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Holiday Cancer Fund Drive Final Report

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I am happy to be announce that the Holiday RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive raised just over $1100 dollars. With the $700 of my wife and I contributed, we had just over $1800 -- which was doubled, meaning $3600 was paid on our cancer bills -- which just about covered my wife's annual CT Scan from November. Although we wish we could have raised the entire $3000, we can't complain at all.

Unfortunately, we did not reach the $2000 goal Todd had set for his OD&D items. Todd has agreed to offer them again in our next donation drive -- which will not happen until I have some more really good items to give away. I've managed to contact the winners of the AD&D items and I'm happy to say that all the AD&D items have been mailed out. Well, all but one. Tom C. Stopped by on his way to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl and collected his copy of Unearth Arcana (1e version). It was nice to meet you. I hope you enjoyed watching the Longhorns win.

The only idea unaccounted for is the high donor item -- the special one-of-a-kind edition of one of the Microlite74 versions. A.H. please check your email.

I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this drive. I'd sing the "Thank you very much" song from Scrooge, but my singing is classified as torture. So I'll just link to the Youtube clip.

Including Microlite74 Optional Rules in Gyphons and Grammarie?

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Gyphons & Grammarie is the working title of the set of variant rules for S&W I'm working on -- based on the same 0e house rules I incorporated into Microlite74 3.0 Extended. I've had a few requests to include S&W version of some of the more popular optional rules in Microlite74 Companion I in Gyphons & Grammarie as optional rules. I'm not sure this would be a great idea. On the other hand I'm not really opposed to doing so.

Some optional rules from M74 Companion 1 that might work as G&G optional rules without a lot of changes to the basic G&G system:

* Optional Stat generation methods
* Optional Races
* Fighter Special Abilities
* Character Goals & Personality Traits
* Weird Science and the Techno class
* Combat Stunts
* Armor for Everyone
* Weapon Damage per Class
* Overwhelming Opponents
* Black Powder Weapons
* Action Points
* Fame
* Sanity
* Aspects
* Deities and Divine Intervention
* Spirits

Should I include some or all of these as optional rules in Gyphons & Grammarie? If some, which some?


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of six AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (described in more detail here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned donor giveaway items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1760 dollars have been donated. That's about 59% of our goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

Drive Ends at 7am December 18 -- less than 18 hours from post time!



Holiday RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive -- Less than 36 Hours Left

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There are only about 36 hours left to donate to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund during our Holiday Fund Drive and have a chance at our Donor goodies giveaway: First, a couple of AD&D books: one copy of Unearthed Arcana for SD&D 1e, one copy of Oriental Adventures for AD&D1e, one copy of C1 (Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, 1980), one copy of C2 (Ghost Tower of Inverness, 1980), one copy of S2 (White Plume Mountain, 1979), and one copy of The Official Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book. These six items will be raffled off to donors, one chance per dollar donated. See the links below for more information.

Don't forget that all donations with be doubled by a Waco-area supporter so every dollar you donate pays two dollars of medical bills.


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of six AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (described in more detail here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned donor giveaway items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1487 dollars have been donated. That's about 49% of our goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

Rob Kuntz has a New Blog!

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Rob Kuntz has a new blog: Lake Geneva Original RPG.

So what are you waiting for? Go see it now, then come back and make a donation to our combined Toys for Tots/Holiday RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund drive.



For the next 2 days (say until 5:59 CST Sunday evening) any money donated to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund will be split 50/50 (after Paypal fees, if any) between Toys for Tots and the cancer fund. Donors will still get full credit for their total donation in chances to win the donor Giveaways I'm giving away in the Holiday Cancer Fund Drive. Only 50% of the donation will count toward donor amount for the high donor OD&D items Todd is giving to the one of the three highest donors. To make this clear, let's say you donate $50 and there are no Paypal fees (as you donated from your Paypal balance), $25 would go to Toys for Tots and $25 to the Retroroleplaying Cancer Fund. You'd get 50 chances in the drawings for the donor giveaway items and $25 of the donation would count towards Todd's "high donor" OD&D item giveaway. To donate and help Toys for Tots, send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- via Paypal before 11:59pm CDT Sunday evening (December 16th).

