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Second Edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite Now Available

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Interested in the First Edition of the world's most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game, but put off by its seemingly random mechanics and design elements? Interested in trying some of the best known First Edition adventures with old school play but want to use the "better designed" D20-style mechanics you already know. The second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite is the game for you. These rules take the First Edition rules and filter them though the D20-based Microlite20 system to produce a conversion of the First Edition rules to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old-school play without strictly old-school rules.

The second edition of Microlite78 first Edition Lite is available on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG in PDF for $7.50 -- click here to go to the Microlite78 First edition Lite page on RPGNow (Or click here for DrivethruRPG). There will be a Pay-what-You-Want/Free version of these rules (without art) available in the near future.

The goal of Microlite78 First Edition Lite is do for First Edition (1e) what Microlite74 did for the Original Edition (0e): to recreate the style and feel of the First Edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1978 without giving up all of the clearer mechanics of modern D20-based versions.

This 236 page pdf contains the complete rules for the second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite, including:

* Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll 4 attributes and select a race, class, alignment and a background.
* Basic Classes: Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, Druid, and Thief.
* Additional (Optional) Classes: Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Druid, Illusionist, Paladin, and Ranger.
* Races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, and Halfling.
* Simple and fast-playing combat system that tracks physical damage (aka body points) separately from luck/skill/fatigue (aka hit point) damage. Combat is BAB-based: no to-hit tables or THAC0.
* 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), and more.
* Many optional rules (Advantages and Disadvantages, Psionics, Action Points, Sanity, more traditional magic and saving rolls, etc.): use none, some, or all.
* A complete information on spells, monsters and treasure.
* Gamemaster section with setting design information, and advice.
* Rules for PC-ruled dominions.
* Compatible with most other 1e based games and adventures -- as well as many designed for 0e, B/X, BECMI, and 2e.

The rules needed to create characters and actually play are short and sweet. Character creation rules (including race, class, alignment, and background descriptions) are 11 pages. Core rules (skills, saving throws, magic, combat, experience and level advancement) are 8 pages. They are written in fairly normal English, not "High Gygaxian". The rules assume that the GM understands the basic concepts of roleplaying games, but provides information for both the GM and the players on the various “old school” styles of play. Microlite78 First Edition Lite games can easily use adventures and material from early editions of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game or modern clones.

This is the second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite. Changes from the first edition:

* The Barbarian and Bard classes added.
* The method of determining the number of experience points needed to advance no longer requires recalculating entire experience point advancement charts if optional rules are used.
* The treasure section is more like the first edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game which makes the game easier to use with published adventures.
* Rules for character-ruled dominions are included.
* Gamemaster section with advice for creating and running campaigns added.
* Some artwork is in color.


Donate to the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive

The Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

Labor Day sale (40% Off) and September RetroRoleplaying.com Project News

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Labor Day Sale -- 40% Off

Celebrate Labor day with 40% off all RetroRoleplaying.com games, including BX Advanced, Microlite81 Expanded Edition, and Microlite74 Ultimate Edition. This sale ends sometime on September 4th.

* BX Advanced $9.95 -- Sale Price: $5.97
* Dungeon Delving Undying Light Edition $3.99 -- Sale Price: $2.39
* Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition $7.50 -- Sale Price: $4.50
* Microlite74 Basic Digest/Epub $1.99 -- Sale Price: $1.19
* Microlite74 Extended Digest/Epub $3.99 -- Sale Price: $2.39
* Microlite74 Standard Digest/Epub $2.99 -- Sale Price: $1.79
* Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery 2e Digest/Epub $6.99 -- Sale Price: $4.19
* Microlite74 Ultimate Edition Digest/Epub $9.95 -- Sale Price: $5.97
* Microlite78 First Edition Lite $4.95 -- Sale Price: $2.97
* Microlite81 Advanced Expanded Edition (Digest/Ebook)-- Sale Price: $9.95 $5.97
* Microlite81 Complete Digest/Epub $7.50 -- Sale Price: $4.50

Project News

* The full-sized "condensed type" version of the second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite should be out next week. The major changes in revision includes the barbarian and Bard classes, a treasure list more like 1e than BECMI, a revised method for determining XP needed to advance (recalculating experience tables by hand if using optional rules that slow advancement is no longer needed), rules for dominions, and a chapter of GM advice. This will make the game more like 1st edition and less like Oe with first edition spells and monsters. Estimated Price: $3 to $5 (A free "low art" version will be available later in the month).

