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Expanded Microlite81 Complete Digest/Epub Version Now Available

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Microlite74 Ultimate Edition CoverA slightly revised and expanded (with 25 additional monsters) version of Microlite74 Complete is now available on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow in a digest and epub combo format -- perfect for printing out or reading on a tablet. Microlite81 Complete is based on the Basic and Expert (B/X) boxed sets of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game published in 1981. This game takes the popular B/X version of the game and recreates it using the rules-lite Microlite20 version of modern D20 system. You get all the advantages of the B/X system with a more modern set of rules. In other words, Microlite81 Complete is a conversion of the B/X rules to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old-school play without strictly old-school rules. The Microlite81 system does for B/X what Microlite74 did for 0e: easy to learn and use modern rules that can used to play old adventures designed for the B/X system (or the many new adventures created by OSR publishers) with very little conversion effort required -- general little more than converting the descending AC used in old adventures to the modern ascending AC (and yes, how to do this is explained in the rules).

Unlike most of the games I write, Microlite81 Complete is a complete game with complete descriptions of spells, monsters, and magic tems instead of the short one ot two sentence descriptions. There are even examples of play and information for the GM on how to create dungeons and wilderness areas. Microlite81 Complete also does not assume an experienced GM who has access to better descriptions of spells, monsters, and magic treasure in the SRD or in other old school books. This tablet/epub version of Microlite81 Complete includes some new and revised material not included in the free "condensed type" version.

Microlite81 Complete includes everything one needs to play except dice and paper. The 480+ page illustrated digest-sized rulebook -- designed for easy reading on tablets -- includes:

  • Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll 4 attributes and select a class, and alignment (and background if using the Extended Rules Set).
  • Standard Classes: Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, Thief, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling
  • Two short sets of "core" rules: standard and extended. The standard rules are less complex while the extended rules incorporate many of the author's house rules)
  • Extended rules include backgrounds which provide a simple and fast way to factor in a character's culture and non-class-related a abilities without including a complex skill system.
  • Simple and fast-playing combat system -- which tracks physical damage (aka body points) separately from luck/skill/fatigue (aka hit point) damage if the extended rules are used.
  • Hit points recover with a night’s rest. As in Microlite20, spells cost hit points to cast. Actual wounds recover more slowly. (Optional rules for more standard "fire-and-forget" magic are included for those who prefer "Vancian" magic.)
  • Rules for hirelings, monster reactions (not every monster wants to fight), morale (not every monster fights to the death), strongholds, magic research, and more.
  • Optional rules for character advantages and disadvantages, character goals and personality traits, fire-and-forget magic, traditional saving throws, psionics, divine intervention, and more
  • A complete list of spells, monsters, and treasure with detailed descriptions and random tables for monsters and treasure
  • Compatible with most other B/X or BECMI based games and adventures: both old and new
  • This tablet/epub edition of Microlite20 Complete includes 25 new lower level monsters and a few additional rules sections not included in the free version of Microlite81 Complete.
This is the tablet/epub version of Microlite74 Complete. You receive two files: a standard pdf and an epub file. The digest-sized pdf is suitable for printing or for easy reading on a tablet. Unlike the "pay what you want" version of Microlite74 Complete, this pdf is formated in a single column and uses a larger typeface to make it easier to use on a tablet.

An epub version of Microlite74 Extended is also included, although the formatting is not as nice. Note that this file contains tables and many epub readers display tables in a single column unreadable mess. Epub reader software designed to display epub3 files usually have no problem with the tables. Calibre displays this epub file well on Windows PCs and Gitden reader displays it fine (if slowly) on android. There is an IOS version of Gitden Reader for Apple devices, but it has not been tested. Note that tables in epub files do not adapt well to small screen devices.

You get both the digest-sized pdf and the epub version when you buy the digest/epub version of Microlite81 Complete for $9.95. Text corrections made in this edition will be backported to the "pay what you want" condensed type version of Microlite20 Complete in the near future. The new rules sections and the new monsters, however, will only ber available in this digest/epub edition.

You can get a copy of the new digist/epub version edition of Microlite81 Complete on its page on RPGNow for only $9.95. RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors will be able to download their copy from the donor download area within a few days.

Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.





