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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!

Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive (with Old School Donor Giveaway Items)

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It's been about two and a half years since I've had to do a fund-raising drive to help pay for my wife's many medical issues (oral cancer survivor, spine issues, and now multiple sclerosis). This is due to moving to a state that expanded medicaid so my wife has insurance that actually covers most stuff. So we no longer have 20% co-pays on her MRIs, CT Scans, and other expensive procedures she has to have regularly. Unfortunately, there are some things that are not covered. Most are not a large expense. However, the current example, glasses, is a large expense.

Glasses are covered -- or they are if the prescription is fairly normal (so the insurance company's lab can make the lenses) and you only get new glasses once every three years. Unfortunately, multiple sclerosis does terrible things to one's eyes and most MS patients need new glasses every year or so. In my wife's case, not only does she need new glasses almost every year but her prescription is now so strong in the prism department that only a handful of labs in the country are able to make these glasses. Naturally, the insurance company's lab is not able to handle the prescription. Even if they did, they will not pay for the ultralight lenses that she would need to actually be able to wear them (a lot of prism makes thick, heavy glasses). Worse, she needs two pair of glasses as bifocals aren't a good option with this much prism -- especially in someone whose balance is compromised (due to MS and pinched nerves in her spine). She is no longer able to drive or the two glasses solution (one pair for reading, computer use, and other close work; and another pair for normal use) would not work.

We've fought the insurance company for six months over this (as the new glasses are medically necessary) and have gotten nowhere. Thanks to a neighbor we have managed to find a place that has access to a lab able to handle her extreme prism and will do her glasses at cost, which has reduced the price from just under $1600 to just over $1000. Unfortunately, we don't have $1000 for glasses. Okay, this is not exactly true. We could get the glasses and not pay our second and last property tax payment for the year (just over $1000), but then we would not have a place to live. So I've reluctantly decided to do a RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund drive to raise the money.

Naturally, I have a few nice items for giveaway drawings for lucky donors:

Drawing 1: Adventure Gaming: After Tim Kask left Dragon Magazine, he started a new publication: Adventure Gaming. Unfortunately, due to the recession in the early 1980s, this very nice magazine only lasted 13 issues. A complete set of all 13 issues will go to one lucky donor.

Drawing 2: Adventurer: This is a British gaming magazine from the mid-1980s. There were only 11 issues. A set of the first 10 issues will go to one lucky donor.

Drawing 3: Traveller: The 1977 (first) edition of the Traveller boxed set had one major difference from all the later versions of Traveller: it was setting neutral -- the Third Imperium was not the default setting. The rules assumed the GM would create his or her own setiing. A boxed set of the first edition of Traveller will go to another lucky donor. (Note: the box is a bit scuffed and dented, but the books are in great condition -- and unlike my copy all the pages are stapled in all three books.)

Drawing 4: What Price Glory?! This early fantasy RPG was published in 1978 and (probably) was only available by mail order from the authors. The rules are -- surprise -- heavily based on D&D. It is an early example of a "fantasy heartbreaker." This copy is complete but the some of the pages have really yellowed and a few pages have notes in colored pencil.

Drawing 5: High Fantasy: This 1978 RPG was probably the first fantasy RPG published in hardback (in this 1981 version) and distributed to the book trade. It's a strange system with four classes (warriors, wizards, animal masters, and gun toting alchemists). One donor will get both the High Fantasy rulebook and the Adventures in High Fantasy adventure book. Both are hardbacks by Jeffrey C. Dillow and published by Reston Publishing.

Drawing 6: The Dungeoneer: Copies of the first six issues of The Dungeoneer (published by Jennell Jaquays in 1976 and 1977) will go to one lucky donor. Note: this is not the compendium of the first six issues published by Judges Guild, but the actual six issues published by the Fantastic Dungeoning Society of Spring Arbor College.

