Solo Dungeon Tables 1: Looking at Warlock of Firetop Mountain
British RPGs Fantasy Dungeon Making Random Tables

Solo Dungeon Tables 1: Looking at Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Duncan Thomson

My next solo adventure will be taking a journey into Warlock of Firetop Mountain. However, as I'm using an rpg I'll be trying to make it into my own adventure by breaking it down into random tables.

Firetop tables - intro | themes & overview | approach | outer area | river | treasures | maze | warlock

Warlock of Firetop Mountain

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is the first of the Fighting Fantasy series, a book of solo adventure gamebooks that was first released in the 1980s. It was an incredibly popular series in the United Kingdom and sold millions worldwide. Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson were the authors, also founders of co-founders Games Workshop.

Steve Jackson shouldn't be confused with the American Steve Jackson (of Steve Jackson Games). It's easy to do as the other Steve Jackson also wrote two Fighting Fantasy books (two of the best!).

There will be spoilers if you intend to take on the book yourself, although I'm not sure how much they would help you.

In Warlock of Firetop Mountain, a lone adventurer, armed only with their sword and some provisions, aims to traverse the dungeon of Firetop Mountain, defeat the Warlock and take all of the treasure found within. Monsters, traps and treasures await.

Recreating Firetop Mountain with Tables

My eventual aim is to take a group of characters on a solo rpg adventure into Firetop Mountain, or at least a dungeon inspired by it. I'll be using Warlock!, which is has some elements of Fighting Fantasy in it, so can use the monster Skill and Stamina (doubling the Stamina) pretty much as they are.

But the book is written as an adventure game book for a single character, and it's designed to be read. As I'm also the GM for my solo game, I want to do something slightly different. There are other versions of Firetop Mountain (including a supplement writtern for Advanced Fighting Fantasy, a sequel, a board game and a computer game), but I'm going to ignore them and just use the original book.

My objective is to break down the Warlock of Firetop Mountain into random tables that I can use for solo play, or help me recreate it as a GM for a standard group. I'll break down the dungeon into several sections and take a look at what monsters, treasures and other pieces there are.

Then I'll recreate the sections into tables such as Locations, Treasures and Creatures (yet to be decied). Trying to be true to the spirit of Firetop Mountain, but making it an adventure I'd want to play or run (as I'll be doing both).


The adventure has many creatures ready to fight the adventurer. Putting into some kind of vague groupings we have

Humans (Barbarian, Warlock, Wererat, Werewolf, Caveman)

Beasts (Crocodile, Dog, Giant Bat, Giant Rat, Giant Sand Worm, Giant Spider, Piranhas, Snake)

Nonhumans (Dwarf, Giant, Gremlin, Goblin, Minotaur, Ogre, Orc, Orc Chieftain, Orc Servant, Troll)

Undead (Ghoul, Skeleton, Wight, Vampire, Zombie)

Magical (Dragon, Hand, Iron Cyclops, Winged Gremlin)

Standard fantasy creatures with a couple that stand out like the Giant Sand Worm, Iron Cyclops and Winged Gremlin.

Non-Player Characters

Some characters we talk with a little and can maybe fight. These include

  • The Ferryman, who will overcharge you to take you across the river
  • The man with the key to the boathouse, who tells you about the dungeon ahead and the curse on the area nearby.
  • Prisoner who was an ex-adventurer kept as a pet by the orcs
  • The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, who mostly mocks you.
  • The Mazemaster with a squeaky voice, who might help you if threatened but otherwise triest to get rid of you. Also a spellcaster
  • An old shopkeeper who talks at length and tries to sell you a candle. Also a spellcaster
  • The skeletons in the boat house, who send some members to check if your lies are true or not
  • The dwarves who are lonely in the maze and let you gamble with them or tell you a bit about the dungeon
  • An old man in a study with many books who tries to get you to gamble with them. Has a winged gremlin familiar.
  • A pair of goblin torturers who rush off to get another prisoner

Areas and Sections

There are four broad areas to Firetop Mountain, at least for the adventure tables we want to make.

Approaching the Mountain

Mentioned in the rumours section and first entry, it includes one village a couple days trek away, the two day climb up to the entrance of Firetop Mountain, the strange red vegetation of Firetop Mountain. And the front cave entrance, home to mossy rocks and a few trees.

