Sometimes you want to run a role-playing game, but don’t want to be surrounded by hundreds of books. You don’t want do be bogged down by a thousand and one rules either, but run something that’s fast, compact and easy to set up.
There are plenty of light-weight games out there, and probably just as many gamers who’d recommend each one. A particular favourite is RISUS, a game of almost zen-like simplicity.
It’s good, but what I want is something slightly different. I’ve been looking for something that’s small and simple, but also compatible enough with D&D that it’s possible to use the monsters, adventures and entire campaign settings with little work. Ideally, it should use the same terminology. There are some pretty good options out there, including True20 and Castles & Crusades. Both of these offer a more streamlined version of the d20 system, but add in a few more twists of their own that I’d like. While it is possible to use either of these system to run published d20 adventures, there’s more conversion involved than would be possible at the gaming table.
So, I’ve created my own. d20 Microlite is a free 2 page pdf containing character generation, combat and rules for magic, monsters and level advancement. I’ve ripped the guts out of d20 leaving just the essence of the game. Skills are much simplified, there are no feats and combat is as simple as it gets.
A few changes have been made to better suit my own playing preference, but you should be able to recognise it’s D&D roots. Most importantly, any D&D adventure, game or supplement should be usable on the table with no advance preparation.
So, if you want a fast and light game that’s small enough to print off and stick inside the cover of Dungeon magazine for your next session, download d20 Microlite and give it a try