Fighting Fantasy Manuals, or sometimes Fighting Fantasy Guidebooks is an unofficial term used for the two books Out of the Pit and Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World which do not fall comfortably into any other series or sub-series of Fighting Fantasy, yet are potentially the most important books in the cohesion of Titan as an entity.
Why Use the Term "Manuals"?Edit
The two books Out of the Pit and Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World do not fall comfortably into any other series or sub-series of Fighting Fantasy. Before 1989, they were listed at the bottom of the book listing page in each Fighting Fantasy book but not related to a sub-series. Intermittently from 1989 they were included under the heading Advanced Fighting Fantasy System, to accompany Dungeoneer and others. However, as the next section discusses in more detail, the categorising of the books in this way was intermittent and questionable, given they never adopted any of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy (AFF) characteristics, such as spine-colour, logo or cover banner. Also, they pre-dated the creation of AFF. Despite later being grouped with the books Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game and The Riddling Reaver (as well as the pure Advanced Fighting Fantasy books), under the singular heading "Fighting Fantasy: The Role-Playing Game and Advanced Fighting Fantasy" in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, they were never previously associated with Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game and The Riddling Reaver as part of the same sub-series. The term "Manual" has been adopted for two reasons:
- Page 204 of the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain talks of the fact that "Fighting Fantasy began to expand beyond its original format into novels, magazines, board games, manuals and even computer games." All of these can be accounted for as defined items in the Fighting Fantasy Collection except "Manuals", a term that had not previously appeared in the book listings. The books that most closely fit this description are Out of the Pit and Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World.
- In the most famous of role-playing systems, Dungeons & Dragons, the term "Manual" is used to describe the primary sourcebook for monsters, i.e. the Monster Manual, which most closely mirrors Out of the Pit.
The Advanced Fighting Fantasy SystemEdit
- Main article: Advanced Fighting Fantasy
The books were originally published in 1985 and 1986 respectively, before the term "Advanced Fighting Fantasy System" was coined in 1989. When AFF was crystallised as a role-playing system with the publishing of Dungeoneer, it was a logical fit to have this book as an accompaniment, along with the other Manual, Out of the Pit. The two books were reprinted, this time in smaller B Format editions to be the same size as Dungeoneer. The latter was published to become integrated with the Advanced Fighting Fantasy system, of which it retrospectively became a part. To complement the size of the AFF book Dungeoneer. From 1989 onwards the books were both listed as being part of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy System in the book listing at the front of all Fighting Fantasy books where "The Advanced Fighting Fantasy System" was shown as a sub-title. Interestingly, however, neither book was ever published with the distinctive AFF banner or AFF logo, or with the blue spine associated with AFF. Hence, they remained separate in that sense. Also, in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the books are grouped with Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game and The Riddling Reaver as well as the pure Advanced Fighting Fantasy books, under the singular heading "Fighting Fantasy: The Role-Playing Game and Advanced Fighting Fantasy", which suggests that the compilers of the "The Fighting Fantasy Collection" section did not want to distinguish them as belonging to Advanced Fighting Fantasy alone.
- ↑ Although this listing intermittently including "The Advanced Fighting Fantasy System" as a sub-title. For example, in Master of Chaos the "The Advanced Fighting Fantasy System" is shown as a sub-title, with the books listed beneath it, but in the next book, Black Vein Prophecy, this sub-title does not exist and the books are simply listed at the bottom of the page. The sub-title intermittently returned later on, but whenever it did so, both Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World and Out of the Pit are included.