Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks
Location: Orb
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Jamie Thomson &
Mark Smith

Illustrator(s): Bob Harvey
Cover illustrator: Peter Andrew Jones
First published: December 6 1984
Number 11
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031859-3
Previous Book: House of Hell
Next Book: Space Assassin
Wizard (Series 1)
News talisman
Cover illustrator: Martin McKenna
First published: April 6 2006
Number 24
ISBN: ISBN 1-84046-566-2
Previous Book: Freeway Fighter
Next Book: Sword of the Samurai
Wizard (Series 2)

For other uses of Talisman of Death, see Talisman of Death

Talisman of Death is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Jamie Thomson and Mark Smith, illustrated by Bob Harvey and originally published in 1984 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2006. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 11th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-031859-3) and 24th in the Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84046-566-2).


I worked as an editor on White Dwarf magazine. My boss was Ian Livingstone. He was looking for writers, and I was in the next room![1]


The once-peaceful world of Orb is in terrible danger!

Dark forces are at work to unleash the awesome might of the Evil One, but their plans cannot be completed without the legendary Talisman of Death. YOU are the one who carries the Talisman, and only YOU can stop the Dark forces. YOUR mission is to destroy the Talisman before the dark lord's minions reach you. But beware! Time is running out!

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which way to go, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

How to Fight the Creatures of Orb/Equipment and Potions/Hints on PlayEdit

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

Equipment List[3]Edit

Cover and IllustrationsEdit


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Peter Andrew Jones.

When the book was republished by Wizard a new cover was designed and illustrated by Martin McKenna.

Talisman of Death through the years
1984 1987 1989 1990
Figfan11 Figfan11n
Zig-Zag Banner Dragon Format Dragon No No. No. Spine Only
£1.751 £2.252 £? £3.503
1993 2002 2002
News talisman
No Bronze-Foil Wizard "Special
Limited Edition"
£3.994 £4.99 £4.99


  1. Price of 1st~2nd Impressions; £1.95 for 6th Impression
  2. Price of 9th Impression
  3. Price of 12th Impression
  4. Price of 14th Impression


The interior illustrations were by Bob Harvey. There were 31 full page illustrations and 5 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 4, 13, 39, 52, 65, 69, 78, 91, 104, 117, 130, 143, 156, 169, 182, 195, 209, 222, 235, 248, 261, 274, 287, 300, 313, 326, 339, 352, 365, 378 and 396.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

Other MediaEdit

Main article: Talisman of Death (PlayStation game)

A PlayStation adaption of the book produced by Laughing Jackal and released in 2011.

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Hero of Talisman of Death



Further NotesEdit

  • The world of Orb would go on to feature in the writers' books for the Way of the Tiger series of gamebooks. In the original series' missing final volume Redeemer, which was postponedly released in 2014, the theft of the Talisman which constitutes the plot for this adventure is referenced, along with a cameo appearance of three of the four crusaders who recovered the artifact.
  • The villain Tyutchev would reappear in Smith's Virtual Reality book The Coils of Hate.


  • In (6) you are told to note down the specific words used to invoke a god's help, but when the opportunity to do so arises there is no indication that any foreknowledge is necessary.
  • (362) should presumably read "number rolled" instead of "Attack Strength" since the latter can never be below 10.
  • In (109), should you restore the gold which you did not have when you "began the adventure" but did get before you reached that point in time?
  • (273) is odd since it seems to assume that readers might lie about having received an invitation but not about owning an item.
  • In (370), what is it that the thieves know that they don't in (276) or (333)?
  • In (366) you are robbed of an item you may not have.
  • Willow Weird's stamina is different in (319) and (36).
  • Some of the rules are incorrectly printed in the Wizard Books version of the book due to text being copied from The Warlock of Firetop Mountain:
  • The rules state that Provisions can only be eaten when instructed by the text, which is not the case.
  • The book also incorrectly states that the player has two doses of their chosen Potion at the beginning of the book, when in fact they have only one.


Puffin EditionEdit


Wizard EditionEdit

To Devin
– Mark

See AlsoEdit


External LinksEdit


  1. Interview with Jamie Thomson at the Internet Archive record of - Retrieved 2012-03-06
  2. Talisman of Death - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  3. Talisman of Death - p.15