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Final Chance to Help Proofread Microlite74 Version 3.0!

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Thanks to a number of volunteer proofreaders, Microlite74 Release Candidate 2 is available. I've tried to incorporate all the error corrections I've been given -- and I found a few more on my own. I'd like this to be the final "draft version." You don't have to proofread to download Release Candidate 2, but any proofreading help would be much appreciated.

Your input and typos found are welcome on this version too. Please use our new message board to discuss these rules (and my many typos -- but their should be less than in previous versions). Comments here are welcome as well. Note that the Player's and GM Notes after the rules in Microlite74 Basic, Standard, and Extended is almost identical, so please check for typos in these sections only in the Microlite74 Basic version (to avoid unnecessary proofreading).

The Basic version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the 3 little booklets in the original 0e boxed set. This Release Candidate 2 version is a 213k pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Basic (version 3 RC 2)

The Standard version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the original 0e boxed set and the official supplements and official magazines. This Release Candidate 2 version is a 312K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Standard (version 3 RC 2)

The Extended version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the original 0e boxed set and the official supplements and official magazines but also includes unofficial supplements and magazines as well and some of the house rules the author used in the late 1970s. (Microlite74 Extended is the new name for Microlite75.) This Release Candidate 2 version is a 380K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Extended (version 3 RC 2)

Microlite74 Companion volume one includes the optional rules from the original Microlite74 Supplement 1 and from the GM's volume of Microlite75 along with new optional rules. Most of these optional rules can be used with any of the three versions of Microlite74. RC 2 adds the equipment from M74 Extended as as option for Basic and Standard. This Release Candidate 2 version is a 237K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Companion I: Optional Rules (version 3 RC 2)

Thanks in advance for any additional proofreading help!

Help Proofread Microlite74 Version 3.0 (Please)

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Barring major problems, development of Microlite74 Version 3 is finished. Now I need your help to proofread the release candidate versions of Microlite74 Basic, Standard, and Extended (as well the first Microlite74 Companion). I've ran them through Word's spelling and grammar checker and caught all the errors that I can, now I need the eagle eyes of people who proofread better than I do (which is about 97% of the population of the US). Release Candidate 1 is now available for download. You don't have to proofread to download, but any proofreading help would be much appreciated. It's also likely your last chance to point out any issues you might have with the rules or the player/GM advice.

Your input and typos found are welcome now. Please use our new message board to discuss these rules (and my many typos. Comments here are welcome as well. Note that the Player's and GM Notes after the rules in Microlite74 Basic, Standard, and Extended is almost identical, so please check for typos in these sections only in the Microlite74 Basic version (to avoid unnecessary proofreading).

The Basic version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the 3 little booklets in the original 0e boxed set. This Release Candidate 1 version is a 212k pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Basic (version 3 RC 1)

The Standard version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the original 0e boxed set and the official supplements and official magazines. This Release Candidate 1 version is a 312K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Standard (version 3 RC 1)

The Extended version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the original 0e boxed set and the official supplements and official magazines but also includes unofficial supplements and magazines as well and some of the house rules the author used in the late 1970s. (Microlite74 Extended is the new name for Microlite75.) This Release Candidate 1 version is a 380K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Extended (version 3 RC 1)

Microlite74 Companion volume one includes the optional rules from the original Microlite74 Supplement 1 and from the GM's volume of Microlite75 along with new optional rules. Most of these optional rules can be used with any of the three versions of Microlite74. This Release Candidate 1 version is a 225K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Companion I: Optional Rules (version 3 RC 1)

Thanks in advance for any proofreading help!

Thoughts on Organized Play (and Microlite74)

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Every once in a while someone suggests that old school games need to have WOTC-style organized play in game shops to increase the visibility of old school games. Rarely, someone suggests to me that I set up organized play for Microlite74 since it is an old school game that uses rules more familiar to "current school" gamers. I've never responded favorably to that idea.

The first reason is probably obvious: money. Microlite74 is a free game and I am not a rich person (and since cancer hit my household a few years ago I'm actually closer to being a poor person). Running organized play in hobby shops across the world costs money to set up and more money to keep running. Microlite74 has no income to pay for this: it's a free game. The "free game" part also means there would be little incentive for hobby shops to run "Microlite74 organized play" as they really would have nothing to gain from doing so.

The second reason, however, is the main reason I have no interest in Microlite74 organized play (or even sponsoring Microlite74 tournaments at conventions). Organized play and tournament play starts pushing the game towards standardized rules and toward lots of rules to cover everything because standardized rules that cover everything make organized play and tournament much easier. Room for individual GMs to make rulings and put there own spin on the rules is bad for organized play. As rulings are likely to be different from one GM to another, they make organized play very difficult to handle as players are confused by different table rules as they game with different GMs (and perhaps different players) nearly every time they show up at an organized play event.

