Vault of the Vampire (book)

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Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
Location: Old World, Titan
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Keith Martin
Illustrator(s): Martin McKenna
Cover illustrator: Les Edwards
First published: March 13 1989
Number 38 (no number in original printing)
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-032877-7
Previous Book: Portal of Evil
Next Book: Fangs of Fury
Wizard (Series 1)
Wizard (Series 2)

Vault of the Vampire is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Keith Martin, illustrated by Martin McKenna and originally published in 1989 by Puffin Books. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 38th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-032877-7). There are currently no announced plans to republish this book as part of the Wizard series.


Vault of the Vampire turned out to be one of those classic images. I can't say why exactly. It's just one of those cases where everything works the way that was intended. It's a pretty traditional Vampire but maybe that's part of it's strength. It's a simple and dramatic image and very direct. It was a big influence on Vampire paintings that I did subsequently. I remember that the publishers asked me to make the girl's breasts smaller, which I did reluctantly. I suppose this was in the days before silicone was so all-pervasive.[1]


Can you put an end to Count Heydrich's evil reign of terror?

YOU are a hardy adventurer and have journeyed to the icy mountains of Mauristatia in search of great wealth and fortune ... but what you find there makes your blood run cold.

You discover by chance the terrible secret of the local villagers. Can YOU free them from the evil tyranny of the bloodthirsty Count, or will you too succumb to a horrifying fate?

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need. YOU decide which paths to take, which dangers to risk and which foes to fight!

In this book the player arrives in a small village in the province of Mortvania and is sent by some villagers to Castle Heydrich, to rescue a girl who was kidnapped by a Vampire, the Evil Count Reiner Heydrich, and hopefully kill the Count. The player can find various members of the Heydrich family in the castle, like Katarina Heydrich, the Evil sister of the Count, who is actually seventy years old, but drinks the blood of virgins to look young and Wilhelm Heydrich, an insane cousin of the Count. After killing the count, the player must also destroy Katrina Heydrich as Katrina was actually scheming to kill the Count so she could be the Countess.


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

Unique RulesEdit

  • This book is unusual in that it uses a faith score (1d6 plus 3 roll). Unlike the usual three scores, the faith score can exceed its Initial value. A player's faith is tested throughout the book in manner similar to Testing Your Luck.[3]
  • The player can also get certain "Afflictions" during the adventure.[4]

Equipment List[5]Edit

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Main article: Vault of the Vampire (illustrations)


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Les Edwards.

Vault of the Vampire through the years
1989 1990 1993
Figfan38 Figfan38
Dragon No No. No. Spine Only No Bronze-Foil
£2.501 £3.502 £?


  1. Price of 1st Impression
  2. Price of 3rd~5th Impressions


The interior illustrations were by Martin McKenna. There were 30 full page illustrations and 6 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 5, 13, 22, 34, 45, 54, 70, 78, 90, 102, 114, 123, 136, 148, 159, 172, 185, 200, 211, 221, 240, 255, 266, 280, 313, 341, 351, 358, 382 and 400.

The colour map on the inside front cover was by Steve Luxton.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

The location of Mauristatia was reused by Jonathan Green in Howl of the Werewolf, although this was set in one of its provinces, Lupravia.


The book had a sequel, Revenge of the Vampire. This was the only direct sequel to a gamebook to be written by an author other than the series' co-creators.

Other MediaEdit

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Hero of Vault of the Vampire



Further NotesEdit

  • Vault of the Vampire is artist Les Edwards favourite cover for the range.[1]


  • (350) has a noticeable error. The section says: "If your luck score was 12, your skill score is now 13 ...". Obviously, the reference to luck should read skill instead.
  • In (123) the first word of the inscription on the plaque reads "Gfgfho" instead of "Gfqfho". Interestingly, the accompanying illustration appears to be accurate, with a "q". This error was corrected in the 5th reprint.
  • (284) states instant failure because (according to the book) it's not possible to kill the Count without a Magic Sword. In fact if you use the right items and roll the best possible scores, you can kill him without a sword. Then you only need a Stake to finish him off in the coffin.
  • In (74) the globe has gone, but in the (104) you can use again. In (74) you must turn to 35 for correct this error.



See AlsoEdit


External LinksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Interview with Les Edwards at the Internet Archive record of - Retrieved 2013-09-17
  2. Vault of the Vampire - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  3. Vault of the Vampire - pp.7-8
  4. Vault of the Vampire - p.15
  5. Vault of the Vampire - p.16
  6. Vault of the Vampire - p.14

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