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DTRPG Cyber Monday Door Busters are Live
DTRPG Cyber Monday Door Busters are Live Wow. Thanksgiving weekend really left me worn out. My niece was over for the weekend (certified Covid free 🙂 and it was an awesome weekend, but uncle felt a need to nap the weekend away this afternoon 😉 Thus we ...
Research Station Palatua
Research Station Palatua Contact was lost with Research Station Palatua as we approached the system. When we pulled around to the landing area on the trojan asteroid that houses the station, there was a debris field where the outside elements of the station ...
What Do You Need? The first post in this series can be read here.From p. 6-7 of 4th Edition's chapter, How to be a DMWhat do you need to play D&D?A Place to Play: The bare minimum of space you need to play D&D is room for ...
Thieflings
Thieflings  "A salute to the moon, gentlemen..."Nobody knows what Thieflings are, all anyone can say is that they wear black masks and striped white shirts, that they carry things away in sacks, that they steal for the joy if it and ...
Monstrous Monday: Lunar Angels
Monstrous Monday: Lunar Angels One of the things I always felt AD&D was lacking in was good representations of the forces of Good.  I mean we have thousands of demons, devils, daemons, demodands, and everything in-between, but we didn't get anything like an angel ...
[New Magic Item] Lantern of Green Light Lantern of Green Light
‘How did they find us so soon?’ the gnome illusionist asked.
‘The one with the lantern is barking orders at the others, he sees us,’ replied the elf ranger grimly.
‘So we should probably take that ...
OD&D Combat Modifiers Compendium
OD&D Combat Modifiers Compendium There's a surprisingly small number of combat modifiers (adjustments to the combat rolls) in Original D&D. What did Gary and Dave think were important then? Using the 7th printing, let's take a look:  Volume 1: Men & MagicFire missiles at ...
First Season in the Marchlands, D&D adventure review
First Season in the Marchlands, D&D adventure review By Tyler A Thompson, Joshua Mahn
Sad Fische Games
OSE
Mid-Levels?
An adventure compilation set in the Marchlands- a clannic, pastoral region beset by monstrosities, corruption, and banditry. 
This 123 digest page adventure describes a region and includes four adventures ...
Star Wars VI Through Non-Fan Eyes
Star Wars VI Through Non-Fan Eyes In my quest to watch or rewatch the Star Wars movies and give them more attention and a second chance, I had already decided the so-called machete order was off the table, since it’s not just a reordering but an ...
Sci-Fi: Space 1977 - An Analysis of Failure
Sci-Fi: Space 1977 - An Analysis of Failure  I decided to revist my Space: 1977 setting idea. You should probably read that post first, but in brief, the idea was to combine every Star Wars knock-off film produced between 1977 and 1980 into one gloriously terrible space opera ...
The Dungeon Master From p. 6 of 4th Edition's chapter, How to be a DMOne player has a special role in a D&D game. The Dungeon Master controls the pace of the story and referees the action along the way. You can’t play ...
Delicious Miscellany - Milk Cocktails, Elusive Salep, Dusty Spirits, Vintage Perfume, Mad Honey, Antique Opium
Delicious Miscellany - Milk Cocktails, Elusive Salep, Dusty Spirits, Vintage Perfume, Mad Honey, Antique Opium    The Key to Crystal-Clear Cocktails? MilkCamper EnglishCook's Illustrated  "After a 150-year absence, milk punch is back. The base recipe for milk punch includes citrus juice or another acidic ingredient. Hot milk is added to the mixed cocktail, curdling the milk, and ...
Table: Sigils in Mesomergos  Pursuant to my interest in heraldry, I sometimes wonder how I could turn Spwacks's marvelous tables to the task of blazonry. This is my current attempt, though it does not do a good job of describing the placement of charges. ...
Shadows of the Ruinous Powers – Session 43
Shadows of the Ruinous Powers – Session 43 (Being a series of quick game notes trying to account for the events of many sessions of playing through The Enemy Within using the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e rules.)
Session 43
Power Behind the Throne
Larry [Mercenary] – I 58Wilhelm ...
Sword of Truth Generator
Sword of Truth Generator What kind of Sword is it? - 1d6[1]Falcata[2]Seax[3]Katana[4]Boardsword/Arming Sword[5]Claymore[6]RapierWhat is its Appearance?- 1d8[1]Ancient, rusted or greened from decay. Just as powerful.[2]Decorated with gold leaf, engravings, runes are fancifully carved. Jewel pommel.[3]Brutish, simple and rough. Runes are carved with straight and ...
