much better than she apparently was).

Despite a lot of late night sick dog tending, I did manage to get firsts drafts of Gryphons & Gramarye, Adventurer's Saga, and Microlite81 Advanced finished and made available to RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors. Donors have the password that unlocks these files and can find them in the Donor Downloads area of Microlite20.org or by clicking on the links above.

  • Gryphons & Gramarye is based on Microlite74/78/81 with different classes: a fighter who is truly superb at combat, a hunter who is a fair combatant but specialized in hunting supernatural creatures, a scout an outdoorsman who is also fair at combat, a magician who is a poor combatant but has access to healing and illusion magic, and finally the wizard who is truly awful at combat, but wields powerful magic. This draft copy is obviously an early draft, but is probably playable as written but is incomplete and some things will likely change.
  • Adventurer's Saga is a Microlite74-based game with only one class: a jack-of-all-trades Adventurer class. The draft 1 copy is an early draft, but is probably playable as written but as it is an early draft not necessarily for "prime time" play.
  • Microlite81 Advanced is a version of Microlite81 using the spell lists, monsters, and treasures from the 1e (Advanced) version of the world’s most popular fantasy RPG combined with author’s house rules from the 1977-1983 era. There will be a large number of optional rules: psionics, mutations, etc. This draft 1 copy is a very early and incomplete draft (even at 150+ pages).

Next week has to be better.


Swords and Glory Volume 1 BoxThe Lazy Days of Summer RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early D&D, Empire of the Petal Throne, and early TSR games items items described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will be held as described in the above linked post. The highest donors will have a separate chance to receive an Artists of TSR portfolio. These are in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $167 dollars have been donated. That's about 4% of our goal and over 21% of the way to the first drawing trigger point of $750 dollars..

Need Help Finding A Specific Old Magazine "Intro to RPGs" Article

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I remember reading an "intro to RPGs" type article in an old gaming magazine (probably early 1980s) which introduced concepts of RPGs by describing a fictitious RPG that was sort of a Science Fiction/Science Fantasy version of D&D: D&D-like classes (including magic-users) but in a high-tech Traveller-like game. I first thought was that this was in a more general gaming magazine like Gameplay, Game News, etc.. However, I've flipped through my copies this weekend and haven't been able to find any such article. I don't know if that's because I simply missed it or because I wasn't looking in the right magazine. Does anyone else remember this article -- and what magazine it was in? I have more magazines than I have time.

Why am I trying to find this article? Several people have asked me if I would consider doing a science fantasy version of Microlite74 or Microlite81. I think White Star has triggered a lot of interest in such games. In fact, I've been specifically asked to to a "Microlite White Star". I really don't want to do that -- for several reasons. The primary reason is that while I like White Star, I do not like the the classes in White Star. I'd prefer more general classes with backgrounds and I really don't like the obvious focus on Star Wars in the class design. On the other hand, I've always though the setup of the fictitious RPG from the above mentioned article was a great idea for a science fantasy 0e or B/X style game.


Swords and Glory Volume 1 BoxThe Lazy Days of Summer RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early D&D, Empire of the Petal Throne, and early TSR games items items described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will be held as described in the above linked post. The highest donors will have a separate chance to receive an Artists of TSR portfolio. These are in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $160 dollars have been donated. That's about 4% of our goal and over 21% of the way to the first drawing trigger point of $750 dollars..

Microlite81 Complete Public Beta Available for Free Download

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Microlite81 Complete Beta CoverThe public beta of Microlite81 Complete is now available for download and comment. Microlite81 Complete is intended to be standard Microlite81 with more complete descriptions of spells, monsters, and magic items and a few extras like an example of play and instructions for GMs which will hopefully make the game more friendly to players with less experience with old school gaming. Microlite81 Complete allows the GM to select which version of the "core game rules" to use (the standard B/X-like rules from Microlite81 or the B/X-like rules with the author's house rules from the early 1980s added as in Microlite81 Extended).

The public beta is 106 pages. This means with artwork the final version should come in at 128 pages or less -- which will make it no longer than B/X. I have my fingers crossed that I can manage this.

This is a public beta version which I believe (hope?) to be feature complete. It needs (at a minimum) proofreading, layout and artwork before it will be ready for formal release. If you notice typos, missing material, or the like, please let me know in comments here, in email, etc.

Attention RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Donors: Watch the Donor Downloads area for the appearance of a couple of new work-in-progress games over the next few days:
  • Adventurer's Saga -- a Microlite74-based game with only one class, the Adventurer. I started work on this game several years ago and forgot about it. I found it recently and given some interest I've seen in the single class concept recently, I've reworked it a bit and intend finish it up ASAP. 
  • Gryphons & Gramarye -- The latest version of the rules I'm using now -- renamed from Fantastic Adventures because my current players liked this name better. This is the system with the Fighter, Hunter, Scout, Magician, and Wizard classes I've talked about in earlier blog posts. It is now Microlite74-based.

