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Fighting Fantasy

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Language:English
Publishers: Dell (Laurel Leaf imprint) -- United States
Penguin (Puffin imprint) -- United Kingdom
Categories: Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Combat
Game System : Inventory Management
Game System : Magic
Game System : Randomization Method : Dice
Game System : Scores
Genre : Fantasy
Genre : Horror
Genre : Science Fiction
Genre : Superhero Fiction
Product Family : Fighting Fantasy
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Translated Into: Aventuras fantásticas (Brazil) (Portuguese)
Aventuras fantásticas (Portugal) (Portuguese)
Bitki Bezbroy [Битки безброй] (Bulgarian)
Boi Kniga [Бой Книга] (Russian)
Défis fantastiques (French)
Dimensione avventura (Italian)
Fantastiske farer (Norwegian)
Fantasy Avonturenboeken (Dutch)
FantasyAbenteuerSpielbücher (German)
Fantázia harcos (Hungarian)
Fighting Fantasy (Swedish)
Fighting Fantasy (Czech)
Fighting Fantasy Reissues (Spanish)
Gendai kyouyou bunko: adobenchaa geemu bukku [現代教養文庫―アドベンチャーゲームブック] (Japanese)
Kaland, játék, kockázat (Hungarian)
Leikjabók (Icelandic)
Lucha ficción (Spanish)
Serie di avventure (Italian)
SPRI KFWP [ספרי כשוף] (Hebrew)
Sværd og trolddom (Danish)
Taistelupeli (Finnish)
Võitlus-fantaasiad (Estonian)

Just as Choose Your Own Adventure popularized the basic style of gamebook in the United States, so this series established more advanced gamebooks in the United Kingdom. The series was the first to include a complete set of rules to supplement the gameplay, and all of the books share the same basic system. Characters have three main attributes (Skill, Stamina and Luck) which are randomly generated at the start of play, and items and treasures are collected and kept track of during the course of an adventure. Enemies are frequently battled using a simple system in which the player rolls two dice for each combatant and adds Skill scores to each roll; the fighter with higher total does two Stamina points' worth of damage to the loser. This is repeated until someone dies from loss of Stamina. Luck points add another mechanic to the game; from time to time, the reader has to roll two dice and compare the result to his or her Luck. A roll equal to or less than Luck is a good thing; a higher roll is a bad thing. Luck goes down by one point every time it is tested in this fashion, but there are also opportunities to regain it during the course of an adventure. An element of strategy is added due to the fact that optional Luck rolls may be made to affect the outcome of combat. In addition to these basic rules, different volumes tend to add different special features, ranging from spellcasting rules to instructions on controlling teams of characters rather than individuals.

Despite the word "fantasy" in the name of the series, this is actually a multi-genre system, with numerous science fiction adventures and a single book each in the horror and superhero genres. Even the fantasy books in the series didn't all take place in the same world. One early adventure, Talisman of Death, introduced the world of Orb, which was featured in several later gamebook series, most notably The Way of the Tiger. As the series matured, though, increasing effort was made to set the books in a cohesive world, and the release of spin-off products including Warlock magazine, two different multiplayer role-playing games and a series of regular novels further helped to flesh out such settings as Allansia, Khul and The Old World. The series never made great efforts at maintaining continuity, and there were never opportunities to carry character statistics or equipment from book to book, but the series did gradually grow a distinctive sense of place.

The series was first published by Puffin in the United Kingdom, and shortly thereafter, Dell began releasing American editions (some featuring original cover art) of the first twenty-one books. The series lasted well over a decade and nearly sixty volumes before going out of print. For several years, erroneous information about Bloodbones, the unpublished sixtieth title in the series, kept fans' hopes up, but the books didn’t see the light of day again until their resurrection by Wizard Books in 2002. The Wizard editions feature new cover art and a slightly revamped interior layout and are arranged in a different order than the original Puffin releases, also integrating the Sorcery! spin-off series into the main numbering. Ibooks, an American publisher, began releasing American versions of the Wizard re-releases in late 2003. To increase collectors' confusion, Wizard relaunched the series a second time in 2009 with new changes to format and book order. For more information, see the entries for Fighting Fantasy Reissues (Series 1) and Fighting Fantasy Reissues (Series 2).

