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Updated: 2018-04-19T07:50:14.488-04:00

 



"Free" Version of Dungeon Delving Undying Light Now Available

2018-04-11T13:03:17.405-04:00

The Pay-What-You-Want (aka Free) version the Dungeon Delving Undying Light is finally available!Dungeon Delving Undying Light is a trimmed down and simplified version of Swords & Wizardry. This game takes the Continual Light edition and cleans up the rules and the formatting, then adds backgrounds, more monsters, rules for morale and reaction rolls, additional minor optional rules, four optional systems (True Magic Rituals, Action Points, Body Points, Advanced Combat), and some basic explanations for the referee on how to handle dungeon and wilderness exploration. Designed to be easy to play and easy to teach to those new to tabletop roleplaying games while retaining all the fun of exploring strange new lands and crawling through dark and dangerous dungeons. Referees can easily create their own adventures and campaign settings or use adventures and setting designed for Swords & Wizardry or other early editions and variants of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game. The complete game -- all the standard rules, monster and spell descriptions, and guidelines for the GM on adventuring procedures -- are covered in a mere 19 pages.The Pay-What-You-Want (aka "Free") version of Dungeon Delving Undying Light is two-columns and is letter-sized with less art that the paid version. The paid version is digest-sized, single-column with larger type and includes more art and sample blank dungeon maps and dungeon geomorphs. The text is the same exception references to the blank dungeon maps and dungeon geomorphs in the paid version have been removed. While you are welcome to download and enjoy the Pay-What-You-Want version for free, a dollar or two would always be appreciated.You can download a copy of the pay what you want version of Dungeon Delving Undying Light from RPGNow or DriveThruRPG:Dungeon Delving Undying Light (PWYW Version) on RPGNowDungeon Delving Undying Light (PWYW Version) on DriveThruRPGRetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors can download a password protected zip file with a copy of the paid version of Dungeon Delving Undying Light at the usual "donor download" place with the usual donor password. Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



Playing Dungeons & Dragons as a Test of Artificial Intelligence?

2018-04-09T08:46:32.457-04:00

The article below points out that getting a computer to play Dungeons & dungeons and pass a human player might be a better test of artificial intelligence than games like Go or Chess. I agree that playing Dungeons & Dragons (or any tabletop RPG) requires showing a much different time of intelligence than playing Chess or Go -- games with strict rules and a very limited set of actions one can take on their turn.Everyone had died – not that you’d know it, from how they were laughing about their poor choices and bad rolls of the dice. As a social anthropologist, I study how people understand artificial intelligence (AI) and our efforts towards attaining it; I’m also a life-long fan of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), the inventive fantasy roleplaying game. During a recent quest, when I was playing an elf ranger, the trainee paladin (or holy knight) acted according to his noble character, and announced our presence at the mouth of a dragon’s lair. The results were disastrous. But while success in D&D means ‘beating the bad guy’, the game is also a creative sandbox, where failure can count as collective triumph so long as you tell a great tale.What does this have to do with AI? In computer science, games are frequently used as a benchmark for an algorithm’s ‘intelligence’. The late Robert Wilensky, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a leading figure in AI, offered one reason why this might be. Computer scientists ‘looked around at who the smartest people were, and they were themselves, of course’, he told the authors of Compulsive Technology: Computers as Culture (1985). ‘They were all essentially mathematicians by training, and mathematicians do two things – they prove theorems and play chess. And they said, hey, if it proves a theorem or plays chess, it must be smart.’ No surprise that demonstrations of AI’s ‘smarts’ have focussed on the artificial player’s prowess.Yet the games that get chosen – like Go, the main battlefield for Google DeepMind’s algorithms in recent years – tend to be tightly bounded, with set objectives and clear paths to victory or defeat. These experiences have none of the open-ended collaboration of D&D. Which got me thinking: do we need a new test for intelligence, where the goal is not simply about success, but storytelling? What would it mean for an AI to ‘pass’ as human in a game of D&D? Instead of the Turing test, perhaps we need an elf ranger test?Of course, this is just a playful thought experiment, but it does highlight the flaws in certain models of intelligence. First, it reveals how intelligence has to work across a variety of environments. D&D participants can inhabit many characters in many games, and the individual player can ‘switch’ between roles (the fighter, the thief, the healer). Meanwhile, AI researchers know that it’s super difficult to get a well-trained algorithm to apply its insights in even slightly different domains – something that we humans manage surprisingly well.Second, D&D reminds us that intelligence is embodied. In computer games, the bodily aspect of the experience might range from pressing buttons on a controller in order to move an icon or avatar (a ping-pong paddle; a spaceship; an anthropomorphic, eternally hungry, yellow sphere), to more recent and immersive experiences involving virtual-reality goggles and haptic gloves. Even without these add-ons, games can still produce biological responses associated with stress and fear (if you’ve ever played Alien: Isolation you’ll understand). In the original D&D, the players encounter the game while sitting around a table together, feeling the story and its impact. Recent research in cognitive science suggests that bodily interactions are crucial to how we grasp more abstract mental concepts. But we give minimal attention to the embodiment of artificial agents, and how that might affect the way they learn and process information.Finally, intelligence is social. AI algorithms typically learn[...]



