Fighting Fantasy Map Making

Quite a while back, I wrote about a series of books by Steve Jackson titled “Sorcery!”. These are basically RPG versions of Choose-Your-Own Adventure books, with stats, dice-rolling, and monster combat.

Sorcery! is a series of 4 books that make up one overarching story, but they’re part of a bigger series of books called Fighting Fantasy. Some of the Fighting Fantasy books take you to all kinds of creepy, fantastic, and wonderful locations. The very first Fighting Fantasy book, called The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, is more or less a dungeon crawl that takes you through the twists and turns of a dungeon deep within a mountain.


One of the really fun things about Fighting Fantasy books that have mazes or dungeons, is that you can draw maps of the adventure as you play through the book. It takes longer to go through the story, but the process of drawing the map as you go can be a lot of fun.

A friend of mine also recently got back into these books. We met for lunch yesterday to get wings, and he brought a book that he’d been using to draw a map for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (which I really should just start referring to as TWoFM). Since I’ve always enjoyed making maps like this, it was cool to see someone else’s version of a map from one of these books. Here’s his map from TWoFM (click for a larger version):


Seeing his map brought back some pretty good memories of playing through this story. I have no idea where the map I drew for this book is, or if I even still have it, but this makes me want to look around to see if I kept it.

If reading through a story that lets you roll dice to fight monsters sounds fun to you, I’d recommend picking some of these Fighting Fantasy books up. There are vendors who sell them at ridiculously high prices, but there are also vendors who sell the same books for dirt cheap, so they’re not that hard to come by.

Custom Dungeon Roll Treasure Chest

Awhile back, I wrote about a dice game called Dungeon Roll. It’s a simple, fun game, but I’ve felt like the thin cardboard treasure chest that holds everything would eventually fall apart.

So, this past weekend, my son and I were getting ready to head out of town to a father/son safari camp. My wife mentioned that she and my daughter would be going to a craft store over the weekend while we were gone. I asked her to see if they had any small wooden treasure chests that I could use as a custom box for Dungeon Roll.

By the time we got back from camp, I had forgotten about our conversation about the wooden treasure chest. My daughter says to me, “Dad, I’d really like to play Dungeon Roll today.” Still didn’t remember the conversation. So after getting some things unpacked and getting settled back in, I went to get Dungeon Roll. I looked in the spot where we keep it, and I couldn’t find it. There was some little wooden chest in the way, so I moved it out of the way and kept looking. Still didn’t remember the conversation about the wooden treasure chest at the craft store. I moved some more stuff around and still couldn’t find the game.

Finally, I looked at the little wooden chest and saw this:


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Old School Electronic Gaming: Mattel Electronics Dungeons & Dragons Computer Labyrinth Game

Back when I was a boy, a new game was released that captured my imagination. It was 1980 and the game was the Dungeons & Dragons Computer Labyrinth Game made by Mattel Electronics. The game was pretty cool for it’s time, and gave me a great sense of mystery and adventure as a kid, at least as much mystery and adventure a kid could get from a board game on a living room floor or dining room table.


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Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

Every summer (or at least most summers), we stay at Ravenwood Castle in Hocking Hills in Ohio. It was originally advertised primarily as a quaint, romantic getaway and my wife and I spent part of our honeymoon there. It has gone through new ownership a couple of times since then, and the current owners have turned it into more of a gaming bed and breakfast, while still retaining the original idea of a romantic getaway (although we take our kids with us these days, so “romantic” isn’t usually our goal anyway, at least not on these trips).

So now when we go, the check-in office has a shelf loaded with all kinds of board games that can be checked out (for free!) during our stay. This is how we first had the chance to try out Forbidden Island. When we checked that game out, the employees that were getting our keys and taking our money also suggested that we try a game called “Survive – Escape from Atlantis!”.


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D&D Hoard of the Dragon Queen: First Session Notes and Thoughts


I recently started running a D&D game using the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure from Wizards of the Coast. This adventure is the first book of two in the Tyranny of Dragons story that combine to create a full adventure. The group that is playing consists of a DM (me) plus several adults and some of their sons. So, we have a group of 30 to 40 year old players with a couple of 9 year olds.

Ok, after re-reading that last sentence, I realize it could be interpreted as a group of one year old players with 30 to 40 members, but I actually meant that some of the members are in their 30s and 40s. I’m feeling too lazy to go back and change it, which makes even less sense when you realize that it took longer to type this paragraph than to re-word the previous one.

The first session went really well, and the adventure is pretty good. So far, I’m liking it quite a bit better than The Lost Mines of Phandelver from the Starter Set. It feels more gritty and realistic, and being an “adventure path”, it just feels more epic.

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Painting Space Hulk Miniatures

I mentioned in my Space Hulk 4th Edition review that the miniatures that come with the game can be painted. I’m far from a good miniature painter, but I do like to sit down and do some painting once in awhile (and by once in awhile, I mean rarely, as the fact that I have painted exactly 1 complete miniature and 5 miniatures very slightly in the last 6 months will attest to).

So the one miniature that I have completed is the Omnio figure. Being that, as mentioned, I’m not the greatest painter of miniatures, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.



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Custom Dungeon Roll Playmat

I mentioned several weeks ago in a review of the Dungeon Roll dice game that I had ordered a custom play mat printed on a glasses cleaning cloth.

I was away for about a week and it had arrived in the mail while I was gone. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out (the blur in the bottom right of the picture is not actually on the mat, but is just apparently from me shaking with excitement when I took the picture. Or maybe just bad focusing, I don’t know).


The great thing about having it printed on a cloth rather than using a paper print out is that it folds up and fits nice and neatly in the Dungeon Roll box.


As I mentioned in the other post, I got the image from where the creator of the image uploaded it to share with the gaming community.

D&D Adventure System: Castle Ravenloft Board Game

It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big fan of Dungeons & Dragons. Just a click or two around the site will make that pretty apparent.

Having said that, I’ve always wanted a board game that captured at least a little bit of the D&D feel, but without the need for a large chunk of time to be set aside to play, and without the need for a complex rule system.

So, it was with great anticipation that I ordered the Castle Ravenloft board game, which is part of the D&D Adventure System series of board games.


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Dungeon Roll: A Fun Little Press Your Luck Game

Several months ago, I started seeing ads for a little game called Dungeon Roll with a cool little treasure chest for a case. I happened to catch it on sale for $9.99 and decided to buy it.

Dungeon Roll is a “press-your-luck” dice rolling game where you roll dice to create a party of adventurers and delve into a dungeon to collect treasure and experience points. It can be played solo or with up to 4 players.


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