Friday, 4 December 2020

The 12 Fighting Fantasy Days of Christmas - Day 2

Ever wondered what your Fighting Fantasy collection is worth? Or are you curious just how many editions of your favourite gamebooks have been published over the years? Then you need the Fighting Fantasy Collector.

Jamie Fry, the Fighting Fantasy Collector

Jamie Fry has been curating his collection over many years and it includes some very hard to come by items. He has even become part of the collection himself, since acquiring a Fighting Fantasy tattoo!

Jamie Fry's Fighting Fantasy-inspired tattoo bearing the motto,
'May your STAMINA never fail'.

Each year he publishes his Fighting Fantasy Checklist & Price Guide, and while the 2020 edition is out of print he is looking to bring it to DriveThruRPG, so watch this space. He also occasionally sells some of the pieces from his personal collection.

If you have some unusual items in your collection that your think the Fighting Fantasy Collector needs to know about, then you can contact him via his Facebook page.

And if you have a collection you are proud of, we would love to hear about it. Simply email some photographs of your collection - along with a brief paragraph about it, highlighting any specific elements you like - to, and you could end up appearing in Collector's Corner on the official Fighting Fantasy website.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

The 12 Fighting Fantasy Days of Christmas - Day 1

In the lead up to Christmas, we are going to be posting regular updates connected to your favourite interactive gamebook series - Fighting Fantasy!

First up is Christmas shopping. All Rolled Up are running low on stocks of licensed FF merchandise, and you can grab some real bargains if you head over to their website now!

And what else does every Fighting Fantasy fan need in their life? Why an ultimate stats SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK T-shirt, of course!

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Blast from the Past! City of Thieves

The fifth and sixth Fighting Fantasy gamebooks regularly via for the top spot in best of polls, and they have a number of elements in common. They were both written by Ian Livingstone, co-creator of the FF series, they were both illustrated inside and out by Iain McCaig, and they are both challenging to complete. However, where they differ is in that Deathtrap Dungeon is a classic subterranean dungeon crawl, while City of Thieves is the first gamebook that features an urban setting.

For his second gamebook with the sole writing credit, Ian Livingstone plumped for a city-based adventure. City of Thieves sends the hero to Port Blacksand for the first time, searching for the means to save the prosperous town of Silverton from the evil Night Prince Zanbar Bone and his bloodthirsty Moon Dogs.

This was the first occasion on which Iain McCaig produced not just the internal illustrations but also, what has since become, a classic cover.

“I've always been fascinated by graveside sculptures of the Grim Reaper,” says McCaig. “I eventually designed one for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Zanbar Bone is an early attempt to bring one to life.”

Jackson and Livingstone originally asked McCaig to work on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain but at the time he was busy painting a Jethro Tull album cover and had to turn them down. “Fortunately, the timing worked out better for Ian’s first solo book, The Forest of Doom,” explains McCaig, “for which I did the cover, and both his follow-up books, City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon, for which I did both the interior and cover art. I don’t think I ever enjoyed such a close working relationship with any other author, before or since,” says Iain.

City of Thieves was my first taste of the Fighting Fantasy universe awaiting me,” says comics writer Andi Ewington, who later turned Freeway Fighter into a graphic novel. “I had been reading TSR’s Endless Quest series for a while, and even though they were enjoyable, I found they didn't quite leave you feeling ‘heroic’ at the end… I remember being drawn to that iconic Iain McCaig cover featuring Zanbar Bone. Picking it up and several brief scans of the interior later I realised I was holding the Holy Grail of single player gaming experience in my eleven year-old hands."

When Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World was published, it included a detailed plan of the streets of Port Blacksand, drawn by cartographer Steve Luxton.

Heroic adventurers have revisited the eponymous City of Thieves, many times since, not least in Graeme Davis's Midnight Rogue, which cast the hero in the role of an aspiring member of the Thieves’ Guild of Port Blacksand, and the second Advanced Fighting Fantasy volume Blacksand!

In Blacksand! co-author Marc Gascoigne added detail to the City of Thieves, giving an insight into the individuals, the taverns, businesses and temples of Port Blacksand, as well as its various guilds and nefarious cults.

In 2017, City of Thieves was reissued by Scholastic Books, featuring a new cover by Robert Ball.

Ian Livingstone returned to Port Blacksand, for The Port of Peril, the first new Fighting Fantasy adventure published by Scholastic, while the ruler of the City of Thieves, Lord Azzur, also made an appearance in 2019's Assassins of Allansia.

And somehow the Warlock doubts that this is the last we have seen of that particular den of iniquity either...

Friday, 20 November 2020

Fighting Fantasy Guest Authors on BBC Radio 6 this Saturday

Fans of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks will want to tune in to BBC Radio 6 on Saturday morning, between 7:00am and 10:00am.

Rhianna Pratchett and Charlie Higson will be on Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie's show, talking about the titles they have contributed to the FF series in recent years.

Stuary Maconie and Mark Radcliffe.

Crystal of Storms, by Rhianna Pratchett.

The Gates of Death, by Charlie Higson.