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Microlite75 Extended Now Available for Download (Free OSR Game)

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Microlite75 Extended CoverThe third and final "core" Microlite75 game, Microlite75 Extended, is now available for download as a "pay what you want" game on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow. As usual, free ($0) is a perfectly acceptable price, although I would love it if you would consider tossing in a buck or two to support the medical bills.

Microlite75 games are a sort of "new edition" of Microlite74. Like Microlite78 and Microlite81 games, Microlite75 games use an experience and advancement system much closer to the original "0e" system than the Microlite20-based system used in Microlite74 games. They also all include some of most popular "house rules" based system that first appeared in Microlite74 Extended (e.g. body points and backgrounds). They include rules for creating strongholds, magical research, and more detailed rules for dungeon, wilderness and sea adventuring. Finally, they include a complete treasure section so the game is more complete than their Microlite74 counterparts.

The Microlite75 Extended rules are based on three little booklets found in the boxed set of the 1974 original edition of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game plus the supplements and other early published material. The rules are not intended to be a clone of the 0e rules, but rather a conversion of them to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old-school play without strictly old-school rules. Microlite75 Extended is based on the third edition of the original Microlite74 rules, modified to use advancement and experience systems closer to those of the original game and including many of the author’s house rules from the era and a large selection of optional rules.

Although the Microlite75 Extended rules are complete, they assume that the GM understands the basic concepts of D20-based roleplaying games. Information for both the GM and the players on the various “old school” styles of play is provided. Microlite75 games can easily use adventures and material from early editions of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game or modern clones. Microlite75 Extended includes:

  • Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll 4 attributes and select a race, class, background, and alignment.
  • Standard Classes: Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Illusionist, Magic-User, Paladin, Ranger, Thief.
  • Optional Classes: Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Monk, Mystic, Sorcerer, Warlord.
  • Backgrounds provide a simple and fast way to factor in a character's culture and non-class-related abilities.
  • Allegiances instead of (or in addition to) alignment.
  • Simple and fast-playing combat system that tracks physical damage (aka body points) separately from luck/skill/fatigue (aka hit point) damage.
  • Hit points recover with a night’s rest. Spells cost hit points to cast. Actual wounds recover more slowly.
  • Rules for hirelings; monster reactions (not every monster wants to fight); morale (not every monster fights to the death); dungeon, wilderness and ocean exploration; and more.
  • Lots of Optional Rules: Advantages and Disadvantages, Armor for Everyone, Weapon Mastery, Psionics, Sanity, Action Points, Traditional Systems, and many more.
  • A complete list of spells, monsters, and treasure.
  • Compatible with most other 0e based games and adventures.

Microlite75 games are trimmed-down miniature versions of the Primary Fantasy SRD rules designed to be quick and easy to play, especially when compared to modern incarnations of the game. The goal of Microlite75 games is to recreate the style and feel of that very first (“0e”) fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1974 without giving up all of the clearer mechanics of modern D20-based versions. Other versions of the core Microlite75 rules include Microlite75 Basic and Microlite75 Standard.

Visit the Microlite75 Extended page on RPGNow to Download Now.

Upcoming releases: Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery Expanded Digest Edition (Commercial, estimated price $6.99 -- ETA 1 to 2 weeks from now), Microlite74 Utimate Digest Edition (Commercial estimated price $9.99 -- ETA 2 to 3 weeks from now. Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery Expanded Digest Edition will be a digest (and epub) version of Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery expanded with new material. The Microlite74 Utimate Digest Edition will be a 300+ page digest (and epub) edition of Microlite74 which collects the best material from the first three Microlite74 Companions and integrates it into a Microlite74 Expanded rules base (along with some new material and a sample campaign setting with several prewritten adventure locations).

Cancer Fund Donations Welcome: If you are wondering if it is better to "donate" via paying what you want on DriveTruRPG/RPGNow or directly to my Paypal account, I see much more of the money if you donate directly to my Paypal account -- and you also get access to donor goodies.) Remember, if you donate $25 or more (via this RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund link), you will be listed as a sponsor in upcoming games.

I'm also testing the Patreon waters:

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Become a Patreon:
Support the development of Microlite74/75/78/81 games.

