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How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:58 pm
by Laurence
Oddly enough, I never heard of Fighting Fantasy books as a kid.

Here in the U.S., Fighting Fantasy was essentially unknown. In high school, I read the Sorcery! series and absolutely loved it, but I had no idea there were any more books besides those four.

As far as I know, Dungeoneer and Out of the Pit weren't available in the U.S. I ended up making up my own “Sorcery game” RPG to play with my friends. Kind of similar to AFF, as it turned out.

Decades later, I found a copy of Forest of Doom in a used bookstore and thought, “Hey, this looks like those Sorcery books!”

I had no idea what I was getting into. Now I'm addicted.

It takes weeks to get a new book, because I have to have them shipped overseas, but it's worth it. I didn't get to play these books as a kid, but now I can appreciate them as an adult.

Unbelievably enough, here in the U.S., I've never met anyone -- even lifelong gamers -- who have ever heard of Fighting Fantasy. So I get a kick out of introducing others to the books through the AFF RPG.

What's your story?

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:04 pm
by shintokamikaze
I grew up in Ireland so the books were very easy to get. I started to collect the game books around 1984/5, so I was 11 or 12 at the time, I got out of it in the early 90s (beer and girls) , a few years back I found some of my old books in my Mothers attic. After this I started to check online to pick up more books and found AAF 2nd edition and it just snowballed from that point :shock:

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:48 am
by Lorian
Bored one day, picked random book. Ended up buying over 50

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:10 am
by Ruffnut
Same as lorian

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:12 pm
by LordArioch
In the United States in the early '80s some bookstores did indeed carry a few of the early FF gamebooks. I remember the very day in '83 when I was permitted to buy a single FF book (Forest of Doom).

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I was enthralled by the gaming concepts contained therein (SKILL, STAMINA, LUCK, dice rolls, etc.), the strange, arresting, dramatic b/w artwork. The eerie, unsettling atmosphere of the story was also unlike anything I had encountered to that date. I assume that FF did not sell all too well because the latter books in the series were unknown to me until I began collecting them 4-5 years ago. We never got to see the full span of releases like the "green spines". :(

I grew up with Choose Your Own Adventure (my very first of these was Space and Beyond, acquired at a school "book fair" in 1980) -- the US's most successful line of gamebooks -- and even had one of the more obscure Endless Quest books published by TSR (Mountain of Mirrors). None of those lines had the mechanics of FF. Only in the early 2000's did I discover the wonderful Lone Wolf books (virtually unknown in the States, very sadly) which alone rival the thrill of Fighting Fantasy.

AFF was also unseen here. I bought all of the hardcopies just a year ago, and am now gathering up the PDFs.

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:43 am
by bottg
My father worked away a lot, and one day in 1983 he brought me back Forest of Doom as a present... I played it probably 30 times in the first month and was hooked. D&D red box soon followed, as did all of the other FF books plus AFF and Maelstrom etc.

I was always writing little RPG's here and there, and in about 1989 i wrote AFF 2e as a homebrew, incorporating the Sorcery spells and a system for making dungeons by dropping D6's!

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:02 pm
by Laurence
That die-dropping trick is probably my favorite takeaway from the new AFF. Head-smackingly simple, yet profoundly useful.

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:39 pm
by Nuvole!
I don't remember if it was the last year of primary school or the following one, when one of my closest friends proposed another guy and me to try these strange books written in English (I'm Italian). We decided to buy one each and then to swap them.
We randomly selected the books from the publication list and ordered them at a library famous for getting books from abroad: I got City of Thieves, and the other two got Forest of Doom and The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. For kids like us, that bought the gamebooks with their little savings, they were terribly expensive, real treasures!

We were very young and open to this kind of fantasy atmospheres, plus our evident inadequacy with English language added a lot to "the mystery", as we struggled a lot "deciphering" what the gamebooks meant in the first instance, as if it was an exotic, magic language, so progression was painfully slow, but very hard-earned!

Gamebooks were translated in Italian only much later, but FF was translated only in part (and not the best part...) and often with poor translations.

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:07 pm
by Robb 1
I heard about this new book that was coming out called The Warlock of Fire top MTN in a Sunday supplement I think it was. It intreagued me as I had just played my 1st AD&D 1st ed game and liked the idea and bought it on release it's a 1st ed and I got it signed by Ian about 4 or 5 year's ago then collected them as they were released all my early books are the original non green spine one.

I collected them religiously up to Trial of champions then stopped for some reason can't remember why. Then picked one up occasionally if I saw it in a 2nd hand book shop before stopping collecting Again.

A few years back I got the urge to start again and completed my collection by getting originals and the new books including blood of the Zombies

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:17 am
by Skyrock
In Germany in the early 90s, my primary school library had a copy of Forest of Doom. Libraries around the area had other gamebooks.

I still remember my futile scavenger hunt to play through entire Sorcery!, as reachable libraries only had part I and III available and the German edition of Sorcery! was already OOP. It should only be years later when I was fluent enough in English to settle for the British edition.

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:44 am
by shintokamikaze
Loving all the stories, I never realised FF was so international :P

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:08 pm
by Nuvole!
Sounds like Forest of Doom was a FF intduction for so many...

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:30 pm
by shintokamikaze
Hullalla wrote:Sounds like Forest of Doom was a FF intduction for so many...
It was the first one for me also

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:40 pm
by Ruffnut
Deathtrap

Re: How did you get into Fighting Fantasy?

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:12 pm
by Eddie
City of thieves was my first one, I completed it first try and thought it was a bit easy.
then I got star traveler I think and it was much harder, followed shortly by deathtrap dungeon, forest of doom and warlock of firetop mountain.
I went back to City of thieves and played it 5 times without winning, realised it was just luck the first time through!

I eventually got into the lone wolf series instead and preferred that in the end, probably because you gain power from book to book more like an RPG.
even though I preferred that in the end (I was making my own version of dungeoneer using that ones combat system style as inspiration when I found AFF2!) I still love the FF books