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Series - Lone Wolf (1984-1998)

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Publishers: Beaver Books -- United Kingdom
Berkley (Pacer imprint) -- United States
Hutchinson -- United Kingdom
Project Aon -- Internet
Red Fox -- United Kingdom
Sparrow -- United Kingdom
Categories: Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Format : Hardback
Format : Paperback
Format : Web Page
Game System : Character Advancement
Game System : Combat
Game System : Inventory Management
Game System : Randomization Method : In Book
Game System : Scores
Game System : Skill Selection
Genre : Fantasy
Product Family : Lone Wolf
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Translated Into: Einsamer Wolf (1984-1990) (German)
Ensamma Vargen (1985-1990) (Swedish)
Ensomme ulv (Danish)
Lobo Solitario (Spanish)
Lobo Solitário (Portuguese)
Lone Wolf (Malay)
Lone Wolf (Czech)
Loup solitaire (French)
Lupo solitario (Italian)
Magányos farkas (Hungarian)
Monachikos Lύkos [Μοναχικός Λύκος] (Greek)
Roon Urufu [ローン・ウルフ] (Japanese)
Samotniya valk [Самотния вълк] (Bulgarian)
Serija Vuk samotnjak (Serbo-Croatian)

The books in this series are among the most influential gamebooks ever published. The second great British success (after Fighting Fantasy), this series offers a distinctly different style of writing and gameplay. The first twelve books form a continuing storyline in which the reader controls Lone Wolf, the last survivor of an order of warrior-monks known as the Kai, as he grows in power and wisdom and overcomes his nemeses, the Darklords of Helgedad. Books thirteen through twenty follow the character's further development as a Kai Grand Master, and the final eight titles allow the reader to create a new Kai character, a member of the New Order established as the result of Lone Wolf's endeavors. There were originally supposed to be twelve books in the New Order series, but at the urgings of the publisher, the series came to a somewhat rushed close at book number twenty-eight. Before this happened, though, the series managed to spawn several spin-off books: The World of Lone Wolf, a four-gamebook cycle set in the southern part of Magnamund, the fantasy land in which Lone Wolf lives; The Magnamund Companion, a guidebook to all things Lone Wolf which includes a brief gamebook adventure; and Legends of Lone Wolf, a series of novels retelling the plotline of the first eight books of the main gamebook series.

The Lone Wolf books feature a particularly elegant and enjoyable game system, the basics of which are quite straightforward. There are two attributes to keep track of (Combat Skill and Endurance), there's a limit to how much equipment can be carried around (eight backpack items, two weapons, fifty coins and a variety of "special items" carried outside of the backpack), and there's a simple combat system in which combatants compare Combat Skill scores, generate random numbers, and refer to a simple table until one or the other runs out of Endurance points. The system is made most interesting by the fact that the reader must choose the main character's special abilities from a list of options such as Animal Kinship, Tracking or Sixth Sense. Completing books successfully allows new skills to be added, and all of the skills are used frequently during gameplay, either by allowing special actions to be performed or by modifying the rules in various ways (Healing, for example, recovers lost Endurance as time passes, while Hunting prevents the reader from being forced to carry food around). Later books in the series offer more advanced skills and add a few minor additional details to the rules.

The first twelve Lone Wolf books were published in England by Sparrow Books, which became Beaver Books during the run of the series. Fairly early on, Hutchinson released The Lone Wolf Adventures, a hardback volume containing the first two gamebooks. The sixteen books following the first twelve (along with reprints of their predecessors, including an omnibus edition of the first two titles) were put out by Red Fox. In the United States, the series was picked up by Pacer, which printed faithful reproductions (with different covers) of the first two volumes. Pacer was absorbed into Berkley shortly thereafter, and the quality of the American editions slowly declined from that point on. Berkley's editions reduced the original books' color maps to black and white, and when Berkley got around to releasing books thirteen through twenty of the series, it actually printed abridged editions with many sections of text removed. The final eight books were never released in the United States. In 1999, after all English-language editions of Lone Wolf had gone out of print, Joe Dever announced that he wished to encourage the creation of free Internet editions of his work. For this purpose, Project Aon was formed, and the group slowly but steadily began creating authoritative, corrected online versions of the gamebooks.

The efforts of Project Aon eventually bore fruit, as they helped fuel the revised and expanded Lone Wolf Reissues that appeared starting in 2007.

A completely new 29th book was announced from Holmgard Press in 2016. See the reissues listing for this and newer titles.


