This is Titan: The Fighting Fantasy World. Originally published in 1986 in a larger A4 size with color plates, this is in the A5 edition from 1989. No color plates, boooo. That cover by Chris Achilleos has been fixed in my brain for decades, tho, and there is plenty of lovely black and white art by FF’s stable of regular artists (I couldn’t guess a percentile, but unlike Out of the Pit, a good number of these illustrations are new).

Color plates or not, this is the superior edition, because there’s more words. It’s all system agnostic, not a mechanic in sight. And while all the information here derives directly from “facts” established in the gamebook series, it feels new and cohesive in a way getting it piecemail over two dozen books could never really rival. We get pretty exhaustive surveys of the three main continents — Allansia and Khul of the Fighting Fantasy books, and The Old World of the Sorcery books (not to be confused with WFRP’s Old World, I guess, even though John Blanche and John Sibbick and a bunch of other GW artists are in here). We also get info on underwater kingdoms, astronomy, the gods, a good deal of history and details on the ever-present threat of the forces of Chaos. Wait, are we SURE this isn’t Warhammer? There are clear similarities, sharing as they do a core creative pool, but Titan is a little more disorderly, a little less tidy. As such, it feels a bit more over the top, and maybe a touch more violent, if you can believe it. I love the Old World, but I’ve been visiting Titan since 6th grade, so it’s my clear favorite. Plus, pound for pound, its got more Russ Nicholson.

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