Legend of Zagor
Legend of Zagor is a single-player roleplaying gamebook written by Carl Sargent, although it is credited to Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Martin McKenna and published in 1993 by Puffin Books. It was republished by Wizard Books in 2004, it forms part of Steve Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 54th in 20th in the modern Wizard series; the book is a follow-up to the previous Fighting Fantasy book Return to Firetop Mountain, which in turn was a sequel to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Legend of Zagor is the only Fighting; the player plays one of four characters who must destroy Zagor, recovering in Castle Argent after being banished from the regular Fighting Fantasy world of Titan. The player must find Tower Chests and collect Golden Talismans and Silver Daggers to help in the final confrontation. In Legend of Zagor, the reader must play one of four different heroes: Anvar the Barbarian, Braxus the Warrior, Stubble the Dwarf or Sallazar the Wizard; each has different weaknesses.
For example, Sallazar can subtract 2 from Test your Spot Skill rolls, understand some magical writing and cast magic spells at will that other characters need scrolls to use, but cannot wear any chain mail or plate mail armour and cannot use a two-handed weapon. Each character's scores must be rolled in a different way; this aspect of the book has been criticised as the book is more difficult playing with certain characters. Sallazar is the most to have low ability scores, the book's magic system requires that combatants win an attack round for their spells to affect the enemy, which means that unless he has a sufficiently high SKILL score, the advantage of magic is all but worthless; the heroes that the player can choose from are all characters from the Zagor Chronicles novels, who worked together as a group to destroy Zagor. One major difference, however, is the recasting of the wizard character in the novels: the wizard was a woman named Jallarial, whose brother Sallazar was killed before the story began.
Jallarial does not appear in the gamebook. While Ian Livingstone is credited with writing Legend of Zagor, it was written by Zagor Chronicles co-author, Carl Sargent. There’s a portrait of Ian Livingstone hidden in the interior art of the game book. It's the face of the man sitting behind a desk, wearing a leather skullcap, in the picture for reference number 194. Artist Martin McKenna added the author’s face to his artwork for all the game books he illustrated that were written by Livingstone. In 1993, a'Legend of Zagor' boardgame was designed by Ian Livingstone and produced by Parker brothers, it featured the same choice of heroes as the gamebook, moulded plastic board and miniatures, an electronic voiceover the character of Zagor. A series of novels featuring the arrival of Zagor to the land of Amarillia and the battle to defeat him, The Zagor Chronicles, were written by Ian Livingstone and Carl Sargent, they are related to Legend of Zagor, with many characters appearing in both the gamebook and the novels.
The world of Amarillia first appeared in the 1987 book Casket of Souls by Livingstone. "Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks on gamebooks.org". "Legend of Zagor on gamebooks.org". "Legend of Zagor on the Internet Archive record of the old fightingfantasy.com site". Archived from the original on November 27, 2005. Official sites: "Legend of Zagor on the official Fighting Fantasy website". "Legend of Zagor on the Wizard Books website"
Return to Firetop Mountain
Return to Firetop Mountain is a single-player roleplaying gamebook written by Ian Livingstone and illustrated by Martin McKenna. It was published in 1992 by Puffin Books and was republished by Wizard Books in 2003; the gamebook forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series, where it is the 50th volume in the original Puffin series and the 16th in the Wizard series. It is a sequel to the first Fighting Fantasy book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and was written to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy. Planned to be the final book in the series, it proved to be unexpectedly popular and prolonged the life of the series for an additional three years; the reader must defeat the resurrected Warlock Zagor. The book fleshes out the details of Zagor and the area Northern Allansia in the world of Fighting Fantasy. In The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Zagor was portrayed as a reclusive Warlock, guarding the treasure chest in the heart of a mountain, the player's objective was only to obtain the treasure by slaying Zagor.