Dungeon Delving Undying Light Now Available (Paid Version with Art)

2018-04-02T08:12:25.562-04:00

The first game in RetroRoleplaying.com's new series of Swords & Wizardry-based games, Dungeon Delving Undying Light, is now available in a 96 page digest-sized pdf for only $3.99 (an epub version is also included, although it has minor issues with fonts and illos). A Pay-What-You-Want/Free two-column letter size version (without art) will be out in 5 to 10 days. All the rules fit in about 24 pages in the letter-sized version, so in spite of the page count of the digest-sized edition, it really isn't that much larger than SWCL. As usual for my games, the rules are open game content.Dungeon Delving Undying Light is a trimmed down and simplified version of Swords & Wizardry. This game takes the Continual Light edition and cleans up the rules and the formatting, then adds attribute rolls, backgrounds, more monsters, rules for morale and reaction rolls, additional minor optional rules, four optional systems (True Magic Rituals, Action Points, Body Points, Advanced Combat), and some basic explanations for the referee on how to handle dungeon and wilderness exploration. It is designed to be easy to play and easy to teach to those new to tabletop roleplaying games while retaining all the fun of exploring strange new lands and crawling through dark and dangerous dungeons. Referees can easily create their own adventures and campaign settings or use adventures and setting designed for Swords & Wizardry or other early editions and variants of the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game. You'll find Dungeon Delving Undying Light on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG (where a 20-page preview is available):Dungeon Delving Undying Light ($3.99) on RPGNowDungeon Delving Undying Light ($3.99) on DriveThruRPGRetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors can download a password protected zip file with a copy at the usual "donor download" place with the usual donor password.Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



Perhaps Really Huge Dungeons Aren't "Unrealistic" After All

2018-03-29T08:39:38.547-04:00

I stumbled across an article on a huge complex of man-made tunnels under parts of China that were apparently, like the Great Wall, built to help defend the Northern part of China from invaders.  From the article (click here to read the entire article):

Experts have dug out similar war passages in Yongqing, Xiong county, and Bazhou. The ancient war passages are about 65 kilometers from east to west, 25 kilometers from north to south, which extend through 1,600 square kilometers. When the border between the Song Dynasty and the Liao Dynasty went as far west as Rongcheng county and Xushui county, it is thought that many ancient war passages existed in that area. How far the ancient war passages extended eastwards from Yongqing is still unknown.

These passages were apparently built around 1000 AD. Given the size of this tunnel complex and their apparent usage, perhaps megadungeons aren't as an unrealistic idea as even those of us who enjoy them have assumed they were.


Please Support BX Advanced 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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Current RPG Design Project List (Revisited)

2018-03-24T11:00:23.759-04:00

There have been some changes to the project list I wrote about in early February. Here goes:BX Advanced Admanantine Edition: This is still my priority. However, just the mutations material is requiring a lot of playtesting and rewriting/adjustment cycles. So I think my hope of getting this out the door by summer is shot. My current target is "late in the year." Saying this doesn't make me happy, but I would rather delay it than publish rubbish. I may have to settle for a less complete mutation system just to get the game moving forward. Micolite81 Advanced Tablet Digest Edition: This will be the next minor project I plan to tackle. I need to add the planned extra monsters and finish the layout. It's not hard but life seems to be conspiring against "time to work" lately. BX Advanced Gold Edition (Printed Version): I know a lot of people really want this. However, I can't really start work on it as long as people are still finding annoying typos in the PDF versions. Hiring a proofreader is out of the question as the costs would be almost twice what I've made from the PDF version and any spare money goes toward my wife's medical needs. It looks like the print version will have to be done via Lulu as the requirements for layout/design for Lulu are actually within my skill set where the requirements for RPGNow/DriveThru are truly beyond me. Dungeon Delving Undying Light: Back in February, I mentioned that I would be working on a version of The Black Hack because of my friends (and a player in my Waco campaign back when I lived in Waco) wanted to run it. He decided not to run The Black Hack when he saw Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. So my hack of The Black Hack polymorphed in a hack of Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. The resulting game, Dungeon Delving Undying Light, should be out next week. All BX Advanced donors to date are also credited as sponsors for this game. I might (or might not) try to do a printed version of this game as a "test" before doing the more complex BX Advanced printed edition.Dungeon Delving: Whitebox: I recently mentioned I was planning on doing a revised version of Tarnhelm's Terrible Tome, my Swords & Wizardry/0e supplement. Working on Dungeon Delving Undying Light made me realize that I don't really want to revise this so much as I want to write my very own version of Whitebox incorporating things I like from S&W, SWCL, The Black Hack, Delving Deeper, and a lot of my own ideas. So the revised Tarnhelm's Terrible Tome is canceled and my very own version of Whitebox replaces it. The Whitebox variant will probably be published under some version of the Dungeon Delving name, so I've given it the working title of "Dungeon Delving: Whitebox". Please don't hit me -- I promise that will not be the final title. BX Advanced donors will also be credited as sponsors for this game. I'm not going to even try to set even a tentative release date. I'll be working on this when I'm having BX Advanced writer's block: that could mean it will barely be started before the BX Advanced Admanantine Edition is released or it could be finished by then. Most likely, it will be well-started but far from finished.Mini-Adventures: A lot of people ask me to write adventures. However, I'm terrible at writing adventures for publication as my campaign stuff looks like what Gary Gygax used: Room (or hex) numbers with stats for whatever in is the rooms and a few words of description to get me started when a group enters the room. In other words, nothing that you could not get from any number of random generators on the Internet. I am going to try to produce a couple of one or two page adventures that might actually be worth downloading. No promises, however.Important Note: My wife's medical needs come before writing/design/playing time and as a stage 3 cancer survivor with MS and spine issues, my wife has a lot of medical problems which require lots of doctor visits, tests, etc. So any publication schedules[...]