Help Provide Christmas Toys to Needy Children (aka Future Gamers)

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While I have a lot of "acting experience" from playing NPCs in RPGs for over 30 years, my sole true acting experience was in high school. I was Gentleman #1 in A Christmas Carol. I had very few lines and most were very short. My longest line was "At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

I was reminded of this line a couple of nights ago when one of our neighbors, a retired marine sergeant, made his annual visit to all the neighbors asking for donations for Toys for Tots. He came at a bad time as we had just lost our seventeen-year dachshund earlier in the afternoon, but somehow the idea of children without Christmas presents snapped us out of our funk long enough to invite him in for some of my wife's Christmas baking and a donation for Toys for Tots. It's a great cause and the Marine Reserve has always done a wonderful job with the program. There are never enough toys to go around, of course, as the need is always great.

Later that night, I remember that Michael Shorten (aka ChicagoWiz/ChgoWiz) used to have annual Toys for Tots donation drive on his (now unfortunately defunct) blog. Seeing how much success we had with a combined donation drive for Karen's House and the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund earlier in the year, I decided that there are a lot of children out there that we gamers could help with a quick donation drive for Toys for Tots via my blog. I may not have the power of persuasion that ChicagoWiz had, but I think the cause and the group behind it speak for themselves: Toys for Tots, powered by US Marines and a lot of civilians like us donating toys and money, doing their best to see that no child goes without a toy for Christmas.

Therefore, for the next 2 days (say until 5:59 CST Sunday evening) any money donated to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund will be split 50/50 (after Paypal fees, if any) between Toys for Tots and the cancer fund. Donors will still get full credit for their total donation in chances to win the donor Giveaways I'm giving away. Only 50% of the donation will count toward donor amount for the high donor OD&D items Todd is giving to the one of the three highest donors. To make this clear, let's say you donate $50 and there are no Paypal fees (as you donated from your Paypal balance), $25 would go to Toys for Tots and $25 to the Retroroleplaying Cancer Fund. You'd get 50 chances in the drawings for the donor giveaway items and $25 of the donation would count towards Todd's "high donor" OD&D item giveaway.

So here's a chance to help two decent causes with one stone, err donation. If you can spare a ten or a twenty, or even more, it will help so much. Toys for Tots will be able to help more children and I will pay off more cancer bills. To donate and help Toys for Tots, send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- via Paypal before 5:59pm CST Sunday evening (December 16th).

GENTLEMAN #2: "...a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?" -- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of six AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (described in more detail here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned donor giveaway items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1453 dollars have been donated. That's about 49% of our goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

Microlite74 Companion 3 More Option Rules Beta 1 Available for Free Download

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We hit $1400 raised (of our $3000 goal) last night. As promised, I've released a beta copy of Microlite74 3.0 Companion 3: More Option Rules today. This second book of optional rules for Microlite74 includes a large number of completely independent optional rules designed for GMs to go through and add rules they like and which fit their campaign. No one campaign is likely to use all of these rules.

There are optional rules for:

* Optional stats: Sanity and Luck
* Many optional races, including orcs, goblins, dragonborn, orges, shifters, catfolk, pixies, and many more.
* Many optional classes: Witches, necromancers, delvers, witch-hunters, sages, swashbucklers, rogues, and many more
* Experimental classes: Superheroes, psychics, acrobats, priests, and ascetics
* Optional rules for race as class
* Experimental class options for standard classes
* Specialist Priests
* Character Monsters
* Spell Spheres (a limited form of free-form magic)
* Simple rules for magic item creation
* Material Components for spells
* Feats of Strength and Skill, Shield Walls, Climbing on Enemies, Mounted Combat
* Action-Type Initiative
* Unusual Weapon rules
* Special effects for critical hits and misses
* Prime Requisite Experience Bonuses
* Additional Spells for conjurers, necromancers, shaman asetics, thaumaturges, and witches.
* Many additional monsters
* Traps, Natural Hazards, and Diseases

You can download a copy of Microlite74 3.0 Companion 3: More Option Rules from Mediafire. It's a 30 page PDF file (about 500K to download.

