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.

warlock

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):

fwmmap

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.

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

HotDQ

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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Free Original Dungeons & Dragons Adventure – The Cavern of Sundark

During the D&D Next playtest, I wrote an original adventure module called The Cavern of Sundark. If you’re interested in playing it, you can download it for free.

I recently decided to update it to be more in line with the final rules now that 5th edition has been out for awhile. The Cavern of Sundark is designed for four 1st – 3rd level characters using 5E rules, although it should be easy to adapt it to other systems. I’ve run two groups through this adventure (several co-workers in one group, and my kids in another group), and everyone that has played it really enjoyed it.

sundark

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