In the sequel, Zagor is instead portrayed as an evil wizard, once slain by a heroic adventurer years ago and is now resurrected, seeking revenge on Allansia. The reader takes the role of another adventurer, this time their objective is not to gain the treasure, but to rid Allansia of the evil Zagor. Unlike the first book the player must traverse the land to get to the mountain before facing its dangers. In addition, the second half of the mountain has been changed, giving the player no particular advantage from knowledge of the layout provided in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. There are several references to the original gamebook, including a case that housed an arrow in the original book, found to be empty. A trap involving a sword disguised as a lever reappears. There is a portrait of Ian Livingstone hidden in the interior art of the game book, it is the face of the Inquisitor carrying a sword and dagger in the picture for reference number 262. Artist Martin McKenna added the author’s face to his artwork for all of the game books he illustrated that were written by Livingstone.
By the time Return to Firetop Mountain was published, the Puffin Fighting Fantasy series was nearing its end. The series may not have continued after this title, however due to its unexpected popularity Puffin published another nine books before they ended the series; the character Zagor appeared in The Zagor Chronicles series of novels written by Carl Sargent. Ian Livingstone received a co-author credit for each of the novels, but in reality only supplied the series title.. Zagor featured in Legend of Zagor, the Fighting Fantasy gamebook written by Sargent based on the novels and the Legend of Zagor board game designed by Livingstone; the Special Limited Edition of the Wizard version used gold embossing as opposed to the usual silver. "Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks on gamebooks.org". "Return to Firetop Mountain on gamebooks.org". "Return to Firetop Mountain on the Internet Archive record of the old fightingfantasy.com site". Archived from the original on November 27, 2005. Official sites: "Return to Firetop Mountain on the official Fighting Fantasy website".
Archived from the original on 2007-04-09. "Return to Firetop Mountain on the Wizard Books website". Archived from the original on 2007-08-13
Steve Jackson's Sorcery!
Sorcery! titled Steve Jackson's Sorcery!, is a single-player four-part adventure gamebook series written by Steve Jackson and illustrated by John Blanche. Published by Penguin Books between 1983 and 1985, the titles are part of the Fighting Fantasy canon, but were not allocated numbers within the original 59-book series. Sorcery! was re-published by Wizard Books in 2003 and recreated as the Sorcery! Video game series by Inkle; the Sorcery! Series was published by Penguin Books as four individual titles, beginning in 1983 with The Shamutanti Hills, followed by Kharé: Cityport of Traps and The Seven Serpents in 1984, The Crown of Kings in 1985; each title could be played as part of the overall story arc. The series was supported by the Sorcery! Spellbook, published in 1983, incorporated as an appendix into the four titles in printings. A boxed set titled Sorcery! was released, containing both The Shamutanti Hills and the spellbook. The series was reissued by Wizard Books in 2003. Sorcery! Features several mechanics not present in previous Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.
The principal difference is the ability to choose between playing as a wizard. As a wizard, the player is weaker in combat, but has access to 48 spells, with each appearing as a three-letter word that has to be memorised by the player. Examples include ZAP and HOT; when given the option to cast spells the player is presented with a small selection of these three-letter words to choose from. It is possible to fail to cast at all, as false spell words are placed alongside correct choices. Many spells require a certain item. If the character does not have the necessary equipment the spell fails. All spell choices, irrespective of the outcome, incur a Stamina penalty. Warriors and wizards share the ability to call on the character's patron goddess, once each adventure; the goddess can perform a range of services, such as restoring lost Skill/Stamina/Luck points or curing a curse, or in specific locations, providing an automatic escape from that situation. The series features strong continuity: it is possible for a reader to use the same character – complete with any upgraded abilities and equipment – through each of the titles, use hidden clues found in one title to assist with a situation in another.
Each title features dice images at the bottom of each page, making it possible for the player to randomly "flick" through the pages for the equivalent of a dice roll. "Your search for the legendary Crown of Kings takes you to the Shamutanti Hills. Alive with evil creatures, lawless wanderers and bloodthirsty monsters, the land is riddled with tricks and traps waiting for the unwary traveller. Will you be able to cross the hills safely and proceed to the second part of the adventure – or will you perish in the attempt?" The story is set on the fictional Fighting Fantasy world of Titan, on the continent known as The Old World. A powerful artifact known as the Crown of Kings, which bestows magical powers of leadership upon its owner, has been stolen from the land of Analand by the cruel Archmage of Mampang Fortress. With the Crown, the Archmage will be able to gain leadership of the lawless and brutal region of Kakhabad and begin an invasion of surrounding kingdoms; the player takes on the role of the lone hero, referred to only as the Analander, dispatched to retrieve the Crown, thereby averting the invasion and saving Analand from terrible disgrace.
