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Fantasy Wargaming

Fantasy Wargaming, edited by Bruce Galloway, was released early in the history of RPGs, in 1981. It was never widely popular, and now is mostly unknown. It was heavily criticised for being badly written, overly complicated, preachy, and politically incorrect. The book was poorly organized and laid out. However, it was no more complicated or preachy than most other RPGs; the accusation that it is politcially incorrect seems to come from hypersensitive people misreading or misunderstanding parts of the book.

FW did have some interesting features that other fantasy RPGs lack. Since it was so early in the history of RPGs, it isn’t as derivative of D&D as other fatasy RPGs. It had some intriguing characteristics, like rules for social class and birth order; the effects of Zodiac signs on characters; a divine “magic” system that involves asking higher powers directly fo help or intercession; and an innovative, flexible magic system. This page is part of an effort to try the system out, and see how it works. There are four sections:

tells what to expect in FW as compared to the more popular fantasy RPG Dungeons & Dragons.

is the largest section of the site. It explains what a fantasy setting based on Europe in 1007 AD is like. For players that aren’t familiar with the history of the period, this will help explain what to expect. It also explains how magic is treated in the historical-fantasy setting. Reading this setting may help a player make a character, or at least help him avoid character concepts that won’t work.

is mostly a collection of downloadable handouts meant to be printed and used to speed character creation and game play. It includes character sheets, rules “cheat sheets,” tables, and other stuff. There is also a small section on what few house rules I will be using.

is information about the game in progress, for players or spectators. It includes information on PCs and NPCs, as well as comments on how this is experiment is going.

Off-site Links:

If you are interested in FW, you may also want to check out David Trimboli's page, “Demystifying Fantasy Wargaming,” as well.