High Fantasy

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This article is about the role-playing game. For the subgenre of fantasy, see high fantasy.

High Fantasy is a role-playing game published by Fantasy Productions in 1978.


High Fantasy is a fantasy system.[1] The rules feature a spell-point magic system and four main character classes: warriors, wizards, animal masters, and alchemists (who may make and use firearms).[1] The game includes rules for combat, experience (which gives advances in skill level), brief monster descriptions, and campaign guidelines.[1]

The melee combat system relies solely on the use of percentile dice, and each character and monster has a chance to hit and a chance to dodge, and it is the difference between these which determines whether a hit is scored or not.[2]

The second edition is greatly expanded and includes an introductory solo scenario, "Escape from Queztec'l."[1]

Publication history[edit]

High Fantasy was designed by Jeffrey C. Dillow[3] and published by Fantasy Productions in 1978 as a 44-page book with an orange cover.[1] Two more printings in 1979 featured a cream cover and then a color cover.[1] A second edition was published by Reston Publishing in 1981 as a 208-page hardcover book, a 208-page softcover book, and a boxed set including two books, five character sheets, and dice.[1]

High Fantasy was never intended to be an addition to D&D. It was published as a more comprehensive game system to the original D&D system. Unlike most role-playing games it was distributed through bookstores as well as hobby stores by one of the largest publishing companies in the country, Prentice Hall Publishing putting it in direct competition with Random House and AD&D.

As the High Fantasy gaming system gained in popularity additional book publications where added. The High Fantasy series included Adventures In High Fantasy, Murder in Irliss, Wizards and Warriors, Goldchester, When Magics Meet and The Fifth Chamber.[4]

The complete history and information about the series can be read at www.HighFantasyBooks.com.


Don Turnbull reviewed High Fantasy for White Dwarf #19 (June/July 1980), giving it an overall score of 4 out of 10.[2] He explained his rationale for rating the game rules at only a 4: "in the case of any new role-playing game nowadays, any rating on review has to take account, not just of objective judgment of the game but also of its likely impact on a market which is already dominated [...] Whether you are likely to enjoy the game-system is not entirely the point: the question is - will the game-system contain enough material which fits your personal taste to the extent that it tempts you away from whatever system you are using at present [...] I believe that the High Fantasy rules are too lightweight for that. So my ratings are based on the degree to which High Fantasy materials will compete with D&D or be compatible with D&D and (in the case of modules) the degree to which these make a significant contribution to material which would be grafted onto a D&D format."[2]

Lawrence Schick states that the system has "unremarkable rules" but is "notable for the high quality of its scenarios".[1]

C. D. Berry[5] gave it 5 out of 5 stars. "I will sum it up like this; faster than Dungeons & Dragons and more in-depth than Tunnels & Trolls. Don't let anyone tell you it's a "knock off" of D&D! What fantasy RPG isn't?"



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 188. ISBN 0-87975-653-5. 
  2. ^ a b c Turnbull, Don (June–July 1980). "Open Box". White Dwarf. Games Workshop (19): 21. 
  3. ^ "High Fantasy Publishing - JC Dillow". Highfantasybooks.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  4. ^ "Jeffrey C. Dillow: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Amazon.com. 2015-08-19. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  5. ^ "Profile for C. D. Berry". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.