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EN World Review – The Secret Fire RPG by George Strayton

tsf coverGreetings fellow gamers!  I trust everyone is having a great first month of this new year.  As some may have noticed, I have been a bit silent since the holidays, and haven’t posted too many reviews and blogs.  Sadly, between Christmas and New Year’s, I came down with raging case of strep throat, and spent New Years’ Eve feverish and buried under blankets, sipping throat-soothing tea instead of high balls and champaign.  But I have finally kicked the last of the nasty infection out of my system, and am back to blogging and reviewing once again!

This week, I have had the opportunity to review a (relatively) new fantasy role-playing game system called The Secret Fire.  It is purportedly drawn from unpublished notes by E. Gary Gygax himself, found by screen writer George Strayton as he researched the Founder of D&D’s life and times for a film.  Originally to be called Legend and Labyrinths, The Secret Fire is lauded by Gail Gygax as “following in the footsteps of the inventor and master of roleplaying games, Gary Gygax”.

For information about The Secret Fire, please click the link below and head over to EN World to read the complete review:

Review of The Secret Fire by George Strayton

Sadly, the game system simply does not live up to its hype, and was a bit disappointing in its attempt to rehash AD&D with some added mechanics “borrowed” from other game systems.  While it’s true that there is rarely something “new under the sun” in the role-playing game industry, The Secret Fire blends elements together into a fairly unsatisfying way, and is hardly a fitting tribute to All-Father of Fantasy Role-playing, the Great Gygax.

I have much higher hopes that WotC’s D&D Next – or as I like to call it, Grand Unified D&D – will be the next big thing in fantasy role-playing games, and a worthy successor to carry D&D into the next few decades.  Of course, trying to make a version of D&D that is all things to all gamers is a massively difficult under-taking, and only time will tell if it can really be pulled off.

So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!

About The Author

Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.


2 Responses to “EN World Review – The Secret Fire RPG by George Strayton”

  1. Do you have any links to corroborate the connection between Gygax and The Secret Fire? I’ve heard of the game, but I confess this is the first I’ve heard of the claims that it was based on secret notes from Gary Gygax.

  2. @Greyhawk Grognard – Actually, there is a quote in the introductory chapter of TSF rulebook where the author point-blank mentions his access to Gygax’s unpublished materials: “a screenwriter (myself) is currently developing a film script based on Mr. Gygax’s life, using unpublished works, diaries, and notebooks filled with everything from his earliest thoughts about creating RPGs to the musings of his last days on this earth” and “I have… via these materials, Mr. Gygax’s innermost thoughts on many things, especially his vision for the future of gaming — a vision that mirrors my own.” Of course, as to how much of Mr. Gygax’s work was transitioned into TSF by the author is unknown… could be a lot or could be only a little, but it is still an interesting tidbit of trivia about this roleplaying game.

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