Publication of Microlite74 Will Continue

With the return of early D&D edition PDFs (find them at DNDClassics), I’ve had two emails asking me if Microlite74 will continue and one email bluntly telling me that I should stop publishing them so people will play more “real D&D”. I think I need to explain my plans for Microlite74.

First, Microlite74 will continue to be published and new material will continue to come out. The two M74 Companions I’m currently working on should be out this spring (if not sooner). Microlite74 Plus is a long term project, but I’m still plugging away at it. TSR era PDFs were legally available when M74 was first published. I even included directions on how to get them in the design/play notes of early versions of Microlite74. WOTC did not pull them until well after M74 appeared.

To my eyes, Microlite74 serves several purposes. First, it is an easy way for those most familiar with WOTC-era editions to try old school play. It uses the ascending AC, D20 rolls, etc. from modern editions which makes it easier than the originals for players who have mainly played WOTC editions. Second, because it uses “modern D20 systems” (in much simplified form, of course) it is a great system for those who want to play old school byt tack on a few of their favorite sub-systems the the wealth of published D20 material. It’s a lot like Castles and Crusades in this respect but the base game more TSR-era than WOTC-era — at least in the eyes of many players. Third, it has become a very complete game that is simply easier to understand for many people than 0e while giving many consider a very 0e experience, especially when you consider that every table played 0e differently (both in rules interpretation, house rules, and what material from third party sources like The Dragon, Warlock, the Arduin Grimoire, Dungeoneer, etc. were used). The return of legal TSR era PDFs does not really negate any of this purposes.

In summary, it’s business as usual for Microlite74. The return of legal TSR-era PDFs just means that there will be a lot of good, low cost old school adventures available to use with Microlite74 (or your favorite edition or retroclone).

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6 Responses

  1. Capheind says:

    I think this sort of re-evaluation is happening with all the retroclones right now. But I think alot of the reasons we used retroclones had nothing to do with having the core rules or not, because they were always available via ebay and such. Half the retroclones out there are just another guys take on the rules + his house rules and most of us OSR junkies just use them as supplements anyway.

  2. infocyde says:

    Glad to see M74 unaffected. I was a little worried about how the PDF releases would affect all the indie "clone" (for lack of a better term) efforts. I like M74 and I'm glad things are full steam ahead.

  3. Big_Jay says:

    As much as I enjoy occasionally revisiting the "good old days", I have no desire to live in the past. Typos, nonsensical concepts mashed together, "old thinking on old ideas", etc. What makes the OSR so much fun is taking the concepts from the older versions and bringing them forward with new ideas on game play, etc.

    Not followed it much, but the only thing I've seen come out of the "5e beta test" was the notion of 2d20 high/low for things like skill checks:

    Player: "Okay, I've got a good dex so I want to run down the table, jump off, catch the chandelier, and swat at as many guards as I can as it crosses the room!"

    DM: "Well you've got an advantage for 'insane stunts', so roll 2d20 and take the highest die vs. your DEX."

    Surely someone hit on this ages ago as a house rule, but it's an interesting concept that's now out in the open. Even if every retroclone is just someone else's house rule collection that's still a ton of new and interesting ideas that WotC — or even TSR at the top of their game — could never churn out in any reasonable fashion.

    "Real D&D" — if such a thing even exists — is the one you PLAY because it suits YOUR style. Playing "rules as written" can be fun, but it also brings back a lot of old frustrations after awhile. I'd rather take Microlite and kit-bash it with whatever the group wanted to do then try to shoehorn 0e/1e/BX/whatever into something it was never made to be.

    When all of this gets to be too much hassle, feel free to put it down for someone else to carry. Stopping because the New Boss dens it profitable to let out some baubles for the masses seems lazy.

  4. Unknown says:

    Someone told you to stop publishing? Hahahahahahaaa!

  5. Hey do your thing. I know I love it.

  6. Pere Ubu says:

    Pffft. That's right up there with people who fret about new editions of games making the old ones "obsolete", as if WotC is going to come to your house and confiscate your old hardcovers or something.