Thursday 6 July 2023

Melee and Wizard: RPG or not?

Steve Jackson's first version of what later became The Fantasy Trip were Micro Games numbers 3 and 6 published in 1977 and 1978 respectively. Both are boardgames based on hexes and are designed to be played independently or joined together. They were complemented by Micro Quests– programmed adventures much like those produced for Tunnels & Trolls. One other intention for these two games was possibly to be a replacement for existing combat and magic systems in your other frpg of choice. Bearing in mind that this was 1977 and there were only a handful roleplaying games out there at the time, this wasn't an entirely fanciful idea. There were quite a few such add-on or replacement products around at the time.  


...I'm not doing a review here, I'm asking a question: Would you consider Melee and Wizard together, a roleplaying game system or not?  

I mean at the time they came out.  

The 'Advanced' versions of both games, together with 'In The Labyrinth', were published in 1980 and are definitely an rpg, but can we count the micro games as such?  

I would say yes. Mainly because my friends and I did so for a while. But of course we had the benefit of having played OD&D, Traveller, Metamorphosis Alpha etc first so we could (and did) add in  missing rules to flesh out the bare bones of the combat and magic system as presented in the pair of games. We moved on to other games pretty quickly I have to say, but it was a whole lot of fun and gave rise to some very long gaming sessions indeed at the time (we played solidly for 48 hours once, fuelled by white rum and cold pizza... ah, those were the days!)  

Anyway, I'm rambling. So I've asked and answered my own question. What do you guys think?