The Microlite20 RPG Collection: Over 1100 Downloads in Two Weeks

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It's been just about two weeks since I released the free third edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection. Between RPGNow/DrivethruRPG and Mediafire, it has been downloaded just over 1100 times as I write this post. That's an amazing amount of interest. I'd like to thank everyone who downloaded a copy. I hope you are enjoying it. If you haven't yet downloaded your free copy of the 2000+ page PDF, you can download a free copy either from RPGNow/DrivethruRPG or from Mediafire. Somewhat to my surprise, over 70% of the downloads so far have been through RPGNow or DrivethruRPG. I guess having to have a RPGNow/DrivethruRPG account is causing less of a hassle than I expected -- or at least is less of a hassle than all of the ads on Mediafire.

The downloads are free. However, if you like it please consider a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal. Donations are really appreciated.

I've been asked what else I'm working on. BX Advanced, of course is my primary writing project. It is moving along slowly due to the need to playtest and tweak my new method of adjusting XP requirements for things like psionics, mutations, and other optional rules. The Microlite20 XP system I used in my Microlite74 games made such adjustments easy. For the more standard OSR XP used in my Microlite81 games, I used a modified version of the method used in the Adventurer Conqueror King system. It works well but requires a lot of math from players and GMs -- more math than some are comfortable with. I'm experimenting with a new system with about 20 standard XP tables (numbered 1 to 20). Adjustments are made by adding or subtracting small numbers from the XP table number. For example, a standard thief might use XP table 4. Minor mutations might add 1 each, so a thief with 3 minor mutations would use XP table 7. Those readers familiar with the system I used in Microlite81 games will understand how much easier this system will be. All I have to do now is make it work.

I'm also finally working on tablet/digest versions of Microlite81 Complete and Microlite81 Advanced. The tablet/digest version of Microlite81 Complete is in final layout now. As a special bonus, the tablet digest version has 25 monsters that were not included in the free "condensed type" edition. These are 25 mainly lower level monsters. Assuming the real world does crash and burn my schedule, it should be ready for release in a week or two. The tablet/digest version Microlite81 Advanced will have the 25 lower level monsters included in the tablet/digest version of Microlite81 Complete plus an additional 25 middle and higher level monsters for a total of 50 more monsters than in the free condensed type version.


Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.

The Microlite20 RPG Collection (2017 Edition) Available For Free Download

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The new 2017 Edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection is now available for free download. The Microlite20 RPG Collection is a PDF compilation of Microlite20 based games. Each individual game is copyrighted separately, is based on the Open Game License (because the original, Microlite20, is OGL), and is available for free. Each game is a separate entity with its own copyright and license. The author of each individual game is solely responsible for his or his work. No editing of individual games has been done. The original 2010 edition was a single volume with around 600 pages. The 2012 edition about 1400 pages. This third, 2017, edition is just over 2000 pages.

In addition to the standard Microlite20 rules (and a large number of optional systems and expanded rules), The Microlite20 RPG Collection (2017 Edition) includes the following Microlite20-based role-playing games: Microlite20 Revised, M20 SIWDCC, Microlite20 House Rules, MicroFantasy, Alter Microlite20, Ultimate Ultramicrolite20, Nanolite20, Microlite20 Modern, M20 Modern: Expert, Microlite20 Ultimate Modern-Day, M20 Hard Core Rules, Swords against Sorcery, M20 Heroic, Iron Heartbreakers, Microlite11, WildWalker’s M20 4e, Microlite20 Variant 4e, Microlite 4E, Micro Action Fantasy, Microlite20 5e, Microlite5e, MicroFive Core, M20 Fifth, MULRAH, Lite20, Mini20, Realms of Renown, Microlite77, Microlite20 OSS, Advanced Microlite20 OSS, Argo, M20 Hyborian Age, Microlite Conan, Prehistoric Microlite20, Microlite20 Bronze Age, Microlite Dark Sun, Omerian Tales, Beacon, WarEngine RPG, Yamato M20, Challenges & Champions, Microlite20 Elf Lords, Microlite20 Dark Heritage, Microlite20 Resident Evil, Microlite20 Cthulthu, Microlite20 Vampires, Microlite20 2012, SpyLite, Giant Bug Invasion, Cyberpunk, SuperLite, Microlite20 Ultimate Costumes, Tumbleweed, Gunsmoke & Goblins, Owl Hoot Trail, Microlite Storytelling, TileHack, Dragoons, ZombiePocalypse, Microlite Tri-Stat, Relics & Ruins, OmegaLite20, RABID, Microlite20 Vermin, Where No Man Has Gone Before, Galactic Methuselah, FrontierLite, M20 Star Wars, Microlite20 Star Wars, Scions of a Primordial Planet, Micro MechWarrior, Stargate 1895, Blaster D20 Microlite, Pendragon D20 Microlite, Diabolical D20 Microlite, TMKT, Microlite20 NG, PathfinderLite20, Microlite20 Edición Némesis, Microlite74 1.1, Microlite74 3.0 Basic, Microlite74 3.0 Standard, Microlite74 3.0 Extended, Microlite78: First Edition Lite, Microlite81, Microlite81 Extended, Gyphons & Gramarye, Microlite20 Golden Edition, DungeonFinder Player’s Guide, DungeonFinder GM’s Guide, DungeonFinder Book of Monsters, and Grimm Lite.

