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Interested in the First Edition of the world's most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game, but put off by its seemingly random mechanics and design elements? Interested in trying some of the best known First Edition adventures with old school play but want to use the "better designed" D20-style mechanics you already know. The second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite is the game for you. These rules take the First Edition rules and filter them though the D20-based Microlite20 system to produce a conversion of the First Edition rules to a rules-lite D20-based system that encourages old-school play without strictly old-school rules.

The second edition of Microlite78 first Edition Lite is available on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG in PDF for $7.50 -- click here to go to the Microlite78 First edition Lite page on RPGNow (Or click here for DrivethruRPG). There will be a Pay-what-You-Want/Free version of these rules (without art) available in the near future.

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.

This 236 page pdf contains the complete rules for the second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite, including:

* Simple Character Creation Rules: Roll 4 attributes and select a race, class, alignment and a background.
* Basic Classes: Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, Druid, and Thief.
* Additional (Optional) Classes: Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Druid, Illusionist, Paladin, and Ranger.
* Races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, and Halfling.
* Simple and fast-playing combat system that tracks physical damage (aka body points) separately from luck/skill/fatigue (aka hit point) damage. Combat is BAB-based: no to-hit tables or THAC0.
* Hit points recover with a night’s rest. Spells cost hit points to cast. Actual wounds recover more slowly.
* Rules for hirelings, monster reactions (not every monster wants to fight), morale (not every monster fights to the death), and more.
* Many optional rules (Advantages and Disadvantages, Psionics, Action Points, Sanity, more traditional magic and saving rolls, etc.): use none, some, or all.
* A complete information on spells, monsters and treasure.
* Gamemaster section with setting design information, and advice.
* Rules for PC-ruled dominions.
* Compatible with most other 1e based games and adventures -- as well as many designed for 0e, B/X, BECMI, and 2e.

The rules needed to create characters and actually play are short and sweet. Character creation rules (including race, class, alignment, and background descriptions) are 11 pages. Core rules (skills, saving throws, magic, combat, experience and level advancement) are 8 pages. They are written in fairly normal English, not "High Gygaxian". The rules assume that the GM understands the basic concepts of roleplaying games, but provides information for both the GM and the players on the various “old school” styles of play. Microlite78 First Edition Lite games can easily use adventures and material from early editions of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game or modern clones.

This is the second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite. Changes from the first edition:

* The Barbarian and Bard classes added.
* The method of determining the number of experience points needed to advance no longer requires recalculating entire experience point advancement charts if optional rules are used.
* The treasure section is more like the first edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game which makes the game easier to use with published adventures.
* Rules for character-ruled dominions are included.
* Gamemaster section with advice for creating and running campaigns added.
* Some artwork is in color.

Donate to the Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive
The Summer Heat Wave Fund Drive is on. Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a one of the many early RPG items (What Price Glory?!, issues of The Dungeoneer, etc.) described in the above-linked post. Multiple drawings will held. Donate $10 or more to be listed as a sponsoring donor in upcoming RetroRoleplaying releases. These benefitsare in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our medical bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned lazy days of summer items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!

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Microlite78 fan Robert has been at it again. While he was happy to see the digest/ebook version of Microlite78 First Edition Lite, he pointed out that i could do a version much closer to 1e now that I have more than the Microlite74 material to work with.

He's right. The original mandate for Microlite78 was to combine the Microlite74 Extended rules with Microlite74 Companions II (Treasure), IV (Bestiary of Monsters), and V (First Edition Spells) into a single volume that could be used to play 1e style games -- and to use the more standard XP and advancement system I was developing for Microlite81. The idea was that I could toss this together in a month or so. I agreed to do this a few days before my wife's mother past away unexpectedly (and our move to Dallas), so my one month project ended up taking about a year.

Robert has convinced me to look at doing a second edition of Microlite78 First Edition Lite. In fact, I already have a fairly compete draft version available to RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors (usual place, usual password -- direct links: Draft 1 and now Draft 2). While there are not a lot of major changes, the changes made are significant:

  • The math heavy system for recalculating advancement tables if certain optional rules (like psionics) are used have been replaced with the Experience Rank system I've developed for the BX Advanced games. Some granularity is lost, but dealing with advancement adjustments from optional rules is reduced to simple addition and subtraction of small numbers.
  • The treasure section is more like that of 1e. Many 1e magic items were not included in the Microlite74 Companion II rules (and therefore were not in the first edition of Microlite78). The majority of them are present now.
  • The first edition rules -- like the Microlite74 games they were based on -- did not include much information on how to run the game for the GM. More recent RetroRoleplaying releases have added section of GM Lore with helpful GM advice and procedures. This material is included in the second edition.
  • While high level characters received strongholds, little information on handling player-controlled areas was included in the game. There was really nothing beyond the costs of building a stronghold. The second edition includes rules for running player-controlled dominions.
  • There are a number of minor additions: a few more optional rules, sample wilderness and dungeon encounter tables, etc.
  • The contents have been reorganized.

The basic version of this game will be "pay what you want" and will not have a lot of art. There will be an Extended Version with more art and more monsters, treasure, etc for sale. The aim is to get these out by the end of summer -- at the latest. Fingers crossed for no medical or family emergencies.

If you would like to hurry this project along (and get copies of the various rules drafts as I work on them), please consider a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund.

Please Support BX Advanced, Microlite78 2e, and other projects with a Donation: If you would like to have access to the BX Advanced playtest rules (as well as other donor files -- like free copies of all the "for sale" RetroRoleplaying publications), you can make a donation towards my wife's medical fund (old oral cancer bills and more current MS-related bills). Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund for $10 or more will also earn a listing as a sponsor in the BX Advanced rulebook. A donation of $10 gets a Bronze Donor listing. ($25+ earns a Copper Donor listing, $50+ Silver, $100+ Gold, 200+ Platinum, 300+ Electrum, $500+ Adamantine) -- see the sidebar for a list of donors so far. If you would like to sponsor BX Advanced with a donation, you can send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund via Paypal.

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