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Microlite74: How about a Swords and Sorcery Edition?

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I've been asked if I could make a "Swords ansd Sorcery Edition" of Microlite74 by someone who would be willing to donate a few very nice AD&D items for a Cancer Fund drive. He's asked that a Microlite74: Swords and Sorcery Edition have characteristics like these:

* Based on Microlite74 Extended
* Like "E6", be limited to 6th level with advancement thereafter be limited to things like talents and action points.
* Player characters should be human and limited to two classes: Adventurer (think Fighter) and Sorceror (magic-user with access to both arcane and divine magic). Backgrounds could be used to create specialists.
* Magic should be divided into white, grey, and black with different costs for each.
* Only spell levels 1 and 2 (with some level 3 spells as specials after achieving level 6) should be directly castable. Higher level spells should require lengthy rituals.
* Fighters should have some mild mechanical customization something like the Fighter Special Abilities optional rules in Companion 1.
* Sorcerors should not have Magic Dart but can have minor magic. Can use weapons and armor, but casting in armor should be limited.
* No alignment, but virtues and vices might be okay.
* Single saving throw (like in Swords and Wizardry).
* Drop the grand tour of old school games
* Include some treasure

It really would not be very hard to create a Microlite74: Swords and Sorcery Edition that fulfills most (or even all) of those requests. Would anyone else be interested in such an edition? If you are interested, do you have any issues with the above characteristics or have additional requests?

12 comments:
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Kristian Cee said...
January 25, 2012 at 9:39 PM  

I've yet to get a chance to play or DM it, but I've always felt E6 was the best hack for 3.5ed I've ever seen. Can't wait to see what comes of this!

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Gonster said...
January 25, 2012 at 11:04 PM  

You make this game and I start playing it a week after it's released.

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Nerzenjäger said...
January 26, 2012 at 2:10 AM  

Would be very appreciated!

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Shane Mangus said...
January 26, 2012 at 6:41 AM  

This is almost the exact setup I have been tinkering with lately. Even down to using E6, though I have come to realize that when not using feats there really isn't much need to limit level advancement. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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Randall said...
January 26, 2012 at 7:05 AM  

@Shane: I think part of the reason for limiting levels as in E6 is that heroes in Swords & Sorcery fiction tend to advance from superior humans to heroes, but are seldom the walking collection of "superheroic" abilities that higher level D&D characters often become.

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Shane Mangus said...
January 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM  

From my own playtests it became obvious that players felt letdown once the 6th level ceiling was hit. In a game without feats, low magic and really no high end rewards, there was just a sense that there wasn't much left for them to do. Now, I realize this is more or less an illusion, but it is also part of the trappings of a D&D-style game. It is the psychology of the game really. There has to be some sort of carrot at the end of the stick to want to keep going, otherwise why have levels in the first place. Having said this, I have not pursued ways to "fix" the "problem," so reverted back to regular advancement, but limited acquiring new hit point drastically. It seemed to give me the same result.

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Big_Jay said...
January 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM  

Count me in!

Always surprised there wasn't a version in the "Microlite20 RPG Collection".

Never played E6, but one thing that's always mystified me about D&D is the obsession with anything much past "name level", round about 10th level. After you've cleared a few hexes and setup the keep...what else is there? 1e included all kinds of stuff for collecting rents on farmers and costs for maintaining your castle, but it all sounded like "10th level fighter becomes 11th level accountant & business manager" to me. Hit 8-9th, retire the character and start again.

Other than a one-off "Monty Hall" game, what's the fun is roaming the planes and killing gods?

I stand ready to render editing assistance.

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Jon said...
January 26, 2012 at 6:15 PM  

My first reaction was "What?! No thief?! Even Conan started as a thief!" But then I went back and re-read the M74Ev3 rules and it all makes sense with backgrounds. (Which you actually said but I missed/ignored/whatever.)

It sounds like a lot of fun and I support fun.

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blinkdawg said...
January 26, 2012 at 10:58 PM  

E6 looks good. Another thing you could do is strip down the characters mechanically to their most basic version to start, and then have more advanced mechanics available in game, should the players wish to pursue them. In this way, techniques and prowess occupy some of the role magic items would take on in a more fantasy-feel setting.

"You have heard tale of a master known to slay his enemies in a flurry of strokes. Surely the knowledge of such skill would broaden one's glory. But where could such a man be found?..." Of course, once the master was found, he wouldn't give up the technique to any unproven wanderer - they'd have to fulfill some kind of side quest to prove their worthiness.

I did some S&S with Microlite74, and it worked great. I think the stripped down mechanics with the potential for more options really added to the flavor.

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Randall said...
January 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM  

@Shane: Players mainly motivated by ever-increasing levels and their associated mechanical character effects are unlikely to like any game that maxes out at lower levels than they want -- even if it makes genre sense. I don't think a Swords & Sorcery edition of Microlite74 would work for them. The Standard or Extended editions are more likely to met their needs.

That said, I hope to make advancement after level 6 a bit more interesting in M74-S&S than it is in E6.

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Rach's reflections said...
February 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM  

I'd call it Red Magic rather than Grey Magic-- More 'cause of Final Fantasy than Dragonlance.

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Randall said...
February 6, 2012 at 7:29 PM  

@Rach's Reflection: The colors come from "standard" magic: white magic is helpful and can't easily cause harm. Black magic is nasty, harmful magic or magic that violates nature. Grey magic is in the middle, it's helpful but can cause harm or is generally used for selfish ends.

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