The Microlite74 3d6 Edition is Now Available (Free Rules)

Microlite74 3D6 Edition CoverThe Microlite74 3D6 Edition is now available on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow in a digest format — perfect for printing out or reading on a tablet. This version of the Microlite74 3D6 Edition is “Pay What You Want”. $0 (aka FREE) is a perfectly acceptable amount, although I hope you will consider a higher than zero amount as every dollar I receive means less time I have to work to pay medical bills and more time I have to work on projects this this one.

What do I mean by “3d6 Edition”? I been asked in the past if it would be possible to play a 0e-like game with only D6s. I’ve always replied that if you use the original (Chainmail-like) combat system in the 0e books, you have a system that only requires D6s. My answer hasn’t be well-received as it seems very few people like the original combat system. I’ve been urged by some to come up with a system that is more like the D20-based system people are used to, but only uses D6s. This idea did not interest me very much — or it did not interest me until I tried running a few sessions of Dungeon World old school-style last year. I liked the idea of partial successes but did not like the “your level has no effect on your chances of success” way Dungeon World did thinks. So I borrowed the idea of partial successes from Dungeon World. Instead of Dungeon World’s 2d6 roll, I used a 3d6 roll for success and that allowed enough “room” for a level-based modifier to the success roll — that is, like in real TSR editions, the higher your level, the better your chance of success.

I expected that the rest of 0e would need a lot of tweaking to make this work. I was surprised to find that it really did not. Substituting a 3d6 roll for a D20 roll had far less of an effect on the feel of the game than I expected it would. The odds of success were not the same, but the game played well without a lot of adjustments to hit points, damage or game procedures. It just took a session of two of play to get used to the effects of the 3d6 bell curve. Partial successes turned out to be a lot of fun in play — so much fun that I revised the magic system to require a skill roll when casting magic with a partial success meaning the spell works and fades from memory like usual while a full success means the spell works and remains in memory so you can cast it again. Given that spells can now fail to work, this chance of being able to use a spell again does not seem to make magic-users and clerics too powerful.

The 68 page digest-sized PDF book contains the rules for the Microlite74 3d6 Edition, including:

  • Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll your attributes and select a race, class, and background.
  • Only three classes (Fighter, Magic-User and Cleric) but backgrounds allow an infinite variety of characters.
  • Simple and fast-playing combat system that tracks physical (body point) damage separately from luck/skill/fatigue (hit point) damage.
  • Hit points recover with a night’s rest. Actual wounds recover more slowly.
  • Casting a spell casting requires a successful action roll.
  • Rules for hirelings, monster reactions (not every monster wants to fight), morale (not every monster fights to the death), and more.
  • A complete list of spells and monsters.
  • Compatible with most other 0e based games and adventures.

The Microlite74 3d6 Edition is designed to be easy to play and rules light. Limiting the dice needed to play to D6s makes the game more accessible as almost everyone has a few standard six-sided dice around. While the Microlite74 3d6 Edition can be used with adventures and settings from early editions of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game with few changes, using only six-sided dice along with partial successes means the experience of playing will be somewhat different lending a new feel to even well-known old adventures. These rules assume that the GM understands the basic concepts of roleplaying games, but provide information for both the GM and the players on the various “old school” styles of play.

You can get a copy of the new second edition of Microlite74 3d6 Edition on its page on RPGNow.

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4 Responses

  1. I wondered why anyone would want a new edition of M74, but a spell casting roll, now I'm intrigued!

  2. Randall says:

    Andreas — I get all kinds of requests for alternative editions of Microlite74. Most don't interest me enough to actually think seriously about them, let alone actually start to work on them. That does not stop the requests from coming in.

  3. Yeah, I bet there are all kinds of ideas. 3d6 and a casting roll is worth a few of my dollars! Thanks Randall!

  4. Mycroftxxx says:

    Sorry to bug you here, but the verification code for the forums – "What is the four letter name of the company that now publishes D&D?" says that I have made an error when I put in the correct answer (the four-letter abbreviation for Wizards of the Coast.)