Dungeon Delving Undying Light Release Candidate Available

2018-03-24T10:54:56.619-04:00

This is just a short note to let RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Donors know that the 92-page digest-sized Dungeon Delving Undying Light edition is available for download with their password from this link:

Dungeon Delving Undying Light Release Candidate 1 for Donors

While 96 digest sized pages seems like a lot when SWCL was only 20 full-sized pages, 4 pages are the covers, 2 pages are the Contents, 7 pages are sample blank maps and dungeon geomorphs, 6 pages are my standard info on old school play, and 6 pages are descriptions of our other games. That leaves 67 pages of rules, many of which are new monsters and optional systems appendix. There's also quite a bit more artwork than in the original SWCL -- some of which is not showing up when I try to produce an epub version of this booklet for reasons I have yet to figure out.

I'm now at the proofreading stage. As I'm next to useless at that, some of my Sunday group are looking it over. Of course, while they found over 150 issues with BX Advanced befor I released it, we all know I still managed to misds things. Fortunately, this is a much smaller amount of text so, with luck, fewer major issues will remain when I release this next week.


Please Support BX Advanced 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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GM's Day Sale: Get 33% Off BX Advanced and All Our Other Games

2018-03-10T10:09:26.287-05:00

There are only 24 hours or so left in the GM's Day sale. All of RetroRoleplaying's products are 33% off including our newest game, the BX Advanced Gold Edition. If you are thinking of buying one or more, you probably want to act now while the sale is still on

BX Advanced $6.67 (reg 9.95)
Microlite74 Ultimate Edition $6.67 (reg 9.95)
Microlite81 Complete Digest/Epub $5.03 (reg 7.50)
Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery 2e Digest/Epub $4.68 (reg 6.99)
Microlite74 Extended Digest/Epub $2.67 (reg 3.99)
Microlite74 Standard Digest/Epub $2.00 (reg 2.99)
Microlite74 Basic Digest/Epub $1.33 (reg 1.99)(image)



New Donor Downloads Available: Updated BX Advanced to 1.03 and Dungeon Delving to 0.75

2018-03-06T12:38:41.215-05:00

A new draft version of Dungeon Delving Undying Light is available for donors to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund is available. The major additions are more low HD monsters and an optional ritual magic system. The ritual magic system is open-ended and allow more magic in the game than the handful of spells. Of course, they require a number of prerequisites that must be met before the ritual can be performed and the chance of success isn't great -- unless you do even more prep beyond the required prerequisites. Ritual magic can, in theory, be performed by anyone or anything intelligent enough to read and manage a complex ritual (although magic-users and clerics have a better chance of success). This means that ritual magic is great for NPC villains in a campaign.

I've also uploaded the latest version of BX Advanced with art for donors: version 1.03 which has a number of corrections for typos and missing text.

RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Donors can download these files with their password from these link:

Dungeon Delving Draft 0.75 for Donors
BX Advanced 1.03 (with art) for Donors


Please Support BX Advanced 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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Draft of Dungeon Delving RPG Available to Donors

2018-02-26T15:25:27.327-05:00

By request of one of my Sunday game players, I've been working on a digest-sized version of Swords & Wizardry Continual Light that can easily be used on tablets. Naturally, I could not resist tinkering with the game while I did so. I've rearranged some of the text and made a few other changes:

* I've made all the rolls "higher is better," including D6 rolls for thieves, etc.
* I've modified the undead turning system so no table is needed.
* I've taken the experience system and ran away with it.
* I've added some equipment.
* I've added more monsters.
* I've given more guidelines for dungeon design and added guidelines for adventuring in dungeons and wilderness areas.
* I've added reactions rolls and morale. In my not so humble opinion, it's not old school D&D without them.

And probably some other minor changes I've forgotten. The final version will have art. It will be Pay What You Want.

RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Donors can download the 0.5 Draft with their password from this link:

Dungeon Delving Draft 0.5 for Donors

And yes, Dungeon Delving is a totally unplanned new game that is taking time from what I should be working on. You can thank my love for SWCL and my Sunday game group for suggesting it. It should be ready for release soon.


Please Support BX Advanced 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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Aaron Allston's Strike Force and the Champions RPG

2018-02-21T10:28:40.143-05:00

I found my copy of Aaron Allston's Strike Force in a box a few weeks ago. I hadn't read it since in came out in 1988 so I set it aside to re-read. Reading it reminded of how much I enjoyed running Champions games back in the early 1980s. I read Aaron's review of the first edition of Champions in The Space Gamer and had to have a copy. Fortunately, I had a couple of friends who were selling comics at the Eisenhauer Road Flea Market (a few blocks from my house) who went up to a distributor in Austin every Friday to get the weeks comics. I asked them to see if their distributor had a copy of Champions and get one for me if they did. I was sick with something flu-like that Friday, but I dragged myself down to their stall to await their arrival. They came back with 56 page rulebook, sold it to me and sent me home cause they did not want whatever I had.While I had some issues with the rules, I was soon running Champions games in addition to my ongoing Empire of Arn (a homebrew fantasy game). I bought everything for 1st edition, then for second edition, and for third Edition -- although by then Marvel Superheroes (FASERIP) had become by standard superhero game as Champions was going more and more complex. I remember purchasing the fourth edition of Champions -- a 350 page hardback book -- and thinking I could use it as a weapon. I read the book, decided Champions had become far more detailed and complex than I was interested in, put the book on the shelf and I don't think I ever played or ran Champions again. By that point in my gaming "career" I was coming to the conclusion that more complex and detailed made most RPGs worse instead of better -- even my own Empire of Arn homebrew seemed more complicated than it really needed to be and I started rolling it back toward a B/X D&D complexity level. I kept all my Champions stuff (of course) but other than my third edition rules books, everything was in boxes.Back to the present, having found my copy of Strike Force, I was reading it when players started arrived for my Sunday game a few weeks ago. One of my players saw it and got very excited as he had never seen a copy. I didn't know he had any interesting in Champions. It turns out he had purchased the sixth edition rules when they came out 8-9 years ago hoping to either run or play in it but never found a game. To show you how out of touch I with Champions am, I didn't even know there was a sixth edition. We went on with the Sunday game but there was a lot of Champions discussion on our mailing list that weekThe next Sunday, Paul brought his sixth edition books so I (and others) could look at them. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw that there were three books need to play -- Hero System Rules Volume I, Hero System Rules Volume II and Champions 6e and they totaled just short of 1100 pages. My comment was that I could see why he never found a game as no one who wasn't already a Hero system expert would be likely to be willing to even try to play in a game -- let alone run a game. I could tell there was a lot of interest in a superhero game (and they really wanted it to be Champions, unfortunately), so I offered to run a monthly session of Champions 3rd edition -- under 150 pages of rules. Given that I was the only person with a copy of those rules, that was a non-starter. Side Note: This is one of the reasons I prefer games where players don't really need a copy ofd the rules to play.Middle of last week I got an email from Paul. He had checked RPGNow to see if Hero Games was selling the third edition rules. They were not. However, they now sell something called Champions Complete. This supposedly has all the rules (i.e., it's a complete game, not an addon that needs the 700+ page Hero System 6e rules books) in about 250 pages. Does anyone have any comments on Champions Co[...]



