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Fighting Fantasy Books

The Fighting Fantasy series were books based on role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. The idea of books such as The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was that the hero was YOU.

YOU made the decisions as YOU raided the warlock’s dungeon of traps and monsters, seeking to plunder his treasure.

The Fighting Fantasy books were conceived by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone (pictured above). They were divided into 400 sections (numbered 1 to 400) although later in the series they expanded them even further.

You began at number 1 and after reading the text you were offered a number of options. You chose one and the turned to that number. At times you would have to fight monsters using dice rolls or make ‘skill checks’ to complete certain feats.

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It all went something like this . . .

[1] You walk into a cavern. The air is thick and musty with the stench of goblins. Your eyes adjust to the darkness and you spy some pallid white mushrooms on the floor near the cavern walls. There are two passageways – one to the East which slopes downwards (where the musty smell seems to be emanating from), and one to the North.

Turn to 21 if you head North.
Turn to 56 if you head East.
Turn to 83 if you pick a mushroom and eat it.

[21] You walk down the North passageway. It gets wider as you travel along it and the heavy clanking footsteps of your boots echo ominously. You reach a T-junction. You wonder what you are doing with your life. Perhaps if you went outside and played footy with the rest of your schoolmates they wouldn’t call you speccy.

Turn to 188 if you head right.
Turn to 229 if you head left.

[56] What are you? Some sort of idiot? East is where the goblin smell is coming from, dumbo! And it slopes downwards, quite clearly suggesting things are going to go downhill. You pratt. You enter a room full of goblin warriors and they rip you apart, dance on your bits and nominate you for a Darwin award. The end.

[83] You tentatively pluck a mushroom from the cavern floor and eat it. Everything goes a bit wobbly and funny. But not in a good way. Turn to page 1 of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson.

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[188] You walk down the right passage. It changes from natural rock to smooth and clearly man-made walls. There are lit alcoves at regular intervals containing ornate vases. It’s a very pleasant hallway. Suddenly a skeleton jumps out of an alcove and waves a two-handed sword around menacingly. You wonder how a skeleton can lift a big hunk of metal when it doesn’t have any muscles.

Turn to 471 if you charge at the skeleton with your shield etc etc

[229] You walk down the left passageway. Nothing happens. It’s a very drab and dull passageway. You walk a bit more. It’s pretty boring really. Still nothing doing. You’re now thinking about the other passageway aren’t you? And how much better it might be? Don’t even think about flicking back to 21 and choosing to go the other way. The warlock will see you cheating. He knows all. You eventually reach the end of the turgid passageway. Shake the dice and roll less than your LUCK skill or fall asleep. Forever. It’s one of those magic sleeps.

If you’re still awake turn to . . . etc

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