Friday 28 December 2018

Coming in 2019...

2018 is almost done, so what are you looking forward to most to come from the Fighting Fantasy stable in 2019?

Perhaps you're looking forward to the release of more of the Scholastic editions of the gamebooks, and possibly a new title to boot.

Perhaps you're keen to pick up and listen to the Fighting Fantasy Audio Dramas 4 Story Boxset, featuring The Forest of Doom: Lost in Darkwood, The Citadel of Chaos: Terror of the Ganjees, Deathtrap Dungeon: The Last Champion, and Creature of Havoc: The Monster of Dree.

Perhaps you're hoping for more releases for Tin Man Games' Fighting Fantasy Classics range.

Or could it be you're looking forward to Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, taking place on Saturday 31st August 2019, in West London?

Tell us what you're looking forward to most, or what else you would like to see come out under the Fighting Fantasy label in 2019, in the comments below, or on the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks Facebook page.

Friday 21 December 2018

Tin Man Games' Fighting Fantasy Classics Holiday Sale

If you're still wondering what to get the Fighting Fantasy fan in your life, or you're looking to treat yourself to an early Christmas present, then why not check out Tin Man Games' Holiday Sale?

You could pick up some classic gamebooks to play during the holiday period, with all Fighting Fantasy Classics titles on sale!

For Android apps, click here. For iOS apps, click here. And for Steam downloads, click here.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Arion Games' Christmas Sale

What do you give the Fighting Fantasy fan in your life, while they are waiting for new books to be announced by Scholastic? Why, the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG, of course! And there really couldn't be a better time to get into it, or to add to your existing collection of sourcebooks and gaming material, since Arion Games have launched their Christmas Sale on DriveThru RPG, with 40% off most items and some free gifts too!

Friday 7 December 2018

Scorpion Swamp artist Duncan Smith to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 3

What do the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Scorpion Swamp (written by the US Steve Jackson) and Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-playing Game (written by the UK Steve Jackson) have in common? Well, apart from sharing their 35th anniversary in 2019, they were also both illustrated by artist Duncan Smith.

What some Fighting Fantasy fans may not realise is that Duncan also provided the pictures for the first iteration of Ian Livingstone's legendary Caverns of the Snow Witch that appeared in Warlock Magazine.

Mammoth and Snow Witch, by Duncan Smith (c) 1984 and 2018.

Duncan is now based in London, having moved there after graduating from the Glasgow School Of Art.

Duncan Smith: Luckily I had some good friends who'd moved down the year before, Iain McCaig and Joe Graham. (You've probably heard of Iain, does a bit of drawing for films, writes, directs, film maker and educator, all round renaissance man! Joe Graham is a designer, writer, singer and used to make a great man-mountain pizza!) Anyway, after dragging my portfolio around all the Publishers I started to get lots of work. Iain was working on the FF books and they were looking for new artists and I ended up doing a whole bunch of fantasy work for Puffin Books and White Dwarf. They were really enjoyable books to do, and Iain and I would have great fun, taking turns posing, for each others drawings for some of the more outlandish characters in our respective books, from Lizard men, centaurs, wizards and the occasional giant! The rest as they say, is history, as that was over thirty years ago.

The Warlock: So what have you been working on since illustrating Fighting Fantasy gamebooks?

DS: My work is quite varied now, I work for a variety of publishing houses producing illustrations and some concept work for film, I write and illustrate children's books and how to draw books. I'm also an avid photographer and educator.

TW: Many of your original FF illustrations are now for sale. What prompted you to give fans the opportunity to own a piece of classic '80s fantasy art?

DS: One of the reasons that I'm selling this artwork is a chat I had recently with my old friend Tim Olsen. (Tim stayed in the flat below us and was then the manager of Games Workshop. Tim is another multi-talented guy - writer, artist and humanitarian - and has the biggest heart!). When I mentioned I still had all the artwork for the books tucked away in my plan chest, he said that I should put them up for sale as there was a lot of interest from fans and collectors for FF art. So, Tim put out the word that I was selling some work and remarkably there was a lot of interest! So, here for the first time, all in one place, the artwork finally sees the light of day!

Pool Beast and Fenmarge Tavern, by Duncan Smith (c) 1984 and 2018.

