In the beginning it was called "Hack'n Slash", a variation on the highly successful Ace of Aces game system. It evolved into one of the most unusual game systems on the market today. The books have been published on four continents, in languages from Japanese to Portuguese and everything in between. A number of different logos have graced the top of the books, but when it all comes down to it, they're just another aspect of the LOST WORLDS.
There are currently 30 different books in the Lost Worlds universe, ranging from fantasy and science fiction to historical and legendary. The Lost Worlds system was designed by Alfred Leonardi and developed by Nova Game Designs Inc. in the early 1980's. Nova published 20 titles, and their successor, Nutmeg Games, published another 4 (the Runesword series). West End Games published the "Lightsaber Duelling Set", designed by Nova and (mostly) compatible with Lost Worlds.
Now, in 1995, a resurgence of the system is coming about due to the recent release of new books designed by Alfred Leonardi for Flying Buffalo, and twelve new books to be published over the next year by Chessex Manufacturing. These new books will effectively double the number of titles for the system, although many of the older books are now out of print and can only be obtained through auctions.
For those of you who haven't yet played, the Lost Worlds system is unlike anything you've encountered before.
Each player has a 32 page book with illustrations of his or her character in the upper half of the page, and a matrix in the lower half, and a character card describing the maneuvers that character is allowed to do. In the system, each player selects a maneuver from his or her character card, turns to that page, and looks up his oppoonent's maneuver. The resulting end-page indicates whether the maneuver scored on the opponent, how much damage was inflicted, and what limitations the opponent has for the next turn.
Maneuvers are segregated by type (Thrusts, Sideswings, Downswings, Fakes, etc) as well as being coded by color (Red are high maneuvers, Blues are low, Orange are strong, Green and Yellow are (usually) defensive. At Extended Range (just out of normal sword reach) White and Black are the offensive maneuvers, and Brown are the defensive steps.) One of the keys to the game is paying attention to what your opponent can do next turn, and planning your move accordingly.
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