Heroic Fantasy is a play-by-mail game published by Flying Buffalo.
Heroic Fantasy is a game in which the players lead a team of characters through a nine-story maze. There is no final object of the game or way to "win"; the purpose of the game is to advance by negotiating challenging mazes, defeating monsters, and collecting treasure and experience points. At the outset, players choose a party of up to fifteen characters using one hundred "points", which can be used to maximize the size of the party or choose a smaller party of stronger characters. Various options are available when choosing characters including races such as dwarves, giants, fairies, leprechauns, and gremlins; and types such as magic users or fighters.
While negotiating mazes, players have various spells available for use, including "blast", "sleep", and "fireball". Players can find different types of treasure in the mazes, to include four types of potions: healing, strength, poison, and Stygean, the latter which adds "ten to the character's Constitution regardless of its current value". According to Jim Townsend there is also a fifth—a cloning potion—which replicates a character that is "VERY rare". Players can also find magical items such as elf cloaks, fairy rings, glowing amulets, shining and glowing rings, and Thundereggs, which have various properties and effects, as well as basic treasure such as gold rings, coins, and jewels, which provide only experience points.
While exploring mazes, players can encounter other player characters as well as monsters run by the computer, or non player characters (NPCs), with the latter being more prevalent. According to Jim Townsend, NPCs belong to clans, and actions taken against one are viewed similarly by other NPCs in the same clan (e.g., an attack against one clan NPC will cause other clan NPCs to attack a player's party on sight later).
Heroic Fantasy was Flying Buffalo's third PBM, which the company also made available as an early turn-based computer game on a commercial network known as "TheSource".:35
W. G. Armintrout reviewed Heroic Fantasy in The Space Gamer No. 57. Armintrout commented that "Heroic Fantasy is a fun game of dungeon delving, and I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys the insides of underground mazes. There are a lot of options, and a lot of player-vs.-player interaction. The speech orders add a distinct role-playing dimension."
A D Young reviewed Heroic Fantasy for White Dwarf #46, and stated that "The game is a well thought out hack and slash adventure which does provide some light-hearted fun, mostly through player interaction. It also demonstrates that fully computerised FRPGs are possible and will very likely be the forerunner of more detailed games."
- Armintrout, W. G. (November 1982). "The Great Buffalo Hunt: Heroic Fantasy vs. Catacombs of Chaos Featured Review". The Space Gamer. Steve Jackson Games (57): 2–5.
- Townsend, Jim (March–April 1987). "A Real Look at Heroic Fantasy". Paper Mayhem. No. 23. p. 24.
- Townsend, Jim (March–April 1987). "A Real Look at Heroic Fantasy". Paper Mayhem. No. 23. p. 25.
- Townsend, Jim (March–April 1987). "A Real Look at Heroic Fantasy". Paper Mayhem. No. 23. p. 26.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Young, A D (October 1983). "Microview". White Dwarf. Games Workshop (Issue 46): 29.
- "GAMA > Origins Awards > 38th Origins Awards". 13 February 2013. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013.