Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery Progress Report

It’s time for a progress report on Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery. Theere has been more playtesting than rules writing the past couple of weeks, mainly because the real world has been keeping me very busy. However, playtesting is showing the basic rules structure is holding up fairly well. Lowering the physical and magical combat bonuses from my initial very high values has certainly helped. Adventurers now work well. Sorcerers need more work. Playtesting shows that a bit more variety would help as would not allowing all sorcerers to do everything. Current Sorcerer special abilities include scribing scrolls and binding spirits. Playtesters would like to see additional abilities like alchemy (similar to scrolls, but uses potions). However, that would make Sorcerers too powerful.

I’m thinking of adding alchemy and runecarving abilities. Sorcerers would have to select two of the four abilities. I don’t like requiring players to select an ability (let alone two) at first level as I think that makes it much harder for new players to get into a game. With no such selections at first level, players can start playing almost immediately — without having to read about a number of different powers and select for that they will be stuck with for the rest of their character’s life. I’m undecided. Perhaps I should just leave well enough alone?

Playtesters would also like some additional choices for Adventurer special abilities as well. Weapon Mastery has been suggested, allowing the Adventurer to select one type of weapon that he has mastered — a critical hit with such a weapon would occur on a roll of 19 or 20 (that would otherwise hit). I’m open to suggestions for other Adventurer special abilities on the order of the ones that currently are in the rules.

As the combat rules are pretty much those of Microlite74 Extended, the only change so far suggested is allowing a critical hit to damage a monster which could normally only be hit by a magic weapon (but it would “just” do normal damage). Given the scarcity of magic weapons in many S&S settings, I think this might be an idea worth trying.

Monsters are the main choke point at the moment. I’m slowing stating up various dangerous animals (and giant versions of some) as they and humans will probably be the more common dangers in the average S&S setting.

I have not even begun work on magic items.

Not a lot of progress, I know, but it is moving slowly along. Progress will speed up rapidly again when my real life work slows down again. Your comments and ideas are still very welcome. Please keep them coming.

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3 Responses

  1. Khayman says:

    You could advance Sorcerers in a manner similar to Adventurers. That way they can't easily get every special ability and you get some variation among sorcerers. They could begin with core abilities at 1st (Minor Magic; Cast Spells from Memory). Then at each of 2nd and 5th they choose a special ability (Scribe Scrolls; Bind Spirits; Alchemy; Runecarving).

    Hmm, Alchemy… I see myself trotting out the dreaded Potion Miscibility table, mwahaha. Some options that come to mind:
    (1) Alchemy functions identically to Scribe Scrolls. Only sorcerers can use potions because they are stored spells.
    (2) Alchemy functions identically to Scribe Scrolls except *anyone* can use potions. To offset this you might want to have potions cost more, take longer to produce, or they work at a cost (see below).
    (3) Potions cost HP to use. Let's face it, they're brewed by crazed sorcerers who are exposed to all sorts of weird stuff, and they're probably toxic as hell. Sorcerers don't lose any HP using them but everyone else does.

    Oh, further to — another special ability for Adventurers could be Read Scrolls. Basically hearkens back to the old Thief knack for deciphering magical writings.

  2. Khayman says:

    (4) Potions do not replicate spells, they have discrete effects. More old school but harder to adjudicate beyond providing a price-list.

  3. Randall says:

    As for alchemy, I'm currently leaning toward option 3: sorcerers can use them easily, others have to pay HP to activate them.

    A read scrolls special ability for adventurers? I like this, especially if there is the chance of misreading that thieves had in early editions.