The quest itself is divided between the four titles in the series: The Shamutanti Hills Details the player's attempt to navigate the hills and plains surrounding Analand while defeating various monsters and avoiding traps. Kharé – Cityport of Traps Relates the player's attempt to pass through the city of Kharé and find the four lines of a spell required to open the Northern Gate and allow an exit from the city; the Seven Serpents The player crosses the Baklands, a vast and dangerous wasteland, attempting to find and defeat seven magical serpents: servants of the Archmage who are travelling to warn their master of the Analander's approach. The Crown of Kings The final adventure details the player’s attempt to find and penetrate Mampang Fortress – stronghold of the Archmage – and defeat the enemy before reclaiming the Crown of Kings; the first three gamebooks in the series were converted into 40-page d20 System multi-player role-playing adventures by Jamie Wallis. They were published by Myriador in 2003 and 2004 and reissued in pdf format by Greywood Publishing in 2009.
The fourth and final installment was never released. D20 Fighting Fantasy 4 / Steve Jackson's Sorcery!: The Shamutanti Hills ISBN 1904629032 d20 Fighting Fantasy 6 / Steve Jackson's Sorcery!: Kharé - Cityport of Traps ISBN 1904629059 d20 Fighting Fantasy 8 / Steve Jackson's Sorcery!: The Seven Serpents ISBN 1904629075 The gamebook series have been ported to computerized media as Steve Jackson's Sorcery! by Inkle. The first part was released for iOS in 2013, by 2016 all four parts were available for iOS, Steam. Fighting Fantasy – the official website Scholastic Homepage – current publisher of the range
City of Thieves (gamebook)
City of Thieves is a single-player adventure gamebook written by Ian Livingstone and illustrated by Iain McCaig. Published by Puffin Books in 1983, the title is the fifth gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy series, it was republished by Wizard Books in 2002. City of Thieves is a fantasy scenario in which the hero is retained by the village of Silverton to save them from Zanbar Bone, lord of the undead; the player takes the role of an adventurer on a quest to find and stop the powerful Night Prince Zanbar Bone, a being whose minions are terrorizing a local town. Hired by a desperate mayor, the player must as the adventurer journey to the dangerous city-state of Port Blacksand, find the wizard Nicodemus, who knows of Bone's one weakness. What follows is a series of challenges as the player must locate certain key items, escape Port Blacksand and confront Bone. Marcus L. Rowland reviewed City of Thieves for the January 1984 issue of White Dwarf, rating the title 8 out of a possible 10. According to Rowland, "Most encounters in the city are lethal, several being no-win situations where the best outcome involves injury or loss of money."
The PlayStation Portable is a handheld game console, developed by Sony Computer Entertainment and competed with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video-game consoles. Development of the handheld console was announced during E3 2003 and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before the next E3; the system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004. The PSP was the most powerful portable console, it was the first real competitor of Nintendo's handheld consoles after many challengers, such as SNK's Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage, had failed. Its advanced graphics made the PSP a popular mobile-entertainment device, which can connect to the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 games consoles, computers running Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh software, other PSPs and the Internet; the PSP is the only handheld console to use an optical disc format – Universal Media Disc – as its primary storage medium. It was received positively by most video-game critics and sold 76 million units by 2012.
