Today I just want to tease a couple of RPG games we are interested in publishing.
Mutant by Richard Snider
Star Master by John Snider
I was chatting on reddit and we got onto the subject of Gamma World and other variants.
I posted this:
Metamorphosis Alpha was published in 1976.
TSR had copies of Mutant, but due to conflicts with Dave Arneson they were rejecting any games produced in the Twin Cites.
It is suspected they reverse engineered Mutant to create MA. The author likely had no idea of the previous game, he was merely told concepts. I personally do not believe James Ward willfully copied the concept. He was merely told of a game idea by Gary Gygax in conversation and built from that.
The same is said about the third volume from the Star Probe + Star Empire series titled, Star Master. TSR was in possession of a draft which had been submitted and they never returned. It became Star Frontiers and the original was suppressed. It seems likely even if the mechanical aspects do not match, the idea was plagiarized from the drafts.
Both games are by the Snider brothers who it should be noted were original Blackmoor players before D&D is published.
Thus the sequence for those games is:
Richard Snider, Mutant in the early 70's > Ward with MA by TSR 1976 > Ward with Gamma World by TSR 1978 > full color boxes and drafts exist for a later attempt at publication of Mutant by Adventure Games in the mid 80's.
John Snider, Space Campaign which Arneson dubbed Stellar 7 in 1973 > Star Probe '75 > Star Empire '77 > Star Master draft never published > A print out draft and typed fragments exist of Star Master which was slated for publication by Adventure Games in the 80's > TSR Star Frontiers '82.
The Wikipedia entry states that the artwork for SP and SE was done by Paul Snider and that the layouts were done by MMSA members.
Perhaps a telling clue about the possible plagiarism is the absence of space ship rules in both the Star Master Draft as well as Star Frontiers. Snider's game was intended as an expansion on his rules for space exploration and empire scale space campaign rules which do cover space travel and space ships. Star Frontiers did not include space ships in the original game, adding them later in an expansion set. We likely will never have a concrete answer, yet, it does lead to conjecture.
The question is whether anyone would want a hard copy of either of these games.
Thanks, from The Secret Team
As always, tell a friend about Secrets of Blackmoor: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons
DVD'S, Books, T-shirts, games and more available on our store.
Secrets of Blackmoor is a Feature-length documentary about the birth of the “Mother of all Games;” Dungeons & Dragons.