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Down Styphon!

"H. Beam Piper was an old-time war gamer. . . ."
— Mike Gilbert, "Introduction," Down Styphon!


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Gaming in Piper's Fictional Settings

In 1977, just as much of Piper's fiction was being reprinted by Ace, Fantasy Games Unlimited released Down Styphon!, a table-top war game which simulates battles depicted in Piper's Paratime novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen.  Two years later, the Sword-Worlds of Piper's novel Space Viking inspired a portion of the official setting of Game Designers' Workshop's Traveller® science-fiction role-playing game, first appearing formally in The Spinward Marches campaign supplement.  These initial efforts were followed by additional game materials based upon Piper's fiction, including some developed by Piper fans.

War Games | Role‑playing Games | Fan Gaming

War Games

Image - Down Styphon! cover

A musket and pike war game.
(Illustration by Mike Gilbert)

Down Styphon! A Musket and Pike War Game, designed by Mike Gilbert and published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1977, with cover and interior illustrations by Mike Gilbert.  A miniatures wargame based upon battles depicted in Piper's Paratime novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen.

Archive Miniatures war-gaming figures of Fuzzies.



Role-playing Games

Image - GURPS Traveller Sword Worlds cover

Sword Worlds
(Illustration by Wayne Peters)


Traveller Supplement 3: The Spinward Marches: this 1979 role-playing game campaign supplement by Game Designers' Workshop (GDW) (now Far Future Enterprises) introduced the TravellerSword Worlds subsector campaign setting based upon Piper's Sword-Worlds from Space Viking.

In June 1981 The Space Gamer held a contest inviting readers to submit Traveller statistics and data for heroes and villains of science fiction literature.  One of the contest winners, published in the September 1981 issue, was Jack Holloway (and Little Fuzzy) from Little Fuzzy and Fuzzy Sapiens (and from Fuzzies and Other People — which had not yet been published then).

Mongoose TravellerThe Third Imperium: Sword Worlds, role-playing game campaign sourcebook based Piper's Sword-Worlds from Space Viking.

GURPS TravellerSword Worlds: The Day After Ragnarok, role-playing game campaign sourcebook based Piper's Sword-Worlds from Space Viking.

Thousand Suns: Transmissions from Piper, John Appel, Vaclav G. Ujcik, and Greg Videll, Rogue Games, 2009.  A science-fiction role-playing game supplement based upon Piper's Terro-human Future History stories "Naudsonce" and "Ministry of Disturbance" (plus the Paratime yarn "Last Enemy").  Includes:

 • An illustration of a Thoran from "Ministry of Disturbance."
 • An interstellar map of The Voyage of the Hubert Penrose based on "Naudsonce."
 • An interstellar map of the Galactic Empire based on "Ministry of Disturbance," with a wonderful rendition of the Imperial "golden sun and superimposed black cogwheel" emblem.

The Fuzzies are a non-human race in the fantasy computer role-playing game Ultima.



Fan Gaming

Image - The Cleaved Helm blazon

The cleaved helm blazon of Durendal
(Original illustration by Thomas Tamblyn)


Peter Anderson's recounting of a 2012 table-top war-gaming re-enactment of the Battle of Ardros Field (from John F. Carr's Lord Kalvan novel Siege of Tarr-Hostigos).

"The Cleaved Helm" is an unofficial "Alternate Traveller® Universe" (ATU) campaign setting for the classic science-fiction role-playing game, set among the setting-historical Sword Worlds.  This is the period of the Sacnoth Dominate when the inhabitants of the original twenty Sword Worlds are expanding into interstellar space and is most akin to the Sword-Worlds setting of Piper's novel Space Viking, which was an inspiration for Traveller's Sword Worlds.

"Mankind to the Stars" (archived), a Piper-inspired Traveller® science-fiction role-playing game setting by Dale Ridder.



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