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Literature: Lone Wolf

You are Lone Wolf. In a devastating attack, the Darklords have destroyed the monastery where you were learning the skills of the Kai Lords. You are the sole survivor.

The Lone Wolf Gamebook series (plural, containing the Kai, Magnakai, Grand Master, and New Order series) were written by Joe Dever; the first book came out in 1984. As the opening quote tells us, the hero is the Last of His Kind Fighter/Ranger/Psionic Knight Lone Wolf, who escapes the Big Bad's destruction of the monastery where he and the rest of the Kai Order lived. In the course of his many adventures, Lone Wolf has to avenge his fallen brethren, foil the Darklords and other Evil Overlords, try to rebuild the Kai Order, and otherwise save his Sword and Sorcery world Magnamund many, many times.

The books take many RPG elements and incorporate them into playing/reading, such as Hit Points (called Endurance points), "Combat Skill", skills (Kai / Magnakai / Grand Master Disciplines), and an inventory system. Each book can be read as a standalone adventure, but finishing a book allows one to gain an extra Discipline and carry over most (usually) of his inventory. You can cheat, but you can cheat at Solitaire too.

There are 20 books out that follow Lone Wolf himself, then 8 after that following a student of his, with more being written. There's also a four-books World of Lone Wolf spin-off (most often just called Grey Star) that takes place in the same world, with Grey Star the Wizard as the hero. There are also 12 Legends of Lone Wolf novelizations roughly covering the first 8 books, fleshing out characterization and the series mythology, as well as a Magnamund Companion guidebook. There are even two Tabletop RPG versions of the books and a graphic novel spin-off, The Skull of Agarash (situated between the Magnakai and Grand Master series). A videogame spin off has been released on Android and iOS in late 2013.

    Books in the Series 
World of Lone Wolf
  • Grey Star the Wizard (1985)
  • The Forbidden City (1986)
  • Beyond the Nightmare Gate (1986)
  • War of the Wizards (1986)

Kai series
  • Flight from the Dark (1984)
  • Fire on the Water (1984)
  • The Caverns of Kalte (1984)
  • The Chasm of Doom (1985)
  • Shadow on the Sand (1985)

Magnakai series
  • The Kingdoms of Terror (1985)
  • Castle Death (1986)
  • The Jungle of Horrors (1986)
  • The Cauldron of Fear (1986)
  • The Dungeons of Torgar (1987)
  • The Prisoners of Time (1987)
  • The Masters of Darkness (1988)

Grand Master series
  • The Plague Lords of Ruel (1990)
  • The Captives of Kaag (1991)
  • The Darke Crusade (1991)
  • The Legacy of Vashna (1991)
  • The Deathlord of Ixia (1992)
  • Dawn of the Dragons (1992)
  • Wolf's Bane (1993)
  • The Curse of Naar (1993)

New Order series
  • Voyage of the Moonstone (1994)
  • The Buccaneers of Shadaki (1994)
  • Mydnight's Hero (1995)
  • Rune War (1995)
  • Trail of the Wolf (1997)
  • The Fall of Blood Mountain (1997)
  • Vampirium (1998)
  • The Hunger of Sejanoz (1998)

The Final Fournote 
  • The Storms of Chai (TBD)invoked
  • Untitled 30 (tba)
  • Untitled 31 (tba)
  • Untitled 32 (tba)

All the currently published gamebooks and a few of the others can, with the permission of Dever, be played online at Project Aon.

Also of note is Joe Dever's Freeway Warrior series, which uses similar rules, but exchanges Magnamund for a Mad Max-inspired post-holocaust setting.

Not to be confused with the famous Lone Wolf and Cub manga series, which has no connection.


Lone Wolf and its spin-offs provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: A few, most notably the Baga-darooz in Barrakeesh, capital of Vassagonia. This sewer is vast enough to house giant lizards and other nasty monsters, and criminals can be condemned to be locked within. Unlike some other fantasy examples, however, it is described as extremely filthy, smelly and insalubrious — just getting an open wound in contact with the water can give you a horrible disease.
  • Adipose Rex: The late Zakhan Moudallah, as mentioned in Shadow on the Sand. A statue of him provides lot of cover.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: Magnamund is constantly being attacked by the forces of Naar, necessitating the Kai Order running about essentially putting out fires. When the Kai Order is down to one person, Lone Wolf has to do this all by himself....
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Shianti are forbidden from interfering in human affairs, even though Wytch-King Shasarak, one of their number, is doing just that. Of course, when a human baby accidentally lands on their island, there Ain't No Rule about teaching him to use magic and "allowing" him to go into the world to deal with the threat.
  • Allergic to Evil:
    • Evil has pretty bad effects on anyone who isn't a supernatural embodiment of it such as the Darklords, and Lone Wolf himself is particularly sensitive to it. The Doomstones for example are the Kryptonite to his Superman. When facing extremely powerful and evil entities like Deathlord Ixiataaga, he needs the strongest psychic defense available just to survive this evil presence.
    • Probably the greatest example would be in The Plague Lords of Ruel where Lone Wolf, upon looking at the library of evil tomes the villain has, gets so outraged, he takes 2 points of damage. It's not the tomes being so full of evil magic that they harm Lone Wolf the way so many Artifact of Doom do so through the series, no. It's literally Lone Wolf getting so angry and outraged by what he's seeing it might actually kill him if he's got low enough endurance! That's right, your own emotions can kill you!
      You scan the walls of this reading room and as your eye passes over the books and scrolls stored upon its shelves, you feel an almost uncontrollable urge to tear every one of them to pieces. The wickedness they contain, gleaned after thousands of years of perpetrating the vilest herbcraft known to Magnamund, is so potent that you feel your Kai strength waning in their presence (lose 2 ENDURANCE points).
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The novelizations introduce several key characters such as Naar or Alyss. (Good luck knowing who or what Alyss is otherwise.)
    • Also the Magnamund Companion; nothing really vital, or that doesn't come up elsewhere, but loads and loads of awesome world-building. As well as a Lone Wolf board game and a short Choose Your Own Adventure with Banedon as protagonist, providing some backdrop to Book 1.
    • As Vashna and Zagarna are never fought in the game, their stats are All There in the Manual.
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • The Drakkarim, the Darklords, the Giaks and too many others to count.
    • But not the Szalls, a Giak sub-race who fled enslavement by the Darklords and settled in the Wildlands. There's a spot in Book 2 where Szalls try to warn you not to go near a monster. (Though the little bastards do steal your horse afterwards.)
    • The novelizations feature Carag, a Giak who turned against its masters and joined Lone Wolf. Unfortunately, he is implied to have been killed by the Darklords by the end of The Claws of Helgedad.
  • Ambadassador: Some of Lone Wolf's adventures start out as outwardly "diplomatic missions", like the voyage to Vassagonia in Book 5. Of course, this being Lone Wolf, it always turns quickly to Aggressive Negotiations.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Psychic Ring and the Grey Crystal Ring. They are implied to be useful only because Lone Wolf has strong Psychic Powers already. Their uses are very situational, however.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: In later books, several enemies have their strength boosted through the roof by some artifact (often an evil one) to make a credible threat to Lone Wolf (or his lieutenant). A good way to identify it is the case is when said item is mentioned alongside the name of the enemy next to the stat block. Another common point is that the magic doohickey will never be picked up by the hero afterward, to keep game balance. Either it is destroyed in the fight, too evil for Lone Wolf to consider using, or just forgotten about.
    • The most infamous example is Zakhan Kimah's Orb of Death in The Cauldron of Fear. Notable is that we see how he received the artifact from Lord Haakon in exchange for his allegiance to the Darklords in a previous book, Shadow on the Sand.
    • In The Dungeons of Torgar, Baron Shinzar with Ogg-kor-Kaggaz (a flaming battleaxe) or the Ziran with a Powerstave — in both case only if you have the Sommerswerd.
    • In The Plague Lords of Ruel, Brother Croumah with a Power Rod and an Acolyte of Vashna with a Medallion of Protection.
    • Warlord Magnaarn with the Nyras Sceptre in The Darke Crusade; though here it is two-edged, since the Doomstone was also bringing him to the brink of undeath.
    • Demonlord Tagazin wears a Power Helm for his final battle against Lone Wolf in The Deathlord of Ixia. Not that he wasn't already plenty dangerous without it.
    • Ixiataaga himself with the Deathstaff (uncharged at the time, luckily for Lone Wolf). Though again, the Deathlord would certainly still be a terrific foe even unarmed.
    • Prince Lutah's Ring of Power in Dawn of the Dragons is another stand-out.
    • For enemies of Lone Wolf's lieutenant in the New Order Series, there are Sesketera with a Medallion of Weaponskill in The Buccaneers of Shadaki, Baron Sadanzo with a Gem of Naar in Mydnight's Hero, or Xaol the Necromancer with a Serpent Rod in Trail of the Wolf.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • Lone Wolf's star apprentice takes over in Book 21, starting over from relative scratch. And if you don't want to name him, you can use a table to combine two words to give him a supposedly cool name. Or more likely, something absurd like "Sword Shield"note .
    • The World of Lone Wolf books feature Grey Star the Wizard, a young wunderkind trained in magic by the Shianti, beings so good at magic that the gods had to ask — nicely — for them to leave humanity alone. He's an orphan marooned on the rocks of their island by a storm, and finding him was serendipitous since they are forbidden to leave their island, yet there's this evil sorcerer taking over the world right outside. So they rear him, train him in their ways and send him off to topple an empire.
    • The Updated Re-release usually has a mini-story at the end with a character tied into the plot. Although there is a reoccuring hero named Dire, a Revenant Zombie that Lone Wolf met in The Captives of Kaag.
  • Animal Assassin: The Plaak, a small jelly-like horror with venomous fangs, in Book 12.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Many monsters fits this. Most notable is Demonlord Tagazin, who appears as a huge sabertoothed jackal.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Of the Animal Alias subtype. "Lone Wolf" mostly invokes the Noble Wolf trope and the fact he's the Last of His Kind. Though he sure has plenty superpowers through his Kai disciplines, none are especially lupine-inspired.
  • Annoying Arrows: Largely averted in the series. It is possible to have arrows only causing mere scratches and a loss of a few Endurance Points, but it's not common and usually the result of a very lucky roll (when Lone Wolf is the target) or a poor one (when he's the one shooting). More often than not, arrows or bolts tend to be quite deadly, either for the hero or enemies, even giant monsters if you manage to strike a weak spot like the eye or mouth. The only exceptions are with beings utterly immune to normal weapons, like Zakhan Kimah or Demonlord Tagazin.
  • Another Dimension:
    • The books The Prisoners of Time and Beyond the Nightmare Gate involve Lone Wolf and Grey Star traveling to the Daziarn plane, outside the normal universe of Magnamund.
    • In the Grand Master series, Lone Wolf makes repeated (and unwelcome) visits to the Plane of Darkness, Naar's home turf.
  • Anticlimax Boss: invoked
    • Darklords Zagarna (Book 2) and Gnaag (Book 12) are destroyed without a fight by the power of the Sommerswerd. In gameplay terms an anticlimax, but the satisfying and incredibly badass descriptions of these literal embodiments of evil being annihilated in a blast of holy sunfire makes up for it.
    • Wytch-King Shasarak and Agarash the Damned from the World of Lone Wolf books starring Grey Star might end up being these. The former can have a fearsome Combat Strength of 30, but that can be reduced to 10 if you take certain options in the pre-fight, making him significantly weaker. Grey Star beats the latter by simply throwing the Moonstone at the gate Agarash is trying to pass through, thus preventing his escape.
