Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Looking at Emerald Twilight for Legends of the Ancient World (The Fantasy Trip Clone)

First off, this isn't some "Twilight" hack, so all the vampy nerds should just avoid this post if google somehow send you here.

Secondly, I've been on a bit of a The Fantasy Trip "Quest" of sorts recently. It's one of the rare, fairly popular for the time, early RPGs that I never bought back in my younger days.

Sure, TFT spawned Man to Man (and Orcslayer) and GURPS for Steve Jackson (I have them all), but I never got a change to play with the original.

Still don't have the originals, but I'm looking at Legends, which is kind of a TFT retroclone. More precisely, I'm looking at Emerald Twilight, which is a programed / solo adventure which assumes a party of four.

I'm going to have to run this next week when I'm on vacation. I'm not so sure about using the combat map or tokens, but I suspect they are an assumed part of the system, so I'll give them a proper workout.

All of which leaves me to wonder - is there enough here to run a short campaign, or even a short story arc?

See, damn me! The historian in me wanted to see how this actually plays out and it it stands the test of time. Can a 9 page ruleset compare to the hundreds of pages the current edition of GURPS needs? Should it need to?

I needed these tokens when I ran
Attack of the Frawgs!
The Legends rules are available for free here. They also came with Emerald Twilight. 


  1. I just published my own TFT inspired game Heroes & Other Worlds. Dark City Games is supporting it and let me include on of their programmed sample adventures in it. You can check a review on RPG geek.

  2. If you would like to try out the originals, then there are links to versions posted in HTML. Follow the links from David Miller's Melee & Wizard page (http://www.meleewizards.com/) under the Rules section. Or, you can go there directly from here:

    These games (although not without some problems) are great little micro games, and should serve pretty well for the Dark City Games adventures.

  3. Oops - one more thing - there is a great "redesign" of the original Melee available over at Board Game Geek - really nicely done components (map and counters) as well as reorganized rules.

  4. The Fantasy Trip is to Gurps what OD&D is to Pathfinder.

    And these products from Dark Quest are really nice, all things considered. Self produced, but very well done.

  5. I have enjoyed playing Raid on Cygnosa with my age 9 son. The combat seems reminiscent to what I recall of Ultima III. The tactical magic system seems very strong to me-- pure undiluted Steve Jackson... and therefore epic.

    I agree with Jeremy, though. I play far more B/X than anything else. For just relaxing and playing some games, these older simpler games are wonderful. I can't wait until Christmas day when I will get to see what @Fenway5 has done to further develop this thread of gaming awesomeness.

  6. Fenway5 - Oops, I hadn't picked up on the fact that you had published a TFT retroclone, Heroes & Other Worlds. It looks great, and I am getting ready to order a paperback version from Lulu. I hope you didn't take my posting links to online versions of the original TFT rules as dismissing your effort - I can't wait to get my hands on your book!

  7. Great tokens! You're not lying about those being perfect for Frawgs. :)

  8. Legends of the Ancient World makes some great programmed adventures, but their version of the TFT rules is missing a lot of detail and careful explicit rules writing present in the original TFT rules. I think if a player who doesn't know the TFT rules tries to start with the LAW rules, they may get a substantially different experience from using the TFT rules.


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