ec2-44-221-66-130.compute-1.amazonaws.com | ToothyWiki | RecentChanges | Login | Webcomic

Ah, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.  Who is not familiar with the green-spined books?
List answers here: PeterTaylor, M-A (but I think it was a rhetorical question). So do I, but the point of rhetorical questions is that the questioner knows the answer you'll give. Here, the questioner was wrong.

(The early ones weren't green.  Jumlian has some 1st edition ones somewhere, they were all different colours).

Seriously?  How did you all turn out the way you did without them?  --Vitenka ;)

Hmmm. Doh. Apologies to the uninitiated. These things were a Heeeuge craze when I was young (which, obviously, would appear to be faaaaar too long ago). I suspect that the advent of the half-decent CRPG partly killed them off, really. If you haven't played them, you have almost certainly seen them, if not actually noticed them. You can find FF gamebooks in pretty much **any** charity shop book selection, usually they end up placed near to the ubiquitous copies of Jaws, The Thorn Birds and The Odessa Files (all second hand bookshops seem to contain these three titles - often multiple copies - by some mysterious unwritten law). FF books are usually quite obvious due to the colouration commented on earlier.  --Jumlian   

It starts with a copy of WarlockOfFiretopMountain? and next thing you know you're playing DungeonsAndDragons, Amber and writing scenarios for ArsMagica.


FightingFantasy was perhaps entirely responsible for turning Jumlian into a role-playing game player.  Jumlian actually has a copy (maybe even 2) of the rules published to make FightingFantasy into a fully-fledged games system (not substantially different from the ones in the game books).  The follow up (with some extra rules, like different weapons and a magic system) was called The Riddling Reaver.  There were other books such as Titan and Out of The Pit which were a world guide and a bestiary, respectively.  You could never find the damn things in bookshops.  Grrr.

To illustrate the depth of corruption of Jumlian's soul, when young, Jumlian actually made a full A1 painted colour map of the dungeon of WarlockOfFiretopMountain?.

The FightingFantasy game book product line was notable in that after the first fifteen or so books it became self-sustaining, with people writing their own and submitting them. 

Some of the books were excellent (House of Hell, Citadel of Chaos and of course WarlockOfFiretopMountain? were the best, according to Jumlian).

Others were, sadly, not.

Many of the later ones fall into this category, although there are exceptions.

The original authors (Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone) also produced the Sorcery! series, which were a bit more serious, an attempt to create a more advanced system with some kind of story arc.  The last volume (The Crown of Kings) had 800 locations and was really rather flexible.  Essentially, it was a computer RPG written down with scrambling of the locality numbers.

Jumlian actually went through a phase of collecting other random game books, which span the range from rather easy decision based things (Zork: Conquest of Quendor, the rather pants "ChooseYourOwnAdventure?" things), through the Avenger! series (Ninja vengeance for all), FightingFantasy, the FalconSeries (Time police special agent), all the way to a rather natty one called "Maelstrom" which was a period (15th Century??) RPG setting with full rules for herbalism, magic, combat and other lovely things.  It was a fantastically complicated system.  The magic system made it fantastically hard to do anything flashy (five levels of spells - a fireball was a blatant breach of probability, level 5, took 2 weeks to prepare and had a -91% base chance of success when cast).

Anyway, enough rant.


Avenger! was excellent.  I've still got those.  How about Lone Wolf or Grey Star? Grey Star was better. --Mjb67

ec2-44-221-66-130.compute-1.amazonaws.com | ToothyWiki | RecentChanges | Login | Webcomic
Edit this page | View other revisions | Recently used referrers
Last edited May 28, 2003 3:50 pm (viewing revision 9, which is the newest) (diff)