Sorcery! Gamebooks
Location: Kakhabad, Old World, Titan
References: 498
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson
Illustrator(s): John Blanche
Cover illustrator: John Blanche
First published: 1984
Number 3 (in Sorcery! series)
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-031809-7
Previous Book: Kharé - Cityport of Traps
Next Book: The Crown of Kings
Wizard (Series 1)
Cover illustrator: Mel Grant
First published: 2003
Number 13 (in main series)
ISBN: ISBN 1-84-046435-6
Previous Book: Trial of Champions
Next Book: Armies of Death
Cover illustrator: Robert M. Ball
First published: October 1 2020
Number 17
Previous Book: Return to Firetop Mountain
Next Book: Crystal of Storms

For other uses of The Seven Serpents, see The Seven Serpents

The Seven Serpents is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Steve Jackson, illustrated by John Blanche, originally published in 1984 by Puffin Books, and is the third book in the Sorcery! epic. Upon completion of Kharé - Cityport of Traps, the player finds themselves standing at the beginning of the Baklands, a bleak and empty wasteland which must be crossed in order to reach Mampang Fortress. While travelling the player must locate the titular Seven Serpents, messengers of the Archmage travelling to Mampang to warn him of the player's presence. The degree of success achieved by the player in this will have a direct impact upon the challenges faced in the final book. This is the most linear entry in the series and the most challenging so far, as the player must defeat as many of the seven serpents as possible, though not all of them need to be defeated. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It was unnumbered in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-031809-7), but is 13th in the Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84-046435-6) and 17th in the Scholastic series (ISBN TBC).

Creation[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

The fate of the land of Kakhabad is in YOUR hands!

Seven deadly and magical serpents speed ahead of you to warn the evil Archmage of your coming. Will you be able to catch them before they get there?

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,
The Seven Serpents can be played either on its own, or as part of the whole epic.

The Seven Serpents - Back Cover ("Adventure Gamebooks" Edition)

Rules[edit | edit source]

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

Unique Rules[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Crown of Kings). 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][edit | edit source]

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

Covers and Illustrations[edit | edit source]

Covers[edit | edit source]

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 Seven Serpents Cover Variants
1984 1987 1993 2003 2003
Sor03AdvBanner.jpg Sor03DragonFoil.jpg Sor03DragonNoFoil.jpg Sor03WizSLE.jpg Sor03Wiz.jpg
Sorcery ver.I
Sorcery ver.II
£1.951 £3.992 £4.503 £5.99 £5.99

  1. Price of 1st~5th Impressions (incorporating The Sorcery Spell Book)
  2. Price of 10th Impression
  3. Price of 11th Impression

Illustrations[edit | edit source]

The interior illustrations were by John Blanche. There were 30 full page illustrations and 11 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 12, 25, 36, 48, 60, 71, 85, 97, 123, 136, 150, 162, 176, 190, 199, 204, 217, 230, 244, 259, 274, 287, 300, 315, 329, 362, 410, 455 and 498. Additionally, one piece of text - a scroll from the King - was presented in a drawing of a piece of parchment (314).

The black and white map was by John Blanche.

Intertextual References[edit | edit source]

Other Media[edit | edit source]

Computer Game[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Seven Serpents (mobile game)

An iOS/Android conversion of the book was produced by inkle Studios and released in 2014.

d20 System Conversion[edit | edit source]

Main article: The Seven Serpents (d20)

There is a D20 System conversion by Myriador called Sorcery 3: The Seven Serpents.

Main Characters[edit | edit source]

YOU! - Hero of Sorcery!

Locations[edit | edit source]

Encounters[edit | edit source]

Further Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The Sorcery! series originally began publication under the main Penguin Books brand rather than the Puffin imprint. This was the first to first be published by Puffin Books. In the United Kingdom it was therefore never published by Penguin. However, in the United States of America the book was published by Penguin, with the same cover illustration (the only main difference being that the Adventure Gamebooks banner was not used in the US, being a Puffin brand. Instead Penguin continued with the Coloured Number format in the US for the Sorcery! series, with this book having the number 3 in a blue triangle in the top right hand corner.

Errors[edit | edit source]

  • The player can obtain a small vial of gas from Dintainta to aid against the Sleepless Ram. Upon reaching Mampang, the "gas" has become a small vial of "liquid".
  • You can get stuck on the shore of Lake Ilklala if you don't know how to summon the Ferryman, yet not be able to call on Libra for assistance even if you haven't called on her before during this part of the epic.
  • Why is it that being able to detect invisible Snattacats lets you avoid fighting them? There are hundreds of perfectly visible creatures in Fighting Fantasy, several of them in this very book, for which this is not true.
  • Why are you at "dangerously close range" if you don't move towards the Horsemen, but not if you do?
  • There's a missing stamina gain for sleeping at Lake Ilklala.
  • Why is it that, if Fenestra told you about her scroll and its whereabouts, you may still be completely unable to identify it when you find it?
  • Does the golden pendant you get from Fenestra qualify as a Jewel of Gold, or would it have to be capitalized for that, like the Golden Locket?
  • If you use weapon against the Deathwraith (32), after reducing its stamina to three or less you are given the option of finishing it off or sparing it (205). However, if you use the MAG spell against it (452), you are given the same option without specifying how many stamina points it has.
  • (48) should presumably add that you gain 1 stamina point if you did eat previously in the day (that is, after leaving The Wayfarer's Rest in Kharé).
  • What colour is the snake that turns into the Serpent of Fire? It is red, as at (117), or yellow, as at (148)?
  • (153) should perhaps add to Attack Strength instead of skill.
  • (155) should perhaps contain a link to (96) for anyone who counted the HOT spell as a source of fire, and also there is no flash-fire powder; it's been suggested that the "fine brown sand" you can acquire previously should be identified as such.
  • Why does (183) point to (92) instead of (324)?
  • (211) doesn't say what happens if you fail the skill roll, or was the idea that you don't Test your Luck unless you fail the skill roll?
  • (247) says parchment is destroyed by water - why, exactly?
  • (260) needn't tell you to continue if you've been poisoned and have no antidote, since it's not possible to find any before sundown (and Libra is seemingly no good against poison); this raises the question why it's not possible to go northeast in (318) and find the caravan.
  • (316) should say "four", not "three".
  • (320) should perhaps say that you can't call on Libra again in this book.
  • If you only have one Goblin's Tooth in (343) or (358), do you still have to deduct 2 stamina points?
  • (347) doesn't indicate whether the Yellow Powder is used up in the casting, while (466) implies that you keep some of it (the illustration for the spell shows a discarded phial of powder, which doesn't really help).
  • (364) is wrong about why you wouldn't want to cast the spell in question.
  • (372) should presumably say "for this battle".
  • (386 and (496) are unreachable, and (479) should logically be unreachable, although there are also spoiler concerns.
  • (391) should perhaps say the affected Horseman will not fire another arrow at you.
  • It is not possible to arrive at (393) without having defeated at least two Serpents (Air and Time) and leaving the Sun Serpent captured, yet the reference asks if you have killed or incapacitated only one serpent, two or none at all.
  • (461) presents "leave" as a sensible course of action, then sends you back to (23) where your only options are fighting or casting expensive spells, and if you win you leave anyway.
  • (465) says you "take one measure of the potion" and may have you thinking that you retain the rest of it for further use, which is inconsistent with all previous castings of the spell; (348) makes no mention of crossing off the potion at all.
  • You can't have a Staff of Oak Sapling in (481).

Dedication[edit | edit source]

To Margery, Harry ... their own special creation![5]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Reviews[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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