Saturday 26 January 2019

Blank of Blank

Here's some news to get your gamebook taste buds tingling. The next tranche of Fighting Fantasy titles to be released by Scholastic Books will include a brand new adventure by none other than series co-creator Ian Livingstone himself - and film-maker Martin Gooch was lucky enough to be the first person to play-test it this week.

Here's what Martin had to say about the experience on Twitter.

'Blank of Blank', or whatever it actually ends up being called, will be released this September, along with two other classic Fighting Fantasy titles.

Watch this space for more news soon.

Martin Gooch and Ian Livingstone in the Warlock's lair.

Friday 18 January 2019

Winter Wonderlands

The month of Freeze is well and truly here, and the temperature is dropping right across the Pagan Plains and beyond.

Many heroes will doubtless have fond memories* of adventuring in the northern regions of Allansia, notably the Icefinger Mountains, but which is your favourite snowbound escapade?

Is it Ian Livingstone's Caverns of the Snow Witch? Is it Keith Martin's Tower of Destruction, or perhaps Night Dragon? Or is it Jonathan Green's Stormslayer, which features every type of weather under the sun? Or maybe there's another icy encounter you found particularly memorable.

Why not let us know in the comments below? And if anyone wants to send us a picture of one of the nefarious creatures that can be found in wintry climes, we will add them to the Out of the Pit page on


* And maybe some not-so-fond memories.

Friday 11 January 2019

The Arcane Archive

If you have visited recently, you may have stopped by the Fan Zone and noticed there is a section there called the Arcane Archive. Well, over the next few weeks you will find that clicking on the image of the sorcerer's library will transport you to a new part of the website, but one created by you.

In it you will find links to fellow fans' Fighting Fantasy collections, as well as maps to help you negotiate your way safely through your favourite dark dungeons and dingy castles, and maybe even a gamebook solution or two.

So if you have a collection that you think is something a bit special, and that others would enjoy, or if you've successfully mapped Deathtrap Dungeon or The Citadel of Chaos, or if you have a carefully worked-out solution to a Fighting Fantasy gamebook, then contact the Warlock using the link on the website, or via, and you could see your work became part of the Arcane Archive.

Friday 4 January 2019

Blast from the Past! Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game

In 1984, with other authors like Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson now writing for the main Fighting Fantasy line, the original creators found themselves with more time to expand the Fighting Fantasy world, as well as the FF brand, in new directions. Steve Jackson, set himself the challenge of turning Fighting Fantasy into a more conventional role-playing game, such as those that had inspired The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in the first place.

“I wanted to see how simple I could make a role-playing game based on FF,” says Jackson. “So instead of the GamesMaster describing the room you’d just walked into, the illustration was in the book. You’d just say: “The door opens and you see… THIS!” and show the players the room. I had no intention of creating a new Dungeons & Dragons or anything like that. It was just supposed to tie FF in as a multi-player game as well as a solo RPG.”

As well as the usual FF rules, modified for the multi-player experience, Fighting Fantasy came complete with two ready-made adventures, the introductory The Wishing Well and the significantly longer and more challenging Shaggradd's Hives of Peril.

Jackson: “FF the RPG was supposed to be the simplest possible format for a RPG; minimum work involved for the GM. So instead of the GM having to keep referring to a GM’s map, there was a map offered at every location... Having been used to full-blown RPGs which got more and more complex, this was, as it said, an introductory rulebook. Excellent art by Duncan Smith, don’t you think?”

Duncan Smith produced all of the book’s internal art, including maps, as well as the dramatic cover which showed an angry Weretiger bursting out of a huge dice.

“I think the deadlines were very tight,” Smith says, recalling the time he spent working on the cover, “and I remember they wanted everything in it including the kitchen sink. Dwarfs, dragons, dice, monsters , etc. I just had to come up with an idea to have all the elements on the cover, and make it look good. I wanted to do a more traditional painting but they liked this, so...”

Duncan Smith and Steve Jackson are both going to be guests at Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, on Saturday 31st August 2019, tickets for which go on sale soon.

In the meantime, you can find out more about the history by picking up a copy of Jonathan Green's YOU ARE THE HERO - A History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2, which is currently on sale at a knock-down price, direct from the author.