Chessex Pound O D6 Review

Well, most gamebooks are played with D6 dice, so today I’ll be reviewing the Chessex Pound o’ D6 bag.
Chessex Pound o' D6 bag

Chessex Pound o' D6 bag

Missing pips

Missing pips

Sorted dice

Sorted dice

This bag consists of a assorted choice of D6 dice of several sizes. Some come with factory defects, but these are usually not noticeable. The exception to this are dice with missing pips (see image).

In my bag I got 169 dice. Most of them are 16mm and 12mm in diameter. I also got 4 really tiny dice which I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them.

My favourite dice in the pack are the ‘frosted’ ones which are vaguely opaque, but still I use my Chessex Vortex Magma ones to play gamebooks. 🙂

With so many dice I gave some away and replenished my board games which were missing a few. All in all, I grabbed a bargain with this bag and would recommend it to anyone who has use for so many dice.

Available at:
Amazon UK

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Fighting Fantasy – Starship Traveller Review and Map

Fighting Fantasy - Startship Traveller Cover (English Edition 2005)

It’s been a while since I posted something here so I will rekindle my passion with gamebooks by reviewing with one of my favorites from my childhood: Starship Traveller! A while ago I decided to replay this book. I was on a trip to Sintra, Portugal, during my vacation. I took the book along to play together with my girlfriend during the train ride (you can read all about that trip here).

The Story

This book is an impressive and original work. Up until this book, the Fighting Fantasy collection was always about swords & magic, dungeons, monsters, evil wizards/warriors. Startship Traveller is an unexpected turn into science fiction and space fantasy. In this book you are the Captain of a Spaceship, the Traveller. You start by being sucked into a wormhole and ending up in an unknown place in space. From here on your task is to find a way home for you and your crew.

The gamebook is a clear attempt at implementing a Star Trek style in the sense that you fly around in space discovering the unknown, face enemy spaceships, beam down into planets, have physical confrontations with your fists and your phasers.  You get to meet strange new aliens and must entangle in diplomacy or military confrontations to get out of problems or obtain the much needed information on how to get back home.

I actually found the book a bit short, you visit a few planets and before you realize you have reached the end, be it death or victory. From the map you notice that there aren’t many chances to visit planets in one read/play of Starship Traveller. Where you get your money’s worth is in multiple-plays where you get to find a completely different solution for the end goal. In terms of quests (which are usually a planet visit) you usually don’t have many choices when it comes to the right path but the diversity is incredible and no 2 planet visits will feel the same.

As I said, this book is extremely innovative, not only because the story is very different from what was being done so far, both in Fighting Fantasy as well as other gamebook collections, but specially for the new things the game brought:

  • You control a Party of characters instead of a single one.
  • 3 different combat types: hand to hand, phasers and spaceship battles!

An Adventure Party and a Ship

In Starship Traveller you play as the Captain of the ship, but that is not all, you are also accompanied by your crew and you get to create a total of 7 characters. Each character has it’s own Skill and Stamina. The Luck stat, however, is not per party character but as a single stat which affects everyone when the time comes.

When you visit a planet you will have the choice to select your Away Team. This is a complicated decision because 3 of your crew members have certain innate specialties. You have the Technician, the Medic and the Engineer. These 3 will suffer a Skill penalty in fights but they can be useful when facing certain situations on the planets. On the other hand you have the Security Chief and 2 Guards which suffer no Skill penalty in fights but have no particular usefulness. It is up to you to make the right choices.

As if this wasn’t enough, you also get a spaceship, the Traveller! This ship also has stats and you get to use them in space battles. The stats for the ship are Weapons Strength and Shields.

3 Different Types of Combat

Hand to Hand combat is the typical Fighting Fantasy combat system. First you determine who hits who and then roll for damage. Except that in Starship Traveller you are usually fighting with your crew against a group of enemies. This is an interesting change from the typical 1 vs 1 or 1 vs a-few.

Phaser fights are much deadlier. When you hit or get hit it’s the end, there is no damage roll, a hit is a kill. These are very exciting battles where luck on the dice determines all. You might also want to avoid running into these since the outcome can be very painful.

Space combat is very similar to the typical Fighting Fantasy combat system. The exception is that it is much harder to recover the health of your ship.


Map of Fighting Fantasy - Starship Traveller (Basic)

As per usual here is the map for the book. I hid all the paragraph numbers which result from coordinate combinations and make no reference to paragraphs which give a coordinate that you can use at the end. These are Vredens maps and that means no puzzle spoilers and no Book content on the map (monster names, place names, monster stats, etc). This map was created using the Portuguese Edition from 1991 which is a translation of the 1983 English Edition.

The color codes are for Hand to Hand fights, Phaser fights, Ship fights, Challenges (Luck Rolls, Stat Checks, etc), Deaths, Puzzles, The End.

Or check out the maps section for this and more maps!

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Scorpion Swamp Review

Scorpion Swamp is one of my favorite Fighting Fantasy books. Its format is quite different from all the others released before it, since those progressed in a linear fashion and this one offered non-linear gameplay.

Both my Scorpion Swamp books

Both my Scorpion Swamp books

In Scorpion Swamp you actually can go back from where you came from (and have to do so to actually finish the book).

Other major aspect of this book is that there’s not only one quest to finish, but at the start of the book you’re allowed to choose one from three quests. All three are pretty easy to finish once you’ve made a map of the swamp and the book actually encourages you to do so.

