T.H.E Fighter (GM2)
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:57 pm 
 

Came across this little oddity at a local store today. This isn't the actual one I have, but it's the only picture I could find of it. My copy is a bit more worn and has a loose price tag on the (dog-eared) upper-right hand corner.

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It's an incredibly detailed set of rules for man-to-man combat in RPG's, and was published by Martian Game Modules (Copperas, Texas) in 1979. Even includes a set of charts and a hex-grid map. There's a brief entry in Heroic Worlds, but I have no idea what this thing might be worth.

Anyone care to take a guess? For that matter, does anyone want it?

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:02 pm 
 

I have a copy. I don't remember how much I got it for, but it certainly wasn't THAT much, or I'd remember. No idea what it should go for, but yours is only the second I've seen.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:15 pm 
 

Hi Zander -

I don't know what it might be worth, but I'm going to guess that one of the authors listed (L. W. Willis) is Lynn Willis, who did some design work at Metagaming in the late seventies. He designed Godsfire, and worked on a few other things that Metagaming put out. Martian Games were in Texas, as was Metagaming (Austin).

At the same time, Steve Jackson was also a Metagaming employee, who did the majority of the design work there. He left in 1980 or so and started Steve Jackson Games, and in 1985 put out the first component for GURPS, which was a set of man-to-man fighting rules.

I read somewhere that Steve became disaffected at Metagaming, ie he was the main creative force there but was only a salaried employee. When he started to get the idea for GURPS in 1978/79 he decided to leave to start his own company, so he could reap the rewards of what he thought would be a very successful system.

More than likely Lynn and Steve had a fair few discussions about man to man combat while they were both at Metagaming, but who knows if there was any collaboration between them.

Not much help I know, but I'd be interested in it as I think Godsfire is a fantastic game and Willis a great designer.

Regards

Mike

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:51 am 
 

T.H.E. Fighter.... by Martian Game Modules listed on Matthias' page here..

http://www.stud.uni-hamburg.de/users/af ... index.html

for sale on Aarons' page here in mint condition for $9.95... (which I believe he has a few of as well...)

T.H.E. Fighter

worn condition prob a couple of bucks...?

Brette:)

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:31 am 
 

Thanks to all for the info on this book. Considering that I got it for $2.50 CDN, I'll probably hang on to it.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:04 am 
 

Anyone knows if T.H.E. Mage - magic system, was ever released?

Here it says "probably never released":

web.archive.org/web/20061008133844/www. ... index.html

Also, would T.H.E. Fighter be useful for handling combats between characters and monsters or is it uniquely concerned with man-to-man combat?

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:32 pm 
 

It can be used for combat between players and monsters and gives stats for a short "list of appropriate animals/monsters which your characters can fight against in the arena or on adventures". They also stress using it in conjunction with T.H.E. NPC to settle encounters with bargaining and negotiation as to avoid combat and possibly get help from a band of goblins rather than fight on sight.  An interesting and exhaustive booklet. I would have like to see their other products if they existed.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:22 pm 
 

Thank you for the information.

Do you think this combat system can be utilized with AD&D monsters?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:54 pm 
 

I think so with some modifications. It seems to be a complete replacement combat system aiming toward realism that "works with any fantasy and science fiction role playing game". I'm giving it a read through now and does seem somewhat more geared to fighting intelligent creatures (elves, dwarves, trolls, urak-hai etc.) than monsters. The final designers' notes also recommends holding on to your copy of the 1st edition T.H.E. NPC that used a card computer system as it may be a collector's item someday. :D

  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:34 am 
 

Hello VK, iirc, Nobleknight used to sell these two booklets at a very low price.

Ciaooo


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:27 am 
 

Clancy wrote in T.H.E Fighter (GM2): I'm giving it a read through now and does seem somewhat more geared to fighting intelligent creatures (elves, dwarves, trolls, urak-hai etc.) than monsters.


Yes, that was exactly what i suspected

It seems to be a complete replacement combat system aiming toward realism that "works with any fantasy and science fiction role playing game"


But considering this, i think i'll give it a try :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:22 pm 
 

The "L" in "L Willis" stands for Lloyd.  I know because Ken Costley and I designed and with the help of Forest Brown published T.H.E. NPC and T.H.E. Fighter back in that day.  The printing company we used was in Copperas Cove, Texas but we did our design work in my house in Nolanville, TX.  Both Ken and I were on active duty in the U.S. Army at that time; Forest was a civilian but former chopper pilot in the Army.  No, T.H.E. Mage was never finished.  We were working on it but the company needed money for some advertising.  We had gone to Origins in Pontiac, Michigan in '78 IIRC and sold out our first print run of T.H.E. NPC (5,000 copies) and had ordered a second print run of it.  We couldn't find the money for the advertising Forest thought we needed so we folded our tent.  At that time, Forest was the sole proprietor and cook, dishwasher and waiter  :lol:  for Martian Metals, a figure-casing company also in Copperas Cove.  Ken stayed in the service, Forest went on to better things ... well bigger things in the gaming industry, and I got off of active duty and worked as a civilian court reporter for about 15 years after that.  No more game designs, although we signed the copyright over to Ken.  Ken and I visited briefly when I went to Fort Hood, but have lost his phone number/address.  Forest, I never spoke to again, no issue just lost track of each other.  There you have a bit of early FRPG history that no one seriously cares about except us.  The drive to Michigan for Origins was a blast, my first wife came with us and she had with a couple of her friends made up tee-shirts for us to wear at Origins:  Martian Orange shirts with maroon lettering:  "Martian Game Modules" all caps on the back and our names with the company name in normal case on the front.  Good Times, I tell you!!!  Bless you all for bringing up an old man's memories to fresh recall. :D

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:24 pm 
 

really cool story, thanks for that PDT_Armataz_01_37

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:29 pm 
 

You're very welcome, sir.  Not often is there a sense of closure, of competent conclusion (only three "c's" there  :wink: ) but I'm glad to have found this forum and to have been able to give a very tiny bit of RPG history to folks who care.  I learned earlier today that Forest Brown passed away in 2010, he had also founded Demios another figure company.  Nearly all those involved in this are gone now, only myself and Ken remain.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:41 pm 
 

Awesome, sir. Pretty sure Forest is up there gaming amongst other things.

:thumright:

Héctor


Habent sua fata libelli 8)

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:49 pm 
 

:lol:   I'm certain of it, Hector, and "rules-lawyering" to beat the band as well.  He used to play RPG's when he had a Sunday free and once in a great while we'd talk him into playing Napoleonic Era miniatures, 15 mm, Empire III rules IIRC and he'd quibble over a comma with the best of them.  We played there in Copperas Cove, in a war games store called "The Bunker".  My first wife especially loved FRPG's D&D First Edition of course.   :wink: Sometimes, we'd get a campaign game going using ... hmmm ... can't remember the rule set, large paper back book, red cover ... started with a "C..."  Anyhow, yep, he is and would be.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 12:24 am 
 

Ike47 wrote in T.H.E Fighter (GM2): can't remember the rule set, large paper back book, red cover ... started with a "C..."  Anyhow, yep, he is and would be.


Chivalry & sorcery??? Wow, that would be great!

...and thank for your story and your contribute to the industry!


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 1:27 am 
 

Ike47 wrote in T.H.E Fighter (GM2): Forest, I never spoke to again, no issue just lost track of each other.


That seems to often be the case with the people you meet in D&D games (much like work/school/church). You can spend a few hours a week with these people for a span of years, but then something in their situations or your situation changes. The last time you see them, you might not know it's the last.

  
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