The second Public Playtest Version of Microlite81 is now available for free download in PDF form. What is Microlite81? Microlite81 is to the 1981 "B/X" edition of the world's most popular fantasy RPG as Microlite74 is to the original 1974 "0e" edition. That is, Microlite81 is a version of the Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert based on the superlite Microlite20 rules.
Microlite81 Public Playtest Version 2.0 is a complete, playable game with rules, spells, monsters, and treasure. It does assume a basic knowledge of D20 systems and fantasy rpgs in general, of course. However, the rules are very much a "rough draft" -- Microlite74 rewritten for B/X. Your input during playtesting will help shape the final game. As Microlite74 has had years of actual play, we already know the basic systems work well. What needs to be checked in playtest is that the changes made to the Microlite74 system both make the game more B/X like and work well (and don't break anything, of course).
This second public draft of the Microlite81 game has many minor corrections and changes compared to first public draft. The rules have also been reorganized. Unfortunately, two weeks of sinus problems in August prevented quite as much from being done as I had hoped. This means the treasure section of the rules is almost untouched from the first public draft. This will be the major focus of my work in September.
I will likely publish two or three donor only drafts in September, followed by another public draft near the end of September or the beginning of October. A public release candidate will likely follow in mid-October. I hope to release Microlite81 in November.
Once Microlite81 is in final form, serious work on Microlite81 Expanded and Microlite81 Compete can begin.
Although Microlite81 will probably have a number of changes before the final version is released, it is not too early to make sure that the explanations and descriptions in these rules are clear and make sense. While no game based on Microlite20 principles will ever have explanations and descriptions detailed enough for players who are new to tabletop RPGs and/or new to the standard D20 system, what descriptions and explanations are provided need to be understandable and match what is intended as well as being very concise in the Microlite20 tradition. If you see areas that need work, please make suggestions for improvement. Note that the descriptions of treasure and B/X conventions are not as concise as they should be, this will be fixed in future drafts.
As I am known as the "Typo King," I’m sure there are all sorts of spelling and grammar errors in Microlite81 Public Playtest Version 2.0 document. It is too early in the progress to point them out unless they make the meaning unclear. While I really need and truly appreciate proofreading help, detailed proofreading is a waste of your valuable time until we get to release candidate versions.
If you are interested in playtesting (or even just reading) Microlite81, you can download a copy of the first public playtest rules draft from Mediafire in PDF form. It's free now -- and like all RetroRoleplaying games, the final version of Microlite81 will also be free.
Download Microlite81 Public Playtest Version 2.0 (40 page PDF, about 850K)
Thank you very much for reviewing and/or playtesting these rules. You can report any comments, issues, or ideas on the Microlite81 Playtesting area of the RetroRoleplaying Forum (http://www.retroroleplaying.com/forum/index.php) or by email if you have my email address.
The third Sponsor Microlite81 (and Lords & Wizards) Mini-Drive for RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund is running now. The goal is $500 with the following giveaway items: First Fantasy Campaign (1st Printing), Judge Guild Character Chronicle Cards, Basic Boxed Set (complete including original dice), Expert Boxed Set (complete including original dice), Journey to the Center of the Circle (from Wilmark Dynasty), and The Vampyre's Mirror (also from Wilmark Dynasty). Each $10 donated gives you one chance at one of these items. The top three donors will have a separate drawing for a set of 1st printings of the original three TSR adventure modules (The Giants series as three separate modules: G1, G2, and G3) This is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund and sponsorship listings in the upcoming Microlite81 and Lords & Wizards games. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and a chance at the above-mentioned items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!
As of 4 September 2013, $334 has been donated in this mini-drive, an additional $166 in donations is needed to trigger the drawings for the items mentioned above.