Lankhmar (board game)

Lankhmar was a fantasy board wargame published by TSR in 1976.


In 1937, Fritz Leiber and his college friend Harry Otto Fischer created a wargame set within the world of Nehwon, which Fischer had helped to create. This game initially used the "Lahkmar" spelling, and was played on a large (five feet by two and a half feet) three-dimensional board made of layers of corrugated colored paper representing various terrains.[1] Gary Gygax, Robert J. Kuntz, and Brad Stock redeveloped the game for publication by TSR in 1976.[2] The game was originally to have been published by Guidon Games.


The published game is played on a smaller, conventional board, and features elements that had become common in wargames during the intervening years, such as hexagon shaped spaces and randomized combat results (rather than the squares and simple captures of the original version). This is a rare case of a game adaptation written by the creators of the stories the game is based on.[1]

The TSR game is for 2-4 players, each of whom takes a hero (Fafhrd, the Gray Mouser, Pulgh, or Movarl) and leads the forces of one of the powers of Nehwon in an effort to capture the opponents' citadels. This oppositional stance is unusual for the series, though there were a few times in the stories where Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser were temporarily committed to opposing sides. The TSR game is simple and includes bits of color from the series, such as geases that send the heroes around the board chasing various goals at the behest of Sheelba, Ningauble, or various gods.


Fred Hemmings reviewed Lankhmar for White Dwarf #2 , giving it an overall rating of 6 out of 10, and stated that "The game has its faults [...] despite these and other minor flaws, Lankhmar is a game well worth playing."[3]

Eric Goldberg reviewed Lankhmar in Ares Magazine #1, rating it a 3 out of 9.[4] Goldberg commented that "The basic mistake committed in Lankhmar is the design approach: the stories depend on a great degree of uncertainty (or mystery), which is absent in the game."[4]


  1. ^ a b MacKnight, Frederick (November 1979). "Lankhmar: The Original Game and What it Became". The Dragon. TSR Periodicals (31): 32–33.
  2. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  3. ^ Hemmings, Fred (August–September 1977). "Open Box". White Dwarf. Games Workshop (Issue 2): 12–13.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  4. ^ a b Goldberg, Eric (March 1980). "A Galaxy of Games". Ares Magazine. Simulations Publications, Inc. (1): 33-34.

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