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

Illustrator(s): Malcolm Barter (Puffin/Wizard versions)
Vlado Krizan (Scholastic version)
FF Original
Cover illustrator: Iain McCaig
First published: March 31 1983
Number 3
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031604-3
Previous Book: The Citadel of Chaos
Next Book: Starship Traveller
Wizard (Series 1)
Cover illustrator: Martin McKenna
First published: June 3 2003
Number 8
ISBN: ISBN 1-84046-429-1
Previous Book: House of Hell
Next Book: Sorcery! 1: The Shamutanti Hills
Wizard (Series 2)
Cover illustrator: Martin McKenna
First published: February 3 2011
Number 13
ISBN: ISBN 1-84831-221-0
Previous Book: Trial of Champions
Next Book: Curse of the Mummy
Cover illustrator: Robert M. Ball
First published: September 7 2017
Number 4
ISBN: ISBN 1-40718-128-9
Previous Book: The Citadel of Chaos
Next Book: House of Hell

For other uses of The Forest of Doom, see The Forest of Doom

The Forest of Doom is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Ian Livingstone, illustrated by Malcolm Barter and originally published in 1983 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2003 and 2011 as Forest of Doom, and again in 2017 as The Forest of Doom by Scholastic Books with new illustrations by Vlado Krizan. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 3rd in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-031604-3), 8th in the Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84046-429-1), 13th in "Series 2" (ISBN 1-84831-221-0), and 4th in the Scholastic series (ISBN 1-40718-128-9).



Who knows what monstrous creatures lurk in Darkwood forest?

Only the foolhardy would risk an encounter with the unknown perils that lurk in the murky depths of Darkwood Forest. Yet there is no alternative, for your quest is a desperate race against time to find the missing pieces of the legendary Hammer of Stonebridge — fashioned by Dwarfs to protect the villagers of Stonebridge against their ancient doom.

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

This Fighting Fantasy gamebook is set in the usual fantasy world of Titan, in the Allansia region. The player must retrieve a magical warhammer for the Dwarfs of the village of Stonebridge. It has been separated into two pieces and lost in the depths of Darkwood Forest.

The player becomes involved when the Dwarf Bigleg stumbles into their camp-site, dying from wounds inflicted in the ambush that resulted in the loss of the warhammer. Bigleg's last words lead the player to look up Yaztromo and so the adventure begins.

How to Fight the Creatures of Darkwood Forest/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).
  • In the Wizard "Series 2" edition, instead of rolling the stats for a character as per tradition in Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, the player has the option of choosing a pregenerated character from three choices (see "Further Notes" below for choices).

Equipment List[2]Edit

In the course of events in the "Background" the player obtains a map and 30 Gold Pieces.[3]

Cover and IllustrationsEdit

Main article: The Forest of Doom (illustrations)


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Iain McCaig.

When the book was republished by Wizard in 2002 a new cover was designed and illustrated by Martin McKenna, who was asked by Ian Livingstone to recreate the Shape Changer of the original cover. The 2011 edition makes use of a section of the previous edition's cover art, although in this case the cropped art has been flipped.

The 2017 edition featured a new cover by Robert M. Ball.

The Forest of Doom through the years
1983 1984 1987 1989 1990
FF Original FF Green Zigzag FF3 Dragon Front & Spine FF3 Dragon No Number FF3 Dragon No Number
Colour Star Zig-Zag Banner Dragon Format Dragon No No. No. Spine Only
£1.251 £1.502 £2.253 £?
1993 2002 2002 2011 2017
Figfan03r FoDShield ForestSch
No Bronze-Foil Wizard "Special
Limited Edition"
Wizard Shield Scholastic
£2.994 £3.995 £4.99 £5.99 £6.99


  1. Price of 1st~2nd Impressions; £1.50 for 6th~13th Impressions
  2. Price of 14th Impression; £1.95 for 20th Impression
  3. Price of 24th Impression
  4. Price of 25th Impression
  5. Price of 29th Impression


The interior illustrations, including the black and white map as part of the "Background", were by Malcolm Barter. There were 33 full page illustrations and 3 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: Background, 1, 15, 29, 38, 49, 57, 69, 90, 99, 107, 118, 130, 142, 160, 170, 181, 195, 204, 212, 230, 253, 265, 277, 285, 294, 317, 340, 351, 360, 378, 384 and 396. Additionally, one piece of text - instructions for the use of the Eye of Amber - was presented in a drawing of a piece of parchment (91).

The full-page illustrations in the book were accompanied with a caption giving the number of the paragraph depicted and a short extract from the text, a format which was only used in the two previous books, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and The Citadel of Chaos.

Intertextual ReferencesEdit

The book introduced several characters and locations that would recur later in the series, including the wizard Gereth Yaztromo, the Dwarven village of Stonebridge and the Evil Darkwood Forest.

Prequels and SequelsEdit

Chronologically, the book can be considered the sequel to Caverns of the Snow Witch and - depending on the reader's interpretation - the prequel to Temple of Terror.

Other MediaEdit

Computer GamesEdit

Main article: The Forest of Doom (computer game)

Videogame versions of the book were released in 1984 for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.

Main article: The Forest of Doom (mobile game)

An iOS/Android conversion of the book was produced by Tin Man Games and released in 2013.

Tourist VentureEdit

Main article: Forest of Doom Holidays

This venture was run by Dolphin and Colony Holidays in 1985, offering real life adventures in the forests of Oxford and Edinburgh.[4]


Main article: The Shape Changer (figurine)

Clarecraft made a figurine called The Shape Changer, based on the cover from The Forest of Doom, and another called Gillibran Lord Of The Dwarfs. Both were released in 1986 (re-released in 2004), as part of an officially licensed series of Fighting Fantasy Ornaments.

d20 System ConversionEdit

Main article: Forest of Doom (d20)

There is a D20 System conversion by Myriador called Forest of Doom.

Fighting Fantasy Audio DramasEdit

Main article: The Forest of Doom: Lost in Darkwood

An audio drama inspired by the book and released in 2018.

Main CharactersEdit

YOU: Hero of The Forest of Doom



Other Creatures of NoteEdit

Further NotesEdit

  • 3 instant failures, 1 victory, plus death by stamina loss or bad luck.
  • Ian Livingstone sources both his favourite character from the Fighting Fantasy books (Gereth Yaztromo)[5] and his favourite monster (the Shape Changer)[6] from this book.
  • This was Ian's first full-length gamebook as sole author.

Series 2 AdditionsEdit


  • If the player has not retrieved the hammer by the end of the book it is possible to retrace their steps and try again an indefinite number of times, which can introduce absurdities as set-pieces are reset.
  • 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.
  • The rules also omit the paragraph on fighting more than one enemy. This can cause confusion since, unlike most Fighting Fantasy books, you aren't always told what to do when you face more than one enemy in the text and are reliant on the rules.


Puffin EditionEdit

For Liz and Carol

Wizard EditionEdit

For Daniel

See AlsoEdit


External LinksEdit


  1. The Forest of Doom - Back Cover ("Golden Dragon" Edition)
  2. The Forest of Doom - p.16
  3. The Forest of Doom - p.23
  4. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.???
  5. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.224
  6. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.221
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