Download Microlite74 3.0 Companion 3: More Option Rules Beta 1

Comments on these rules are welcome, either in this post or on our message board.

Please enjoy these rules, but remember that they are NOT yet in final form. Also please remember that we still have a few more days to raise money in our donation drive. See below for more info and please donate if you can. Thank you!


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of six AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (described in more detail here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1406 dollars have been donated. That's about 47% of our goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

There's Only One Megadungeon

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I discussion of megadungeons vs small dungeons on theRPGsite reminded me of how I handled dungeons in one campaign in the late 1970s. There was only one real dungeon in the world, all dungeons deserving of the name were magically linked. Not obviously linked in many cases, but linked nevertheless. In some cases magically linked corridors were only open to monsters or people who were initiates of particular chaotic deities. Others were only connected by hidden teleportals or even gates that only opened at certain times, in the presence of certain items, or even only when certain rituals were performed.

Dungeons usually did not start out linked as part of the megadungeon. However, when a dungeon, a cave system or even goblinoid tunnels grew beyond a certain size, a link or links to some part of the megadungeon would appear -- sooner or later. Some were other these links were created on purpose by wizards or powerful magic-using monsters, but others just seemed to appear. A knowledgeable (and powerful) character, NPC, or monster could take advantage of these interconnections to travel the world relatively quickly (and without using traceable magic like long distance teleports or opening a gate), provided he or she (or it) did not mind a dangerous journey through dungeons to get there. Intelligent monsters used this method of moving around a lot. One powerful lich even managed to run four separate small kingdoms without anyone being aware that each kingdom was ruled by the same being as his home sat over a small part of the megadungeon that was somewhat of a nexus between many other parts of the megadungeon.

These connections even extended to a few alternative versions of the prime material plane. One connection the players found opened to the dungeon beneath the city of Jakalla in Tekumel. Another corridor opened into a corridor on the USS Enterprise, a corridor that only those with the ability to see magic could find from the "Star Trek" side. Although no PCs ever went deep enough into dungeon(s) to find it, the very lowest levels connected directly to the Abyss.

The connections to the Abyss, of course, were the true source of the ever expanding connections that incorporated dungeon after dungeon into the megadungeon. The powerful demons and godlings in the Abyss had a plan to incorporate the prime material plane(s) into the Abyss by creating many connections between the Abyss and the prime material plane(s). Eventually, they would send billions of demons and other chaotic creatures through these connections and conquer the prime material plane(s). Of course, being highly chaotic and unwilling to work closely together, the invasion never happened. Actually invading would require far more coordination and cooperation than chaos could muster. But the megadungeon just kept growing and expanding....

Are the dungeons in my current Microlite74 Wilderlands campaign linked in a similar manner? That would be telling.


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of six AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (described in more detail here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1371 dollars have been donated. That's about 46% of our goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

No D&D Next (If I was in Charge of D&D at WOTC)

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I've made no secret of the fact that the new "D&D Next" isn't doing much for me. I've been asked what I would do if I were in charge of D&D at WOTC several times over the past year. Here's my answer.

First, I'd hire a couple of D&D 4e experts to go over the 4e material and finalize the system (between the original 4e material, the later 4e material and the Essentials), and write a definitive Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and GM Guide. I'll call this line "D&D Tactics" and publish new material for it through the current online system. Yes, I personally loathe 4e, it stresses everything I dislike about D&D while downplaying just about everything I do like about D&D. However, it has a current following and works well for non-traditional-campaign and competitive play. It should also be the basis for some great tactical computer games and boardgames. There's no reason to kill it off, just steamline it by finally deciding how it works and rename it to "D&D Tactics".

