The Dark Usurper

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Mini Fighting Fantasy Adventures
Location: Ruddlestone, Old World?; Duchy of Skeln
References: 296
Publication details
Author(s): Gareth Hill
& Jonathan Sutherland
Illustrator(s): Bill Houston
(Parts 1 & 3)
& Alan Hunter (Part 2)
First published: Janaury, February, March 1985
Publication: White Dwarf (Issues 61,62,63)
Previous Mini-FF: The House of Hell
Next Mini-FF: The Dervish Stone

The Dark Usurper is a single-player role-playing mini adventure written by Gareth Hill and Jonathan Sutherland, and illustrated by Bill Houston (Parts 1 & 3) and Alan Hunter (Part 2). It was published in three parts in 1985 in White Dwarf issues 61 (p.28-31), 62 (p.14-17) and 63 by Games Workshop. It has not been reprinted since.



You are Corwin Calbraith, rightful heir to the Duchy of Skeln. You have returned home after three years fighting for the King, to find that Evlad Senskell, your friend and regent, has been tricked by Barnak, the Dark Usurper, and now languishes in prison. You too were taken prisoner ...[1]


The mini adventure in general follows the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (see Game System).

Unique RulesEdit

Part 3 features battles between opposing armies and the relevant paragraphs give details on how to manage the combat.

Equipment ListEdit

The player begins with no equipment as they are in prison.


The illustrations were by Bill Houston (Parts 1 & 3) and Alan Hunter (Part 2). Significantly Part 2 is accompanied by only one full page illustration which is in full colour. There were 7 other full page (or equivalent) illustrations (three in Part 1 and four in Part 2) and no minor illustrations. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: (Part 1) 6, 70, 86; (Part 2) 93; (Part 3) 4, 31, 58 and 96.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Corwin Calbraith



Further NotesEdit

  • Part 1 contains 103 paragraphs, Part 2 has 95 and Part 3 has 98.
  • (36) and (56) in Part 3 both have the same Test of Luck and no matter the outcome the player still loses the game, the "lucky" roll merely meaning that they survive to become a hermit rather than die on the battlefield!


  • Part 1 is missing (63), although luckily it is not part of the critical success path for completing the adventure. Presumably whatever the player might have found in the hut on offer wasn't interesting enough for the writers to record!
  • At (28) of Part 1 the outcomes of Testing Your Luck are reversed. A lucky roll should turn to (84) and an unlucky to (27). A similar thing happens twice when Testing Your Luck for the same reason in Part 2 at (63) and (85), with the references (79) and (57) attached to the incorrect outcomes.
  • (10) in Part 3 is missing the "Turn to x" command. It most likely links to (34).

See AlsoEdit


External LinksEdit


  1. The Dark Usurper Part 2 - Introduction. White Dwarf #62 (February 1985) - p.14

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