Jan 22 2010

A brief word on taxonomy

Before we go any further, I should make things clear. ‘FRUP’ is the name of the RPG we’re talking about, the one that was never published. ‘Frup’ is the name of the world in which the game is set, and is also is the name of the game described in the three giant rulebooks that fell from the sky two thousand years ago. When I talk about FRUP, I’m talking about the game and the project to get it written and published. When I talk about Frup, I’m describing the contents of the game.

Hope that’s clear.

Jan 22 2010

The very start

The idea of FRUP came to me in about 1991. I’d already been semi-professionally involved in the games industry since the mid-80s, and had been trying to find a publisher for the Bugtown RPG since 1989—more on that later—but at this point I didn’t have any ideas about setting up a games company.

I don’t know where the idea for FRUP came from. I do know where the name came from: it was Graham Staplehurst, gamebook and RPG supplement author, who was an occasional at Paul Mason’s gaming gatherings in Putney. He was the first person I ever heard use ‘frp’—the acronym for fantasy roleplay—as a verb, and he pronounced it ‘frup’. As in: ‘are you frupping this weekend?’

It’s possible I misheard him.

After that, FRUP went on the back-burner. I didn’t really know what to do with it, other than leave it to ferment in the back of my mind, becoming richer and darker and sillier. I did pitch it to Steve Jackson (of Steve Jackson Games) at a convention in 1992 and he laughed so hard that beer came out of his nose, but it was clear that a book called GURPS FRUP was never going to go far, and SJG wasn’t at a place where doing it as a standalone RPG would have been a viable proposition.

And then in 1992 Erick Wujcik entered my professional life.