Second, I would take the D&D Rules Cyclopedia from the early 1990s and clean it up with the fan errata (see here). I'd make no other changes to the current text, but I would add three additional appendixes. The first would provide rules for separating race from class (adding around 6 t 8 pages). The second would provide ascending AC combat rules (adding 2 to 4 pages). The third would provide advanced (grid-based) combat rules, basically a form of the 3.x rules streamlined a bit (adding 10 to 20 pages). I'd replace the art and reformat the layout as needed and publish a nice hardback book -- everything you need to play D&D in one book. When this was published, I'd release a slightly updated version of the red box Basic set as free PDFs online long with free PDFs of B1 and B2. Give away the basic version of the game as a way to sell the full D&D game. I'd support this game by selling PDFs of the old BECMI modules, gazetteers, and supplements online at reasonable prices. I'd also release several new adventure modules a supplements a year. I'd also have a liberal license that encouraged third parties to publish adventures, campaigns, monster books, treasure books and the like and D&D needs strong third party support.

To that end, I'd try to get Piazo to resume publication of Dungeon and Dragon magazines with the right to support all editions of D&D (except 4e would would be handled online by WOTC as it is now) and other D20 games -- including Pathfinder. I'd be willing to be very liberal with the license as getting magazines out is good advertisement for the games. If Piazo was not interested, I'd try to find someone else who was. In house publication would probably be out as magazines are simply not profitable enough for the Hasbro bean counters.

Finally, I'd also make everything TSR and WOTC had published for D&D (0e through 3.5) available as PDFs and via POD. And I'd formally reprint the core books (corrected for errata) of each version, probably one edition a year, as "classic"/collector's editions".

There's really no need for a "D&D Next" -- all it will do is fragment the D&D player base yet again.


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of six AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (described in more detail here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1371 dollars have been donated. That's about 46% of our goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

D&D Editions and Harry Potter Characters as DMs?

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One of my players has this theory (which he will not tell us yet) about D&D editions and Harry Potter. He's asked us all (Sunday game folks) to tell him our version edition of TSR or WOTC D&D and which Harry potter character we think would be the most interesting DM to run a campaign of that game for us. I assume he thinks there is some correlation between favorite edition and Harry potter character, but he will not tell us because he wants a larger sample set first.

Therefore, in the interests of this not eating at my mind, I've decided to ask readers of this blog to chime in in comments with their favorite edition of TSR or WOTC D&D and which Harry Potter character they'd like to have run a campaign with that set of rules for them. With any luck, enough people will answer so he'll have a big enough set of samples and will tell us this "theory". (Which I will, of course, pass along on this blog.)

Yes, I know it is silly to let something like this eat away at my brain, but it's like a song I hate but just can't get out of my head... Comment with your picks, please! My addled brain really really thanks you.


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of six AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (described in more detail here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1266 dollars have been donated. That's 42% of our goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

Help the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund And Get a Chance at OD&D and AD&D Items

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This is an updated post about the Holiday RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive. As several additional donor giveaway items have been added since the drive started, the original post is out of date. Therefore, I'm posting this new updated version.

Background: As many regular readers know my wife had oral cancer some years back and i wrote the original version of Microlite74 to take my mind off of her daily radiation treatments. At about 4.5 years after surgery to remove over one-third of her tongue and six weeks of radiation treatments for oral cancer, her CT scan results in early November were stable, that is no change. This is all you can ask for. Unfortunately, we are some of the 40 to 50 million people in the US who do not have health insurance and do not qualify for government aid as we live in Texas and have no children. The cancer treatments and related expenses have cost over $120,000 so far (with another $3500-4000 about to be added for the CT Scan and associated lab and doctor fees). While over 80% of this has been absorbed by hospital foundations or paid by previous fund drives, monthly payments by us, and the like, we still owe quite a bit.

We are lucky this year, a local family-run foundation has offered to match what we raise until December 17th dollar for dollar up to $3000. (The original amount they were willing to double was $2500, but they told me yesterday they are willing to go to $3000 and gave us an extra week to raise money.) The money raised will first be used to pay off the 2012 CT Scan expenses and then to pay down the huge bill we have for Donna's radiation treatments. Between money donated during the 3 day fund raiser for Karen's House (the 50% that went to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund), a few dollars donated already this money, and the almost $700 we had saved this year for a "down payment" on this year's CT scan, we have about $900.00 raised at the start of this drive (about $1200 as of this revised post). This means we need to raise about $1800.00 between now and December 17th to reach the maximum amount they will double. If we can do this, we'll have paid for this year's CT Scan and over one-tenth of the remaining radiation treatment bill. So we are having a Holiday RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund drive.

