Microlite74 Next Generation?

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?).

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Zimzerveran says:

    It's a no-brainer for me. I'd buy a "complete-game" version of M74. It's my favorite old-school/new-school hybrid (okay, mostly old-school).

  2. I'd definitely be in favor of that, if only to see how it developed and as long as what exists now would continue to exist.

  3. Zimzerveran says:

    Would you be using Microlite 74 Extended as a basis for this? To me, that's the best version of the three flavors available.

  4. Randall says:

    @Rach's reflection's: You can still get almost every version of Microlite74 ever published — and this will continue as long as i have any say so. If someone likes M74 1.1 or M74 2.0 over the current version, they should be able to easily get it and use it. I have no interest in forcing whatever I consider the "latest and greatest" on anyone. The only version not easily available is M74 1.0 as this version was very broken after level 4 or 5.

    So, yes, if I do some type of more detailed/more complete rules set, all the current (and older) versions will remain available.

    Zimzerveran: The rules from M74 Extended would be the basis for this expanded edition, however, some things in that rules set might be optional. For example, standard classes might be Fighter/Cleric/Magic-User with the background rules used to "create" thieves, rangers, etc. The full extra classes should still be available as options.

    If I do this, I want the game to be simple but complete, and very modular.

  5. Silver Fox says:

    I would totally support (i.e., $$) a more complete version of M74, so long as the Old School flair is still there.

  6. Randall says:

    @Silver Fox: The Microlite74 Plus Edition core rules will be as old school as ever as they will be very similar to the M74 Extended rules. Optional modules will be all over the place, just as they are in the M74 Companion now. Spell, monster, and treasure descriptions will just be much more complete and the rules will be a bit longer with more tables, explanations, and even some examples.

    The aim is for a "complete edition" that anyone can play with referring to the SRD or other old school games — and to show that it is possible to do a modular game with a simple "old school" core that you can add all sorts of optional modules to — even "new school" modules.