You can download the current (2017) edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection on RPGNow (click here to download) where it is a "Pay-What-You-Want" game with a Suggested Price of $0.00. Just enter a "0" in the price box and you are good to go. (The game is "Pay-What-You-Want" with a suggested price of $0.00 because games listed as "Free" on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG reportedly don't get counted in the stats correctly.) The current edition is about 2000 pages and is a 63 megabyte download. If you don't have an RPGNow/DriveThruRPG account, you can get 2017 edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection via this Mediafire link (but you have to put up with Mediafire's ads). The first volume of the second (2012) edition had almost 17,000 downloads on Mediafire over the last five years. Microlite20 games apparently really are popular.

The downloads are free. However, if you like it please consider a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal. Donations are really appreciated.


Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.

Coming Very Soon: The Microlite20 RPG Collection 2017 Edition

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The first (2010 edition) had about 500 pages. The second (2012 edition) had about 1400 pages. The new 2017 edition has just over 2000 pages. It will be free, of course. However, on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG it will be "pay what you want" with a suggested price of $0.00 -- as items listed as free do not show up in their stats. With luck it will be available for download later this week.


Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.




More Drama in the OSR (And How I Avoid It)

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I pulled my head up from working on the next edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection (which looks to be about 2000 pages this time, that about 500 more than the 2012 edition) last night and hit Tenkar's Tavern to see what was going on in the rest of the OSR world. I discovered that there apparently has been another big blowup on social media (G+ this time) -- see "Guest Post by Greg C re: The Current Drama on G Plus in the OSR - A Must Read IMHO" if you are as in the dark as I was.

I'll be honest, all the drama is one of the reasons I'm not as active posting as I used to be, except about my various gaming projects. I have never had much interest in mixing discussions of real world politics, real world religion, real world current affairs, or the like in my gaming discussions. In fact, I banned such discussions from my gaming tables and game group mailing lists and game group get-togethers many years ago (in the 1980s). When I get together to game or to discuss gaming, that's what I want to do. I don't want to discuss divisive issues like politics or religion. That way, I can game with you even if our positions on such issues are 180 degrees apart. People don't have to agree to work or play together, but sometimes it helps to just not discuss off-topic things that are likely to cause discord and strife. The world will not end because you played in the same game or were quietly discussing gaming over coffee with someone whose political, religious, and/or philosophical opinions are opposed to yours. So I avoid the drama by being just refusing to allow off-topic discussions that are most likely to lead to drama when I'm in charge and by refusing to participate in them (by leaving if necessary) if I'm not in charge. Some people say this makes me just another asshole. Perhaps it does, but I haven't had fights over real world religion, politics or philosophy tear any of my gaming groups apart or turn game sessions sour. That's a big win in my book.

Now, I'm going to start my real-world-drama free Sunday game. Actually, I expect lots of drama today, but all of it will be the exciting and fun in-game adventure type of drama. I wish the same to all of my readers.


Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.

Time for a new edition of the Microlite20 RPG Collection

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On April 4th, 2014 I made a post stating it was probably time for a new version of the free Microlite20 RPG Collection (see Time for the 2014 Edition of the Microlite20 RPG Collection) and that I hoped to have a new version out by the end of that month. When I made this post I had no idea that my life was about to be upended a few days later when my wife's mother passed away on April 10th after a sudden illness.

TThe next couple of years have been a blur: my mother-in-laws's funeral, moving to Dallas (first just to oversee repairs on my mother-in-law's house so it could be sold, then deciding to keep the house in Dallas) and sell the house in Waco, with almost ten months of remodeling in there, my wife being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, deciding to sell the house in Dallas so we could move to an area with less heat and humidty (my wife's MS made her very intolerant of high heat and high humidity), selling our house, my father-in-law passing away while we were selling the house, moving to Ohio, and setting up a new house (complete with some remodeling to make all the the house accessible to my disabled wife).

