Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Tunnels and Trolls UK Covers

If the art style looks familiar to you and you're thinking "Discworld" then that's because the late, great Josh Kirby illustrated both.

In the UK Corgi Books printed the T&T rulebook as a mass-market paperback and doubled up the solo adventures in similar-sizde paperbacks. The City of Terrors was, as I recall, a slim half-length book given away with some printings of the rulebook, sealed together on the bookshop shelves.

Unlike the US editions, the UK books were re-numbered with pure sequential numbers (not the curious mix of alphanumerics in the original printings). Kirby handled all the interior illustrations as well as the covers giving T&T UK-style an individual look and atmosphere. Proper sword-and-sorcery stuff. You'll notice that he kept the whole Troll-receiving-a-TTYF-in-the-face thing from the original cover in his remake.

Each solo gamebook had a much abridged version of the main T&T rules included so you didn't actually need the rulebook to play solo.

Scans acquired from here.


  1. Those look amazing! If T&T had been packaged this way (as paperbacks) and with those covers in Canada in the early 1980s, I would have become a fan.

  2. Are they any good?

    My current eBay/bookshop kick is picking up the Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf gamebooks that I don't yet own, so I'm in desperate need of yet another way to sink my money into juvenile pursuits!

  3. DrBargle - I had most of them but my memory of them was quite patchy. Captif d'Yvoire was a pretty good as I recall (basically a C.A.S. "Averoigne" rip off) and probably the closest thing the Corgi-printed T&T line had to an FF/LW style adventure.

    City of Terrors was more of a sandbox city adventure with no real aim other than exploration, loot and XPs.

    That perhaps sums it up - some were conventional adventures, other loose sandboxes, Arena of Khazan was just a random fight generator and Deathtrap Equalizer kept teleporting you into random encounters.

    I think they date from an era when the writers of solo adventures were scratching around for a format that might work in non-sequential paragraph form.

    But they might be worth having for the Josh Kirby inkwork. As ever with eBay/Amazon if you see them for coppers they are worth a try.

  4. There's quite a few of the Corgi editions up for sale for 1p (+2.80 P&P) - in acceptable/good condition - on Amazon UK at the moment.