* The digest-sized "Expanded" version of the second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite should be out later in September or in early October. This will include all the changes listed for the "condensed type" version, plus even more character classes, expanded spell lists and treasure lists, over 100 additional monsters, and more. All in a digest-sized book designed for easy use on tablets. Estimated Price: $9 to $12.

* Work and playtesting continues on the BX Advanced Adamantine Edition. Mutations are (hopefully) finally finished. Current work is on technology rules and tech items. Estimated Completion is winter or spring of 2019.

* Print editions: I'm still having no luck learning enough Indesign to make printed editions possible. I know many people would like printed copies, so I haven't given up. But progress is painfully slow. I just do not think in the way one needs to use layout software based on the "Pagemaker paradigm" -- like Indesign. I miss the long dead Ventura Publisher which worked the way I think.

* Blog Move: Moving the blog to Wordpress is low priority, but some work is being done -- occasionally.


Donate to the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive

The Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

FREE Version of Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition Now Available

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The Pay What You Want/Free (no art) version of the Microlite20 Comphrensive Edition is now available.

Microlite20 is a tiny version of 3.x designed to allow use of 3.x supplements and adventures without all of the complex 3.x rules. In its raw form, Microlite20 and its more important optional and supplemental sections are a hodge-podge of short pdfs produced by different people and formatted however the producer of that section wanted. The Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition takes all this material and combines it in one document -- all formatted the same and somewhat reorganized in places to make it easier to use. This Pay What You Want/Free "no art" version is 60 pages.

The actual rules include the following sections: Basic Rules, Basic Rule Examples, Expert Rules, Equipment, Spell Lists (Magi, Cleric, Illusionist, Druid), Monster List, Gamemaster's Guide, Designer's Notes (explaining the hows and whys of Microlite20's design), Appendix A: Minor Rules Expansions, Appendix B: Microlite20 Martial Arts, Appendix C: Microlite20 Psionics, Appendix D: Rune Magic, Appendix E: Microlite20 Mass Combat, Appendix F: Microlite20 Mecha and Starships, Appendix G: Microlite20 Old School Style, and (of course) a copy of the OGL.

Get your copy of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition (No Art) at RPGNow.

Get your copy of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition (No Art) at DriveThruRPG.




Donate to the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive

The Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!


RetroRoleplaying Blog Moving to Wordpress

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I've finally decided to bite the bullet and move this blog to a self-hosted Wordpress site. Blogger has been great, but I would really like to revive this blog and I think moving to Wordpress where I have more control and more options will help. By revive this blog, I mean talk about games again instead of just the projects I'm working on. Unless you are really into my current projects, this blog has become boring and I need to shake it up a bit. More importantly, I need to shake me up a bit and get out of the rut of only talking about my projects. I think moving to this blog to Wordpress with its multitude of options and different looking back end might help shake me up.

Given my schedule, moving this blog might take a few weeks (or might be done in the next few days). In any case, I plan to do it transparently so all the old links to posts on this blog around the web should still work. From the reader's POV, one day you will load up this blog and see we are on the new site. That's the plan, at least.


Donate to the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive

The Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

The Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition is Now Available

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The paid version of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition is now available. The free version will be out early next week.

If you buy the paid version of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition you will receive the following:

  • a pdf of the single-column digest-sized version -- 164 pages, with art
  • a pdf of the two-column letter-sized version -- 68 pages, with art
  • a pdf of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition Player's Guide -- 10 pages, no art: has all the player-facing rules (plus equipment and spell lists) and is designed to be printed and given to players.
  • epub and mobi ebook versions of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition
  • epub and mobi ebook versions of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition Player's Guide
The free version will only include a copy of the two-column letter-sized version -- without art version. In either case, you will get all the rules: Basic Rules, Basic Rule Examples, Expert Rules, Equipment, Spell Lists (Magi, Cleric, Illusionist, Druid), Monster List, Gamemaster's Guide, Designer's Notes (explaining the hows and whys of Microlite20's design), Appendix A: Minor Rules Expanions, Appendix B: Microlite20 Martial Arts, Appendix C: Microlite20 Psionics, Appendix D: Rune Magic, Appendix E: Microlite20 Mass Combat, Appendix F: Microlite20 Mecha and Starships, Appendix G: Microlite20 Old School Style, and (of course) a copy of the OGL.

