Fighting Fantasy Reissues (Series 1) #12
Fighting Fantasy Reissues (Series 2) #12
Fighting Fantasy Adventure Gamebox (Collection)
Bajnokok próbája (Hungarian)
O desafio dos campeões (Portuguese)
L'Epreuve des champions (French)
Heltenes prøve (Danish)
Izpitanie za shampioni [Изпитание за шампиони] (Bulgarian)
Meikyu-tanken-kyougi [迷宮探検競技] (Japanese)
Prova dos campeões (Portuguese)
Der Wettstreit der Gladiatoren (German)
Zápas mistrů (Czech)
Trial of Champions (Role-Playing Material)
McKenna, Martin (reissue cover)
June 26, 1986 (original)
May, 1987 (American edition)
June 2, 2003 (reissue)
0140320393 / 9780140320398
0440986893 / 9780440986898 (American edition)
1840464348 / 9781840464344 (reissue)
|User Summary:||You are a slave to the evil brother of Lord Sukumvit, famous as the creator of Deathtrap Dungeon. Supposing you survive his arena, you will be his entrant in the newly renovated dungeon.|
Deathtrap Dungeon is of course the finest book penned by Ian Livingstone, but that's the case mainly because the dungeon crawl/scavenger hunt formula he's so fond of is explained so much better there than in any of his other books where the formula appears. It makes sense Livingstone would try to recapture the magic of his best book, but it just doesn't work nearly as well as it did the first time around.
It certainly tries to be more epic than before, with the other contestants being a bunch of warlords and princes rather than simple adventurers. The new Deathtrap Dungeon is a lot more dull, though, and the trials leading up to it aren't particularly interesting either. The encounter with the elf is also almost depressingly similar to the one with the elf from the earlier book. That in particular killed a lot of my desire to stick with the book if Livingstone was going to be that obvious about it.
Really, the most interesting thing about the book is probably what Livingstone did in the way of a sequel to this one.
This book is actually a return to the Deathtrap Dungeon from earlier in the series (which I hadn't read before this one) which is a kind of deadly maze created for the amusement of a Baron Sukumvit. But that is only the second half of the book.
The first and more interesting half has you captured and forced to compete as a slave in different gladiatorial combats as you and the other slaves are whittled down to the one selected to enter the dungeon. There are a number of different events, my favorite being a blindfolded combat with flails as depicted on the cover. In an almost cute way, rather than assigning nationalities to the slaves, they are referred to as Easterners (East Asians), Northerners (Vikings?) and Southerners (black Africans).
The dungeon itself feels kind of standard, the only really interesting part is that you can encounter (and fight) other champions participating in the trial. However, the final sequence is a much more rewarding ending than a pile of treasure.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the jagged-logo British cover scan and to Fireguard for the plot summary.|
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Fighting Fantasy #21 Character Sheet