  • Anti-Magic: The Sommerswerd protects its wielder against most direct hostile magic, usually absorbing the energy harmlessly into the blade. It sometimes even allows to reflect it back at the spell-caster. Some magical attacks, presumably from artifacts of a similar level of power, have been known to circumvent this protection, however.
  • Armed Altruism: In Fire on the Water, if you have the Magic Spear (the only weapon at that point that can harm a Helghast) you can give it to Lord-Lieutenant Rhygar so that he can guard the entrance of the Tarnalin tunnel. In early editions, you get killed for doing this.
  • Arrows on Fire: Magi-magic grants this as a spell.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Darklord Gnaag's appearance between Book 8 and Book 12, which is primarily due to the change in illustration artists. The Updated Re-release changes his appearance further, again due to a new artist.
    • Gwynian the Sage is hardly recognizable in illustrations between his first appearance in Book 4, and his later one in Book 8.
    • The Chaos-master's illustrations in Grey Star's series and then in The Prisoners of Time are also wildly different, but here it's completely justified in-story, since the Chaos-master is an Eldritch Abomination who keeps changing shape all the time.
  • Artifact of Death:
    • The Caverns of Kalte "rewards" you with a big shiny jewel if you screw up a puzzle... which unholy radiation can end up killing you if you are not warned in time and discard it.
    • Another Doomstone appearing in The Darke Crusade has pretty much the same effect on its wielder, High Warlord Magnaarn. The Scepter of Nyras, on which it is mounted, is a powerful artifact allowing to control the armies of the fallen Darklords... but it is also turning him into an undead servant of the Doomstone itself.
    • The Death Staff from The Legacy of Vashna is also a quite deadly artifact. Just touching it causes Lone Wolf to lose Hit Points, and it drains some more every time it is used.
    • Given their very evil origins (the Doomstones were created by Naar's most powerful servant Agarash the Damned, and the Death Staff was forged by Naar himself) this makes perfect sense. The only ones who can use these things without any consequences are supernatural beings of pure evil such as the Darklords and the Deathlord of Ixia.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The Darklord weapons and the Death Staff are examples of evil weapons that have gameplay penalties when used in battle.
    • Story-wise, the worst artifacts are the Doomstones. The Doomstones are essentially crystallized Black Magic created by a powerful demon that eventually corrupts and kills anyone who uses them that isn't already a being of pure evil. Meaning that the strongest antagonists can use them with impunity; but Lone Wolf collapses as soon as he gets near one. The Doomstone of Darke featured in Book 16 The Darke Crusade deserves a special mention here. In the end, it turns out to be the REAL Big Bad of the book, having made the Disc One Final Boss its frail, near-undead puppet.
    • In The Skull of Agarash graphic novel, the eponymous demonic cranium is another artifact that needs to be destroyed by Lone Wolf.
    • A rather weird example is the Moonstone, a GOOD Artifact of Doom: crops grow better, children are born healthier, summers are longer... but it threatens to destroy the natural equilibrium of Magnamund.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The funerals of Lord Casis in The Buccaneers of Shadaki, as the Elder Magi is passing over to the Plane of Light, leaving no body behind.
  • The Atoner: The Redeemers, a silent order of healers that helps Lone Wolf from time to time, are atoning not for their own misdeeds, but for the misdeeds of their ancestors, the Patar. The Patar played a key role in the near extinction of their former masters the Elder Magi by plague. Ashamed, they vowed that they and their descendants would dedicate themselves to fighting disease in all its forms.
  • Attack Animal:
    • The Darklords' armies use several vicious species to augment their forces. The Drakkarim train warhounds called Akataz and Giaks occasionally use Doomwolves as mounts. Giant flying predators like the Kraan and even bigger Zlaanbeasts are also put to good use.
    • The Vassagonian forces Lone Wolf faces early in his career favor warhounds and giant birds called Itikar.
  • Attack Reflector: The Sommerswerd can sometimes be used to volley a magical attack back at the caster. An example from Shadow on the Sand is the Vordak riding a Zlanbeast and firing on Banedon's skyship with a magic staff, who subsequently gets a taste of its own Fireball.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Constantly. The highest-ranking officer in any group will have the strongest combat stats. Each of the heads of state Lone Wolf eventually has to confront (Zakhan Kimah, Baron Shinzar, High Warlord Magnaarn, Archdruid Cadak...) is certain to be either a Mid Boss or Final Boss (and likely That One Boss too). And the Darklords are among the toughest customers around, of course.
  • Awesome but Temporary:
    • The Ironheart Broadsword in The Prisoners of Time. If you don't have the Sommerswerd, it gives you a fighting chance against the Chaos-master. After this combat, however, Lone Wolf is politely asked to return the sword to the tomb you've looted... ahem... where you found it.
    • The Death Staff in The Legacy of Vashna. It gives an even bigger bonus than the Sommerswerd, but you won't keep it past the end of the book. In this case it's good riddance, however, because it's also an Artifact of Death and using it drains your Endurance like crazy.
  • Back from the Brink: Books 1 and 2 cover this for the country of Sommerlund, which Zagarna made his first target in his war. Books 8 through 12 seem to cover this for the entirety of Northern Magnamund, as it seems Gnaag is saving Sommerlund for last.
  • Badass: Lone Wolf
  • Bad Boss: The Darklords, all over. They generally abuse their Mooks about as much as you'd expect, sending them into a trap-filled tomb just to set said traps off, or torturing underlings for kicks.
  • Bad Samaritan: In Shadow on the Sand, while Lone Wolf is pursued by the Sharnazim in Barrakesh, a civilian pretends to help him by hidding him in his house, but plans to betray the hero for a quick buck, as Lone Wolf's sixth sense warn him.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Mentioned in some places, particularly as one of the reasons for the Exile of the Shianti. Their Moonstone had to be returned to them after being borrowed by Lone Wolf for a while because his home nation started to have way too many "good" things happening to it at once, like winter and autumn disappearing into an eternal spring.
  • Barbarian Tribe:
    • The Ice Barbarians of Kalte, for the bad guys.
    • The Lost Tribe of the Kundi and the Masbate, for the good guys.
  • Battle Aura: Zakhan Kimah has this on steroids with his Orb of Death. The intro to his fight with Lone Wolf in Book 9 has him strolling across the battlefield nonchalantly, with the only normal soldier who dares strike him being instantly disintegrated. This is very likely to happen to Lone Wolf as well.
  • Battle Cry:
    • "For Sommerlund and the Kai!" — Order of the Kai
    • "Shaag Drakkarim!" — Drakkarim
    • "SHEGGA-ASH-TAAG!" — Giaks
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Happens a couple times to Lone Wolf and once to Grey Star.
    • When Lone Wolf defeats the Rahkos in Book 7, it will immediately kill him if he turns his back on it.
    • A Double Subversion occurs in Book 11 when Lone Wolf fights the Scarlet Warrior. The subversion occurs if Lone Wolf gets a one-hit KO on the random number table and actually kills him. It's doubly subverted since the incredibly contrived way the enemy dies means that the last Lorestone is stolen anyway.
    • Grey Star's fight against the Kleasa ends up being one of these as well. Even if Grey Star "wins" the fight — which he might not, considering it's very though — the Kleasa still kicks his ass. The Love Interest Tanith has to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save Grey Star but she recovers at the end of the second book.
  • Beard of Evil: Prince Lutha
  • Bears Are Bad News: One rare actual bear Lone Wolf meets in the series (depending on if he has Animal Control or not) will either just leave him alone when he gets attacked by a pack of hungry Akataz, or he'll come to Lone Wolf's aid and curb-stomp them. So it's bad news for Lone Wolf's enemies, making this a nice change of pace from Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • Belly Mouth: Darklord Zagarna is described in the novels as having a fanged maw in the belly, which is constantly feeding on Giak or human flesh.
  • The Berserker: Some enemies are described as entering fights in a state of rage, making them immune to basic psychic attacks.
    • This is common with the Drakkarim; they're sometimes seen hacking at lowly soldiers on their side, like Giaks, just to reach their main foe.
    • The Acolytes of Vashna are also often seen in battle frenzy in The Legacy of Vashna, thanks to the Adgana herb.
  • Big Bad: While Naar, the King of the Darkness, is the ultimate Big Bad of the setting, each series also has its own Big Bad.
    • Darklord Haakon is the Big Bad in the Kai series, though he's not challenged until Book 5 and most of the Kai series sees "the Darklords" as a whole as the threat.
    • Darklord Gnaag emerges as the main villain of the Magnakai series after he claims the title of Archlord in Book 8.
    • Naar himself takes a more direct role in the Grand Master series.
    • The vampire Sejanoz becomes the Big Bad midway through the New Order Kai series.
    • Further south, the evil Wytch-King Shasarak runs the Shadakine Empire in the World of Lone Wolf books and he's Grey Star's nemesis.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Most of the time, Naar is essentially a Bigger Bad, operating through various minions such as the Darklords, Archdruid Cadak, the Demoness Shamath and Agarash the Damned. They don't usually work together or have anything to do with each other, and some individual villains (Deathlord Ixiataaga as the prime example) act as independent Big Bads of their own books but are only remotely linked to Naar.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of the books include messages written in the Giak language, which can give interesting hints if you can read them (with the help of the Magnamund Companion).
  • Black and White Magic: There is left-handed magic, practiced by the good wizards of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star — which generally focuses on healing, protection, transportation, diplomacy, and detection — and right-handed magic, practiced by the Nadziranim, evil wizards in service to the Darklords of Helgedad — which tends to focus on destruction and the infliction of destruction. That being said, left-handed magic does have at least one offensive spell of destruction, Lightning Hand, which enables the caster to shoot a lightning-bolt out of his hand. There are also other varieties of magic, such as Magi-Magic, practiced by the good Elder Magi of Dessi, as well as the Shianti magic, as practiced by Grey Star, to say nothing of the more supernatural powers of the Kai.
  • Black and White Morality
  • Black Magic: Right-handed Magic, the evil counterpart to the Left-handed Magic used by Banedon and the other wizards of the Crystal Star. Used by the Nadziranim for such fun things as demon summoning, transformation, various destructive spells (though to be fair, the Lefties have these too), and necromancy.
  • Black Speech:
    • The Giak language, lingua franca of the Darklands and Drakkarim.
    • There is also a "dark tongue" that only the Darklords have been seen using. It is described as a harsh, guttural language, with words and sounds that the mouths of men could never form.
  • Black Swords Are Better: The Drakkarim and other Darklord soldiers use weapons with black blades, made of Kagonite. The most dangerous of them all are of course the Darklord swords like KraagenskŻl's Helshezag or Gnaag's Nadazgada. (They still pale before the Sommeswerd, though.)
  • Blessed with Suck: Or possibly The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, though replace "The Computer" with "The Author". The Sommerswerd, mentioned below, makes the next few books in the series much easier, but after that, Dever began compensating by making some fights harder, or taking away non-combat options, if you have it. Perhaps the most egregious example is in Book 11, where having the Sommerswerd forces you into a battle that is almost unwinnable without cheating or massive good luck.

