Monday, 26 November 2007

Literary Section - News I: Lone Wolf is Back...!

...and better then ever! A few years back, I was thrilled to see that Mongoose Publishing (who produces the Conan D20 series) had obtained the rights to Joe Dever's Lone Wolf and made it into a full-fledged RPG with D20 rules. OK, I was skeptical at the beginning, since I do not really like D&D Editions 3 and 3.5 (and will probably hate the 4th Edition, due in 2008) or the whole open license thing (which, granted, gave opporunity for a few good things to be published - mainy by Mongoose and AEG, as well as the Eberron Campaign) but also brought to the surface a real sea of turd and cheap-ass rip-offs. HOWEVER, the Lone Wolf RPG pays only token attention to the new editions of D&D and forges a new system, more true to the tradition of the feel of the original Lone Wolf gamebooks.

Cover Artwork from Mongoose's Lone Wolf RPG.

Now, scavenging for various books through the alleys and underbellies of this pipeline network called "internet", I came across this spirit-raising fact: the gamebooks are coming back out from Mongoose, revised, expanded AND - for the real aficionados - in hardback! The one thing distressing me is "with new artwork". I LOVED Gary Chalk's and Brian Williams's illustrations but I will not judge before I see. Although I also loved the original covers (especially in the Magnakai and Grandmaster series), the new covers are also really, really good.

The Original Edition of Volume 1.
(Red Fox)

The Edition that came over to
Greece from Italy.

Another version of Volume 1.

The new, Collector's Edition.

You can order the books either throught the usual sources (Amazon etc. although they were unavailable in the Book Depository) or wait for them to hit the shelves. However, you can also order them from Mongoose Publishing directly, especially the collector's editions AND there is an offer I find tempting there, though a bit hard on my pocket at first look.

ergoproxy and I were very fond of these books back in the day (although the Greek translations were not THAT good) and we even attempted to convert some of the creatures there for the 2nd Edition AD&D. I still have those papers...

Anyway, this is obviously NOT today's regular update (which will appear later in the day) but I just HAD to mention this developpment, honoring our youth. Yes, the picture was posted in the Literary Section during the small hours today and I apologise for that (was supposed to be on the weekend) but, as I said, I keep odd hours and for me the day does not change until I wake up, heh.

...and this is my personal favorite
from the Red Fox Edition,
Volume 08 - The Jungle of

See you later,


Jonathan Blake said...

In case you haven't heard about Project Aon, the Lone Wolf books are available free of charge with the permission of the authors and illustrators. Cheers!

Ergo Proxy said...

Sure, I know of Project Aon (I have played all the Kai, Magnakai and almost finished the Grandmaster Series on their platform - again), which is where I first got wind of the new editions. Thanks for the thought however!


J P Barnett said...

Having never read Lone Wolf (but plenty of Fighting Fantasy) which of the two series were superior? Did Lone Wolf do things any different (and/or better) than FF.

I'll read one of these one day, so I can find out for myself. It will probably help me from a gamebook writing point of view too. I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve the genre, where possible.