Back when I first got interested in the OSR, I stumbled upon MicroLite. Like games that I’ve written about it doesn’t emulate a specific old edition but has such a strong connection to the play style and overall philosophy that it deserves some attention.
The Microlite20 system breaks down the game mechanics to the bare minimum but no such much that everything is abstract. It’s still that standard 3 to 18 spread for attribute scores and uses the score modifiers more along the lines of 3.x. And yes, it’s got all the usual classes and races and then some. With it’s simple but familiar d20+modifier system, it’s easy for anyone used to d20 game to pick up quickly. Not only the simple system is a breeze for a GM to run and convert stuff into since it aligns well with most d20 based games.
Not only is Mircolite a simple system (only two pages of basic rules), it’s got a ton of supplements for various editions and genres. This is the gem of Microlite. Pretty much, no matter what you are thinking of running, there’s already a Mircolite version of it. And if you don’t like it then like I said, it’s so easy to convert stuff. It’s great for a con game, a one-shot, or even the “Oh crap, the regular GM can’t show up” situation. And yet despite the simplicity of the system. it can still stand up to a regular campaign. Personally, I should have included it on my list of possible online games in my New Year, New Game post.
So what about the price? That’s where it shines too. It’s PWYW on DrivethruRPG but only as a tip to the creators. That may sound sweet but it’s even sweeter. Like I said the basic rules are two pages, the Microlite RPG Complete Collection clocks in at around 2700 pages. Yes, that’s right. 2700 pages of various setting and genre rules. I don’t think that you can do better than that.
You get more info on Mircolite Nexus or on the RetroRoleplaying Site. You can pick up all these goodies on DrivethruRPG.