Thursday, June 17, 2010

FGU Games

As I know I've mentioned several times, Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) still exists and still sells copies of all their old RPGs at very reasonable prices. I'm planning to buy a copy of Bushido and its sole supplement sometime soon, as my own copies disappeared a long time ago. According to Scott Bizar, who continues to run the company, all FGU games, with the exception of Daredevils and Psi World, come in a single volume which is a compilation of the individual books included in the old boxed sets. Daredevils and Psi World can still be purchased in a box, for those looking to get them in their original forms.

I'm always glad to see old gaming materials made available to a new generation, even if it's done in modified form, as these are. Once I've gotten my copy of Bushido, I'll make a post about my impressions of the quality of the compilation volume, which I hope is as good as the stuff Marc Miller has done with the old GDW games.


  1. I've added the Bushido and V&V titles to my Wishlist, but wish that Chivalry & Sorcery were getting the same re-print treatment.

  2. En Garde! is very lite but makes an excellent casual play by mail.

  3. Looks like I'll be able to fill in the blanks in my V&V collection and start collecting Aftermath merch.

    I've been a fan of V&V for some time. It needs some tweaking, but I don't think that Living Legends tweaked in the right directions for a V&V update. LL is a fine rpg, but I'd like to see something a little more "old school" in design philosophies.

    The changes between V&V 1 and 2 made things run more smoothly and I liked how V&V was a kind of D&D "familiar" supers game.

  4. @Chris: Ed Simbalist and Wilf Backhaus rescued* the rights to Chivalry & Sorcery back from FGU and printed the next edition through Highlander Games and then Britannia Games. The Highlander edition was a bit slapdash in the editing department, but the Britannia game version is quite good. The 1st edition was later reproduced by Gamestuff Inc as a pdf available here. Officially FGU no longer has the rights to publish C&S products.

    The compilations are generally photo-reproductions of the original works so there is a slight loss of fidelity in the printing quality from the originals. Similarly the pdfs are scanned images, not sharp text.

    [* Apparently there were problems with the appropriate royalties getting paid by Scott Bizar, and lots of arguments as to whether he still retained the rights to publish the games. It definitely explains his inability to actually change or update the games, or even to provide cleaner copies that are not direct duplicates of the text. Or so I have been told, not being directly involved. <grin>]

  5. Unreal! I've just started a street level Champions campaign, and on the site they have mini-modules with maps of police stations, pawn shops, malls, and even a used bookstore! Hell of a find for me. Thanks James!

    And both Bushido and V&V are dear to my heart. Although Hero System is my comic book genre of choice, I'd love to do some Bushido again. I must have used that Orge Magi mini adventure (the one with his heart in a box) in the books a half dozen times back in the day. Great gaming memories.

  6. I've heard complaints about FGU continuing to "publish" these old gems, in that they have essentially locked up the rights to a lot of classic old RPGs, giving no recourse to original creators who'd maybe like to revise or revive them. This makes me sad.

  7. While there is only one "official" Bushido supplement, there is another. An "unofficial" Bushido supplement called Takishido's Debt by Steve Bell, published by Games of Liverpool (1983). I once had this gem but gave it, as well as the box set, away. I regret that action to this day.

  8. I live in Mesa, AZ and the last time I bought some stuff from FGU - Scott Bizar actually dropped the purchase off at my work. Cool guy.

  9. I heard some of those PDf reproductions are supposed to be quite nice in quality.

    I only got the one-volume Swordbearer reprint, though, and the quality is very, very poor.

    Like Reverance Pavane says: the original was scanned (not very well) and the resulting graphics simply slapped together without any clean-up. The resolution is quite low, you can see the edge of the original pages, on some pages there are wrinkles and folds of the original paper visible, the page is sometimes not correctly aligned … in short, it’s a mess and definitely not worth the ten bucks I paid for it. Trying to read it was a pain.

    If you want that particular game, I suggest you hunt up a used copy. Other FGU “reprints“ might be all right, but this on is not.