Swords and Glory Volume 1 BoxThe Lazy Days of Summer RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early D&D, Empire of the Petal Throne, and early TSR games items items described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will be held as described in the above linked post. The highest donors will have a separate chance to receive an Artists of TSR portfolio. These are in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $35 dollars have been donated. That's 1% of our goal and over 4% of the way to the first drawing trigger point of $750 dollars..

Microlite20-based Pathfinder LITE Available for Free Download

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Tekumel Journal #1 CoverThe latest version of Morgan Mains' Pathfinder LITE is now available for download in PDF format in Microlite20.org's download area. Pathfinder LITE is a Microlite20-like versiion of Pathfinder. Mains says this about the game: "I really liked much of what Pathfinder brought to the game table. However I still wanted the sleek, robust, ruleset of Microlite20. What I did was take the core rules of Microlite20 and added in key features that I thought truly defined Pathfinder; the things that really set it apart from 3.5. Then I smelted down those features and incorporated them in to the Microlite20 core rules which resulted in Pathfinder LITE - Players Compendium. I've continued development and now Pathfinder LITE has all of it's own core documents with out any reference back to Microlite20."

The are two versions available for download. The first is letter-sized and is suitable for printing. The second is digest-sized, suitable for reading on tablets. Here is direct download link to the full-sized version: PathfinderLITE-full-size.pdf. Here is direct download link to the tablet version: PathfinderLITE-tablet-size.pdf.


Swords and Glory Volume 1 BoxThe Lazy Days of Summer RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early D&D, Empire of the Petal Throne, and early TSR games items items described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will be held as described in the above linked post. The highest donors will have a separate chance to receive an Artists of TSR portfolio. These are in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $35 dollars have been donated. That's 1% of our goal and over 4% of the way to the first drawing trigger point of $750 dollars..

Lazy Days of Summer RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive Begins

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Swords and Glory Volume 1 BoxWith everything going on over the last year (my wife's mother dying, moving to her mom's house in Dallas and the major repairs to that house, finding new doctors for my wife. etc.) I haven't been very good about keeping my promise to my wife to giveaway most of the RPG items I inherited from Jay. While many of the minor items were given to players my Waco game or sold to games stores in the Waco-Temple-Killeen area to sell used, I still have a box full of items for Cancer Fund Drives. I think I'm doing pretty good: eight boxes down to two. My wife, however, disagrees.

And since we have recently had a lot of medical bills (5 MRIs and a spinal tap) with 20% co-pays -- which took all the money we had saved to pay the $3800 property tax this fall -- it looks like it is a good time to have a fund drive. Fortunately, the tax bill will be lower in future years as our homeowner exemption will kick in, but that's no help here. Why so many MRIs? The first MRI was my wife's annual cancer screening MRI, done months later than it should have been because of trying to find new doctors. No signs of her cancer returning, but her doctor saw something unusual in her spine and set her to a neurologist. He looked at the MRI and said it was most likely either be radiation damage or multiple sclerosis -- and given some of her other symptoms which had been previously blamed one her bad lower back, he was leans toward MS. Sigh. So he order 4 additional MRIs (one head, one neck/upper back each with and without some type of dye) which would be able to rule out damage from here head and neck radiation treatments. The whatever he was seeing in the spine would show up differently if it was radiation damage. Unfortunately, it wasn't radiation damage, so he wanted a spinal tap to be sure it was MS. As I write this, the jury is still out as the the results from the spinal tap -- apparently it takes quite a while to test the spinal fluid -- but the preliminary diagnose of MS hasn't changed.

The Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan CoverOkay, now that the background is out of the way, it's on the the goodies I have to give away to lucky donors. The following items will be given away randomly selected donors. Every $10 donated gets one chance in this giveaway:

To start with, the remaining items I picked you at a garage sale a few weeks ago (see Garage Sale Finds Given to RetroRolePlaying Cancer Fund Donors) in two groups:

Group 1: A2 - Secret of the Slavers Stockade, A3 - Assault of the Aerie of the Slave Lords, C1 - The Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan, D1 - Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, D2 - Shrine of the Kuo-Toa.

Empire of the Petal Throne BoxGroup 2: S1 - Tomb of Horrors, S2 - White Plume Mountain, S3 - Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, S4 - The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

And then some other groups of items from the 1970s and very early 1980's from the collection I got from Jay:

Group 3: All TSR Tekumel games: Empire of the Petal Throne, Legions of the Petal Throne, War of Wizards.

Group 4: Gamescience Tekumel Boxed Sets: Swords & Glory Volume 1, Swords & Glory Volume 2.

Tekumel Journal #1 CoverGroup 5: Imperium Publishing Tekumel games: The Tekumel Journal #1 and #2, Book of Ebon Bindings, MISSUM!

Group 6: Adventure Games Teklumel material: Deeds of the Ever-Glorious, Tsolyani Language, Parts 1 and 2, Armies of Tekumel, Vol 1: Tsolyanu, Armies of Tekumel, Vol 2: Yan Kor and Allies.

Group 7: TSR early historical wargames: Cavaliers and Roundheads, Cordite & Steel, Don't Give Up The Ship!, Fight in the Skies, Tractics, Tricolor.

Group 8: TSR early SF/F wargames: Star Probe, Star Empires, Warriors of Mars, Lankhmar, Divine Right.

