Saturday, February 20, 2021


So, the only reason I thought I'd have to leave THE AWFUL GREEN THINGS FROM OUTER SPACE  (1980) out of this series of posts about TSR dawn-of-time boardgames is that I don't have a copy.* But it seems a pity to leave it out when I do have a copy of the re-release from Steve Jackson Games (circa 1988), so my remarks will be based on the SJG version, not the original.

AWFUL GREEN THINGS bears a strong resemblance to SNIT'S REVENGE (and, for that matter, SNIT SMASHING) --not surprisingly since these are sibling games, all being creations of the inimitable Tom Wham.** In the case of AWFUL GREEN its inspiration was THE GREEN SLIME,***  its spiritual descendent THE CAPTAIN IS DEAD (2017).

My copy of this game is in good shape and obviously has never been played; my notes say I got it from Dale Donavan in 1999 for $3. Obviously, there's no TSR stock number on this version.

The other Wham games I know of include MERTWIG'S MAZE, published in folio format (and much later, being released in 1988); two of the six games in THE BEST OF DRAGON GAMES collection, FILE 13 (originally 1983) and SEARCH FOR THE EMPEROR'S TREASURE (originally 1981); and, best of all, there was THE GREAT KHAN GAME (1989). Published much later than most of the TSR Wham games and in sourcebox format (one of those slim boxes later used for al-Qadim adventures), this is a melding card game played on a map that serves as a board. This is the only one of the games I've been discussing that I actually picked up when it was still a new game. It's also one among those relatively few of these I've actually played --and greatly enjoyed, by the way.

The sku number is #1044, reflecting how KHAN GAME comes v. much later than the early Wham games that made his reputation. For some reason somebody decided this whimsical and wacky little game shd be set in the FORGOTTEN REALMS, necessitating the addition of 'The Whamite Isles' to the official FR map. This has given this one game a collectability factor for FORGOTTEN REALMS players lacking in SNITS or AWFUL GREEN.

--John R.

*the same problem applies with LITTLE BIG HORN, which I've never even seen, and WAR OF THE WIZARDS --but luckily Jeff Grubb has just posted a good write-up of the latter at  (

**SNIT'S REVENGE and AWFUL GREEN THINGS even share similar wording in their advice to player's section for the Snits and Green Things players.

***One of the worst science fiction movies ever made, the obvious source of AD&D's dread Green Slime.

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