BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

GW’s ‘Warlock of Firetop Mountain’ Could Have Been a Normal Dungeon Crawler, But I’m Glad It’s Not

3 Minute Read
Apr 10 2024
Hot story icon

Warlock of Firetop Mountain looks like a classic dungeon-crawling adventure, but it’s got an extra touch of mystery that helps it stand out.

On the surface, 1986’s Warlock of Firetop Mountain by Games Workshop seems very straightforward. But once you dig into the inner workings, you find a game that is willing to try something new. And you know what? I like it!

All images via Board Game Geek

Warlock of Firetop Mountain Overview

To be fair, Warlock of Firetop Mountain is mostly a standard dungeon crawler. It’s based on a series of adventure gamebooks of the Fighting Fantasy series and is represented on Nintendo Switch and Steam.

Players play as intrepid heroes, delving into the darkest reaches of Firetop Mountain to slay the evil Warlock. Along the way, they encounter monsters, avoid traps, and find treasure… You know, all that jazz.

But Warlock of Firetop Mountain has a really unique win condition. In order to win, players must crack the code, find the keys, and open the treasure chest. The main objective for the players is to open the treasure chest found with the Warlock. But he’s got it sealed and it requires 3 keys to open. But not just any keys. It requires a specific combination of keys to open.

Crack the Code to the Treasure

The game comes with several key challenge tokens, each numbered 1 – 9. Three of them are set aside to form the secret combination to the chest. The rest (and a few blanks) are distributed to the players. And just like in your great aunt’s favorite game, Clue, now all players have some knowledge of what key cards are not part of the actual combination.

But now it’s a matter of finding those keys. So while the players are battling monsters and avoiding hazards, they are also peeking at each other’s key combination tokens and stealing each other’s keys to try to be the first player to correctly guess the combination to the chest and have the appropriate keys required.

Along the way, players will battle monsters to find treasure, which will be the actual keys required or one of several magic items.  But the first player to figure out the correct combination of keys, gather up said keys, defeat Zagor the Warlock, and crack open that treasure chest wins the game!

For what could have easily been yet another standard dungeon crawler, Warlock of Firetop Mountain takes a step into the bizarre with the Clue mechanic. But it fits so well here and adds a great layer of complexity to the game.


Author: Matt Sall
  • 'Gauntlet at the Garden' - Dimension 20 Brings Live D&D Show To Madison Square Garden