New companies and new creative directions came to the RPG world in this second half of the Era.
The Boot Hill game system was released in 1975. It was more focused upon gunfights than roll play. The En Garde! system was also released this year by Game Designers’ Workshop; focusing on dueling in 17th century
. Also published by TSR this year was the game The Empire of the Petal Throne (based upon Tekumel’s science fantasy world). Flying Buffalo publishing released Tunnels & Trolls which looked at a fantasy setting as “somewhat but not exactly similar to Tokien’s Middle Earth…as it would have been done by Marvel Comics with Conan, Elric, the Gray Mouser and a host of badguys thrown in.” Fantasy Games Umlimited opened its doors as a publishing house. France
Arneston and Megarry left TSR in 1976 due to creative differences. Also in that year, the science-fantasy Metamorphosis Alpha was released. The first edition was effectively a dungeon crawl in space, where the characters awaken to find them aboard a drifting star ship filled with mutants and robots. Starfaring was released by Flying Buffalo, being considered the first-ever science-fiction roleplaying game.
In 1977, TSR came out with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Feeling that this version differed from Arneson’s version, no royalties were paid. The resulting lawsuit was somewhat resolved in 1981, with Arneson gaining co-creation credits on all D&D products. En Garde! 2.0 was released this year as well. The Fantasy Trip was released by Metagaming Concepts. Traveller was released by GDW, with character creation completed by a ‘mini-game’ of dice rolls where the player takes the character along a ‘life path’ series of charts. Upon completing this mini-game, the character is then considered to be at the age / training of where the game itself begins. Chivalry & Sorcery 1e by Fantasy Games Unlimited Tyr Gamemakers release Space Quest Digest.
Gamma World was released by TSR in 1978. It is the intellectual successor of Metamorphosis Alpha. Also in that year, Grimoire Games published Arduin, written by David Hargrave. Also, RuneQuest was published by Chaosium, set in the mythical world of Glorantha. Star Trek: Adventure Gaming in the Final Frontier was produced by Heritage Models.
In 1979, the 5th edition of Tunnels and Trolls was released both nationally and internationally. The world of Glorantha came into its own this year, becoming something of a separate ‘umbrella’ entity over the RuneQuest universe. The Bushido RPG was released by Tyr Gamemakers, and Space Quest 2e is released. At this time, the world of Greyhawk had been a home campaign since 1972.
Next, Era II…