Friday 31 July 2020

Blast from the Past! Temple of Terror

Today on the Earthly Plane has been the hottest day of the year so far, by quite a long way. In fact, you could say it's felt as hot as the Desert of Skulls, talking of which...

The majority of Ian Livingstone’s Temple of Terror (FF14, first published in 1985) takes place in the waterless wastes of the aforementioned desert, although the book begins with the wizard Yaztromo (who first appeared in The Forest of Doom) hiring the hero to thwart the plans of the sorcerer Malbordus, the so-called ‘Storm Child’. The evil sorcerer’s power is reaching its zenith, and all he needs to lead his army of conquest across Allansia are five Dragon artefacts that lie hidden within the lost city of Vatos.

Vatos was named after a small beach resort in Corfu where Livingstone had holidayed more than once, hence it being used as the name of a lost city swallowed by sand. As well as its desert setting, the book is particularly memorable for its introduction of the lethal Messenger of Death.

The memorable Messenger of Death, by Bill Houston.

Temple of Terror was the only FF gamebook to be illustrated by Bill Houston. The cover was painted by ‘80s fantasy art legend Chris Achilleos, the second time he contributed a cover to the main series.

“I was dealing with Ian,” Achilleos recalls, “and he called me and said, ‘I’m going to leave it to you to design me the creature for this new book I’m writing. I’m going to tell you the scene and you come up with the creature, because you probably don’t need guidance on this from someone like me.’ And I said, ‘That sounds great, yeah. Then you can describe it from my painting.’

“It was a guardian of this gate and it was a desert scene – a city half buried under sand – so I designed this creature that lies in wait, buried under the sand... It was something I’d seen in a wildlife programme, these desert snakes that hide in the sand and just have their eyes out and then they pounce on you. So I imagined the same creature sort of lying in wait for someone to try and pass the gate. I drew that and he was delighted with it. In fact he bought the original from me.”

Serpent Guard, by Chris Achilleos.

Did you know...?
The working title for Temple of Terror, which appeared in an advertisement printed in the back of the first edition of Sorcery! Book 3, The Seven Serpents, was Dragon Master.

Friday 24 July 2020

Blast from the Past! Seas of Blood

Having already had two science fiction Fighting Fantasy adventures published (Space Assassin and The Rings of Kether) Andrew Chapman’s third contribution to the FF series, was Seas of Blood (FF16).

Seas of Blood saw the hero take on the role of captain of the pirate ship Banshee, who undertakes a contest with rival buccaneer Abdul the Butcher. Whichever one reaches the island of Nippur within fifty days, and with the most gold, will be declared King of Pirates

The adventure is unusual because it allowed for combat between vessels, and between the Banshee and seas monsters, utilising both CREW STRIKE and CREW STRENGTH scores.

Seas of Blood was illustrated by Bob Harvey, his second of four contributions in the gamebook series...

... and bore a cover by the legendary album cover artist Rodney Matthews.

Matthews’ art medium of choice is pigmented acrylic ink. “I do it with those inks because they’re transparent, or at least translucent, and you can build up the colour gradually,” says the artist. “That’s why I use them, so you don’t overstate something, you can build it up and keep in control of things.”

But while the cover implies a Classical theme, the adventure itself (as older FF fans will know already) has a more strongly Arabian feel to it. And the reason for this mix-up? According to Matthews, it was down to a junior editor at Puffin misleading the artist when he was given the cover brief.

Despite this mix-up, Matthews is still proud of his involvement with Fighting Fantasy, however fleeting it might have been: “I enjoyed doing the cover. I think it probably enhanced the book, but a bit inaccurately.”

As with a number of locations from the other early Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, when FF editor Marc Gascoigne set about compiling Titan – The Fighting Fantasy World, the lands surrounding the Inland Sea, where Seas of Blood is set, were slotted into the newly-created continent of Khul.

However, the book’s author, Andrew Chapman, had already developed a more extensive geography and history for the lands of the Inland Sea which he would later go on to use in two more books – one of which, Ashkar the Magnificent, features the same map as appeared in Seas of Blood – as well as the unpublished FF adventure Deathlord.

Friday 17 July 2020

The Downloads of Doom

Have you listened to the Fighting Fantasy full-cast audio drama series based on Ian Livingstone and Steve's Jackson's fantastic Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks yet?

If not, now is the perfect time, because they are available as downloads from the following platforms -, Google Play, iTunes and

The series, written by David N. Smith, stars Rachel Atkins, David Warner, Lisa Bowerman, Charlie Higson, Richard Rycroft, Andrew Wincott, Sophie Roberts, Tim Treloar, Matthew Brenher, Russell Bentley, Nina Clarke, Peter Noble, Leo Ashizawa, Frazer Blaxland, Deirdra Whelan and Amy Stratton.

You can still buy the CD versions via, but now you can download them too.

So if you haven't taken a trip yet into this exciting audio world, or know someone who might want to, shuffle along to the any of these retailers and pick up a copy now!

