Talking With Steve Jackson About The Fantasy Trip
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  1. #1

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    Talking With Steve Jackson About The Fantasy Trip

    Recently, I was able to ask Steve Jackson, of Steve Jackson Games, a couple of questions about the upcoming relaunch of his classic role-playing/combat game The Fantasy Trip. In addition, he gave us at EN World an early look at the preliminary art for the cover of The Fantasy Trip: Melee.

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    Christopher Helton: First off, let's talk about the game itself. For the uninitiated, what is The Fantasy Trip?

    Steve Jackson: It's a fantasy role-playing game that I started writing in 1977. It had a period of great popularity, which waned when Metagaming went out of business and there was no further support. But some people have always continued to play it. And last year I recovered the rights, so I can publish a new edition now.

    CH: What led to the creation of The Fantasy Trip?

    SJ: TFT grew out of the combat game, Melee. I created Melee specifically because I didn't like the combat system in original D&D. I wanted something that would feel more realistic, that would take into account where the characters were in relation to each other, and that would not be so table-driven.

    When Melee became popular, I did a magic version of it; that was Wizard. The next step was to write a full set of role-playing rules around the Melee/Wizard combat system, which is what we know today as The Fantasy Trip.

    CH: There is a lot of interest in older games again, from the early editions of Dungeons & Dragons to a Kickstarter based around the third edition of Champions. What does The Fantasy Trip offer to people who are looking at older games, or want to recreate an experience from when they were younger?

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    SJ: It's an old-school role-playing experience, centered around dungeon-crawling, monster-fighting, swords-and-sorcery adventure. It does not try to be generic, and it does not try to go into overwhelming detail. It's for people who want to sit down with a few friends and explore, fight, and try to get home alive!

    CH: To flip that question, what about the Fantasy Trip would appeal to people who've never played it?

    SJ: The same things, I hope. It's a lot lighter than GURPS, or, for that matter, the current edition of D&D. Character creation is easy, combats are quick without being trivial, and there are just not all that many rules to learn. It's not a game about finding exploits or weird combinations of skills. It's about creating a hero or a wizard, and going on an adventure.

    CH: After four editions of GURPS some may wonder why you would revisit The Fantasy Trip. What do you say to them?

    SJ:
    Because it's a different game and I like it a lot!

    CH: Should people who've invested a lot of time and money into GURPS worry that it might be replaced by a simpler game in the Fantasy Trip?

    SJ: Nope. The games have different strengths, and people who are into GURPS are not going to abandon it.

    CH: What do you hope for the future of the Fantasy Trip?

    SJ: Enough interest from fans that we can continue to put out new background and adventure material at a good rate. But I don't want to layer on complexity. Fans of complexity have already got games to play. This is about making a character in five minutes and going out to fight the orcs.
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  2. #2

    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)



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    I loved TFT back in the 80s.
    Kind of got swamped in other games and in the 90s only some rare grognards even knew what TFT was.
    My two favorite creatures are from TFT.
    The Am-Bush, a plant that throws explosive seedpods to kill interlopers so they become fertilizer for it.
    The Piranhakeet, a swarm of parakeet like colorful birds with razor sharp sawtoothed beaks that strip victims to bones in seconds like piranha.

    Those were always fun

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by barasawa View Post
    Those were always fun
    Steve Jackson does love a good pun.

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    When is it coming out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyZemo View Post
    When is it coming out?
    There will be further news soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Helton View Post
    Steve Jackson does love a good pun.
    That twisted sense of humor found in Munchkin games existed in the company _long_ before Munchkin was published.
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    Not sure where on this website now to mention this, but if you live in or near Virginia, and you want to meet him, Steve Jackson will be the gaming guest of honor at a convention called Mysticon in Feb 2019 in Roanoke Va.

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    I am a fan of TFT, but I am kinda suspicious about his newly rediscovered love of the game. Seems like he just wants to run another huge kickstarter like Ogre.

    Which is certainly his right, after all he wrote the game. But it seems to me if he really liked it, he would have tried to do what Jeff Dee did with V&V over the years. I hope to be proven wrong, but...

    It would also be nice if he worked with some of the companies who made clones of TFT and produced adventures for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
    I am a fan of TFT, but I am kinda suspicious about his newly rediscovered love of the game. Seems like he just wants to run another huge kickstarter like Ogre.

    Which is certainly his right, after all he wrote the game. But it seems to me if he really liked it, he would have tried to do what Jeff Dee did with V&V over the years. I hope to be proven wrong, but...
    As someone who has had many discussions with Steve about the game for the last two decades, as well as the amount of behind-the-scenes legal work that went into this, I think you're failing to understand the situation. Steve recovered the rights to the game last year, and we announced this back in December:

    http://www.sjgames.com/ill/archive/D...p_Returns_Home

    What you seem to perceive as "his newly rediscovered love of the game" is, in fact, the ultimate "playing the long game" as Steve waited decades to reclaim his ownership of the Melee, Wizard, and the rest of The Fantasy Trip. Until that was successfully executed, we were left simply working behind-the-scenes and patiently waiting.
    Last edited by philreed; Wednesday, 13th June, 2018 at 10:05 AM.
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  10. #10

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    Great news

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