Microlite78 First Edition Light, Microlite74 S&S, Microlite74 Light vs Dark Available on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow (Still Free)
Three more of my “Microlite20” based old school games are available on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow as “Pay What You Want” games: Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery, Microlite74 Light vs Dark, and Microlite78 First Edition Lite. For those who are not familiar with these games, here are brief descriptions.
Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery is has been the second most popular version of Microlite74 by number of downloads after Microlite74 Extended. Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery is designed for low level play in swords & sorcery settings. If the fantasy stories of Robert E. Howard, Fritz Lieber, Clark Ashton Smith, C.L. Moore, Karl Edward Wagner, and David Gemell are more to your taste that those of Tolkein or Eddings, this version of Microlite74 may be just what you are looking for. Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery is based on Microlite74 Extended 3.0 but with many special rules designed for swords & sorcery style campaigns. For example, there are only two classes (Adventurer and Sorcerer) and 6 levels, magic is limited and casting certain spells can corrupt the caster, and many 0e style magic items are relics of dead civilizations from long ago. Humans are assumed to dominate the world and most enemies are other humans and animals. True monsters certainly exist but they are assumed to be rare. Unlike most Microlite74 games which use a Microlite20-based experience system, this version uses a more standard experience point system.
Microlite74 Light vs Dark was originally known as Microlite74 Special Version I. That was an awful name so I decided to change it to something (hopefully) less awful. Microlite74 Light vs Dark is designed for a campaign world with only two deities (a Lord of Light (order) and a Lord of Darkness (chaos) who oppose each other. Magic is both common and rare in this campaign world in that about 25% of the population have the ability to use Minor Magic at will (including all characters and NPCs with a class level), but arcane magic is otherwise limited to long, complex, and costly rituals. Clerics have limited spell-like abilities called prayers. True magic Items are almost non-existent. What true magic items do exist are created by the GM as needed and are always one-of-a-kind. Magic items created by binding spirits to material items are more common.
These rules were designed for a specific campaign’s proprietary setting and then the proprietary element’s were removed to create this set of rules. The proprietary setting was centered around a large decadent empire which which was starting to fall apart at the seams while its borderlands were breaking away or were being overrun by subhumans and monsters. The central portions of the empire were ignoring the problems. The Church of Light was aware of the problems but its influence on the imperial government had been reduced by scandal after scandal. In the borderlands, however, the Church of Light was often the only institution able to see beyond local issues. The campaign world was early renaissance, at least in the central parts of the empire, but hand guns and long guns were never invented. However, the Microlite74 Light vs Dark rules will work fine for any setting with two powerful opposing deities and weak, but fairly common magic.
Microlite78 First Edition Lite is a trimmed-down miniature version 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 Microlite78 First Edition Lite is do for First Edition (1e) what Microlite74 did for the Original Edition (0e): to recreate the style and feel of the First Edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1978 without giving up all of the clearer mechanics of modern D20-based versions.
The Microlite78 First Edition Lite rules are based on the Microlite74 Extended rules modified as necessary to fit the 1978 First Edition (1e) of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game. Modifications include detailed first edition class descriptions with a standard old school experience system (instead of one based on research); complete monsters, spell, and treasure descriptions; rules for strongholds, magic , optional psionics, and more. These rules are not intended to be a clone of the first edition rules, but rather a conversion of them to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old school play without strictly old-school rules. Although Microlite78 First Edition Lite is a complete game, it assumes a basic knowledge on the part of the GM of how roleplaying games and the basic D20-system work. At about 160 pages, the rules are lean and do not hold your hand. These rules can easily be used with all original first edition adventures and settings (as well as those for BECMI or second edition with a bit of work) as well as with modern OSR adventures and settings.
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.)