Friday, May 03, 2013

Microlite20 (m20)

So... I claim to not be very drawn to rules and systems.  But, I've tinkered with a ton to represent DARK•HERITAGE over the last few years, including heavily house-ruled d20 D&D, d20 Modern, Pathfinder, DARK•HERITAGE HACK (based on Old School Hack), and my so-called Anti-d20 system that was a kind of hybrid of Savage Worlds lite plus The Window.  All of this, of course, makes my claim about system indifference seem kind of phony.

But I will point out that mostly I like using d20 style games, because they're so easy, familiar, and there's so much material in print for them that it makes it easy to grab whatever I need and have it available without having to go very far into houseruling.

That said, there are some things about d20 that I never really have liked, and other things that are not a problem necessarily for me personally, but which I see commonly brought up and which are only not a problem because I happen to have gamers who accomodate my eccentricities.  This is part of the reason that I'm still tempted frequently by the siren song of another system which I hope will match my tastes better than d20 which, let's face it, is really much more complicated than it ever needs to be.  I'm not really a fan of the OSR style games either, because they tend to cater to an old-school taste vibe.  I could modify an OSR type game into being one that better matched both my tastes and my setting, but... I'm honestly not that familiar with the OSR games to know which one I should bother starting with.  Nor am I curious enough to find out.

But, and this is a big one (I like those, I cannot lie), that doesn't mean that I'm out of alternatives.  I've recently (and belatedly) discovered Microlite20, or m20, a system that dramatically streamlines the d20 ruleset, while maintaining near full compatability with all products released for it!

Sound too good to be true?  Quite frankly, yes, it does.  But I'm extremely intrigued nonetheless.  And clearly it's working for something, because there's a lot of variants of it out there, made by folks who want their m20 applied like a template to d20 type games.  Quite honestly, it sounds right up my alley.  Sufficiently so, in fact, that I'm going to take some time to create my own variant of it, suitable for use with the DARK•HERITAGE setting.  And then, I'll want to try it out to see how well it works.  I'm fairly confident that m20 will work fine as a self-containted unit, but I'm curious about its intersection with d20, and how much of it has to be brought to bear.  That will be, I presume, the real baptism by fire as to its suitability.

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