Kickstarting a new edition of Steve Jackson's long-lost masterpiece "Melee"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/23/last-seen-in-1977.html

5 Likes

TFT : GURPS :: Chainmail : D&D

8 Likes

I was gonna say why not just use GURPS as it essentially is an evolved TFT.

Still be nice to have a proper copy that isn’t water damaged. Okay my melee and wizard are not but my TFT books are.

5 Likes

I sold a LOT of my gaming stuff through the years, both to tidy up prior to a move or for pizza money. But I managed to hang on to these originals.

17 Likes

Steve Jackson has been Kickstarting some “labor of love” projects recently, such as republishing the primordial space combat boardgame TRIPLANETARY. This project may be part that, part celebration for getting his rights back.

Beyond that, I wonder if they have plans to make TFT a light-duty RPG with a different market than GURPS. @sjgames has an enormous retail footprint for its Munchkin games. I mean, dang, they have store-exclusive Munchkin sets for Walgreens Drugs.

6 Likes

Oh I got not problem with it. It looks nice and I may get it just to have nicer copies of the rules. Finding some fellow dorks to play is another issue entirely.

5 Likes

Wow, those were thrown out by my parents (along with every plastic model I ever made, grrrrrrrr)
I do recall the idea of the simple polygonal shapes were smart, always showed facing etc.

I loved this system. Playing with Ral Partha miniatures rocked!

I still know where the larger formats rulesets are in my garage. I tried to get a buddy to play by mail using some additional rules and a map physically mailed back and forth. Fuse this with Civilization and BOOM!

4 Likes

I still have the original editions of Melee, Wizard, and The Fantasy Trip. My pals and I played Melee some, but honestly it’s just a board game and a pretty simple one at that. TFT tried to add on actual RPG, but it never really caught the imagination. At least not for me.

Liz Danforth’s art, though, was the bomb. I especially liked her stuff for Tunnels and Trolls.

3 Likes

Glad to see I wasn’t the only one thinking that.

2 Likes

“Long lost”???
checks_bookshelf
Nope, still right there.

6 Likes

Pretty much what I came to say, though I don’t still have it to check the rules. Glad to see my memories of judgements as a 12 year old were not out of line.

3 Likes

Liz Danorth!

Her art was always awesome!

3 Likes

Powers and Perils?

1 Like

TFT had some nice solo adventures (yes, I was a lonely child). They were kind of like “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” books except that combat would break out and you were instructed on the layout of the hex map and basic strategy to use to move the enemies. Particularly in the late 70s/early '80s they were compelling because computer RPGs were in their infancy,

2 Likes

Ah, this was my gateway drug back in 1979. I was a Boy Scout then, and one of the elder boys had this at summer camp. I had not heard of Dungeons and Dragons, or of role playing games. The next year, we moved, and I discovered a little store that sold all of these unique and quirky games, and I was hooked. Even though my mom did toss it all into the trash once because she blamed it for my bad grades, I never stopped loving RPG’s.

Oh yeah, and I remember the quirk of encumbrance, that one naked guy was able to win most times because the other boys would overdo it on armour.

1 Like

But that’s why it was great. You could carry it anywhere, set it up quickly, teach anyone to play in a few minutes.

2 Likes

The “old crew comes together” aspect of this revival is really cool!

Liz was discussing her TFT art on Twitter a few months ago. Pointed out that the reason the counter characters had bell bottoms (trousers with flared cuffs) was that she wasn’t good with feet back then.

For old time sake, she made sure to include one counter character with bell bottoms in the new set!

2 Likes

I wrote for a lot of RPGs back in the day, but I only managed to have one item published for TFT. It was in Metagaming’s fanzine/house organ, “Interplay.” I dug it up recently:

Actually a winning contest entry rather than a submitted article. A variant article on an Astrology skill, plus a encounter featuring an astrologer. I drew the cheesy illustrations; the one and only art sale I ever made! I was paid in Metagaming credit; as I recall, the company went down before I could spend it.

5 Likes

Man I hope you are in the Bay Area, cuz I have a cold six-pack, some chips and a hankering to play TFT! =D

I drew some one color art for the competitor of The Dragon way back in the 70s and early 80s. Elric-y. I can’t recall if the dragon ever took one of my spots. The other mag paid like $15 for a half page or small piece of art. Good times!

Their kickstarter is up to $90k!

1 Like

Not in the Bay Area, but you shouldn’t have trouble finding players. Lots of colleges full of geeks down there.

What magazines? I recall The Space Gamer, Wyrm’s Footnotes, Ares, and Different Worlds. No doubt others.

1 Like