Welcome to the BACKPACK! My name is James Kail and I’m an alcaho…. I mean, I’m a Fighting Fantasy fan. I am an active member of a friendly facebook group called Fighting Fantasy (and other gamebooks).

The BACKPACK is here to provide you with a few resources I’ve worked on myself to help you with your FF collecting and gaming. So far these include a collection checklist that includes the numbering for each main uk series, a cheatsheet arrangement of authors/illustrators work to assist the festival goer, some hand-drawn gamebook maps just for fun and other items.

There are lots of great resources out there and what I’ve produced could be made by anyone, but as I spent the time obsessing over certain aspects, it makes sense to share for others to benefit from. This page is hosted by Jason Archer who is dedicated to supporting the gamebook community via web hosting and resource collation through and

Charts and stuff

My Checklist

My Cheatsheet

More Charts

Gamebook maps and analysis

Blacksand series maps

Goldhawk series maps

About Me

When I was asked if could publish my cheatsheet, of course I said yes. I had produced it for myself and shared it on the offchance others could benefit. I suggested giving credit and was asked if I would like a link to anything, and now I have my own subdomain here to do what I please with. I’ll likely keep it FF focused so first things first, I need to write a bio of my Fighting Fantasy fandom.

My first FF book was Forest of Doom which my mum actually read to me. My second FF book read may have been Island of the Lizard King which I read with a friend cooperatively at middle school. Somewhere in there was City of Thieves which is still a favourite and Caverns of the Snow Witch.

From there I got a whole load of books from a friend and started my ‘collection’ looking out for the books I didn’t have in charity shops which back then were easily found. I bought all the Advanced FF books with a special love for Blacksand! I got older and lost my way a little, but eventually found my way back to the hobby, having kept my bookshelf of green-yellow books all that time (although I gave away my few Other Gamebooks shortly before this).

My ‘collecting’ started again a few years ago now, when I discovered that Fighting Fantasy had a kind of sequel in Riddling Reaver, then the existence of the boardgame of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and finally the exquisite hardbook anniversary edition of the same book, all of which I bought. I started trying to complete all the Livingstone books using dice, whereas I had always read the books without ‘gaming’ in the past.

It might have stopped there if I hadn’t started talking to that old friend who had given me half his collection long ago. He invited me to the Fighting Fantasy (and other gamebooks) group on facebook, where my fandom slowly became of interest again. Since then I discovered the Adventures of Goldhawk series and obtained them. In looking for a price-list I print-screened the check-list of versions and started thinking seriously about what I’d like my collection to look like, and started working towards various collection goals. I started persevering through non-Livingstone books that had lost me too quickly as a child. I used spreadsheets to work on statistics and check-lists and pen and paper to flow-chart some books of choice with changing intentions, but more and more for personal enjoyment.

And here we are, after a brief history of my fandom. I was an Ian Livinsgtone fanboy and Iain McCaig for his covers, but lately I’ve found more of the books enjoyable especially by analysis.

Please enjoy the contents of the BACKPACK. I’d also like to produce some ‘soft’ gamebook solutions that let you choose the level of spoiler you want. Starting with Skill recommendations to path hints to full decision trees and stats. So there may be something like that in future. Also I’ve given very short overviews of my gamebook experiences before which might be nice to present. I started writing a gamebook a while ago which is usually stalled. I have produced a few related meme-works.


Thank you for reading/visiting. There are lots of people I could personally give thanks to but I should mention Jamie Fry at least for producing the price list that a lot of information came from for the basis of my own checklist. Other information came from Mark Lain, Paul Scanlan and many others. Thanks!

If you have any suggestions, corrections or other feedback, it is welcome in the comments page here.