Steve Jackson recently announced
he had the rights back to the Metagaming fantasy game that has inspired so many of us: "I have regained the eight TFT
releases that I wrote myself: Melee
, Death Test
, Death Test 2
, Advanced Melee
, Advanced Wizard
, In the Labyrinth
, and Tollenkar's Lair
In essence, after 35 years, the copyright was up from Metagaming and the original author could apply to get the rights to his works back--Mr. Jackson did and here we are with this great news!
What are Mr. Jackson's plans
• Can you give us details on the TFT release schedule or the format of the new releases?
No, because I don't know myself. We’ll probably do at least one Kickstarter – for Melee – in 2018. With miniatures! Lots of miniatures!
• What changes will you make in the new TFT releases?
want a fully modern presentation, but most of the rules are pretty good
as they are. I might revisit the cost of spells, and I might make some
changes in the character advancement rules. But I might just leave
• How did you get these rights back?
Great patience . . . 17 US Code 203 requires a long wait.
• What does this mean for GURPS?
Probably nothing; I have no intention of combining the systems
is a much simpler system than GURPS
, optimized for single sessions and dungeon crawls. They can co-exist on the store shelves and in your own collection.
• What about the TFT releases that you didn’t write? What
about other Metagaming releases?
I did not get any of those rights, or
any other Metagaming rights, and I can’t tell you anything about their
In a nutshell it would seem like the classic games will be back and that is terrific news! Who knows what may come--but as SJG does a terrific job with PDF materials, and has kicked off unique offerings like the OGREZINE--it would seem like a series of PDF additions possibly collected into POD offerings may grow in support.
Perhaps the boxed edition of In the Labyrinth that Mr. Jackson wanted all those many years ago could be a reality in the future? Maybe boxed edition adventures (with minis!) for the Death Test adventures? OR possibly a true 2nd edition--AGANTYR has a great blog post
on that possibility.
As I write I have at my desk 100% mint, boxed, complete and never played versions of Melee, Wizard, Death Test, Death Test 2 and Grail Quest and I have to smile. I never thought these would be coming back, but am damn happy to see Mr. Jackson's patience pay-off for him. Second I am very happy to know that so many will now get a chance to play the originals as--if OGRE is any guide--Mr. Jackson may release both a deluxe boxed set of Melee--as well as a classic bagged edition as he did with OGRE.
So the nickle question, what does this mean for HOW? I am not sure. I am still working on multiple projects like Blades & Black Magic, the HOW career compendium and another issue of The Cauldron. I do not know where the path leads, but I am still rambling on. Thanks for traveling with me.