R. Talsorian Games

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R. Talsorian Games
IndustryRole-playing games
Founded1985; 37 years ago (1985)
FounderMike Pondsmith

R. Talsorian Games (RTG) is a publisher of role-playing game books and accessories. Originally based in Berkeley, California, but moved to Renton, Washington in 1997. Their titles include the Cyberpunk 2020 series and anime-related titles such as Dragonball Z. Their major product line today is the Fuzion system.

The company's chairman is Mike Pondsmith, usually known as "Maximum Mike" by players, R. Talsorian Games, and members of their online bulletin board.

Products include Cyberpunk 2020, Mekton Zeta (an anime RPG), Castle Falkenstein (a Sorcery and steampunk RPG), The Witcher: Role-Playing Game (based on a fantasy series based on novels and video games by CD Projekt Red),[1] Teenagers from Outer Space (an anime universal setting, the first generic anime RPG until the creation of Big Eyes, Small Mouth using the Tri-Stat system) and several RPGS based on anime such as Bubblegum Crisis, Armored Trooper Votoms and Dragonball Z. They also produced the short-lived Dream Park RPG based on the setting of the Dream Park novels.


The success of the small-press published game Mekton convinced Mike Pondsmith that he could make a business out of game design, thus he founded R. Talsorian Games in 1985, then put out a second edition of Mekton (1986) through the new company.[2]: 207–208  The company's second game was Teenagers from Outer Space (1987).[2]: 208  Mekton II (1987) – the third edition of Mekton – revealed for the first time the company's full-fledged Interlock System.[2]: 208  Pondsmith's next game, Cyberpunk 2013 (1988), was R. Talsorian's second Interlock design.[2]: 208 

R. Talsorian was one of the first RPG publishers to embrace desktop publishing. Its first desktop published books were Mekton II in 1987, which looked much different from products that R. Talsorian would be putting out just a few years later (such as Cyberpunk 2020 (1989)). Cyberpunk became wildly popular and received most of the company's attention for much of the rest of its lifespan.

After an eight-year hiatus that began with its withdrawal from GenCon in 1998 over a conflict regarding floor space and dealer space, the company began a semi-regular publishing schedule again in 2006. Despite its "major" lines being on hiatus during that period, RTG still supported three licensed anime RPG lines (Bubblegum Crisis, Armored Trooper VOTOMS and Dragonball Z) through its ANimechaniX label and occasionally issued reprints for Mekton Z and Cyberpunk 2020.

On January 4, 2006, R. Talsorian Games founded their first demo team, The Chrome Berets. The Chrome Berets were founded and are supervised by David "Knighthawk" Simpson, creator of Knighthawk’s Cyberpunk Archive, a popular fan site for the game. The purpose of The Chrome Berets is to promote the company and products and playtest upcoming products.


  1. ^ "CD Projekt Red and R.TALSORIAN GAMES Announce The Witcher Role-Playing Game". July 29, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.

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