2023-06-11 22:36:57-04:00 - The Fantasy Trip
I recently got to play Melee from Steve Jackson Games online and had fun. Melee is a person-to-person combat board game. Melee, its companion game Wizard, and In the Labyrinth (which turns Melee and Wizard into a complete RPG and has all the rules) it makes up The Fantasy Trip (TFT). And the PDF of Melee is available from Steve Jackson Games for free!
Steve Jackson Games
The Fantasy Trip at Wikipedia
The Fantasy Trip at Steve Jackson Games
Melee PDF for Free!
It took a while for everybody to get used to the way combat works — it's a hex-based tactical combat system that strives for verisimilitude, and is quite different from anything that the others were used to. This group has been playing Mini Six from Antipaladin Games mostly of late, with some of Deep7's 1PGs thrown in; previously we've played a lot of Labyrinth Lord from Goblinoid Games and Savage Worlds from Pinnacle Entertainment Group, and while Savage Worlds is played on a square grid battle map, it's still not tactical in the same way as TFT, DragonQuest from SPI, or GURPS from Steve Jackson Games. I played a lot of DragonQuest and GURPS (TFT's younger relative) in the 80s and 90s, which both have hex-grid based tactical combat, and enjoyed them a lot, so TFT's system wasn't such a shock to me.
Minimal OpenD6 SRD
1PG - 1 Page Games
Labyrinth Lord (free no-art version)
Advanced Edition Companion for Labyrinth Lord (free no-art version)
Advanced Labyrinth Lord
Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds at Wikipedia
DragonQuest at Wikipedia
Anyway, it started out as a three way free-for-all, and turned into a two-on-one battle near the end. Each of the characters we created were very different. By the end of our time slot we had pretty much figured out how the rules worked, and realized that characters in plate can be really hard to kill. Combat is simpler than GURPS, but still has a lot of interesting tactical choices. I had a lot of fun.
I'm planning to play more Melee, add in Wizard, and eventually run a TFT campaign.