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I'm a fan of pen-and-paper RPG's. That's what you are going to find on this site. Sometimes there might be a blurb about the Secret World MMO; but the focus here is my drifting through Wisconsin's gaming communities.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Era II: Part V: In the Heart of the Maze

After the previous years explosion in the RPG market, things settled. The following two years become a slow-down in the publication of new games. Gary Gygax attempted to remove Williams from the management of TSR, with the plan to insert his future wife Gail Carpenter into the position. He was advised against the move and eventually sold his remaining stocks to Williams, giving her full control of TSR by 1986.
R. Talsorian Games is officially founded, utilizing desktop publishing.
Stormbringer by Chaosium using the Basic Role-playing system. This game is based on the adventures of Elic in the series written by Michael Moorcock. Hawkmoon, Chaosium, using the Basic Roleplaying system. A popular game in France, this adaptation of Michael Moorcock’s Dorian Hawkmoon series.
Swordbearer by Fantasy Games and introduced a number of new concept for the time. This was a classless system, encumbrance is simplified, magic ‘nodes’ (using a set number of elemental ‘nodes’ to enable a spell to be cast), and combat initiative is determined by skill. This is a re-release of the Heritage Game of 1982.
Pendragon, Chaosium, part of the Glorantha world that found some fandom in 1984. This first edition was published in a box set and used the Basie Role-playing system.
DC Heroes by Mayfair Games and introduced the Mayfair Exponential Game System (MEGS), used for exponential measurement of nearly every aspect of a game environment.
Games Workshop ceased distributing its products in the USA through Hobby Games Distributors and opened its Games Workshop (US) office. Games Workshop (US), and Games Workshop in general, went through a large growth phase in the late '80s, listing over 250 employees on the payroll by 1990. Judge Dredd RPG by Games Workshop and used a custom system based loosely on GW’s Warhammer Fantasy.
Heroes Unlimited RPG by Palladium Books, this was published in 1984, but I missed it (and so I’m putting it right here.) The Mechanoid Invasion.as a revised edition by Palladium Books. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness by Palladium Books. In this year, Palladium’s Valley of the Pharaohs run was ending, although it used a rule set outside of the standard Megaversal System.
Sandman RPG by Pacesetter Ltd. This is a play-out-of-the-box game; where the players awaken on the Orient Express and begin one of four adventures. Although other ‘instant adventures’ were planned, Pacesetter Ltd closed its doors before they were published.

In 1986, the UN designated the International Year of Peace, Geraldo Rivera opens Al Capone’s secret vault, and Pixar opens its doors. Greyhawk slows down, Forgotten Realms rises, after Gygax is no longer affiliated with TSR. With Gygax’s exodus from TSR, the company continued to create Greyhawk products, but at a much different focus. The plan to produce the planet was retooled to allow various authors to write up unexplored areas of the lands. Forgotten Realms Ed Greenwood sent his (literal) boxes of FR campaign setting to TSR for official publication, with Jeff Grubb serving as co-author.
Robotech RPG by Palladium Books. Revised RECON is released by Palladium Books, using the Recon RPG released between 1981-1984 as the core, if not somewhat more balanced ruleset. After the Bomb by Palladium Books, using the Megaversal system. This features mutant animals as characters and is set in Palladiums Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle universe.
MechWarrior RPG based upon the Battle Tech video games and published by FASA Corp. set in a universe of giant Mecha vehicles.
Traveller: 2300 AD, Game Designers Workshop and offered up as an alternative to the Traveller game.
Ghostbusters RPG by West End Games box set game. This is a d6 system and also an Origins Awards winner.
GURPS, Steve Jackson Games is first produced in both its first and second editions.
Warhammer Fantasy Rollplay, Games Workshop and is based on the Fantasy Battle wargame rule set.
Rolemaster  second edition coagulates during this year in the publication of the Companion II book, which included additional other ‘companion’ books through the year of 1988. AUTHOR NOTE: 1995 was the release of the Rolemaster Standard System (RMSS), or Rolemaster 3e.
…and with the election of a new president, along with the debut of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on KTMA, the year draws to a close.

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