Wizard (board game)

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Designer(s)Steve Jackson
Genre(s)Man to Man combat with medieval weapons
System(s)The Fantasy Trip

Wizard was designed by Steve Jackson, later of Steve Jackson Games, and released by Metagaming in 1978 as MicroGame #6 as a magic-based pocket board game of individual combat. It was based on Metagaming's earlier Melee (game) release, with the difference being that it added magic to the game system. Melee, Wizard and gamemaster supplement In the Labyrinth eventually formed Metagaming's The Fantasy Trip fantasy role-playing system. Both Melee and Wizard were expanded and re-released as Advanced Wizard and Advanced Melee, with many role-playing elements added to the basic fantasy combat system. When Steve Jackson released GURPS years later, the magic system in its fantasy supplements took some ideas from Wizard.


Wizard was an expansion of the Melee tactical system, featuring the basic strength (ST) and dexterity (DX) scores representing key physical attributes that determined combat outcomes, and added IQ as a third ability score that determined the spells that could be learned. As with Melee figures wizards were generated on a point system, with each player using the points to buy their attributes. ST governed how much fatigue the figure could endure while casting spells, with each spell having a fatigue cost associated with it. Casting a spell would cause a temporary drain on one's strength score, limiting the number of spells one could cast in a given period of time before resting. Whether or not a spell was successfully cast depended on rolling 3 dice under a figure's DX score, similar to rolling for a hit in Melee. Finally, IQ determined the number and complexity of spells a figure could learn, with one spell per point of IQ. A high IQ score allowed the use of more varied and powerful spells, up to IQ 16. IQ also determined whether or not an Image or Illusion spell cast by an opponent could be disbelieved.


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