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Creature of Havoc (book)

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Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
Outline
Location: Allansia, Titan
References: 460
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson
Illustrator(s): Alan Langford
Puffin
Figfan24
Cover illustrator: Ian Miller
First published: November 20 1986
Number 24
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-032040-7
Previous Book: Masks of Mayhem
Next Book: Beneath Nightmare Castle
Wizard (Series 1)
Figfan24r
Cover illustrator: Les Edwards
First published: June 3 2002
Number 4
ISBN: ISBN 1-84046-391-0
Previous Book: Deathtrap Dungeon
Next Book: City of Thieves
Wizard (Series 2)
Ff5new sml
Cover illustrator: Les Edwards
First published: February 4 2010
Number 5
ISBN: ISBN 1-84831-112-5
Previous Book: Stormslayer
Next Book: City of Thieves


For other uses of Creature of Havoc, see Creature of Havoc (disambiguation)

Creature of Havoc is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Steve Jackson, illustrated by Alan Langford and originally published in 1986 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2002 and 2010. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 24th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-032040-7) and 4th in the Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84046-391-0) and 5th in "Series 2" (ISBN 1-84831-112-5).

CreationEdit

Creature of Havoc was another attempt at doing something different - setting the reader as a monster instead of a hero. And the feedback we were getting from readers is that they liked the adventures to be tough, so I made it as difficult as I could. Turns out readers found it more difficult that I thought![1]

Tales of Trolltooth PassEdit

Are you ready for the most unusual Fighting Fantasy adventure yet?

You begin this adventure not knowing where you are or who you are. All you know is that you are some kind of creature of instinct, understanding little. During the course of the adventure, it may be possible for you to begin to control your bestial nature, to find out more about yourself, and even to learn your destiny. But even if you know all this, success is by no means certain, for the traps and terrors of Trolltooth Pass are many ... Are you ready — to become the
Creature of Havoc?

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to follow, which dangers to risk and which foes to fight.
[2]

The player begins this adventure with no idea who they are or where they are. The player is an unidentified beast and begins the adventure with no concept of language or reason. The player must discover what has happened to them and along the way a greater plot unfolds.

The book begins with an extensive background section detailing the recent history of an area of Allansia known as Trolltooth Pass. An Evil Necromancer named Zharradan Marr has slowly been seizing power in the region by building up wealth and a small army. He is particularly feared as a practitioner of marrangha, a type of black magic that involves the transformation of limbs and organs from one creature to another. Marr learnt this from his mentors in the village of Dree, an evil settlement of witches.

Over the years Marr has built up a dedicated ring of followers: Vallaska Roue, a Human; Hannicus, a wizard of Neutral alignment; Thugruff, a Half-Troll; and Darramouss, an undead Half-Elf. Hannicus gives Marr much information about the area, including the legend of Stittle Woad - an Elven village in the Forest of Spiders that supposedly hold three "Vapours" - benevolent spirits which bestow the gifts of reason, languages and Elven magic.

Marr, interested in the secrets of Elven magic, manages to steal the Vapours - however, he finds that he cannot understand their secrets without finding the village of Stittle Woad. This presents a problem, as the village is hidden high in the forest's treetops by Elven magic. A solution presents itself in the form of the Galleykeep, a flying ship that arrives from the east. Marr uses his troops to capture the flying ship and makes it not only his new headquarters, but a tool to discover the location of Stittle Woad from above.

Little of the background information is relevant to the player at the beginning of the book, for they wake up in a dark corridor to find that they have no memory of who they are. Not only that, but the player is not even human - they take the role of a large, powerful and unintelligent beast.

This results in some difficulty as the player makes his way through the first sections of the book, which are set in Marr's underground dungeons. Because the creature cannot make its own decisions, it is governed by instinct, and die rolls are used to determine decisions rather than the player's own choice. This changes once the player finds the Vapour of Reason, which allows him to make his own choices.

How to Fight Creatures of Trolltooth PassEdit

  • The book in general follows the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (see Game System).
  • In the Wizard "Series 2" edition, instead of rolling the stats for a character as per tradition in Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, the player has the option of choosing a pregenerated character from three choices. (see "Further Notes" below for choices)

Unique RulesEdit

  • This book contains slightly different rules than most Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. A hit to the player in combat does 1 stamina point less damage than usual due to the player's tough hide[3] and rolling a double when determining the player's Attack Strength will instantly kill an enemy.[4] Testing Your Luck in battle when wounded means that a lucky roll results in no damage.[5]

Equipment ListEdit

The player also begins with no Provisions, money, or equipment.

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Creaturealt

The never-released cover

Main article: Creature of Havoc (illustrations)

Covers

The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Ian Miller.

This was the last book to feature the Adventure Gamebooks banner.

When the book was republished by Wizard a new cover was designed and illustrated by Les Edwards. Their 2010 edition makes use of a section of the previous edition's cover art.

Creature of Havoc through the years
1986 1987 1989 1990 1993
Figfan24 Ff24
Zig-Zag Banner Dragon Format Dragon No No. No. Spine OnlyNo Bronze-Foil
£1.951,2 £2.253 £2.994 £3.505 £3.996
2002 2002 2010
Figfan24r Ff5new sml
Wizard "Special
Limited Edition"
Wizard Shield
£4.99 £4.99 £5.99

NOTES

  1. Price of 1st Impression
  2. In Warlock Issue 13 there is an image of a cover of Creature of Havoc that was never released. The inside front cover of this issue of Warlock was an advert for the gamebook. It showed the cover of Creature of Havoc with a different colour used for the font of the title of the adventure and instead of the credit "Steve Jackson's" it reads "By Steve Jackson". Therefore the advert has a cover that was never released.
  3. Price of 3rd Impression
  4. Price of 6th Impression
  5. Price of 8th Impression
  6. Price of 8th Impression (the Barcode suggests that it is actually the 9th Impression). Note that the colour map is not included in this edition.

