How to play Fighting Fantasy
The Fighting Fantasy game rules, in comparison with other role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons or similar choose-your-own-adventure books, is remarkably simple and requires a minimum of bookkeeping from the player.
IF YOU ARE NEW TO FIGHTING FANTASY
Fighting Fantasy is choose-your-own-adventure style series book, a book with a thrilling fantasy adventure in which YOU are the hero! YOU decide which route to take, which dangers to risk and which enemies to fight.
Each book is divided into sections, and you’ll start reading the book from section one. In each section, you may be asked to choose the actions you want to take, and you’ll be asked to turn to a specific section for that choice. In others, you may be asked to roll your dice for a certain skill-based action, and the section will tell you what result you need based on your character’s skills. That section will then tell you where to go depending on if you pass or fail the roll.
In each book, your character will face consequences for their actions, with some of those consequences resulting in your character’s death.
Some books may also only have one ending, while others may have multiple depending on the choices that you make.
All of this means that there are hundreds of different ways to play Fighting Fantasy books, and if your character dies, you can immediately go back and try again.
For each book you will need two (2) six-sided dice (D6), a pencil and an Adventure Sheet which you will use to setup your character and record the progress of your adventure.
Also, take note that the following rules are the original and most common rules which can be found in the first of the series The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. However, some books can have additional rules regarding the use of magic spells like in The Citadel of Chaos, or special skill like Instant Death in Creature of Havoc.
Before starting your adventure, you must first determine your strengths and weaknesses by rolling dice to determine your character's attributes.
The character creation system, while inspired by the one used by Dungeons and Dragons, is remarkably simple and easy to set up. Each book will tell you which attributes you’ll be using during the game, but more often than not, you’ll only need to roll for three attributes - SKILL, STAMINA, and LUCK. But in The Citadel of Chaos for example you will have Magic as a fourth attribute.
You can, of course, go into more detail about your character and their appearance if you like, but unlike with other tabletop roleplaying games, it isn’t a necessary part of the game.
On the Adventure Sheet you will find boxes to record your SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK.
We advised you to make photocopies of the sheet to preserve the original pages or make multiple characters/adventures. You can also use a notebook as an adventure sheets collection and customized it as you like.
SKILL reflects your swordsmanship and fighting expertise, as well as other activities, such as sneaking, climbing, or dodging. The higher the better.
How to determine your initial SKILL
- Roll one (1) dice and add six (6) to the number rolled
- Enter this total in the SKILL box on the Adventure Sheet.
STAMINA represents your strength. The higher your STAMINA, the longer you will survive.
How to determine your initial STAMINA
- Roll two (2) dices and add twelve (12) to the number rolled
- Enter this total in the STAMINA box on the Adventure Sheet.
LUCK represents how lucky or unlucky you are during your adventure. Luck may be involved in the choices you can make and in combat.
How to determine your initial LUCK
- Roll one (1) dice and add six (6) to the number rolled
- Enter this total in the LUCK box on the Adventure Sheet.
During your adventure SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK will vary, however they must never exceed their initial points, except on very rare occasions, when instructed on a particular page.
When you are told to fight an opponent, you must resolve a battle as described below with Attack Round.
First record the opponent(s) SKILL and STAMINA (as given on the section) in an empty Monster Encounter Box on your Adventure Sheet.
HOW TO FIGHT (ATTACK ROUND)
- Roll the two (2) dices for the opponent. Add its SKILL. This total is ITS Attack Strength.
- Roll the two (2) dices for yourself. Add your «current» SKILL. The total is YOUR Attack Strength.
- If your Attack Strength is higher, you have wounded the opponent.
If the opponent's Attack Strength is higher, it has wounded you.
If both are equal, you have both missed, start the next Attack Round from step 1.
- If you wounded the opponent, subtract two (2) points from its STAMINA.
You may use LUCK here to do additional damage (see "Using luck in Battles" below).
- If the opponent wounded you, subtract two (2) points from your STAMINA.
You may use LUCK to minimize the damage (see "Using luck in Battles" below).
- Make the appropriate changes to either the opponent's or your own STAMINA (and your LUCK if you used LUCK) and begin the next Attack Round (Repeat steps 1-6).
This continues until the opponent's STAMINA or yours have been reduced to zero (death).
On some pages you will be given the option of «Escaping from the battle».
You may only Escape if it is offered to you on the page.
If you do run away, the opponent automatically wound you, subtract two (2) STAMINA points of your character, as you flee.
Of course, you can use LUCK on this wound in the normal way (see "Using Luck in Battles" below).
FIGHTING MORE THAN ONE OPPONENT
Sometimes you will find yourself fighting more than one opponent simultaneously. In this situation you choose which opponent to target at the start of each Attack Round (as shown above).
The combat proceeds as usual, but you can only inflict damage to the chosen target.
You can of course fight one opponent at a time or switch from one to another after each Attack Round.