Technologist Class for 0e Coming in Tarnhelm's Terrible Tome Revision

2018-02-10T10:30:22.730-05:00

I've been asked to officially write up my technologist class for 0e. A techno studies spells to figure out how to recreate them with (steampunk style weird) science. He can then build devices which more or less duplicate the effects of the spell. Most start out as huge, non-portable devices (think: fill a room). However, with more study, they can be made semi-portable (think: will fit on a horse-drawn wagon) and with even more study they can be made truly portable. This "class" was created for an NPC in the game I was running when I lived in Waco. However, that group talked me into writing it up so that PCs could use it. I basically added an experience table and leveling info to my notes and gave it to them a couple of years ago -- just after I moved to the Dallas area.I've now been asked to actually write it up coherently and publish it so others can use it. After some begging, I have agreed. I'm going to take this opportunity to slightly revise my Tarnhelm's Terrible Tome and expand it with this Techno class, psionics rules, and a few more odds and ends I developed for Microlite74 but can easily convert back to 0e. This revised version of Tarnhelm's Terrible Tome will, with luck, be available before the end of the month. The hardest part of this project will be the layout. A version of this class might end up in the BX Advanced Admanatine Edition. No promises, however, as it does not really fit the way I'm currently planning to handle technology there.Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



RetroRoleplaying Games Community on Google+

2018-02-05T10:50:37.209-05:00

I've started a Google+ Community to discuss all the games I've published or plan to publish. I'm hoping that it will better utilized than the current forum which attracts a lot of potential spammers but not much activity. So I dicided to try going where old school players seem to hang out instead of trying to get them to come here.

You'll find the new RetroRoleplaying Games community here: https://plus.google.com/communities/110722856982282076779.
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Upcoming Game Design Projects: What I'm Working on Next

2018-02-05T10:34:53.053-05:00

With the Gold Edition of BX Advanced finished, I'm moving on to other design projects:

First, I'll be working on the Admanantine Edition of BX Advanced with all the new material. And by popular request, the first new material added will be mutations. The mutation rules will be "cause of mutations" neutral as that is something for the GM's setting to decide. The rules will work with just about any fitional cause of random mutations from the traditional "after an atmic war" to "exposure to too much magic or chaos". Just about any mutation cause you can dream up should work fine with the rules. The mutation rules will make heavy use of the Experience Rank system introduced as an optional system in the Gold Edition to provide some balance between characters with mutations and characters without. Rules will be included for mutating monsters.

Second, I'll work on the tablet/digest edition of Micolite81 Advanced to complement the currently available tablet/digest version of Microlite81 Complete.

Third, I'll be working on getting a printed version of the BX Advanced Gold Edition. There is a lot of interest in this. I'd like to make it available vis RPGNow/DriveThru but may end up goin with Lulu if turning out the Indesign version needed for RPGNow's print process proved beyond me. I was able to turn out great magazines with Ventura Publisher in the 1990s, but have never been able to do much with DTP programs that use Pagamaker's paste-up paradigm -- which Indesign unfortunately uses.

Last, but far from least, I will be working on a version of The Black Hack aimed at the nasty sword-and-sorcery setting (blood magic and Lovecraft style unfriendly deities) one of my friends from Texas has asked me to design.

I'll be working on this project "at the same time". That is, I switch from one to another as my current muse takes me. I have no idea which project will finish first, however, I do want the Admanantine Edition of BX Advanced out this year, preferably by the end of summer or early fall, so it will be my "default project." (image)



BX Advanced No Art Version Available for Free

2018-04-11T11:26:31.661-04:00

The Pay-What-You-Want (aka Free) no-art version the Gold Edition of BX Advanced: First Edition Through a B/X Lens is finally available!The BX Advanced Gold Edition is designed for people who want a classic experience without a lot of the gonzo material that many people added to their 1980s games. The Gold Edition is pretty much classic 1e using the B/X rules system. The BX Advanced Gold Edition includes a number of optional rules systems, but they are fairly tame in what they do to the game. The Gold Edition includes a sample dungeon and a complete small campaign setting. The upcoming BX Advanced Adamantine Edition will take the game into new realms with optional systems for things like technology and mutations, many additional classes, spells, monsters, and treasure, and much more.The pay what you want no-art version of the BX Advanced Gold Edition has all the text of the game. However, it has no art except for the cover art and the sample dungeon map and two wilderness maps in appendixes A and B -- just lots of blank space where there is art in the paid version. The paid version includes the missing art (and the 20 pages of maps missing from Appendix F) and is only $9.95. While you are welcome to download and enjoy this "No Art" version for free (just enter a zero for the price you want to pay), a few dollars would always be appreciated. You can download a copy of the pay what you want version of the BX Advanced Gold Edition from RPGNow or DriveThruRPG:BX Advanced Gold Edition (No Art) on RPGNowBX Advanced Gold Edition (No Art) on DriveThruRPGRetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors can download a password protected zip file with a copy of the paid "with art" version at the usual "donor download" place with the usual donor password. Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