During all that time, I managed to produce and release a number of new games: Microlite78: First Edition Lite, some Microlite81 games, the new version of Microlite75, etc. The updated Microlite20 RPG Collection, however, fell through the cracks -- completely forgotten. I believe it is time to fix this broken promise and prepare and release a new version of the free Microlite20 RPG Collection.

While there have not been a large number of new Microlite20-based games released, there have been enough new and revised M20-based games to make the current collection from 2012 out of date. Adding the new and revised Microlite20 games I have found and collected will not be hard. The real question is what to do with all of my free Microlite7x and Microlite81 games. As they are all based on Microlite20, they probably belong in the collection. The the 2012 edition has the few that were available at the time: the three versions of Microlite74 3.0 (Basic, Standard, and Expanded) and the first Microlite74 Companion volume. Since then I've released 4 more Microlite74 Companion volumes, Microlite78: First Edition Lite, four versions of Microlite81 (Standard, Expanded, Complete, and Advanced), three versions of Microlite75 (Basic, Standard, and Extended), and several Microlite74 variants (Light vs Dark, Swords & Sorcery, 3d6 Edition).

Including all of these new Microlite7x and Microlite81 based games would probably add 800 to 1000 pages to the already large collection. I'm not sure this is a good idea. What I'm considering is including the Microlite74 Basic, Standard, and Extended games (which are in the current Microlite20 RPG Collection and Microlite81 and Microlite81 Extended. All the other Microlite7x and Microlite81 games would be simply descripted briefly and download links provided. This would make the collection less complete, but would avoid a huge increase in page count from including all of my generally large Microlite20-based games and would make the volumes less about my games and more about all the wonderful and interesting Microlite20-based games others have created. If have an opinion on this issue, I'd love to hear about it in comments.

Finally, if you know of any additional new Microlite20 games or variants (and their locations on the Net) please let me know. If you know of any updated versions of games included in the Microlite20 RPG Collection 2012 Edition, please let me know. Even if you believe I probably know about it, play it safe and tell me about it. Thank you.


Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.

Many Interesting New Old School Games at RPGNow

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Forbidden Caverns CoverWhen I go out to RPGNow there's generally only one or two new games that get my attention, so I was surprised to discover a five such games this morning. Unfortunately, most are well above my PDF price limit of $10. However, I thought I would point them out on my blog as the Christmas season is approaching and my wife has been known to check my blogs for gift ideas.

The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia: This is a megadungeon by the author of Barrowmaze, Greg Gillespie. While I really would like to have this, at $35 for a PDF, I am unlikely to ever buy it as it is over 3 times the maximum I'm willing to pay for a PDF -- especially one I am unlikely to ever use more than pieces of. However, it sounds very interesting: "The lost city of Archaia - an ancient ruin sunken into the earth - lies deep in the badlands. In recent years, caravans from Eastdale have come under attack from orcs, goblins, and worse. Some say these blood-thirsty warbands have made lairs in the deep caves and ruins. Sill others say the ancient halls are filled with magnificent treasures left by the Archaians." Cover art is by Erol Otus and the interior art includes "special surprizes by former TSR artists". If you are willing to spend more money on PDFs than I am and would like what will (judging by Barrowmaze) probably be an excellent old school megadungeon, you may want to pick this up.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea -- Second Edition: This caught me by surprise as I didn't know a second edition was in the works. I found the first edition full of interesting ideas, if a bit rough around the edges. However, I liked it enough that I'm looking forward to eventually getting the second edition. According to the blurb, "AS&SH™ has been expanded to include new classes, news spells, new monsters, new magic items, and more! It also includes a new, full colour map, an introductory town and adventure, as well as hundreds of new illustrations!" All the stuff in the first sentence really makes me want a copy. The second sentence, not so much. I really don't need hundreds of illustrations, but I imagine I'm not really the target audience for that part.

Mighty Protectors: Mighty Protectors is the third edition of Villains and Vigilantes. And V&V is the only superhero game aside from TSR's excellent Marvel Superheros (aka FASERIP) that I would be willing to run these days. The first two editions of V&V were great old school superhero games and all I've heard about the third edition is good, so I'm looking forward to eventually getting a copy of this game. I might even be willing to pay a bit over my $10 PDF limit for it because it is something I stand a good chance of actually playing. I'm really happy to see V&V back and wish Jeff Dee and Jack Herman the best of luck with it.

