RetroRoleplaying.com is a spam and politics free community site devoted to old school, OSR, and other rules lite tabletop roleplaying games. This site is ran by hobbyists as a hobby and is not a business. We do not accept paid advertising in any form. Server bills, however, have to be paid so links to commercial products are often affiliate links.
As you can see we are still remodeling the site. However, enough is complete that we can reopen. A lot of the ancient cruft that has accumulated over the years has been removed — most will not be back. New material will be coming to replace it.
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), started when my wife had oral cancer to give me something else to think about. Then came Microlite74. Within a couple of years the focus of my blog and this site turned from information and discussion about old school style games in general to Microlite74 and the various other Microlite20-based versions of TSR versions of D&D I was creating. This was partially because creating games is time-consuming and because I eventually starting creating these games as was way to get money to pay all the cancer-related bills. For the last 11or 12 years, everything else fell by the wayside.
I turn 65 this year and I’ve retired. The cancer bills are paid. While my wife was diagnosed with MS a few years ago, she has insurance that covers most costs (thanks to the fact that advanced MS is as close to an automatic disability qualification as you can get). So I intend to return the focus of this site to old school and OSR gaming in general again. As I love designing games, I probably will not stop releasing new games. However, the emphasis will not be on selling these games as I am not longer under pressure to make extra money to pay medical debts. Most new games will be free (or perhaps Pay What You Want).
I have a number of plans for this web site, but I haven’t quite decided exactly which of these plans I will go with. The first step in any of those plans, however, is remodeling this site. The fact that I’m far enough long to reopen the site after less than a week is a good sign, I think.
Here are the changes so far:
- New Look – It’s nothing special as I’m still not a visually oriented person, let alone a graphics designer, but it is an updated look. Be warned that I’m still tweaking it.
moved back to its original home (blog.retroroleplaying.com on blogger).I’ve cleaned it up to remove all the out-of-date cancer fund drive footers and post solely related to said fund drives. There’s a lot interesting material there, especially in the early years 2008-2012. Note that most pictures are missing as they were stored on tinypic.
Update (7 March 2022): I moved the cleaned up blog back to this site from blogger to cut back on Google tracking of blog readers.
- Reviews are gone. This was a silly attempt to link to old school game reviews on other sites in an attempt to provide a centralized list of reviews. I doubt I updated it since 2008 or so. It may have been a semi-decent idea when I started this site, but even if it was its time has long passed.
- Articles — Some ancient and generally outdated or pointless articles have been removed. For the time-being the short game system articles remain, however, they may eventually go as well as they really aren’t that good.
Some of the features I’m considering adding:
- Memberships — The web site will allow people to join so they can participate in some of these features I’m thinking about.
- OSR News — News postings of new games, supplements, adventures, settings, kickstarters, etc. Members producing such things will be able to post such news items directly to this news section.
- Reviews — Actual reviews of old school, OSR, and other interesting rules light games in stead of links to reviews elsewhere. Any I write will probably be short reviews (similar to the “capsule reviews” in the The Space Gamer magazine in the 1980s), but the review section will be open to RetroRoleplaying site members who wish to write reviews.
- Downloads — A download area where free games can be downloaded. Site membership will probably not be required.
- Forum — The forum will use bbpress upgraded with all the nice Dev4Press addons to turn it into a powerful and much more usable modern message board. The prime rules will be no personal attacks and no real world politics of any type.
- Special Interest Groups — Members will be able to create their own SIGs with a forum, document storage, and more. These can be used to discuss specific games, run play by post games, etc.
- Wiki — An easy way to extend the site without having to master complex software.
Naturally, as this site is currently a one-person show, most of these ideas will not turn into reality overnight. Some may not actually happen as not everything I consider a neat idea turns out to be practical or truly useful.
Stay turned for future developments.
Prowler said: Mocked together a simple character sheet for Microlite2020 and thought I would share it. It's fillable, so might be useful for online sessions. Please note that in order to attach a picture of your character, you must use Adobe Reader or equivalent (it's not possible in the web browser, or via simple PDF readers like SumatraPDF).
Apologies for the A5 format, but it should look pretty decent on half-letter or letter as well.
Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery Edition is a special version of Microlite74 3.0 designed for Swords & Sorcery style campaigns. Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery is based on Microlite74 Extended 3.0 but with many special rules designed for Swords & Sorcery style campaigns. For example, there are only two classes (Adventurer and Sorcerer) and 6 levels, magic is limited and casting certain spells can corrupt the caster, and many 0e style magic items are relics of dead civilizations from long ago. Humans are assumed to dominate the world and most enemies are other humans and animals. True monsters certainly exist but they are assumed to be rare. This is the first version of Microlite74 to provide detailed information on treasure. This is the first edition.
This original version of Microlite75 (published in 2011) is a version of Microlite74 (Version 2.0) based on the 1974 0e edition with its supplements and material from 0e magazine articles, some 0e third party material, some of the house rules the author used in the 1970s, and selected ideas from other roleplaying games. The Characters & Magic (aka "player") book contains the complete basic rules and the equipment and spells lists. For many campaigns, this booklet contains everything a player needs to know to play. The Options & Monsters (aka "GM") book contains a large number of optional rules a GM might elect to include in a campaign as well as monster lists and other GM-oriented information.
Note: Microlite75 was renamed Microlite74 Extended when Microlite74 Version 3.0 came out. Much later, the Microlite75 name was reused for a variant version of Microlite74 3.0.
Microlite74 Version 2.0 Wary's Grimoire is a supplement to Microlite74 Version 2.0 adding most of the classes, spells, and monsters from the supplements to the original edition of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game. Also included, 6-9th level spells and more monsters.
Microlite74 Version 2.0 Ancient Auguries is a supplement to Microlite74 Version 2.0 adding four pages of optional rules, including: Specialist Class, special abilities for each standard class, skills, ritual magic, metamagic, fire-and-forget magic, combat stunts, etc.
Microlite Version 2.0 Standard (10 pages, no covers or interior art, standard M20 small print, 167K PDF) The second edition of Microlite74 is Version 2.0 was released on March 4, 2009 in honor of the first anniversary of the passing of Gary Gygax. Major changes include more complete spell and monster descriptions and spells and monsters were modified to make them more like those of 0e and more compatible with those in other (much larger) 0e retroclones.
Microlite74 Release 1.1 Standard is a six page PDF. It includes variant rules based on Microlite20, a complete spell list and monster list, and a short designer's note section touching on the differences in style between "old school" and the usual style of play encountered today. Release 1.1 contains minor error corrections, information on other OGL retrogames based on early editions of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game, and new rules for morale, hirelings, and equipment. Microlite74's rules were written to support the "old school" style, while retaining many of the more modern rules features of OGL games based on the 3.5 SRD. Microlite20 trimmed the fat from the 3.5 SRD, paring the game down to a fast-moving and easy to learn two-page system. Microlite74 takes the M20 system and modifies it for a 1974 style, but leaves most of the basic Microlite20 rules in place.
This version is popular for convention and meetup games as it is short enough that copies can be cheaply printed for each player.
This is the very first released version of Microlite74. It's only 5 pages long (including the OGL in fine print). It includes variant rules based on Microlite20, a complete spell list and monster list, Microlite74's rules were written to support the "old school" style, while retaining many of the more modern rules features of OGL games based on the 3.5 SRD. Microlite20 trimmed the fat from the 3.5 SRD, paring the game down to a fast-moving and easy to learn two-page system. Microlite74 takes the M20 system and modifies it for a 1974 style, but leaves most of the basic Microlite20 rules in place.
WARNING: This version is very broken as it was not playtested beyond third or fourth level (and higher level characters are far too powerful for 0e monsters and adventures). The original idea for Microlite74 was that it could be used to introduce 3.x-era players to old school gaming. If they liked old school gaming, I just assumed they would they start a game using "real" rules. So I never actually played beyond third level. When others decided they liked both old school gaming and M74 -- and wanted to just play Microlite74 -- the problems with higher level characters were immediately apparent, were reported to me, and Microlite74 1.1 was released.
This is a small setting for a Microlite20 campaign: a coastal area long the Scarlet Sea.
This zip file contains the setting/adventure area description in two pdfs (one a pockmod) and two jpg maps of the area (one color, one black and white).