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Steve Jackson's Sorcery!
Penguin -- United States
Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Character Advancement
Game System : Combat
Game System : Inventory Management
Game System : Magic
Game System : Randomization Method : Dice
Game System : Scores
Game System : Visual Puzzles
Genre : Fantasy
Product Family : Fighting Fantasy
Target Age Group : Adults
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Die Analand Saga (German)
Artes mágicas! (Portuguese)
Brujos y guerreros (Spanish)
Kaland játék varázslat (Hungarian)
Magosnichestva [Магьосничества] (Bulgarian)
Soosarii [ソーサリー] (Japanese)
SPRI KFWP [ספרי כשוף] (Hebrew)
Sværd og trolddom: Sagaen om den magiske krone (Danish)
This Fighting Fantasy spin-off was designed to appeal to a slightly more sophisticated audience, and it allows its readers to go on a lengthy mission to recover a valuable artifact known as the Crown of Kings. In most ways, the books look like thicker, longer Fighting Fantasy adventures. The critical difference is that players have the choice of playing as either a warrior or a wizard. When playing as a warrior, the rules are the same as in Fighting Fantasy. Playing as a wizard, though, adds an interesting new dimension to the game. There is a list of forty-eight spells (first sold separately as The Sorcery Spellbook and later included within each gamebook); each spell is accompanied by a three-letter code. Before starting the adventure, the reader is encouraged to study the spellbook and memorize which codes go with which spells; as an additional challenge, some spells require physical components which must also be remembered. Once gameplay starts, the spellbook may not be looked at again, and whenever a spell is to be cast, the reader is presented simply with a list of three-letter codes. Unsurprisingly, picking the wrong code can be disastrous. This nicely simulates the fantasy convention of wizards having to memorize their spells before adventuring, making the reader's job intriguingly similar to that of the character he or she controls and thus making the adventures especially immersive.
Because of their complexity, the books were originally published by Penguin’s main imprint rather than by their juvenile Puffin imprint. When Wizard Books began releasing the Fighting Fantasy Reissues, however, they simply renumbered the main series, integrating the Sorcery! titles in the process.
Sorcery! "For Adults" Advertisement
from Warlock #1, back cover
Sorcery! Character Sheet
A mini-series in the Fighting Fantasy collection, Sorcery! spans 4 books and around 2000 page references total. Taking place in the continent of the Old World on Titan, you play as either a warrior or a magician seeking to find and return the Crown of Kings to its rightful owners.
While it was possible to go through the game as a warrior, by far the most interesting choice was the path of the magician. This allowed for you to use selected spells throughout the books to battle monsters, escape traps, and generally help you out.
The spells [each consisting of 3 letters, for example ZAP] were meant to be memorised, leading the player to think of what's best for any given situation.
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