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Creature of Havoc

YOU become the monster in the dungeon, killing hapless intruders into your dungeon home and feasting on their flesh. In particular, you have a fondness for hobbit meat, especially still warm.

Your actions are random and thoughtless until you stumble across a vial of fog, the Vapor of Reason, and gain free will. Now you can choose your actions, but who are you and what are you doing? You’ll find that out after you find the Vapor of Tongues (language) and a secret door, to meet the master of the dungeon.

And then the real adventure begins, to destroy the wizard who created the abomination… that is YOU.


Review and Opinion

I’m torn on this one.

On the one hand, this is truly an epic undertaking.

Not only are you not The Hero but you’re just another monster in the dungeon, at first. The quest seems to go on forever as you escape the dungeon, wander around the Knotoak Wood / Coven region looking for a purpose in life, then finally killing a wizard.

The dungeons and world are self-consistent as well: the paths and connections form a coherent whole instead of completely disparate paths with a few “funnels” to the next section. Whether you have the Magic Thing to continue the quest or not, you’re dumped into the same hallway or forest with the same paths, and you break out of it with secret “if you see X, subtract Y from the page number and turn there”mechanisms. This means that you can wander the map over large areas, eventually meeting some awful fate with no giveaways as to how you move forward. It’s really quite clever, very “next level”.

On the other hand, it was hard and frustrating and I couldn’t ever have won it without peeking at others’ walkthroughs.

There are so many hidden required bits, some buried in codes that take forever to decipher, and most of them so well hidden that you’ll never find them. The scroll has a clue to a mirror which you’ll only find if you ignore half of the puzzle which you’ll only hear if you have the ring but only if you met the half-orc, …

I’ve been working on this book for a month. No joke, five nights a week for a month. Eventually I gave up and peeked at Champskees’ walkthrough to find a next step, then I banged my head into the wall for another 3 or 5 nights.

It’s masterful in its execution. It’s epic in its scale. It’s intensely cerebral with little Skill 12 Boss fighting. I respect all of that. But ultimately, it was too smart for me and I would never have solved it.



There’s the infamous page 213 error, where Steve forgot to lead in with the right keywords to open the secret passage. A lot of folks try to rationalize it, but they’re wrong.

The road signs at 130 and 244 are wrong. Though Socky points out that this may be a deliberate in-story move, that some vandal switched them,


Spoiler Hints

Weaseltongue’s poem on 219 about which door to choose, is unclear (but maybe this is intentional)? Water is the correct door (fire + ice). Thank you Socky for pointing this out.

My map 3 is missing a bit: The sculliweed has a number 49, so when you meet the women on 92, turn to 141. This gets the Ring of Truth which is not on my map, and which is very helpful when dealing with Weaseltongue.





Written by Steve Jackson

Illustrated by Alan Langford


Book 24 in the series


Other Players and Links



Tags to Other Adventures

1986 Alan Langford Allansia Coven Dree Fighting Fantasy Horror Knotoak Wood Steve Jackson Stittle Woad

The Comments Section


  • Socky says:

    I took the road signs to be deliberate – someone in-world rotated the signs (and both in the same direction). It’s in keeping with just how unrelentingly hostile the environs of this one are… “The traps and terrors of trolltooth pass are many”, right?

    Weaseltongue’s poem is also legit. The answer is water. What’s between fire (red) and ice (white)? The water (blue) from the melted ice, which puts out the fire (ends the fight). The fact that the doors are arranged in the illustration so that water isn’t between fire and ice is another trap.

  • Socky says:

    It later occurred to me that there’s another “error” that I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned anywhere…

    For the entire book, your character is mute (and it’s emphasized in places). But when you meet Weaseltongue, suddenly you can ask him detailed questions. Somehow.

    BTW, the Ring of Truth is absolutely required for Weaseltongue – if you don’t use it, and use it in exactly the right way, then the book won’t let you survive being caught by the Galleykeep (not really explained, but implied that this is the only path in which you wind up deliberately looking for one of the traps, and therefore the only one in which you have sufficient timing and preparation to turn the tables once you’ve sprung it). This in turn is the only reason why you have to actually do the whole witches’ quest section, acquiring the third Vapour along the way… having the Ring of Truth means that you must also have the Vapour, and this is the only path that gets to Marr; but you can still fail to reach the final section if you ask Weaseltongue the wrong question (or don’t show the ring). The One True Path in this book is incredibly stringent.

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First published April 23, 2021. Last updated February 28, 2024.