Some of Duncan's original pieces for Scorpion Swamp and Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game are still available to buy, direct from the artist himself here.

The exciting news is that Duncan is going to be one of the guests attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, on Saturday 31st August 2019. To find out more about the event, click this link. Tickets go on sale in the New Year.

Thursday 29 November 2018

Special guest Ian Livingstone attending Dragonmeet 2018

On Saturday 1st December, Fighting Fantasy co-creator Ian Livingstone will be attending Dragonmeet 2018 as one of this year's special guests.

Also in attendance will be Fighting Fantasy historian Jonathan Green and All Rolled Up, the company that produces the FF-licensed game rolls and dice trays.

Dragonmeet is being held at the Novotel London West, in Hammersmith, London. The Gaming Hall is open from 9:00am-Midnight, while the Trade Hall is open from 10:00am-7:00pm.

You will find a downloadable version of the event programme here.

Fighting Fantasy at Dragonmeet 2018

Tuesday 27 November 2018

The Fighting Fantasy Checklist and Price Guide 2018

Jamie Fry, the Fighting Fantasy Collector, is back, with 2018's updated Fighting Fantasy Checklist and Price Guide.

As well as every edition of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks published in English, the guide covers everything from early FF computer games and advertising posters to All Rolled Up licensed products and inkle Sudios' Steve Jackson's Sorcery! merchandise. It's a miracle Mr Fry's STAMINA didn't fail during the writing of his magnum opus.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy has its own section in the guide.

Fighting Fantasy computer games.

You can download your own copy of Jamie's guide for free here, and don't forget to check out the Fighting Fantasy Collector website here.

Friday 23 November 2018

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone at the Golden Joystick Awards

Last Friday, Fighting Fantasy co-creators Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone were at the Golden Joystick Awards to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dark Souls and Bloodborne creator Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Steve Jackson, Hidetaka Miyazaki and Ian Livingstone.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, when asked, "What kind of books would I find on your shelf if I were to look right now?" his reply was:

"First, you'd spot the manga shelf, with Devilman and Berserk lining the top. The neighbouring bookshelf is packed with tabletop role-playing game rulebooks, with RuneQuest prominently displayed, alongside the board game Dragon Pass. A shelf is packed with novels – old classics of fantasy and science fiction, alongside George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice and Fevre Dream. A small library of game books shares the same shelf. At the top is Sorcery! and accompanying guides Titan and Out of the Pit. Finally, you'd find various art and reference books, including work by Umberto Eco and McNeill, and Colin Wilson's The Occult."

Miyazaki often credits the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks for fuelling his interest in game design.

Ian Livingstone with Hidetaka Miyazaki, and The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

You can watch the entirety of the Golden Joystick Awards below, and if you want to see Hidetaka Miyazaki receive his Lifetime Achievement award from Steve and Ian, jump to 55:20.

Saturday 17 November 2018

Fighting Fantasy at Dragonmeet 2018

Dragonmeet has become something of a fixture in the Fighting Fantasy calendar and this year is no exception. Two weeks today, on Saturday 1st December, Ian Livingstone will be attending the event, as will FF historian Jonathan Green.

Dragonmeet is being held at the Novotel London West, in Hammersmith, London. The Gaming Hall is open from 9:00am-Midnight, while the Trade Hall is open from 10:00am-7:00pm.

Dragonmeet is one of the most vibrant tabletop gaming conventions and the largest of its kind in London. You'll discover a day jam-packed with things for you to do. Expect new and old games to play, industry panels, book signings, an art show, a Bring & Buy stall, cosplay events, lots of traders and big demos, tournaments and of course the chance to make new friends and hang out with fellow gamers!

This year Dragonmeet is expanding into two big halls in the Novotel Hammersmith providing lots more open gaming space, a bigger seminar room, more demo game space, more participation games and more RPG space! ​You can expect board games, role-playing games and miniatures games, tournaments plus an evening of gaming including the charity auction.

Advance tickets cost £12, and Under 16s are free with an accompanying adult.

To find out more about 'the UK's friendliest games convention', follow this link.

Thursday 15 November 2018

Monday 12 November 2018

Carl Sargent (1952-2018)

We were very sorry to hear the news, late last night, that the prolific RPG writer, author, and parapsychologist, Carl Sargent, has passed away.

