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In the (late?) '80s I "played" some books. They were choose-your-own-adventure-like, but with a big caveat: there was a character sheet (within the first few pages, or maybe the inside of the front cover?) where you would track some things that changed through the course of the adventure: HP, spells you knew, maybe AC when you found some gear? Through the book/adventure you would have choices at the end of a page, but some of them would depend on your current state.

They were D&D-like (fantasy adventure), though I can't swear they were by TSR. I do remember pretty vividly spider climb being a spell I used, though....

Any chance this rings a bell for you?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's Tunnels and Trolls solo books, based on reading the WP entry, but I could be wrong. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Sep 7, 2021 at 4:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ The Lone Wolf fantasy gamebooks worked this way, but I don't think that was it, as there was no spider climb spell that I can find. There was a Magnakai discipline of Huntmastery which allowed improved climbing, though nothing named spider climb. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7, 2021 at 5:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @QuadraticWizard There was also a miniseries set in the same world focusing on Grey Star the Wizard, but magic was divided into broader kinds of magic like prophecy, sorcery, etc. I don't think there were any individual spells mentioned. \$\endgroup\$
    – chepner
    Sep 7, 2021 at 11:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @QuadraticWizard thanks for the pointer. At this point (thirty-plus years later) I'm not sure I really trust my own memory, so I'll probably pick up one of the LW books you mention just to check the feel. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Sep 7, 2021 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think I still have one, but they came as a set and I lost the companion book. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7, 2021 at 12:43

3 Answers 3

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Most likely answer: Super Endless Quest aka Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Gamebooks

The Super Endless Quest series, later renamed Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Gamebooks, contains all the elements you remember (Thanks to Astrid_Redfern for pointing this out!).


Other possibilities

Given the character sheet elements, you might be referring to the Fighting Fantasy series, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. They weren't set in D&D universes, and were not licensed by TSR, but they did typically use a fantasy theme.

The other possibility is that you're remembering the predecessor to Super Endless Quest, Endless Quest, originally released under TSR and set in generic D&D universes, but eventually expanding to other settings, continuing publication under WotC. It didn't have character sheets or dice rolling, being essentially a rebranded Choose Your Own Adventure in generic D&D settings, but it's close.

If you're not remembering Super Endless Quest, you could be mixing memories of multiple series; the character sheets and die rolling were Fighting Fantasy, while the strongly D&D elements like actual spells pulled straight from D&D like spider climb were from Endless Quest.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60: Yeah, I just updated the answer because I missed the character sheet aspect. My guess is you mixed up memories of both, because the Fighting Fantasy series (which had character sheets and dice rolling) was not D&D licensed, while Endless Quest was. Dragon of Doom (the one I own) was a weird one, in that it pretended to have a limited resource element given to your character, but you could never use it up (so no resource tracking was actually involved). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7, 2021 at 4:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fighting Fantasy looks like a possibility... I'll pick one up and see if it conjures memories. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Sep 7, 2021 at 4:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowRanger There was a series called Super Endless Quest, which was intended as a more advanced successor to Endless Quest that older players could pick up. In describing the series, Demian states that it DID have: "attribute scores ... added to dice rolls to determine success or failure in various actions during the book. There are also hit points to keep track of, and some books feature experience points (which can be spent to modify dice rolls), spellcasting, or other special rules." \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2022 at 12:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Astrid_Redfern: Oh, man, can't believe I missed those. I've edited the answer to add and prioritize that (with credit to you), since it's much closer to what the OP remembered. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2022 at 19:03
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An excellent reference is Damien's Gamebook Site.

There were a number of gamebooks produced by TSR. The only one I played was the Druid vs Mage one, which could also be played solo. They had D&D style character sheets in them. These were part of the 1 on 1 Adventure series.

Your book is probably in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Gamebooks series, which started off as Super Endless Quest.

A likely candidate for what you want is Sceptre of Power, book one in the Kingdom of Sorcery Trilogy.

A copy of the inset can be seen here: it has Hit Points and Spider Climb.

In case the inset link doesn't work:

Character stats card

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Sep 7, 2021 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ooh, wow. Definitely will pick up one or more of these and see if they knock anything loose from the dusty, old grey-matter filing cabinets. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Sep 8, 2021 at 16:13
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Could this possibly be Wizards, Warriors, and You, a series from the mid-80s by RL Stine? You choose between reading as the Wizard (with spells) or the Warrior (with equipment).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do those have character sheets as explained by OP? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 7, 2021 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ As the warrior, you would choose a weapons loadout. As the wizard, you would choose spells. Other than that, no. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Sep 7, 2021 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden Then that doesn't seem like a relevant answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 7, 2021 at 20:19

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