Friday, 31 March 2017

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 has just 24 hours left to run - pledge your support today!

YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 has just 24 hours to go on Kickstarter and is creeping ever closer towards its final stretch goal...

Backers who have pledged to receive physical copies of the book will already be receiving two bonus art prints and an MP3 download of Fighting Fantasy-inspired music, but if the next stretch goal is reached they will also receive a full-colour print of Leo Hartas's map of Allansia, as well as having their softback of YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 become a hardback.

A new art add-on has also been announced. Add £120 to any other pledge (or select the Golden Fleece reward by itself) and you could be the proud owner of a canvas art print of Chris Achilleos's cover art for YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2.

So if you've been holding out, hoping that YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 would be published as a hardback, don't delay - back the Kickstarter today!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Fighting Fantasy to relaunch in its 35th anniversary year!

It's the news Fighting Fantasy fans have been waiting for, but hardly daring to believe could actually happen, for a long time.

That's right, in its 35th anniversary year, Fighting Fantasy is coming back as the series relaunches for a new generation and with a new publisher!

Before gaming gripped the imagination of children worldwide, Fighting Fantasy was the bestselling fantasy brand that made the reader the hero of every story. In its 35th anniversary year, Scholastic UK is proud to announce the acquisition of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s classic series of adventure gamebooks which will be republished, repackaged and reignited for a new generation. Furthermore, Scholastic UK will publish a brand-new gamebook by Ian Livingstone, The Port of Peril, and future titles are planned.

Almost 20 million copies of Fighting Fantasy have sold worldwide in 32 languages and the series has a legion of high-profile fans, including Charlie Higson, who says: “Before there were video games, before kids could get lost in the labyrinth that is the Internet, before The Lord Of The Rings films, Game of Thrones and the reboot of Doctor Who turned everyone onto fantasy and sci-fi, there were the Fighting Fantasy books. A new way of telling stories and in many ways the birth of modern gaming, these books captured the imagination of a generation of kids – and locked them in the Deathtrap Dungeons. It’s great to think that a new generation of kids are going to be similarly captivated.”

With appeal for fans of high-octane fantasy brands from Percy Jackson to Assassin’s Creed, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks also spark ever-more important skills of problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. Scholastic UK’s launch campaign will be focused on reaching new readers whilst also celebrating the 35th anniversary with the passionate existing fan base.

Ian Livingstone says: “Fighting Fantasy has survived the test of time, and I’m thrilled that Scholastic are re-imagining our gamebook series for a new generation of fans. Starting with five classic titles, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I hope readers will have enough SKILL and STAMINA to survive the challenges of The Port of Peril, my brand-new adventure.”

Steve Jackson says: “It was 35 years ago that the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook appeared in UK bookshops and readers became heroes as they explored the caverns of Firetop Mountain. And now, after all those years, it is particularly exciting for FF to be embarking on a new publishing partnership with Scholastic, the world’s largest children’s books publisher. May their Stamina never Fail!”

Lauren Fortune, Editorial Director at Scholastic UK, says: “A whole generation of children grew up reading the Fighting Fantasy series in the 1980s and 1990s, often reluctant readers for whom this was an important gateway into books. There is so much here to appeal to today’s young readers: the best monsters, the chance to create your own pathway through the story, the empowering, compelling set-up that in the Fighting Fantasy world, YOU are the hero. As a huge fan of these books from childhood, I couldn’t be prouder to be republishing them this year.”

In August 2017, Scholastic UK will publish The Port of Peril, the new gamebook by Ian Livingstone, along with five classic titles, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. A further tranche of titles will publish in spring 2018.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER #2

We are delighted to be able to give loyal FF fans a preview of Ben Oliver's cover art for Issue #2 of Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER, which goes on sale on 14th June 2017.

Are you going to argue with her?

Issue #2 comes with another two more cover variants, including one by series' artist Simon Coleby...

Staring Death in the face!

... and another by Simon Myers.

To subscribe to Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER at a 'special price' you need to do so by the end of today, Wednesday 22nd March 2017, here.

Part 2 (of 4) 

Writer: Andi Ewington 
Artist: Simon Coleby 
FC - 32pp - $3.99 - On sale: June 14, 2017 

New story based on the cult-favorite series of game books. 

Written by Andi Ewington (Ex Mortis, Sunflower) and illustrated by Simon Coleby (Judge Dredd, The Royals). 

Cover A: Ben Oliver 
Cover B: Simon Coleby 
Cover C: Simon Myers 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

From Fighting Fantasy to the Witcher

Last week Ian Livingstone was a guest of London Book and Screen Week where he took part in a panel entitled 'From Fighting Fantasy to the Witcher: How Narrative Design in Gaming Enhances Storytelling'.

After the panel Ian was interviewed, an interview which you can watch here for yourself.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Happy St Patrick's Day!