BX Advanced Gold Edition Now Available (Paid Version with Art)

2018-01-30T09:31:04.717-05:00

The Gold Edition of BX Advanced: First Edition Through a B/X Lens is now available!The BX Advanced Gold Edition is designed for people who want a classic experience without a lot of the gonzo material that many people added to their 1980s games. The Gold Edition is pretty much classic 1e using the B/X rules system. The BX Advanced Gold Edition includes a number of optional rules systems, but they are fairly tame in what they do to the game. The Gold Edition includes a sample dungeon and a complete small campaign setting. The upcoming BX Advanced Adamantine Edition will take the game into new realms with optional systems for things like technology and mutations, many additional classes, spells, monsters, and treasure, and much more.This version of the BX Advanced Gold Edition has 282 pages, includes art -- including color art for the covers and each of the nine sections in the book, and sells for $9.95. A "Pay-What-You-Want" version without art should be available in 5 to 10 days. A 20 page preview is available. This includes the table of contents, the introduction, and information on attributes, races, and two classes. You'll find the BX Advanced Gold Edition on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG:BX Advanced Gold Edition ($9.95) on RPGNowBX Advanced Gold Edition ($9.95) on DriveThruRPGRetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors can download a password protected zip file with a copy at the usual "donor download" place with the usual donor password.Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



BX Advanced Gold Edition Coming Very Soon

2018-01-26T21:14:15.627-05:00

I'm happy to announced that the release version of the BX Advanced Gold Edition will be arriving soon. Soon as in early next week. However, I'm unhappy to report that I screwed up a bit and will not be able to release the free version at the same time. I did the final proofing and layout oif the free (no art) version a couple of weeks ago and then used used a copy of that version as the base document for the paid (with art) version. Unfortunately, while doing the layout for the paid version, I discovered a major formatting problem with about 60% of the tables in the book. I corrected them as I went along, but this means the free version that I had finished first needs to be completely redone. Unfortunately, my wife has a number of doctor's appointments in the next couple of weeks (and I'm her transport as she can no longer drive) -- which means my "game design time" is limited and will have to work around these appointments. I could delay the the entire release, but have decided to go ahead a release the paid "art included" version early next week and then release the free version as soon as it is ready. That will hopefully be late next week or early the following week. The paid version is 282 pages and has a first for my games: color art. The covers and the header art for each section are color. The free version will probably have 20 to 25 fewer pages. For new readers, here's some info on the BX Advanced Gold Edition:The BX Advanced Gold Edition rules are based on the 1978 advanced first edition edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game with the less complex game systems of the 1981 B/X edition. In other words, this is a modern version of the fantasy roleplaying game many people played in the 1980s. They started playing with the B/X edition and just added the races, classes, spells, monsters and treasures from the first Advanced edition, instead of using all the more complex rules from the Advanced Edition. All of the first advanced edition fun without all the often complex and fiddly rules.In BX Advanced, you may play a first edition style assassin, barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, illusionist, magic-User, monk, paladin, ranger, or thief in an old school game of exploration, treasure-finding, and fast to play combat. While B/X systems are used instead of the more complex first advanced edition rules, many of the limits of B/X have been removed: there are 20+ levels instead of 14; race is separate from class, spells go to 9th level instead of 6th, and there are many more monsters and treasure items than in B/X. Be a hero or a rogue: your decisions determine whether your character will retire rich, rule a kingdom, or die before his time.This modern version also includes many optional rules: psionics, some of the house rules the author used in the 1970s, and selected ideas from other roleplaying games. While a sample adventure and campaign setting are included, these rules can easily be used with all of the old adventures designed for B/X or 1e and the many new adventures published for these games in the last few years – or you can easily create adventures of your own.Please Support BX Advanced 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[...]



Happy New Year II: Replacing the Forum With G+ and/Or Discord?

2018-01-02T09:51:41.432-05:00

I have decided that the Microlite20 Forum (which is also the current home of my Microlite20 variant games (Microlite74, Microlite75, Microlite78, Microlite81, etc) is a failure. In its years of existence, it has attracted over 60,000 attempted spammer registrations (according to the count the Stop Forum Spam mod keeps), but few actual members, and very few posts. I've decided to shut down the forums part of it. The Downloads area will remain, however.I have decided to replace it with either a RetroRoleplaying Google Plus community or a RetroRoleplaying Discord server -- or perhaps both. This would be a place to discuss all the games I've released or am working on. I can't see that there is enough interest to justify a separate community for every family of games. Not to mention that I would not have time to handle that many separate communities. A Facebook Community is out because I simply do not like Facebook enough to be their regularly -- and in my experience, Google+ communities are far more usable for real discussion than Facebook Groups.There are a couple of major advantages switching to Google+ and/or Discord for the RetroRoleplaying community area. First, many people who would be interested in the community already have Google+ and/or Discord accounts and regularly visit those areas. This means that people would not have to create yet another account and remember to go to another place to check for activity. Second, moving to either would reduce the amount of maintenance I have to do (upgrading the forum software as bug fixes are released, fighting spammers, and the like). If you have a preference, which would you prefer: a RetroRoleplaying Google+ community or a RetroRoleplaying Discord server? Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



