New Release: The Highest Level of All

highest level cover

The ETC Press is proud to announce the release of The Highest Level of All: The Story of Fantasy Wargaming, by Mike Monaco and designed and illustrated by Heather Ford.

Fantasy Wargaming (FW) was published in the early days of fantasy role-playing games as an alternative to the dominant game, Dungeons & Dragons. Because the book was published by a mainstream publishing house (Patrick Stephens Ltd in the UK; Stein & Day in the USA), it had distribution through channels unavailable to any other FRPG—being sold in mainstream book stores rather than just in specialist hobby shops and it even appeared as a selection in the Science Fiction Book Club. For this reason the book had a larger audience than almost any other FRP game of the time.

However it never gained much of a player base and became a bit notorious as a game that was overly complicated and poorly organized. The authors of the book were mostly unknown in gaming circles, and the book seemed destined to be little more than a curiosity of gaming history. That the lead author died in an accident before a planned sequel to FW could be completed seemed to doom FW to obscurity.

The Highest Level of All unearths the full story of FW and explores the intriguing personalities behind the game, as well as examining the game to demonstrate the books’ significance and influence in the RPG world. By interviewing the people involved in the creation of the book and compiling the first ever bibliography of reviews and mentions of FW, the author puts together a more complete picture of the book, the authors, and the game itself.