    And in Book 12, if you try to use it too soon... you just die. Since, if you draw it from its Korlinium scabbard in the Darklands, the release of holy energy will tell the entire forces of darkness where you are. The same goes for Books 17 and 20. Even an Infinity+1 Sword is of little good when you're lit up like a Christmas tree and ripe for every evil creature in an entire realm of evil to converge on your location. On the other hand, if you do bring it along it will vaporize the Big Bad.

    You know it's bad when there're fan justifications for the hero not to have his Infinity+1 Sword for Book 11, and for continuity's sake Book 10 as well.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: In Book 10, The Dungeons of Torgar, one of the paths to the end is to travel through the deadly Hellswamp with the partisan leader Sebb Jarel. Eventually, Lone Wolf and Jarel are ambushed by the dreaded Ciquali (frogmen) and Jarel is dragged underwater.
    He surfaces, sword in hand, but is pulled under again and this time he does not reappear. A trail of bubbles and a patch of red water drifting with the current are all there is to mark the grave of Sebb Jarel.
  • Bluff the Impostor: In The Caverns of Kalte, Lone Wolf meets a prisoner in the enemy's fortress, who pretends to be a merchant from Ragadorn, but is in fact a Helghast shapeshifter sent by the Darklords. The game allows asking him a few questions about the city of Ragadorn (visited by Lone Wolf in his earlier quest), and the monster gets the answers wrong. The text never points out whether he is right or not, however: it is up to the player to remember what are the correct answers from the previous book.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Any piece of armor you find add to your Endurance Points. Largely because Combat Skill and Endurance are the only stats you actually have.
  • Body Horror: The Beholder of Yanis in Book 11 used to be a pretty decent-looking guy until he struck a bargain with the Chaos-master.
  • Boisterous Bruiser:
    • The mercenary captain in Book 6.
    • Thog the Barbarian in the novels.
  • Bottled Heroic Resolve:
    • Adgana herb. The strongest CS-enhancing drug in the series, but with a risk of nasty addiction that can reduce the Endurance score permanently.
    • Alether potion, too, with less enhancement but without the side effects. As a result, much more common; you can find a draught about Once per Book.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: Starting with the Magnakai series, the hero can use a bow alongside melee weapons.
  • Bridge Logic: Early on in Castle Death, Lone Wolf has the option of using his telekinesis to do this (assuming he's picked up the Nexus discipline by then, anyway).
  • Bullet Time: In Book 9, during an escape from jail, it is possible for Lone Wolf (on a very high roll helped by Huntmastery and the Circle of Solaris) to see time slowing down as arrows fly toward him, and cut them into matchwood with his sword in one strike.
  • Buried Alive: In Book 15, The Darke Crusade, High Warlord Magnaarn traps Lone Wolf inside an underground temple, which he brings down on the hero. Lone Wolf isn't killed by the collapse but is buried alive and has to tunnel a way out during sixteen days with only the food and water he was carrying. He still survives thanks to his Magnakai powers and determination, but is severely weakened by the ordeal.
  • But Thou Must: Since each book has to have 350 entries (except Book 5) and there's only one good ending, it's inevitable that some choices don't actually matter (you'll end up at the same destination page in a couple turns regardless of the choice). The entries are well-written enough (usually) that this doesn't seem like too forced.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Lone Wolf has Endurance Points. Grey Star also use Willpower for Magic Points.
  • Canon Discontinuity: One of the novelizations (all largely written by John Grant with input from Dever) had an epilogue which was placed at a Distant Finale where a character drove a car and had a digital watch. Any and all suggestions of a technological future for Magnamund were not written by Joe Dever, and have been purged as heresy. (Not to say that advanced technology and Magitek don't exist, they just will never get widespread on Magnamund.)
  • Canon Immigrant: Alyss, the mischievous demigoddess, originated in the Legends of Lone Wolf novels penned by John Grant, but showed up in the proper adventure starting Book 16.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Book 14 has Lone Wolf storming the fortress city of Kaag. References are made to the Giak-spawning vats used to spawn Giaks as cannon fodder... and as an unlimited source of meat. The other Giaks that handle and cook the meat in the kitchens don't seem to mind handling the flesh of their own kind. It is never stated if the Giaks also eat it, but it's quite likely.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • The Magnakai Psi-Surge power cost 2 EN every turn it is used. This makes it not terribly useful in a fight unless the enemy is immune to the ordinary Mindblast. It becomes more interesting by the rank of Archmaster, where it only cost 1 EN for a stronger CS increase, or with the Grand Master upgrade, Kai-Surge.
    • Lone Wolf using his healing powers on someone else can also cost him Endurance if the wounds are extensive.
    • Some spells work by burning Endurance in the adventure where you play Banedon, and sometimes too in the Grand Master books, with Kai-alchemy and Magi-magic.
  • Celibate Hero: Lone Wolf doesn't appear to have a canonical love interest in the main books, though Legends of Lone Wolf gives him a couple of female companions.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: In the first batch of Kai Disciplines, "disciplines" such as Hunting and Camouflage are listed right alongside powers like Sixth Sense and Mindblast.
  • Charm Person: Two examples with rather short-lived effects:
    • The "Mind Charm" spell in Banedon's adventure and the Grandmaster books, as part of Kai-Alchemy.
    • Grey Star's "Enchantment" magic in the World of Lone Wolf spin-off.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • As a staple of Gamebooks, any item found by the protagonist (even seemingly useless trinkets) can prove surprisingly useful later in the book — or sometimes, one or two books further in the series. However, there are also plenty of random items that serve no purpose but to take up space in the backpack, and thus you must choose wisely what you keep. Also, it is quite possible to miss the specific path were any item happens to be used.
    • That Kazim stone Grey Star gets tortured with in Book 1 of his series? Those things become much more significant in Book 4.
  • The Chessmaster: Darklord Gnaag, as revealed in The Claws of Helgedad and The Dungeons of Torgar.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
  • The Chosen One: Lone Wolf himself.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Darklords, as evidenced by Archlord Gnaag's reaction when he walks in on Lone Wolf (in disguise as Darklord Ghanesh's minion) slaying Darklord Taktaal: "Your master would be proud of you!" The fact that Darklord weapons like Helshezag and the Dagger of Vashna give combat bonuses when fighting other Darklords — and are among the very few things, besides the Sommerswerd, which can kill a Darklord — is further proof of their treacherous nature.
  • Clean Cut: Can happen with the Sommerswerd due to Cutscene Power to the Max — especially to The Undead.
  • Clear My Name: In Book 19, Lone Wolf is arrested for the crimes of his Evil Knockoff, Wolf's Bane.
  • Combat Tentacles: Many critters fight this way: Burrowcrawler, Crypt Spawns, Akraa'Neonor, Giant Meresquid, Roctopus, Octagtah, Ictakko, Stragnah, Korozon, Ixian Mhagani....
  • Con Lang: Joe Dever developed the Giak language used by the Darklord armies, with a vocabulary of about 400 words, and rules of grammar for agreement of adjectives and adverbs. It was described in the sourcebook The Magnamund Companion, and readers found that the words spoken by the Giaks in the previous gamebooks were actually translatable.
  • Contemptible Cover: The Legends of Lone Wolf novels generally had covers that were directly relevant to scenes from the story within. Except for The Birthplace.
  • Cool Horse: Wildwind. A gift from Gwynian the Sage, able to go over sixty miles per hour without ever slowing down.
  • Cool Sword:
    • All of the named swords in this series could be considered a Cool Sword:
    • Lone Wolf can make a bunch of these with the new discipline of Kai Weaponcraft once he reach the rank of Kai Supreme Master. In the New Order Kai books, the protagonist receive one of these named weapon (an axe, sword or broadsword). These "Kai-weapons" all offer +5 CS normally and provide bonus CS depending on enemy type, environment, or time of day.
  • Counterpart Artifacts: The Lorestones and Doomstones. The Doomstones were explicitely created by Agarash the Damned in mockery of Nyxator's Lorestones.
  • Cower Power: In The Cauldron of Fear, when confronted by guards, the first reflex of Sogh (the thief helping Lone Wolf escape the jail) is to cower behind the hero and use him as shield.
  • Creepy Crows: It is mentioned that ravens are considered a bad omen in Sommerlund, and indeed whenever they show up in the books, it is in a quite negative light. The fact that some are used by lieutenants of the Darklords as scouts, as seen in Book 1 with a Vordak, sure doesn't help things. In Book 4, the finding of a murder of crows feasting on corpses reveals the fate of the Redshirt Army preceding Lone Wolf.
  • Creepy Souvenir:
    • One Vassagonian warrior wears a necklace of shrunken heads.
    • The south gate of the Darklands city of Kaag is adorned with the huge skull of Nyxator (see below), and covered by the dragon's preserved hide, as a trophy for the Darklords.
  • Crystal Ball:
    • Gwynian the Sage is seen consulting one the first time we meet him in Book 4.
    • In The Skull of Agarash, Lone Wolf and Banedon communicate throughout a pair of crystal balls.
    • A more nefarious version in the Khazim Stones.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Nyxator was the first servant of the God Kai to appear on Magnamund. He created the Lorestones and inspired the Kai Order. He was also a literal dragon.
  • Cultural Translation: Most of the gamebooks were trimmed for US release. The implication was that most of the page trimming was more for purposes of cost-cutting to maximize profit (even if that meant creating an inferior product), not because of cultural editing. Later books in the series suffered from this far worse than earlier ones, because by that point, the series wasn't selling as well.
  • Cutscene Boss: In books 2 and 12 of the series, the fight with the Big Bad is not played out at all if you have the Sommerswerd. However, this is not bad, but rather a Crowning Moment Of Awesome as you see the Big Bad being wiped out in a blaze of holy fire!
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: This can happen if you have the Sommerswerd. Although it sometimes make a combat much harder, or attract enemies you wouldn't have confronted otherwise, it can also allow you to skip some fights entirely, usually with a description of the Curb-Stomp Battle ensuing.
    • Notably the case with a couple of Vordaks (see the Diagonal Cut entry) and a gaggle of Drakkarim in Shadow on the Sand.
    • The game spends several books hyping up Darklord Gnaag. And when you finally fight him, well, if you brought the Sommerswerd with you it isn't so much a fight as it is a very cinematic and fulfilling vaporization.
  • Cyanide Pill: In Dawn of the Dragons, an assassin questioned by Lone Wolf uses a poison pellet hidden in a tooth to kill himself — but also to liberate a Deadly Gas in the cell, trying to take the hero with him. Lone Wolf can shrug off the effects thanks to his Nexus power.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Madelon at the end of Book 4, The Chasm of Doom.
    • Alyss, from the end of Book 19 to the finale in Book 20.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Paido
  • Deadly Disc: Razor discs are used as weapons by some Vassagonian brigands in book 4.
  • Deadly Dodging: Rarely comes into play, as most fight sequences are straightforward.
    • There's an example in book 6, however: in the ruins of Castle Taunor, if Lone Wolf flees from the enraged monster waiting in ambush, you can lure it into jumping down a precipice by dodging at the last moment.
    • In book 7, pushing the Rakhos into a magical trap is the only way to finish off for real the horrific undead flying hand.
    • In book 10, you can end up interrogated by Eruan soldiers while a crossbow is aimed at your back. If Lone Wolf gives an unsatisfactory answer... he can spring away fast enough for the bolt to miss him, hitting instead the captain he was facing. Maybe they should revise their interrogation methods....
  • Deal with the Devil: The malevolent Chaos-master, who grants wishes with the expected Monkey's Paw twists.
  • Death World: The goal of the Darklords is to turn Magnamund into this for everyone but themselves.
  • Degraded Boss: This happens to the Helghast within the same book. In Fire on the Water, the first Helghast (which you can't skip fighting) is very much That One Boss. Even with the highest CS possible and the best combat options, you'll come out of this at best very blooded. Later, a group of six Helghast lay waste on the armored knights who are escorting Lone Wolf (you can fight one if you're feeling brave, but it's safer to flee). Then, close to the ending, you can stumble upon another Helghast aboard Vonotar's ghost fleet... except this time, you're at full health and armed with the Sommerswerd. Between the CS increase and the double damage against undead (and the Helghast is apparently so scared of the sword it forgets about using its psychic powers), you can safely and very satisfyingly crush the monster.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons warriors constitute the main troops of the Ixian Undead.
  • Demonic Invaders: The Agarashi, and to an extent the Darklords and their more inhuman minions.
  • Departure Means Death: The Darklords of Helgedad cannot survive outside the polluted atmosphere of the Darklands without special apparati, which can be magical, but can also include special breathing tanks. Of course, they are attempting to expand the Darklands through conquest.
  • Diagonal Cut: This is the fate of a Vordak in Book 5 if you have the Sommerswerd.
    You strike again, curving the golden blade in a great arc. It bites into the Vordak's neck, tearing through its unnatural body, and severing it diagonally from collarbone to hip.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Book 11 has Lone Wolf take on the aforementioned Chaos-master, the equivalent of the Devil in the Daziarn. Even other physical gods are afraid of it. On the other hand, if you brought the Sommerswerd with you on this adventure, it's probably not a fight you'll win.
    • Book 20 has Lone Wolf doing this constantly.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Kai Monastery at the beginning of the series.
  • Doom Magnet: Whatever you do, never board the same ship/boat/ferry as Lone Wolf. You'll either be attacked by pirates, be the victim of sabotage, sunk by an ironclad battleship, attacked by a hungry sea serpent, captured by a giant fish-shaped boat crewed by a horde of Undead, ambushed and dragged to your death by hungry frogmen, have a necromancer stir up havoc in the taproom, or any combination of the above. Justified to an extent: Lone Wolf is such a powerful force for good that he naturally attracts evil.
  • Doom Troops: The Drakkarim. Their look, with generous use of Rage Helms and Spikes of Villainy, along with their Berserker attitude, sure contribute in making them fearsome to their enemies. Their elites aren't called "Death Knights" for nothing.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom:
    • Doomwolves;
    • The Doomstones (mentioned above);
    • The Doomlands of Naaros in Southern Magnamund;
    • And of course Book 4: The Chasm of Doom (guest star: Barraka the Doomslayer).
    • Furthermore, in Book 5:
      Haakon: Look on your doom, Kai Lord!
  • The Dragon: Big Bad Naar has had several Dragons in the Back Story and throughout the series. The most notable was Agarash the Damned, described as his most powerful champion of evil. Agarash in turn had his own Dragon, the Deathlord Ixiataaga, the Big Bad of Book 17. Ixiataaga even had his own Dragon, Demonlord Tagazin.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Lone Wolf's infiltrating the Darklands while disguised as a Drakkar and (later) Darklord Ghanesh's servant in Book 12. See also the Mugged for Disguise examples.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Lone Wolf himself, in quite a few books, to the point that on a prominent French gamebook forum the term "mast" has become shorthand for "bullshit death caused by dice alone" after an infamous example in Lone Wolf #2 (Fire on the Water) in which an unavoidable storm at sea can lead to Lone Wolf dying ignominously, crushed by a falling mast on a single unmodified (IIRC) dice roll. Worse, the first four Grandmaster books feature such "masts" right between the climactic boss fight and the end of the book — the worst offender probably being The Legacy of Vashna where a post-boss roll of 0-4 (on a d10) kills you outright. You do get bonuses on this roll for each GM book completed prior, so that one's more of a "New reader? Too bad."
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Baron Shinzar from Book 10, The Dungeons of Torgar, wields a huge magical flaming battle-axe in the Battle of Cetza. He is so intoxicated by the awesome power of his weapon that weaker psionic attacks like Mindblast can't affect him.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Technically not allowed in the gamebooks. However, this hasn't stopped some players to homebrew their own rules to gain the bonus of two magic weapons at once.
    • On the other hand, some enemies are clearly dual-wielding (like a Sharnazim officer in Shadow on the Sand), so the above could be deemed a bit unfair.
    • Also, Lone Wolf is seen dual-wielding the Sommerswerd and a dagger in The Skull of Agarash.
  • Due to the Dead: Both paths in Book 8 lead to an example.
  • Dug Too Deep: Kicks off the plot in Fall of Blood Mountain. The greedy crown prince of the dwarves dug too deep into the mountain to mine its valuable veins of Korlinium. The same veins of Korlinium that were keeping the Sealed Evil in a Can sealed. The dwarves even knew that said Evil was sealed deep in the mountain, making the prince seem even more greedy and foolish.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • The only way to escape The Maze in Castle Death.
    • Also, at the very end of War of the Wizards, the armies of the Big Bad are winning despite everything Grey Star have done. So what can the hero do? You use your magic to teleport directly to Shasarak and kill him personally.
  • Dwindling Party:
    • In Book 4, the squad you bring with you is slowly killed off, and will be entirely dead by the end regardless of what path you take.
    • Same thing in Book 3 with the three guides and sled dogs helping Lone Wolf travel the icy wastes of Kalte. By the time he reaches the title Caverns of Kalte, he's alone. However, there are paths where the guides actually survive and just turn back without Lone Wolf.
  • Dying Race: The Elder Magi. In the second book of the New Order series, the Grand Master can attend the funeral/ascension of one of the Magi. It is mentioned that fewer than a hundred Elder Magi remain, and their power is fading with each passing year. The Elder Magi accept their eventual demise, secure in the knowledge that the New Order Kai stand ready to take their place in the fight against evil.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Several enemies Lone Wolf encounters could be considered as such.
    • First and foremost, the Akraa'Neonor summoned by Vonotar in Book 3. It even has the Combat Tentacles.
    • The Agtah and their master the horrific Chaos-master of the Daziarn boast twisted misshappen forms.
    • And then there's the Crypt Spawn....
    • The Kleasa from the World of Lone Wolf series. A Living Shadow from another dimension that eats souls like candy. Worse, the only way you can beat it is by setting it free, to reap evil elsewhere.
  • Elite Mooks: The Drakkarim, in comparison to the lowly Giaks. Further in the series, the ante is upped with the elite of Drakkarim, the Death Knights.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: Touching a newly-discovered Lorestone instantly heals Lone Wolf fully — but only this one time. Other circumstances allowing a complete healing can be found in the books, but they are always plot-related and can't be brought along (to be used, for example, during the fight against That One Bossinvoked). The one exception is Shamath's potion, but it is found near the end of Lone Wolf's adventures, and it has another use anyway.
  • Empathic Weapon:
    • Though no obvious evidence is presented in the books, the actions taken by the Sommerswerd to protect both its wielder and itself may prove that it has a spirit of its own. It will also blast any evil creature who tries to pick it up (as in Book 7) and Book 2 states that it will lose its powers if wielded by one without the Kai gifts.
    • A darker variant is the Darklord sword Helshezag. The sword actually tries to compel Lone Wolf to butcher his enemies, bearing more than a passing resemblance to other cursed swords in fiction, such as Stormbringer — which Joe Dever states was in fact the direct inspiration for Helshezag.
  • The Empire:
    • The Darklands
    • Vassagonia
    • The Shadakine Empire
  • Enemy Civil War:
    • The Darklords really needed a system of succession that didn't involve a massive civil war every time someone whacked the current Archlord.
    • It gets even worse after all the Darklords are exterminated; most of the Darklands cities are then stuck in a state of civil war between various factions, until some new, upstart Big Bad manages to get on top.
  • Energy Absorption: The blade of the Sommerswerd can harmlessly absorb most offensive spells directed at its wielder. Sometimes, the energy is even used to heal Lone Wolf. However, the protection can rarely be foiled if the attack comes from an artifact at least as powerful as the Sword of the Sun, like with Kimah's Orb of Death or Vonotar's Ring of Power.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies:
    • Book 2, Fire on the Water, has a whole ghostly fleet maned by undead as the last obstacle of the story, including zombie crewmates. Since this is just after Lone Wolf gains the Sommerswerd, they really aren't much of a threat.
    • Book 6, The Kingdoms of Terror, has evil lordling Roark raising zombies from a cemetary to try killing Lone Wolf, but he quickly lose control and they attack his men.
    • Book 17, The Deathlord of Ixia, is filled to the brink with undead, including Drakkarim Zombies. Unlike previous zombies in the series, those can be very tough, even with the Sommerswerd.
    • Dire, a reocurring Monster Adventurer in the mini-stories of the Updated Re-release. Fits the Revenant Zombie trope as he still retains memories of his previous life.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • The number of death traps, cold-blooded assassins, evil armies, cursed artifacts, hostile fauna, poisonous (and man-eating) flora, malevolent undead, and hidden ancient evils sealed all over the place that Lone Wolf runs into means something is always trying to kill him. Even when he isn't in a war.
      • Book 1: Lone Wolf may barely escapes sinking in a bog that claims his horse, just to be attacked by a very poisonous snake next. Even lampshaded in the text:
        It seems that nature and the Darklords have conspired against you, but it does not shake your determination to reach the King.
      • Book 6: Though it requires a series of choices you'd have to be a complete idiot to actually make, Lone Wolf can get killed by an evil taxidermist.
      • Book 7: Castle Death is probably the worst about this trope. It's possible to run into magical cobwebs that try to kill Lone Wolf.
      • There are three rules to live by in all the books: Someone offering you hospitality and food? That's poisoned. Someone offering to help you? Is going to try and kill you in your sleep. Someone desperately begging for your help? Of course he's a Helghast, how many times are you going to fall for that trick?
      • Remember this is the series in which you can die fighting a door. Not even a magic/sentient/evil/cursed door, but die trying to open a boring, rusted, ordinary door. Well, it's a door that you're trying to force open after failing the mandatory puzzle lock, while caught in a torrent of acid rain, so it's the rain that's damaging you rather than the door itself. Which doesn't take anything away from the fact that yes, there is an honest-to-Kai combat sequence with a door, complete with Endurance and Combat Score, and you will die if you lose.
    • Grey Star the Wizard has these too. The first book alone has: a room so evil just standing in it can kill you; prehensile swamp plants trying to eat you; man-sized frogs with poison skin that can fly(!!); a soul-eating Kleasa demon; a valley full of poison mist; and worst of all, a hive of thousands of giant acid-spitting preying mantises that you inevitably piss off and have to escape by climbing out of their lair — from the bottom up.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • In Book 19, Lone Wolf's evil clone comes after him.
    • A similar predicament happens to Grey Star in Book 3 of his own series.
  • Evil Old Folks:
    • Lord Zahda
    • Archdruid Cadak
  • Evil Overlords: The Darklords and Wytch-King Shasarak have this trope written all over them.
  • Evil Sorcerers:
    • Shasarak the Wytch-King
    • Vonotar the Traitor
    • Lord Zahda
    • Nadziranim
    • Cener Druids...
  • Expanded Universe: The Magnamund Companion; the Tabletop RPG; The Skull of Agarash graphic novel; the Legends of Lone Wolf novels...
  • Face-Design Shield: A common feature of the illustrations by Gary Chalk. The Magnamund Companion has some notable examples.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Shasarak the Wytch-King was once a Shianti wizard, a member of the very group that sent Grey Star on his quest.
  • Faceless Eye: In the bonus story of the reprint of Book 7, Tavig faces down a creature called the All-Seeing One, a roughly humanoid creature whose head is just one big eye.
  • Faceless Goons: The Drakkarim. To the point it can take a while for a newcomer to the series to even realize they're supposedly humans.
  • Fallen Angel: Some of the side materials, novelization and some lines of the gamebooks imply the Darklords may have been something like this. That they used to be immortal spirits who weren't evil (might even have been good) before Naar re-made them as literal and figurative monsters and sent them to conquer Magnamund for him.
  • Familiar: The shapeshifting Liganim are described as the Nadziranim's familiars. Of note is the one in the form of a Shoulder-Sized Dragon from The Skull of Agarash.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Alether; Larnuma; Copalla; Thatchwort; Volko...
  • Fantasy Metals:
    • "Bronin" is a metal that looks like bronze but will not tarnish with age or use like ordinary alloys of copper and tin. Lone Wolf can find a Bronin Warhammer (+1 CS, though non-magical) and a Bronin Vest (replacing the Chainmail Waistcoat) during his travels.
    • "Kagonite" is a black metallic mineral, light as wood yet ten times harder than steel. It is what gives the Darklord troops' weapons their black appearance. Lone Wolf can loot a Kagonite Chainmail from a fallen enemy, and "Because it is so light, it can be worn beneath any padded or metallic body armour you may possess."
    • "Korlinium" — see Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Not Lone Wolf himself, but the New Order Grand Master you control from book 21 onwards.
  • Fiction 500: High-Mayor Cordas. Said to be the wealthiest man in Magnamund and able to order the construction of a skyship to be finished within a month for the sole purpose of helping Lone Wolf travel home more quickly.
  • Fictionary: The Giak language, which has some fun grammar.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: "Let us say that the wisdom of the Kai and the lore of the Magicians' Guild can surpass the limitations of even time itself." Loi-Kymar seems to think that "We got here so fast because we teleported." is too easy.note 
  • Fingore: An ugly dwarf servant of Zahda gets his fingers blasted from daring to pick the Sommerswerd.
  • Fish People: Bhakish; Ciquali; Xlorg
  • Flaming Sword:
    • The Sommerswerd has holy sunfire on its edge when it faces particularly evil foes.
    • The Darklord blades, like Helshezag or the Dagger of Vashna, are surrounded by black flames when used.
    • In the Grand Master series, if Lone Wolf is a Sun Lord with Grand Weaponmastery, he can set any normal weapon's edge aflame for extra damage in battle.
    • Flaming swords are the favored weapons of Nadziranim under the ice dragon form.
  • Forced Prize Fight: In book 21, the New Order Kai Grand Master must fight Dromodon the Invincible, the champion gladiator, after accidentally killing his intended opponent due to drinking from the wrong fountain. While the Grand Master is initially sorry to have to kill the man to earn his freedom, he "looks into his eyes" and somehow realizes that Dromodon is a worshipper of Naar, meaning it's okay to kill him. A fairly transparent attempt to keep the Grand Master from appearing too morally grey.
  • Forged by the Gods: More specifically "a race that men would now call gods" for the Sommerswerd.
  • From Dress to Dressing: On their (possibly second) meeting in Shadow on the Sand, Lone Wolf tends to Banedon's wound with strips of the wizard's journeymaster robes.
  • Gaiden Game:
    • The World of Lone Wolf books serve as this, following the wizard Grey Star who lives at the very southern tip of Magnamund, whereas Lone Wolf hangs out mainly in Northern Magnamund.
    • Also, most of the newly re-published old books have a new short adventure at the end where you take the role of one of the characters you have met during the course of the main adventure, each having their own unique gameplay style.
  • Gargle Blaster: Bor-brew ale can put even a Kai Master in a coma.
  • Genre Savvy: After 20 books, Lone Wolf realizes that Naar and his minions are obsessed with him. He knew that if he tried to take the Moonstone back to the Shianti, then every servant of Naar would be trying to kill him before the week was up. So Lone Wolf passes the job to someone else, thinking that Naar's followers would be focused on himself instead. It works. Most of the threats the New Order Grand Master encounters in Book 21 are coincidences; he only meets one Naar worshipper, and that is by accident.
  • Giant Flyer: Zlanbeast, Kraan, Itikar, Lavas... and a few dragons.
  • Giant Mook: Gourgaz
  • Global Airship: Banedon's skyship, Skyrider. After it gets shot down in Book 18, Lone Wolf gives Banedon the ship he got in the book, Cloud Dancer.
  • Global Currency Exception:
    • The various currencies can usually be spent interchangeably... but woe betide you if you try using the wrong currency as a bribe. Kika, the currency of the Darklands, takes this a step further: you can't spend it at all (except as a bribe in said Darklands). Basically, its purpose is to take up space in your Belt Pouch and to convince the naysayers at the Kai Monastery that, yes, these fiends do have an economy.
    • One tavern in the New Order series will only accept Gold Crowns or Silver Lune. The felt currency your companion carries is useless and the tavernkeeper will kick you out if you offer Ren from the Autocracy of Bhanar since Bhanarese soldiers killed the tavernkeeper's son.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Helghast
  • God of Evil: Naar
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The Kai Discipline of Healing is a favored choice amongst most players, and for good reason. There are so many ways for Lone Wolf to get sliced and diced, stabbed, concussed, burnt, frozen, poisoned, contaminated, mind-fried, life-drained or just generally hurt, to make it a very good thing he can heal.
  • Good Weapon, Evil Weapon: Very much enforced on Magnamund; you can tell which side most troops are just from a look at their weapons. Just for the Sommlending, you have a prevalence of "clean" weapons like swords, longbows, crossbows, spears and lances for the knights. The evil Giaks, on the other hand, use curved knives and swords, warhammers, spears and pikes as well as bows and arrows, all forged in a black metal. Same thing with the Drakkarim, usually wielding swords, axes and polearms with a strong preference for serrated edges. The morally ambiguous Vassagonians are mostly seen with scimitars and curved knives, and so on....
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Books 6-11 involve searching for the seven lost Lorestones one by one.
  • Gradual Regeneration: How the various Healing disciplines work in the original books.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: In the beginning of Book 20, the Elder Magi give Lone Wolf what is essentially a travel guide to the Plane of Darkness. It's pretty much the only reason Lone Wolf has even a snowball's chance in (literally) Hell of succeeding.
  • Great Gazoo: Alyss
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Although even smart guards would have a hard time against a psychic hero specialized in infiltration and camouflage, some over the series display the typical incompetence associated with this trope.
    • For example, in Shadow on the Sand, two Vassagonian gaolers believe their prisoner has escaped when they can't see him through the peephole, just because Lone Wolf is sitting against the door. And he isn't even doing it on purpose, but still gets the opportunity to ambush them when they open the cell.
    • In Dawn of the Dragons, the Eldenorian guards capturing Lone Wolf and bringing him before Prince Lutha take his gold, backpack and weapons... but not the weapon-like special items. Including the Sommerswerd!note  The collector reedition explains this by having the soldiers being quite superstitious of touching magical artifacts or weapons.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Completely averted in this series. Anytime an enemy has one of the "primitive" Bor Muskets, Lone Wolf will either die instantly or face a random number roll that could still result in instant death. Apparently, wielding awesome Psychic Powers granted by the Sun God doesn't count for much against guns.
  • Healing Factor: The various Healing disciplines; most of the time they are just granting Gradual Regeneration, but there are instances when they can explicitely save the protagonist's life from grevious injuries, poisoning, or diseases. Especially with Curing by the rank of Archmaster, or the Grandmaster discipline of Deliverance, which can heal 20 Endurance Points even in the middle of a fight if the total falls too low, though only once per adventure.
  • Healing Hands: The various Healing disciplines allow a Kai lord to heal others by laying his hands.
  • Healing Herb:
    • Laumspur, which you can find over most of Magnamund.
    • Oede herb is considerably rarer, but powerful enough to qualify as Panacea.
  • Healing Potion: A staple of the game; the most common kind is the Laumspur potion. There are other varieties, more or less efficient, like Rendalim's elixir, Larnuma oil or liquor, Kourshah wine, Oxydine tincture, Oede herb, etc. Very useful even with the Healing discipline, since it's quite easy to get mangled beyond what your Gradual Regeneration can quickly repair.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The Slavemaster of Aarnak in Book 12, who has had enough of the Darklords and their destructive ways. Later becomes the first president of Magador under his birth name, Kadharian.
  • Hell Hound: Pretty much every dog in this series could count. Especially Demonlord Tagazin, a huge sabretoothed jackal, and one of the strongest foes in the series.
  • Helping Hands:
    • The Rakhos in Castle Death.
    • The novelization of Fire on the Water also describes the severed limbs of the zombies from Vonotar's ghost fleet still moving on their own until hacked to pieces.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: While there are other types of magic weapons, a few of which are even halfway decent, the best magic weapons are swords.
  • Hero of Another Story: Banedon is implied to be on his own adventures when he's offscreen. He starts out, like Silent Wolf, as a slacker student, and eventually becomes Guildmaster of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star.
    • Such as winning an airship staffed by gun-toting dwarves. You find that one out when he rescues Lone Wolf in Shadow on the Sand.
    • In The Legacy of Vashna, it's mentioned that Banedon is in Bhanar on some quest and not expected to be back before the end of the year. As we learn in the New Order series, Bhanar is a country led by a dark magic-using tyrant who is also a Vampire and whose army uses guns powered by steam. One wonders what Banedon was up to there!
    • One of Banedon's missions turning sour is the setup behind The Captive of Kaag where Lone Wolf needs to rescue him.
  • Hero Protagonist
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In Lone Wolf's case, it's "Hero Stole My Horse" — repeatedly over the course of the series. As well as "Hero Stole My Flying Mount".
  • High Fantasy
  • Hit Points: Or Endurance Points, as they're known here.
  • Holy Hand Grenade:
    • The Sommerswerd. Uses the blessed power of light... to obliterate the enemies of the Kai.
    • The Moonstone too. In The Buccaneers of Shadaki, just showing the artefact to an undead immediately destroys it.
    • Flasks of Holy Water in Book 4. Throwing a flask at the Dagger of Vashna makes the flask explode violently. Lone Wolf will lose three Endurance points, while the villain who was holding the dagger suffers far worse: he is on fire, one arm was torn off by the blast, and his eyes are gone.
  • Hook Hand: In Book 5, during the palace prison escape path, you can meet "Hammerfist the Armourer", a huge weaponsmith with a hand replaced by a warhammer for both fighting and metalworking.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The Darklords thrive in toxic environments and cannot stand clean ones. Thus, their forces slowly spread out and turn the land into Mordor.
  • Humanoid Abomination: About every one of the Darklords qualify. They have quite varied appearances, but are usually humanoid (or close enough; Darklord Taktaal is a Snake Person). Darklord Gnaag is essentially the Brundle Fly. Darklord Haakon is the closest to this since the Legends of Lone Wolf novels reveal that he has the face of a young human man under his black helm.
  • Humanshifting: The Helghast (plural).
  • Hypno Trinket: The golden bracelets used by Vonotar to control the Ice Barbarians in Book 3.
  • Ice Palace: The ice-fortress of Ikaya.
  • Idiot Ball: This being a Choose Your Own Adventure type of series, the player can make Lone Wolf hold it if he's faced with a situation where some of the choices are clearly dumber than the others. Some examples:
    • Book 1: If you fall into a tomb in a graveyard known for being the home to ancient horrors... why yes, do open the sarcophagus please, what could go wrong?
    • Book 2: If a zombie captain (that you've known when he was alive) asks you to put down the Sommerswerd so his soul could be freed... of course you can trust him and discard your magic weapon while on a ship full of undead.
    • Book 3: If you find a pretty golden bracelet on the body of an obviously mind-controlled Ice Barbarian, when it is known his people lacks metal and never fancied any jewelry, you can safely put it on your own wrist... Vonotar would just love to have a word with you.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place:
    • Joe Dever loves this trope, as is evident from such titles as The Chasm of Doom, The Kingdoms of Terror, Castle Death and The Jungle of Horrors.
    • Many of the actual place names fit the bill too, such as the Darklands, the Doomlands of Naaros (you know it's bad when it's got Doomy Dooms of Doom and is named after the Big Bad) and the Hellswamp.
  • The Igor: Lord Zahda has two of them, a hunchback and an ugly dwarf.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • The cannibal wretches of the Forbidden City.
    • The ghouls in Tahou's "Cauldron".
  • I'm Melting: Many of the living dead (like Vordaks, Helghast, and some Ixian bosses) dissolve into foul-smelling liquid when destroyed.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: Lone Wolf taking the place of Wolf's Bane at the end of Book 19.
  • Improbable Age: The New Order Grandmaster reaches the Grandmaster rank at the age of twenty, exceeding the skills of the greatest masters of the First Order in less time than it took Lone Wolf. For further details: by the end of the The Lords of Darkness Lone Wolf has rebuilt the monastery but has no apprentices. Five years later in The Plague Lords of Ruel, he's got apprentices. Seven Years later the first new Order Book happens, which means that your character achieved Grand Mastery in at most twelve years. And he's not alone since by then, four other Kai Lords of the New Order hold a similar rank.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Eshnar in Book 4. The moment you visit the town, you can tell there's something wrong. By then, it's too late.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Sommerswerd, acquired in the second book. The most powerful sword in the series, it's somewhat of a Game Breaker until later books give enemies power-ups to counter it. It's still an incentive for people to read from the beginning. In that book, the Sommerswerd is in fact the Sword of Plot Advancement; as an Old Save Bonus it acts as the Infinity+1 Sword in later books.

