Sorcery! Gamebooks
Location: Kakhabad, Old World, Titan
References: 511
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson
Illustrator(s): John Blanche (Penguin/Puffin/Wizard versions)
Robert M. Ball (Scholastic version)
Sor2 WrapFront.jpg
Cover illustrator: John Blanche
First published: 1984
Number 2 (in Sorcery! series)
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-006794-9 (Penguin)
ISBN 0-14-031808-9 (Puffin)
Previous Book: The Shamutanti Hills
Next Book: The Seven Serpents
Wizard (Series 1)
Cover illustrator: Mel Grant
First published: 2003
Number 11 (in main series)
ISBN: ISBN 1-84-046433-X
Previous Book: Caverns of the Snow Witch
Next Book: Trial of Champions
Cover illustrator: Robert M. Ball
First published: September 5 2019
Number 14 (in main series)
ISBN: ISBN 1-407188-48-5
Previous Book: Caverns of the Snow Witch
Next Book: Assassins of Allansia

For other uses of Kharé - Cityport of Traps, see Kharé - Cityport of Traps

Kharé - Cityport of Traps is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Steve Jackson, illustrated by John Blanche, originally published in 1984 by Penguin Books (ISBN 0-14-006794-9) and later by Puffin Books, and is the second book in the Sorcery! epic. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It was not numbered as part of the original Puffin series when it was republished by Puffin in 1985 (ISBN 0-14-031808-9), but is 11th in the Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84-046430-5) when published by Wizard Books in 2003 and 14th in the Scholastic series (ISBN 1-407188-48-5) when published by Scholastic Books in 2019 with new illustrations by Robert M. Ball.


The Legend of the Crown of Kings[]

KHARÉ, where every doorway or alley may conceal sudden danger - or unexpected help!

As a warrior relying on force of arms, or a wizard trained in magic, you must brave the terror of a city built to trap the unwary. You will need all your wits about you to survive the unimaginable horros ahead and to make sense of the clues which may lead to your success - or to your doom!

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need for this adventure – YOU decide which paths to take, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

Complete with all the magical spells you will need,
KHARÉ - Cityport of Traps can be played either on its own, or as part of the whole epic.

Kharé - Cityport of Traps - Back Cover ("Adventure Gamebooks" Edition)

Kharé - Cityport of Traps begins with the player standing outside the gate of the city of Kharé - Cityport of Traps, a fortified city and the only way to cross the Jabaji River. While passing through this dangerous city, the player must locate the four lines of the spell which will open the Northern Gate and allow passage out of the city and into the Baklands. There are several routes through the city and a wide variety of locations to visit and situations in which one may become entangled. The opponents that the player character have to fight are fairly few, including a powerful Deathwraith that requires all the reserves of strength and luck of the player to beat.


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

Unique Rules[]

  • The introductory rules offer the reader a choice of a "simple" (where no magic is used and fights are run according to standard Fighting Fantasy combat) or an "advanced" game (which relies heavily on magic).[1]
  • The player has a series of magic spells that can be used, each costing between 1 and 4 stamina points.[2]
  • The player may also call upon the help of Libra, the goddess of Justice, once in the adventure (she may not be called upon again till the events of The Seven Serpents). In calling on her the player may ask for Revitalization (restoration of skill, stamina, or luck points to their Initial level; Escape which allows you (when the text offers it) to escape a situation; or Removal of Curses and Diseases which can take place at any time and removal all curses or diseases that the player labours under at the time.[3]

Equipment List[4][]

The list below is what the player begins with if they start this book having not played The Shamutanti Hills, otherwise they begin the adventure with what they had left over from the end of that book:

Covers and Illustrations[]


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by John Blanche. When the book was republished by Wizard the cover was re-worked by Mel Grant. The cover was redone by Robert M. Ball when the book was later republished by Scholastic.

Kharé - Cityport of Traps Cover Variants
1984 1985 1987 1993 2003 2003 2019
Sor02WrapNo.jpg Sor02AdvBanner.jpg Sor02DragonFoil.jpg Sor02DragonNoFoil.jpg Sor02WizSLE.jpg Sor02Wiz.jpg KhareSB.jpg
Triangle Adventure
Sorcery ver.I
Sorcery ver.II
Wizard Scholastic
£1.951 2 £1.953 £X.xx £4.504 £5.99 £5.99 £6.99


The never-released cover

  1. Price of 1st Impression (published by Penguin Books)
  2. In Warlock Issue 1 there is an image of a cover of Kharé - Cityport of Traps that was never released. The back cover of this issue of Warlock was an advert for the Sorcery! series of gamebooks. It showed the cover of Khare - Cityport of Traps with no number on it at all. It is shown along with The Sorcery Spell Book and The Shamutanti Hills and it is pre the Adventure Gamebooks banner. Although the first book, The Shamutanti Hills was first published with a wrap around cover and had no number on its front, the first edition of Khare - Cityport of Traps did have the number on it as a number 2 in a corner triangle. Therefore the advert has a cover that was never released.
  3. Price of 3rd Impression (published by Puffin Books and incorporating The Sorcery Spell Book); £2.50 for 7th Impression
  4. Price of 13th Impression


Penguin/Puffin/Wizard Editions[]

The interior illustrations were by John Blanche. There were 34 full page illustrations and 11 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 11, 23, 33, 43, 56, 66, 77, 89, 98, 110, 122, 132, 143, 153, 164, 176, 187, 198, 213, 227, 240, 254, 269, 285, 300, 312, 324, 336, 365†, 411, 464†, 504† and 511.