A Simple d6 System for Stat or Skill Checks
A Simple d6 System for Stat or Skill Checks By Stephen FabianJorune: Evolutions uses a stat and skill check system that is different than the mechanics used in combat. Since Jorune: Evolutions is OD&D inspired, the unified mechanic employs the 1dd6 that OD&D uses for most things.  Why did ...
That One Time I Expected my PC to Die
That One Time I Expected my PC to Die  I've mentioned that my favorite game was 4th Edition HackMaster, which is definitely a crunchy game and arguably the very 1st OSR retro-clone. I especially liked how the game had a big fan base that allowed for an organized play ...
Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales
Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales It's Shopping Saturday (is that a thing?) today and DriveThruRPG is having their big Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sales.   There is not really enough time to order and get a Print on Demand book for a gift, you can certainly ...
[New Spell] Weapon with Your Name On It Weapon with Your Name On It
The elder dwarf raised his enchanted war hammer and growled at the elf king. The latter looked astonished at the sight of the weapon that seemed to blaze with magic. One could even note ...
The Beloved Underbelly, D&D adventure review
The Beloved Underbelly, D&D adventure review By Philippe Ricard
Self Published
OSR
"Low Levels"
[…] this zine details the tunnels and sewers beneath a dystopian fantasy city, full of beekeepers and taxidermists and pigs and sorcerers.
This 24 page “Adventure” details an underworld/under the city environment ...
Yeah, but what do they eat? - A Local Cuisine Generator
Yeah, but what do they eat? - A Local Cuisine Generator      All of us Americans have just stuffed our faces with a bunch of chow, so this is the perfect time for an article about it. It is no accident that numerous superstitions revolve around food. Several gods are dedicated ...
Campaign-Level Play Part 1: Maybe the Best Thing that D&D Has to Offer
Campaign-Level Play Part 1: Maybe the Best Thing that D&D Has to Offer How often does your characterchoose to write a letter?This is one of the trickier-to-describe qualities of running the game I know of, because it has to do (once again) with presentation and flow. I hope it makes sense.I perceive a ...
The Mystery of Manly House
The Mystery of Manly House Free PDF was on my Patraeon long time agoI was probably wary of mass release then but care less nowIt might seem timely but the truth is based on a Popey cartoon. In the adventure like the cartoon their is ...
VILLAINS
VILLAINS Is it time for another 'Library Post'? Perhaps it is. Don't worry, content after the links-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CONCEPTSIntroA World Without ViolenceGoose-Gold & Goblins MECHANICSLooking for a MechanicChar Gen THE VILLIAGECrappy 1st attempt at ShintoShinto in CumbriaEight HousesVillage ShopsDANGEROUS STRANGERS ("Monsters")Monster BrainstormRatmasterGelly CubeDragons Men-of-Bones Owlbears 'BomblenOwls Trap-Dogs (Kobolds) Mind-Flayers Goblins More ...
Giving Thanks  I'll try not to be glib...though (I suppose) my capacity for "glibness" these days is much diminished.Mm. Staring out the window, wondering what words to use to type my feelings of the moment, I find myself at a loss. I'll ...
Kurtful of Russells
Kurtful of Russells  Get drunk, make RPGs. Play tested 100 hours. 
TwK: Gambler
TwK: Gambler                                                     from Gravity FallsSome ideas borrowed from here.I am reworking the list of playable classes for Those who Know, my urban fantasy/modern occult setting.  I have decided to limit the list to the five slasher movie archetypes described in The ...
M1 Blizzard Pass: Dungeon Design
M1 Blizzard Pass: Dungeon Design Today, Grognardia has a retrospective on the module M1 Blizzard Pass by Zeb Cook.This brought back some of my memories of this module, which was released in 1983. I remember buying it at Kay-Bee Toys in the mall on the same ...
The Inn Between
The Inn Between  This all basically grew from the idea of What If Spirited Away, But D&D?First of all, wiser souls have spoken of this before.  The ruleset would be GLOG.  Level-ups would come from only two places: Treasures and Friends.  Also everyone is children:During character ...
Theory - Hard & Soft Tools Alright, here's a framework I've been using to analyse games. It's about the mechanical means by which players can exert their will onto the fiction. Only a quick little post, but it should help clarify some of my thinking.So, let's ...
