Steve Jackson Games (SJG) is a game company, founded in 1980 by Steve Jackson, that creates and publishes role-playing, board, and card games, and the gaming magazine Pyramid.
Founded in 1980, six years after the birth of Dungeons & Dragons, and before the height of role-playing games, SJG created several role-playing and strategy games with science fiction themes. SJG borrowed and expanded upon ideas pioneered by strategy game companies such as Metagaming Concepts, Avalon Hill and TSR. Despite these similarities, SJG had a unique feel all their own and became popular with their releases. SJG's early titles were all microgames initially sold in 4×7 inch ziploc bags, and later in the similarly sized Pocket Box Games such as Ogre, Car Wars, and G.E.V (an Ogre spin-off) were popular during SJG's early years.
Today SJG publishes games of numerous varieties (card games, board games, strategy games) and genres (fantasy, sci-fi, gothic horror); they also publish the book Principia Discordia, the sacred text of the Discordian religion.
On March 1, 1990, SJG's offices in Austin, Texas were raided by the U.S. Secret Service. The manuscript for GURPS Cyberpunk was confiscated although this was merely coincidence and not the actual purpose of the raid at all. The raid is often thought to have been related to Operation Sundevil, a nationwide investigation of computer crime; however, Sundevil was based in Arizona and the Steve Jackson Raid was coordinated out of Chicago. More than three years later, a federal court awarded damages of $50,000 and attorneys' fees of $250,000 (amounts in USD) to SJ Games, ruling that the raid had been carelessly executed, illegal, and completely unjustified. Cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling discussed the affair in his non-fiction book The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier. The case also helped to prompt the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as spawning a new game, Hacker.
Steve Jackson Games' main product line, in terms of sales, is the Munchkin card game, followed by the role-playing system GURPS.
- Battle Cattle The Card Game, a card game, compatible with the Car Wars card game, based on the Battle Cattle miniatures system.
- Burn In Hell, an educational game centered around collecting 'circles' of historical and contemporary people's souls sharing common characteristics.
- Car Wars: The Card Game, a card game version of the Car Wars miniatures system.
- Chez Geek, a card-game parody of Geek culture with many spinoffs and expansions:
- Chez Goth
- Chez Greek
- Chez Grunt
- Chez Guevara
- Chez Cthulhu
- Chez Dork, a card game centered around the characters in the comic book, Dork Tower, collecting the objects they obsess over.
- Cowpoker, a card game partly based on poker mechanics with a central theme of old west cattle ranchers.
- Dino Hunt, a card game where players travel through time to capture dinosaurs. Features over a hundred dinosaurs with color drawings and accurate scientific data on each one.
- Hacker, a modern-day card game based on the mechanics of Illuminati.
- Hacker II: The Dark Side
- Illuminati, a game of competing conspiracies, based largely on the Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson.
- Originally published in microgame format followed by three numbered expansions. Later published in a full-sized box with expansions 1 and 2 as Deluxe Illuminati. Expansion 3 would later be reprinted as Illuminati: Brainwash.
- Illuminati: Y2K - all-card expansion for Deluxe Illuminati
- Illuminati: Bavarian Fire Drill - all-card expansion for Deluxe Illuminati
- Illuminati: New World Order (INWO), the collectible card game based on concepts in Illuminati.
- INWO Subgenius - expansion based on Church of the Subgenius concepts which can also be played stand-alone.
- Illuminati Crime Lords, a mafia-based variation on Illuminati which combines gameplay elements of the original Illuminati and INWO.
- King's Blood, a Japanese card game originally published by Kadokawa Shoten.
- Lord of the Fries, a game of zombies attempting to assemble orders in a fast-food restaurant. Originally designed by James Ernest and published by Cheapass Games.
