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Old 05-15-2018, 06:29 PM   #1
David L Pulver
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Default The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

I was chatting about the return of TFT with my brother Tim, who had played the game with me long ago, and he asked me:

"Is there any story behind the choice of the name The Fantasy Trip anyway? It doesn't sound like any other RPG name - it's memorable, kind of like Traveller yet unlike most of the other "something-and-something" or "something-quest" names of the 1970s and early 80s, but it also sounds more like a cool trippy drug experience than a roleplaying game...

So, I said I'd ask here. I'm fairly sure this has been already addressed many times before, perhaps in this forum, but darned if I can find a post or remember the answer. Assuming, of course, there is an answer...
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:49 PM   #2
Steve Jackson
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

No memory here. It was getting hard to come up with RPG names, even then . . . but I can't even recall any alternate names proposed.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:11 PM   #3
David L Pulver
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

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No memory here. It was getting hard to come up with RPG names, even then . . . but I can't even recall any alternate names proposed.
Thanks. Well, it's certainly stood out at the time, anyway!
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:48 PM   #4
Jim Kane
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

It is interesting to speculate on though; as the name itself could imply:
A game which simulates a quest through a world of fantasy, and/or, A game which offers a literal portal into the Theatre of the Mind; therefore, one could logically speculate on a double-meaning to the title.

JK
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

given the fact we were literally addicted to this game long time ago, involving even not suspected people at their very first RPG experience (playing 8 hours/day ) we were sure that the name had something to do with drugs.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:04 PM   #6
David L Pulver
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

I wonder if I there any clues in old Space Gamers, perhaps from the period when Melee or Wizard was just released...

If I can manage to strain my eyes to read the early "fanzine"-type issues before they went glossy... I guess the best clue, if any exists, is the Where We're Going editorial and the full-page Metagaming ads, which I seem to recall at least at some point mentioned the Fantasy Trip name well before Advanced Melee/Wizard/ITL came out.

Let's see...

... Okay, Melee isn't mentioned (or available) in SG 1 to 9. The only micros out are Ogre and Chitin I.

... Space Gamer 10 (Feb/Mar 1977). Hey, we've got a non-B&W (orange) cover now. Hey, score!

"Other Micros in the works are MELEE from our upcoming LABYRINTH fantasy role game, EREWHON (?), WARP WAR, and
CHITIN II (?)."

Darn it, I don't have a copy of Space Gamer 11 or 12.

I have SPACE GAMER 13 - It's September 1977. And the editorial says:

"Please don't send any money yet for THE FANTASY TRIP: IN THE LABYRINTH. We don't have a firm publication date" and this is now referring to a boxed game and the abbreviation TFT is used later on: "TFT is our major effort to displace D&D as the premier fantasy roleplaying game." Similarly, the ad copy now shows Melee and says " MELEE is a tactical abstract from the ultimate in roleplaying games... The Fantasy Trip. It's the most detailed simulation of single combat yet developed."

So, somewhere between the production of Space Gamer 10 (cover date Feb '76) and Space Gamer 13 (cover date Sept 77)
the series name being used to refer collectively to the microgames-as-rpg moved from "Labyrinth" to "The Fantasy Trip" and the title "In the Labyrinth" became set down as the to-be-released-later boxed roleplaying set.

Or, alternatively, The Fantasy Trip was indeed used all along and Howard's first editorial just mixed up the box set title with the series title.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

Space Gamer 11 (April - May - Jun 1977)

Where We're Going:
"Melee will be ready for shipping a week or two after you get this issue."

"Large games working are LABYRINTH and HYMENOPTERA. LABYRINTH is our fantasy role playing biggie."

Melee ad on page 2. "Man to man combat with archaic weapons" $2.95

------------

Space Gamer 12 (July - August 1977)

Page 2, Designer's Notebook - (Column by Steve Jackson about works in progress. Three pages and the first mention of "THE FANTASY TRIP".)

"...MELEE is the first component of an entirely new fantasy-role-playing system. The overall name for the system is THE FANTASY TRIP."

"The first large segment - LABYRINTH - will give you subterranean adventure, monsters, magic, and the rest of the 'standard' fantasy-game material."

"WIZARD is the magic equivalent of MELEE."

"A 'wargame' version of THE FANTASY TRIP is also in the works. It, too, will be fully compatible with the role-playing system. You'll get a map of part of the TFT world, Cidri, plus the counters to play campaign games - and leader counters to represent your role-playing characters. Included will be 'straight' set-up-and-play scenarios... AND rules to let you take your role-playing characters' wealth to build forts, castles, and armies." (Would have been nice)

"The Monster Book will come out as a supplement to THE FANTASY TRIP."

"We're also working up some solitaire labyrinth scenarios. These will come out in Micro Format... you''ll need MELEE and WIZARD to play them. Each one will be a programmed adventure... several players can go through, but ONE person can also do it, by reading the instructions for each corridor and room. The first one (tentative title: FINAL EXAM) is now being tested."

------------------

Lots of ambitious plans there. Some of which fortunately came to fruition. And "Death Test" is a much better name than "Final Exam". :)

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:56 PM   #8
Jim Kane
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

DAVID L and TOMC - Thanks for the research, effort, and a fascinating read; nice job!

Wow... Working-Titles are often so funny when you consider if they had actually been used as the published-titles! Let's be glad they changed to the published MicroQuest name of: Death Test, and away from the working-title of:"Final Exam" - which suggests other equally-appealing follow-up titles in the series, such as: Root Canal, Tax Audit, and Ligation Deposition ;-)

Other interesting TFT Name Facts: in Japanese, the word: SHA-KEN (TFT Shuriken) literally translates to: CAR INSPECTION.

JK

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Old 05-16-2018, 10:54 PM   #9
Steve Jackson
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

I would have liked to see "Hymenopera." I like bug games. The hive must be fed.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Name "The Fantasy Trip"

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I would have liked to see "Hymenopera." I like bug games. The hive must be fed.
and I worked for years to a Fantasy equivalent of Squad Leader: Fantasy Leader.

a pity I aborted the project for lack of time. Even worse, that no game company tried something like this having the resources.
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