The Fantasy Trip

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The Fantasy Trip (TFT) is a role-playing game that was designed by Steve Jackson and was published by Metagaming Concepts.

It was developed from Metagaming's Melee and Wizard MicroGames, also designed by Steve Jackson, which provided the basic combat and magic rules. These games could be played on their own, or, using the "Gamemasters" module In the Labyrinth, expanded into a full-fledged role-playing game. The basic combat and magic rules presented in Melee and Wizard were greatly expanded specifically for purposes of role-playing in Advanced Melee and Advanced Wizard.

An extensive set of solitary adventures were published for The Fantasy Trip. Called MicroQuests, these inexpensive adventures allowed for group or solitary play. A total of eight were published. In addition, more traditional role-playing modules were also released. The first was Tollenkar's Lair, a traditional dungeon crawl adventure published in 1980. Two modules detailing countries were released in 1982, Warrior Lords of Darok and Forest Lords of Dihad.

Metagaming also published two magazines that featured TFT material. The development of the component MicroGames and some early articles are covered in The Space Gamer. After The Space Gamer was sold to Steve Jackson Metagaming published a second house organ called Interplay, which had articles regarding all Metagaming products but focused most on TFT.

Jackson left Metagaming in 1980. By that time, Howard M. Thompson, the owner of Metagaming, was not happy with the TFT work done by Steve Jackson, stating that it was too complex and had taken too long.[1] During 1983, Thompson closed down the company and sold most of its assets. Jackson tried to purchase the rights to The Fantasy Trip, but Thompson's asking price of $250,000 was much too high, and TFT is now out of print.[2] Instead, Jackson started work on a new "third generation" role-playing system. The eventual result was GURPS, which was strongly influenced by The Fantasy Trip.



Metagaming released Melee in 1977 as Microgame #3. It was designed to be a simple, fast-playing man-to-man combat boardgame. The game came with a small empty hex map, a counter sheet of men, monsters, and weapons (for any weapons dropped in combat) and a 17-page rulebook.

Every figure had a strength and dexterity attribute. Strength governed how much damage a figure could take and the size of weapons which could be used; heavier ones increased the damage one inflicted in combat, while dexterity determined how likely one was to hit one's opponent. Armor could be worn, which would reduce the amount of damage taken in combat while lowering one's dexterity.

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