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But now, onto City of Thieves! Those who have been around here since the beginning will know that I managed to score an original copy of the book in great condition from Oxfam Books for 99p. So if you ignore Blood of the Zombies, this is my first non-eBay find to be covered. I am pretty excited to read this book as it sticks in my mind as one I enjoyed immensely, particularly the setting of Port Blacksand, the other hive of scum and villainy, being a wonderfully rich place to explore.
Port Blacksand brings up other memories as it lent its name to one of the Advanced rule books, Blacksand! That, combined with Dungeoneer, Titan and Out of the Pit led me to create a campaign to play with a friend of mine when we were about 12. I’m fairly sure it ended up being an utter farce, but I remember having a great deal of fun all the same. I’m fairly sure some very cruel things were done to a large number of Jib-jibs.
Amazingly, this has just now reminded me that I did also attempt to write my own game book when I was a kid! I believe this and the maps and notes from my campaign may still exist back home in Yorkshire… I shall investigate this Christmas!
I don’t own the Advanced rule books at the moment and my attempt to find a picture of them all together led me here.
Going back to City of Thieves then, one of the first things that struck me when I opened up this book for the first time was the illustrations. Unlike our last adventure, I will be scanning artwork from this book with great pleasure as some of the work in here is absolutely gorgeous. Finely detailed pictures, full of life and character that go a hell of a long way to help flesh out the dirty, filthy feel of Port Blacksand. Iain McCaig is the illustrator for this book, brought back after his iconic Shapechanger on the Forest of Doom cover. Looking into his work though, he has arguably fried some much bigger fish than Fighting Fantasy, he has a blog, with a personal website on the way.
Here’s a small taster; all those tiny filler images through the books that buffer the text? For the first time I’ve felt compelled to scan one as the detail and character of the scene are so vivid for such a small, throw-away piece.
I’ll be back soon with Part One, please keep an eye on Twitter as always to be kept up to date!