Last week, I decided to try listing one of my free games, Tarnhelm’s Terrible Tome, on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow as “Pay What You Want” games as a test. It was a success with over 100 downloads. I’m now going to go ahead an make all of my free games available via DrivethruRPG/RPGNow. Today, the first three Microlite74 games are available on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow: Microlite74 Basic, Microlite74 Standard, and Microlite74 Extended. Next week, I’ll released the five Microlite74 Companions and the two special versions of Microlite74 on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow.
For those not familiar with these games, they are trimmed-down miniature versions of the Primary Fantasy SRD rules designed to be quick and easy to play, especially when compared to modern incarnations of the game. The goal of Microlite74 games is to recreate the style and feel of that very first (“0e”) fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1974 without giving up all of the clearer mechanics of modern D20-based versions. Microlite74 games are not intended to be a clone of the 0e rules, but rather a conversion of them to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old-school play without strictly old-school rules.
Microlite74 Basic: This version has about 4 pages of actual rules (and about 6 pages of spell and monster lists). It emulates the 0e version of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game in its earliest form: the original 3 little booklets in the 0e boxed set. You have Fighters, Clerics, and Magic-Users, hit dice are all d6s (and is all weapon damage and most monster damage), there are relatively few spells (and they top out at 6th level, 5th level for clerics), and the maximum suggested level is only 12-14. It may sound limited, but it can be a lot of fun.
Microlite74 Standard: This version has about five and a half pages of actual rules (and about ten and a half pages of spell and monster lists). It emulates the 0e version of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game in its complete form: the original 3 little booklets in the 0e boxed set plus most of the material from the supplements and “official” material published in the early magazine articles. You have Fighters, Rangers, Paladins, Clerics, Druids, Magic-Users, Illusionists, and Thieves (and optionally Assassins, Bards, and Monks), with variable hit dice and weapon damage, a complete set of spells (through 9th level for Magic-Users, 7th level, for Clerics, Druids, and Illusionists), and combat is covered in slightly more detail. Microlite74 Standard has all the features of 0e as most people played it back in the late 1970s.
Microlite74 Extended: This version has about 8 pages of actual rules (and about 15 pages of spell, monster and equipment lists). This version emulates the 0e version of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game with versions of many of the house rules the author used in the late 1970s — and uses today in his Wilderlands campaign. In includes everything Microlite74 Standard does and adds rules for character backgrounds (optional in Basic and Standard), alignment, spell casting with implements and rituals, Body Points (representing actual major wounds), a slightly more detailed combat system, more spells and monsters, and other minor rules changes. It is slightly more complex in play than Microlite74 Standard, but not considerably so.
These three games are free and is still available in all the usual places, they are now also available on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow as “Pay What You Want” games. (If you are wondering if it is better to “donate” via paying what you want on DriveTruRPG/RPGNow or directly to my Paypal account, I see much more of the money if you donate directly to my Paypal account — and you also get access to donor goodies.)