Several boxed sets (or, more accurately, sets of books in card slipcases) were produced by Puffin during the publication life of the original series. All of these are very rare and highly prized by collectors. To make matters extra-confusing, several of the boxed sets have the same (or similar) names but have different slipcase art and contents.

Collection

Adventure Gamebox - A Thrilling Fighting Fantasy Collection
The Anniversary Collection
The Best of Fighting Fantasy
Fighting Fantasy Adventure Gamebox
Fighting Fantasy Adventure Gamebox
Fighting Fantasy Gamebox
Fighting Fantasy Gamebox 1
Fighting Fantasy Gamebox 2
A Fistful of Fighting Fantasy

Gamebook

1. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
2. The Citadel of Chaos
3. The Forest of Doom
4. Starship Traveller
5. City of Thieves
6. Deathtrap Dungeon
7. Island of the Lizard King
8. Scorpion Swamp
9. Caverns of the Snow Witch
10. House of Hell
11. Talisman of Death
12. Space Assassin
13. Freeway Fighter
14. Temple of Terror
15. The Rings of Kether
16. Seas of Blood
17. Appointment with F.E.A.R.
18. Rebel Planet
19. Demons of the Deep
20. Sword of the Samurai
21. Trial of Champions
22. Robot Commando
23. Masks of Mayhem
24. Creature of Havoc
25. Beneath Nightmare Castle
26. Crypt of the Sorcerer
27. Star Strider
28. Phantoms of Fear
29. Midnight Rogue
30. Chasms of Malice
31. Battleblade Warrior
32. Slaves of the Abyss
33. Sky Lord
34. Stealer of Souls
35. Daggers of Darkness
36. Armies of Death
37. Portal of Evil
38. Vault of the Vampire
39. Fangs of Fury
40. Dead of Night
41. Master of Chaos
42. Black Vein Prophecy
43. The Keep of the Lich-Lord
44. Legend of the Shadow Warriors
45. Spectral Stalkers
46. Tower of Destruction
47. The Crimson Tide
48. Moonrunner
49. Siege of Sardath
50. Return to Firetop Mountain
51. Island of the Undead
52. Night Dragon
53. Spellbreaker
54. Legend of Zagor
55. Deathmoor
56. Knights of Doom
57. Magehunter
58. Revenge of the Vampire
59. Curse of the Mummy
60. Bloodbones

Related Documents

Advertisement

Fighting Fantasy: Heroes Wanted!
from Dragon #163, page 29

Fighting Fantasy: The Quest of Quests Continues...
from Warlock #2, back cover

Article

Fighting Fantasy: Curse of the Mummy Changes
This article from Nicholas Campbell compares the original and reissued editions of Curse of the Mummy.

Fighting Fantasy: Spellbreaker Changes
This article from Nicholas Campbell compares the original and reissued editions of Spellbreaker.

Autograph

Fighting Fantasy # 1 Autographed Title Page
Thanks to Ken G. for sharing this.

Play Aid

Fighting Fantasy # 1 / # 6 / #19 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy # 2 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy # 3 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy # 4 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy # 5 / #11 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy # 7 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy # 8 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy # 9 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #10 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #12 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #13 Character Sheet (back)

Fighting Fantasy #13 Character Sheet (front)

Fighting Fantasy #14 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #15 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #16 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #17 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #18 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #20 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #21 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #22 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #23 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #24 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #25 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #26 Character Sheet
Thanks to Ben Nelson for providing this file.

Fighting Fantasy #27 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #28 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #29 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #30 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #31 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #32 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #32 Timesheet

Fighting Fantasy #33 Character Sheet (back)

Fighting Fantasy #33 Character Sheet (front)

Fighting Fantasy #33 Diagrams

Fighting Fantasy #34 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #35 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #36 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #37 Character Sheet
Thanks to Ben Nelson for providing this file.