    In the iOS games, the Sommerswerd is retooled and requires Kai power (magic points) to unleash it. It's still a powerful weapon, but it's no longer a Game Breaker.
  • InfinityĖ1 Sword: Skarn-Ska in book 20, so you'll have a potent magic weapon to use against the more resilient members of Naar's entourage, but not quite as good as the Sommerswerd so you'll still have a reason to read the series from the beginning.
  • Instant Sedation: Both the case with Tranquillizer Darts or Knockout Gas — as usual, a big source of Cutscene Incompetence.
  • Interspecies Romance: The Legends of Lone Wolf books imply Banedon (a human mage) and Alyss (a demigoddess) have a thing for each other.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle
  • Joker Jury: Lone Wolf gets one such mock-trial in Book 7, Castle Death. The sentence? "The Maze!"
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Maybe he's not as bad as some video-game heroes, but still, Lone Wolf always has the option to thoroughly check for loot wherever he goes. It's part of the Inventory Management Puzzle, as many items, precious or not, won't come into play and just waste space in the backpack. Nonetheless, if you want to drag along that bag of silver nuggets or that ingot of platinum for the rest of the adventure, you can! The Kai monastery can always need some rebuilding/refitting, after all.
  • Knockout Gas: In Castle Death, such a gas is filling some trapped rooms or delivered by an ugly dwarf blowing it in your face through a brass tube.
  • Large and in Charge: Gourgaz
  • Laser Blade: Darklord Haakon summons one from his magic stone to fight Lone Wolf.
  • Last of His Kind: Lone Wolf is the only survivor of the Kai Lords, until he rebuilds the Kai Order in the Grand Master books.
  • Level Scaling: Enemies you meet in the late Grandmaster Books, or New Order series, may be things like common guards or street thugs, yet they will have stats that may compare to or surpass that of the Darklords' finest soldiers from the first few books.
  • Letter Motif: If it has a double A in it (whether "it" is a creature, character or place) then it's trouble. Possibly justified if one assumes that the only language in Magnamund that contains the "double A" phoneme is the one used by all of Naar's minions. If all the really evil stuff is being named by the really evil people using words in their evil language, the similarity makes a lot more sense.
    • Characters: Gnaag, Haakon, Ixiataaga, Kekataag the Avenger, KraagenskŻl, Magnaarn, Naar, the Shog'aash, Taktaal.
    • Creatures: Akraa'Neonor, Dentaag, Dholdaarg, Dhorgaan, Kraan, Muntaag, Plaak, Taan-spider.
    • Places: Aarnak, Dejkaata, Kaag, Haagadar, Maaken (Maakengorge, Maakenmire), Naaros, Xaagon, Zaaryx.
  • Lizard Folk: Gourgaz; Crocaryx
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • Lord Zahda and his Doomstone with Kazan-Oud.
    • Deathlord Ixiataaga with Xaagon.
  • Long-Running Book Series
  • Loophole Abuse: The Shianti have sworn to the godess Ishir that they would no longer get involved in the world of mortals and never leave the Isle of Lorn. However, the serment said nothing about adopting a human child serendipitously washed ashore their island, teaching him their magic and then sending Grey Star fighting against Wytch-King Shasarak....
  • Lost Forever: Any item you don't grab in its book (or any item from a book you skip) is generally lost forever.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: If a truly evil creature makes the mistake of simply holding the Sommerswerd — as an ugly dwarf servant of Lord Zahda painfully discovers in Castle Death — it will cost it a few fingers.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Pick a number from the Random Number Table. If it is 6 or less, "Your life and your quest end here." Anybody who tells you they read the books all the way through without cheating is lying. Well... that, or their OCD makes them insane enough create a new character each and every single time the Random Number God frowns on them.
  • MacGuffin Guardian:
    • Lord Haakon himself, and the monsters he summons, must be vanquished to retrieve the Book of the Magnakai at the end of book 5, Shadow on the Sand.
    • The monstruous Dakomyd guards the first Lorestone in book 6, The Kingdoms of Terror.
    • The Crocaryx and the Zadragon in book 9, The Cauldron of Fear.
    • Book 20, The Curse of Naar, can be said to be mostly a series of MacGuffin Guardians, as several Demon Lords must be beaten to retrieve each time a new Plot Coupon.
  • Mad Artist: Chanda the Taxidermist
  • Mad Scientist: The Cener Druids are the medieval equivalent of Mad Scientists. They specialize in experiments that surpass Josef Mengele in sadism and really love biological warfare. In the Back Story they nearly wiped out the mighty Elder Magi with a plague and in Book 13 they plan to do the same to everybody else.
  • Magic Antidote: Oede Herb; its effects are pretty much instantaneous.
  • Magic Knight:
    • The Vakeros Order, servants of Mages that Lone Wolf eventually befriends.
    • In the Grand Master series, Lone Wolf can choose one of two styles of magic as a skill set to go along with his others. The Kai Lords themselves can be considered psionic knights.
    • On the villains' side, Lone Wolf can duel against a Ziran in Book 10, a Drakkar in full armor and fighting with a Magic Wand.
  • Magitek: Present in some places. Most notably, the skyships like Banedon's Skyrider and Cloud Dancer, and several of Naar's minions in Book 19.
  • Mana: Grey Star's Shianti magic uses Willpower points in the World of Lone Wolf spin-off. Not the case in the main series or Banedon's short adventure, where spells are Cast from Hit Points.
  • The Man Behind the Man:
    • Naar, King of the Darkness is the real Big Bad of the entire series, and the one who created the Darklords. Possibly subverted; though he's not mentioned in the first twelve books, being a god of evil, his existence was probably widely known already. He is heavily mentioned in the novelizations.
    • A better example of this trope exists in the World of Lone Wolf books starring Grey Star. Sealed Evil in a Can Agarash the Damned is The Man Behind the Man to Wytch-King Shasarak.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Especially in the earlier books that read more like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. The sheer number of non-combat-related ways Lone Wolf can die in the series rivals Shadowgate.
  • Mauve Shirt:
    • Don't get too attached to any of the named characters who get characterization and accompany Lone Wolf on any of his adventures. If they stick around for more than a few page turns, chances are they're going to die horribly. Depending on the path taken, examples of ill-fated Mauve Shirts can be found in Books 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 18. In other words, more than half the series. The guy's called "Lone Wolf" for a reason.

