Friday 19 April 2024

Fighting Fantasy Fest 5 & You Are The Beer-o present: Draught Tap Dungeon

Tickets are now on sale for the fourth dedicated Fighting Fantasy pub quiz - Draught Tap Dungeon - which will be taking place at The Forester in West Ealing, on 6th September 2024, the night before Fighting Fantasy Fest 5.

We will be raising money for two charities in memory of FF art legend Russ Nicholson, who sadly passed away in 2023. Those two charities are Smile Train and Sight Savers.

This year there will be a new Fans Question Round. If you want to submit a question to this round, you need to purchase a Draught Tap Dungeon - Submit a Question Ticket, but you will need to hurry. These Early Bird tickets are limited to 10 in total and will only be on sale for one month.

If you haven't bought your ticket for Fighting Fantasy Fest 5 yet, you can do so here. See you in September!


Friday 12 April 2024

Fighting Fantasy Fest 5 tickets on sale now!

Tickets are now on sale for Fighting Fantasy Fest 5.


As well as our Guests of Honour Sir Ian Livingstone and Iain McCaig, other confirmed guests include FF authors Marc Gascoigne, Paul Mason, Jamie Thomson, Dave Morris, Keith P. Phillips,  and Jonathan Green, and artists Malcolm Barter and Tony Hough, with more still to be confirmed.

But numbers are limited so don't delay and buy your ticket today!


Monday 8 April 2024

Iain McCaig to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 5

We have some exciting news for you to start the week. Iain McCaig - Fighting Fantasy gamebook cover artist, City of Thieves illustrator, and award-winning character designer for many a Hollywood blockbuster - will be attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 5... in person!

Iain McCaig will be joining Sir Ian Livingstone to celebrate 40 years of Deathtrap Dungeon.

Also in attendance at FFF5 will be writers Marc Gascoigne and Paul Mason, along with artists Malcolm Barter and Tony Hough.

Expect more announcements regarding who else willl be joining us at the University of West London on Saturday 7 September 2024 soon.

Tickets for Fighting Fantasy Fest 5 go on sale on Friday 12 April 2024.

Friday 29 March 2024

The Dungeon on Blood Island

Fighting Fantasy fans, rejoice! Sir Ian Livingstone is writing a brand new Fighting Fantasy gamebook to mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of Deathtrap Dungeon.

Deathtrap Dungeon was the No.1 bestselling children’s book in the UK in 1984, and the 8th bestselling book overall in the UK, even including adult titles.

The Dungeon on Blood Island is a long-awaited sequel.


Jealous of the fame and fortune that Baron Sukumvit’s Deathtrap Dungeon had brought him, his brother Lord Carnuss and an army of slaves spend five years building the ultimate dungeon on Blood Island. Offering a prize of the Golden Orb of Fang, he challenges all-comers to risk their lives to find this priceless treasure and escape with it alive. Filled with deadly creatures, lethal traps, fierce competitors, and danger lurking at every turn, are YOU brave enough to enter The Dungeon on Blood Island?

The cover for The Dungeon on Blood Island will feature an original painting by Iain McCaig who painted the original Deathtrap Dungeon cover. It will also feature internal illustrations by Hungarian artist Krisztián Balla and a new map of Allansia by Leo Hartas.


Sir Ian said, “40 years is a very long time to wait for a sequel, but I hope fans of Deathtrap Dungeon both old and new will enjoy my new Fighting Fantasy gamebook The Dungeon on Blood Island. I have tried my best to lure readers to their doom with every choice they make! May their STAMINA never fail!”

For further developments, watch this space...

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Sir Ian Livingstone at Trolls & Légendes

Sir Ian Livingstone will be attending the Belgian games convention Trolls & Légendes as a Guest of Honour on 30th and 31st March 2024. He will be signing copies of Dice Men, as well as Fighting Fantasy gamebbooks.