As it is St Patrick's Day on your plane of existence, I thought it timely to warn you about the Leprechauns of Titan.

As any adventurer in the lands of Allansia, Khul and the Old World will tell you, Leprechauns are tricky and capricious individuals and so you should always be on your guard in the presence of one of these diminutive followers of Logaan the Trickster.

Remember O'Seamus in The Citadel of Chaos?

Or these fellows from Deathtrap Dungeon?

Or Muldoon from Shaggradd's Hives of Peril (as related in Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game) or even Finnegan O'Dinnegan from The Riddling Reaver?

Whilst not being intrinsically evil themselves, it is not unknown for them to lead unwary travellers into potentially perilous situations for nothing more than their own amusement.

So take care this St Patrick's Day evening, Leprechauns are particularly likely to have their fun with brave adventurers who have maybe had one too many flagons of Cloud Ale, and if you do end up in a horse's drinking trough with your breeches round your ankles, don't say I didn't warn you...

The Second Swordsman – ‘Beware Blacksand!’

A few weeks ago we presented the second in Malcolm Garcia's series of Second Swordsman blog posts. Well he's back, and what with the collector's edition of City of Thieves currently funding on Indiegogo, and Ian Livingstone revisiting the port later this year in his new gamebook, it is rather appropriate that Malcolm's new piece is entitled...

The Second Swordsman – ‘Beware Blacksand!’

By Malcolm Garcia

With the possible exception of Fang’s Deathtrap Dungeon, there is unlikely to be a place in all of Titan as infamous as Port Blacksand. Nestled on the western coast of Allansia, astride the Catfish River, Port Blacksand is mentioned in several Fighting Fantasy adventures, usually in unflattering terms. But for two of the books, Port Blacksand is the main place where you, the adventurer, will spend much of your time attempting to complete your quest (while trying to avoid being killed or becoming ensnared).

In City of Thieves Port Blacksand is where you seek out the wizard Nicodemus for his advice, and thereafter you rummage through the city searching for the various objects on Nicodemus’s shopping list. In Midnight Rogue you are a wannabe thief and the port is yours to explore as you attempt to discover the hiding place of the gem known as the ‘Eye of the Basilisk’; finding it is essential if you want to be welcomed into the Port’s Guild of Thieves, for which you have apparently spent several years in training.

So, did the Second Swordsman process result in success in either of these quests?



However, as has happened in a few of my adventures, consistently choosing the second option made my journey last a surprisingly long time. Also on the positive side is that at the end of both City and Midnight my character was still alive, and not a meal for a creature, or variously crushed, impaled or poisoned by a trap. However I was burdened, respectively, with the heavy shame of letting down the people of Silverton and failing to join the Thieves' Guild. In City I managed to meet Nicodemus (for a man hiding away from folks, he was easy to find) and escaped the city guard, but once outside the city walls I realised I’d failed to gather any of the special items I needed to defeat Zanbar Bone. And in Midnight I did manage to find some information about where the Eye of the Basilisk was hidden during my skulking across the city, but I didn’t gather enough clues and so failed. (Can anybody else figure out how the Guild of Thieves has so many members when the entry test is so difficult?)

In both City and Midnight I had the enjoyable feeling of exploring a large city, rather than crawling through a dungeon or lurking in the corridors of a castle. Despite this, City pushes you constantly forward, giving opportunities to visit various places of interest along the way but with no possibility of going back and exploring streets you haven’t already walked along; which is never the best environment for the Second Swordsman method. On the surface Midnight doesn’t have the same pacing and you’re given the option of sneaking around and visiting places right across the city, in a non-linear manner. But, once you’ve been to an area, you cannot return later – you must gather whatever you need in the one visit and then go somewhere else. Though there are some welcome, if rare, occasions when, if you ignore an option the first time, you’ll later be given the option to do so again.

In City, the Second Swordsman process made for an inauspicious start – the first thing I did upon arriving in Port Blacksand was to flee from one of the city guards. I then chose to ignore both a herbalist and a tavern, surely staples of any adventure. After pelting eggs at a man in the stocks, I then ignored a clairvoyant (although if they were any good they would have known I’d do that) and I ignored a house with skulls painted on the door, but there may well have been ne’er-do-wells in there - this is the City of Thieves after all!

I also ignored a warty man, some other men fighting, a manhole cover, a beggar, a beguiling alleyway, a candle maker and a silver smith. I even ignored the opportunity to check out a pirate ship – as good as any place to find the mysterious items I needed for my quest. While some of these would have undoubtedly led to hostile encounters, not investigating any of them made me less hopeful I’d find what I needed to defeat Zanbar Bone. I did take a break from ignoring things for just long enough to return a convicted murderer into the hands of the city guards, but I then ignored some, almost certainly, interesting gardens (the City of Thieves would never have uninteresting plant life).

In Midnight, the Second Swordsman process did not have the same ignoring effect; maybe because it’s one of the later books in the series and the choices had, by then, evolved beyond the basic ‘do’ or ‘don’t do’. Constantly choosing the second option didn’t make me do anything dangerously stupid – even though I did explore some places that I wouldn’t usually have chosen – and it helped me gain the skill to hide, defeat a gargoyle, and find the aforementioned clue about the location of the precious gem.

Midnight has been the first book I’ve attempted using the Second Swordsman process that has required me to select various skills before starting and I found this a welcome addition. Even though I had to choose every second one available, I found what I selected to be generally very useful. When compared to The Citadel of Chaos (where I burned through my levitation spells in short order but never used some others I had chosen) the process of having an ability for the duration of the book was enjoyable. As was the possibility of gaining extra skills.

Unlike Caverns of the Snow Witch and Trial of Champions, neither City nor Midnight confronted me at an early stage with any especially difficult enemies. In City my only fight was with the most apt of enemies – a pair of thieves. And in Midnight, in a serious case of collateral damage, I made short work of the poor guard and footpad (why aren’t they members of the guild?) who got in the way of me passing my exam.

For now though, I’ll shuffle off into the wilderness of Allansia, head held low in shame but always seeking out the next adventure for the Second Swordsman.

Thanks again, to Malcolm, for his blog post, and don't forget to get in touch if you have any suggestions for item for the Official Fighting Fantasy blog via

Sunday, 12 March 2017


The Kickstarter to fund YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 - the sequel to 2014's YOU ARE THE HERO - is already well underway, having launched at 1:00pm on Saturday 11th March 2017, and funded at just after 10:00am on Sunday 12th March!

If you would like to back the project yourself, which will see Jonathan Green continue to chronicle the history of the world's premier gamebook series, then a £10 pledge will get you an eBook, a £20 pledge will get you a physical copy of the book, and a £250 pledge will win you a place at Balthus Dire's banqueting table in the Black Tower, along with the Masters of Firetop Mountain themselves, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone!

Having already funded, the Kickstarter is heading towards its first stretch goal, to have legendary FF cover artist paint a brand new cover for YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2!

So you know what to do...

Friday, 10 March 2017

City of Thieves Collector's Edition

The Games Collector has licensed Ian Livingstone's City of Thieves to produce a unique collector's edition of this classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook. Experience the adventure as never before with this sumptuously presented, limited edition hardback, featuring handcrafted interactive elements and brand new illustrations by Brazilian artist and designer Daielyn Cris.

This new edition of City of Thieves is full colour, handmade, hand-stitched and includes multiple 3D components. Each copy is effectively a one-off.

There are all sorts of rewards on offer, from poster sets and art prints, through to signed hardbacks and even one reward that comes in a unique hand carved wooden casket.

The recipient of this very special Zanbar Bone Edition hardback will not only receive the book in a calf-skin Solander box, laid on luxurious crushed blood-red velvet bedding within a hand-crafted free standing wooden casket made from 300-year old oak, featuring an inlaid laser-engraved brass clasp, Ian Livingstone will also write a unique personal message inside the book as well as sign it.

It also comes with two gold-plated D6 dice, stored in a pouch, an Adventure Sheet, and an exquisite Montblanc pencil, included in a separate storage box. Bound in calf-skin leather and with gilt-edged pages, this astonishing edition will be delivered by Ian Livingstone himself, at a top London restaurant, and the recipient will then enjoy a meal with the author and The Games Collector team.

To find out more about the project and pledge your support, please visit the Indiegogo project page.

Meanwhile, you can hear Ian Livingstone talk about the events that led to him originally writing the book here:

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER: The Comic signing at Forbidden Planet

Join an all-star Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks line-up at Forbidden Planet, launching Titan Comics’ Ian Livingstone's Freeway Fighter: The Comic on Saturday 20th May from 1:00-2:00pm!

Forbidden Planet are pleased to welcome Gamesmaster Ian Livingstone, artist Jim Burns, editor Jonathan Green, and creators Andi Ewington, Simon Coleby and Orlando Arocena, bringing us the first leg of a furious three-way road trip.

Celebrating 35 years in 2017, Fighting Fantasy brought together choice-driven storytelling with a dice-based role-playing system to create a world in which ‘YOU are the hero!’ The series sold over 18 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 languages.

In the new comics series, an unknown virus has wiped out over 85% of the world’s human population. Former I-400 Driver Bella De La Rosa is one of the 15% – living every day as if it were her last. Now, eighteen months after the collapse of civilisation, faced with a new world order where violence and chaos rule the Freeway. She must hone her racing skills and survive any way she can! 

Stepping away from the usual mix of orcs and goblins, FREEWAY FIGHTER is a road trip like no other. Dare you take it? If yes, turn to paragraph 132!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Restore your SKILL to its Initial level!

On 1st March, Ian Livingstone posted the following on Twitter:

If you've yet to tweet Ian your #FFinitials it's not too late - the random draw will be made later today, and anyone who has taken part has an equal chance of winning!

It's not the first time Ian Livingstone has used social media to include fans of Fighting Fantasy in an adventure gamebook. In 2012, two FF fans ended up making cameo appearances in Bloodof the Zombies, after retweeting Ian's initial tweet. They were Labour MP Tom Watson, and author, actor, comedian and television producer Charlie Higson!

So if you win this competition you'll be in good company, and your initials will be immortalised in print for posterity, and in a Fighting Fantasy gamebook no less!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 - Tickets on sale now!

Six months from today, on Saturday 2nd September 2017, a host of dedicated Fighting Fantasy fans will gather at the University of West London, in Ealing, to mark the 35th anniversary of the publication of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. And you could be there too!

Tickets are now on sale for Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, via the official Fighting Fantasy website here.

We are working very hard to make sure that FFF2 is similar enough to FFF1 that those who didn't manage to go last time (back in 2014) get to experience something of the same vibe, whilst also making sure that it is different enough that those who did go last time don't find themselves sitting in on talks they have heard before.

So expect new talks, new guests, new game demos, new traders, and new friends to be made, on Saturday 2nd September 2017, at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Dicing with Dragons

Seeing as it's St David's Day in the UK, in honour of the patron saint of Wales, today on the official Fighting Fantasy blog we're celebrating the various dragons that have appeared in Fighting Fantasy gamebooks over the years.

So here we go, counting down from number ten to number one, but be warned - there are some spoilers ahead...

10. Pocket Dragon (FF51 Island of the Undead)
Dragons are cool, right? So how cool would it be to have a dragon that you could keep in your pocket? Ice cold, right?

Pocket Dragon (and Stonewight), by Russ Nicholson.

9. Wyrm (Allansia)
Not technically a dragon, but close enough. This monster of the icy wastes is encountered by the Heroes in the multi-player Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG adventure A Darkness of Kaad.

Allansia cover (featuring the Wyrm) by John Sibbick.

8. Skeletal Dragon (FF54 Legend of Zagor)
Even though it's dead, this dragon is still deadly. (Legend of Zagor also features a Wyvern and a War Dragon!)

Skeletal Dragon, by Martin McKenna.

7. Stone Sentinels (FF39 Fangs of Fury)
Six massive stone dragons guard the tiny kingdom of Zamarra. But the fire they breathe has been extinguished. And now Zamarra is under siege by Ostragoth the Grim and his swarming hordes...

6. Brimstone Dragon (The Tasks of Tantalon)
The keeper of a treasure hoard in the Old World kingdom of Gallantaria. But how many gold pieces were really in that hoard?

Brimstone Dragon, by Stephen Lavis.

5. Wyvern (FF3 The Forest of Doom)
Also technically not a dragon, but the Wyvern's dramatic appearance towards the end of The Forest of Doom made a big impression on many a young role-player.

Wyvern, by Malcolm Barter.

4. White Dragon (FF9 Caverns of the Snow Witch)
One of the guardians of the Snow Witch's Crystal Caves.

White Dragon, by Edward Crosby and Gary Ward.

3. Titan (Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World)
The name given to the dragon that appears on the cover of Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World. This particular dragon was even immortalised as a sculpture, to mark Fighting Fantasy's 10th anniversary, by Clarecraft.

Dragonspell, by Chris Achilleos.

2. The Night Dragon (FF52 Night Dragon)
One of the Ancient Dragons, corrupted by Evil, that fought against the gods themselves. A dragon so bad-ass that even after it's been killed its head grows legs and attacks you!

The Night Dragon, by Tony Hough.

1. The Dragon of Firetop Mountain (FF1 The Warlock of Firetop Mountain)
The original and still the best. A memorable encounter near the climax to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, for many young readers this was the first dragon they had ever gone toe-to-toe with in a role-playing game. And it has appeared on the cover of every edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain since the book was first published in 1982.

Dragon, by Russ Nicholson.

Bubbling under...
Kilanirax, Lord of all Dragons, and the Dream Dragon (both from FF51 Night Dragon), the War Dragon (from FF54 Legend of Zagor), the Sea Dragon (FF19 Demons of the Deep), the golden dragon statue from FF60 Eye of the Dragon, and the dragon, from the Dragon Cover Format, by Chris Achilleos.

Eye of the Dragon, by Martin McKenna.

Dragon Cover Format, by Chris Achilleos.

What do you think of our list? Are there any egregious omissions that you believe should have made it into the Top Ten?

Let us know in the comments below and also let us know if there are any other Fighting Fantasy Top Tens you would like to see.