      There are exceptions, however, notably Vakeros Warrior Paido, Guildmaster Banedon and Captain Prarg. If one of them happens to die while they accompany Lone Wolf, the hero meets his end shortly thereafter (making these books somewhat Escort Missions). The three of them get captured by the enemy at some point, but are later rescued by Lone Wolf. Sadly, Paido isn't an exception to the end. He was killed off-screen by Gnaag at the end of Book 10. Lone Wolf learns this in Book 20 when he finds Paido's soul being tortured in the Plane of Darkness. Ouch.
    • Generally speaking, if the survival of that side character travelling with Lone Wolf isn't Lone Wolf's or his Lieutenant's mission objective (i.e.: Banedon in The Captive of Kaag or Karvas in Mydnight's Hero), then that companion is not going to make it to the end — this is almost guaranteed if that person is with the protagonist from the start of the book. If the character is specifically referred to as a "guide" for the protagonist, then his death/capture with subsequent death is almost certain — being designated as Guide to a Kai Lord is a death sentence. Captain Prarg is probably the most notable exception, as he survives the entirety of The Darke Crusade (despite being assigned as Lone Wolf's guide!), though he gets separated from Lone Wolf a few times, captured twice, even freeing himself from capture once, yet still makes it team up with Lone Wolf during the climax and live through it to cameo in a later book! And that's after he survived another bout of travel with Lone Wolf in The Dungeons of Torgar. Interestingly enough, in that book, another path can lead to never meeting Prarg, instead taking the leader of The Resistance Sebb Jarel as a guide. Sebb dies almost midway to escorting Lone Wolf.
    • The four named Siyenese Rangers who team up with Lone Wolf's Lieutenant from Vampirium make it to the very final confrontation before they either die or wind up being left behind at the clutches of the Autarch Sejanoz.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Rare, but some situations can result in permanent reduction of Endurance or Combat Skill. Notably, surviving the explosion of a Vordak gem, trying to climb bare-handed out of the icy Caverns of Kalte, or getting addicted to Adgana herb.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Grey Star is incredulous at Kundi magic rituals; he can't actually sense any sorcery being performed whatsoever by their kooky shaman, yet the mantiz bite on his leg heals somehow and their shaman does manage to point the way to the Shadow Gate. One possibility is that the Shianti use Magic A and the Kundi use Magic B, but it's never confirmed.
  • The Maze: Lone Wolf faces this scenario in Book 7, after being caught by yet another evil overlord, stripped of his weapons, and sentenced to a maze. The maze isn't actually that big, but it's certainly riddled with lethal monsters. It is tricky in the sense that actually reaching the center kills you. To continue with the story, Lone Wolf has to cheat.
  • Meaningful Name: Magnamund is almost Latin for "big world".
  • Medieval European Fantasy: For the most part, although differently-themed civilisations are visited, and some parts of the world are heavily (and evilly) Steam Punk.
  • Medieval Stasis: Right from the Word of God, as Dever has stated that Magnamund does not have a "technological" future. The idea was hinted at in one of the deuterocanonical Legends novels, and was Fanon Discontinuity among most fans even before Dever confirmed it. This doesn't stop a mecha wolf, a time bomb, and power-armored warriors wielding laser spears from appearing in Book 19, among other things. Of course, this all takes place on the moon of a different planet.
  • Mega-Maw Maneuver: In The Deathlord of Ixia, Lone Wolf's ship is "swallowed" by a huge sea vessel shaped like a giant fish, and dry-docked inside. Then Drakkarim Zombies board it and slaughter the crew.
  • Mind over Matter: The namesake Kai discipline.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Moonstone, Lorestones and Doomstones.
  • Mirror Match:
    • Lone Wolf vs. Wolf's Bane.
    • Grey Star vs. the Jahksa.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The Slavemaster of Aarnak realizes that he's going to outlive his usefulness sooner or later, and cuts a deal with the Elder Magi to betray the Darklords.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • Several beasts of Magnamund are these, like the Anarian Sky-snake or the Ixian Mhagani.
    • Also, the Cener Druids' creations are often a mixture of various creatures.
    • However, it is even more prominent with beings of chaos, like the Daziarn's Agtah or the Plane of Darkness' Chaos-horde and Demons. The Chaos-master is a mix and match of many animals, all of which keep changing shape all the time.
  • Money for Nothing: Though it never becomes completely useless, money does become less useful in the later books. Justified since some of them are set in places that have little use for currency, such as an icy wasteland populated by The Undead, a jungle moon orbiting another planet, and the Plane of Darkness (the series' equivalent to Hell).
  • Mook Carryover: The death of all the Darklords at the end of the Magnakai series sure throws their troops in complete disarray and makes them an easy pick for the forces of Good, but it doesn't lead to their complete destruction. Thus, in the Grand Master series, slews of Drakkarim, Giaks, Kraan, Zlanbeasts, Vordaks, Helghast, Nadziranim and other foul monsters still exist, although for the most part locked in civil wars in the Darklands. The aim of some of the new antagonists, like Archdruid Cadak or High Warlord Magnaarn, is precisely to regain control of these armies and resume conquest of Magnamund.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Vordaks
  • Mordor: A few examples in the series, most especially the Darklands.
  • Moses in the Bullrushes: How Grey Star ended up on the Isle of Lorn being reared by the Shianti. Despite the magic winds and illusions usually preventing mortals from reaching the island, after an especially violent storm a baby is found among some wreckage by the demigods. Seeing the hands of fate behind this unlikely event, they adopt the child and teach him their magic, in the hope he could one day deal with the evil of Wytch-King Shasarak.
  • Mugged for Disguise: It is not unknown for Lone Wolf to kill some Evil Minions for clothes before sneaking into enemy strongholds. This can happen in Book 5 to a Vassagonian messenger, in Book 12 to a Drakkar horseman, in Book 13 to a Cener Druid or in Book 16 with an Acolyte of Vashna. It helps that most enemy Mooks are either Faceless Goons or In the Hood.
  • Mugging the Monster: Various rogues (robbers, thieves, bandits, pirates, backstabbers, grave diggers, pickpockets, brigands...) regularly try to mug Lone Wolf or his lieutenant in their travels. More often than not, it's the hero who ends up richer and the cutthroats dead. Later in the series, the book may not even involve the player in such encounters. You get an off-hand paragraph that you're set upon by bandits, demanding gold but instead "receiving a harsh lesson in the powers of a Kai Master".
  • Multi-Melee Master: The Magnakai or Grand Master Weaponmastery disciplines give bonus with a wide array of weapons. Even though it isn't mandatory, considering that there are two weapon slots in the inventory it is probable Lone Wolf will have at least two weapons around, not counting the "special item" ones. Even with the Sommerswerd as favored weapon, some places exist where using it is unsafe, forcing you to rely on a secondary weapon.
  • Mushroom Samba:
    • The calacene mushrooms in Book 4.
    • Possibly, Bor-brew ale in Book 8.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Of course, as Lone Wolf, you run toward these.
    • Maybe a mild example here, but most people probably wouldn't be too eager to meet beings named "KraagenskŻl" or "Haakon", even if they weren't Darklords. (On the other hand, Haakon was/is a fairly popular name for Norwegian royalty for more than 1000 years.)
    • Another example is the eponymous "Castle Death" from Book 7, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Book 7 is one of the harder books in the series; the castle is full of monsters and traps, and that's before Lone Wolf gets to the Maze...
    • Then there's the Deathlord of Ixia. Even the Darklords feared this guy. So will you.
  • The Necrocracy: Ixia — malevolent kind, with both ruler and subjects undead.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Destroying the Rune that controls the Soultaker in Rune War also left it stranded in Magnamund. As if having a pissed-off demon trapped on your world wasn't bad enough, said demon kidnaps Lone Wolf at the end of the book.
    • Grey Star prevents Agarash the Damned from escaping onto Magnamund by hurling the almighty Moonstone into the portal before the demon can go through. Later, Lone Wolf finds out that the Moonstone has ended up in the hands of Naar himself, allowing him to create portals to and from the plane of evil at whim. You have to wonder if Grey Star's victory gambit is what ultimately allowed Naar to find it....
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Book 11 concludes with three boss-level fights in close succession (one of which is virtually impossible if you have the Infinity+1 Sword) with hardly any chance to heal between the last two.
    • Book 17 is pretty bad too. Nearly every enemy encounter verges on Demonic Spiders invoked territory, and the battles against the Big Bad and his Dragon are some of the hardest in the series. And just like the battles in Book 11, there is almost no chance to heal in between the boss fights. And in this case you might actually need the Infinity+1 Sword to beat the boss.
  • No Name Given: The New Order protagonist has no canon name. Or even background prior to joining the Kai monastery (unlike Lone Wolf whose family, and village of origin, are all mentioned). A popular fan theory is that his name is Firestar, mentioned in a few books as Lone Wolf's most senior apprentice. Firestar is the one who takes command of the monastery to defend it while Lone Wolf is away in Dawn of the Dragons and then takes command again while Lone Wolf is away during Wolf's Bane. As New Order books mention that the protagonist is one of the five oldest students, and that he help command during the siege against Naar's dragons, it seems logical to assume he is indeed Firestar. Especially as Firestar is not mentioned again, another Grand Master named Bright Star is mentioned instead. Ironically, the name Firestar is not a possible result of the random table for generating Kai Names, as Fire and Star are both suffixes.
  • Noble Wolf: Lone Wolf himself draws on this symbolism with his name.
  • No Body Left Behind: Among others, the Darklords and Nadziranim fade into nothingness when killed. See also I'm Melting.
  • No Fair Cheating: Very rarely, when a situation calls for the Random Number Table to be used, turning to the page reserved for landing a 9 (which usually means the best outcome, period) will instead give you a Non-Standard Game Over. Of course, these being a literary medium means that it's not all that effective.
  • No-Gear Level: This can happen to the hero every couple of books early on. Notably in Book 2, after you get shipwrecked; in Book 5, 9 and 17, if Lone Wolf has to get out of jail; and unavoidably in Book 7, Castle Death, when thrown into The Maze.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: The Lone Wolf series follows this trope. Grey Star, on the other hand, has an implied romance between Grey Star and Tanith, but it only became fully canon when they married in supplementary material.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: If you inadvertently put the fortress of Ikaya on alert in Book 3, you get an ending where you escape back home without dying or completing your mission to capture Vonotar — the only place in the whole series where you can fail your mission without dying.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: When Roark first shows up in Book 6, Lone Wolf takes him down a peg or two with no effort. Later he turns out to be a demon worshipper who sics undead after Lone Wolf. Then if you meet him in Book 10, he actually manages to summon Demonlord Tagazin back to Magnamund. Finally, Lone Wolf meets Roark again in Book 18, where he shows up as a ghost. A ghost with powerful telekinetic abilities who has a surprisingly high Combat Skill. Not bad for someone who isn't originally a supernatural being or sorcerer.
  • Oh Crap:
    • These are the words (or the Magnamund equivalent at least) that probably go through the minds of all the villains when Lone Wolf inevitably shows up to hand them their asses, and it shows. Book 12 has some good examples.
    • The best one is probably from Vonotar the Traitor in Book 3:
      "Who dares disturb me?" he hisses, rising from the Brumalmarc throne, his eyes searching for an intruder. Upon seeing you, he emits a horrified gasp and fumbles for his black staff. He has the look of a criminal who has been discovered in the act of some dreadful crime.
    • Each time Lone Wolf meets the Crypt Spawns, the text makes it clear that this is his reaction.
    • Lone Wolf also has this reaction to the Mech-Wulf in book 19.
    • In Shadow on the Sand, the Vassagonian envoy who escorts Lone Wolf to Vassagonia reacts with horror when he finds out that Kimah is the new ruler of Vassagonia. The unlucky envoy barely has enough time to warn Lone Wolf that he's been Lured Into a Trap before Kimah's soldiers behead him.
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • Each book read about the same character gives bonuses to "rank", equipment, and one skill for each book. Except for whatever doesn't carry over, presumably for game balance. Although everything can be carried over until Book 13.
    • Whether or not you recognize returning characters depends on whether or not you've played the previous gamebook(s) featuring that character.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Lone Wolf chases Wolf's Bane into one (floating in the clouds) in Book 19.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Turns out the Crocaryx in Book 9 were created by Kai for the sole purpose of guarding a Lorestone. Once said Lorestone is no longer in their possession, the narration announces that this is the beginning of the demise of their race. Makes one wonder when humans will outlive their usefulness.
  • Once per Episode: Starting with Book 16, The Legacy of Vashna, a dive through a Shadow Gate and a visit to the Plane of Darkness is mandatory for Lone Wolf in every book.
  • One-Handed Zweihšnder: Sun Knights with Grand Weaponmastery are able to wield two-handed weapons with full effect, using only one hand.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Lampshaded in book 4: "Your presence here is worth a hundred men."
  • One-Winged Angel: The Nadziranim ("dark sorcerers") always adopt a more appropriate combat form before entering a fight; their favorite is that of an Ice Dragon (sometimes wielding a Flaming Sword in addition to the deadly cold Breath Weapon).
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Lone Wolf" is not his birth name, nor even the name he was given when he first joined the monastery. It was "Silent Wolf" before he changed his name due to being the Last of His Kind. Lone Wolf's birth name is never mentioned. (At least, not in the gamebooks themselves.)
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Constantly. Sometimes the series gets cheeky by giving you a riddle with a numerical answer and asking you to turn to the page with that number.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: The Sommerswerd can only be used to its full potential by a Kai Lord. If wielded in combat by anyone else, it is said that its power will fade and be lost forever. Being the last of the Kai Lords at the beginning of the series, Lone Wolf is naturally The Chosen One.
  • Order Reborn: Lone Wolf eventually rebuilds the Kai Monastery and trains several apprentices.
  • Orphaned Etymology: In Book 4, a demonic enemy was briefly described as "satanic", even though Magnamund is a world totally unrelated to Earth and Christian tropes. The term is never used again.
