Almost 6 months after I had originally hoped to get a final version of Microlite75 out, Microlite75 Version 1.00 is finally available. The edition available is the “Condensed Type” edition with very tiny “Microlite20” style print and only two illos per booklet, one of the front cover and one on the back cover. Larger print editions with more illos will be available in the future. The near future, I hope, but with my luck of late I am not going to make any promises. This edition of Microlite75 is free and the rules are 100% OGL.
For those new to the Microlite75 project, here’a a description of what Microlite75 is. Those familiar with Microlite75 can skip to the download links at the end of this post.
What is Microlite75?
Microlite75, like its parent game, Microlite20, is a trimmed down, sub-miniature version of the Primary Fantasy SRD rules (see license for more info) that has been designed to be quick and easy to play. The goal of Microlite75, however, is to recreate the style and feel of the early editions of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game published in the 1970s and early 1980s – but with a few modern ideas and additions that fit the early edition spirit.
The rules are 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 rules 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.
Are these rules better than the original systems? Microlite75 is more like 0e plus supplements expressed in Microlite20 terms. It doesn’t claim to be new, improved, or better, just the way we did it converted to a rules system more players are likely to be already familiar with.
Microlite75 is divided into two booklets, the Characters & Magic book and the Options & Monsters book.
The Characters & Magic 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. This book includes:
- Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll 4 attributes and select a race, class, background, and alignment.
- Standard Classes: Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, Monk, Magic-User, Illusionist, Cleric, Druid, and Thief
- Simple and fast-playing combat system that tracks physical damage (aka body points) separately from luck/skill/fatigue (aka hit point) damage.
- Hit points recover with a night’s rest. Spells cost hit points to cast. Actual wounds recover more slowly.
- Rules for hirelings, monster reactions (not every monster wants to fight), morale (not every monster fights to the death), and more.
The Options & Monsters 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. This book includes:
- Monsters and more monsters with simple stat blocks.
- Old school GM guidelines.
- Optional rules for additional character classes, single class campaigns, advantages and disadvantages, character goals and personality traits, metamagic, ritual magic, weird science, fire-and-forget magic, combat maneuvers, armor for all classes, action points, fame, sanity, psionics, spirits (combat, powers, and binding), fixed level campaigns, science
fantasy, and more.
You can download the Condensed Type edition of Microlite75 here. The current version is 1.00, released in January 2011. [Links have been updated to Version 1.01 which corrects a number of grammar/spelling errors — 18 Jan 2010.] There are two booklets to download: