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Deathtrap Dungeon (book)

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Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
Outline
Location: Allansia, Titan
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Ian Livingstone
Illustrator(s): Iain McCaig
Puffin
FF6 Original
Cover illustrator: Iain McCaig
First published: March 29 1984
Number 6
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031708-2
Previous Book: City of Thieves
Next Book: Island of the Lizard King
Wizard (Series 1)
Figfan06r
Cover illustrator: Mel Grant
First published: June 3 2002
Number 3
ISBN: ISBN 1-84046-388-0
Previous Book: The Citadel of Chaos
Next Book: Creature of Havoc
Wizard (Series 2)
DeathtrapShield
Cover illustrator: Mel Grant
First published: September 3 2009
Number 3
ISBN: ISBN 1-84831-077-3
Previous Book: The Citadel of Chaos
Next Book: Stormslayer


For other uses of Deathtrap Dungeon, see Deathtrap Dungeon

Deathtrap Dungeon is a single-player role-playing gamebook, written by Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Iain McCaig and originally published in 1984 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 sixth in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-031708-2) and the third in both Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84046-388-0) and "Series 2" (ISBN 1-84831-077-3).

CreationEdit

The book was written after Ian Livingstone has been on a trekking holiday in Northern Thailand in 1981. The city of Chiang Mai, the River Kok and the town of Fang all featured on the trip and ended up as place names in the book. The name for the Baron of Fang, Baron Sukumvit, came from Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Down in the dark twisting labyrinth of Fang, unknown horrors await you!

Countless adventurers before you have taken up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, but not one has survived. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and hideous creatures of darkness to trick and test you almost beyond the limits of endurance!

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 monsters to fight.
[2]

This Fighting Fantasy gamebook is set in the usual fantasy world of Titan, in the Allansia region. The book takes place in a northern town called Fang. The Baron of Fang, Sukumvit, has created a contest, the "Trial of Champions", and the player takes the role of an entrant in the contest. Along with five other contestants the player must enter the terrible Deathtrap Dungeon, filled with elaborate traps and dangerous monsters (such as the Bloodbeast featured on the Puffin edition's cover), and emerge alive on the other side in order to be declared the victor. Throughout the book the player has encounters with the other participants in "The Walk".

The player proceeds through the dungeon, encountering numerous traps and monsters. The book also features encounters with the other participants of the contest. Some of the other participants are already eliminated by the time the player reaches them. Part way through the book the player forms a temporary alliance with Throm, one of the two barbarian competitors. This alliance is short-lived, however, as the player character and Throm are later forced by a Dwarf Trialmaster to fight each other to the death.

After this encounter, the player learns from a dying Elf, another participant, that they are required to collect a certain number of gems in order to win the contest. The player must then bypass the Pit Fiend, the rival Ninja, the Bloodbeast, and also a Manticore to reach Igbut the Gnome, who is the final Trialmaster. He asks for the gems and their correct combination in order to unlock the door to victory. The player must rely on luck to survive this encounter. If successful, the player character wins the prize of 10,000 Gold Pieces.

RulesEdit

  • 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).

Equipment List[3]Edit

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Main article: Deathtrap Dungeon (illustrations)

Covers

The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Iain McCaig.

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

Deathtrap Dungeon through the years
1984 1984 1987 1989 1990
FF6 Original FF6 Green FF6 Dragon Number FF6 Dragon No Number FF6 Dragon No Number
Colour Star Zig-Zag Banner Dragon Format Dragon No No. No. Spine Only
£1.501 £1.502 £1.953 £? £3.504
1993 1998 2002 2002 2009
FF6 Black Dragon FF6 Special Figfan06r DeathtrapShield
No Bronze-Foil Playstation Wizard "Special
Limited Edition"
Wizard Shield
£? £-5 £4.99 £4.99 £5.99

NOTES

  1. Price of 1st~2nd Impressions
  2. Price of 7th Impression; £1.75 for 8th Impression
  3. Price of 13th Impression
  4. Price of 16th Impression
  5. This edition of the book was only available free with the purchase of the computer game. Although the cover only mentions Eidos, only Puffin Books is mentioned inside. 20th Impression.

Illustrations

The interior illustrations were by Iain McCaig. There were 32 full page illustrations and 4 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: Background, 12, 24, 37, 49, 60, 74, 93, 108, 122, 134, 143, 153, 168, 170, 187, 200, 210, 218, 230, 245, 264, 282, 299, 312, 326, 339, 344, 352, 364, 381 and 393.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

One of the characters in the book, a Troll whose name is Ivy, refers to her brother Sourbelly,[4] who was a nasty Troll guard in City of Thieves.[5]

Prequels and SequelsEdit

  • Deathtrap Dungeon is one of the most successful and popular of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, and one of the few to inspire a sequel, Trial of Champions, again by Ian Livingstone. A further follow-up, Armies of Death, follows the continuing exploits of the adventurer who completed Trial of Champions, although it is not set within Deathtrap Dungeon and bears little resemblance to the two first books.
  • There was also a mini-sequel in Warlock Issue 7, called Deathtrap on Legs, by Paul Mason and Steve Williams.
  • A further sequel was planned, to based in part on the computer game (see below for more details).
  • Some have suggested that the Hero of this book is the same individual as that of the previous gamebook in the original series, City of Thieves, since he journeys from Port Blacksand to Fang,[6] and also that of the next gamebook, Island of the Lizard King, since he journeys from Fang to Oyster Bay,[7] though nowhere is this stated explicitly.

Other MediaEdit

Computer GamesEdit

Main article: Deathtrap Dungeon (computer game)

A Deathtrap Dungeon video game, produced by Eidos was released in 1998, as well as a multi-player card game based on the setting. However, neither game is very similar to Livingstone's book.

Main article: Deathtrap Dungeon (iOS game)

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

d20 System ConversionEdit

Main article: Deathtrap Dungeon (d20)

There is a D20 System conversion by Myriador called Deathtrap Dungeon.

e-BookEdit

Main article: Deathtrap Dungeon (Kindle)

A Kindle conversion of the book was produced by Worldweaver Ltd and released in 2011.

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Hero of Deathtrap Dungeon

LocationsEdit

EncountersEdit

Further NotesEdit

FF06IanCameo
Ian Livingstone's cameo as the ragged prisoner
  • 31 instant failures, 1 victory, plus death by stamina loss or bad luck.
  • Ian Livingstone's favourite book from the Fighting Fantasy books is named as Deathtrap Dungeon.[1]
  • This book sold over 300,000 copies in the UK alone in less than a year.[8]
  • Ian Livingstone makes a cameo appearance as the ragged prisoner and former "Trial of Champions" contestant, in the illustration accompanying (210).[9]
  • In the Background, the "Earth months" of April and May are used instead of the Allansian months of Sowing and Winds. This is a result of this book being written before the world of Titan and associated history as explained in Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World had been invented.

Series 2 AdditionsEdit

ErrorsEdit

  • Paragraphs (16), (132), (249), (287), and (392) all give an option to turn to the same paragraph you are reading (ie. they are self-referencing).
  • In (28) after defeating the Dwarf you take and wear his suit of armour - how would a Human of normal stature fit into a Dwarf's armour?
  • In (164) the player follow boot prints, but when they see the person who made them in the illustration for (299), he's barefoot.
  • (242) has the player fall unconscious to the floor, but if the player makes a good enough roll to get to (48), they're informed that they have avoided falling unconscious to the floor.
  • The Wizard editions of the book use an illustration from City of Thieves on the title page instead of an illustration from the book in question.
  • Some of the rules are incorrectly printed in the Wizard Books version of the book (both "Series 1" and "Series 2") due to text being copied from The Warlock of Firetop Mountain:
  • The rules state that Provisions can only be eaten when instructed by the text, which is not the case and each of the pre-generated characters in the "Series 2" edition has only 6 Provisions listed on their sheet when it should be 10.
  • The book also incorrectly states that the player has two doses of their chosen Potion at the beginning of the book, when in fact they have only one.
  • The rules also incorrectly state that the player begins with a lantern when this is not the case.

DedicationEdit

Puffin EditionEdit

For Jacques and Octavie Gelaude

Wizard EditionEdit

For my wonderful wife Frances
and our two young adventurers
Jack and Daniel

See AlsoEdit


ReviewsEdit

  • Reviewed by Marcus L. Rowland in White Dwarf 53 (May 1984) "Open Box" (pp.16-17):

I can't describe the creatures found in this dungeon, but the majority are extremely tough. Many of the traps are vicious, and would present real problems in a D&D adventure. Most are reasonably fair, but some repeat a fault I've found in other books in this series: presenting two or more options without anything to indicate which is correct. This is especially true of the wide selection of foods and potions found in the dungeon, usually without any hint of origin or nature. One food trap is both lethal and extremely funny, and I'm sure it will reappear in many campaigns.

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.220
  2. Deathtrap Dungeon - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  3. Deathtrap Dungeon - p.16
  4. Deathtrap Dungeon - 99
  5. City of Thieves - p.219
  6. Deathtrap Dungeon - p.22
  7. Island of the Lizard King - p.20
  8. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.204
  9. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.221
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