  • Our Dragons Are Different:
    • The extinct Sun Dragons from the Backstory.
    • The Lavas in the Grand Master books (which bear a passing resemblance to D&D Draconians).
    • In the appropriately-titled Book 18 Dawn of the Dragons, the dragons Naar intends to unleash on Magnamund to kill everything.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Although Magnamund lacks most classical fantasy races (elves, gnomes, halflings...), the dwarves from the mountain kingdom of Bor are pretty much standard fare. They're even known for their mechanical prowess and invented guns.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Deathlord Ixiataaga. Fits within the undead sorcerer mold, but he obviously never was human to begin with.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Giaks
  • Outscare the Enemy: It is explained in The Magnamund Companion that Giaks are much more afraid of their officers than of the enemy. Which proved a weakness early on, as the Sommlending archers were quick to figure out that if you targeted and killed the Giak commanders, their troops would readily disband in panic. This forced the Darklords to look for stronger, arrow-resistant platoon leaders, which they found in the huge Gourgaz lizardfolks.
  • Panacea: Oede Herb can cure about every disease.
  • Phantasy Spelling: The Sommerswerd — not sword. It's inspired by Old English or some modern Nordic spellings. The Sommlending (people of Sommerlund, the "Summer Land") tend to have Nordic-derived names for places and objects, as well as being clearly Nordic racially as well. A vowel shift appears to have occurred since they sailed across the ocean from their original native islands on their mission from Kai.
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment: Korlinium, a fibrous mineral looking like strands of polished silver, can hide the radiations of Good artifacts. Lone Wolf gets a Korlinium scabbard for the Sommerswerd, and in the New Order series his lieutenant carry the Moonstone in a Korlinium-laced satchel. The problem with those good radiations isn't that they are dangerous, but that many creatures of evil can readily detect them, and thus they would immediately swarm the protagonist if not for this precaution.
  • Plaguemasters: The Cener Druids
  • Poisoned Weapons:
    • In Book 4, Lone wolf can fight a bandit patrol whose weapons are coated with poison. One scratch, and it's Game Over.
    • The "Zejar-Dulaga" are magical poisoned arrows created by the Darklords. One is powerful enough to one-shot a Darklord.
  • Poison Mushroom:
    • The Glowing Crystal from The Caverns of Kalte, in fact a Doomstone. If Lone Wolf keeps it on his person for too long, its radiation will kill him.
    • The golden bracelets worn by Ice Barbarians in the same book. They are Hypno Trinkets allowing Vonotar to control them, and if Lone Wolf don one it can lead to a Psychic-Assisted Suicide.
    • The Black Crystal Cube from Shadow on the Sand. It's not until later in the book that you learn a) it attracts your enemies to your location, and b) it is going to explode in your hand if you don't throw it away fast enough. A similar one can be found in The Masters of Darkness, and if you keep it too long, it just kills you outright when exploding.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Lake of Blood in Helgedad, the capital city of the Darklands. A sea of supernatural flames fed by the pain of those thrown into it. Even worse, the victims aren't able to die and remain trapped in a state of undying agony. Fortunately, Lone Wolf blows up Helgedad and the Lake at the end of Book 12.
  • Precursor Heroes:
    • King Ulnar I, who killed Darklord Vashna with the Sommerswerd after he invaded Sommerlund. The King died in the process, but the sword was taken up by...
    • Sun Eagle, the first Kai Lord and founder of the Kai order, who wrote the Book of the Magnakai.
  • Predecessor Villain:
    • Agarash the Damned — except in the World of Lone Wolf series, where he is The Man Behind the Man. Agarash's legacy in the form of the evil artifacts, weapons, and servants he left behind continues to trouble Magnamund even after he was defeated and sealed thousands of years ago by the Elder Magi.
    • Archlord Vashna, the most powerful and influent of all the Darklords, who launched the first invasion of Sommerlund in the past. He even has his own Religion of Evil with the Acolytes of Vashna. Preventing him from coming back is the aim of no less than two of Lone Wolf's missions.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: In the New Order series, Lone Wolf typically appears in the prologue to give the Grand Master his mission brief for the book, along with appearing for maybe the first few paragraphs in the story if the book begins at the Kai Monastery. In Trail of the Wolf, though, he is kidnapped by the Soultaker and taken to the Darklands, where the Grand Master has to rescue him. Even then, he's a badass, resisting a full-on psychic assault from the Soultaker and a direct funnel to the Plane of Darkness for several days and still having enough juice to propel his Sommerswerd through his magic prison barrier like a bullet to destroy the Soultaker while the Grand Master has him distracted.
  • Print Long Runners: 28 volumes, soon to be the intended 32.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: This can happen to Lone Wolf in The Caverns of Kalte if he puts on his wrist the golden bracelet of a mind-controled Ice Barbarian and cannot resist Vonotar's mental command.
  • Psychic Block Defense: The Mindshield, Psi-screen, and Kai-screen disciplines. They are mostly geared toward protecting from psychic combat or mental damage (which, to be fair, are a favorite of many creatures of Magnamund). Mind control is harder to defend against, and some especially powerful telepaths may manage to slip in and read Lone Wolf's thoughts while he's busy shielding his psyche from trauma.
  • Psychic Link: In the Legends of Lone Wolf novels, Vonotar the Traitor establishes a psychic link between himself and Darklord Zagarna. Vonotar discovers in the process that Zagarna has very little consciousness of his own; he (and assumedly all Darklords) is basically a puppet of Naar himself.
  • Psychic Powers: Many of the Kai/Magnakai/Grand Master disciplines.
  • Puzzle Boss: Some enemies have no standard battle, or are better off avoided by using certain items or tactics. Two of the four Grey Star books have puzzle boss fights, for example, and the other two tend to fare better if you go into them with your thinking cap on.
  • Rage Helm: The Drakkarim always wear metal helmets with skull-shaped facemasks in battle. To the point this is often the main feature used to describe them.
  • Rail Roading:
    • There's usually more than one direct path to victory, but all books begin and end the same way, and if any major character dies as part of the plot, there's no way to save him. Sometimes the books draw out your attempts to save the doomed character, though.
    • Also, the adventures get a lot more linear over time. Compare the pathways through early installments like book three, The Caverns of Kalte or book seven, Castle Death, versus later installments like book seventeen, The Deathlord of Ixia.
    • Probably a good example is in Mydnight's Hero where the protagonist encounters a patrol. There's about a dozen different ways to handle the patrol, from various bluffs, bribery, to trying to escape, to trying to mind control the leader of the patrol, yet all of them end with you and your companion being captured and jailed. Every outcome leads to that. Refuse to answer them? You are captured. Try to flee? Captured. Bluff? You have to bribe them, use the wrong currency? Captured. Used the right currency? Patrol wants more, do you try to mind control them? No? Captured. Yes? He figures out you're trying that and you get captured.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Captain Lanza commands a fort near the frozen wasteland of Ixia because he killed the son of a noble in a drunken brawl.
    His posting here had been his punishment for a drunken brawl in a Vadera tavern in which he had killed, albeit in self-defence, the brutish elder son of Haglar, the mayor of the city. At his court-martial he had been allowed to choose his fate — command of the notorious Azgad Island garrison, or death by hanging. Lanza readily admits that there have been times when he has felt that he made the wrong choice.
  • Rangers:
    • The Sommlending Border Rangers.
    • The Eruan Pathfinders.
    • The Siyenese Rangers.
  • Rays from Heaven: At the end of Book 17, after the defeat of the Deathlord, rays of sun are described piercing the sky of Ixia for the first time in centuries.
  • Remember the New Guy: Naar is introduced after the death of the last of the Darklords, and we are then told they were all serving him and that Naar is this figure integral to the backstory of the world and the conflic between good an evil. He goes on to play a dominant role as God of Evil in the rest of the series.
  • The Red Mage: Vonotar the Traitor, who studied both the left-handed magic of the Crystal Star brotherhood, and the right-handed magic of the Nadziranim, making him one of the most powerful wizards on Magnamund.
  • Red Shirt: Lone Wolf shouldn't get too attached to any unnamed characters that travel with him either. For examples, see Book 17 and...
  • Red Shirt Army: Book 4. By Kai and Ishir, Book 4.
  • Reflective Eyes: The Shianti have pupils reflecting light like a mirror. It's a plot point at the end of Book 1 / beginning of Book 2 of World of Lone Wolf. The Kundis ask Grey Star a riddle based on this little-known fact, to make sure the wizard has indeed been in contact with the Shianti.
  • Religion of Evil:
    • The Acolytes of Vashna.
    • The Cener Druids.
  • The Remnant: After the Darklords are defeated, many of their forces are still hanging around and come under the authority of various servants of Naar.
  • Rich Bitch: Or rather, Rich Bastard — Roark, as the Lord of Amory, acts this way. Only eviler, crossing the Moral Event Horizon on his very first appearance.
  • Rightful King Returns: The New Order Grand Master's mission in book 23 Mydnight's Hero is to return the exiled Prince Karvas to his country of Siyen so that he can be sworn in as king.
  • Ring of Power:
    • The Psychic Ring in Book 9; if you lack any magic weapon, it gives the only other fighting chance against Zakhan Kimah.
    • Vonotar the Traitor (in Book 11) and Prince Lutha (in Book 18) also have evil Rings of Power, which they try to kill Lone Wolf with.
  • Roof Hopping: Toward the end of the first book, you can use the "Roofways" to reach the king's citadel while avoiding the crowded streets. It is mentioned the citizens of Holmgrad were familiar with this way of travel before a royal decree forbade it because of too many accidents. Indeed, an unlucky roll can result in yet another untimely death for Lone Wolf.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Or Grand Masters Who Actually Do Something — after the Magnakai series, nobody would blame Lone Wolf for wanting to sit back and train his acolytes in peace and let someone else handle the brushfires. But whenever a crisis emerges, he's always the first to step up to the plate to take care of business. It isn't until the New Order Kai series and his ascension to Supreme Mastery that he starts delegating the crisis du jour to his lieutenant.
    • There are plenty of classical examples. On the side of evil, the Zakhan (Emperor) of Vassagonia leads his troop in person during The Cauldron of Fear, Baron Shinzar of the Hammerlands, the Autarch Sejanoz and of course the Darklords themselves. On the side of good, Prince (later king) Karvas of Siyen, the Dwarven princes and the king of Bor, several princes who personally help Lone Wolf through his adventures, and even the King of Sommerlund himself shows up leading The Cavalry at the end of The Chasm of Doom.
  • Rule of Seven: There are seven Lorestones and seven Doomstones.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Briefly in Book 6; one of Lone Wolf's many enemies happens to be an evil knight in a suit of armor, and upon death, we see that she's a woman muffling her voice.
  • Savage Wolves: Doomwolves, Hounds of Death, Taintor Wolves...
  • Scary Black Man: Samu, who manages to be almost more badass than Grey Star without needing magical powers.
  • Schizo Tech: Magnamund may not have a technological future, but it sure gets a lot of technology in places. The Darklands are heavily industrialized, while the good guys' lands are locked in Medieval Stasis.
  • Science Is Bad:
    • The bad guys use a lot of technology; the Darklords use ironclad steamships and mechanical foundries, which have the double effect of fueling their war machine and polluting the environment for them (since they're weakened in clean, pristine environments). Science-fiction technology is also used on other worlds controlled by Naar. But Magnamund itself is kept in Medieval Stasis if the Kai win, and Lone Wolf never uses any technological weaponry or devices except for a very few examples of Magitek, such as Skyrider and the Crystal Explosive.
    • Subverted in The Fall of Blood Mountain, as the (good) Dwarves of Bor use guns, cannons, and all sort of technological devices. Their enemies use the same weapons, but only because they stole them. What they've made themselves are primitive or magical in nature.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: In Book 11, the Beholder of Yanis used to be known as Sinay.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Quite a few of these appear as major and minor foes in the series. Two notable examples in the Back Story are Agarash the Damned, a powerful demon created by Naar that killed Nyxator and was sealed in another dimension by the Elder Magi, and Darklord Vashna, the mightiest of the Darklords and the first to be defeated by the Sommerswerd. The remains of Vashna and his army, along with their vengeful spirits, were sealed in the Maakengorge (a.k.a. the Chasm of Doom). These two examples subvert the usual path of this trope since, canonically they never escape. Yes, they stay sealed, thanks to Lone Wolf and Grey Star.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Not quite a true example since they weren't actually sealed away, but the goodly gods Kai and Ishir are relegated to their own dimensions and can only provide aid to Magnamund indirectly. It is revealed in Book 19 that their Evil Counterpart Naar can bypass the same limitation by using the Moonstone to open Shadowgates, allowing his minions to constantly harass Magnamund and Lone Wolf in particular.
  • Second-Person Narration: As a stapple of gamebooks.
  • Sequential Boss: In Book 14, you face a fire-breathing demonic monkey, whose corpse turns into a swarm of man-eating insects. After you deal with them, they come together and form an ice dragon.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: The Drakkarim are very fond of weapons with a serrated blade, be they swords, axes, daggers or polearms.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Vassagonia (Book 5)
  • Situational Sword: The Sommerswerd can release a devastating Sword Beam if it receives a direct ray of sunlight and there is a Darklord target within range.
  • Skunk Stripe: Grey Star is named so for the white forelock in his otherwise black hair. (And the "Star" part is because a star represents hope.)
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Kalte (Book 3); Ixia (Book 17)
  • Snake People: Darklord Taktaal
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Darklord Zagarna's voice is described in the Legends of Lone Wolf novels as "quiet and bubbling, as if he spoke through a foot of water", in sharp contrast to his huge imposing form.
  • So Last Season:
    • Both played straight and subverted. The Kai and Magnakai skills of Books 1-12 are rendered almost obsolete by the new Grand Master Disciplines. Noncombat related Magnakai skills don't cut it against the new threats in the Grand Master books. Subverted since the gameplay bonuses from the Magnakai skills are still relevant such as the Gradual Regeneration from Curing and the bonuses from Psi-Surge and Weaponmastery (though Weaponmastery is replaced by Grand Weaponmastery for balance issues).