The Road to Pandemonium (+ A Bonus Poem)
The Road to Pandemonium (+ A Bonus Poem)  Carl Ludwig BeutlerI had floated the idea of a pilgrimage hellcrawl using Ultraviolet Grasslands some months ago.The good news is that this is that post.The bad news is that this post is unnecessary. UVG in its default state requires so ...
New Release from Elf Lair Games: A Faustian Dilemma for Night Shift: VSW
New Release from Elf Lair Games: A Faustian Dilemma for Night Shift: VSW  Welcome to the City...The City is vast and sprawling, in many ways an archetype of every city in the world, from New York to Sydney to LA to Hong Kong, to Paris, London, Dubai, and beyond. It’s a city where ...
Look at my Works, you Mighty, … When I wrote my first post outlining the purpose and goal of my latest worldbuilding efforts, I got a lot of replies, including this interesting link from Oliver Simon to a great academic article about the role of the environment in Conan: ...
More Mountain Hexes IV
More Mountain Hexes IV It is Friday! Here are five more Mountain Hexes! (part of my Wilderness Hexes project). We have made it to 40, so I might take a detour into the Swamps for a chance of scenery. Browse the hexes tag on ...
Diegetic Classes [Wilderland]  Cavegirl introduced me to the term diegesis last year. In this past year, I’ve seen amazing content come out of the indie/OSR space, aligning tons of rules to the fictional world. I am super into this. I have sensed that my ...
DSB: Androids, Technicians, and Visitors
DSB: Androids, Technicians, and Visitors Previous PostsSetting intro, the Fury and the ReconstructedWonders and horrors of the galaxy, the Ghost and the PsychicCorpro-imperialism, the Dreamer, the Idol, and the Scion Neo-imperial hyper-capitalism is built (as it always has been) on alienation, deprivation, and trauma. If you ...
Kickstarter: Layout continues for the Majestic Fantasy RPG, Basic Rules
Kickstarter: Layout continues for the Majestic Fantasy RPG, Basic Rules  Just a quick update that I am in the midst of layout. I have completed about half of the pages and just finished up the monster section. Here is the last page of the monster chapter.Here is the first page ...
Damn You, Gygax! Part 4
Damn You, Gygax! Part 4 Previously, I wrote a series of posts called "Damn You, Gygax!" on a theme: That in the transition from Original D&D to Advanced D&D (circa 1977-1979), Gygax stumbled several times in trying to make the system "fully abstract" (i.e., applicable ...
Unwanted Undead Adventurer
Unwanted Undead Adventurer I follow a few ongoing manga series on Comixology—Delicious in Dungeon, Made in Abyss, Goblin Slayer. Ubel Blatt, though that is finished and I am way behind. Berserk, though that comes out so infrequently it is hard to think about ...
Still Alive  It's been  a crazy year since the last post.I got married last Halloween. Yay!My diabetes kicked my ass. Boo!I've been in physical decline since before winter. My balance and stamina have been severely compromised. I am on oxygen. I cannot ...
Sometimes, the best move is not to play...
Sometimes, the best move is not to play... I had to do something really hard this weekend, I had to cancel my monthly tabletop Zoom AD&D game, as well as my bi-weekly online AD&D game. I'm taking a break.It's been happening for the past couple of weeks now, ...
Cafe Prost and the Little Red Notebook The Jackalope is here, and requires a SACRIFICE.Anne requested the following gift:The Coffee House - Cafe Prost!It is well known in Regensburg, city of culture, that revolution is brewing. The Duke’s tyranny can only continue for so long, and the ...

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About This Site

RetroRoleplaying.com started out as a site devoted to out-of-print, unsupported, and/or out-of-style tabletop roleplaying games (and modern “retro-clones” of those games). While we have over one hundred pages devoted to this, as of 2010 we are probably better known as the publisher of free Microlite20 variant games designed to reproduce the feel and style of “old school” editions of the “worlds most popular tabletop RPG” including the popular (and free) games Microlite74Microlite78, and Microlite81.

While it may surprise many people, the earlier editions of classic RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons sold many more copies than the newer D20, 4e, and 5e versions. These once very popular games are available in hardcopy via Amazon or eBay (and many are available in PDF)– and are still being played today. Retroclones are much less expensive, however (often free in PDF form).

Many people prefer older tabletable roleplaying games because of their less complex, easier to modify rules and their “feel.” While many 3.x and 4e games feel more like playing a computer game around a table with much emphasis on optimal character building and detailed tactical combat, pre-D20 games feel more being in a movie or novel — the emphasis is what the characters do in the campaign world as opposed to what skills and feats are on their character sheet.