Additional donated items (gift cards, Steam game keys, Judges Guild modules, etc.) may also be raffled off either during the drive or at the end of the drive. Book rate postage will be free to winning donors in the US and Canada. Others will need to pay for postage over the first pound.

Finally, I have a very special item I hope to give away. I'm not mentioning what it is because it is currently on its way to me from Gibraltar. Given the uncertainty of international mail delivery times, I don't want to jinx anything by actually promising this item before I actually have it in my hands.

As usual, anyone 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 I edited, a special edition of Microlite74, and more) as described on the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund web page as well as in progress draft downloads of my current projects).

Donors will be listed as sponsors in upcoming RetroRoleplaying Game releases (BX Advanced Adamantine Edition, the second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite, and Dungeon Delving: Whitebox) -- unless they opt to remain anonymous (as about 50% of donors have in past sponsorships) in the following categories:
  • Donate $10.00-$24.99 and you will be listed as a Bronze Donor
  • Donate $25.00-$49.99 and you will be listed as a Copper Donor
  • Donate $50.00-$99.99 and you will be listed as a Silver Donor
  • Donate $100.00-$199.99 and you will be listed as a Gold Donor
  • Donate $200.00-$299.99 and you will be listed as a Platinum Donor
  • Donate $300.00-$499.99 and you will be listed as a Electrum Donor
  • Donate $500.00 or more and you will be listed as an Adamantine Donor
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, we'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 as even after all these years I am still failing my Mind Reading 101 class.

To get help us pay the medical 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. Every $10 donated gets one chance in the above giveaways. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who donates. If you cannot donate but wish to help, please spread the word about my request and offer. Thanks in advance for any and all help.


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!

A Second Edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite?

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Microlite78 fan Robert has been at it again. While he was happy to see the digest/ebook version of Microlite78 First Edition Lite, he pointed out that i could do a version much closer to 1e now that I have more than the Microlite74 material to work with.

He's right. The original mandate for Microlite78 was to combine the Microlite74 Extended rules with Microlite74 Companions II (Treasure), IV (Bestiary of Monsters), and V (First Edition Spells) into a single volume that could be used to play 1e style games -- and to use the more standard XP and advancement system I was developing for Microlite81. The idea was that I could toss this together in a month or so. I agreed to do this a few days before my wife's mother past away unexpectedly (and our move to Dallas), so my one month project ended up taking about a year.

Robert has convinced me to look at doing a second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite. In fact, I already have a fairly compete draft version available to RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors (usual place, usual password -- direct links: Draft 1 and now Draft 2). While there are not a lot of major changes, the changes made are significant:

  • The math heavy system for recalculating advancement tables if certain optional rules (like psionics) are used have been replaced with the Experience Rank system I've developed for the BX Advanced games. Some granularity is lost, but dealing with advancement adjustments from optional rules is reduced to simple addition and subtraction of small numbers.
  • The treasure section is more like that of 1e. Many 1e magic items were not included in the Microlite74 Companion II rules (and therefore were not in the first edition of Microlite78). The majority of them are present now.
  • The first edition rules -- like the Microlite74 games they were based on -- did not include much information on how to run the game for the GM. More recent RetroRoleplaying releases have added section of GM Lore with helpful GM advice and procedures. This material is included in the second edition.
  • While high level characters received strongholds, little information on handling player-controlled areas was included in the game. There was really nothing beyond the costs of building a stronghold. The second edition includes rules for running player-controlled dominions.
  • There are a number of minor additions: a few more optional rules, sample wilderness and dungeon encounter tables, etc.
  • The contents have been reorganized.

The basic version of this game will be "pay what you want" and will not have a lot of art. There will be an Extended Version with more art and more monsters, treasure, etc for sale. The aim is to get these out by the end of summer -- at the latest. Fingers crossed for no medical or family emergencies.

If you would like to hurry this project along (and get copies of the various rules drafts as I work on them), please consider a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund.


Please Support BX Advanced, Microlite78 2e, and other projects 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.