Microlite75 Standard Now Available for Download (Free Game)

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Microlite75 Standard CoverThe second Microlite75 game, Microlite75 Standard, is now available for download as a "pay what you want" game on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow. As usual, free ($0) is a perfectly acceptable price, although I hope you will consider tossing in a buck or two to support the medical bills.

Microlite75 games are a sort of "new edition" of Microlite74. Like Microlite78 and Microlite81 games, Microlite75 games use an experience and advancement system much closer to the original "0e" system than the Microlite20-based system used in Microlite74 games. They also all include some of most popular "house rules" based system that first appeared in Microlite74 Extended (e.g. body points and backgrounds). They include rules for creating strongholds, magical research, and more detailed rules for dungeon, wilderness and sea adventuring. Finally, they include a complete treasure section so the game is more complete than their Microlite74 counterparts.

The Microlite75 Standard rules are based on three little booklets found in the boxed set of the 1974 original edition (0e) of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game plus much of the material in the 0e supplements and some material from very early issues of the offical magazine. Unlike Microlite75 Basic, these rules embrace the changes in the first supplement to hit dice and weapon damage dice. As with other Microlite74 and Microlite75 games, the rules are not intended to be a clone of the 0e rules, but rather a conversion of them to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old-school play without strictly old-school rules.

Although the Microlite75 Standard rules are complete, they assume that the GM understands the basic concepts of roleplaying games. Information for both the GM and the players on the various “old school” styles of play is provided. Microlite75 games can easily use adventures and material from early editions of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game or modern clones.

Microlite75 Standard includes in 56 pages:

  • Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll 4 attributes and select a race, class, background, and (optionally) alignment.
  • Standard Classes: Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, and Thief.
  • Optional Classes: Assassin, Druid, Illusionist, Paladin, Ranger.
  • Backgrounds provide a simple and fast way to factor in a character's culture and non-class-related abilities.
  • Simple and fast-playing combat system that tracks physical damage (aka body points) separately from luck/skill/fatigue (aka hit point) damage.
  • Hit points recover with a night’s rest. Spells cost hit points to cast. Actual wounds recover more slowly.
  • Rules for hirelings; monster reactions (not every monster wants to fight); morale (not every monster fights to the death); strongholds; magical research; dungeon, wilderness and ocean exploration; poison; and more.
  • A complete list of spells, monsters, and treasure.
  • Compatible with most other 0e based games and adventures.
Microlite75 games are trimmed-down miniature versions of the Primary Fantasy SRD rules designed to be quick and easy to play, especially when compared to modern incarnations of the game. The goal of Microlite75 games is to recreate the style and feel of that very first (“0e”) fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1974 without giving up all of the clearer mechanics of modern D20-based versions.

Visit the Microlite75 Standard page on RPGNow to Download Now.

Upcoming releases: Microlite75 Expanded (Pay What You Want -- ETA next week), Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery Expanded Digest Edition (Commercial, estimated price $6.99 -- ETA 1 to 2 weeks from now), Microlite74 Utimate Digest Edition (Commercial estimated price $9.99 -- ETA 2 to 3 weeks from now. Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery Expanded Digest Edition will be a digest (and epub) version of Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery expanded with new material. The Microlite74 Utimate Digest Edition will be a 300+ page digest (and epub) edition of Microlite74 which collects the best material from the first three Microlite74 Companions and integrates it into a Microlite74 Expanded rules base (along with some new material and a sample campaign setting with several prewritten adventure locations).

Cancer Fund Donations Welcome: If you are wondering if it is better to "donate" via paying what you want on DriveTruRPG/RPGNow or directly to my Paypal account, I see much more of the money if you donate directly to my Paypal account -- and you also get access to donor goodies.) Remember, if you donate $25 or more (via this RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund link), you will be listed as a sponsor in upcoming games.

I'm also testing the Patreon waters:

Patreon Logo
Become a Patreon:
Support the development of Microlite74/75/78/81 games.

