Friday 21 September 2012

Can you survive?

I have always said that one of the great, but unexpected, joys of keeping a blog is the sense of community and often blatant theft sharing of ideas taken from other people's erstwhile endeavours.  Once such gem came about when I read a review posted by Thantsants on his splendid,  'Somewhere the Tea's Getting Cold...'  regarding the new release of the latest Fighting Fantasy story, celebrating thirty years of page turning and dungeon dodging!  For those that may have missed out on this phenomenon, the Fighting Fantasy series allowed readers to make decisions throughout their journey that would impact on the final outcome of the tale.  The books also incorporated a 'combat' phase that brought yet another dimension to the story telling  as you happened upon the various inhabitants of such perilous places as the 'Deathtrap Dungeon' and the 'City of Thieves'.

With Ian Livingstone was once again at the helm, I can't tell you how excited I was when this incarnation of the popular series dropped onto the doormat of 'Awdry Towers'.   It took every ounce of restraint not to flick through the book there and then to see all the wonderful black and white illustrations, knowing that to do so would ultimately spoil some of the surprises that were to unfold.  So Adventure sheet scanned and printed out, dice locked and loaded and trusty Parker pen set to stun, we soon arrived at those immortal words -


Six and half minutes later - my adventure was over!  What? Really? Are you sure?  Did I really opt to open the box that was clearly marked 'Danger - Do not open'?  Well needless to say I was hooked, it was as if I had been teleported back to the early eighties, sitting at the dining room table, rolling dice, muttering under my breath, drawing maps and generally cursing as my stamina took another big hit after fending off yet another shambling horde of undead.  

If there was a gripe then it was the updated combat phase; in order to better represent the immobility of the zombies they were only given 1 stamina point, meaning that provided that you had some form of weapon it was relatively easy to to dispatch small numbers in one roll, but as the story progressed and the hordes multiplied it became quite frustirating at just how quickly your own stamina fell; one bad roll and you were toast!  

Before & After!

Seriously addictive and great fun, a whole afternoon passed by before I knew it, so it is not really surprising that not much painting has been done of late.  That said I did manage to order up some more plastic zombies, well I just couldn't resist!  Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. What a blast from the past! Forest of Doom was my first (and favorite) FF book and probably what got me into Roleplaying and eventually Wargaming. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone have a lot to answer for.


  2. It sounds like great fun. Will have to get hold of it. The Vixens have had some good reviews look forward to see what you do with them!

  3. LOL, fun memories indeed, I too was a FF book fan ... I liked the one that was a triplicate book set that had a manticore on the cover and you had to memorize the spell book too. That was quite cool!
    Enjoy your zombie bashing!

  4. That'd be the Sorcery trilogy, beautifully illustrated by John Blanche.

    Glad you enjoyed it, even if your first foray was a little short but sweet - curiosity killed the adventurer and all ;)
    Must have another bash myself at some point and resist the urge to cheat!

  5. It is good to be a blogger!! We never really have to grow up completely. Game on Sir Michael!!

  6. Yes I remember giving mine away!!! Why do we do it again?


  7. Sounds like a fun book, I used to have a few of these type of book when I were a lad!

  8. Fantastic - I loved those books in the early 80s Michael when they came out. I remember buying the "Warlock of Firetop Mountain" and having a blast. I'm going to look out the new one - it looks like great fun!

  9. Wow great blast from the past there and it is good to see they are still about. Cant wait to see the zombie chicks.


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