Trolls & Légendes is a non-profit organization, established in 2005 that organises the festival in order to promote Fantasy in all the arts: Literature, Comics, Music, Games, Cinema, Exhibitions, Animations. The event is held in Mons, Belgium.


Friday 22 March 2024

40 years of Deathtrap Dungeon

Deathtrap Dungeon, Sir Ian Livingstone's Sunday Times best-selling Fighting Fantasy gamebook, was published 40 years ago on 29 March 1984. To say it was a fantastic success would be an understatement.

Inspired by a holiday Livingstone had taken to Thailand the year before, the plot of the adventure sees the hero taking up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, devised by the fiendish mind of Baron Sukumvit, entering the eponymous dungeon, braving the labyrinth’s fiendish traps and monstrous denizens, in the pursuit of fame and fortune.

Sir Ian's flowchart for Deathtrap Dungeon, as seen during Click 1,000.

“I went trekking in Northern Thailand in 1981,” explains Livingstone. “I passed through Fang and crossed the River Kok on my way to the jungle near the Burmese border. I took lots of photos of villagers and scenery on the trek. It was an incredible adventure, and one not without drama. Our guide was constantly fretting about armed bandits coming over the border to rob us! 

"The trek made a big impression on me, enough for me to want to reference the people and places in Deathtrap Dungeon which I began writing in late 1983. But the dungeon plot itself was a product of the dungeons I’d designed during the years I’d been playing D&D. When Penguin Books told us they wanted a sequel to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I thought I’d write a classic dungeon-bash next, but I put it on hold and wrote The Forest of Doom and City of Thieves before Deathtrap Dungeon.”

One of Iain McCaig’s illustration roughs for Deathtrap Dungeon alongside Ian Livingstone’s handwritten first draft. (© Iain McCaig and Ian Livingstone, 2024)

As well as the River Kok and Fang, the names of several other places Livingstone visited on that fortuitous trip made it into the book, including Chiang Mai. Baron Sukumvit himself was named after Sukumvit Road in Bangkok.

The marriage of both eastern and western influences in the adventure created something entirely new, helping to give the world of Fighting Fantasy a truly unique flavour.

Iain McCaig’s cover rough for Deathtrap Dungeon. (© Iain McCaig, 2024)

Deathtrap Dungeon was a phenomenal success, selling over 350,000 copies in its first year alone. It was the best-selling children’s book in April 1984 and was ranked eighth out of all books sold that month, coming just behind Dick Francis in seventh place and ahead of Stephen King’s Christine in ninth. (Three of the top one hundred books sold that year were Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.) Deathtrap Dungeon was so successful that Livingstone’s eighth gamebook was a sequel, Trial of Champions (FF21, published in 1986).

The book was illustrated inside and out by Livingstone's favourite FF artist, Iain McCaig.

“My favourite black and white illustration is the image of the inscrutable Trialmaster on his dragon-hide throne,” muses McCaig. “It was the height of my love affair with croquill pens, and the quintessential riddle picture that would lead to Casket of Souls.”

Dwarf Trialmaster, by Iain McCaig. (© Ian Livingstone 2024) 

Deathtrap Dungeon has been translated and published in multiple foreign language editions over the last 40 years, including the recent Danish version from Faraos Cigarer. It has also inspired RPG adaptations and numerous video game versions, for PlayStation, tablet and PC, and one narrated by Hollywood actor Eddie Marsan.

But what many fans have been wondering over the years is will they ever be invited to undertake the Walk one more time and re-enter Deathtrap Dungeon? Only time will tell...

Deathtrap Dungeon - the audio drama!

Friday 15 March 2024

Fighting Fantasy Legends Miniatures Giveaway Competition

Fans of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and beautifully sculpted miniatures take note. Blue Giant Studios (a.k.a. Atlantis Miniatures) are currently running a free giveaway competition.

To be in with a chance of winning a Shape Changer and a Bloodbeast miniature* from the Fighting Fantasy Legends range, simply Repost and Like this tweet.