Fighting Fantasy #38 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #39 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #40 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #41 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #42 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #43 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #44 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #45 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #45 Maze

Fighting Fantasy #46 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #47 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #48 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #49 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #50 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #51 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #52 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #53 Character Sheet
Thanks to Ben Nelson for providing this file.

Fighting Fantasy #54 Character Sheets (Anvar / Braxus)

Fighting Fantasy #54 Character Sheets (Stubble / Sallazar)

Fighting Fantasy #55 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #56 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #57 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #58 Character Sheet

Fighting Fantasy #59 Character Sheet

Bibliography of Items About "Fighting Fantasy"

Article

Fighting Fantasy: The Legacy of Firetop Mountain
Map of the Kingdom: Allansia, The Land of Fighting Fantasy
One Step Beyond

Mini-Adventure

Caverns of the Snow Witch
The Dark Chronicles of Anakendis
The Dark Usurper, Part 1
The Dark Usurper, Part 2
The Dark Usurper, Part 3
Deadline to Destruction
The Dervish Stone
Dungeon of Justice
The Floating City
Fortress Throngard
The House of Hell
The Land of Changes
Rogue Mage
The Temple of Testing
The Temple of the Pharoah
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Part I
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: Part II

Related Links

User Comments

Without a doubt the most influential gamebook series involving dice. Its popularity means that the term gamebook is almost a synonym for Fighting Fantasy, and vice versa.

Each book is like a self-contained, one-player Dungeons and Dragons scenario on rails. I believe that FF books got a lot of readers interested in role playing in general too.

The series was especially big in the UK, far less so in the US. I'm proud to say that I own almost the entire series [barring 3 titles].

--Haoie

Fantasy peddling titans Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone pioneered this disparate series of gamebooks during the early 1980s. Their names soon became closely associated with the booming franchise, and when their individual efforts tapered off, publishers Puffin ushered in additional authors to participate in the gamebook authoring melee, but chose not to soil the front covers with their names. Thus Steve and Ian's altruistic cover presence remained throughout the series, with the supplemental authors acquiring little fame, unlike their Ganjees-like overlords.

Each imaginatively titled 'interactive adventure' attempted various methods to disguise the inevitable linear route that comprised each 400-paragraphed gamebook. Early plots invited readers to journey through mountain, tower, forest and dungeon locales with Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Citadel of Chaos, Forest of Doom, and the oft-quoted seminal dungeon crawl, Deathtrap Dungeon. Jackson also crafted some fiendishly tricky titles such as House of Hell and Creature of Havoc.

The public's demand for the series, and gamebooks in general, began to wane towards the late '80s, but falling sales did not necessarily equate to weaker output. Dead of Night, Black Vein Prophecy, Legend of the Shadow Warriors, Moonrunner and Ian Livingstone's final effort, Legend of Zagor, were some notable examples of solid work that appeared towards the tail end of the series.

By the mid '90s however, new plots that could adhere to the relatively simplistic "FF" format seemed practically exhausted, and Puffin's inevitable gamebook implosion occurred less than 15 years after the big Fighting Fantasy bang of '82. And history looks set to repeat itself with the commercially stale rebirth by Wizard Books, who simply opted to reprint existing stock, albeit in a slightly different order, with updated covers.

An aesthetically pleasing iconic symbol of '80s youth fiction, the original numbered lime green spine paperbacks can still be seen today, in amongst charity shop bric-a-brac, second hand book shops, and eBay. For many '80s teens, Fighting Fantasy represented a never seen before exciting fusion of solitaire game play, reading, and fantasy escapism, and perhaps made reading, for some anyway, truly engaging for the very first time.

Nostalgically remembered predominately by 30-somethings today, the actual game play itself could be considered less appealing than the fondness of an ever-distant childhood memory.

Now turn to 400...

--Robert123

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