Happy New Year I: BX Advanced Playtest Version 0.75 Released

2018-01-01T14:40:43.715-05:00

I know i said just before Christmas that I had released the last playtest version of BX Advanced Gold Edition. I was wrong (sounds better than "I lied"). I've released a new playtest 0.75 version with a new cover (which may or may not be the cover for the release version), a sample campaign setting, and some layout and formatting improvements. It is available to RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors in the usual place with the usual password now. (Link below for those who don't remember the "usual place).For those who have forgotten what BX Advanced is all about, it's a clone the Basic/Expert rules using the First Edition classes, spells, monsters, and treasure. In other words, it is First Edition played the way many people who started playing with B/X (or later, BECMI) and then moved on to the "advanced" edition played the game. A couple of weeks ago, I said that 0.5 playtest version was "a fairly complete copy of what will be the 'Gold Edition'" of the game and that while "a few more small bits may be added," the Gold Edition was basically complete. Err, I decided a couple of days after posting the above that I really needed to add a sample campaign setting and do some text rearrangement. The 0.75 version I'm releasing today is the result. The final "release version" of the BX Advanced Gold Edition is still on target for later this month (January 2018) barring real life throwing me any unwanted curves.If you are a RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donor, you have the password that will unlock the second BX Advanced playtest pdf and may download the (password-protected) zip file here: BX Advanced Gold Edition Playtest 0.75If you do not have the password and would like to have access to this (and future) sets of 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 rulebooks. 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. Note that the cut-off for being listed as a BX Advanced sponsor in the "Gold Edition" will be within 1 to 3 weeks if publication remains on schedule. Of course, the cut-off for being listed as a BX Advanced sponsor in the "Platinum Edition" is months away.Watch for a Happy New Year II post tomorrow or the next day with some of my non-BX Advanced plans for 2018. [...]



Play OSR D&D on an Amazon Echo?

2017-12-26T13:32:04.370-05:00

I've had an Amazon Echo Dot for over a year now. If fact, we now have three because they are much easier for my wife (with her MS-related hand issues) to use than a normal timer, alarm clock, etc. I've never found the games available as skills to be all that much fun to play -- at least more than a time or two. Today, however, I discovered Six Swords -- an attempt to have Alexa run a D&D-like game. It's not based on modern D&D -- it's "based on OSRIC, an open source version of first Edition Dungeons and Dragons (tm)" according to the Six Swords skill description. I haven't had a lot of time to play with this, but I can already say it is the most interesting Alexa skill game I've tried yet. It's far from perfect, but it seems like it will be a fun away to spend some time. It also appears to be under active development with new releases with bug fixes and new features every few weeks. Here's the full description of the Six Swords skill. It's not going to replace a human DM anytime soon, but it's the best game I've seen for Alexa-powered devices.Engage in classic fantasy adventure. Build a team of up to six companions to explore exotic cities, high castles, and deep dungeons. But be careful, the further off the path you get the more dangerous it becomes.The system used is based on OSRIC, an open source version of first Edition Dungeons and Dragons (tm).There are many features available in the skill which you can discover as you play it. Some of the more used commands are:North, South, East, West: move around the game map.Enter: enter into a town, castle or dungeon.inventory: list what your party and your active player is carryingwho: list the companions in your groupactivate : make one of your companions the active companiongive to : give an item from the party inventory to the companiontake from : move an item from a companion to the party inventoryWhen in combat you cannot use the move commands. However you can:fight: fight a round of combat with the enemyrun away: flee a fightOther versions: 6 Swords Lite and 6 Swords Kids. If you received some type of Amazon Echo or another device with Alexa, you might want to give this a try. Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



Stocking Stuffer: New BX Advanced Playtest Edition 0.5 for Donors

2017-12-23T14:38:35.646-05:00

Just in time for Christmas roleplaying! I've just released a new new playtest version of the standard (aka "Gold") edition of BX Advanced. It is available to RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors in the usual place with the usual password now. (Link below for those who don't remember the "usual place).For those who have forgotten what BX Advanced is all about, it's a clone the Basic/Expert rules using the First Edition classes, spells, monsters, and treasure. In other words, it is First Edition played the way many people who started playing with B/X (or later, BECMI) and then moved on to the "advanced" edition played the game. This 0.5 playtest version is a fairly complete copy of what will be the "Gold Edition" of the game. While a few more small bits may be added, this version is basically complete. Barring reports of problems from playtesters, it should be ready for proofreading, layout, adding artwork and then release of the Pay What You Want version -- hopefully in January, perhaps even early January. This "Gold Edition" is for people who want to play 1e using B/X rules (and optionally, some of my standard house rules) and not be bothered with all sorts of additional classes, mutations, technology, other stuff cluttering up the rules. Never fear, however, if you want all of this good stuff, it will be in the "Platinum Edition" which should be out later in 2018. As soon as I get the BX Advanced Gold Edition out, I will begin expanding it and, of course, providing interim playtest copies to donors as I do. Mutations should be the first major new addition, so those who have been waiting for them (and complaining to me about the delay) should not have that much longer to wait -- at least if all remains well on the health front with my wife.In the last update I published in early November, I announced a tentative BX Advanced publication schedule. Amazingly, despite my problems with real life that have caused me to miss almost every publication prediction I have made -- often by 6-12 months, I am still on schedule for BX Advanced. I said that I hoped "to have the newly announced standard version of BX Advanced available within the next 3 or 4 months and the full version of BX Advanced available by the middle of 2018." It's looks like I am actually a bit ahead of schedule -- at least as of today.If you are a RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donor, you have the password that will unlock the second BX Advanced playtest pdf and may download the (password-protected) zip file here: BX Advanced Playtest Version 0.5If you do not have the password and would like to have access to this (and future) sets of 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 rulebooks. 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. Note that the cut-off for being listed as a BX Advanced sponsor in the "Gold Edition" will be within 1 to 3 weeks if publication remains on schedule. Of course, the cut-off for being listed as a[...]



