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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Zero Dark Zombie

If you're any kind of a gamebook fan, you don't need me to tell you that this is another of Leo Hartas's fine fantasy maps. In fact, I see he even signed it, so that'd be the tip-off then.

Stayng Island (named after Jamie's shirt front when he's been eating spaghetti bolognese) was the setting for Fighting Fantasy book 43: The Keep of the Lich Lord - the only one that I wrote. Or co-wrote, rather. The adventure involved a commando raid on an undead warlord's fortress. Jamie did the first 200 paras up till the fortress gate, I wrote the rest. (More or less, though we no doubt did little extra bits in each other's section to make sure it all meshed together.)

When Icon Books started republishing the FF series, Jamie and I kept the rights to Lich Lord. You may even have seen the Megara app a few years back that was loosely based on it. Now we're thinking about republishing it, probably whisking it out of FF's world of Alan and dropping it down someplace in the Violet Ocean. Maybe right in the middle. That way, everybody who says there are no complete adventures (really?) in Over the Blood-Dark Sea will have to eat their words.

The only hold-up is artwork. Megara produced some nice full-colour illustrations for the app, but those were fairly low-res and I don't know how well they would reproduce in black and white. Also, we don't have a cover and, much as I'd like to get original FL artist Kevin Jenkins to do one, he's far too busy (and expensive) these days. But those hitches aside, I think you'll be seeing this back in print before too long.

8 comments:

  1. It will be good to see this back in print. If I recall correctly, KotLL had several alternative boss encounters based on player actions.

    Will the new printed version include the additional material that from the Megara videogame?

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    1. That's the plan. Richard S Hetley did the heavy lifting to convert the adventure to the Fabled Lands rules, so it'd be crazy not to use that. Also, Mikael Louys at Megara has generously agreed to provide us with art from the app to use for the cover and interior.

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  2. I'd definitely endorse new artwork regardless as I always felt David Gallagher was one of the worst regular illustrators FF used back in the day. On which note, did you request him specifially Dave or was that simply the card you were dealt?

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    1. He was just assigned to our book by the FF editor at the time, Marc Gascoigne. I wasn't familiar with his work and would have personally preferred Leo or Russ if they were available.

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  3. No complete adventures contained in Fabled Lands 3? Off the top of my head, freeing the village from the Gorgons is a complete adventure. That said, you can only access that if you start in FL3, and get a very specific die roll at the start of the book, to see where you wash up.

    I'd be curious to see how KotLL would mesh in with existing copies of FL3, in practical terms. I guess you'd use some kind of doorway paragraph? Make a note somewhere - on this blog, why not? - that if you arrive at paragraph XX in FL3, you can use that to transfer over to paragraph 1 of KotLL? Or maybe even a few different crossover points, to keep it as free-roaming as the rest of the FL books?

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    1. I thought about fitting Castle of Lost Souls into Golnir somewhere, but was deterred by the complexity of having to split the adventure into phases (not Fazes; inside joke there) so that the player could go away, have other adventures, and come back and resume the CoLS quest whenever they liked. If possible I'd try to do that with KotLL, as it's not in the spirit of FL to plunge players into a long, mostly-linear adventure without any chance to turn off the main road if they want to. So I'd need to put in one or more new entry and exit points, plus a codeword system to keep track of how far through the adventure you'd already progressed.

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  4. Will we see a print version?

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