You can find the paid version on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG for $7.50:

Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition on RPGNow
Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition on DriveThruRPG

RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors can download a zip file of the paid version from here. As usual, the zip file is password protected with the donor password.



Donate to the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive

The Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition Available Next Week

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Coming next week: the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition. As I mentioned about a week ago, I discovered a copy of a game I was working on in 2015 on my drive. I have finished it up and will be releasing it next week. The price for the paid version will probably be $7.50.

What is the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition?

In its raw form, Microlite20 and its more important optional and supplemental sections are a hodge-podge of pdfs produced by different people and formated however the producer of that section wanted. The Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition takes all this material and combines it in one document -- all formated the same and somewhat reorganized in places to make it easier to use. The end result is either a 68 page two-column letter sized pdf or a 164 page digest-sized pdf. Both formats are included in the paid version. Both are full of artwork.

What Do You Get?

If you buy the paid version of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition you will receive the following:

  • a pdf of the single-column digest-sized version -- 164 pages, with art
  • a pdf of the two-column letter-sized version -- 68 pages, with art
  • a pdf of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition Player's Guide -- 10 pages, no art: has all the player-facing rules (plus equipment and spell lists) and is designed to be printed and given to players.
  • epub and mobi ebook versions of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition
  • epub and mobi ebook versions of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition Player's Guide

The actual rules include the following sections: Basic Rules, Basic Rule Examples, Expert Rules, Equipment, Spell Lists (Magi, Cleric, Illusionist, Druid), Monster List, Gamemaster's Guide, Designer's Notes (explaining the hows and whys of Microlite20's design), Appendix A: Minor Rules Expanions, Appendix B: Microlite20 Martial Arts, Appendix C: Microlite20 Psionics, Appendix D: Rune Magic, Appendix E: Microlite20 Mass Combat, Appendix F: Microlite20 Mecha and Starships, Appendix G: Microlite20 Old School Style, and (of course) a copy of the OGL.

Is There a Free Version?
Of course, there is. Or there will be within a week or so after the release of the paid version. The PWYW/free version of the Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition will not have art and will probably have slightly smaller type. The PWYW/free version will only come in one format (letter-sized two column pdf) and will not include the player's guide or ebook versions.

What is Microlite20?

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know. However, if those who do not know: Microlite20 is an OGL role-playing game containing character generation, combat and rules for magic, monsters and level advancement. It ripped the guts out of d20 leaving just the essence of the game. Skills are much simplified, there are no feats and combat is as simple as it gets. Microlite20 is a trimmed-down, subminiature version of the Primary Fantasy Tabletop RPG SRD rules that has been designed to be quick and easy to play. The goal was to create a simpler game, but one where all of the resources of Primary Fantasy SRD (monsters, spells, adventures and equipment) could be used without conversion. It was designed for the 3.5 SRD but will work with the 3.0 SRD or even the PF SRD. The original rules for character generation, combat, magic and level advancement took up a single sheet of paper (of very fine print), making it great for introducing role-playing to new players, gaming one-shot adventures or tailoring into your own game system. Of course, the Microlite20 quickly grew breyond the original (extremely basic) rules with a number of optional systems and supplemental modules (e.g. lists of equipment and spells) designed to make the game playable without needing to constantly refer to a copy of the SRD. Microlite20 is also the basis for a large number of independent variant games in many genres -- the current (2017) edition of the Microlite20 RPG Collection has just over 2000 pages of Microlite20 based RPGs.


Cover of the Single Column Digest Version

Cover of the Letter-Sized Two Column Version

First Page of the Player's Guide Handout

As usual, RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors will be able to download a free copy of the paid version form the Donor Download Area with the usual password. Now is a great time to donate with the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive -- donate $10 or more now and get a chance at some old school nice items.


Donate to the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive

The Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

The Forgotten Game: Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition

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Queue the Twilight Zone theme song. I was cleaning up the projects area of my hard drive this morning. I found a game, Microlite20 Comprehensive Edition, that I apparently worked on and finished in 2015. I somehow forgot about it. All it needs is layout. How could I have forgotten an entire game? I know we were dealing with a lot of doctor visits for my wife that year, but still, how could a complete game have slipped my mind? I vaguely remember putting it together for players in my old Waco group who wanted a version of Microlite20 that incorporated a lot of the early extensions and additions. I've just ask on the Waco group mailing list if I ever gave anyone a copy or if it has sat uselessly on my drive for 3 years.


The Summer Heat WaveFund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!