A word on our Alternity April Fool’s post

Alternity On April 1st, commonly known as April Fool’s Day, we posted a fake press release claiming we had acquired the rights to Alternity from WotC to create a 2nd edition of that fine game. A few of you have been very disappointed that this was only a joke, since the ‘90s SF roleplaying game is still dear to the heart of many gamers even today.

Trust me, if I had the opportunity to work on a 2nd Edition of Alternity, I would not hesitate to grasp it. Other members of the team share that love for this game and perhaps we can write more often about Alternity if our readers are interested.

Alas there’s no retro-clone of Alternity, and I have a hard time believing it’s even possible to write one without getting into trouble with WotC’s lawyers. So we have to struggle with the usual problems surrounding an out-of-print game: bad availability of the core rules, diminished fan interest and no support from the publisher. Still I think it’s a fight worth fighting.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

7 thoughts on “A word on our Alternity April Fool’s post”

  1. That's an AWFUL April's fool to make. Seriously, there are things you don't play with. Beloved dead RPGs are just under Beloved dead relatives on the list of "Shit you don't joke about, ever". Not that I believed it for a second, but that's really just rubbing salt on the wound. Please don't do that again. Or I'll kill you. Dead. Like I'm dead inside from the dark void of my loveless existence.

  2. Yeah, I got my hopes very, very far up until I remembered what day it was. I don't see why a retroclone of the core rules would get you into any more legal trouble than the D&D retroclones, or the retroclone of the RPG based on a British spy that TSR put out: One is their cash cow, the other has a movie theatre enforcing copywrite, so I'd say both are bigger lawyer-bait.
    However, you couldn't have the settings, and I can't really see Alternity working without Stardrive or Dark*Matter backing it up.

    On the other hand Dark*Matter for d20 might still be easy to find, so you could use that, and you could use GURPS Infinite Worlds for Tangents. StarDrive is the best one though…
    My recent post Let me tell you about my character Dick Chandler

  3. @Canageek: I always regarded Alternity as a moreor less generic SF RPG. While I own both StarDrive and Darkmatter, my reason for picking it up were the rules, not the settings.

  4. I saw through Sunglar’s mischief immediately when I read who the alleged “publisher” was 😉 but I would not have been fooled even if the ruse was more clandestine.

    Let’s face it, Alternity joined the ranks of games gone with one and only edition. The point is, it’s not a bad thing. Honestly, do we really need a new edition? The game is still available if one really wants to get it in one form or another so are the settings. The setting enthusiast are even in a better position even because both Dark Matter and Gamma World seen other editions. Star Drive, well, that’s the main loss but as all know it was a pretty generic space opera bash and there is plenty of SD web material out there to build your own.

    Also, I don’t think a retro-clone approach applies here. Alternity is not retro enough (?). (Star Frontiers is I thought)

    I’d love an official refreshed version though, with all the errata and cleanup done – second printing if you will. A pdf would do as long as it’s properly done digital version. That is all I need.

  5. If a retro was ever done they could incorporate a setting like DragonStar or something to replace the actual IP WotC would have issue with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.