Microlite74 is “better” than Swords & Wizardry?

I needed to test some optional Microlite74 rules and talked my S&W group in playtesting them this weekend in place of our regular game. Several of my new rules need more work, which was not unexpected. What was unexpected was two-thirds of the players said they strongly prefer Microlite74 to Swords & Wizardry. They thought the game played more smoothly and the rules got in the way less. I really can’t figure out why they feel that way. To me, M74 and S&W are such close cousins that it would be illegal for them to marry in many US states. The differences are so minor to my (jaded by years of house rules) eyes that I just can’t see enough difference between them to say one is smoother and more rules-lite than the other.

However, now I’m curious. Have any others who have played both Microlite74 and Swords & Wizardry (or OD&D, for that matter) found they strongly prefer M74 over S&W or OD&D? If so, could you explain why you have that preference in a comment?

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Randall is the author and publisher of a number of old school games (Microlite74, Microlite81, BX Advanced, etc) through RetroRoleplaying.com. Randall's main job, however, is being caregiver for his MS-afflicted cancer survivor wife. You can support Randall with a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. Gates & Glamours RSS Feed

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TomSpike PageChgowizM.gunnerQuistAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Tom
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Uh oh, now its old school vs old school! When will the madness end?!

😉

Personally, I feel ALL versions of DnD are FAR more alike then they are different! Blasphemy, I know…

game on

M.gunnerQuist
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I had never heard of this set of rules. Thanks for pointing it out.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Haven’t had a chance to play either, unfortunately. Still looking for the opportunity! I will tell you that M74 is easier for me to read, since it comes off M20, which plays into my experiences and bias.

Spike Page
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Which S&W was your group playing? Core Rules or White Box? From my experience with both S&W rules sets, Core is a wee bit more complex than WB. I've not tried MicroLite yet though.

And LOL @ Tom! Now we argue over whose school is the oldest, and how we had to walk to the old school uphill both ways in the snow in shoes made of cardboard. 😀

Chgowiz
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I have to ask, do you think it’s because you ran m74 a lot smoother/better because you built m74, you know m74 and it comes across? I ask because I know I run m74 and S/W a helluva lot smoother than I run OSRIC/1E – part of that is familiarity, part of that is just experience and preference for rules-light. I switched my family campaign from m74 to S/W about 3 games ago. I just asked my wife which was simpler and I got a complex answer! *laugh* My wife just told me that she doesn’t really know the rules… Read more »

Randall
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Tom said “Uh oh, now its old school vs old school! When will the madness end?!” ::Cue Billy Joel’s We didn’t Start the Fire.:: Old Schoolers didn’t agree on everything back in the 70s so why should we now? LOL. Spike Page said "Which S&W was your group playing? Core Rules or White Box?" Core Rules. Chgowiz said “I have to ask, do you think it’s because you ran m74 a lot smoother/better because you built m74, you know m74 and it comes across?” It's possible, but I run S&W just like it was OD&D and I've ran that for… Read more »

Chgowiz
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I’m pretty damn curious myself now too.