Standardized rules with lots of detail are the last thing I want for Microlite74. I want the GM to be able to customize the rules as he or she wants to fit his or her campaign world and players. I don't want to enable rules lawyers with lots of detailed rules that try to cover everything. I don't want GMs pressured to use standard rules because every house rule or non-standard GM ruling teaches players the wrong way to play -- that is, things they will have to unlearn if the ever participate in organized play or want to compete in tournaments. Sadly this type of pressure has been used every time organized play is a goal. Gygax did with first edition AD&D with his dreams of chess-like D&D tournaments and master/grandmaster titles. You still see it listed as a reason not to houserule 4e in many discussions of 4e online today.

I say (in my best Scrooge voice) "Bah. Humbug." Microlite74 is designed as guidelines for the GM to use in creating his or her own campaign. I have no interest whatsoever in suborning this goal to the needs of organized play for detailed and standardized rules; so I will not be involved in setting up organized play nor will I adjust the Microlite74 rules or my advice to GMs therein to accommodate it. If some third party with money and time to burn wants to set up Microlite74-based organized play, that's fine by me -- just don't start trying to encourage non-organized play groups to go RAW over rulings or to put the needs of organized play over their desire to use houserules, campaign-specific procedures, and on-the-spot GM rulings. And please, please don't ask me to be involved. I simply have no more interest in organized play today than I did in tournament play back in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- that is zero interest.

What Makes a Game Old-School?

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Paul Melroy over at the Emergence Campaign Weblog has an interesting series of three posts that do an excellent job of explaining what makes a game "old school"? He is working on a way to use the variant D20 system "Eclipse: The Codex Persona" to run a "old school" style game. I have my doubts that this would work for me, but these three posts tell me that Paul at least has a very good grasp of what makes a RPG "old school" (and why) and does an excellent job of explaining this.

Microlite74 Version 3.0 Beta 3 Rules Available For Free

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I'm releasing another beta of the Microlite74 version 3.0 games. The third beta of Microlite74 (Basic, Standard, and Extended) and Microlite74 Companion I are now available. Each version of Microlite74 now includes an extended set of 0e Conventions including material on dungeon and wilderness exploration conventions (wandering mopnsters, evading monsters, secret doors, getting lost in thw wilderness, etc.). These things are old hat to those with experience in 0e, but are probably not as well known to those less familiar with old school play. Companion I includes a number of new optional rules including alternative methods of generating character stats, optional races, traditional saving throws, contest of skills, weapon damage by class, black powder weapons, aspects, and deities/divine intervention.

The Basic version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the 3 little booklets in the original 0e boxed set. This Beta 3 version is a 208k pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Basic (version 3 Beta 3)

The Standard version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the original 0e boxed set and the official supplements and official magazines. This Beta 3 version is a 308K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Standard (version 3 Beta 3)

The Extended version of the Microlite74 rules covers material from the original 0e boxed set and the official supplements and official magazines but also includes unofficial supplements and magazines as well and some of the house rules the author used in the late 1970s. (Microlite74 Extended is the new name for Microlite75.) This Beta 3 version is a 375K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Extended (version 3 Beta 3)

Microlite74 Companion volume one includes the optional rules from the original Microlite74 Supplement 1 and from the GM's volume of Microlite75 along with new optional rules. Most of these optional rules can be used with any of the three beta versions of Microlite74. This Beta 3 version is a 225K pdf. You can download this file from Mediafire:

Download Microlite74 Companion I: Optional Rules (version 3 Beta 3)

While these may look like complete and ready to play games, they are still beta versions. I hope the next version will be a release candidate. Once I have a release candidate out, I will welcome input from proofreaders on my numerous spelling errors and typos! Your input and ideas not relatuing to typos are welcome now. Please use our new message board to discuss these (and future) betas. Comments here are welcome as well.

Microlite74.com Coming Soon

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My Sunday game group decided that Microlite74 should have its own domain, so they chipped in $2.50 each and I am now the proud owner of the microlite74.com domain paid in full for three years. There is nothing but a placeholder at microlite74.com now as I've just set the site up on my vps, but once I have Microlite74 version 3 out the door, it will have its own website as a home. I'd like to give a big thank you to my players as this is probably something I never would have done on my own -- if Microlite74 needed a web site, I'd probably just used a subdomain of the RetroRoleplaying site.

Microlite74, Wandering Monsters, Torches, and Gusts of Wind

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The Subtle Shifts in Play over at The Alexandrian made me think about just how much I've assumed people know about old school play in Microlite74. I know all about wandering monsters, torches having a chance of blowing out in the wind, monsters chasing after you if you try to run away, getting lost in the wilderness if you don't have an accurate map or a good guide, listening at doors, etc. Lots of little things that aren't done as much any more but are pretty central to many old-school style games. I automatically do them when I run Microlite74 or other old school fantasy game. However, Justin's post made me realize that many of the people who download and use Microlite74 probably do not -- because I never mention them. I'm working on a number of short rules for these things for Microlite74. They'll be added to the "0e Conventions" section of the rules. They should be in Beta 3 which should be available Sunday or Monday.