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Out of the Pit

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The Advanced Fighting Fantasy System
Outline
Function: Guide book
Location: Titan
Publication Details
Author(s): Marc Gascoigne, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
Illustrator(s): Various
Puffin
OotPBookLarge
Cover illustrator: Christos Achilleos
First published: September 26 1985
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031999-9 (Oversized)
ISBN 0-14-034131-5 (Paperback)
Arion Games
OotPAFF
Cover illustrator: Christos Achilleos
First published: May 9 2011
ISBN: ISBN 978-0-85744-068-6


Fighting Fantasy Monsters - Out of the Pit was a catalogue of the monsters encountered in the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and was almost totally comprehensive for the books included up to the publishing date of 1985 when it was published by Puffin Books. It is one of the two Fighting Fantasy Manuals and was also, after 1989, deemed to form part of the "Advanced Fighting Fantasy System". An oversized A4 version was first published in 1985 (ISBN 0-14-031999-9), and later in 1989, a smaller B Format[1] edition (ISBN 0-14-034131-5) 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. It was reprinted as Out of the Pit - Monsters of Advanced Fighting Fantasy in 2011 by Arion Games (ISBN 978-0-85744-068-6), returning to the original A4 Format.

CreationEdit

"Out of the Pit" was originally a bestiary of Fighting Fantasy monsters within the pages of Warlock magazine, contributed by various authors and readers throughout the issues. This section (which had the same name as the book) soon proved so popular that in issue 3 a "Monsters Book" was advertised as being in production. In issue 4 the book was again advertised as being in production with a working title of Out of the Pit: The Fighting Fantasy Book of Monsters. At around the same time as issue 5 was published, so too was the book Out of the Pit in 1985, which featured creatures from the books that had been published to date plus all creatures that had appeared in this section of Warlock, as well as some new creations from the mind of Marc Gascoigne.[2] The section continued to appear in Warlock beyond the publishing of the book, thus there are some creatures that appear in the "Out of the Pit" section of the magazine, that do not appear in the book.

The bestiary was written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone and edited by Marc Gascoigne. The impressive A4 version boasted a highly acclaimed cover illustration by Christos Achilleos featuring a horde of undead, Demons and Dragons advancing.

BackgroundEdit

From the darkest corners, from the deepest pools and from the dungeons thought only to exist in nightmares come the Fighting Fantasy monsters - the downfall of many a brave warrior. Two hundred and fifty of these loathsome creatures from the wild and dangerous worlds of Fighting Fantasy are collected here - some are old adversaries, many you have yet to meet - each of them described in minute detail. An indispensable guide for Fighting Fantasy adventurers!

*Full monster statistics
*250 illustrations
*8 full pages in colour
*Maps
*Tables and charts[3]

ContentsEdit

The monsters are arranged alphabetically. As stated, almost every opponent encountered thus far in the Fighting Fantasy series is present plus some notable additions.

Monster StatisticsEdit

Besides a skill and stamina score they are given a habitat, number encountered, type, reaction and intelligence rating and/or description.

Additionally there is a "number of attacks" rating. Rather than referring to the number of blows a monster/character can produce in one round, it refers to the number of opponents the monster can handle and injure at one time.

For more information on each of the statistics above, see Fighting Fantasy Statistics

One criticism of the book was that it was questioned whether people would look up a specific creature in Out of the Pit for guidance when they ran into it in one of the Fighting Fantasy books.[4] However, the additional statistics over the basic skill and stamina are a clear indication that the book was intended for the furtherance of more advanced role-playing, and indeed the book did become part of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy system.

Monster DescriptionsEdit

The descriptions are concise and give the reader a more detailed understanding of the background of the creatures.

SettingEdit

The introduction to the book mentions that the monsters populate the world of Titan. This appears to be the first time that Titan is referenced as the world of Fighting Fantasy. It also confirmed that Allansia and Kakhabad are separated by the ocean, and therefore there were at least two land masses. The existence of a third continent was not apparent at this point - the only previous link between Allansia and Kakhabad is found in the description of the ZIP spell in the Sorcery! series, which requires a Ring of Green Metal mined under Craggen Rock.

MapsEdit

At the front of the book are two maps of Allansia and Kakhabad by David Andrews. This, along with the introductory comments to the book, confirmed that Allansia and Kakhabad existed on the same planet and that the Fighting Fantasy series and Sorcery! series were connected geographically.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy SystemEdit

This book was originally published in 1985 before the term "Advanced Fighting Fantasy System" was coined in 1989. It was partially created to add depth to the world of Titan to enable role-playing games to be created by readers and so 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, Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World.

The two books were reprinted, this time in a 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.[5] 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 Aniversary 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.

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Cover

The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Christos Achilleos.

Out of the Pit through the years
1985 1989 2011
OotPBookLarge OotPBookSmall OotPAFF
A4 Format "B Format" A4 Format
£3.951 £3.992 US$24.99
  1. Price of 1st Impression (A4 Format)
  2. Price of 1st Impression (B Format), £4.99 for 5th Impression

The cover in the first two instances was a complete wraparound cover, with the illustration covering the back cover as well, although in the case of the smaller B Format version the illustration was interrupted by the spine. The 2011 reprint saw the art shrunk to fit the front cover only.

OotPBookLargeWrap

Illustrations

The interior illustrations were by various artists. Each monster description is followed by an illustration. And many of the most well known Fighting Fantasy Artists are represented here as the majority of drawings are from the gamebooks. However, there are some original illustrations as well.

In the original Puffin large edition, eight colour illustrations were included by:

Further NotesEdit

The spine of the original A4 version of the Out of the Pit has on it the only example in Fighting Fantasy of the Puffin logo where the colours of the Puffin are inverted.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "B Format" paperbacks are 130mm x 198mm (5.12" x 7.8") in size as opposed to smaller "A Format" paperbacks that are 110mm x 178mm (4.33" x 7.01") size, and which the main Fighting Fantasy gamebooks series was published as
  2. From the "Omens and Auguries" section of Warlock Issue 6
  3. Out of the Pit - Back Cover (A4 Edition)
  4. Mark J. Popp, Fighting Fantasy.com, Review of Out of the Pit
  5. 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.

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