Fighting Fantasy Role-Playing Book
Location: Allansia, Titan
Publication Details
Author(s): Paul Mason &
Steve Williams, & edited by
Steve Jackson
Illustrator(s): Brian Williams &
Leo Hartas
The Riddling Reaver
Cover illustrator: Peter Andrew Jones
First published: November 20 1986
Number unnumbered
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-032156-X
Previous Book: Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-playing Game
Next Book: Last in series

For other uses of The Riddling Reaver, see The Riddling Reaver

The Riddling Reaver is a multi-player role-playing gamebook written by Paul Mason, Steve Williams, and edited by Steve Jackson, illustrated by Brian Williams and Leo Hartas and originally published in 1986 by Puffin Books. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It was not part of the main Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, but rather one of the many spin-offs. As a role-playing gamebook, it is most closely associated with the book Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-playing Game in that it is an attempt to extend the Fighting Fantasy concept into a more developed role-playing system, in a basic form. As such, it is an unnumbered addition to the Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-032156-X), often grouped with Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game in book listings. There are currently no announced plans to republish this book as part of the Scholastic series.



Four Fighting Fantasy episodes to be played as separate adventures or as stages in an epic adventure!

The Riddling Reaver is an opponent worthy of the most daring adventurers. His mind is inscrutable — but there is no doubt about the chaos he plans to unleash on the world. He
must be stopped, despite the hazards of the task!

This book is a follow-up to
Fighting Fantasy: The Introductory Role-Playing Game. It contains instructions and scenarios so that you, as GamesMaster, can conure up adventures for your friends, and send them on their most dangerous and puzzling mission yet — to confront the Riddling Reaver.

The Riddling Reaver - Back Cover ("Adventure Gamebooks" Edition)

The Riddling Reaver is a game designed to work with the basic rules of gameplay set out by Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game, working with a minimum of three players and a GamesMaster and a suggestion of "no more" than five players and a GamesMaster. The book requires the GamesMaster to have a copy of Fighting Fantasy and recommends having access to Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World and Out of the Pit for further information to enhance the gameplay.

The adventure is divided into four "acts":

Act One: The Curse of Kallamehr

The players travel south to Kallamehr where they discover Baron Bluestone engaged in a fight atop a tower inside the city. They arrive too late to save Bluestone, who is thrown off his own tower by none other than the Riddling Reaver. Strangely, the Reaver seems eager for the adventurers to follow him, since he leaves them a number of clues in a magic riddle box. In order to take up pursuit, the characters must solve the riddles, gather a few items, and cast them into the sea near Kallamehr.

Act Two: Voyage of Enigma

Following the conclusion of Act One, a magic ship, the Twice Shy, arrives to take the heroes to their destination. But once aboard the strange ship, the heroes discover that the voyage will not be a pleasure cruise: the Twice Shy is teeming with monsters, spirits, and various traps, tricks and more riddles of the Reaver's devising.

Act Three: The Pendulum of Fate

The heroes have arrived at their preliminary destination, a beach somewhere in the southern jungles of Allansia. They are required to save the life of an explorer named Waxley, who possesses the knowledge of how to get to a mysterious shrine in which an artefact of great power is kept. After a hazardous journey through the jungle, the adventurers enter the shrine, only to find that it is actually an ancient creature waiting for sacrifices to willingly (or unknowingly) enter its guts; the artefact, the Pendulum of Fate, is hidden in the very heart of the creature. But unfortunately, the Riddling Reaver makes yet another appearance and steals the Pendulum to enact his plans to upset the balance between Order and Chaos.

Act Four: The Realm of Entropy

The heroes must chase after the Reaver to stop him from employing the Pendulum for his own dastard designs. Fortunately, his abode is nearby, but unfortunately, this place is not like any other villain hideout they have come across: Chance rules supreme here; strange traps and hazards await them, and above all, an ever-increasing army of Replicanths created by the Reaver pose a serious threat to their mission. The heroes must rely on their wits and luck more than ever to save the world from destruction.


The book in general follows the original rules set down in Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Role-Playing Game.

Unique Rules[]

  • Unconsciousness is introduced where if a player's stamina score has been reduced to 0 they have been rendered unconscious rather than dead (a reduction to -1 or lower however counts as death). A dice roll (2d6) then determines how many minutes the player is unconscious.[1]
  • Weapons creates differentiation between the damage various weapons can inflict and skill penalties for hard-to-use weapons such as a Morning Star or Two-Handed Sword.[2]
  • Mighty Strike means a roll of double six results in a mortal blow to an opponent.[3]
  • Magic allows one of the players to be a wizard. This comes at a cost of playing with the minimum stamina score of 14. The player is further penalised with a skill roll of 1d6 + 4. They however have the statistic of magic (2d6 + 6) which determines the number of spells available to the player. The spell list is the same as from The Citadel of Chaos: Creature Copy, ESP, Fire, Fool's Gold, Illusion, Levitation, luck, Shielding, skill, stamina, strength, and Weakness.[4]

Equipment List[5][]

Unlike the previous book the players are not equipped with potions.[5]

Cover and Illustrations[]


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

The Riddling Reaver Cover Variants
1986 1987 1993
The Riddling Reaver The Riddling reaver Dragon TRR 05
Dragon ver.I Dragon ver.IV
£1.951 £X.xx £X.xx2

  1. Price of 1st Impression
  2. Price of 4th Impression; £3.99 for 5th Impression.
    Some 4th Impressions (#90403) have a sticker replacing the entire barcode and have a new price of £3.99


The interior illustrations were by Brian Williams. Unlike the regular gamebooks, due to the smaller than usual number of references there is a larger number of full-page illustrations with roughly one per entry. There were 50 full page illustrations (not counting maps) and 5 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text.

The colour map on the inside front cover and the interior black and white maps were by Leo Hartas. These black and white maps are to be found on pages: 26, 46, 72, 122, 152, 178 and 212.

Intertextual References[]

The Riddling Reaver, Lady Carolina and Kallamehr would feature in Slaves of the Abyss, written by Mason and Williams and published in 1988. The Reaver reappears later in Mason's solo gamebooks Magehunter and The Crimson Tide.


A prequel exists in the form of The Dreaming Sands, a short multi-player adventure published in Issue 13 of Warlock magazine in which the Reaver also appears.

Other Media[]

Main Characters[]



Further Notes[]

  • The Reaver's alias of "Cona Numdrum" is a play on the word "conundrum".



To Carolina and my feet (without whom I would have
been unable to get up in the morning)[6]

See Also[]

External Links[]


  1. The Riddling Reaver - pg.13-14
  2. The Riddling Reaver - pg.14-16
  3. The Riddling Reaver - pg.16
  4. The Riddling Reaver - pg.16-21
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Riddling Reaver - pg.11
  6. The Riddling Reaver - pg.4