Get Hype! The Fantasy Trip

By Steve Jackson Games

Legends Never Die, They Just Fade Away

In 1977, Steve Jackson designed a game called The Fantasy Trip for a company known as Metagaming Concepts.  When Jackson left Metagaming Concepts, he also lost the rights to The Fantasy Trip, and by 1983 Metagaming Concepts when under and took The Fantasy Trip along with it.

This is fine...

Now, over 30 years later, Steve Jackson is gonna get his groove back.  And by groove, I mean his game.  The man himself once again holds the rights to one of the first games he designed.  On today's Get Hype!, we have a very special treat, an interview with Steve Jackson himself!  I got a chance to catch up with him and find out exactly what bringing The Fantasy Trip back into the Steve Jackson Games fold means to him in this Mike Meeple interview.

"If I have to pick one thing, it’s a little one," in regards to when I asked what he was most excited about, "The ability to publish the labyrinth map in color as it was intended to be, rather than the illegible black-and-white thing that was in the original release...  It’s a lovely thing."

Come on, Steve Jackson, show off those sweet, sweet hexes...

Though the map was illegible, The Fantasy Trip developed a devoted fan following, one that still survives in thriving online communities today.  But just like anything with a devoted following, that can add pressure to live up to expectations.

"Just a bit, yes," Mr. Jackson explains, "But on the whole, the existing player base is a big asset.  It keeps my own enthusiasm up and it’s a quick source of feedback."

In the original version of The Fantasy Trip, players built a character through point allocation, instead of level based progression, before taking them on a story driven campaign, using either their amazing Melee skills or dazzling Wizardry.

"Mainly, it’s built around a fast tactical game, so if you like the monster-slaying part, you can now play a bit more realistically."

I'm glad that he's trying to make spellcasting and duels to the death more realistic.  That's something I'm always thinking.  Whenever I'm walking down the street and randomly get into a fist fight to the death with a lizard person, it's nothing like it is in tabletop games.  They get it all wrong.

But in all seriousness, regardless of whether you're looking to punch someone's face in or magic their butthole off, if campaign style gaming isn't your bag, the original version of The Fantasy Trip also supported self contained battles between two players, which Mr. Jackson is keen to bring back. 

"I want to have it both ways if I can.  The first release will definitely include the dungeon-crawl module, Tollenkar’s Lair.  The two solo adventures will be a stretch goal, and if we don’t reach that goal, they’ll be published later."

The Great, Great, Great Grandfather of Dungeon Crawls

The original run of The Fantasy Trip was over before I was even whelped into existence, but much like how I missed out on the original run of Fireball Island, I can't help but feel like I missed out on something really special.  Even though there are plenty of other dungeon crawlers out there, set in all sorts of environments from outer space to the space underneath your bed, Mr. Jackson tells us that The Fantasy Trip will offer something unique to both old and new players alike.

Jackson believes that it is "A bit easier in [The Fantasy Trip] than some games for the GM to tailor adventures to the abilities of the party," and that fans of the original game, "Want to see what is different and what I may have been able to do about some of the issues of the original release...  T
hey want to play it with their friends, now that their friends can get it."

Those friends will get a bit of a blast from the past, as well, since a good amount of the new artwork will be done by Liz Danforth, the original illustrator for the 80's run of the game!

Ain't no school like the old school...

The Fantasy Trip was originally designed with value in mind, something currently at odds with any fan trying to find any of the original copies or components on Ebay.  With components being as cost efficient as possible, Mr. Jackson looks to make value a priority with this rerelease as well, "We stayed true to the original style, which is to have each figure represented by a chipboard counter. Not even standees: flat counters, just like in 1977...  Having said that, anybody who reaches for their minis collection to play has my blessing!"

So, what does the future hold for The Fantasy Trip if funding proves successful:

"It’s too early to talk about anything more than hopes and wishes. I’d like to see a continuing flow of new material. We’ll see what the players want."

Apparently, telling him "More of everything" doesn't really help him that much, but Mr. Jackson concludes with the hopes that "Writers are inspired to take up their pens and tell [The Fantasy Trip] stories in adventure form."

Well, Steve Jackson:

The Fantasy Trip launches on Kickstarter on July 23rd, with an "All-In" pledge targeted around $60.  Sounds like a steal of a deal.  Follow along Steve Jackson Games' Kickstarter page to get notifications of the launch and check back here in a few months when I'll be posting my full review of The Fantasy Trip by Steve Jackson Games!

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  1. TFT was a fantastic game when it was released -- indeed, it gave even the original role-playing game a run for it's money for a couple of years, frequently being the second best-selling RPG back then (tying with RuneQuest much of the time). It's simple, fast, fun, and still provides the entire RPG experience if you want it too. In fact, so much so, that I personally STILL prefer it to any other Fantasy RPG out there. I really think today's players will enjoy it just as much, if not more, than we did back in the 70's and 80's. Especially since Mr. Jackson is taking the time to fix a few small problems that cropped up over the past 40 years of play. I strongly encourage your readers and listeners to give it a spin. For the price, you simply can't go wrong!


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