Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Good News Everybody!

There's a so-called Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebook coming out soon from Mongoose - it's essentially the Fighting Fantasy RPG (as reviewed on FightingFantasist) but with Joe Dever's Lone Wolf combat system and Magnamund world and aimed at the same level as the original orange book. Superb news but probably only 20 years too late. Are there really any potential RPG initiates who know what Magnamund is? It's a wee bit like the problem I raised with the 4E Red Box a few weeks back - does this mean anything at all to your target market?

Combat in LW was relatively simple as I recall. You subtracted the enemys COMBAT SKILL from your own to determine the difference (which might be negative if you were outclassed). This was cross-referenced against a d10 roll(*) on a table which told you how many ENDURANCE points you lost and how many the enemy lost. Rinse and repeat until somebody croaks.

Sadly though, I bet it isn't illustrated by Gary Chalk. I started refusing to buy Lone Wolf books when Chalk handed over art duties to Brian Williams, my mental image of Magnamund was so formed by Chalk's distinctive style (and his attention to detail with costume, arms and armour, heraldry and architecture) that I could never take to the later books. Don't like the re-release covers either.

Ironically enough, Williams was Dever's first choice to illustrate Lone Wolf so clearly the later books are more in line with what Dever felt the world looked like. It's just that by this time I didn't agree with him.

Will I buy this and all the proposed supplements?

Yeah, of bloody course I will.

(*) LW books included a page with a large grid of numbers from 0-9 with the idea being that you blindly put the pencil down and discovered which pseudo-random number it had come down on. I never used this and just substitued the d10 which I fully believe Dever expected you to do anyway.


  1. Well that's great. I suppose I'd best get cracking on my Fighting Fantasy retroclone then, before someone else does it. Now that this is out, it's only a matter of time. It is a bit odd to see this come out, because as you say, it appears not to be aimed at new gamers. That said, they did do a d20 version a few years ago, I think it was Mongoose there too, but I don't know how much that sold.

  2. I suppose I'd best get cracking on my Fighting Fantasy retroclone then

    You too? I had made notes on this sort of project but haven't progressed it as I wasn't sure if it was worth releasing to, effectively, a crowd of experienced roleplayers.

  3. One of the strengths of Fighting Fantasy was that it was simple, and that made it a good entry-level rpg. The simplicity also made it a solid system for rules-light gaming. My idea is essentially to do a different version of the Advanced... variant, starting with the same core system, and building it off in a different direction to the one they chose back in the day, mainly because theirs was awful and broken. But broken as it was, I had great fun with it, so I want to see what I can do with it now.