Illustrations

The interior illustrations were by Alan Langford. There were 33 full page illustrations and 9 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 12, 24, 40, 63, 88, 100, 111, 123, 134, 147, 170, 182, 194, 217, 229, 241, 263, 274, 287, 299, 312, 323, 334, 356, 366, 377, 390, 400, 411, 423, 435 and 447.

The colour map on the inside front cover was by Dave Andrews. It was not reproduced for the Wizard edition.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

The backstory of Zharradan Marr was elaborated on in later books. It was established that Marr was once one of three pupils of an Evil wizard called Volgera Darkstorm (the other two being Balthus Dire from the book The Citadel of Chaos and Zagor from the book The Warlock of Firetop Mountain). After Darkstorm grew wary of their increasing powers, his three pupils tired of learning and killed their teacher by a carefully disguised "Rain of Knives" spell.[6]

Other MediaEdit

Computer GameEdit

Main article: Creature of Havoc (iOS game)

An iOS conversion of the book was produced by Big Blue Bubble and released in 2010.

e-BookEdit

Main article: House of Hell (Kindle)

A Kindle adaptation of the book was produced by Worldweaver Ltd and released in 2012.

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Hero of Creature of Havoc

LocationsEdit

EncountersEdit

Further NotesEdit

  • This is, to date, the last Fighting Fantasy gamebook written by Steve Jackson.
  • Marrangha, the magic that Marr practices, is an almost anagram of the word "anagram" (with the addition of an "h" and an extra "r" to make the word less obviously an anagram and more fantasy-like).
  • The "Adventure Sheet" is presented at the start of the introductory material rather than between the game instructions and background as is the norm for the range. This would be repeated in Black Vein Prophecy.

Series 2 AdditionsEdit

ErrorsEdit

There are several errors:

  • In the Wizard version the "How to Fight the Creatures of Trolltooth Pass" is in error, which means that the reduced damage in combat noted above in Unique Rules is not made clear.
  • "jth jmfe" should be "jth imfe" in (7).
  • A slight continuity error: the correct path involves being transported by the Women of Dree to the banks of the stinking Bilgewater river, whose waters are described as "cool" and "splashing your face" (141). But in the next paragraph you turn to (423), in common with several unsuccessful paths, the river is described as "foul" and "pungent", following on from earlier references on the unsuccessful paths!
  • At (130), the directions on the signpost and the offered choices of way are reversed. When you intend to go northeast towards the Bu Fon Fen, it instead leads you to the Coven, which the signpost indicates lies to the northwest (134). Likewise, if you wish to visit the Coven by going northwest, you end up in the Fens instead (190).
  • At (166) it should read "east" instead of "west" in the choice of direction. This was corrected in the Wizard editions.
  • "hfej sanpt" should be "hfej sinpt" in (192).
  • (213) where a secret passage trigger phrase is needed to allow completion of the adventure, does not begin the entry as it was supposed to, leaving a player to guess whether the pendant works here, allowing the player to turn to (233). It says "You reach a dead end." when it should read "You find yourself ..." This was corrected for the first Wizard Books edition, but is present again in the Wizard "Series 2" edition.
  • In the Puffins edition, the instructions for translating the scrambled language sections presented in (283) are themselves scrambled. Instead of replacing the vowels in each text with the following letter, instead try to find any vowel coming before certain consonants (i.e. "b" becomes "a", "j" becomes "i", and so on).
  • When you face Thugruff if you bring his stamina to four or less he blows a whistle and you're killed by his minions (305). If the player rolls a double during any Attack Round it is an Instant Death blow. How can Thugruff blow a whistle if he is dead? Similar battles "not to the death" include that with the Black Elf, and the human "Eleven" .
  • (336) You search for a Galleykeep hunting trap, so you Test your Luck. If you are Lucky (341), you get caught in a trap and are hauled on board, fight your captors and progress. If you are Unlucky, you also get caught in a trap but then get captured and eaten. It is likely implied that you get caught unawares and struggle to free yourself, and are thus too tired to resist capture. In (341), you see the trap, wait and trigger it just before the Galleykeep arrives. Compare with (10) and (175), which explicitly say you tire yourself out trying to free yourself from the same sort of trap.
  • "Bvtay pvo hbvfi cbv sfdatw pipf ath favbp pvrse tpebf ulpst." should be "Bvtuy pvu hbvfe cbv sfdetw popf oth fevbp pvrsu tpobf elpst." in (369).
  • Possibly not an error, but Daga Weaseltongue speaks with sentences starting with vowels (implying they are true) when first asked about Stittle Woad, and changes to sentences starting with consonants (implying falsehoods) when shown the ring of truth. Since the actual location of Stittle Woad is never established it is unclear which, if either, version is true.

DedicationEdit

Puffin EditionEdit

To Rob and Anne

Wizard EditionEdit

To Ken, Lilian and Vicki

See AlsoEdit


ReviewsEdit

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Interview with Steve Jackson at the Internet Archive record of Advancedfightingfantasy.com - Retrieved 2013-09-18
  2. Creature of Havoc - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  3. Creature of Havoc - p.10
  4. Creature of Havoc - p.11
  5. Creature of Havoc - p.13
  6. Creature of Havoc - p.???

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