Last week I received my “I Want It All” Legacy Edition box of The Fantasy Trip RPG. Work projects and other obligations have prevented me from digging into the re-release as much as I’d like, but it looks like Steve Jackson Games have created a fine product that is worthy of this game’s great heritage. I hope it’s received with enthusiasm sufficient to permit ongoing support, (official and otherwise).
The Fantasy Trip was essentially my introduction into the RPG hobby. I’d been playing Metagaming’s Melee, Wizard, Death Test (1 & 2) and Grail Quest for months prior to cracking an AD&D book with sufficient attention to be able to poorly run it for my middle school friends. It’d be months later still before I’d have my own copy of the Monster Manual, never mind a Dungeon Master’s Guide or Players Handbook.
In February, in advance of my Kickstarter shipment, I dug out my old copy of Guy W. McLimore, Jr.’s wonderful Grail Quest, (the 3rd MicroQuest and my personal favorite), along with some print-outs of some of the Legacy Edition’s pdf materials. I mapped my progress and had a lot of fun revisiting the solo RPG’ing of my youth. Sir Alynor fell before he found the grail. Maybe I’ll have a comrade knight try again and make a blog post of it. TFT veterans might note that Sir Alynor forgot to purchase either the Sword or the Shield talents! In my rush to revisit my RPG glory days before I’d even re-read the re-release of my first RPG (I prefer hard copy to pdfs), I neglected to give my knight the appropriate martial prerequisites. My retcon has it that Sir Alynor was not as literate, sexy, nor as good at catching fish as he might have thought. It wouldn’t the first time a man misjudged his talents and, in any case, none of these three came up in the course of his quest.
I have a bit of breathing room now so I’m looking forward to spending more time with TFT’s Legacy Edition & with the pdf copies of The Fantasy Trip Adventures I also backed. More, I’m looking forward to making my own adventures. I ran or played more than a hundred sessions of The Fantasy Trip in the early and mid-80s as a middle and high school student. Since then, I’ve played close to a hundred RPGs. I’m hoping 35+ years of experience will serve me well in creating some fun scenarios, both for people who’ve loved The Fantasy Trip for a long time and for players checking it out for the first time (that will be most at my current table). I think my time creating set piece encounters for 4th edition D&D will be especially applicable.
I have reservations about some of the creative choices and art direction for TFT’s Legacy Edition, but it has otherwise made a good first impression. I’ve no doubt it will find time and place on my gaming table in the years to come. I’m a biased judge, but its appeal should rise above pure nostalgia and find a niche for others as well. Maybe down the road I’ll find time to write more about why that should be.