Raiders of R’lyeh: I was really surprised to see this game as it is one of the very late kickstarters that a lot of backers apparently never expected to see. At just under $40 in PDF form, it's way outside my budget. It looks as interesting today as it did when I first heard the idea several years ago: pulpish style mythos adventures in the Edwardian age (1900-1913). Of course, as Pulp Cthuthlu has been out a while (and is an excellent game and one I already own), this game will probably not have the impact it might have had if it had come out when it was originally supposed to.

Fringeworthy d20 edition: I own the first two editions of Richard Tucholka's Fringeworthy. It was a fantastic interdimensional exploration setting saddled with a overly-complex game system. While D20 system versions of games are often square pegs driven into round holes, in this case the D20 system almost has to be an improvement over the original system -- at least for me. If you are unfamiliar with Fingeworthy, this post, "Obsolete Simulations Roundup: Fringeworthy" at Hereticwerks is a good review.

I also noticed that ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG seems to have a new and much lower price than when it first came out. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of this game at a very good sale price shortly after it came out. If you like either of the first two editions of the Warhammer RPG, you need this game.

As usual, all the links to RPGNow products in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a copy through one of these links, I get a small percentage (5% or so, I believe) of the price. Like donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund, money earned from these affiliate links helps pay medical expenses.


Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.

Labor Sale: Microlite74 Ultimate Edition (and others) 25% Off

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Microlite74 Ultimate Edition CoverIt's Labor Day and that sounds like a great time for a sale. The Microlite74 Ultimate Edition is now 25% off on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow. All our other products (that are not already "pay what you want") are also on sale at 25% off.


This sale runs through Tuesday September 5th at 9am CDT.


Please Support BX Advanced with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" Retroroleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.

BX Advanced: A Draft Barbarian Class

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BX Advanced Playtest 0.1 CoverOne of the most requested classes so far for BX Advanced is the Barbarian. It's not found in either Labyrinth Lord or its Advanced Edition Companion -- probably because the original class from Unearth Arcana was a bit over-powered and hard to play in a normal party with spell-casters. I've tried to piece together a Barbarian class suitable for BX Advanced from open game content scources and my own ideas. Here is what I have so far. Please note that it has not been really proofread, let alone playtested. However, as one of my players really wants to play a barbarian, I needed something to work from to use in tomorrow's session.

You will note that I've toned down the barbarian's issues with magic to make the character easier to use in a typical campaign. A Barbarian will adventure with arcane spellcasters types, if reluctantly, but he will not tolerate spells cast upon him. This should reduce the -- frankly ridiculous -- contortions often needed to play a 1e barbarian in a "normal" adventuring party while keeping the "distrusts magic" flavor.

I've also modified the Barbarian's Battle Rage so that the Barbarian can end it at will (thus preventing the barbarian attacking his own party if a battle ends before his rage does). However, I've made the Barbarian's rage exhausting, leaving the barbarian fatigued and weakened for 10 minutes per combat round the Battle Rage lasted.

Comments, complaints and ideas are welcome.

The character class (offset by a blue blockquote line) below is open game content under the OGL statement for this blog. Here is the addition Section 15 copyright references for this class:

First Edition Fantasy: Supplement #2, OSRIC Unearthed, Copyright 2007, Charles Rice; published by Ronin Arts
Barbarian: A Player Character Class for Labyrinth Lord, Copyright 2012, James M. Spahn


Barbarians
Requirements: Str 12, Con 12
Prime Requisite: STR and CON
Hit Dice: 1d10
Maximum Level: None

Born in the wild and raised among savage nomads, Barbarians are warriors hardened by nature and able to survive in the wild with little more than a weapon and their own willpower. Their skill in battle comes not from training or discipline, but from sheer brutality and tenacity. The sheer unwillingness to fall in combat and drive a foe into the ground makes them fearsome opponents to even the hardiest of foes.

Though they are not often found in civilized lands, some find their way onto the path of adventure. Whether they are the last remnant of a dying tribe, cast out for an act of dishonor, or secretly scouting the civilized worlds for invasion, the occasional barbarian can be found adventuring in more civilized lands.

Barbarians are proficient in all melee weapons and may wear padded armor, leather armor, studded leather as well as use shields. Because of their savage nature Barbarians may only be Neutral or Chaotic alignment. Barbarians use the Attack Value and Saving Throws of a fighter.