Carl will be better known to Fighting Fantasy fans the world over as Keith Martin, author of seven gamebooks in the series, written between 1988 and 1995 - Stealer of Souls, Vault of the Vampire, Master of Chaos, Tower of Destruction, Island of the Undead, Night Dragon, Legend of Zagor, and Revenge of the Vampire.

However, his work appeared under his own name when he collaborated with Ian Livingstone on the quartet of four short novels - Firestorm, Darkthrone, Skullcrag, and Demonlord - which featured the exploits of three heroes from Legend of Zagor*.

Just as he enriched the worlds of Greyhawk, Warhammer, Shadowrun and Earthdawn with his work, the world of Titan would have seemed a much smaller place without Carl's contributions.

And so tonight we shall be raising a glass of fine Mortvanian claret, drawn from the cellars of Castle Heydrich, in his memory, and our thoughts remain with his friends and family at this difficult time.

In memory of
Carl Sargent

* Which was itself based on the board game designed by Ian Livingstone and published by Parker Brothers.

Friday 9 November 2018

Trial of Champions Competition Winners!

You may remember that at the end of the summer we ran a competition for budding dungeon designers to concoct a trap for that most notorious of underground labyrinths, Deathtrap Dungeon! Well today we are pleased to announce the winners, who each receive a pair of complimentary Steam keys courtesy of Tin Man Games.

So, in no particular order...


Simple trap design for tunnel or corridor of any decent length: halfway along, a fireball shoots out of the wall behind the hapless victim, and continues along the tunnel, making the victim either try to run to the end and avoid it, or brace for impact.

As it turns out, the fireball is an illusion, and does no harm. The hidden spiked pitfall trap a couple of feet further down the tunnel, however, is quite real.

TRIAL BY LEGO by Lawrence Bowyer


The idea of the wall demands the hero collect the diamond/gem located at the centre which is an item necessary to obtain the true ending.

The nature of the trap is to suck the hero onto the wall which keeps one frozen in time once attached. The wall itself has previous adventurers on it already doomed to spend their eternity stuck. My drawing includes 14 but it can be an infinite number. The hero cannot collect the diamond/gem without allowing him or herself to get sucked onto the wall.

My plan for the hero being allowed to escape the human wall involves memorising a word of release from a tome found earlier in the adventure which of course would have to be classically decoded via turning letters to numbers and adding them and turning to the new paragraph. Of course if the paragraph makes no sense it is incorrect.

The human wall floats inside a dungeon and only appears to the hero once they arrive at the location which triggers it to appear. It looks like a membrane wall red in colour with pulsating veins throughout of a blue, pink and violet colours. Due to the multiple races that the hero can be in a Fighting Fantasy adventure, the human wall will appear to the hero as the race that they are. For example dwarf wall, elf wall, etc.

DEATHTRAP TRAP by Leigh Cooper

It’s simple really, you show the player the entire trap complete with:

Crushing spike wall
Spinning circular saw blade wall
Barrels of highly explosive black powder
A vat of dragon breath fire that melts even the hardest metal and stone
A vat of plague acid that corrupts/melts even the most valiant of heart
And above all this? A trapdoor (of course) holding back 1000s of gallons of toxic bilge water (a la Creature of Havoc) housing a giant lamprey beast of doom.

It’s really simple, there is a plain button in the centre of the room, they have the choice to push it or not and here’s the non-twist, if they push it? They obviously die horribly... but I bet players push it, I know I would. If they don’t? The go on their merry way... but have they missed something?

As a huge fan of Creature of Havoc I would possibly put in a secret ‘favourable’ end to the room but have it hinge of finding an item or code (like when you use the ‘add 50 to the page number’ mechanic if you have this item).


You arrive at a bit where there is a long tunnel leading down to a room, the tunnel has spiked hurdles high and low you have to jump/duck under, as you start forward a massive vat of boiling water/acid above you tips forward and you have to run for it. Throw a dice for each of the obstacles (6 - 10 in total, it's up to you), you jump the first one, duck the next, jump, duck, jump, duck etc, on the jumping ones a 2-6 means you jump it, a 1 means you hit it and stumble, on the ducking ones a 1-5 means you duck it, a 6 means you hit it, when you hit the obstacle you lose 1 or 2 stamina, if you hit three hurdles the water/acid catches you and you die.