Tricolor CoverIn addition to the eight giveaways available to all donors, the top 5 donors will have a separate drawing for the following very special item: The Artists of TSR portfolio. This is a fairly rare portfolio the RPGA (TSR) published in 1980 -- only about 200 copies were printed. Jay had this one -- each of the 12 prints is enclosed in its own mylar sleeve. (Unfortunately, the portfolio cover was not and has yellowed.) The portfolio has two black and white illos by each of the six artists: Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Jim Holloway, Harry Quinn, Jim Roslof, and Tim Truman. Shrink wrapped copies of FEZ I will also be given to two of the remaining four "top five" donors.

Two of the eight groups (randomly selected) will be given away when we reach $750 in donations, two more at $1500, two more at $2250, and the last two (and the special "top five giveaways) when we hit $3000. Additional items not mentioned here may be given away at various points during this fund drive as well.

Star Probe CoverIn addition to these giveaway items, I will be releasing "tablet-digest" versions of Microlite74 and Microlite81 games and supplements throughout this drive, current plans are for one release for every $250 in donations.

Occasional additional donated items (gift cards, Steam game keys, Judges Guild modules, etc.) may also be raffled off either during the drive or at the end of the drive. Book rate postage will be free to winning donors in the US and Canada. Others will need to pay for postage over the first pound.

As usual, anyone donates anything at all (even a dollar) to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund gets access to a few special downloads (like pdfs of two 1970s D&D fanzines I edited, a special edition of Microlite74, and more) as described on the Retro-Roleplaying Cancer Fund web page as well as in progress draft downloads of my current projects).

If you would like to help but cannot make a donation, please help spread the word around the blogsphere (and other places). In fact, if you make a post to your blog talking about this fundraising drive and post a link to your post in a comment to this post, we'll give you one entry in the raffle. Note: Your blog will have to have some way for us to email you if you get lucky or will will not be able to get your prize to you as I am still failing Mind Reading 101.

To get help us pay the medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Every $10 donated gets one chance in the above giveaways. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who donates. If you cannot donate but wish to help, please spread the word about my request and offer. Thanks in advance for any and all help.

New Microlite81 Complete Draft (0.40) Available For Donor Download

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Microlite81 Complete Playtest Draft CoverA new draft of Microlite81 Complete is now available for download. Retro-Roleplaying Cancer Fund donors can download this (and all future drafts) at the usual donor download location with the usual password (here's a link to this download: Microlite81 Complete Playtest Draft 0.40)

It's been a long time since I worked on Microlite81 Complete. There did not seem to be much interest in it from either donors or the general public so it has been on the back burner. However, I've had a few people ask how it is coming so I have dusted it off and put some work into the project. The chapter of GM advice is still missing and a number of minor additions need to be made throughout the work, but it is about 75-80% finished. If you aren't a Retro-Roleplaying Cancer Fund donor but would like a copy of this and future drafts (and future drafts of other projects, see this Retro-Roleplaying Cancer Fund page for info on donating. Remember each $10 donated (starting today) gets you one chance in our next donor giveaway drawing which will include a number of old modules I just picked up as well as other items from my stash.

I just noticed that this is my 697th post. I need to start thinking of something special to post for number 700!

Garage Sale Finds Given to RetroRolePlaying Cancer Fund Donors

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TSR C1 module coverI made an interesting find a garage sale last week. I was headed home from the supermarket when I saw a garage sale that looked like it had some old D&D stuff. Despite having milk in the car I stopped. I was right, I had seen a badly water-damaged AD&D 1e Monster Manual II. I asked if they had anything else and they pulled out a box with about 15 old modules in it and asked a dollar a piece for them. I offered them ten dollars for the lot (all the cash I had on me) and they snapped it up. While all of these modules were in definitely "used" condition, all but one turned out to be complete and quite usable. Collectors would turn up their noses, but they are great playing copies.

A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade
A3 Assault of the Aerie of the Slave Lords
C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan
D1 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth
D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa
DL1 Dragons of Despair
DL3 Dragons of Hope
G1-2-3 Against the Giants
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City
S1 Tomb of Horrors
S2 White Plume Mountain
S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
T1 The Village of Hommlet

The incomplete/unusable module was a copy of B1 In Search of the Unknown which had been drawn on with crayons and cut up.

There was nothing here that I don't already have so see have been set aside for giveaways. In fact, I had a drawing for five of these modules Sunday (from Retro-Roleplaying Cancer Fund donors who donated for the Microlite81 project my Sunday game last weekend. The winners were:

Anonymous Donor -- DL1 Dragons of Despair
Anonymous Donor -- DL3 Dragons of Hope
Nancy S. -- G1-2-3 Against the Giants
Ralph W. -- I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City
Anonymous Donor -- T1 Village of Hommlet

I'll start an actual fund drive to give the other ten modules and a few other goodies from my stuff away soon. However, any donations to the Retro-Roleplaying Cancer Fund after this post is published with be eligible for this upcoming giveaway (1 chance per $10 donated, as usual). You can donate via Paypal here.