1983 Games Workshop `Catalogue of Adventure’

GW 1983

GW 1983-2

GW 1983-8

GW 1983-3

GW 1983-4

GW 1983-5

GW 1983-6

GW 1983-7

Thank you, Pitch & Putt, for posting the whole catalog. It’s glorious. The number of role-playing games and non-traditional board games available by 1983 is incredible, as Livingstone and Jackson admit in their introductory note. The games are based on every genre, and nearly every workable property (Judge Dredd, Dune, Starship Troopers, Watership Down, The Road Warrior).

As I mentioned here, GW’s approach was much more cerebral than TSR’s. They focus on the novelty and sophistication of role-playing (“the most original concept in commercially available games for hundreds of years”), diversity of rules systems, and sheer range of game titles.

Compare the GW catalog to this 1981 TSR catalog.

5 Responses to “1983 Games Workshop `Catalogue of Adventure’”


  1. 1 J January 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Brilliant! I used to carry catalogs like this with me everywhere in my backpacks. Sometimes I would even save enough money to order something. Games Workshop used to be so good. Man. Sophistication. That’s what’s missing from alot of modern so-called “geek culture”, which I just don’t really identify with. It’s all so angry and obnoxious.

  2. 2 leftylimbo January 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Wow. That cover reminds me a lot of the Fantastic Planet art—one of my favorite movies, btw.

  3. 3 dirkmalcolm January 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I nearly exploded with excitement when this popped in my in-box.

    I remember studying this from cover to cover when it first came out. It was circulated widely through mainstream bookshops as the ‘Warlock of The Fire-top Mountain’ was a best-selling paperback for Livingston and Jackson. Its another example of them trying to reach-out of the geek-ghetto.

    Thanks for publishing it as it brought back fond memories. I’d forgotten completely about Apocalypse. It had an impressive box and I always wanted to have a go to see whether or not it lived up to its promise!

    • 4 2W2N January 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      I thought you might like it! I’m really interested in the Fighting Fantasy books. Would love to read them. You can see some ads, character sheets, etc. here:

      http://www.gamebooks.org/show_series.php?id=11

      Also, the Dredd RPG? That has to be amazing…

      • 5 dirkmalcolm January 26, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        There was a Dredd roleplaying game – I played it once, it came a bit later and was a ‘table-top’ game that GamesWorkshop devised to flog more lead figures.

        The game advertised in this catalogue was actually a card based game which was good fun and brilliantly designed with artwork from the comic.

        I’ll scan some images from Wizard of Firetop Mountain if you’d like to look at it. My copy is battered and well-thumbed, but some of the line drawings in it are great!


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