Possibly the most famous of the Fighting Fantasy
books, Deathtrap Dungeon was, put simply, The Daddy
. So popular has this book, written by Ian Livingstone
(who would later go on to co-found Games Workshop
with Steve Jackson
, another Fighting Fantasy author), that it even spawned a computer game (produced by Eidos
Within the town of Fang (convieniently situated on the banks of the river Kok in the province of Chaing Mai) is a labyrinth built by the baron of Fang, Sukumvit. Every year, it is host to the Trial of Champions, in which warriors from all over the world attempt to complete "The Walk", escape from the labyrinth, and claim the 10,000 gold pieces as their prize.
Which is where you come in. For the past five years, you've been training, preparing yourself for the feat ahead. Now you, with five other contenders, enter the dungeon, hoping to claim the prize.
In the first few pages of the book is the Adventure Sheet. Using this, you keep track of your character's gold, food and other posessions, and their three main statistics: Skill, Stamina and Luck. These are generated as follows:
- Skill: Roll one D6, and add 6 to it.
- Stamina: Roll 2D6 and add 12.
- Luck: Roll one D6, and add 6.
Once the adventure sheet has been completed, the game begins. The game itself is made up of 400 extracts, each numbered. The player begins at extract one, and works through them. However, one does not move straight on to the next extract; after each one, you are told where to turn to, or given a choice. For example, after 1:
If you wish to open the box, turn to 270. If you prefer to continue walking north, turn to 66.
In this way, the player
decides what will happen to them, and eventually decides whether they can win the game. It can be very easy to make a wrong move at some point, and only realise it when your character ends up dead (a common occurence to new players).