Sense Danger: Barbarians have an almost supernatural ability to detect danger. This gives them a chance to avoid surprise and to avoid traps after they are triggered. If a Barbarian is with a party that is surprised and they successfully Sense Danger, they are not surprised. That is they may take their actions as normal during the surprise round even though the rest of their party may not act. If a trap which would affect the is activated and they successfully Sense Danger, they may avoid the trap effects completely (leaping out of the way, etc.) so long as there is any physical way to avoid the trap. A successful Sense Danger roll will also negate any bonuses for attacking a Barbarian from behind (or from ambush, from invisibility, etc.)

Battle Rage: Barbarians can fly into a rage at the beginning their action in a combat round. This grants the Barbarian a bonus to attack and damage rolls equal to the Barbarian’s level divided by 4, rounded up (e.g. +1 at levels 1 to 4, +2 at levels 5-8, etc.). The Barbarian gains temporary hit points equal to his level that go away at the end of Battle Rage – damage suffered during battle rage is taken first from these temporary hit points. Damage dice explode -- that is, if the natural die roll is the maximum possible for the die type (e.g. a 6 of a D6, an 8 on a D8), the die is rolled again and the damage added together. If the second natural die roll is also the maximum possible for the die type, a third roll is made (etc.). Damage bonuses, if any, are added to the final. Barbarians using a ranged weapon when they go into Battle Rage will toss it aside and draw a melee weapon as a free action.

Battle Rage lasts for 1d6 plus 1 per level combat rounds. A Barbarian may voluntarily end Battle Rage before the duration is up. When Battle Rage ends, the Barbarian immediately loses all Battle Rage modifiers and becomes fatigued for 10 minutes for every combat round the Battle Rage lasted. While fatigued, the Barbarian loses the benefits of Sense Danger, suffers a -2 penalty to hit and damage, and moves at 50% of their normal rate.

Superstitious: Barbarians are notoriously suspicious of magic from outside their experience (Barbarian clans will tolerate Clerics and Druids but Magic-Users and Illusionists will be driven out). If any Magic User or Illusionist casts a spell on a Barbarian and he successfully saves, he will fly into a frenzy and attack the spell-caster.

While superstitious, the Barbarian is still a pragmatist; his primitive nature just sometimes gets the better of him. With regard to magic items, this means that a Barbarian can use most magic weapons and armor, since they are just better versions of standard items. The Barbarian would not use a weapon if he knew it could throw a spell though.

The Barbarian is also pragmatic enough to suffer the use of such items or the presence of a Magic-User among his allies, unless a spell is cast upon him. In such a case the Barbarian will fly into a frenzy as discussed above and attack the source of the spell.

Horde Leadership: As a Barbarian advances in levels he may attempt to raise a barbarian horde for revenge against a traditional enemy or if substantial loot is promised as described below:

·          Clan Leader: A Barbarian of 8th level and above has the respect of his clan, usually his family and some traditionally allied families who hail from the same area. The Barbarian can gather a small force of 1d6 1st level Barbarians times the Barbarian’s level (so 8d6 at 8th level, 9d6 at 9th level and so on), along with a war leader (a 3rd level Barbarian) and a clan Shaman (a 3rd level Druid). This force will stay together for the Barbarian as long as the goal he promised them remains within their reach (this is at the discretion of the game master).

·          War Chief: At 13th level the Barbarian has an even greater reputation among his people and can gather a larger force, equal to 1d8 1st level Barbarians per level. This force is accompanied by two war leaders (3rd level Barbarians), two clan shamans (3rd level Druids) and one clan leader (8th level Barbarian).

·          Warlord: At 18th level and above the Barbarian can summon a great number (often the majority) of his people to aid him in revenge or for the prospect of gaining treasure. This force numbers 2d10 1st level Barbarians per level, along with one war leader and clan shaman per 10 Barbarians and one clan leader for every 30 Barbarians.

BARBARIAN LEVEL PROGRESSION
Experience
Level
Hit Dice (1d10)
Sense Danger
0
1
1
14%
2,501
2
2
20%
5,001
3
3
26%
10,001
4
4
32%
20,001
5
5
38%
40,001
6
6
44%
80,001
7
7
50%
160,001
8
8
55%
310,001
9
9
60%
460,001
10
+3 hp only*
64%
610,001
11
+6 hp only*
68%
760,001
12
+9 hp only*
72%
910,001
13
+12 hp only*
76%
1,060,001
14
+15 hp only*
80%
1,210,001
15
+18 hp only*
84%
1,360,001
16
+21 hp only*
88%
1,510,001
17
+24 hp only*
92%
1,660,001
18
+27 hp only*
94%
1,810,001
19
+30 hp only*
96%
1,960,001
20
+33 hp only*
97%
*Hit point modifiers from constitution are ignored.


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