Fighting Fantasy Gamebook
Location: Allansia, Titan
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Ian Livingstone

Illustrator(s): Bill Houston
Cover illustrator: Christos Achilleos
First published: April 25 1985
Number 14
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031832-1
Previous Book: Freeway Fighter
Next Book: The Rings of Kether
Wizard (Series 1)
Cover illustrator: Martin McKenna
First published: June 3 2004
Number 19
ISBN: ISBN 1-84046-528-X
Previous Book: Appointment with F.E.A.R.
Next Book: Legend of Zagor
Wizard (Series 2)

For other uses of Temple of Terror, see Temple of Terror

Temple of Terror is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Bill Houston and originally published in 1985 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2004. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 14th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-031832-1) and 19th in the Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84046-528-X). There are currently no announced plans to republish this book as part of the Scholastic series.


Dragon Master is believed to be the working title for Temple of Terror, with the working title mentioned in list of current and forthcoming Fighting Fantasy gamebooks at the back of The Seven Serpents.[1]


The dark, twisted power of the young Malbordus is reaching its zenith!

All he needs now is to retrieve the five dragon artefacts which have been hidden for centuries in the lost city of Vatos, somewhere in the Desert of Skulls. Each day that passes brings him closer to them and only YOU can stop him! YOUR mission is to reach the lost city before Malbordus and destroy the treasures he seeks. But beware! Each step you take leads you closer to your doom ...

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

Temple of Terror - Back Cover ("Dragon" Edition)

In this book the player is hired by the Good wizard Gereth Yaztromo and pitted against the Evil Malbordus, who is poised to gain the power of the Dark Elves and lead an army to conquer Allansia. All that he requires are the five Dragon artifacts, which are hidden in the lost city of Vatos which lies somewhere in the Desert of Skulls, and which the player must locate before the final confrontation with Malbordus.

Temple of Terror's desert setting lends the story a unique Middle Eastern feel, both in terms of the setting and the opponents faced. As with many Livingstone adventures, such as City of Thieves and Crypt of the Sorcerer, the player must collect a series of artefacts in order to be successful in the final confrontation, an element which is given an unusual twist by the presence of a character known as the Messenger of Death, who has placed the letters which make up the word death along the character's route and will claim the character's life if they are all found.

Fighting Monsters/Equipment/Hints on Play[]

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

Unique Rules[]

  • Temple of Terror also utilises a simple spell-casting system. Ten different spells can be used: Create Water, Creature Sleep, Detect Trap, Fire, Jump, Language, Light, Magic Arrow, Open Door, and Read Symbols; and the player must choose only four.[2]

Equipment List[3][]

  • Sword
  • Leather Armour
  • Backpack
  • Lantern
  • 10 Provisions
  • Hero is granted 25 Gold Pieces before their journey begins.

Cover and Illustrations[]

Main article: Temple of Terror (illustrations)


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Christos Achilleos.

Interestingly, on the spine of the Adventure Gamebooks editions of this book, there was no Puffin Books "Puffin" symbol, although the logo does appear on subsequent editions. This only occurred on one other book, Chasms of Malice, although in that case the logo does not appear on any edition.

When the book was republished by Wizard a new cover was designed and illustrated by Martin McKenna. He states that "Ian [Livingstone] wanted me to depict the Mutant Orc from the adventure. He suggested that we could see the Orc in close-up, an idea inspired by the close-up of Zagor on the Return to Firetop Mountain cover. I [Martin McKenna] did a rough which showed the Mutant Orc in mid-shot, with his long knives as seen in the internal artwork. But Ian wanted to zoom right into the Orc's face in extreme close-up."

Temple of Terror Cover Variants
1985 1987 1989 1990 1993 2005 2005
Figfan14.jpg 14 09.jpg Ff14.jpg Ff14.jpg 14 12.jpg Figfan14r.jpg
Dragon ver.I Dragon ver.II Dragon ver.III Dragon ver.IV Wizard
£1.751 £1.952 £X.xx £X.xx £3.993 £4.99 £4.99

  1. Price of 1st Impression; £1.95 for 5th~6th Impressions
  2. Price of 8th Impression; £2.25 for 9th Impression
  3. Price of 12th Impression


The interior illustrations were by Bill Houston. There were 33 full page illustrations and 5 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 10, 24, 38, 47, 59, 68, 79, 93, 106, 119, 128, 140, 151, 164, 180, 196, 206, 216, 227, 237, 249, 262, 274, 288, 302, 316, 329, 341, 354, 365, 377 and 389.

Intertextual References[]


Depending on interpretation, this adventure can be deemed a sequel to The Forest of Doom,[4] itself a sequel to Caverns of the Snow Witch.

Other Media[]

Main article: Temple of Terror (computer game)

The book was loosely adapted into an AdventureSoft adventure game for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro and Acorn Electron home computers (published by U.S. Gold).

Main Characters[]

YOU: Hero of Temple of Terror



Further Notes[]

  • The book is the first fantasy based one to not feature the use of the generic Potions and not offer a replacement in the form of something else such a healing spell.


  • You may shoot an arrow into an enemy, which is then encountered in (311). Compared with the stats of the same enemy, when battled without being hit by the arrow, at (363) - apparently the arrow only deals 1 point of Skill damage and NO damage to the enemy's Stamina. This is not only illogical but also breaks tradition with the series' approach and Ian Livingstone's own approach in particular (for instance, compare with the Yeti encounter in Caverns of the Snow Witch - stabbing it it a spear reduces *both* its Skill and its Stamina).
  • After being shipwrecked, you float to shore and have to Test Your Luck. Being Lucky sends you to (78) - where you find some food to regain +3 Stamina; however, you also discover that you've lost 1d6 Provisions and possibly 1 Luck. On the other hand, if you're Unlucky - you do not find food but you also do NOT discover any loss of Provisions. This not only creates a textual inconsistency, but also means that the Unlucky outcome is vastly superior to the Lucky one.
  • In (95) and (397) you're only given the options to use a Light spell or continue your way in darkness - but this sounds exactly the type of situations you are carrying the Lantern listed in your starting equipment for. (Alternatively, the Lantern is a remnant from a design stage where the Light spell didn't exist - and so its presence in the starting gear would be the error.)
  • The doorway at (250) should be in the right-hand wall, not the left-hand.
  • (38) In one room the player will encounter an effigy which is described as being made of bronze. But in (291) when the player has to fight the statue (which turns out to be magically animated), it is labelled a Stone Golem. This error might prevent you from realizing in (38) that the hint "beware the shadow of the stone" means the "bronze" statue in the room.
  • At (290) you're not offered the option to use Fire spell to open the door, even though it is a viable method as evidenced by the (198) -> (239) sequence. If you know the Fire spell, you should be able to go from (290) to (178) at the cost of 2 Stamina.
  • (292) An option is given to lift the lid of a black pot (156), when it should be a red pot (183). You have already looked inside the black pot to get to (292).
  • At (103) it is first said that if you lose the *first* three combat rounds you'll be paralyzed. However, the last sentence makes it clear that would be the case if you lose ANY three attack rounds. Given the circumstances, the latter seems to be the correct statement.


Puffin Edition[]

To Chris Achilleos and Iain McCaig for making fantasy a reality[5]

Wizard Edition[]

For Gary Gygax,
the pioneer of fantasy
role-playing games[6]

See Also[]


External Links[]


  1. The Seven Serpents - pg.223
  2. Temple of Terror - 34
  3. Temple of Terror - pg.17
  4. Temple of Terror - pg.23
  5. Temple of Terror - pg.5
  6. Temple of Terror - pg.5