New Free Game: Microlite75 Basic is Now Available For Download

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Microlite75 Basic CoverI'm happy to announce that the first Microlite75 game, Microlite75 Basic, is now available for download as a "pay what you want" game on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow. As usual, free ($0) is a perfectly acceptable price, although I hope you will consider tossing in a buck or two to support the medical bills.

Microlite75 games are a sort of "new edition" of Microlite74. Like Microlite78 and Microlite81 games, Microlite75 games use an experience and advancement system much closer to the original "0e" system than the Microlite20-based system used in Microlite74 games. They also all include some of most popular "house rules" based system that first appeared in Microlite74 Extended (e.g. body points and backgrounds). They include rules for creating strongholds, magical research, and more detailed rules for dungeon, wilderness and sea adventuring. Finally, they include a complete treasure section so the game is more complete than their Microlite74 counterparts.

The Microlite75 Basic rules are based on three little booklets found in the boxed set of the 1974 original edition (0e) of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game. The rules are not intended to be a clone of the 0e rules, but rather a conversion of them to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old-school play without strictly old-school rules.

Although the Microlite75 Basic rules are complete, they are fairly basic. There are only three classes (Fighters, Magic-Users, and Clerics) -- however, backgrounds allow a great deal of easy character customization. Spells are limited and character levels top out at 12 to 14. Microlite75 Standard and Microlite75 Extended provide more classes and other options.

Microlite75 Basic includes:

  • Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll 4 attributes and select a race, class, background, and (optionally) alignment.
  • Limited Classes as in original 0e boxed set: Fighter, Magic-User, and Cleric.
  • Backgrounds provide a simple and fast way to factor in a character's culture and non-class-related abilities.
  • Simple and fast-playing combat system that tracks physical damage (aka body points) separately from luck/skill/fatigue (aka hit point) damage.
  • Hit points recover with a night’s rest. Spells cost hit points to cast. Actual wounds recover more slowly.
  • Rules for hirelings; monster reactions (not every monster wants to fight); morale (not every monster fights to the death); strongholds; magical research; dungeon, wilderness and ocean exploration; and more.
  • A complete list of spells, monsters, and treasure.
  • Compatible with most other 0e based games and adventures.
Microlite75 games are trimmed-down miniature versions of the Primary Fantasy SRD rules designed to be quick and easy to play, especially when compared to modern incarnations of the game. The goal of Microlite75 games is to recreate the style and feel of that very first (“0e”) fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1974 without giving up all of the clearer mechanics of modern D20-based versions.

Visit the Microlite75 Basic page on RPGNow to Download Now.

These two games are free and is still available in all the usual places, they are now also available on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow as "Pay What You Want" games. (If you are wondering if it is better to "donate" via paying what you want on DriveTruRPG/RPGNow or directly to my Paypal account, I see much more of the money if you donate directly to my Paypal account -- and you also get access to donor goodies.)

Patreon Logo
Become a Patreon:
Support the development of Microlite74/75/78/81 games.

It's Not About The Mechanics

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Microlite74 Extended Premium CoverI posted about the nearly five year long campaign I ran in Waco (and that is still going under new GMs) recently on a forum. I received an a PM asking how I could run a game that used basically OD&D rules (filtered through Microlite74) for over 150 sessions without being bored by the simple and uninteresting mechanics.

The answer is pretty simple. I am not interested in the mechanics as mechanics. I want the mechanics to work and to be simple, easy to remember and easy to use so that they fade into the background. I don't play tabletop RPGs because I want to fiddle with mechanical rules toys. I play (and run) tabletop RPGs to explore settings, situations, characters. When I'm playing, I want to immerse in my character and "manipulate" the setting as my character as directly as possible. That is, I don't want to have to decide I want to do "X" in the campaign and then have to worry about how to use the rules toys and widgets to do "X". I want the rules to be simple enough that I can just say what I want to do without using "rulespeak" and the GM can tell me if what I want to do is a success, a failure, or what I need to roll to find out. I don't want a lot of "interesting in and of themselves" mechanics to come between me and the setting.

Since I'm not playing RPGs to interact with the rules/mechanics, I tend not to get bored with game systems that work for me. If the system lets me immerse in my character and interact with the world without having to deal with fiddly mechanics, I'm going to be as happy with the mechanics in the 150th session as I am in the first session. New mechanics may (or may not) have to be added along the way for new aspects of the campaign, but I'm not going to get bored with the rules because I've been using them for years. I'm simply not there playing for the rules but for the setting.

