Fighting Fantasy: An Introductory RPG

This morning I'm going to talk about an old school RPG. And that RPG is? Fighting Fantasy! Now, to clear up any confusion, I'm talking about the original Fighting Fantasy introductory RPG, not the later Advanced Fighting Fantasy (first or second edition), nor the earlier Fighting Fantasy solo game books (although this game sprang forth from those books).

Fighting Fantasy was the first RPG I ever owned, at least in part, thanks to my UK pen pal, Simon Garber. He gifted me with a copy of The Riddling Reaver, the first (and only) full length campaign for Fighting Fantasy. I still consider it one of the better published RPG campaigns I've read/played, despite the fact that it's pretty railroad-y. This is somewhat balanced out by the sheer gonzo factor of the adventure. You can definitely tell where the early Games Workshop weirdness came from. Oh, yeah, did I mention that? Well....

The guys who dreamed up the world of Fighting Fantasy and the game books that took place there were also the founders of Games Workshop. A lot of the weirdness in Fighting Fantasy shows up in their later work for Games Workshop, particularly their Warhammer Fantasy lines. It's kind of a neat piece of gaming trivia. That said, it's not directly relevant to this discussion, so back on topic.

Anyway, The Riddling Reaver is pretty awesome and it's available for dirt cheap prices (I payed less than a dollar for mine, IIRC) on Amazon if you'd like to check it out. As to the actual RPG, I didn't get my hands on that until some time after I received that copy of The Riddling Reaver from my pen pal. Like years after. By the time I got a copy of the rules I no longer had a copy of the campaign but, being an introductory RPG, Fighting Fantasy had me covered with two adventures that are ready to play out of the box. Indeed, most of the book is dedicated to these adventures as the rules are quite simple (see below).

Your basic character per the core rules only has three ability scores: Skill, Stamina, and Luck. Stamina is a measure of health and functions like Hit Points do in many games, while Skill and Luck may be tested to perform different actions (including combat). How they are tested depends on the exact circumstances under which they are tested, but typically you will roll 2d6 or 1d6 and try to meet a predetermined difficulty (rolling high, although there are some exceptions). Some key points of interest are that there are no rules for magic and all weapons do the same amount of damage (rules for magic and variable weapon damage are added in The Riddling Reaver book).

If you've ever played a Fighting Fantasy solo game book and thought that the rules would make for an interesting, rules-light, RPG or if you've ever fallen in love with the world of Titan where the Fighting Fantasy games were set, looking into the original Fighting Fantasy RPG is probably not a bad investment of your dollars.


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