I am currently busy fixing a lot of things at home and that is a recipe for serendipitous discoveries: in this case, I unearthed the typewritten manuscript for Thriller, my first complete role-playing game design.
In the summer of 1983 I worked night shifts as a solitary security guard at a factory in my hometown Gothenburg. The nights were long and dull, so I took a small typewriter to work and wrote Thriller during the slack hours between my patrol rounds. (My boss didn’t object, because my hobby kept me awake.) The game was based on tropes from the spy comics (e.g. Secret Agent X-9) and action-hero television series (e.g. The Professionals) that were available in Sweden in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Thriller was an adequate game in those days, though it is outdated nowadays. I submitted its manuscript to Titan Games, the Swedish company that a few years later published Swedish Dungeons & Dragons, but they were not interested. I kept on working on the project for some time: my manuscript contains an addendum from 1984 that outlines a parallel-worlds setting, comparable to Steve Jackson’s much later GURPS Alternate Earths. I remember play-testing a Thriller adventure in late 1984 with Ylva, Christer, and Per, three university friends in Lund. The set-up was a cross-over with Call of Cthulhu, even though the players never realized it. Hence Thriller was flexible enough to handle any kind of contemporary action-oriented campaign.
However, when I joined Target Games in April 1985, I got busy with that company’s games so Thriller ended up in my collection of unrealized game projects.
A scanned PDF in Swedish of Thriller will become available for my supporters when my Patreon page is up and running.