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The Fantasy Trip outsells GURPS in 2019?


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Ace

Adventurer
From Shannon Appelcline's article he points out that
  • The Fantasy Trip ('70s) has been back for a couple years now, but what's notable is that it outsold GURPS, based on Steve Jackson's full-year 2019 report.


That's crazy pants.

That boxed set raised a lot of money and its funding bled into 2019. TFT is also is well supported for such a new game and scratches a lot of itches being OSR, GURPS-like and simple enough in its rules for modern tastes , a bit more than say Tiny D6 but much less than D&D.

As a GURPS guy its very high on my list of excellent games and I can use my hex maps.

Melee can be had free on Drivethru if you want to try the combat system
 

Ace

Adventurer
I don't find that particularly surprising given that GURPS isn't nearly as popular as it once was. I wish it were, I like the system, but my players have threatened to hang my by my heels if I ever imposed it on them again.
I feel ya. My group abandoned the tender embraces of GURPS for Monster of the Week.
 

darjr

I crit!
I was a HUgE GURPS fan but the complexity isn’t my fav. I drifted away in 3rd and only played 4th a few times. I always loved the simple original boxed set of GURPS.

I didn’t know melee was free. Gotta try it.
 


Ace

Adventurer
Sort of like being surprised when 5e outsold 4e?
It would be closer to AD&D outselling 5E.

The Fantasy Trip the last book really dates from 1983. Melee from 1979 IIRC

GURPS , well Man to Man which is a slightly trimmed combat version would come out in 1985 soon after SJ found out he couldn't get TFT back from Metagaming for any reasonable amount of money.

It worked out best for him anyway. High complexity and realism were the fashion in that period and GURPS developed a reputation as the go to books for historical reference as well.

Now Steve Jackson (the American one not the UK one) is a very disciplined man and after the copyright expired he put TFT back into production. Made good money too.

To my way of thinking the quintessential SJ games experience would be The Fantasy Trip, Hex Maps and Cardboard Heroes along with snacks and a few D6. Its good for short games and campaigns though TFT isn't great for games that go one for years.
 

Ace

Adventurer
I was a HUgE GURPS fan but the complexity isn’t my fav. I drifted away in 3rd and only played 4th a few times. I always loved the simple original boxed set of GURPS.

I didn’t know melee was free. Gotta try it.

I think you'll enjoy it. I've run GURPS Lite a few times. Players tend like it far better than GURPS All The Options at least in my experience. On account of real life not to mention 2020 I haven't sprung it on my players and to be honest I've be planning to get that big ole box set at some point to celebrate being able to game face to face.
 

darjr

I crit!
To my way of thinking the quintessential SJ games experience would be The Fantasy Trip, Hex Maps and Cardboard Heroes along with snacks and a few D6. Its good for short games and campaigns though TFT isn't great for games that go one for years.
Games with a low skill cap or level cap or meager stat/skill growth, think Traveller, often have a hidden character progression. Like Traveller I think it's the characters story growth in story, power, money, and accumulated equipment. Basically the same ones we get in the 'real' world. In that light a campaign could go on for years, just put the breaks on the stat growth or stop it altogether. I've run both Traveller and GURPS that way, nary a point given in GURPS (usually GURPS Traveller).

In GURPS it did take player buy in but in Traveller the players never really noticed.
 

Ace

Adventurer
Games with a low skill cap or level cap or meager stat/skill growth, think Traveller, often have a hidden character progression. Like Traveller I think it's the characters story growth in story, power, money, and accumulated equipment. Basically the same ones we get in the 'real' world. In that light a campaign could go on for years, just put the breaks on the stat growth or stop it altogether. I've run both Traveller and GURPS that way, nary a point given in GURPS (usually GURPS Traveller).

In GURPS it did take player buy in but in Traveller the players never really noticed.
I agree though even Traveller these days has skill progression. In really long term games it does make some sense. If you have been a ships steward at Steward 0 for several years odds are you can get to Steward 1. Same with say practicing Revolver in your spare time for long periods,. I think original Traveller had some kind of rules for that but I never played more than a handful of times even though I had a box load of books , most of them in fact I had bought at a really good price.

Traveller focused on money more often than not and the equivalent of say name level in AD&D would be finally paying off the last few megacredits on the players Far Trader or Safari Ship. There were other options, Scout/Courier , Noble Yacht and such but Traveller was Capitalism in Space in a great many ways.

I liked the game setting pretty well though like you tended to prefer GURPS for the rules. I think I have all of those somewhere in a box.
 



corwyn77

Explorer
I don't find that particularly surprising given that GURPS isn't nearly as popular as it once was. I wish it were, I like the system, but my players have threatened to hang my by my heels if I ever imposed it on them again.
Yeah, I remember in the 90s it regularly placed in the top 5 most popular RPGs with D&D, Vampire, Call of Cthulhu, and cough RIFTS cough.

Now it 's faded quite a bit but I've had quite a bit of success getting new players to try out the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. I'm in an online game right now and have run a couple of drop in campaigns in my FLGS. It's still my favourite system and fortunately my co-gm is a real fan as well.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Nostalgia will do that. The KS was very successful. Did not participate.

I played a few games of Melee and Wizards when it originally came out. A fun arena combat system hexes. We looked at the Fantasy Trip RPG but were turned off by the use of hexes for buildings and dungeons. Played D&D Basic instead.
 


It isn't surprising, given how moribund GURPS is. If you want to play a game of that ilk you might as well play the simpler TFT. The original plan SJ and Co. had was to build TFT into a full scale system. We actually playtested a bunch of different variations of that, but then I guess things went south and they started over. A lot of the ideas made it into GURPS in one form or another though. It would be interesting if I could find some of those playtest rules, but I don't really have a lot of stuff left from the late 70's... (some of the D&D LBBs and a copy of Holmes, and some geomorphs mostly).
 

Ace

Adventurer
It isn't surprising, given how moribund GURPS is. If you want to play a game of that ilk you might as well play the simpler TFT. The original plan SJ and Co. had was to build TFT into a full scale system. We actually playtested a bunch of different variations of that, but then I guess things went south and they started over. A lot of the ideas made it into GURPS in one form or another though. It would be interesting if I could find some of those playtest rules, but I don't really have a lot of stuff left from the late 70's... (some of the D&D LBBs and a copy of Holmes, and some geomorphs mostly).
GURPS at least gets regular support, a new thing a month and Pyramid now going 100% GURPS is getting a kickstarter. Now my very favorite system Unisystem (Buffy/Angel and All Flesh Must Be Eaten) which is set to have anew core book Beyond Human is still stuck in design hell where it has been for years. I also ran a decent GURPS game in 2018 and several before that so its getting players.
 

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