Microlite20 Ideas

Posted on March 28, 2009


I’ve become quite enamored of Microlite20 and the thought of tinkering with it to make fast, easy games. Recently I compiled a conversion document for playing Dark Sun games with M20, including my take on Athasian clerics and Templars. The document converts monsters from the 3.5 Dark Sun articles in Dragon and Dungeon magazines, but also draws on the original AD&D 2e box set with such details as 5d4 ability score generation, characters beginning at 3rd level and every non-psion/psychic warrior character receiving a free “wild talent” 0-level power.

I’ve also had several ideas for tweaking M20 for use in original games. First, I’d like to do a version which includes some of the optional systems from the 3.5 version of Unearthed Arcana, such as rolling 3d6 instead of 1d20, as well as others such as spell points instead of burning HP for magic or free at-will 0-level spells (removing Cure Minor Wounds from the cleric list; no free healing!).

Secondly, I’m considering a SpyCraft-like modern variant to create a game about national and international law enforcement (NCIS, FBI, Interpol and so on, solving crimes rather than condicting espionage). Rather than go off of Microlite20 Modern, it would be its own modern class/level system, using agency bureaus and methodological specialties in place of careers and classes.

Finally, I’d like to look at how M20 handles epic-plus level play. I’d like to use it as the core engine for a game based on an epic space opera concept I’ve had for a while, which originally came from an RPGnet “create a setting” thread. The idea is rather Exalted-meets-Star Wars, with celestial bodies having god-spirits that can imbue mortals with their power to become their agents. The galaxy would be full of intrigue and adventure, with the most dangerous foe being the agents of the trapped demiurge spirit of the newborn galaxy itself, contained in the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.

Since these games would be based on Microlite20, they’d make use of the d20 SRDs, offering a vast wealth of compatible material. They’d also be easy to pick up and play, which is very important to me these days.