Microlite20 was designed by Robin V. Stacey (aka Greywulf) in 2006. The purpose of the rules were to strip the OGL/D20 system down to its bare minimum so that the world’s most popular fantasy system could be played quickly and without thousands of pages of rules, but still be usable with all the adventures, campaign settings, and supplements that had been published for the 3.x edition of the world’s most popular fantasy RPG.
Amazing, one page of basic rules (coupled with the Fantasy SRD for spells and monsters) really did allow for fast-playing games with just about every adventure and many supplements published for the 3.x edition. (Note that Microlite20 does not use feats and only a small selection of classes so supplements consisting mainly of new feats and new classes will be less useful.) Microlite20 was an immediate hit with players who liked the 3.x edition of the world’s most popular fantasy RPG but did not like the complex and time-consuming (both to GM for and to play out combats) beast it had become. Microlite20 was a rules-light way to play that brought fun back to many game tables. While Microlite20 was designed around the 3.5 SRD, it also works quite well with the 3.0 SRD or the PF SRD.
The Microlite20 rules were entirely open game content. Only the names “Microlite20” and “Robin V. Stacey” were listed as product identity. Having the entire system open game content sparked a flurry of gamer creativity. Simple variant rules and basic expansions came first – for example, lists of limited spells and monsters so Microlite20 could be played without lugging the huge SRD around. However, customized rule sets and complete games based on Microlite20 soon followed. Some of these games aren’t that different from the original, while others break quite a bit of new ground. Not all of these games are fantasy, you’ll find Microlite20 based science fiction games, espionage games, after the holocaust games, superhero games, and western games
In the spring of 2010, Robin sold the rights to Microlite20 to Seth Drebitko. It’s now 2015 and the Microlite20 community is still going strong, still producing new material and complete new games based on Microlite20.
Microlite20 also spawned a series of Microlite20 rules-based versions of older editions of the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying game. Microlite74 recreated the original 1974 (Oe) edition of the game in three versions and a number of companion volumes. Microlite78 recreated the 1978 hardback (1e) edition of the game. Microlite81 recreated the 1981 Basic/Expert (B/X) edition of the game. While only Microlite74 Basic and Microlite74 Standard are truly “microlite” in word count, all are based on the Microlite20 system.