Rand Roll List of Gamebooks
Gamebooks Fighting Fantasy British RPGs

Rand Roll List of Gamebooks

Duncan Thomson

Part of my own solo rpg journey is rediscovering Gamebooks, and now categorising some old and new. It seems to be a genre which is quite strong on the UK!

Starting out by filling in the classics, and then updating more in the future.

The Classics

Fighting Fantasy

These green-covered books are the ones that got me started as a gamer at the age of 11. My first character in Caverns of the Snow Witch died when they met a mammoth, and a love for gamebooks and gaming was born.

All you needed was two dice and something to write with. This series defined the adventure gamebook in the UK, with 50+ books across several genres.

My personal favourites were Scorpion Swamp, Dead of Night and Sword of the Samurai. Plus Sorcery! At times they were frustrating (Crypt of the Sorcerer), with linear paths to victory and arbitrary death scenes (I choose the left tunnel, I die).

I've recently written a series converting the Warlock of Firetop Mountain into a dungeon using random tables. And the running a group of Warlock! adventurers through it solo.

Sorcery! should probably have it's own entire section. You played the same character through multiple books and it had it's own magic system.

Lone Wolf

The other major name of adventure gamebooks in the UK, the books spanned 20+ books in 3+ series. I only played them haphazardly but they had a different tone and pace to the Fighting Fantasy ones.

They also had a more consistent tone, and you played the same character (except for a second character in later books). In addition, the combat was slightly quicker and there were a number of secondary skills which were important, and also provided a way of character improvement across the books.

All of the Lone Wolf books are available for free.

The Open Worlders

Fabled Lands by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson

I only found out about these in 2023, but they were published in the 80's. With a 7th added a few years ago. You play a character that can go from one book to another and back again, choosing what kind of adventures you want to get into.

My characters have died and lost their stuff many times, and you can see the changes in game design since when they were written.

Legendary Kingdoms by Oliver Hulme

These are more open world gamebooks where you control a group of up to 4 adventurers. So far only listened to an actual play on a podcast but looking forward to getting Valley of Bones.

Vulcanverse by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson

From the same authors as Fabled Lands is another open world series of gamebooks, this time tied to Greek myth and legend. Companions can join you, fights are no different to regular skill checks, and lots has been learnt since the first series. Only had a quick play of the second book so far.

High on List to Try

Steam Highwayman

These look amazing.

Destiny Quest

These look very different, getting hard and with lots of item based quests.

The Cretan Chronicles

Played these a long time ago, and will re-try them. Was different to the FF books as they had a Greek flavour and a few unique mechanics such as Honour.

Tales of Quahnarren and Sword of the Bastard Elf

On list to try! from DriveThru RPG

Rider of the Black Sun by Swen Harder

Also looks solid (and modern) and needs trying out.

Honourable Mentions

Way of the Tiger by Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson

Have the second one, but want to restart with the first. Series from the 80's by

Tunnels and Trolls

Played these a long time ago, but haven't yet tracked down more information about them.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Tried one just before Fighting Fantasy, but they lack any game element, just having the branching options part. Lost interest fairly quickly.


These look interesting, set in Arthurian legend with a sense of humour. Need to track down some.

Finishing Up

Still lots to cover, but it's all part of a larger project of mine!