I'm trying to find a book which a friend had back in the 80s. I held it and browsed it, but I haven't seen it in over 20 years.
It was a hardcover with binding and cover like the original AD&D books, no dust jacket, and a slight canvas texture. However, the dimensions were more like a Stephen King hardcover, smaller and slightly thicker than what TSR printed at the time. The title may have contained fantasy and role-playing. It was a brownish color with a fantasy scene that I think had a dragon and some kind of ogre or giant. The cover art might've been wraparound, reminiscent of the AD&D Monster Manual.
It was definitely made to cash in on the late-70s and early-80s D&D craze. My friend bought the book at a grocery store that had a large selection of trendy books. The only clear memory of the book I have is that my friend's mom read it and objected to a passage detailing how a maiden was used to entice and trap a unicorn. The book drew a lot from folktales and mythology—much more than TSR products typically did.
I'm pretty sure the interior was black and white with some pen and ink illustrations. Also, I think it contained a complete but very rudimentary role-playing system.
The book's been in the back of my mind for years, but since starting playing 5e it's been driving me crazy that I can't recall the book or find a copy. I've searched Amazon, Abebooks, Alibris and Powells.