The Lone Wolf Adventures (Flight from the Dark and 1 more item)
Lone Wolf Game Book Omnibus (Flight from the Dark and 1 more item)


1. Flight from the Dark
2. Fire on the Water
3. The Caverns of Kalte
4. The Chasm of Doom
5. Shadow on the Sand
6. The Kingdoms of Terror
7. Castle Death
8. The Jungle of Horrors
9. The Cauldron of Fear
10. The Dungeons of Torgar
11. The Prisoners of Time
12. The Masters of Darkness
13. The Plague Lords of Ruel
14. The Captives of Kaag
15. The Darke Crusade
16. The Legacy of Vashna
17. The Deathlord of Ixia
18. Dawn of the Dragons
19. Wolf's Bane
20. The Curse of Naar
21. Voyage of the Moonstone
22. The Buccaneers of Shadaki
23. Mydnight's Hero
24. Rune War
25. Trail of the Wolf
26. The Fall of Blood Mountain
27. Vampirium
28. The Hunger of Sejanoz

Promotional Material

Lone Wolf Promotional Poster

Related Documents


Lone Wolf Club
Thanks to Andrew G. Black for the image!

Lone Wolf Computer Game Ad
Thanks to Andrew G. Black for the image!

Lone Wolf Fine Art Sculpture
Thanks to Andrew G. Black for the image!

Lone Wolf Knitwear
Thanks to Andrew G. Black for the image!

Lone Wolf T-Shirt
Thanks to Andrew G. Black for the image!

Lone Wolf: Dawn of the Dragons
from Dragon #188, page 21

Lone Wolf: The Deathlord of Ixia
from Dragon #184, page 23

Lone Wolf: The Skull of Agarash
from Dragon #206, page 13

Play Aid

Lone Wolf # 1 Character Sheet

Lone Wolf # 2 Character Sheet

Lone Wolf # 3 / #4 / # 5 Character Sheet (back)

Lone Wolf # 3 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf # 4 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf # 5 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf # 6 / # 8 Character Sheet (back)

Lone Wolf # 6 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf # 7 Character Sheet (back)

Lone Wolf # 7 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf # 8 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf # 9 / #10 / #11 / #12 Character Sheet (back)

Lone Wolf # 9 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #10 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #11 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #12 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #13 / #14 / #16 / #18 / #20 Character Sheet (back)

Lone Wolf #13 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #14 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #16 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #18 Character Sheet (front)

Lone Wolf #19 Character Sheet

Lone Wolf #20 Character Sheet (front)

Structure Diagram

Lone Wolf # 1 Map
This file includes a map of the structure of the original version of Lone Wolf #1: Flight from the Dark, courtesy of Nils.

Bibliography of Items About "Lone Wolf (1984-1998)"


Linefeed: Computer Books, Game Books, Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Reviewed
Lone Wolf Bites Back
The Publishers Strike Back


The Battle of Cetza

Related Links

User Comments

I've long felt that the game system in these books is one of the best ever found in a gamebook. Although it's unfortunate that the Combat Skill and Endurance attributes are determined randomly (I prefer point-assignment systems since they allow more strategy), the rest of the system serves to add all kinds of interesting choices on top of the ones that are part of the text. Choosing skills for a new character is always exciting, as is picking the new skill that you are awarded with whenever you successfully finish a book. Inventory management offers further choices both because many books include long lists of items from which a limited number may be chosen and also because limited backpack space often leads to decisions about when to use or abandon equipment. Because of all of this, the reader always feels in control and like a true part of the story.


A long running and highly successful gamebook series, second only to Fighting Fantasy. Each tale of the last Kai Lord, Lone Wolf, leads onto the next story. As such, the series rewards you for completing previous adventures by granting you extra skills, and sometimes very valuable items.

Later books became increasingly descriptive, giving the reader a strong feel and affinity for the world of Aon and its many inhabitants, both good and evil.

One of the finest series of gamebooks, and a must read [chronologically if possible].


This was a series I remember as a kid. My buddy had the first two Lone Wolf books and we used to read them on sleepovers and debate the choices, actually a nice kind of discussion exercise.

I was excited to see that they are available for download with Project Aon. It was really generous of the late Joe Dever to want to share his creation in a more modern format, and I highly recommend it. It leads me to notice how ideally gamebooks should adapt to modern devices like Kindle. The only problem is I think the Kindle format would work better on more traditional Choose Your Own Adventure types of books, by removing the need to page flip. I don't find it as convenient with gamebook styles like this where there isn't an easy way to flip back and forth between the character reference sheet and the story (or I haven't found it yet).

Looking forward to reading and reviewing a few of these.


One of the most easily overlooked, outright iconic franchises ever created, "Lone Wolf" is interesting as a series that has mostly endured the test of time and won its way to the heart of many of its readers. Widely praised for its system of play, and successive onto its sequential narrative, interestingly I've always personally found it difficult to get into this series, yet I believe there is a static, universal appeal to these books for anyone interested in the genre - as in, anyone can appreciate its endeavors and enjoy the immersiveness of the world to the extent that a reader opens him or herself up to it. It's hard to say whether its reputation has always been as strong as it is now or if the appeal has waned since its release, though it remains for certain that the series will always stand as a sort of cult classic in fantasy literature overall, and a cornerstone of gamebooks and interactive fiction historically.


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