Several models of the console were released. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, released in December 2011 in Japan and worldwide in February 2012; the Vita has backward compatibility with many PSP games that were released on the PlayStation Network through the PlayStation Store, which became the main method of purchasing PSP games after Sony shut down access to the PlayStation Store from PSPs on March 31, 2016. Hardware shipments ended worldwide in 2014. Production of UMDs ended when the last Japanese factory making them closed in late 2016. Sony Computer Entertainment first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference preceding E3 2003. Although samples were not presented, Sony released extensive technical details. CEO Jose Villeta called the device the "Walkman of the 21st century". Several gaming websites were impressed with the handheld's computing capabilities and looked forward to its potential as a gaming platform. In the 1990s, Nintendo had dominated the handheld market since launching its Game Boy in 1989, experiencing close competition only from Bandai's WonderSwan in Japan and Sega's Game Gear.
In January 1999, Sony had released the successful PocketStation in Japan as its first foray into the handheld gaming market. The SNK Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage failed to cut into Nintendo's share. According to an IDC analyst in 2004, the PSP was the "first legitimate competitor to Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market"; the first concept images of the PSP appeared in November 2003 at a Sony corporate strategy meeting and showed it having flat buttons and no analog joystick. Although some reviewers expressed concern about the lack of an analog stick, these fears were allayed when the PSP was unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004. Sony released a list of 99 developer companies. Several game demos such as Konami's Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool's Wipeout Pure were shown at the conference. On October 17, 2004, Sony announced that the PSP base model would be launched in Japan on December 12 that year for ¥19,800 while the Value System would launch for ¥24,800.
The launch was a success. Color variations were sold in bundle packs that cost around $200. Sony announced on February 3, 2005, that the PSP would go on sale in North America on March 24 in one configuration for an MSRP of US$249/CA$299; some commentators expressed concern over the high price, US$20 higher than that of the Japanese model and more than $100 higher than the Nintendo DS. Despite these concerns, the PSP's North American launch was a success. Sony said 500,000 units were sold in the first two days, though it was reported that this figure was below expectations; the PSP was intended to have a simultaneous PAL region and North American launch, but on March 15, 2005, Sony announced that the PAL region launch would be delayed because of high demand for the console in Japan and North America. The next month it announced that the PSP would be launched in the PAL region on September 1, 2005, for €249/£179. Sony defended the high price by saying North American consumers had to pay local sales taxes and that the Value Added Tax was higher in the UK than the US.
Despite the high price, the console's PAL region launch was a success, selling more than 185,000 units in the UK. All stock of the PSP in the UK sold out within three hours of launch, more than doubling the previous first-day sales record of 87,000 units set by the Nintendo DS; the system enjoyed great success in other areas of the PAL region. The PlayStation Portable uses the common "bar" form factor; the original model measures 6.7 by 2.9 by 0.9 inches and weighs 9.9 ounces. The front of the console is dominated by the system's 4.3-inch LCD screen, capable of 480 × 272 pixel video playback with 24-bit color, outperforming the Nintendo DS. On the unit's front are four PlayStation face buttons; the system has two shoulder buttons, a USB 2.0 mini-B port on the top of the console, a WLAN switch and power cable input on the bottom. The back of the PSP features a read-only Universal Media Disc drive for access to movies a
Russ Nicholson is a British illustrator, best known for his black and white fantasy art. Russ studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland which became part of Dundee University, he moved to England in the 1970s where, save for a brief sojourn in Papua New Guinea, he's lived and worked since. Russ has contributed to many notable game-related titles, such as The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first in the illustrated series of Fighting Fantasy game books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, he illustrated many creatures in the original UK contribution to the first edition of the Fiend Folio Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game book, the six original published "episodes" of'The Fabled Lands' created by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson, numerous Games Workshop products, including Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Warhammer 40,000 and in their magazine White Dwarf. For over forty years Russ has produced work for a wide range of companies and publishers, including Puffin, Collins and Stoughton, TSR, Games Workshop, Hoggshead Publishing, DC Thomson, Le Grimoire and Scriptarium.
