It’s a simple premise that started this: what if G & A had different inspirations than the one(s) that became The Big RPG . From it (so far) has come at least two variants I really like: Mazes and Minotaurs and Xplorers ; these ask “what if the font of inspiration was Greek myths, or Science fiction. Really well done, check em out.
This, then, is that, but spun thusly: what if the first RPG was Traveller? I’m not even going to get into the possibility that this might have happened (I hasten to add), but rather just follow it up . What if Fantasy was the red-headed stepchild of the RPG industry, which is seven-tenths dominated by endless SciFi worlds adventures and rules sets. Specifically…. recovered from the detreitus of a quantum chronoinfindibulum experiment at CERN, which turned out to contain this manuscript and some very, very odd dice.
In 1974, a garage-based game failed to get off of the ground due to lack of financing, and the efforts of two well known miniature and board game designers (an odd miniatures supplement called “the fantasy game” ) languished unpublished in a box in a garage. Eventually the designers ended up at GDW, best known nowadays for the breakthrough and innovative game Traveller which caught and rode the wave of star wars popularity, and created a whole new genre and audience for games. Adventure Simulations Games (as they are called) cater to an endless variety of SF settings and adventures, all ultimately derived from Traveler and an infinite variety of SF settings. Looking to expand the boundaries of the new hobby to other genres, G & A convince GDW to try a new approach to travelling: “howzabout something like that Robert E. Howard/Lovecraft genre , but the swords and sorcery version more than the pulp horror of Investigator; you know, like in Fritz Leiber's stuff ? …or, heck, Anderson's fantasy stuff...... Low tech, ya' know ? C'mon Marc, pleeeeeeze ?”
And so, in 1977, following the phenomenal success of book 8 (Droidbots), The Adventure game is dragged out and dusted off. Months later, Book 9 Adventurer is released. Always enjoying a small but devoted player base, Fantasy has remained a constant niche in Adventure simulation gaming. Adventurer has been the touchstone of the genre, and despite revisions and imitations, has always remained in print for the entire run of all editions of traveler, through Advance, 2nd and 3rd edition. With the contentious release of Traveller 4.0 considerable interest in older editions of the original ASG has developed, and GDW (now owned by Conhugebro) has now rereleased the original edition and supplements for a new generation. Whether you are a revered elder gamer from the first days, or a recent entry to the hobby, we are delighted to present the most unusual supplement Traveller ever produced.
“Scouts may come and go, and core rules change from space opera to gritty apocalyptic SF(and back), but swinging a sword and looting evil ruins always remains a comforting constant. Plus, there are no frikkin’ stellar spectra charts to constantly bicker and obsess about updating, right Marc ? "
– G, asked about the constant popularity of Adventurer at AdventuCon 22.
“Two words: Pole Arms.”