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En Garde! 4th edition cover
|Designer(s)||Frank Chadwick, Daryl Hany, John Harshman, Loren Wiseman|
|Publisher(s)||Margam Evans Limited|
|Publication date||1975 (1st edition)|
1977 (2nd edition)
1988 (3rd edition)
2005 (4th edition)
En Garde! is a role-playing game set in 17th century Paris. Players take the roles of gentlemen duellists. The game was designed by Frank Chadwick and first published by Game Designers' Workshop (GDW) in 1975.
Game Designers' Workshop got into the RPG field with En Garde! (1975), a swashbuckling game by Frank Chadwick; it was a hybrid game, part RPG and part strategy. En Garde! was designed by Darryl Hany and Frank Chadwick, and published as a 48-page digest-sized book in 1975, with a revised edition in 1977. David M. Ewalt, in his book Of Dice and Men, commented that En Garde! was one of the first early competing products in the role-playing game field to TSR's Dungeons & Dragons, describing it as "a role-playing game set in seventeenth-century France that emphasized man-to-man sword fighting. Players responded to the Three Musketeers-style setting, but they didn't care for the rules."
In the 1980s the game had become widely played by mail but GDW did not reprint it when stocks were exhausted. Theo Clarke and Paul Evans ran a game for over 20 players at the UK Gamesfair in 1983. Evans then wrote a BASIC computer program to administer the game and they ran increasingly large games at successive games fairs. Evans started a postal game using the same computer programs in 1986 in a new magazine called Small Furry Creatures Press, which he co-published with Clarke. Evans continues to run this game as Les Petites Bêtes Soyeuses.
Clarke and Evans found that there was significant demand for the rule book arising from their games and other postal games. Under the name SFC Press they published a new edition of the game in 1988 under license from Chadwick. The success of the game also led to an annual convention which ran for over ten years. When SFC Press was liquidated in 2003 the rights to the game were acquired by Evans personally. Evans' company Margam Evans produced a new edition of the game.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 266. ISBN 0-87975-653-5.
- Ewalt, David M. (2013). Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It. Scribner. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-4516-4052-6.
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