I understand that some players play because they enjoy mastering rules and finding ways to manipulate the mechanical widgets in the rules. I can understand how such players might get bored with their current rule set and want new and different rules fairly frequently. I'm pretty such that such players drive the current practice of a new edition of D&D with radically different rules every five years or so. However, new editions with completely different rules turn me off, so I stick with rules that have worked for me for many years because they do what I need them to do. I see no personal need for new rules when the old ones I do the job I need them to do.

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Epub Versions of Microlite74 Basic, Standard, and Extended Available

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I've been asked for epub versions of my games for ages. While the tablet-digest versions with their single column and larger text sized work better on tablets than the standard full-sized "condensed type" versions Epubs are better for viewing on tablets and phones because the text flows to try to fit the width of the screen.

While I've tried epubs before, epubs just don't handle tables well -- many epub readers display them as a single column (all the cells in the first row -- each on their own line, then all the cells in the second row -- each on their own line, etc.) which makes tables an unreadable, useless mess. A couple of years ago, Andy Lannan produced an epub version of Microlite74 Extended that solved the table problem by using jpgs of the tables. This produced an epub version of the file that displayed the tables in a readable and usable form. However, it played havoc with getting the text to reflow.

The epub3 format allows tables and other more fancy design, but until recently there weren't that many epub readers that displayed the new epub3 features (like tables) correctly. There are now. For example, Calibre displays this epub file well on Windows PCs and Gitden reader displays it fine (if a bit slowly) on android. There is an IOS version of Gitden Reader for Apple devices, but it cannot test it with my files as I don't have any Apple devices. Note that tables in epub files still do not adapt all that well to small screen devices.

So I have made an epub version of Microlite74 Basic, Microlite74 Standard, and Microlite74 Extended available as part of the new premium editions I've released on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow this week. These premium editions come with a deluxe digest-sized PDF for printed or reading on monitors or largest tablets and with a epub version that will display nicely with most epub3 readers. The pictures below are of the pdf covers for these premium packages. Click on one to go to its page on RPGNow.

Microlite74 Basic Premium Cover
Microlite74 Basic ($1.99)
Microlite74 Standard Premium Cover
Microlite74 Standard ($2.99)
Microlite74 Extended Premium Cover
Microlite74 Extended ($3.99)

Free versions of the epub files will be likely released at some point in the future. RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors can download these premium versions (both fancy PDF and epub) from the donor download area with the usual password. Paid Patreons donating at least $10 a month will also have access to copies of these files at no charge.

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Support the development of Microlite74/75/78/81 games.

Become a Patreon: Support Old School Microlite74/75/78/81 Games

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Support Microlite74/75/78/81 Games on Patreon

Patreon LogoI now have a Patreon account set up for those who would like to support my old school Microlite games with a monthly donation. Various levels of support get various perks:

Donate at least US$1 a month and you will get access to alpha versions of free/"pay what you want" games I'm working on and your comments on those works in progress will help shape development.

Donate at least US$5 a month you will be listed as a Bronze Patreon in any games published during a month which you donated and you will have access to alpha versions of both "free" and "paid" games currently under development.

Donate at least US$10 a month and you will be listed as a Silver Patreon in any games published during a month which you donated, you will have access to alpha versions of both "free" and "paid" games currently under development, and you will receive a free digital copy of any "paid" games released during a month in which you donated.

Donate at least US$25 a month and you will be listed as a Gold Patreon in any games published during a month which you donated, you will have access to alpha versions of both "free" and "paid" games currently under development, and you will receive a free digital copy of any "paid" games released during a month in which you donated.

I'm open to adding higher levels of Patreon rewards if there is real interest.

Note that donors to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund will still receive the benefits (access to special products and alpha versions of games) that they have always had. If you've donated to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund in the past, this patreon stuff does not affect you at all -- although you are welcome to become a patreon at any level if you want to support game development.

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Support the development of Microlite74/75/78/81 games.

Please Become a Patreon