Sometimes you will be told to «Test your Luck». As you will discover, using Luck can be risky, so use it carefully.
HOW TO TEST YOUR LUCK
- Roll two (2) dices.
- If the number rolled is equal to or less than your current LUCK, you have been lucky.
If the number rolled is higher than your current LUCK, you have been unlucky.
- The consequences of being lucky or unlucky will be found on the page.
- Each time you Test your Luck, you must subtract one (1) point from your current LUCK. So, the more you rely on luck, the riskier it becomes.
USING LUCK IN BATTLES
In battles, you always have the option of using your LUCK either to inflict more damage to an opponent, or to reduce the damage the opponent has just inflict on you.
In both cases, don't forget to subtract one (1) point from your LUCK each time you Test your Luck.
INFLICT MORE DAMAGE
If you have wounded an opponent, you can Test your Luck as described above.
If you are lucky, inflict an extra 2 points of damage, this means reduce 4 points from the opponent's STAMINA instead of 2 normally.
But if you are unlucky, instead of inflicted the normal two (2) points of damage, you have now inflicted only one (1), reduce only one (1) point to the opponent's STAMINA.
If the opponent has wounded you, you can Test your Luck to try to minimize the wound.
If you are lucky, the opponent inflicts only one (1) point of damage instead of two (2). Subtract only one (1) points of your character's STAMINA instead of two (2).
But if you are unlucky, the opponent inflicts one (1) extra point of damage. Subtract three (3) points of your character's STAMINA instead of two (2).
RESTORING CHARACTER'S ATTRIBUTES
RESTORING SKILL AND SKILL BONUSES
Occasionally, a section may give you instructions to alter your SKILL.
A Magic Weapon may increase your SKILL, but remember that only one weapon can be used at a time. You cannot claim two (2) SKILL points bonuses for carrying two Magic Swords.
Your SKILL can never exceed its initial value unless specifically instructed.
Drinking the Potion of Skill (see below) will restore your SKILL to its initial value at any time.
RESTORING STAMINA (HEALING)
Your STAMINA will change a lot during the adventure. As you near your goal, your STAMINA may be dangerously low and encounters can be particularly risky, so be careful!
Don't forget that your STAMINA may never exceed its initial value unless specifically instructed on a page.
Drinking the Potion of Strength (see below) will restore your STAMINA to its initial value at any time.
Provisions represent the commonly item that can be used to heal your character (regaining stamina).
Depending on your adventure you start the game with Provisions or not. A Provisions Remaining box is provided on the Adventure Sheet for recording details of Provisions. In The Warlock of the Firetop Mountain, you may eat only one meal at a time, and it will be instructed in the section often after battles or traps. However, in the other books the player is able to eat as many Provisions, but only outside battles.
When you eat a meal, add four (4) points to your STAMINA and deduct one (1) point from Provisions. Remember that you have a long way to go, so use your Provisions wisely!
Provisions can be found as a loot in your adventure, or it can be bought when specifically instructed, with gold piece.
You will find yourself awarded with additions to your LUCK when you have been particularly lucky.
Remember that, as with SKILL and STAMINA, your LUCK may never exceed its initial value unless specifically instructed on a page.
Drinking the Potion of Fortune (see below) will restore your LUCK to its Initial value at any time, and increase your initial LUCK by one (1) point.
EQUIPMENT AND POTIONS
Most often you start your adventure with a sword, leather armour, a shield and a backpack containing Provisions for the trip. But you will find lots more items as the adventure unfolds.
You may also take a magical potion which will aid you on your quest. A potion can only be used once during an adventure.
You will choose ONE of the following:
- A Potion of Skill – restores your SKILL
- A Potion of Strength – restores your STAMINA
- A Potion of Fortune – restores your LUCK points and add one (1) point to your Initial LUCK.
These potions can be taken at any time during the adventure.
HINTS AND TIPS
MAPS & NOTES
Depending on which adventure you are in, there is one true or multiple ways to the ending, and it will probably take you several attempts to find it.
So, make notes and draw map as you explore, this map will be useful in future adventures and help you to identify unexplored sections of the story.
SAVING YOUR GAME
If you take the game seriously and found it too difficult. To make it easier and just focus on the plot, as you make choices and progress in your adventure, as well as making notes and drawing a map, log the sections you took. I personally log the sections on my map to make it even easier to read.
It seems a lot of work but this way you can easily go back in a previous state of your game, where you can make a different choice which may be save you from a deadly trap or encounter.
This is also true for the endings. Sometimes you will be stuck at the end because you don't have the right item. So, by mapping and logging, you can turn back and explore the paths you did not take before to find the right item, without starting over from the beginning. The same way you would do in most video game.
New feature from the last re-edition of the books. If you do not have a pair of dice, dice rolls are printed throughout the book at the bottom of the pages. Flicking rapidly through the book and stopping on a page will give you a random dice roll. If you need to 'roll' only one die, read only the first printed dice; if two, total the two dice symbols.