What All Donors Receive: Everyone who 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, a special edition of Microlite74, and more) as described on the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund web page. All donors also have access to work-in-process versions of my current projects -- whatever they might be. Current projects available are draft versions of Microlite74 Companions II and III, Microlite74 Plus, and Gryphons & Grammerye (a version of S&W with my house rules circa 1977-1978).

Sponsor Listings: Anyone donating $25 or more during this fund drive will be listed as a sponsor in the two upcoming Microlite75 Companions. Anyone donating $50 or more will also be listed as a sponsor in Gryphons & Gramarye.

Donor Giveaways: We also have a few goodies to give away. Nothing super-valuable from a collector's point of view this time, but some nice stuff to actually use in play. First, a couple of AD&D books: one copy of Unearthed Arcana and one copy of Oriental Adventures for AD&D1e. As these were my spare copies, they were barely used, which means Unearthed Arcana's binding is intact and with care will remain that way. I bought multiple copies of each the day they came out: one to keep/read, one to use at the table, and a spare. Here's a picture of the copy of Unearthed Arcana:

AD&D 1e Unearthed Arcana

I also have nice copies of these early AD&D adventures to give away: C1 (Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, 1980), C2 (Ghost Tower of Inverness, 1980) and S2 (White Plume Mountain, 1979). Finally, we have a copy of The Official Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Coloring Book. These six items will be raffled off to donors, one chance per dollar donated. New Items added to the giveaway list during the drive:

High Donor Giveaways: First, the person who donates the largest amount will get an autographed copy of their choice of one of my Microlite74 publications -- in a special one of a kind printing that no one else will have a copy of -- not even me.

Second, provided we raise at least $2000.00, the three donors who donate the largest amounts will be asked to select a number between one and one hundred and the donor who comes closed to the number selected by Todd will win a collection of OD&D items he has donated:

White Box D&D* White Box OD&D, 4th Printing, includes loose table sheets
* Chainmail 3rd Edition, 2nd Printing (early, stapled binding)
* Greyhawk, 3rd (or later?) printing
* Eldritch Wizardry, First Printing
* Swords and Spells, 4th printing
* Arduin Grimoire, early printing (has TSR stuff marked out so it was printed before TSR's cease & desist order)
* Boot Hill, 1st Printing?
* Warriors of Mars, 1st printing

See this post for more details.

If you donated to the quick fund raiser we had for Karen's house at the end of October 2012, your donation counts for both the sponsorships and the item give-aways.

How to Help: To get help us pay our cancer treatment related 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. Remember, the amount you donate (after PayPal fees and up to the maximum of $3000) will be DOUBLED so every dollar you donate does twice as much good. Thank you very much in advance.

(I'm occasionally asked if it is possible to donate without using PayPal. I can accept postal money orders (the kind you get from the post office) via snail mail if you don't want to use PayPal. You'll have to email me for the snail mail address.)

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, I'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. Unlike some of my characters, I can't read minds.

Click here to donate now. Thanks!


Progress as of 4 Nov: $1211 of the $3000 goal raised.

Microlite74 Update: Companions II and III

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Several new versions of Microlite74 Companion II (Treasure and Warfare) and Companion III (More Optional Rules) have been uploaded to the donor area recently. Unfortunately, a couple of them were under the same file name as older versions because I forgot to change the file name. New versions with different filenames have just been uploaded (with more changes/additions).

Companion II has a new system for determining monster treasure as well as descriptions of magical treasure items. Also included are some rules for land and sea warfare.

