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Item - Howl of the Werewolf

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(Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W))

Combined Summary

Series: Fighting Fantasy (2002-2007, Wizard Books Series 1) — no. 29
Fighting Fantasy (2009-2012, Wizard Books Series 2) — no. 11
Translated Into: El Aullido del hombre lobo (Spanish)
La Nuit du Loup-Garou (French)
Uivo do Lobisomem (Portuguese)
Author: Green, Jonathan
Illustrator: McKenna, Martin
Date: September 6, 2007 (Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W))
ISBN: 1840468386 / 9781840468380 (Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W))
Length: 515 sections
User Summary: While traveling through the forests of Lupravia you are bitten by a creature of the night and must find a cure or become one yourself.
Braxus's Thoughts:

This book is probably my favourite Fighting Fantasy, alongside Legend of Zagor, House of Hell and Creature of Havoc.

The book is nice and chunky, every paragraph is fleshed out to squeeze the maximum atmosphere out of reading. It's also slightly longer than most FFs and beautifully un-linear (for lack of a better term).

Green has obviously done his research on the gothic and werewolf setting. There's some great monsters lurking in every corner, including vampires, mantises and highwaymen. The dark atmosphere is maintained well throughout the book. Somehow the book always manages to feel like a race against time, and you always feel like you are progressing throughout the book; it's pushing you forwards. That's a nice feeling that some FFs lack.

The world is literally vast and amazing. There's a huge number of side quests and different towns to visit every time using the codeword system, it's so fun. I seem to remember that the first 3 times I played this, I hardly repeated a reference. Even after about 7-8 plays, there will still be a number of places to find; I only found the spiders in the mountain on my 6th go or something.

It's fairly easy to get to the end but very difficult to survive the final encounter. I really like this; it adds a massive replay element. There's a huge world to explore, but only a few true ways through it which will take some thinking about.

The balancing is just spot on. This was one of the first books that I really felt was fair in terms of encounters, whatever stats you rolled up.

Great artwork and not a bad word.

More reviews by Braxus

drystan's Thoughts:

Really an excellent job!

A good storyline, effective rules' changes which allow you to play with a well-balanced character, and lots of encounters, situations, NPCs and puzzles.

You have many routes to the main goal, along with various sub quests you can even fail without diyng. And there are at least three methods to kill the final enemy too.

I'm not surprised this new FF book rapidly sold out and had to be reprinted. If there will be other new books with that great formula, I'm sure FF will catch a new generation of gamebooks readers.

More reviews by drystan

Fireguard's Thoughts:

This book was written by Jonathan Green, author of two of my favorite Fighting Fantasy entries, Knights of Doom and Spellbreaker, so I was raring to go right out of the gate.

The premise isn't anything unexpected; you're bitten by a werewolf and have to slay the evildoer who did it before it's too late, but Howl of the Werewolf is one of those books that takes a predictable premise and does great things with it. The book has a gothic atmosphere more effective than I've ever seen in a gamebook. The locations are creepy and yet you want to see more. A lot of the monsters are other lycanthropes, and a lot of them are pretty tough. That might worry some readers when they see how the stat maximums in this book are rather lower than most Fighting Fantasy books. That leads to the good news about being a werewolf, though.

Every so often the transformation process will spike, your Skill and Stamina will go up and you'll be able to roll a die and gain a special power. I liked how the book balanced the curse like that. For instance, your fingernails become claws so you suffer no penalty for fighting without a weapon. This is balanced, of course, with having to keep track of how far your transformation has progressed and whether it gets the better of you from time to time. I seemed to find all the places that reduce your change score on my first try, though, and I didn't have much trouble with that. And a good thing, because almost nobody you meet has any sympathy for someone dealing with lycanthropy, no matter what their intentions.

Fighting Fantasy standby Martin McKenna did the illustrations for this book. While many of the were-creatures start looking the same after a while, on the whole I was impressed.

The writing is on the whole effective, with the use of codewords to track events throughout the plot and sometimes letters-to-numbers translation to make use of special knowledge or weapons, but it didn't beat that gimmick to death like Curse of the Mummy. I wouldn't call any of the book bone-chilling, but I really liked this book and the mini-world within it. With it being over 20% larger than your average Fighting Fantasy in terms of section count, there's more to explore so even after I stamped out evil, there was a strong feeling to go back and try out other paths. Howl of the Werewolf is an excellent Fighting Fantasy book and every enthusiast ought to track down a copy.

More reviews by Fireguard

Errata:Section 40 continues onto the next page, but it's easy to miss.
Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the cover scan and Fireguard for the plot summary/errata.
Users Who Own This Item: aehalpin, Alatar001, aldinozz, Avenger, B0N0V0X, BarefootJimmy, Braxus, breity, c_wickham, dArtagnan, Darth Rabbitt, demon of the deep lt, Dronak (1st reissue Special Limited Edition), drystan, Eamonn McCusker, Ed, edwebb, egokun, Erikwinslow, Faberwest, Fido815, firefoxpdm, Fireguard, Florik, Gallicus (Limited Edition), Gamebook, Gamebook Collector, Garet_Jax, Gartax, Gibraltar, greyarea13, Haoie, Ian2405, JDMorgan, jdreller, jeff3333, Joe_TC, juski (UK first edition), katzcollection, knginatl ((S1)), lek, Malthus Dire, MaxSpender, mir1812, mlvoss, nelsondesign, nerelax, Nich, odo_ital, Pirrakas, Radjabov, Rozo, ryderark, Sabreman, Seizure, Sheridan77, Sir Olli, sireeyore, terrysalt, tonk82 (Spanish Edition), Tremendez, Trompe-l Oeil, Twoflower, TyVulpine, Vampireman, Yalius, Zolika
Users Who Want This Item: CSquared, dblizzard72, EarlOfDrumer, Gallicus, gryff, khaxzan, le maudit, Narananas, Oberonbombadil, ObliviousSLoth (Looking to buy), Osirian08, Pseudo_Intellectual, Samus, skttrbrain, Smidgeccfc76, snakefire77, twar, Uraniborg, zat

Known Editions

Wizard S1 (Standard), UK printing (C&W)
Wizard S1 (Special), UK printing (C&W)
Wizard S2 (Large, Embossed)

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