New Map of The City-State of the Invincible Overlord

2017-11-24T15:40:23.872-05:00

To be honest, there's rarely anything new released that is of immediate use to me in my RPG campaigns. Today was one of those rare -- and very happy -- exceptions. Bat in the Attic Games has released (with permission of Judges Guild) a new map of the City State of the Invincible Overlord. This isn't a just a better scan of the original map from 1976, but a new map created from scratch based on the original map. To quote the description: "Now forty years later that map has been redrawn in full color. It preserves all the original detail while adding new ones like rocks, foot paths, trees, and shrubbery. This has been checked against the no-name city blueprint that was the first draft of the map. This helped to clarify details obscured by the offset printing process used in the 1970s. This map is not a scanned image of the original but has been redrawn from scratch."For a mere $8 you get several versions:* A vector based PDF with layers at 22" by 34" * A bitmap based PDF at 22" by 34"* A jpeg of the map with building labels and legends removed suitable for virtual tabletop software.* A 17" by 14" map with the city arranged in its correct location on the original 5 mile hex map published on the back of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy.* A PDF with overlapping sections of the full map suitable for printing on letter size paper.* A PDF with a letter sized black and white only map suitable for taking notes on during a campaign.It's wonderful -- especially that large PDF with layers. It is much cleaner than my original from the 1970s and better in just about all ways than the scanned versions Judges Guild is currently selling in RPGNet. If you are a City State of the Invincible Overland fan, click the link below and get your copy. Thanks and a tip of the hat to Rob Conley and Bat in the Attic games for starting my holiday season off with a bang. I'll be using this map for my next Sunday game in two days. New Color City State of the Invincible Overlord Map via RPGNet (Affiliate link -- buy it via this link and I get a small percentage of the price)Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]



BX Advanced Rules: Multiple Success Rolls and Probability

2017-11-18T13:20:24.027-05:00

In the "GM Advice" section of the BX Advanced rules, I'm trying to tackle a problem I see quite a bit of in play: Gamemasters not truly understanding that requiring multiple successful rolls to complete a simple task will reduce the final chance of success. Even those Gamemasters who realize this often do not seem to realize just how much requiring even a single extra roll will reduce the chance of success. The theory seems to be that players enjoy rolling dice and that having to roll dice increases tension, so breaking a task down into smaller steps that each require a success roll is a good thing. Don't get me wrong, it can be a good thing if used carefully, but most of the GMs I know don't understand how probability works when dealing with multiple independent events like die rolls. To find the probability of success you have to multiply the probabilities involved which means the final result is likely to be lower that one might expect. For example, if you require two rolls to successfully complete a task and the character has a 60% chance of success with the first roll and a 45% chance with the second roll, the character's actual chance of successfully completely the task is only 27% (.60 x .45 = .27) -- which is likely less than the average GM assumes it will be.I've added a few paragraphs on this to the GM Advice section of the BX Advanced rules. I'm trying to explain the situation clearly while not going into a lot of math/probability theory detail and will not taking up a lot of space in the room book (as I expect most peoples' eyes will glance over if I explain the math in detail or if the section is "too long". Here is my current draft. I would really like comments on it. Is it clear enough? If not what needs to be clearer? Does it take the right tone (i.e. I'm not trying to say never require multiple rolls, just that if one wants to require them one needs to understand their effect on the game)? Is it too long? Too short?Note that the quoted text below is Open Game Content under the OGL and any suggestions for improvement that you make and I use will be released as Open Game Content under the OGL. Multiple Success Rolls and ProbabilityMany Gamemasters like to break tasks like climbing a cliff into a number of success rolls, as players tend to enjoy rolling dice and Gamemasters often believe that rolling dice adds tension to the game. There is nothing wrong with doing this provided you understand and accept the effects requiring multiple successes have on the chance of failure. For example, let's take climbing a cliff. You have decided that the party needs to roll 15 or less on a D20 (a 75% chance of success) to successfully climb the cliff face and that each attempt will take about an hour. This is one roll and the characters have a 75% chance of successfully climbing you gave them, so the characters will find themselves at the top of that cliff in an hour 3 out of 4 times (i.e, 75% of the time just as you would expect from their success chance). However, if you decide that the cliff is high enough that two rolls are required, one to reach the midway point of the climb and another to reach the top of the cliff from the midpoint, then the characters will only find themselves at the top of the cliff about 12 times in 20 attempts - their chance of success dropped from 75% to about 56% (75% x 75%). If you require three rolls, the characters will only find themselves at the top of the cliff about 21 times out of every 50 attempts - the chance of succe[...]



