Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Harsh Sentence

Kyrinn Eis recently reminded me of this vaporware game from my youth, Imperial Earth. It was advertised in issue #118 (February 1987) of Dragon and I recall thinking that it sounded intriguing. There were also apparently ads in the pages of White Dwarf and Different Worlds around the same time, though I didn't see them. Based on the second ad below, Imperial Earth was one of two settings – the other being called Fireland – intended for use with a RPG called Anywhen.

So far as I know, none of this was ever released. Likewise, their would-be publisher, K Society, is a mystery about which I know nothing. Imperial Earth is far from unique in this regard. There are no doubt many such RPGs in the annals of gaming, but this is the one I always think about.


  1. I also remember seeing these adds. I was disappointed when it turned out it was never published. I wonder if setting info is somewhere.....

  2. I remember seeing some color ads in I think White Dwarf. Was sort of intrigued at the idea of playing a Vice Admiral-Inquisitor in the Papal Attack Fleet but it never came to pass and forgot all about it until now.

    Kind of amazing a company would roll out what was likely a relatively expensive ad campaign and then release... nothing?

  3. The adverts for this "game" lurk in my mind too! Could it be the most successful hype for a failed RPG launch ever? I scanned the ads I saw in White Dwarf back in the day.

  4. I remember these ads!

    After seeing Ralph Bakshi's Wizards some time later, I realized that Fireland was a serial-numbers-filed-off version of that setting.

    There are at least a couple more games that never got past being ads in Dragon -- TSR's own Proton Fire (in which I believe you were supposed to play robots) and the very intriguing A.I. (a bit like Numenera, where the "magic" was ridiculously high technology) that was lost in a hard drive crash.

  5. Add me to the list of people who were captivated by the Imperial Earth ads. I wonder if there's any link between Anywhen and Torg?