Companion III is a huge collection of optional classes, races, rules, monsters, traps, and more. Optional races include the various goblinoid races, Dragonborn, warforged, tieflings, and many, many more. Optional classes include Witches (with their own spell list), Necromancers (with their own spell list) Delvers, Warlocks, Sages, Beastmasters, Thaumaturges, (non-beresker) Barbarians, and more. Experimental (aka very usual classes) include Superheroes and Psychics. Optional racial classes can be used instead of the standard race rules and their are optional additions to the standard M74 classes. Several ways of replacing or modifying the Cleric are included for those who find the Cleric "too blah." Advantages are included that allow PC vampires, weres and ghosts. There are rules for "Spell Spheres" (a limited from of free-form magic), Feats of Strength and Skill in combat, climbing on large enemies, unusual weapons, action-type initiation (where the order characters act in a round is determined by what they are doing), special effects for critical hits and critical misses, lots of new spells, lots of new monsters, including many favorites missing from the standard M74 monster lists, lots of traps, and more.

Companion III looks like it will soon be ready for a public beta edition. In fact, I'll release a public beta as soon after we hit $1400 in the Holiday Retroroleplaying Cancer Fund drive as I can (say, within 24 hours). That's only $189.00 (plus a few extra to cover Paypal fees) away.


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 10 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of five AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (as described here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $2500 $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1211 dollars have been donated. That's 40% of our new goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

Starships & Spacemen 2e Out and Labyrinth Lord Compatible

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The PDF version of the second edition of Starships and Spacemen is available in PDF from RPGNow. The second edition rules are compatible with Labyrinth Lord, which means they are basically compatible with all TSR editions of D&D, their clones, and similar games. Like the original version of Starships and Spacemen, the second edition is designed to loosely emulate the a very popular television series (either the original series or later versions). My only complaint is that the rules are not OGL. The rules are well worth the $6.45 price of the PDF.


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 10 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of five AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (as described here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $2500 $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1186 dollars have been donated. That's 40% of our new goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.

D&D Next: My Interest in 5e Takes Another Giant Decline

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There's a new Legends and Lore column out. I don't normally read this, but someone posted about this one on theRPGsite. So i went out and read it. I wish I had not as it makes it yet more clear that the longer the 5e play test goes on, the less 5e is looking like a game I would want to play. Based on their latest feedback, they are making some changes:

* People object to rogues being less powerful in combat, sio they are going to turn them back into a more combat-oriented class (like 3e and 4e). This was apparently a litmus test for having classes that are not all about equal in combat, so it looks like all 5e classes we be great in combat. Not what I want to see as I like have some classes great in combat, some classes so-so in combat, and some classes who really need to avoid combat.

* The are moving further away from Vancian magic as the base magic system. At-will spells will now be allowed to increase in power with caster level. Characters will be allowed to prepare a number of spells for each spell level they know and cast any one of those prepared spells for a spell slot of the appropriate level. Spells prepared are not forgotten when cast.

* Worst of all, they seem to be backing further away from a modular design as Mearls says they will soon begin "to break up the core rules into basic, standard, and advanced sections so you can begin to get a sense of how we look at the rules and the game's core complexity." That's not modular, at least not in my book. What I wanted (and was promised at the beginning of the 5e design process) was a simple set of core rules that I can then add rules modules of my choice to. This sounds like a basic set of rules and two sets of preselected and combined modules of more complex rules. I suppose they could do this like I do Microlite74's Basic, Standard, and Expanded rules and then have longs of optional modules on top of those, but that doesn't sound like what they intend.

The chances that I will buy a copy of 5e (let alone convert my campaigns to it and run it every week) continue to drop. What is your take on the direction 5e seems to be moving. Is it headed in a direction you like?


The Holiday Cancer Fund Drive is on (through December 10 17, 2012). Every dollar donated gives you one chance to win a one of five AD&D items described in the above-linked post. The three highest donors also have a chance at a 4th Printing White Box OD&D set (as described here). These items is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Here's the best news, every dollar donated (to $2500 $3000) which be matched by a local family foundation. Thank you!

As of the time of this post $1186 dollars have been donated. That's 40% of our new goal of $3000. Please donate now if you can.