We were talking about 5e during a break in my Sunday game yesterday. One of my players thought it was funny that the 5e designers seemed to be having so much trouble designing a game that has a very basic set of core rules, but has a lot of optional rules when Microlite74 manages it. I had never really thought of it before, but Microlite74 does manage a wide variety of “official” optional rules — both optional rules in the main rule sets and optional subsystems in the first Microlite74 Companion volume.
After some more delay of game — I mean discussion — folks convinced me to at least think about producing a “not-Microlite” version of Microlite74 that had more complete information on character classes, monsters, treasure, magic, etc. that anyone could pick up and play: a more complete game, in other words. With lots of entirely open game content retroclones of early TSR editions out there, it would be (relatively) easy to piece together the fairly standard bits then customize as needed to get the basic M74 and then the optional rules working with this material.
After thinking about this overnight, I’m still not sure about actually doing this. However, I am thinking about it. It would be a lot more work that a “microlite” game, but it might be worth to to provide a fairly complete game with lots of optional rules — enough optional rules to turn the core “old-school” style game into a more new school game if that’s what a group wants. This really can be done even if the 5e design team seems to be floundering over how to do so.
What do you think? Would this be a worthwhile “next project”? Would you be interested in seeing such a game? Would you be interested in seeing softcover and/or hardcover versions of such a game (via Lulu at cost like dark Dungeons does)? Note that some parts of the project would probably be “backported” to the current Microlite74 3.0 project so even if you have no need for a complete game version of Microlite74, some materials from it would likely show up for standard version as supplements (perhaps a monster supplement and a treasure supplement?).