These rules are based on Microlite and as such are Open Game Content.
PCs are human and hail from either Kakariko Village or Hyrule Castle Town.
Roll 3d6 in order to determine your PC's Strength, Dexterity, and Mind ability scores. You may switch one score with another. Ability modifiers are as follows: Score minus 10, divided by 2, round down.
There are no classes, nor do PCs gain levels. PCs can use any weapon and wear any armor, as long as they meet the minimum Strength requirement.
A PC's starting Hit Points equal their Strength score plus 1d8.
Armor Class equals 10 + Dexterity modifier + Armor Bonus.
There are three different attacks a PC can make: Melee, Ranged, and Magical. Add Strength modifier to Melee Attacks, Dexterity modifier to Ranged Attacks, and Mind modifier to Magical Attacks. PCs do not start with any Magical Attack they can perform, but there are items they can find in-game which will allow them to.
There are three saving throws: Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower. PCs begin with a +4 modifier to each saving throw, plus ability score modifiers: Strength modifier to Fortitude, Dexterity modifier to Reflex, and Mind modifier to Willpower. When a saving throw is called for, a PC must roll a d20 and add their appropriate saving throw bonus. A total of 20 or more means they saved.
Players start with 3d6 times 3 rupees, and a backpack and small money bag.
PCs can carry a number of items up to their Strength score, including weapons and armor.
Now, obviously, because they have no levels or bonuses from their classes, these starting characters are not quite as strong as standard Microlite characters. That is the idea; they are basically 0-level mooks to start. If they survive their first foray into the monster-infested wilderness, it won't be long before they find items to grow stronger and more powerful. Dungeons are filled with these types of treasures; they also abound in secret, hidden places in the wilderness, and can be bestowed on a PC by an NPC.
The PCs begin knowing very little about the world. They know the area they are from, and the locations of other human settlements and the major landmarks of Hyrule (Death Mountain, Lake Hylia, etc). They know that beastly monsters have been seen in the wilderness, that Hyrule Castle Town is overrun with monsters, and that Hyrule Castle itself has been transformed into an evil fortress. They know the world has gone dark. Visibility outside is approximately 50 feet.
The few soldiers that escaped with the refugees from Hyrule Castle Town are tasked with the defense of Kakariko. They have begun the process of forging weapons and armor and training able-bodied men and women to defend the town.
At the beginning of the game, heavy weapons and armor are not yet available for sale in Kakariko Village, and won't be until the town is armed for defense to the liking of the soldiers. This process will take one month, unless the PCs help by taking weapons from monsters and donating them to the town. For every five weapons the PCs donate, the town becomes one day closer to being properly armed.
The following items for adventuring can be found at the General Store:
Lantern (holds 1 pint of oil, visibility 20 ft): 10 rupees
Oil: 5 rupees per pint (pint lasts 4 hours)
Torch (burns 1 hour, visibility 20 ft): 1 rupee
Waterskin: 3 rupees
Rope 50 ft: 5 rupees
Grappling Hook: 10 rupees
Ten-foot pole: 1 rupee
Backpack: 5 rupees
Small Money bag (holds 50 individual rupees): 5 rupees
Flint and Steel: 5 rupees
Tent: 5 rupees
(Bug-Catching) Net: 5 rupees (use DEX bonus to catch something in the Net)
Bottle: 10 rupees
Leather AC +2 10 rupees
Studded Leather AC +3 30 rupees
Wooden Shield AC +1 (Min STR 13) 10 rupees
Hand axe 1d6 10 rupees
Hunting knife 1d4 5 rupees
Staff 1d4 5 rupees
Bow and arrows 1d6 (Min STR 13) 20 rupees
Sling 1d4 (Monster must make a saving throw or be dazed for a round if attack scores a Critical hit)