Phantoms of Fear
Treading boldly into the forest without even packing a lunch first, you do find the source of the evil: a demon prince living in a world that brings dreams and reality together. A dream-walker such as yourself can make the best of this, switching between the worlds to avoid certain death and to accrete magical power for the big showdown.
Review and Opinion
I never did finish it. I’ve played through over 20 times, and have the entire book mapped out. But there’s so much pure luck involved (and I don’t mean Test Your Luck or bad fortune in combat) that it just isn’t happening. But… let me back up a bit.
The game brings magic spells as a mechanic, which I totally love. You can spend Power points to scare off bugs, injure enemies, etc.
The second half brings a crossover between the dream world and the physical world. At various points in the dungeon you can phase out into the dream world, then drop back into the physical world after your lucid dreaming gains or loses Power. That is so cool!
And, the boss fight can take place in the dream world or in the physical world. Aww yeah!
But it fell short of what it could have been. Very short.
Magic spell capability is only used in the first half of the book, and only 1 or 2 times. It’s really just a trick to deplete your Power, and at the halfway point where you enter the dream-reality mixture, they say “no more spells”. It’s sad to see one of my favorite mechanics just thrown away, and I would very much have enjoyed seeing magic stay an integral part to the end.
The dream fights figure prominently, but sadly they consist of merely rolling 2d6 until someone reaches 0. No strategy nor decisions, not even your Skill score nor buff items, just keep rolling 2d6. For the boss fight, you have to win 3 of these purely-random dream battles in a row, then have accumulated 22 Power (by having won these random battles previously) in order to take on the boss fight.
Phantoms of Fear had some very intriguing ideas with a lot of promise, but in places was so poorly implemented that after three days I gave up on it.
Written by Robin Waterfield
Illustrated by Ian Miller
Book 28 in the series
Other Players and Links
- SidekickCast, PJ Montgomery’s review of Phantoms of Fear
- Seven Fourteen Seven plays PoF
- A playthrough of PoF by Fighting Dantasy
- Malthus Dire reviews Phantoms of Fear
- Justin Parallax plays Phantoms of Fear
- A Phantoms of fear playthrough at FFBlog
- Champskees’ best path walkthrough over at FF Proboards
- Alison Cybe plays PoR
Tags to Other Adventures1987 Fighting Fantasy Forest Ian Miller Khul Robin Waterfield
First published January 3, 2016. Last updated May 19, 2023.