Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fighting Fantasy

Before I discovered Dungeons & Dragons, before I even started reading fantasy literature, there was Fighting Fantasy.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, here's a brief run-down.  In 1982 Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone (co-founders of Games Workshop and White Dwarf) published The Warlock of Firetop Mountain through Penguin Books.  It was like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, only not crap, and had the added benefit of dice-rolling for combat and other situations.  The series continued until book 59, with various authors contributing, and it had something of a revival about a decade ago.  The books sold millions.  Millions and millions.  I've read that at one point the top 5 UK best-sellers were all Fighting Fantasy books, though I can't locate the source now.  Needless to say, they were a phenomenon in the UK, and they were omnipresent here in Australia as well.

My first encounter with them was in my primary school library, which had the first three: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, The Citadel of Chaos and The Forest of Doom.  I played through those with various levels of cheating involved, and the series remained a constant part of my gaming for years to come.  They were my introduction to D&D-style fantasy, and my perception of that genre is still massively influenced by them.

The 30th anniversary was last year, so I have missed that boat, but I have started playing through the series one by one.  As this blog has lain dormant for a while, and I'm not making much headway on my Ultimate Sandbox project, I thought I might as well write about it here.  So if you will forgive my indulgence, this is going to become a Fighting Fantasy play-through blog for a while.  It's not D&D, but it's still fantasy, innit?  And properly old-school at that.

There are some other FF play-through blogs out there, if the series takes your fancy.  Turnto400 is the funniest of the lot.  Fighting Fantasy Project provides more in-depth reviews.  Fighting for Your Fantasy is another that is rather good.  Or you could just hang around here and read my posts.  Those blogs tend to do a single attempt at a book before moving on to the next one.  My plan is to stick with one book and attempt to complete it without cheating before I continue.  It sounds like a good plan, but things could get tedious when I hit a book I'm not familiar with.  And then there's Crypt of the Sorcerer, which could conceivably take me hundreds of tries...

So, onward!  Next post, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain!

No comments:

Post a Comment