My Five Favorite Microlite20-Based Games

2017-11-13T14:51:50.425-05:00

With the publication of the third edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection, I've been asked what some of my favorite Microlite20-based games are as there are a large number of variants in the collection. I'm always reluctant to answer such questions as my tastes in games don't always match up well with the tastes of others. However, for what its worth, here are my five favorite Microlite20-based games -- and I'm picking any the of games I've written. 5th Place: Scions of a Primordial Planet -- Some humans (Vikings!) end up on a Barsoom-like version of Mars. Of course, you could ignore the vikings and just use these rules to play on ERB's Barsoom. Either way, this is a good little game that is fun to play.4th Place: M20 Hyborian Age -- What can I say, I'm a fan of Robert E. Howard's Conan stoies and this two page (plus one page for the OGL) set of rules provides a fast and simple way to run games set in Hyboria. You have to know the world of Conan to make it work, but if you are a Conan fan like me, this isn't a problem.3rd Place: SpyLite -- I've been a fan of espionage RPGs since TSR's original Top Secret and Victory Games' James Bond games. I really wanted to like Spycraft, but found it far too complex and time-consuming for my tastes. SpyLite's goal was "to take Greywulf's excellent Microlite system, beat it senseless, and create a game that will do one-tenth of what Spycraft does, but with only one-half the work." in just 16 pages of rules, SpyLite manages to do much better than that. A couple of short SpyLite supplements are also included in the collection.2nd Place: Tumbleweed -- I grew up on Westerns, and while I can see their many flaws today (heck, I saw many of them as a kid but ignored them), I still like the fictional Old West as a setting. Tumbleweed provides a nifty set of Microlite20-based rules for Old West campaigns that work and do not include some type of fantasy aspect. Note that there are other two Old West variants in the collection that do include fantasy aspects if you want goblins or magic in your setting.1st Place: Stargate 1895 -- "In November of 1893 the renowned Egyptologist Lord Conway made an amazing discovery in the Qattara Depression. It was in a previously unsurveyed temple complex, buried beneath the floor of what appeared to be a great tomb. In his journal he described the artefact as ‘a giant quoit of an unknown metal, some 8 yards across." Yes, a stargate is discovered by English explorers in the late Victorian era and eagle-headed men come through when it is opened a couple of years later. The British government turns the problem and the stargate over to Mycroft Holmes. The PC are explorers travelling through the stargate. What's not to like when you combine Stargate with the Victorian era British Empire? There are many more good variants, including variants designed around Star Wars, Star Trek, superheroes, zombie invasions, Star Frontiers, etc. Download the free/Pay-What-You-Want copy of the Third Edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection and you can decide the best ones for yourself.You can download the current (2017) edition of The Microlite20 RPG Collection in the above listed games and many more on RPGNow (click here to download) where it is a "Pay-What-You-Want" game with a Suggested Price of $0.00. Just enter a "0" in the price box and you are good to go. The current edition is about 2000 pages and is a 63 megabyte download. If you don't have an RPGNow/DriveThruRPG account, you can [...]



BX Advanced Update: New Playtest Edition and Other News

2017-11-11T10:19:47.581-05:00

A new playtest version of the BX Advanced project is available to RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donors. BX Advanced is a clone the Basic/Expert rules using the First Edition classes, spells, monsters, and treasure. In other words, it is First edition played the way many people who started playing with B/X (or later, BECMI) and then moved on to the "advanced" edition played the game. This second playtest edition simply combines the open game content from a popular B/X and a popular 1e clone with new material. Major new material in this second playtest pdf: barbarian class, bard class, experience rank system, advantages and disadvantages, psionics, unedited optional dominion rules. The formatting has been greatly improved since the first playtest version -- which makes this version much more useful. While more material will be added, what you have here should be quite playable "as is".Other BX Advanced News: First, A number of people have asked me if I could also produce a "less modified" version of BX Advanced -- one that stays closer to being just 1e using the B/X rules and does not include mutations, additional classes, technology, etc. Given that none of these additions have made it beyond notes we are using in my Sunday game (and that generally have major changes from week to week), I think I can do this. When all the standard stuff is finished (probably by the next major published playtest version, 0.3) and works well, I will go ahead and publish a "BX Standard" which will just have B/X rules with 1e material (and a few optional rules). Those who don't want a couple of hundred pages of additional rules for mutations, technology, unusual classes, etc. as they just want to play 1e with B/X style rules can use this BX Advanced Standard Version. Second, I've been asked if I can give some idea of a publication schedule. A everyone following this blog and my games knows, real life means I have missed almost every publication prediction I have made -- sometimes by 6-12 months. With that warning, I will say that I hope to have the newly announced standard version of BX Advanced available within the next 3 or 4 months and the full version of BX Advanced available by the middle of 2018. Finally, I've been asked if BX Advanced will be free or paid. Like most of my games, there will be a pay-what-you-want/free version and a paid tablet/epub version. The pay-what-you-want/free version will be released first. Current plans have this true of both the just announced above Standard version and the "as originally planned" "extended" version with mutations, technology, lots of optional classes and rules version. The production schedule mentioned above is for the pay-what-you-want/free versions. Donations to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund help make the free versions possible. Speaking of donations, if you are a RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donor, you have the password that will unlock the second BX Advanced playtest pdf and may download the (password-protected) zip file here: BX Advanced Playtest Version 0.2If you do not have the password and would like to have access to this (and future) sets of 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 li[...]



Halloween Sale: Microlite81 Complete, M74 Ultimate, Etc. 25% Off

2017-10-30T17:55:51.951-04:00

It's Halloween and that sounds is a good excuse for a sale. The new Microlite74 Complete Digest Epub Edition is now 25% off on DrivethruRPG/RPGNow. All our other products (that are not already "pay what you want") are also on sale at 25% off.Microlite74 Basic Digest/EpubNow $1.49 (Regularly $1.99)Microlite74 Standard Digest/EpubNow $2.24 (Regularly $2.99)Microlite74 Extended Digest/EpubNow $2.99 (Regularly $3.99)Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery 2e Digest/EpubNow $5.24 (Regularly $6.99)Microlite74 Ultimate Edition Digest/Epub Now $7.46 (Regularly $9.99)Microlite81 Complete Edition Digest/Epub Now $5.63 (Regularly $7.50)This sale runs through November 1st at 9am CDT.Please Support BX Advanced 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. [...]