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Fantasy Games

Of course, commercial role playing began with Dungeons & Dragons, so it is hardly surprising that there are so many games of the same genre. The prototypical fantasy game involves the trappings of medieval Europe: men in armor on horseback, swords, castles, nobility, and dragons. Other common influences include European fairy tales and their modern descendants, Tolkein's Middle Earth, Robert E. Howard's Conan, and Michael Moorcock's Elric. Here you will find some of the best-known legends of role playing games, and a few less well-known games that deserved more attention.

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Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons (1974)

The game that started it all. Three little books in a box that started a revolution. Lots of things have changed since then!

Empire of the Petal Throne

Empire of the Petal Throne (1975)

An incredible game world, called the Cadillac of RPGs. The rules are essentially D&D, but with some interesting differences. See our Tekumel Special Collection for more information and game material for this setting.

Monsters! Monsters!

Monsters! Monsters! (1976)

An unusual game where players take the part of the monsters forming adventuring parties to loot human settlements.


Tunnels and Trolls

Tunnels and Trolls (1977)

A faster, simpler, and cheaper rival to Dungeons & Dragons. Suitable for solitaire play!


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st edition (1977)

A much needed rewrite of D&D, with many improvements. The biggest thing in RPGs for 12 years.

Chivalry & Sorcery

Chivalry & Sorcery, 1st edition (1977)

A magnificent game for those who truly want to play with knights and castles. Flawed by its complexity.


Runequest, 2nd edition (1979)

One of the legendary settings for role playing, although these rules contain little setting information. The basis of Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying system.

The Fantasy Trip

The Fantasy Trip (1980)

Originally released as a well-crafted set of head to head combat rules, TFT's role playing elements never quite jelled. But it was a good first draft for GURPS, and very playable on its own.


Everway (1995)

"Visionary roleplaying." An unusual, rules-light system that uses art as a mechanic to create a game with a dreamy, fairy-tale feeling.

Last revised September 5, 2010.

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