James Wallis levels with you

Munchausen by proxy server

The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen (the Difference Engine no.3 edition) is now available for download exclusively from e23, the digital warehouse of Steve Jackson Games. This is the revised and expanded facsimile version of the game that I’ve been blathering about for the last two years, and which is finally seeing the light of day two hundred years after its original printing was entirely destroyed before a single copy could be sold.

For those who don’t know or who haven’t been paying attention, The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a role-playing game. In it you play the roles of a group of drunken eighteenth-century nobles after a very good dinner, trying to out-boast each other with stories of their astounding adventures. Steve Jackson says, “The original edition of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen was unique and marvellous. This new edition is even better. If you are a clever person with clever friends, you will enjoy reading and playing it. Let’s not consider the alternative.” John Kovalic calls it “utter brilliance in RPG form” and even though I failed to convince Gary Gygax that it really was an RPG and not some newfangled story-whatnot, he did say that “the premise of the Munchausen game is very clever, and the system is likewise”.

If you are not yet convinced, a PDF of the first eight pages of the game is downloadable from the Magnum Opus Press website. If you are, then the Baron Munchausen download page of e23 is here.

I am very interested to learn what you think of it.

Categorised as: game design | magnum opus press


  1. Dotan Dimet says:

    At the bottom of each page in the sample PDF there’s the word that opens the next page. ‘dedicate’, ‘The’, ‘cunning’, ‘nature’, ‘that’, ‘tess’, ‘BEGINNING’.
    I assume that’s a layout glitch and not a hidden message or a bug on my machine?
    I notice the same problem in the sample PDF on e23.

  2. […] delivered as it is by the Baron himself in his inimitable style. And it is now available for download in a new, expanded […]

  3. james says:

    The extra word at the bottom of each page isn’t a layout glitch, it’s the way that books were laid out in London in the early nineteenth century. Weird, I know.

  4. As James said above – it’s to help with the tracking from one page to the next for the reader. It’s a style choice. Much like starting a chapter with a summary of what is in the the chapter. The same was done with the prologues of plays. Kind of “in house trailers” of what is to come.

    Anyhow, as to the PDF – I’ve bought it, intend to read it ASAP, and have played the first version and many variants thereof via email and wiki as well as face to face. Much fun was had by all.

    It was the first game to make me realise that storytelling and roleplaying have much in common, which lead to my investigation of narrative games, and storytelling as a game outside of wordgames for kids.

  5. Uglifruit says:

    Eee gads! This tomb has landed on my doormat today.

    I shall settle down for a read at the weekend methinks. Then get some friends and play / invade Belgium.

  6. Stephen Tavener says:

    Great stuff! Now, if only someone could do the same kind of thing with a murder-mystery setting; maybe in the style of PG Wodehouse… I’ve been waiting to play something like that for years.

  7. Arrived on my doorstep today. Very nice.
    Only one problem – it has the same ISBN as the PDF version I bought earlier (not something librarians like)
    Needless to say, it’s going up on my LibraryThing – I just need to find a cover image of the spiffy black scheme.

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