The competition ends on 7 April 2024, and the winner will be announced on 8 April 2024. So why not Test your Luck today?


* All miniatures are supplied unpainted.

Friday 8 March 2024

Friday 23 February 2024

The Cannes Festival International des Jeux 2024

Two Fighting Fantasy authors will be attending the Cannes Festival Internatioal des Jeux* in France this weekend. 

Dave Morris, co-author of The Keep of the Lich-Lord, and FF historian Jonathan Green, co-author of Secrets of Salamonis, will be the guests of Scriptarium, the company that publishes the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG in France, and who will also be publishing the French language edition of YOU ARE THE HERO - An Interactive History of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.

The event is being held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès of Cannes from Friday 23 - Sunday 25 February 2-24.



* The Cannes International Games Festival

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Sir Ian Livingstone: A Life of Gaming

Sir Ian Livingstone was recently interviewed by Mira Manga for her YouTube channel. They talked about inspiring American authors and science fiction movies, as well as where the creative muse comes from.

Sir Ian also showed Mira an original 1975, boxed and shrinkwrapped Dungeons & Dragons, and the flowchart map for one of his Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

To watch the interview yourself, click on the image below.

Friday 9 February 2024

Czech out this new edition of The Forest of Doom

The Czech language edition of Sir Ian Livingstone's The Forest of Doom is now available from pubisher Mythago, in a glorious hardback edition.


Collectors might like to know that it also includes a map at the back of the book showing Yaztromo's Tower.


Friday 2 February 2024

Sagaen om Kongernes Krone

Steve Jackson's legendary Sorcery! quartet has been released in Denmark by Faraos Cigarer as a boxed set that includes The Sorcery! Spell Book


You can also buy the titles individually, but the boxed set features John Blanche's painted map of Kakhabad that appeared on the back cover of Issue #5 of Warlock magazine.



Danish speakers and hardcore collectors of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks will find the Sagaen om Kongernes Krone for sale here.

Wednesday 31 January 2024

The Warlock Returns - Issue #11

Available now from Arion Games is Issue #11 of The Warlock Returns, the Advanced Fighting Fantasy fanzine.


Within this issue you will find...

* Denizens of the Pit - This time a host of horrors rise from the Deep Ocean!
* Lunara - Scriptarium's alternative moon lore
* Bhingara, Orc Mage - The start of a new graphic comic
* Director Advice - Articles with rumours and plot hooks
* Bringing Back the Princess - AFF solo game
* Grappling Rules - Two different takes on grappling!
* The Legend of Gareus - comic and agony aunt page
* Stellar Adventures - Into the Doors of Eryx - Part V

and more!

Friday 26 January 2024

Happy 50th Birthday, Dungeons & Dragons!

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of Dungeons & Dragons, by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

It is not an exaggeration to say that without Dungeons & Dragons there would be no Fighting Fantasy gamebooks either.

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone were sharing a flat in Shepherd’s Bush with another friend, John Peake, when the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons was published in 1974, and their lives changed for ever.

They had heard about D&D through fanzines, although they did not actually get hold of a copy of their own until 1975. Jackson once described the arrival of D&D as “manna from heaven”. It was the game they had been waiting for.

Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone with Dungeons & Dragons in 1976.
(© Ian Livingstone, 2024)

Overwhelmed by the possibilities such role-playing games offered imaginative individuals, Jackson, Livingstone and Peake decided to start their own business. In February 1975 Games Workshop was established. Later that year they secured the exclusive European distribution rights for Dungeons & Dragons. Games Workshop started slowly but became a huge success over time, expanding from a bedroom mail order company to become a major retailer and publisher of wargames and RPGs.

You can read about those early years of the company in Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop, by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson.