The black and white map was by John Blanche.

† These are all illustrations for spells from The Sorcery Spell Book (GOB, ZAP and POP respectively).

Scholastic Edition[]

The illustrations were by Robert M. Ball in the Scholastic edition. There were 20 full page illustrations and 5 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 11, 33, 77, 98, 122, 143, 153, 164, 176, 198, 213, 240, 269, 285, 300, 324, 336, 365, 412† and 511. The full-page illustrations in the book were accompanied with a caption giving a short extract from the text.

† This is a newly illustrated paragraph.

Intertextual References[]

Other Media[]

Computer Game[]

Main article: Kharé - Cityport of Traps (mobile game)

An iOS/Android conversion of the book was produced by inkle Studios and released in 2013.

d20 System Conversion[]

Main article: Kharé - Cityport of Traps (d20)

There is a D20 System conversion by Myriador called Sorcery 2: Kharé - Cityport of Traps.

Main Characters[]

YOU: Hero of Sorcery!



Further Notes[]

  • The first Puffin printing has the Penguin Books logo on the title page instead of the Puffin one along with other points noting it as a Penguin book. As a result there is no Puffin Books publication information as with the first Puffin edition of The Shamutanti Hills.


  • If you fail to threaten the Flayer, then try to cast a non-existent spell, it forgets that it was attacking you.
  • The Enchanted Compass should probably say that once you get to (319) in whichever way, you eat the compass and can no longer use it.
  • When you leave the scholar, why does he wish you luck if you didn't get what you wanted from him, considering that both he and you know you are doomed - and by his own decision, no less?
  • Why don't you get a stamina penalty for arbitrarily choosing a VIK option?
  • Why is it that knowing that a Portal Trap is dangerous lets you avoid it easily, but trying to avoid just in case doesn't?
  • Why is your character so ready to rob some townspeople, but at other times willing to make a hasty lootless departure, e.g. after disabling Vangorn or dealing with the double in (67)? And why are you allowed to attack and murder some citizens at random when elsewhere you are expected to act charitably and share your food - the number one thing to make players want to kill someone?
  • If you go to (7) you are offered the chance to make a special note of taking out an item, but then before the following confrontation there's no indication of any restriction to your choice of weapons, and of course it would normally never be assumed that you can't use an item just because you have no special note of having retrieved it from your pack - you always get them from there!
  • In (11), after you have won a single Attack Round, you deliver a blow that "would have felled any mortal being" - where's that deathblow capacity when you really need it?
  • In (23) the "dismal hut" furnished with a straw mattress is drawn with pillows and lavish curtains, and its inhabitants are finely dressed (possibly this is how they perceive their surroundings, but there is nothing in the text to suggest this).
  • (49) offers you an opportunity to Test your Luck in order to get off the horse, but you must be Unlucky to get off.
  • (147) is a bit harsh since not only does the Deathwraith likely have a higher skill than your wizard character, but you need to pass two successive skill checks to hurt it even once.
  • (229) ends with "You follow him into his study", then directs you to (336) which begins with "You follow him into his study"; there are several similar cases.
  • The mention of a bend in the road should be moved from (244) to the beginning of (294), removing the need for the mention of a bend that has been shoehorned into (322).
  • (446) tells you to deduct 4 stamina points for casting HOW, which should cost 2.
  • If you meet Vik at the festival (352) and you have no spell lines, he'll guide you to (61). There, you'll meet Lortag for the first time – even if you've already met him and killed his pet. You can then proceed to the festival and meet Vik again for the first time.
  • The same applies to meeting Flanker at the festival (111) with no spell lines. He'll guide you to (140) to meet Lortag. Since you can just walk from Lortag to Flanker without losing stamina, you can meet Lortag for the first time however many times you like.


Penguin/Puffin/Wizard Editions[]

Dedicated to John Blanche
...for bringing a world to life[5]

Scholastic Edition[]


See Also[]


  • Reviewed by Marcus L. Rowland in White Dwarf #54 (June 1984), "Open Box" (pg.22-23):
The adventure must be run without magic if The Sorcery Spell Book is unavailable. There are 511 numbered sections, most at least presenting two choices. Many choices are unavailable if magic is omitted.

I liked this book, but think it is only at its best if the magic system is available and the reader is prepared to use it without cheating.

External Links[]


  1. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - pg.8
  2. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - pg.15
  3. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - pg.16
  4. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - pg.17
  5. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - pg.4 (Puffin edition)/pg.5 (Wizard edition)