      Many powers that you can select as Magnakai or Grand Master are simply improvements over existing powers. Yet there's no reason offered why you can't use Hunting in lieu of Huntmastery. In fact, even some of the gameplay benefits of discipline you should have disappear when improved versions of these powers become available. (Why do you still need to carry meals around when when you don't have huntmastery? You should still have Hunting which also allows you to get your own food.) The Project Aon versions have clarified that you should get the benefits of hunting as an Old Save Bonus — but Hunting doesn't work in wastelands, so it won't work in Book 8 at least.
    • Some magical items fall victim to this too. The Grand Master series has a limited list of special items you can bring with you, which omits some trinkets that were very useful in the preceding books, like the Kalte Firesphere or the Psychic Ring. It is implied that Lone Wolf's newfound skills are making them obsolete — by that point he can now see in the dark or create fire by himself, making the Kalte Firesphere redundant, and his Psychic Powers are so great that an Amplifier Artifact like the Psychic Ring no longer makes any difference.
    • Grey Star's fourth and final book does provide him with a whole bunch of new magical powers that, surprisingly, do not replace his old ones, but act as new applications to the old abilities. Options to use the older powers still exist and sometimes you're better off with the weaker versions since they often burn less Willpower points.
  • Sorcerous Overlord:
    • The Darklords
    • Shasarak the Wytch-King
    • Lord Zahda
    • Archdruid Cadak
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil:
    • The defeat of the Darklords has the unfortunate side effect of angering their god Naar, who starts giving his remaining agents on Magnamund more direct support. When that fails, Naar's personal armies attack Magnamund directly.
    • The trope is often played with: Lone Wolf can sometimes encounter something way too powerful for him to fight. However, the text is usually kind enough to warn you through imposing descriptions, names like "The Akraa'Neonor", and action options such as "If you want to run like a frightened bunny, turn to 113."
  • Spider-Sense:
    • The Sixth Sense tree of disciplines, which often allow for Kai Lords to sense danger before it's too late.
    • Grey Star gets his "Prophecy" spell, too, and also a "Psychomancy" spell that lets him examine objects by laying his hands on it. All of these abilities help remove forks in the road when you're at a crossroads in the books.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Drakkarim's armors are rarely lacking in spikes, horns and other pointy edges.
  • Spin-Off: The World of Lone Wolf series starring Grey Star would be a textbook example of this.
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • Grey Star. He doesn't get armor, the only weapon he's any good with is his staff, and once he runs out of Willpower points he's pretty much boned. He also does not get Lone Wolf's regenerating health skills; apparently Shianti magic just doesn't cover healing.
    • Banedon too, in the Magnamund Companion adventure featuring him. He's a bit more adept with weapons than Grey Star, but the few opponents he can fight hand-to-hand are tough, even with the Status Buff spell Vigour. In Shadow of the Sand, his Journeyman magic sure lay waste on enemies, but when forced in close combat against a Drakkar he's severely wounded and would be dead without Lone Wolf.
  • Stab the Sky: With the Sommerswerd at the very end of Book 2, just before blasting Darklord Zagarna with a ray of holy sunfire.
  • Status Buff:
    • The most common form are "Ability Up" potions which increase Combat Skill, especially those made from the Alether fruits, as well as the more dangerous Adgana Herb.
    • Banedon has a few with his "Brotherhood Spells", notably Vigour for direct combat, or Invisible Shield and Counterspell as defenses. Them being Cast from Hit Points, you have to carefully weight down the cost versus usefulness.
    • A few other spells are available to Kai Grand Masters with Kai-alchemy and Magi-magic. That are quite situational, though, and can only be used when the text allow it, even those augmenting Combat Skill and Endurance.
  • Steam Punk: The Drakkar ironclads in Book 12, as well as the "Lajakeka" juggernaut.
  • Summon Magic:
    • The Darklords and evil sorcerer types love to summon nasty things in a pinch.
    • For the good guys, extra help can come from Shianti Elementalism magic. Which elemental shows up is a bit random, and sometimes they hurt more than they help. Earth Elementals are notoriously stupid and slow.
  • Super Reflexes: The Magnakai discipline of Huntmastery, and furthermore the upgrade Grand Huntmastery, give a Kai lord increased celerity and agility, sometimes allowing to dodge fired arrows or even to slash them in mid-flight.
  • Super Senses: The discipline of Huntmastery augments a Kai Lord's senses at higher Magnakai ranks, giving telescopic vision to a Principalin, and enhanced hearing, smell and night vision to an Archmaster. Grand Huntmastery upgrades them even more, with vision in complete darkness and heightened senses of touch and taste.
  • Swarm of Rats: One of the many niceties welcoming you in Castle Death.
  • Sword Beam:
    • That's how the Sommerswerd blasts any Darklord if it can get a ray of sun. Or just from the energy accumulated by not using it for most of Book 12 until the end.
    • Skarn-Ska ("Wolf's Blade") in The Curse of Naar can also deliver an energy bolt to soften some enemies.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: There are very few weapons that can kill Helghast-level undead, and even less for Darklords or worse. (In the remake, it's commented that the Sommerswerd is the only Good weapon that can kill a Darklord.) If you don't have the Sommerswerd, there's almost always some way to use the villains' own magic weapons against them.
    • Especially apparent with the Helghast attacking the king in the updated remake of the first book. If he hadn't nonchalantly thrown a magic dagger at some poor sod, there would have been no way to stop it.
    • Darklord Haakon can be vanquished without the Sommerswerd by turning his magic gem against him, banishing him to another dimension.
    • Likewise, if you have neither the Sommerswerd nor the Dagger of Vashna to fight Darklord KraagenskŻl, your only hope is to seize his own sword, Helshezag, and uses it to kill him.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine:
    • "Ferina Nog" in The Jungle of Horrors, at least according to Paido. Lone Wolf finds it weak but doesn't have a problem drinking it.
    • In the first book of the New Order series, some ale is described as having "a peculiar smell that makes you think of greasy animal hides."
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: Why you shouldn't trust Chanda the Taxidermist.
  • The "The" Title: 19 out of 33 books.
  • Time Skip: Between the last Magnakai books and the first Grand Master books, 5 years past. Between the end of the Kai series and beginning of the Magnakai series, 3 years past. And according to the pre-release blurb for the last 4 books, they take place 18 years after the New Order series, with Lone Wolf's Apprentice now leading his own Kai Monastery located on the Shianti island of Lorn.
  • Thieves' Guild: In The Cauldron of Fear, Lone Wolf can have to deal with Tahou's Thieves' Guild in order to reach the title Cauldron if he can't go there by legal means.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The opportunity to throw your sword is very rarely given, since Lone Wolf has usually plenty better opportunities, like bow and arrow or offensive magic in the later books.
    • There is however one noteworthy occurrence in Book 12, The Masters of Darkness. If you draw the Sommerswerd in front of Darklord KraagenskŻl to fight his Crypt Spawns, Lone Wolf is forced to throw the Sun Sword at his back before he'd alert Darklord Gnaag. It never miss and KraagenskŻl is badly wounded either way, but on a low roll he's still able to warn his master, making "your life and your mission end here."
    • In Trail of the Wolf, part of the New Order series, Lone Wolf (as a Previous Player-Character Cameo) also throws the Sommerswerd to bring down the Soultaker.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
    • Happens when Lone Wolf discovers the Grand Master disciplines previously unknown to even exist (which even Sun Eagle couldn't do before him).
    • In the New Order series, there are mentions that heavily imply that Lone Wolf is developing his own Supreme Master disciplines; this after a point where he ages less than a year per decade, is on Kai's personal Christmas list and is already the next best thing to a demigod on Magnamund.
  • Tranquillizer Dart:
  • Trapped in Another World:
    • Lone Wolf's predicament in the Daziarn Plane in Book 11, thanks to Darklord Gnaag.
    • The Big Bad of Book 17 tries the same thing, only he sends Lone Wolf to the Plane of Darkness, a place with Everything Trying to Kill You on steroids.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: As with most gamebooks, this series has its share of moments where making the wrong choice will kill you without warning.
  • The Trickster: Alyss the demigoddess. She fancies herself as neutral and is certainly mischevious, but Naar and his minions are such utter bastards that she systematically ends up on the side of Good anyway.
  • Turn Coat:
    • Vonotar the Traitor, who gets his comeuppance twice in the series.
    • For the good guys' side, on the other hand, there's the Slavemaster of Aarnak.
    • The Back Story mentions the Patar, the servants of the Elder Magi, who allowed the Cener Druids access to the Elder Magi's knowledge, which they used to engineer a plague to almost wipe them out, ending the Age of the Old Kingdoms.
  • Ultimate Evil:
    • Naar the King of the Darkness is never seen in his true form for most of the series. Being one of the Powers That Be (an evil one), he might not have a true form. His preferred form, described in Book 19, is pretty damn creepy especially if the reader hates spiders.
    • Another example from Book 1 is the timeless evil in the Graveyard of the Ancients. Which is revealed to be Naar itself in the rewrite.
  • The Undead: Very common henchmen among Lone Wolf's various enemies. Book 17 in particular is rife with them.
  • Unwinnable:
    • In Book 2, you can miss getting the Magic Spear, and even if you do get it, choosing to do the right thing and give it to an ally to let him survive guarding a tunnel means that you will die about 5 page turns later. Thankfully fixed in the project Aon version (if you have Animal Kinship — otherwise, you're still screwed and will die).
    • Also in Book 2, you are given a seal ring that will show that you are on a quest to retrieve the Sommerswerd. If you lose it, due to selling it or getting robbed, you will die. The path continues beyond that, until you try to get a red pass. The forged paperwork a kid will sell you isn't enough, and will just get you killed.
    • In Book 3, if you ignore the old man in the cell and end up in section 276, you're doomed — there is no path to the winning page from that point onward. Despite this, that path continues for some 30-odd sections, including several completely useless battles, events, and chances to use your items.
    • Book 8 has you fight a timed battle against two Vordaks, with individual Combat Skill and Endurance scores (meaning, overkill won't help you for the other guy). For players starting with that book, you absolutely need a completely massive string of luck for both your Combat Skill that you rolled at the beginning and all four rounds you had to fight — and all the CS-increasing items you could obtain during the journey — and the Weaponmastery ability for the weapon you use against the enemies. Roll a 3 for your CS or get anything below an 8 during battle, you're screwed.
    • In Book 17, The Deathlord of Ixia, it is more or less impossible to win if you do not have the Sommerswerd from book 2, since you have two fights against opponents with much higher Combat Skill than you and far more Endurance, and you have to fight them in a row with no healing, having already gone through the demonlord before the 2-round survival battle. This is particularly fun as the Sommerswerd will make several other books much harder.
  • Updated Re-release: To go with getting a new publisher, all previously released books are being rereleased with new art, fixed typos, and a bonus adventure tacked on to the end. In the case of the first book, this also involves heavy re-writing in many areas — notably having Lone Wolf participate in the doomed defense of the Kai Monastery rather than sitting it out due to an errant tree branch.
  • Upgrade Artifact:
    • The Book of the Magnakai at the end of Shadow on the Sand, followed by the Lorestones in the Magnakai series. Each one Lone Wolf finds allow him to learn a new Magnakai skill by the next book.
    • In the World of Lone Wolf spin-off starring Grey Star, the Moonstone itself. In the fourth book, once the hero has completed his quest to find it, his Shianti magic is considerably boosted, gaining new advanced versions of his old powers, as well as a load of Willpower points.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Grey Star's Prophecy and Psychomancy are pretty good at eliminating variables when faced with a choice — sometimes. Psychomancy can just give you a warped riddle that may or may not be right, and Prophecy sometimes completely fails to illustrate the nature of your impending doom. Use it when you're in a valley of poison gas, it just goes "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT" without saying which way to go.
    • The New Order series adds on "Astrology" to the list of Kai-Disciplines. It's supposed to let you look into the far future rather than the immediate future like Sixth Sense does, but the opportunities to use it come up so rarely it's like the author forgot he put it in the list (only once in the first New Order book, and not at all in the next two). The few times it comes up, you tend to get a Vagueness Is Coming reading, too.
    • For that matter, the Grandmaster upgrade for the previously quite useful Sixth Sense / Divination ability, Telegnosis, is mostly useless, and occasionally actually counterproductive. There are several instances where you take damage simply because you have Telegnosis.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Frequently manifests in almost all books as an immunity to psychic attacks possessed by some particularly berserk or enraged enemies. This can be just immunity to lower grade psychic powers, or just all of them.
  • Utility Magic:
    • Kai-alchemy (which has nothing to do with mixing magic chemicals, just go with it) is full of utility spells that help you out in a pinch, but not so much combat magic (that would be Magi-magic, which at its highest level lets you do things like crush a man in armor like a paper cup).
    • Elementalism (the Kai version, not the Shianti version) lets you do a number of things with small amounts of flame, dust, water and puffs of air, so it too falls under the "Utility Magic" label.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Or in this case, Gamebook Cruelty Punishment.
    • Over the course of the series there are times Lone Wolf can do things that are... morally grey at best. The penalties for such decisions take the form of difficult battles, losing out valuable items, or dying horribly. Lone Wolf is canonically a Messianic Archetype, he should act like it.
    • Averted in Book 2; when one of your travelling companions (you don't know which) tries to have you poisoned, you're better off killing the merchant than the one who actually did it. But played straight if you pick anyone else. The mercenary woman is bad enough, but if you pick one of the Knights of the White Mountain, he and his brother team up and become the hardest fight in the Kai books. They're even tougher to beat than Darklord Haakon! And this takes place before you get the Sommerswerd. Aside from cheating or being very lucky, there's no real way to win this fight.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Book 7's Big Bad Zahda has a good one.
  • Villain Pedigree: The Drakkarim, fierce evil warriors wearing death masks, are more or less the same power level throughout the series, but Lone Wolf keeps getting better and they become less and less able to oppose him. In the "Kai" books, a single Drakkar can put up a good fight. In the "Magnakai" series, Drakkarim are only a real challenge if they attack in a group. In the "Grand Master series", they're completely out of their league: the only Drakkar that can still put up a fight against Lone Wolf is their War God in Book 20, and Lone Wolf can still kick his ass and throw him into a lava pit.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Madelon in The Chasm of Doom.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting:
    • The Helghast, who are capable of mimicking human form, and are immune to non-magical weapons. Considering that their preferred form of attack is choking victims with their skeletal hands, it's probably best that Lone Wolf never invokes the Shapeshifting Squick trope.
    • Also the Nadziranim, who are fond of adopting a combat form before a fight through their Black Magic, since in their natural state they're basically formless specters. The result ain't pretty.
    • The Liganim, Nadziranim's familiars, appear to have many different shapes.
    • The Deathstalker and its mate, introduced in the New Order Kai series, went on a killing spree in a city and used its shapeshifting abilities to evade detection. Its natural form is some sort of horrible ape-like thing. Hunting down a supernatural shapeshifting murderer in the dead of night in the middle of a small city is hands-down one of the best parts of Book 21.
  • Walking Armory: Not necessarily so, but it's possible for Lone Wolf to be this if the player wants. At best, just going with the special weapons, by the end of the Magnakai series you can carry the magic spear, the Sommerswerd, the Dagger of Vashna, a jeweled mace, a bronin warhammer, an enchanted bullwhip and the Darklord sword Helshezag — all at the same time.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Darklords are severely weakened in clean and pristine environments. Since Magnamund is a world in Medieval Stasis (no huge polluting industries)... In Book 12, they create a device that negates this weakness, allowing the Darklords to curbstomp most of Magnamund. Lone Wolf's goal is to get rid of this device.
  • Weak-Willed: In this world, it concerns not individual but whole species. Although creatures with a resistance to Psychic Powers are much more common, some other like the Kwaraz giant lizards or the Akataz warhounds are very susceptible. This makes psychic attacks twice as efficient, or animal control powers work more easily on them.
  • Weapon of X Slaying:
    • The Sommerswerd, devastating against undead, and deadly even for the Darklords. It is stated later it could be lethal even against Naar.
    • The various evil weapons favored by the Darklords have one thing in common: they give combat bonus against other Darklords, and are among the very few things able to kill them permanently. Those guys truly had their priorities in order.
    • The jewelled mace from book 5 gives a bonus against illusory creatures.
    • The enchanted bullwhip from book 10 can hit (and gives a bonus against) specters.
    • The Dessi Stone is a magic gem that, when merged into the hilt of any ordinary weapon, can turn it into an undead slayer.
    • Several of the weapons forged by Lone Wolf with Kai Weaponcraft in the New Order series have a CS bonus when used against specific creatures, like reptiles, undead, stone beings, magic-users, flying monsters or fire-breathers, respectively.
  • We Meet Again: Archdruid Cadak to Lone Wolf, in book 14.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In The Cauldron of Fear, you have about a one in two chance of having to deal with Tahou's Thieves' Guild to reach the underground city of Zaaryx. In exchange for his help, the guildmaster only ask for one thing: to return the ring worn by his son, who had ventured there and likely gotten killed some time ago. Which is, in all likehood, the Psychic Ring later found on the finger of a mutated psychic ghoul. However, once back on the surface Lone Wolf never hears of the Thieves' Guild any more, and can keep the Psychic Ring for further adventures.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Here it's more like "Why did it have to be flying flesh-eating tentacled brain monsters?" The Crypt Spawns are one of the few enemies that Lone Wolf actually fears throughout the series.
  • Wizard Beard:
    • Gwynian the Sage
    • Lord Rimoah
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: "You must now eat a meal or lose 3 EN."
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Sort of a justification, as after the first twelve books the Big Bads Lone Wolf fought before are now dead and the other factions fight amongst themselves. However, the rest of the country has more than enough new ones to make up for it.
  • Wrecked Weapon:
    • There are many ways to break ordinary weapons in the series. In general it's a really bad idea to attack powerful supernatural entities, like the Darklords or Demonlord Tagazin, with a non-magical weapon.
    • A few special weapons can also be damaged or outright destroyed if they encounter even more powerful magic:
      • In The Legacy of Vashna, Helshezag and the Dagger of Vashna will not survive to the end of the book if you bring them with you.
      • In Vampirium, your Kai Weapon is damaged after a failed attempt to destroy the Claw of Naar. In gameplay this means that its Combat Skill bonus is permanently reduced by either one or two points. Conveniently, this means that there is actual incentive to use the unique weapons that can be found in the previous book.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • Ragadorn, main city of the Wildlands. It's a big commercial hub, but it's also teeming with thieves and cutthroats. The lord of the town and his Secret Police are no better.
    • Vakovar, in Magador, even more so. At least by the time Lone Wolf visits it, it's full of brigands.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The difference between your Combat Skill and the enemy's is called the "combat ratio". It's not a ratio.
  • Xanatos Gambit: These appear several times in the series; the Evil Plan of the Big Bad in Book 10 is a great example. Gnaag knew Lone Wolf would try to retrieve the last three Lorestones at Torgar and was lying in wait the entire time. If Lone Wolf didn't make it in time, Gnaag would have succeeded in destroying the Lorestones. If Lone Wolf DID make it in time (which, canonically, he does) Gnaag would have a chance to send all of them into the Daziarn (which segues into Book 11). While this gambit fails to kill Lone Wolf, it does buy the Darklords eight years to undo all of the progress Lone Wolf made against them. By the time Lone Wolf escapes the Daziarn, the Darklords have all but conquered the world, leading into Book 12.
  • The X of Y: About two-third of the book titles.
  • X-Ray Sparks: The lethal kind for one poor soldier when disintegrated by Zakhan Kimah's Orb of Death.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside:
    • Both Lone Wolf and Grey Star spends only a few days in the Astral Plane of Daziarn, but to find out upon their return that years have gone by on Magnamund.
    • To a lesser degree, the Plane of Darkness. Lone Wolf spends perhaps five minutes there before escaping in a hurry in one adventure, while several hours passed on his home world.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb:
    • Zahda uses a Doomstone and a Lorestone in conjunction.
    • Lone Wolf himself can use the Sommerswerd and Darklord weapons like the Dagger of Vashna and Helshezag.
  • You Are Not Ready: The goddess Ishir sending the powerful Shianti away in ancient times, fearing that they were interfering too much with the destiny of mere mortals, even though they meant no harm. Well, most of them meant no harm — Wytch-King Shasarak is a rogue Shianti. Maybe Ishir was onto something...
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • We learn in Book 12 that Darklord KraagenskŻl likes to whip out his Agony Beam when his servants disappoint him.
    • Demoness Shamath, Archdruid Cadak, and Darklord Gnaag in Book 20 are good examples of what happens when you let down Naar. In the cases of Gnaag and Cadak, Naar wasn't satisfied with death; only eternal torment was enough to express his disappointment. And it turns out that this happens to everyone who worships Naar if they fail him and die.


You are dead. Your life and your quest end here.
The Legend of DrizztLong-Running Book SeriesMalazan Book of the Fallen
Portal CutImageSource/LiteratureGlowing Eyelights of Undeath
GrailQuestChoose Your Own AdventureLes Messagers du Temps
Lonely Werewolf GirlFantasy LiteratureThe Long Price Quartet
Lonesome DoveLiterature of the 1980sThe Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

alternative title(s): Lone Wolf
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