The Sorcery Spell Book — an illustrated version of the spellbook eventually provided as part in the other volumes was also published.
The Shamutanti Hills
Khare — Cityport of Traps
The Seven Serpents
The Crown of Kings
You had the option of playing as a wizard or a warrior; wizards were given lower initial stats than warriors but could use the spell system, which consisted of three-letter codes the player had to memorise and various items involved in the casting of spells. The series was designed chiefly to be played as one epic, but each volume can be played separately. It was written by Steve Jackson (the British one).The plot is as follows: the Kingdom of Analand is given a magical crown, the Crown of Kings, that is passed around each year to a different kingdom as it grants the power to rule wisely. But something wicked happened: one night, Birdmen have come to steal the Crown and took it to the cursed castle of Mampang, where rules the nefarious Archmage who has decided to rule over the land of Khakabad. Analand decides to send a single warrior/wizard in order to retrieve the Crown.The first book has now been released by Inkle as an iOS Application, with the rest due to be relased throughout 2013 onwards.These books contain examples of:
Subverted with the Birdmen. They are introduced as a race of servants of the Archmage, but in the last book, you join forces with a group of rebels who oppose him.
Body Horror: Most of the effects of the Mutant Meatballs.
Bond Villain Stupidity: The Archmage tricks you into entering his prison tower of your own accord. When you run into his badass wizard form, he locks you up without killing you or even taking your belongings, giving you the opportunity to escape. Then, when you confront him for the second time, he's stuck in the weak form of Farren Whyde and is forced to assume his demonic form to fight you, enabling you to kill him while he's still extremely vulnerable.
Cast from Hit Points: How your magic works. The only other enemy who does this is a fox who can set itself on fire.
Chekhov's Gun: Several times, making for nice continuity between the books. In book 1 you fight a highway man; if you spare his life, he will meet you as an ally in the second book. Also in book 1, you can find a locket with a picture of a beautiful woman. If you look carefully at an illustration in the final book, this locket may just come in handy.
Continuity Nod: One of the items you can use in spellcasting is a ring of green stone mined from Craggen Rock, the setting of The Citadel of Chaos
Curb-Stomp Battle: When you encounter the wizard that appears to be the Archmage, he will do this to you regardless of whether you attack him with sword or spell.
Demonic Possession: Although it's not specifically stated, it's heavily implied that the Archmage is actually a demon who possesses humans as People Puppets and gets them to do his bidding. You can raise Farren Whyde from the dead after the Archmage leaves his body, and he'll help you escape Mampang. Similarly, when you meet the wizard who you suspect of being the Archmage, he is never referred to as the Archmage, but rather the "spiky-haired fellow" or "the Sorcerer." When you confront him as Farren Whyde, he also refers to the Analander "knowing our secret", and being "more clever than any of us had imagined.".
Disgusting Public Toilet: The Crown of Kings has one in the guard barracks, complete with illustration. You can search it if you want. There's nothing useful or interesting at all there, and you risk catching a disease by searching it.
Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: In The Seven Serpents, you meet a tiny tornado. Guess what happens if you touch it? That's right, you get sucked into it.
Door Stopper: The Crown Of Kings, which contains 800 freaking references. It is close to being the thickest gamebook ever.
In terms of the number of encounters and areas, the book isn't actually much bigger than your typical Fighting Fantasy gamebook. What makes it so large is the sheer number of times you have the opportunity to cast a spell. Each opportunity has five separate spell choices, and many of those require specific spell components to work. Numerous references are nothing more than instructions to deduct STAMINA and then being asked if you have the spell component you need.
Expy: Not a character, but Kharé is clearly a standin for Port Blacksand.
The Fair Folk: The Elvins in the first book. They are quite a nuisance, to say the least.
Fusion Dance: Fans have speculated on whether the Archmage might in fact be a fusion of the Netherworld Demon and the human sorcerer you meet in the prison tower. The human sorcerer is never referred to as the Archmage, but rather the "spiky haired fellow" or "the Sorcerer". When you confront him as Farren Whyde, the Archmage also mentions that you "know our secret" and are "more clever than any of us had imagined."
Hopeless Boss Fight: In the fourth book, you meet a freaking huge Hydra with the heads of GODS in a cave. It has huge stats and if you manage to hit it, it will automatically strike back and cause injury to you. What you're supposed to do is lose a round and the Hydra will be revealed to be an illusion.
The Millstone: Jann the Minimite. This little twerp will hang with you in the latter part of book 1. Why is it a problem? He has an aura that prevents you from using magic! Oh, and even though you eventually get rid of him at the end, he will return in book 4, preventing you from escaping from jail...
Nintendo Hard: Certainly not a pushover. This series was meant for an older audience than the regular Fighting Fantasy readers.
The fourth book pushes this trope Up to Eleven. As a group LP demonstrates, even a cautious player will likely rack up more deaths in that alone than in the rest of the series combined.
Old Save Bonus: Playing the previous books usually gives a huge advantage for the later ones, especially in the last book.
Plot Hole: Incorrect use of the ZED spell in The Crown of Kingscan send you as far back as the beginning of The Shamutanti Hills... with all your inventory, including several spell-casting items that you shouldn't be able to acquire for several books, intact. This problem was caused by the series not written as a whole, but one book at a time. It was thankfully corrected in the 20th Anniversary reprint Wherein you have ALL your items reset to the begining specificiations, money included, but you get to kep the new ability scores AT THEIR NEW MAXIMUM.
Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: You will meet a witch (who does NOT take no for an answer when she will invite you for a drink) who'll serve you a drink... and will test your trust by poisoning her own mug.
Red Herring: Involving an actual fish. You see a fish in Kharé that seems to speak to you. If you try to listen to it, it will say things if you throw down gold pieces. You think these are important clues? They aren't.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: You are definitely not going to meet friendly reptiles here. Especially in the third book, where snakes will be part of your many problems.
Series Continuity Error: The bottle of gas you get given in The Seven Serpents has become a bottle of liquid by the time you use it in The Crown of Kings.
Squishy Wizard: More or less averted. Playing as a warrior will give you higher Skill points, but not that much higher than the wizard's.
Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted in the first book, you can free a witch from being imprisoned by bandits. She will reward you with giving you a few items... and then summons a wooden golem to fight you just for the fun of it. Thanks a lot.
Violation of Common Sense: The Archmage offers you the Crown of Kings in return for your sword and the condition that you leave at once. Does this work if you take him up on it? Of course not, but somehow it doesn't get you killed and is in fact the most direct and harmless way to finish the encounter.
Weaksauce Weakness: Each one of the serpents has a weakness: the Fire Serpent's is sand, the Water Serpent's is oil, the Moon Serpent's is fire, the Sun Serpent's is rain, the Air Serpent's is having his body destroyed, the Earth Serpent's is losing contact with the ground, and the Time Serpent's only weakness is a special spell owned by the Swamp Goblins.