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m20: Pick-up/One-Off Games, or General Purpose/Campaigns?

Description: Thoughts/experiences on whether m20 is better suited for specific games/purposes, or whether it's suitable for long-term/campaign play.

A place to share your rules-lite RPG ideas and designs.


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quaffeine
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m20: Pick-up/One-Off Games, or General Purpose/Campaigns?

Post by quaffeine » Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:30 am

Ahoy, question for the panel:

I've been reading through the original and continued EN World threads where m20 was originally announced and developed. Yes, all of them. DON'T JUDGE ME!!!

Anyway, there seemed to be a prevailing thought at the time, even by its original author, that m20 was better suited for "one-off" or "pick-up" games, as character creation and refereeing were both quick and easy. On the other hand, if players wanted something with more depth, they should look to a more "full-fledged" system like D&D or Pathfinder.

I'm interested to hear anyones thoughts/experience either way on this. Part of me agrees that Purest Essence alone doesn't lend itself to in-depth/long-term/campaign-style play. On the other hand, there was a time where that's what the rulesets looked like, and I'm sure some of those folks were involved in longer campaigns.

I feel like the compact m20 base, with some judicious additions inspired by newer editions, could still produce a general-use system that provides enough "variety" to be compelling while retaining the compact playability it started with.

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Re: m20: Pick-up/One-Off Games, or General Purpose/Campaigns?

Post by randalls » Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:31 am

quaffeine wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:30 am

Anyway, there seemed to be a prevailing thought at the time, even by its original author, that m20 was better suited for "one-off" or "pick-up" games, as character creation and refereeing were both quick and easy. On the other hand, if players wanted something with more depth, they should look to a more "full-fledged" system like D&D or Pathfinder.

In my opinion it depends on what your players are looking for. If they want a game where success is measured by how much mechanical (that is "game rules") power their character has, most M20-based games aren't that good for long-time play as their really isn't enough "character-oriented rules gadgets" players can manipulate to keep players looking for them happy. On the other hand, if the players measure success by what their characters "do in the campaign world during play" campaigns can last years. For example, I know of one Microlite74 Standart campaign that has ran in Central Texas for over 10 years of mostly weekly or bi-weekly play.

I feel like the compact m20 base, with some judicious additions inspired by newer editions, could still produce a general-use system that provides enough "variety" to be compelling while retaining the compact playability it started with.

I100% agreement here.

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RandallS
Playing and Gamemastering Tabletop RPGs Since 1975
Designer: Microlite74, Microlite75, Microlite78, Microlite81, Microlite20 OSS, and others
Compiler: The Microlite20 RPG Collection
Administrator: Microlite20 Nexus


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quaffeine
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Re: m20: Pick-up/One-Off Games, or General Purpose/Campaigns?

Post by quaffeine » Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:21 pm

In my opinion it depends on what your players are looking for. If they want a game where success is measured by how much mechanical (that is "game rules") power their character has, most M20-based games aren't that good for long-time play as their really isn't enough "character-oriented rules gadgets" players can manipulate to keep players looking for them happy.

Gamers these days seem to want/expect some level of "rules gadgets," and even I will certainly cop to a love of 2E *books. I guess this is my real question: is there a niche for something with something that balances the character-diversity options of splatbooks through 5E with Microlite 20 sensibilities.

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