- Munchkin, a card-game parody of hack-and-slash roleplaying with many spinoffs (all able to be mixed with the original). and expansions:
- Munchkin 2 - Unnatural Axe
- Munchkin 3 - Clerical Errors
- Munchkin 3.5 - Clerical Errata
- Munchkin 4 - The Need For Steed
- Munchkin 5 - De-Ranged
- Munchkin 6 - Demented Dungeons
- Munchkin 7 – More Good Cards
- Star Munchkin
- Star Munchkin 2 – The Clown Wars
- Munchkin Fu
- Munchkin Fu 2 – Monky Business
- Munchkin Bites!
- Munchkin Bites! 2 – Pants Macabre
- Super Munchkin
- Super Munchkin 2 – The Narrow S Cape
- Munchkin Impossible
- Munchkin Cthulhu
- Munchkin Cthulhu 2 – Call of Cowthulhu
- Munchkin Cthulhu 3 – The Unspeakable Vault
- The Good, The Bad, and The Munchkin
- Munchkin Booty
- Munchkin Booty 2 - Jump The Shark
- Munchkin Blender
- Munchkin Dice
- Munchkin Miniatures
- Ninja Burger, a fast-paced ninja delivery card game based around the Ninja Burger website.
- Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirls (SPANC), a light-hearted competition between starship crews of cat girls in search of toys and loot.
- Spooks, a Halloween-themed card game where players try to get rid of cards from their hands.
- The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, designed by Tom Wham and originally published by TSR.
- Battlesuit, a spin-off of Ogre and G.E.V. featuring infantry using powered armor inspired by Starship Troopers.
- Car Wars, futuristic battles between automobiles.
- Dork Tower, a fantasy game that takes place in the world the Dork Tower characters play their games in.
- Frag, "a first-person shooter without a computer".
- GreedQuest, a light, randomized romp through a simple dungeon to gain loot.
- Knightmare Chess, a chess variant played with cards. Translation of the French Tempête sur l'Echiquier published by Ludodelire.
- Kung Fu 2100, a simple game of hand-to-hand combat where players use martial arts to smash their way into the CloneMaster's fortress.
- Munchkin Quest, a boardgame variation of the Munchkin card games
- Ogre, the classic simulation of future war involving a cybernetic armored juggernaut firing nuclear weapons. Designed by Jackson, and originally published by Metagaming Concepts.
- Ogre: G.E.V., a spin-off of Ogre focusing on futuristic but "conventional" infantry, artillery, and armor units.
- One Page Bulge, a simulation of the German Ardennes Offensive in 1944, with the rules printed on a single page.
- Proteus, a chess variant using dice to represent normal chess pieces.
- Shockwave, an Ogre/G.E.V. expansion set with new units and a new map.
- Snits]', two classic Tom Wham games, Snit's Revenge and Snit Smashing, both originally published by TSR.
- Star Traders, a game where players race through space to deliver cargoes.
- Strange Synergy, a simple but complex game where teams of warriors battle with a different set of powers each game.
- Tile Chess, a multiplayer chess variant which can be played without a chess board.
- X-Bugs, a combat game where futuristic bugs are represented by colorful tiddly winks.
- GURPS, the Generic Universal Role Playing System.
- In Nomine, a game about Angels and Demons based on the popular French role-playing game. In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas
- Killer, a variant of Assassin.
- Munchkin RPG, a series of D20 supplements based on the Munchkin card game.
- Toon, the cartoon role-playing game.
- Transhuman Space, a near-future science fiction setting spanning the Sol system.
- Tribes, players play cave men (and women) trying to protect and nurture their descendants. Partly designed by science fiction author David Brin.
- Ogre & G.E.V have also been published as in miniatures wargaming format.
- Cardboard Heroes, paper miniatures.
- Autoduel]', an action arcade game with role-playing elements. Published by Origin Systems, Inc.
- Ogre A computer version of the Ogre board game. Published by Origin Systems, Inc.
- Ultracorps An online space strategy game originally developed by VR-1.
- Steve Jackson Games' official web site
- "Fantasy for Fun and Profit": an article about the company from the Austin American Statesman, April 18, 1988