When I was growing up in the late 70’s one of the places that we went to almost every weekend was Route 18 flea market. One day as I walked along the aisles of vendors selling merchandise that ranged from clothing to baseball cards to videogames I came across a strange vendor. This guy had two stalls one across from the other and he sold hobby stuff but he also sold roleplaying and board games in the same vein. One of the games he sold were these small games called microgames with strange names such as Melee and Wizard. These microgames would be the foundation of a new kind of RPG called The Fantasy Trip. The company however, went out of business and the chance of any more supplements died out as well.
Steve Jackson Games has decided to resurrect this franchise and I am very excited to hear this! Recently I had a chance to talk to the folks over at Steve Jackson Games and the man himself Steve Jackson answered my questions! So without further ado here we go!
TR: Please introduce yourself.
SJ: Hi! I’m Steve Jackson, and I make games. I’ve been doing it for 40 years now. You might have heard of me for Munchkin, or Illuminati, or Car Wars, or Ogre. I live outside Austin, Texas, and I make it to conventions when I can. I read science fiction and I like water lilies.
TR: Tell us a bit about Steve Jackson Games.
SJ: My company has been in business since 1980. Our offices are in Austin, but as a branch of the Illuminati, we have tentacles all over the world. Oops, I may have made some of that up. Or even most of it. Look at www.sjgames.com for more about what we are really doing!
TR: The Fantasy Trip is an older product; why are you re-releasing it now?
SJ: Because I can! Seriously. The company that published it went out of business around 1983, and the game has been dormant since then. When I got the rights back, of COURSE I wanted to republish it – and do a better job this time around. There is a lot of interest right now in “Old School Rules” games, so the timing is perfect. And I was able to get the original line editor, Guy McLimore, and the original Melee cover artist, Liz Danforth, back on the team. So it’s fully and completely awesome.
TR: What components are you looking to resurrect from this line?
SJ: Eight different components. The two original minigames, Melee and Wizard; the two solo adventures, Death Test and Death Test 2; the GM’d adventure, Tollenkar’s Lair; and the three roleplaying rulebooks, which will be combined into a single volume entitled In The Labyrinth.
SJ: Amazing. As I type this we have broken $180,000, and the campaign is only half over.
TR: What are some of the rewards that the fans can claim in this Kickstarter?
SJ: All of the “resurrected” books I listed above, plus “The Fantasy Trip Companion,” which is a combination of new material (creatures, spells, and so on) and reprints from The Space Gamer, Dungeoneer, and other publications from the original era of Fantasy Trip. There are also some beautiful play mats by Dyson Logos. And a GM screen. And pads of character sheets. And erasable megahexes for creating your own labyrinth. And shiny dice 🙂 And there will also be a PDF with everything, so you can search and display it on your own computer.
TR: What are some of the stretch goals that will be unlocked?
SJ: More megahexes. Color covers for the adventures. More bonus material online, which will then go into the TFT Companion. An enlarged GM screen. And more shiny dice! Stay tuned – follow us on Kickstarter if you like – and you can see more stretch goals as they are revealed. We have a few good ideas that I shouldn’t talk about yet . . .
TR: If this campaign is successful is there a chance that other Metagaming games might be brought back?
SJ: I was only able to get TFT back because I wrote it. The remaining Metagaming games were written by others and I can hold out no particular hope that any of them will return.
SJ: How about Toon? I’d love to see a new edition of Toon.
TR: Anything else to add?
SJ: Thank you for your interest and support! As well as this Kickstarter is already going, we know we will be able to ship a great package, and we know there is enough interest for us to release more TFT support in the next year. Look at www.thefantasytrip.game to read the bonus material now and get news about what we’re up to – or join the conversation on our forums!
Did.. I hear that right? After this Kickstarter would we get one for the classic RPG known as Toon?! I own ALL FOUR books of that game and to see it make a comeback with NEW material is a shocker for me! Let’s hope that Steve Jackson can make that happen and if you want to check out the Kickstarter you can do so right here. So grab your armor, ready your spells and get ready to back into the labyrinth.