Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be attending Dragonmeet on Saturday 2nd December, where they will be celebrating 35 years of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks with a special seminar.
Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
1982 - 2017
Fighting Fantasy historian Jonathan Green will also be attending the event and will be selling copies of YOU ARE THE HERO Parts 1 & 2. He will also be at GamesFest 2017, this Saturday, 21st October, at the Victorian Hall in Tring, Hertfordshire.
Tin Man Games have added a new Legends figurine collection to the latest update of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Over the next few months they will be releasing more special figurines that can be used in the Goblin Gauntlet.
Their first release is Oriana, the Keeper of Souls! YOU must work together with other players to decipher a code phrase hidden within Firetop Mountain. Once you have the phrase completed you can enter it to unlock her figurine. Check the forums to share codes and slowly build up the special phrase, which has a very Fighting Fantasy flavour!
RULES 1) Play as any one of the fifteen base heroes in the game.
2) Complete the quest related to the hero.
3) Oriana will give you three numbers separated with a dash like this: X-X-X
4) The three numbers reference a word from the title of one of the original Fighting Fantasy books released by Puffin Books between 1982 and 1995. The first number relates to the order of the words within the phrase.
The second number relates to book number in the list.
The third number relates to the word in the book title.
For example, the word relating to 10-5-3 would reference the 3rd word 'Thieves' from the title of FF book 5. It would then be the 10th word in the code phrase.
Today is Friday the 13th, but will it be a case of 'unlucky for some' as Malcolm Garcia tackles another Second Swordsman challenge?
The Second Swordsman – 'Watch Out For The Hitman!'
By Malcolm Garcia
For every FIGHTING
FANTASY book where YOU are searching for a special object or magical weapon to
complete your quest, there are more than a few where the goal is for YOU to
kill whatever local ‘big-bad’ is terrorizing the citizenry or scheming to take
over Titan. And so, in this edition of the SecondSwordsman, I’ll see whether choosing every second option will assist me in
an assortment of assassination adventures.
In Stealer of Souls YOU start off seeking
to rescue the friendly wizard Alsander from the prison of an Archmage who has learned
how to harness the power of people’s fears and nightmares. But, just as the
movie Predator was never going to be just
about a rescue mission, quicker than you can say ‘get to the chopper’ your
quest becomes a hunt to destroy the evil Mordraneth. In The Keep of the Lich-Lord YOU are sent to deal with Lord Mortis, a
warrior who has risen from the grave and is amassing an army of the wicked (why
killing him a second time will work any better is never explained fully). And
in Legend of Zagor YOU go forth to
defeat the original big-bad, but this time Zagor has become fused with a demon
from a world beyond Titan.
occurrence when choosing every second option in FIGHTING FANTASY novels is that
YOU ignore opportunities to learn important information, gather treasure, or
fight creatures and instead YOU rush through the adventure and miss out on a
lot. This also happened somewhat with these three books, with the worst culprit
being Keep. After arriving on Stayng
Island I immediately left the town of Siltport and headed for the hills. Then I
kept on moving and ignored in quick succession a cave, a cemetery, and a
gathering in the woods (any of which would usually be a prime candidate for
excitement) before hurriedly arriving at the docks at Keladon (more about those
In Stealer I began by making some good
decisions and found my way to the subterranean Iron Crypts. But then I ignored
several doors and passageways, and it wasn’t until after I’d fought the Dark
Priest that choosing the second option led me to explore more, which helped me
find the good wizard Alsander and enter Mordraneth’s Empire of Illusions. Stealer also had one of the few
occasions in a FIGHTING FANTASY adventure where I got to have a nap during a
dungeon crawl. I also managed to score a crowbar and some SKILL-boosting
chainmail armour, as well as learn a handful of spells. These all gave me some
momentary hope that, as in Battleblade
Warrior, I might just muddle my way through to 400, or very close to it.
In Legend, while the Second Swordsman process didn’t make me ignore numerous rooms (as
it had done in The Warlock of Firetop
Mountain) it did make for a somewhat wearisome adventure. Because of the
design of the castle, choosing every second option had me enter nearly every
room I came across as I worked my way through the halls of Castle Argent. A few
of these places were beneficial, but the purpose of most seems to have been to
slowly drain me of my STAMINA through combat. But I did manage to have the most
LUCK I’ve yet had when gambling (breaking my bad run from Seas of Blood and Bloodbones),
fortuitously avoided the plague by having bought the antidote earlier, and discovered
some more SKILL-boosting chainmail armour. Curiously I also picked up a
valuable silk tapestry, which must be the first time in a FIGHTING FANTASY
adventure where I’ve been rewarded with soft furnishings.
For some of these
three adventures, my good initial SKILL scores were given a workout. In Stealer I had a fight at the very start
of the adventure against a Giant Stormbird and then didn’t fight anything else until
I went underground. But I then made up for lost time by defeating another
thirteen creatures – including a few occasions where I lost no STAMINA in the
battle. In Legend I chose not to
waste a precious LUCK point near the very start, and had to face off in a tough
battle against a Fog Wyvern. Then once I made it ashore on Tower Island I
fought another fifteen creatures, including the awesomely named Skulking Shade
as well as the SKILL ten Skeletal Dragon. But in Keep, choosing to rush across Stayng Island meant I did not have a
single fight. The only times this has happened previously were in Crypt of the Sorcerer, Spectral Stalkers, and Island of the Lizard King.
choosing every second option I again failed to meet with success. I met my end
in Keep by rushing a group of pirates
at the aforementioned Keladon docks, which rewarded me for my foolishness with
an instant death. I died in Stealer
from being bitten by a floor of illusory snakes – which would probably not have
happened if I’d not stupidly spent my sole ‘dispel illusion’ spell on a pack of
rats just a few choices earlier. And in Legend
I didn’t even get to meet Zagor, but instead failed in a fight against an elven
thief who was armed with a poisoned dagger, a magical cloak, and a SKILL level
of twelve. This was a very tough foe for one that wasn’t a ‘big-bad’ (only
about one per cent of Titan’s creatures have this SKILL level) and I feel that
avoiding this fight is essential to have a chance of victory. This is the
twenty-seventh FIGHTING FANTASY adventure I’ve tried the Second Swordsman process on, but it’s only the sixth where I’ve
fallen in combat – the other victors being the Kraken, the Fire Elemental, the Giant
Sandworm, one of Carnuss’ slaves, and the Minotaur of Zagor’s maze.
So once again the Second Swordsman process yielded
varying results. From the disappointment of Keep,
to the frustration of Legend, and the
momentary optimism of Stealer. I can
only hope that next time I make fewer stupid decisions and don’t follow the
lyrics of Watch Out for the Hitman
and “do that thing until your body starts to break.”
Thank you once again to Malcolm, for his latest Second Swordsman blog post. If you have any suggestions for items for the official Fighting Fantasy blog don't forget to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you who were not lucky enough to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, back at the start of September, that stalwart of Fighting Fantasy fandom James Aukett recorded a number of the talks on the day and has just recently uploaded them to YouTube. But you can enjoy them right here.
Battleblade Demonstealer Marc Gascoigne in conversation with Jonathan Green
The Warlocks of Firetop Mountain Guests of Honour Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
Freeway Fighters Andi Ewington, Simon Coleby and Jim Burns talk about the Freeway Fighter comic
Thank you to James for videoing these talks and let's hope he's available to do the same thing again at Fighting Fantasy Fest 3.