Issue #7 - Published!

Issue #7 is now available for download from the the new site:

104 pages of Fighting Fantasy goodness. Feedback appreciated. (Printing password: fanta).

Queen of Shades - Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at the art and text of the mini adventure for issue #7:
In their place stands a tall, slender woman, glowing in the darkness like a candle flame. The goddess of justice looks at you sadly.
This is Queen of Shades by Paul Struth and illustrated by myself:
It should have been an adventure like any other; an ancient tomb, a forgotten treasure and a band of brave souls willing to risk their lives in pursuit of fame and fortune. Now, a day after your successful return to Kharé, the notorious cityport of traps, two of your fellow adventurers lie dead – will YOU be the next victim of the curse?
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Coming Soon - Issue 7 Cover

Here's the cover for issue #7, which I hope to be able to release at the beginning of September (in time for the 2nd birthday of the magazine).

Coming Soon - Issue 7

Apart from the current lack of an artist to illustrate the mini adventure (if either you or someone you know might be able to help with this problem by volunteering to do the black and white artwork please contact me), the rest of issue #7 is well on the way to being completed. So what can be found in the next issue?

  • The mini adventure Queen of Shades by Paul Struth
  • AFF competition winner, The Curse of Meraki by Stuart Lloyd
  • An interview with Paul Struth, winner of the 1984 Warlock magazine competition to have an adventure published in the magazine (The Dervish Stone in issue #4)
  • An interview with Graeme Davis, author of Midnight Rogue
  • "The Fact of Fiction": Seas of Blood is examined by Warren McGuire
  • Chapter 3 of "Aelous Raven and the Wrath of the Sea-Witch" by Ian Brocklehurst
  • Part 5 of "Everything I Need to Know I Learnt from Reading Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks" by Ed Jolley
  • More news with "Omens & Auguries" from Guillermo Parades
  • Two monsters in "Out of the Pit" by Andrew Wright
  • Adrian Young's "Chronicle of Heroes" covers A Darkness Over Kaad
  • "The Arcane Archive" reviews Advanced Fighting Fantasy – The Roleplaying Game, Out of the Pit, and Titan
  • Dan Satherley's column looks for a win with Island of the Lizard King
  • Finally, Jamie Fry continues his exploration of the world of FF collecting
How soon this issue surfaces will probably depend on how soon I can find someone to illustrate the mini adventure and how quickly they can deliver the art.

AFF Competition Winner - Sneak Peek

I can now announce the winner of the AFF competition launched in issue #6. First place, as judged by AFF writer Graham Bottley is The Curse of Meraki by Stuart Lloyd. Here's a sneak peek at what the adventure entails:
It’s been a week since you have left the cesspit of Port Blacksand and pickings are slim. After a month of traipsing across the Pagan Plains to guard a caravan of merchants on their journey to the deadly port, you want some adventure. However, you a bit too much adventure in Blacksand after one of you spilt a flagon of ale all over one of the city’s master assassins. Two minutes later, you were sprinting through the streets with a dozen highly trained killers close behind you. You got to the south gate, only to be stopped by the troll guards demanding a fishday tax. Too desperate to argue, you hand over most your money to avoid the sharp blades of the Assassins’ Guild. You have just arrived to the small fishing village of Meraki, eager for a hot meal and a comfortable bed. However, you can see that something is wrong. The villagers look sad and downtrodden. No one looks you in the eye as you walk through the streets to the market square. You get to an inn and ask the keeper for some food and drink. He serves it without a word. While you are eating your dinner, an old but well kempt and muscular man approaches you. ‘Good evening. My name is Grask. I am the headman of this village and we need your help. I will offer you a free bed for the next few nights and some gold if you can solve our woes. I fear that there is a curse upon our little village and now an innocent woman’s life hangs in the balance...
Graham plans to host other entries on the official AFF website given the quality of the competition entries (as long as the entrants agree to this). So even though they won't appear in the magazine, they will hopefully be available to play in addition to the winner's tale. Congratulations to all who entered, may your STAMINA never fail!

Whirling Dervish - Sneak Peek

Issue #7 also features a second interview, this time with fan Paul Struth:
Were you a great reader of fantasy fiction?
Not really. The first book to make a big impression on me was The Lord of the Rings; I loved the dark bits, especially the scenes with the orcs in Moria and the tower of Minas Morgul. If I hadn’t read those, I probably wouldn’t have got interested in Fighting Fantasy. Apart from Tolkien, the only author to really catch my imagination as a child was Ursula Le Guin; A Wizard of Earthsea is still my favourite fantasy book of all time.

Roleplaying Rogue - Sneak Peek

Writer Graeme Davis is interviewed in issue #7. Here's a sneak peek...
How did you end up writing for Warlock magazine in 1985?
I had been writing for White Dwarf since 1982, and as my college years drew to a close I decided to chance it and see if I could make a living out of writing for games. I had seen the rise of Fighting Fantasy and its various imitators, and gamebooks in general were wildly popular at the time - almost a Harry Potter level of popularity. I had co-written an analysis of the gamebook phenomenon for TSR UK’s Imagine magazine along with their regular book reviewer Colin Greenland, and did a semi-regular gamebook spot on BBC Radio Newcastle’s book programme; my first writing contract was to create two six-part gamebook series for Oxford University Press. Titled Quest Books (Kern the Strong and Oss the Quick), they were aimed at teenagers with reading difficulties, using the gamebook format and adventure content to encourage reading.

So when Warlock magazine started, it was natural that I’d pitch them some ideas. There were other gamebook magazines around at the time (I remember one called Proteus, and a gamebook-style comic put out under the 2000AD banner), but Warlock is the one that responded to my pitches.

Artist Spotlight - Natalie Gingerboom

Today is the first in an irregular series of posts that will briefly highlight the various talented artists whose works help lift Fighting Fantazine up to be something other than a very dense chunk of text.

To kick off, we turn the spotlight on Natalie Gingerboom.

The magazine was first put in touch with Natalie after her contribution to an art competition on the official website which depicted Zanbar Bone and his Moondogs (from City of Thieves). Andrew Wright, our "Out of the Pit" wrangler spotted her talent and got in touch, directing her to the newly released first issue of the magazine. She sent an email and before the week was out she'd signed over her soul and was hard at work on the cover for issue #2.

Since then she's been hard at work studying illustration at University, and you can visit her blog to take a peek at her non-Fighting Fantasy efforts.

In an effort to keep her from drowning in study we've kept her busy ourselves, with Natalie doing the back cover for issue #3 and most recently the front cover for issue #5 (which she discusses on her blog and a bit of which I've nicked for the logo at the top of this blog).

Fans can look forward to more of her artistic efforts as she contributes to issue #7, currently planned for release in July...