Saturday, December 31, 2011

Melee, Wizard, TFT and me

If you have followed or read my rambling missives before you know I think the Metagaming TFT system is pretty sweet...but a just miss.  

I know I am not the only fellow who feels that way, in fact way back in 1980 Howard Thompson himself commented on how disappointed he was with the project. To quote from a letter he wrote dated 3/31/1980:

TFT is too complicated as completed by Steve Jackson. He completed the project as he wished, not as I'd hoped or even laid down constraints....All the material in Advanced Melee and Advanced Wizard didn't need to be added at all. More spells and weapons fine, more detail of combat, no.

My feeling is that in the extra two years of work TFT got longer instead of better.

I could not agree more with with HT on these points.  TFT overly complicated the game system rather than producing a streamlined game.  Some folks love it, and that's great, but it was a just miss for me. That feeling of what could have been stuck with me for 30 years now.  In fact as I mentioned before,  Metagaming's revision of the TFT system became Dragons of Underearth. It could have been the TFT basic set, but was incomplete and Metagming died shortly there after.

Next came Dark City Games and their revival of the system.  This was closer to what I hoped TFT would be, but it too did not work for different reasons.  The manual is a brief pocket mod friendly 7 pages but its only meant to usher you into playing their (very good) adventures, not actually running a game yourself from your imagination.

All of that to get to this, my own re-imagining of a basic RPG version using Melee/ Wizard/ and Dragons of Underearth as inspiration: Heroes & Other Worlds.

Weighing in at a svelte 24 pages, its the way I would have liked to see a basic TFT game offered.  Note, what is lacking from my book is any semblance of a referee's aide section or an adventure creator.  Maybe I will make one next, but for the time being, it is what it is.

If there is enough interest I'll convert some of my Pockets Full of Peril adventures for play.  In the meantime if you are interested in downloading and trying the game, charge on over to the Heroes site.  I have a download link  for the game manual up now.  .

Happiest of New Years to you and yours!