City of Thieves
Because Zanbar Bone, a skeleton with a horde of undead at his command, is demanding human tribute from the town of Silverton. (he’s a skeleton named Bone? seriously?)
Sometimes, being a hero and saving a town, means being a not very nice person.
Review and Opinion
This one was a rockin’ good time. Right on page one I’m arrested and have to break out of jail. I got eaten by a giant centipede, got beaten to death by thugs, fought a mummy, and was attacked by birds. I even got a really stupid facial tattoo cuz some senile wizard told me to!
Like a lot of the earlier ones, I finished it in two evenings and didn’t find it terribly difficult. The combat was mostly easy, except for a few times. My first playthrough had a Skill of 7, but I still plotted out a lot of Port Blacksand and had a good time. Most of the fun was just the scavenger hunt through the famous Port Blacksand… and getting a facial tattoo just moments before being kicked out of the city.
The boss fight wasn’t even a usual Skill 12 / Stamina 20 fight, but simply a Test Your Luck. That’s a bit goofy that firing an arrow on which the whole adventure hinges, is a single TYL and not even a Skill roll to back it up but… I did make it, though. (I rolled an 11 and had a Luck of 11 – whew!)
The book, like some early ones, is capricious in clarifying when a buff item increases your Skill as opposed to increasing your Combat Strength. Obviously a shield won’t increase your Skill with picking a lock or jumping a chasm, while elven jumping boots might. So, I used some judgment on when they meant Combat Strength versus Skill.
While scrambling up a tree, you’re told to drop your shield and take -1 Skill, though in most cases you don’t even have a shield. As I implied above, in this case I played it smart and didn’t lose a Skill point since I never had a shield anyway.
I don’t normally stop and admire artwork, but Iain McCaig’s work in City of Thieves was quite something. Check these out, just for a few.
Written by Ian Livingstone
Illustrated by Ian McCaig
Book 5 in the series
Other Players and Links
- SidekickCast, PJ Montgomery’s review of City of Thieves
- A great sendup of City of Thieves by Murray at Turn To 400
- Seven Fourteen Seven plays City of Thieves
- Justin Parallax plays City of Thieves
- City of Thieves at Fighting Fantasy Project
- Pestridge reviews COT on YouTube
- Champskees gives a best path walkthrough of City of Thieves at FF Proboards
- Alison Cybe plays CoT
Tags to Other Adventures1983 Allansia Fighting Fantasy Iain McCaig Ian Livingstone Port Blacksand Titan
First published January 12, 2016. Last updated May 19, 2023.