His work has been reproduced in over twenty countries. He spent many years as college art lecturer. In addition, he drew the album cover for Blackbird Raum. Russ Nicholson's blog "Russ Nicholson:: Pen & Paper RPG Database". Archived from the original on 1 January 2009.1
Kickstarter is an American public-benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, that maintains a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity and merchandising. The company's stated mission is to "help bring creative projects to life". Kickstarter has received more than $4 billion in pledges from 15.5 million backers to fund 257,000 creative projects, such as films, stage shows, journalism, video games and food-related projects. People who back Kickstarter projects are offered tangible rewards or experiences in exchange for their pledges; this model traces its roots to subscription model of arts patronage, where artists would go directly to their audiences to fund their work. Kickstarter launched on April 28, 2009, by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, Charles Adler; the New York Times called Kickstarter "the people's NEA". Time named it one of the "Best Inventions of 2010" and "Best Websites of 2011". Kickstarter raised $10 million funding from backers including NYC-based venture firm Union Square Ventures and angel investors such as Jack Dorsey, Zach Klein and Caterina Fake.
The company is based in Brooklyn. Andy Baio served as the site's CTO until November 2010. Lance Ivy has been Lead Developer since the website launched. On February 14, 2013, Kickstarter released; the app was aimed at users who create and back projects and was the first time Kickstarter had an official mobile presence. On October 31, 2012, Kickstarter opened projects based in the United Kingdom, followed by projects based in Canada on September 9, 2013, Australia and New Zealand on November 13, 2013, the Netherlands on April 28, 2014, Ireland and Sweden on September 15, 2014, Germany on April 28, 2015, France and Spain on May 19, 2015, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland on June 16, 2015, Singapore and Hong Kong on August 30, 2016, Mexico on November 15, 2016 and Japan on September 12, 2017. In July 2017, Strickler announced his resignation. Kickstarter is one of a number of crowdfunding platforms for gathering money from the public, which circumvents traditional avenues of investment. Project creators choose a minimum funding goal.
If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected. The kickstarter platform is open to backers from anywhere in the world and to creators from many countries, including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, France, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Mexico. Kickstarter applies a 5% fee on the total amount of the funds raised, their payments processor applies an additional 3–5% fee. Unlike many forums for fundraising or investment, Kickstarter claims no ownership over the projects and the work they produce; the web pages of projects launched on the site are permanently archived and accessible to the public. After funding is completed and uploaded media cannot be edited or removed from the site. There is no guarantee that people who post projects on Kickstarter will deliver on their projects, use the money to implement their projects, or that the completed projects will meet backers' expectations. Kickstarter advises backers to use their own judgment on supporting a project.
They warn project leaders that they could be liable for legal damages from backers for failure to deliver on promises. Projects might fail after a successful fundraising campaign when creators underestimate the total costs required or technical difficulties to be overcome. Asked what made Kickstarter different from other crowdfunding platforms, co-founder Perry Chen said: "I wonder if people know what the definition of crowdfunding is. Or, if there’s an agreed upon definition of what it is. We haven’t supported the use of the term because it can provoke more confusion. In our case, we focus on a middle ground between commerce. People are offering cool stuff and experiences in exchange for the support of their ideas. People are creating these mini-economies around their project ideas. So, you aren’t coming to the site to get something for nothing. We focus on creative projects—music, technology, design and publishing—and within the category of crowdfunding of the arts, we are ten times the size of all of the others combined."
On June 21, 2012, Kickstarter began publishing statistics on its projects. As of February 13, 2015, there were 207,135 launched projects, with a success rate of 40%; the total amount pledged was $1,523,718,656. The business grew in its early years. In 2010 Kickstarter had $27,638,318 pledged; the corresponding figures for 2011 were 11,836 funded projects and $99,344,381 pledged. On February 9, 2012, Kickstarter hit a number of milestones. A dock made for the iPhone designed by Casey Hopkins became the first Kickstarter project to exceed one million dollars in pledges. A few hours a new adventure game project started by computer game developers, Double Fine Productions, reached the same figure, having been launched less than 24 hours earlier, finished with over $3 million pledged; this was the first time Kickstarter raised over a million dollars in pledges in a single day. On August 30, 2014, the "Coolest Cooler", an icebox created by Ryan Grepper, became the most funded Kickstarter project in history, with US$13.28 million in funding, breaking the record held by the Pebble smart watch.
In July 2012, Wharton professor Ethan Mollick and Jeanne Pi conducted research