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!

Friday 19 October 2018

Are YOU ready to become The Hero of Deathtrap Dungeon?

The Hero of Deathtrap Dungeon is an all new digital RPG game set within Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon series.

Sentient Play* is teaming up with Ian Livingstone and Iain McCaig - along with a superteam of both the usual suspects (game industry talent) and the unexpected (like Alex Gygax, son of Dungeon & Dragon’s co-creator, Gary Gygax) - on a group quest to bring you the most convenient way to experience the very best parts of old-school role-playing.

Enter, if you dare, a vast tournament labyrinth for a game of high-stakes decisions, where your educated guesses could lead to grave peril or fantastic rewards. In this single player role-playing game, explore, fight monsters, craft items, solve puzzles, outwit opponents, and skill up your hero to be the first to conquer Deathtrap Dungeon.

Ideal for both veteran role-players looking for convenient solo play and new players looking for an easy intro to the classic pen-and-paper RPG experience, The Hero of Deathtrap Dungeon uses the Storybook Hero RPG engine to bring the best parts of "old-school" role-playing to life in a modern, cinematic way. With the convenience of a gamebook, replayability, and the wide wonder of pen and paper role-playing, this is a revolutionary “Novel” RPG where your actions literally write the book as you play.

Head to for a special sneak preview of the upcoming Fig campaign to learn more.

* Check out the parallax-scrolling image of Fang on their home page!

Friday 5 October 2018

Fighting Fantasy and the City of Romans

Last weekend, Fighting Fantasy co-creator Ian Livingstone and The Gates of Death author Charlie Higson appeared together at the Bath Children's Literature Festival to talk about all things FF gamebook-related. The audience was made up of some enthusiastic 10 year-olds and some enthusiastic 40-somethings who had also once been enthusiastic 10 year-olds.

Ian Livingstone and Charlie Higson at the Bath Children's Literature Festival.

Ian and Charlie's talk went down very well - covering everything from the foundation of Games Workshop, through to Charlie's inspiration for a certain contentious character from The Gates of Death - and provoked a number of probing questions from the audience.

Charlie Higson examines the origins of a certain monster in Medieval art.

At the end of the event, having signed books for numerous fans - old and new alike - Ian was the grateful recipient of a model of the Black Lobster tavern, that infamous Port Blacksand drinking den, created by master model-maker Steve Britton.

The Black Lobster Tavern, by Steve Britton.

During the talk, Ian also made an exclusive announcement, slipped in as one of the slides in his PowerPoint presentation...