Gary Gygax, Don Turnbull, Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson in 1979.
(© Ian Livingstone, 2024)

Meanwhile, Geraldine Cooke has taken over Penguin Books' ailing science fiction, fantasy and horror list. Cooke’s best friend Geoff John, an avid Dungeons & Dragons player of several years' standing, told her all about Games Workshop. He told her to ring Jackson and Livingstone and see if they could turn the game, or something like it, into a book.

As a direct result of Cooke’s interest in Games Workshop, Penguin Books took a stand at Games Day 1979 (Games Day being the annual retail and gaming event established by Jackson and Livingstone in the same year they co-founded Games Workshop) ostensibly to promote a new book called Playing Politics.

Fired by a combination of entrepreneurial bravado and youthful enthusiasm, Jackson and Livingstone agreed to work up a proposal and outline for a book about the growing fantasy role-playing hobby. The book was intended to be a 'How to' manual of role-playing, but the synopsis they submitted was for a simple solo RPG, presented within the pages of a book. A gamebook. The rest, as they say, is history...

Coming full circle, there are now Dungeons & Dragons gamebooks, but they are not on the same level as your favourite Fighting Fantasy adventures. But without D&D you wouldn't be reading this blog post today.

So, Happy Birthday, Dungeons & Dragons! Here's to the next 50 years!


Friday 19 January 2024

Deathtrap Dungeon's 40th anniversary

2024 marks 40 years since Sir Ian Livingstone's seminal Deathtrap Dungeon was first published.

Inspired by a holiday Livingstone had taken to Thailand, the plot of the adventure sees the hero taking up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, entering the eponymous dungeon, braving the labyrinth’s fiendish traps and monstrous denizens, all in the pursuit of fame and fortune.

Ian Livingstone’s rough map of Deathtrap Dungeon. (© Ian Livingstone, 2024)

“I went trekking in Northern Thailand in 1981,” explains Livingstone. “I passed through Fang and crossed the River Kok on my way to the jungle near the Burmese border. I took lots of photos of villagers and scenery on the trek. It was an incredible adventure, and one not without drama. Our guide was constantly fretting about armed bandits coming over the border to rob us! The trek made a big impression on me, enough for me to want to reference the people and places in Deathtrap Dungeon which I began writing in late 1983. But the dungeon plot itself was a product of the dungeons I’d designed during the years I’d been playing D&D. When Penguin Books told us they wanted a sequel to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I thought I’d write a classic dungeon-bash next, but I put it on hold and wrote The Forest of Doom and City of Thieves before Deathtrap Dungeon.”

As well as the River Kok and Fang, the names of several other places Livingstone visited on that fortuitous trip made it into the book, including Chiang Mai. Baron Sukumvit himself was named after Sukumvit Road in Bangkok. The marriage of both eastern and western influences in the adventure created something entirely new, helping to give the world of Fighting Fantasy a truly unique flavour.

One of Iain McCaig’s illustration roughs for Deathtrap Dungeon alongside Ian Livingstone’s handwritten first draft. (© Iain McCaig and Ian Livingstone, 2024)

Deathtrap Dungeon was a huge success, selling over 350,000 copies in its first year alone. It was the best-selling children’s book in April 1984 and was ranked eighth out of all books sold that month. (Three of the top one hundred books sold that year were Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.)

Deathtrap Dungeon was so successful that Livingstone’s eighth gamebook was a sequel, Trial of Champions (FF21, published in 1986).

Like City of Thieves before it, Deathtrap Dungeon was illustrated inside and out by Ian Livingstone's favourite FF artist, Iain McCaig.

“My favourite black and white illustration is the image of the inscrutable Trialmaster on his dragon-hide throne,” says McCaig. “It was the height of my love affair with croquill pens.”


Deathtrap Dungeon has been reimagined again and again, as numerous video games, an audio drama and even a live action show. On top of that, the infamous Bloodbeast from the adventure has been turned into a 3D model, produced by Blue Giant Studios.


To find out more about the history of Deathtrap Dungeon and Fighting Fantasy gamebooks you should peruse YOU ARE THE HERO by Jonathan Green.