When you make it down to the bottom there is a pit to jump, test your luck to make the jump across, if you fail you fall in the pit with the water/acid falling on top of you and a painful death, if you do make it the water / acid falls down the pit and you are safe, for now! When you walk forward you trigger a trip wire and hear a noise, roll a dice as a poisoned dart has been fired out the wall (or an axe swings down from the roof, i like either), a 1 means you move out the way just in time, a 2 or 3 means it snicks you causing 2 stamina loss, a 4-5 means it hit you hard losing 4 stamina, a 6 is a direct hit to the head and you die.

Past this there is a big room with a handle on the wall, there is a treasure chest on the far side guarded  by a constantly changing ball of energy, a voice says "You are welcome to the contents of the chest if you can defeat me, pull the handle to reveal my true form" Roll a die:
1 - Snake, stamina 2
2 - Orc, stamina 6
3 - Ogre, stamina 10
4 - Dragon, stamina 16
5 - A reflection of yourself (with the same stats)
6 - Some kind character who wants to help you, restores your stats to initial value and gives you some special equipment

When you win you find something useful in the chest to help later on, some provisions, or maybe some gold.

Congratulations to all the winners, and if you're tempted to take on the terrors of Deathtrap Dungeon for yourself, you might want to take a look at Sentient Play's forthcoming The Hero of Deathtrap Dungeon.

Friday 2 November 2018

Have you tried the award-winning Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal video game yet?

That's right, Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal can officially be referred to as an award-winning game after winning the 'Heritage Award' at the TIGA* Videogame Awards, hosted at the Guildhall in London last night.

Carl Jackson of Nomad Games holding the TIGA Heritage Award.

Based on the Deathtrap Dungeon trilogy by Ian Livingstone - featuring the gamebooks Deathtrap DungeonTrial of Champions and Armies of Death - you can play as a novice adventurer and rise up through the ranks to saviour of the world in this epic tale of deadly traps, fearsome monsters and devious adversaries.

Congratulations to Carl and the team at Nomad Games! Enjoy a mug of Skullbuster on us - but just the one mind.

You can try Fighting Fantasy Legends Portal for yourself here.

* TIGA = The Independent Game Developers' Association

Thursday 1 November 2018

Ian Livingstone at Lucca Comics and Games and PixelCon this weekend!

If you happen to be visiting the Lucca Comics and Games convention in Italy this weekend, or you're at PixelCon at Arcadia in Budapest, keep an eye open for the fiendish designer of such classic Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks as City of Thieves, Deathtrap Dungeon, and Island of the Lizard King.

Ian Livingstone is attending Lucca Comics and Games this Thursday and Friday (1st - 2nd November 2018), where he will be signing books as well as giving a talk on Friday morning entitled 'Life is a Game'. He will then be interviewed in the afternoon before undertaking his second signing session. To find out more, follow this link.

And then on Saturday, 3rd November 2018, Ian will be the guest of honour at PixelCon in Budapest. To find out more about that event, follow this link.

Friday 26 October 2018

Happy Birthday, John Blanche!

Visionary fantasy artist John Blanche, is 70 years young today!

Anyone who grew up loving Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series in the 1980s with be immediately familiar with illustrations of Jann the Minimite, the Mantis Man of Kharé, the Snattacats of the Forest of Snatta, and the Archmage of Mampang himself, not to mention the effects of sorcerous spells brought to life.

Jann the Minimite

The Mantis Man of Kharé

A Snattacat

The Archmage of Mampang

The YOB Spell in action!

Of course, Blanche also provided the almost hallucinogenic cover paintings for the original Sorcery! releases and painted an image of Kharé - Cityport of Traps for the original large formal release of Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World.

Blanche even produced a full-colour map of the land of Kakhabad to help advertise the series.

Blanche is the art director for Games Workshop and it is his fertile imagination and stunning visuals that have given form to the grim, gothic worlds of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. But for some, his name will always be synonymous with the land of Kakhabad and Steve Jackson's Sorcery! Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

So raise a tankard of your favourite foaming pick-me-up and join us in wishing John Blanche a very happy birthday!