The swamp is organized into clearings and as long as you don’t stray, mapping it is just a question of marking perpendicular lines connecting clearings. I remember when I was a kid, I just loved doing my swamp maps. 🙂 I actually made a more complex one which will be featured in the upcoming Fighting Fantasy maps page.

Other aspect of the book which I love is the fact that everything is oriented into three ‘factions’: good, neutral or evil. You can tell that the author liked ‘good’ a lot, since these spells and choices bring you the most benefits.

Even though the book was written by Steve Jackson, this isn’t the same Steve Jackson you see listed in pretty much all other books. This is a shame though, since this is certainly a book I’d like to see reprinted.

All in all, I’d pretty much recommend this book. You have to play it at least three times to finish all quests and mapping it is really fun.

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We’re Now

We’ve changed our domain to Thanks everyone for their support, which allowed us to buy it.

Unfortunately, due to the way the internet works, the site might not function as expected for some people during the next few hours. Sorry about this, it will all be back to normal soon. 😉

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Second Destiny Quest Book Sighted

Well, three versions of the second Destiny Quest book, apparently entitled “The Heart of Fire” have shown up on Amazon UK.
All three are going to be published by Gollancz (which I know better for their sci-fi section :)) with the book seemingly making its first showing in paperback and hardback editions in September 2012, followed by a smaller format mass market edition in 2013.

Lets hope one year is enough for vredens to finish the maps for the 1st book’s 3rd quest. 😀

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New Fabled Lands Map

I’ve uploaded a ridiculously large map for The War-Torn Kingdom, the first book in the Fabled Lands series.

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Destiny Quest Maps for The Legion of Shadow

I have recently updated the destiny quest maps for The Legion of Shadow book. There were some errors which none of my proof readers detected but fortunately someone at the Destiny Quest Forums did! Thank you Epsilon.

I’m still missing the Act III because I haven’t actually finished this act and I don’t want any spoilers.

I decided I wanted to finish my gear optimizer for Destiny Quest (think Rawr! for World of Warcraft) before continuing much further.

Also missing are the city quests in act II. But both the Arena and the Robbers are pretty straightforward quests so I don’t think there’s much to think about when you do them. I left this for later development. There might also be some professions missing which leads me to two extra types of map nodes:

  • Pink – these represent a profession learning.
  • No number – these are puzzle solutions. Maps are spoilers but puzzles are PUZZLES!

Check out the fixed maps or here they are for easier access:

Act I

Red, Boss and Special Quests

Act II

Blue Quests

Red, Boss and Special Quests

Orange Quests

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Lone Wolf Maps

Lone Wolf Map Sneak Peak

Lone Wolf Map Sneak Peak

Good day everyone!

There’s now a new page dedicated to Lone Wolf maps. I’ll upload all of them whenever I can.

Have fun! 😉

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Chessex Pound O’ Dice Review

Chessex Pound O' Dice Packaged

Chessex Pound O' Dice Packaged

The thing about most gamebooks is that in order to play them you’ll likely need a pencil, paper, an eraser and… dice. Some books, like the new editions of the Fighting Fantasy series have dice roll results printed in their pages so you can open the book randomly and use them when a throw is needed. Still, throwing dice is more fun and some people (like me :p) actually like to collect them.

If you’re starting your collection or simply want lots of different dice without paying much for them, you have the option of acquiring a Chessex Pound O’ Dice. This is a bag of assorted dice. According to the official description, the bag comes with about 100 dice (6, 8, 10, 12, 20 & 30-sided) and all are factory seconds (dice with small defects). In addition, inside the bag there’s an envelope with a complete polyhedral speckled dice set, which only can be acquired with these bags.

Chessex Pound O' Dice Overview

Chessex Pound O' Dice Overview

Chessex Pound O' Dice Sorted

Chessex Pound O' Dice Sorted

Upon first inspection of the dice I got, I couldn’t find any unusable dice and found only minor flaws or none at all. The most curious flaw were two D6 dice missing the pip in the ‘1’ face.

I didn’t get any complete set other than the one in the envelope and got 80 dice (not as many as I’d have expected) distributed thus:

  • 4X D4
  • 13x D6 with pips
  • 7x D6 with numerals
  • 4x D8
  • 11x D10 (0 to 9)
  • 5x D10 (00 to 90)
  • 16x D12
  • 30x D20

I didn’t get any D30 dice. I don’t need any anyway, but I was curious to see what they look like.

As expected, the envelope contained a complete set of red speckled dice and I observed no flaws in these.

Chessex Pound O' Dice Envelope

Chessex Pound O' Dice Envelope

All in all I’m pretty happy with my new dice and it’s always fun to play with different dice each day and to try to complete each set in time.

Available At

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Accessories, Dice | Tagged , , | 2 Comments


Gamebooks refer to books which you play. They are RPG in the form of books. They are the solo version of a D&D session. They are amazing and if you’ve never read one then you are missing one hell of a ride.

This site is dedicated to all gamebooks, from the very old D&D adventure books, passing through the mandatory Fighting Fantasy (the very much loved classic), and culminating in the most recent Destiny Quest gamebook (series?). We offer you guides, reviews, and not just about the books themselves. We also enjoy rolling those dice that make you punch the table in frustration and close the book for the day after seeing your character fail yet once again on the same epic monster. We share a passion in gamebooks and that is what we share.

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