Outer Chambers

Beyond the front entrance lies "dark, slimy walls with pools of water on the stone floor. The air is dark and dank. Cobwebs brush your face and you hear the scurrying of tiny feet."

It is home to orcs and goblins, plus a variety of tougher creatures hanging around in lairs and magical rooms.

Notable rooms and features include barracks, caves, a guard post, a shop, chieftain's room, prison, torture chamber, magical patio, a dining room, a gallery with paintings, room of darkness, an armoury, tree stump to rest on, ornate room of mosaics and marble, narrow tunnels, a pear-shaped room, a holy fountain, pit trap,, larder, room of bones, a portcullis with a blade as a lever and a study with a secret door behind a bookcase.

Underground River

The underground river bisects the whole dungeon, but I'm not sure where the water comes from. The area around the river has water creatures like sand worms, crocodiles and giant bats. To the north is an area cursed by the warlock and full of undead.

Notable rooms and features include caves by the river, a sandy beach, a rickety bridge, a magical ferry, furniture made from boats, boat house, a storehouse with zombies using peasant weapons, luxurious room with an altar andcoffins, a dead end being excavated by magical tools, alcoves, debris-strewn room, staircases, room of bodies,

Maze of Zagor

You know you're in the maze as a portcullis slams down behind you and blocks your way out. It's a twisting maze of crossroads, dead ends, secret passages, wandering monsters and traps. There are a few rooms around too, with a Mazemaster, minotaur and some dwarves. At the end of it is a dragon and the fight with the Warlock. And his treasure chest.

Notable rooms and features include a room of broken pottery, a study with books, a room with table and chairs, secret doors, a large cave, and the warlock's quarters.

The maze isn't actually that dangerous, but is quite frustrating to navigate.

Magic Items and Treasures

There are lots of enchanted items in Firetop Mountain, including

  • Keys for the warlock's chest
  • An enchanted sword given to you by a spirit
  • Another, powerful, enchanted sword
  • A cursed helmet and an enchanted helmet
  • A journal with notes about dragon breath
  • The Warlock's spellbook
  • Animated digging tools
  • The Eye of the Cyclops, a jewel from a metal cyclops
  • "Giver of Sleep", A blessed bow with a silver arrow.
  • Cursed boots
  • Rope that tries to strangle you
  • A magical painting that the Warlock watches through
  • A potion of invisibility
  • A magical blue candle
  • Magical cards
  • Blessed holy water that heals

In addition there are a number of treasures including gold coins, cheese, a chisel with a silver blade, an iron shield, a silky black glove, very good rum, a bad map of the maze and a solid silver crucifix.

Other Notes

  • There's no real logic or reason to Firetop Mountain, which is to be expected from a dungeon crawl of the early 80's. I was fairly normal at the time and also not needed for an Adventure Game Book.
  • There is the objective to collect keys, to be able to open the treasure chest of the Warlock, should you defeat him.
  • There is no real theme to Firetop Mountain. Like the Citadel of Chaos has weird creatures and the background of Chaos. Or Scorpion Swamp has a mist that gets you lost, the Masters with their magical amulets, conflict between good and evil and the titular scorpions. That's not a problem as it's possible to identify a few themes and inject these into the Random Tables.
  • Many things in the dungeon are magical, such as floors, traps and objects. Possibly drawing their power from the Warlock.
  • There are no women mentioned in the Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Or depicted
  • All of the humans are old men, except for the barbarian and cavemen.
  • There are lots of small details that add to the adventure as a solo gamebook, such as the orc with a pet mouse, the giant who throws a pig carcass at you and "the worst singing you've heard in your life"
  • There are a few holy places and items around the dungeon, and also a few opulent rooms or formerly opulent rooms, pointing to possible religious or wealthy occupants in the past.

Finishing Up

So it will be a dungeon of four parts (including the before part), with a Warlock at the end, and some way of being able to get to their treasure. The place is inherently magical

Next time I'll be looking at possible themes to add to the tables, and starting off with tables for Before the Mountain and maybe the Outer Chambers.

Happy gaming!