Friday 10 July 2020

Return to the Fan(dom) Zone

If you visit the Fan Zone of the Fighting Fantasy website, you will notice that it has grown over the last few weeks, as the Warlock has opened a number of new chambers in his dungeon beneath Firetop Mountain. As well as the Out of the Pit, Tricks & Traps, and Arcane Archive pages, there are now three new sections; Fan Fiction, Collectors' Corner, and Master Modellers.

This area of the Fighting Fantasy Fan Zone is where you can view original artwork created by the Fighting Fantasy community. Here you can browse through the amateur black and white, and colour artwork including line, pencil, charcoal, paint and other media sent to the site.
If you have designed a deathtrap worthy of Baron Sukumvit's infamous dungeon, or a cunning trick to fool an unwary adventurer venturing into the tunnels beneath Firetop Mountain, then share it with your fellow FF aficionados and we will display it for you here. 

The Arcane Archive is where you can study meticulous maps, drawn by other Fighting Fans, to help you negotiate your way through your favourite dark dungeons and dingy castles, and even gamebook solutions, if you need a little help completing some of the trickier titles.
A growing number of fans are writing stories inspired by their favourite Fighting Fantasy adventures, and the Fan Fiction section of the Fan Zone is where you will find them all collected together for your reading pleasure.
Do you have a Fighting Fantasy collection to rival Steve Jackson or Ian Livingstone? Do you have every edition of every gamebook ever published? Or a complete set of Fighting Fantasy board games? Or a growing collection of Atlantis miniatures? Or one of a hundred official items of merchandise connected to the world's best-selling gamebook series? If so, this is the place to share them with your fellow fans.

Are you a budding model maker or miniatures painter? Have you created 3D models based on your favourite pieces of 2D Fighting Fantasy art? Do you a fully painted set of miniatures from The Warlock of Firetop Mountain board game? You do? Well let's see them!

And so now it's over to you.

Send us your illustrations of Fighting Fantasy monsters, designs for your most fiendish deathtraps, your quest maps and adventure solutions, your fan fiction based on Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, photographs of your FF collections, and photos of your sculpted and painted miniatures, and we will add them to the official Fighting Fantasy website so that they can be enjoyed and appreciated by FF fans all over the world.

All such submissions should be sent in the form of an email, with any necessary attachments included, to

Wednesday 8 July 2020

National Video Game Day

Today, Wednesday 8th July, is National Video Game Day, so why not check out one of the video game adaptations of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's gamebooks?

To mark the occasion you could also make a donation to the emergency appeal to save the National Videogame Museum, of which Ian Livingstone is a patron.

Friday 3 July 2020

Friday Flash Sale

There are still a few SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK T-shirts left over from last year's Fighting Fantasy Fest 3. We have just five of each size and they are selling for just £5 each! (Post and packing varies, depending on precisely where you are upon the Earthly Plane.)

The T-shirts are available in Small (34-36"), Medium (38-40"), Large (42-44"), Extra Large (46-48") and Double XL (50-52") sizes.

If you would like to purchase one (or more) simply click on the appropriate PayPal button below, but please make sure you select the correct post and packing for your location.

Small T-shirt (to fit chest 34-36")

Price including Post & Packing

Medium T-shirt (38-40")

Price including Post & Packing

Large T-shirt (42-44")

Price including Post & Packing

Extra Large T-shirt (46-48")

Price including Post & Packing

Double XL T-shirt (50-52")

Price including Post & Packing

Thursday 2 July 2020

All Rolled Up - FF sale now on!

If you've been wanting to get your hands on a piece of All Rolled Up's Fighting Fantasy gaming merchandise, there couldn't be a better time than now.

Prices on FF products - many of which feature Iain McCaig's iconic artwork - have been slashed across the board.

ARU game rolls  -  were £32  -  now £20

Messenger bags  -  were £22  -  now £14

Square dice trays  -  were £12  -  now £5

Compact dice trays  -  were £10  -  now £4

Many of these items are already low in stock, and these prices only apply while stocks last. The sale could be pulled at any time, so don't delay - visit All Rolled Up today!

Wednesday 1 July 2020

La Créature Venue du Chaos

The latest Fighting Fantasy gamebook to be reissued by Gallimard Jeunesse in French is Steve Jackson's Creature of Havoc, or La Créature Venue du Chaos.

Is this the first time the 'hero' has appeared on the cover of a Fighting Fantasy gamebook?

The cover art is by Paul Mafayon, a French artist who also provided the wraparound covers for the newest French editions of Ian Livingstone's Deathtrap Dungeon and Caverns of the Snow Witch.

This new large format edition of La Créature Venue du Chaos includes Alan Langford's original illustrations, as well as the addition of a bonus Archives of Allansia section - focusing on places, characters and monsters connected to the adventure - and a set of pre-generated characters.

If you would like to add the Gallimard Jeunesse editions to your Fighting Fantasy collection, you can purchase them here.