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D&D Endless Quests… in Target, B&N, Amazon, and More!

Dungeons & Dragons Endless Quest gamebooks are back in the wild! The series, which ran in the mid-80s and again in the mid-90s, returned with new books written by Matt Forbeck released by Penguin Random House and Candlewick Entertainment through a deal with Wizards of the Coast.


What are they? D&D gamebooks. They’re squarely Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA)/Endless Quest (EQ) style novels set in Forgotten Realms. While each of the books stands alone, they exist in the same setting and timeframe.

What classes are you playing? The classic core.

  • The fighter’s story is entitled Escape the Underdark.
  • The rogue’s story is To Catch a Thief. The biggest note here is that, despite the class being “Rogue”, the characters in this book clearly see the reader as a thief.
  • The wizard’s tale is Big Trouble.
  • The cleric’s is titled Into the Jungle.
“Classes”? Do I get to roll up a character? Unfortunately, no. This is the classic CYOA / EQ setup where your options are not quite Tunnels & Trolls-level solo adventures. Instead, you’ll come to decision points with one to several options to choose from.

Who is Matt Forbeck? A writer with roots in game design starting with D&D 2e and so many more games. Focusing in on his D&D prose credentials, he’s authored an Eberron trilogy and did the D&D younger-readers series, The Knights of the Silver Dragon.

Why is this a big deal? Really, the answer to that question is the answer to this question: Where are they available? Target. You can buy these at the standard online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc), but why this series is a big deal is that it’s available in brick and mortar Targets throughout the United States. Add to that, these books are shelved with the “Young Readers” books for ages 8 to 13. This product is not targeted [no pun intended] at the existing base but at new readers.

Penguin Random House
, Candlewick, and WotC are putting their best foot forward with this. First, Matt Forbeck is the correct writer for this with the right resume and popularity to make this work. Second, the books are awash in art taken from 5e books. While these are recycled pieces, these are great pieces so that’s not a problem (and considering these are entry-level books, the reader is unlikely to be aware that the art is repurposed). Third, the books are well laid out and solidly printed, they look great! These four D&D books are getting a level of exposure that D&D specifically, and RPG in general, has not had in years. These Endless Quest novels will be some future RPGers gateway into a love of tabletop gaming.

This article was contributed by Egg Embry as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. Please note that Egg is a participant in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to DriveThruRPG. We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
 
Egg Embry

Comments

Egg Embry

Explorer
Last edited by a moderator:

dave2008

Adventurer
These make me wish I had a young reader. I don't think my 15 & 17 year old would be interested anymore. Of course I have had them playing D&D since they were 8 & 6, so they are not really the target audience.
 

Nate1970

Villager
I have the cleric one and look forward to reading it. Just waiting for my new glasses to show up....my eyes have gotten bad
 

Egg Embry

Explorer
I have the cleric one and look forward to reading it. Just waiting for my new glasses to show up....my eyes have gotten bad
Sorry to hear about your eyes. I hope the glasses arrive soon! :)

Thanks,

Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer
If you're a publisher that would like to share an RPG-related job opportunity in a future article, please contact me here.
 

Von Ether

Explorer
I have a friend whose children's books showed up in the Costco bargain bin. Suddenly his old series had a second lease on life. It was huge compared to regular book store sales when the series was new. It didn't hurt that the Costco copies where like the 2nd and 3rd book so people were scrounging around for book one.

Matt's a great guy, so I'm hoping that this level of exposure gives him fat royalty checks like he's never seen before. His five kids are hitting college right now (one child and a set of quints, I think), so he needs all the help he can get.
 

Zarithar

Registered User
So has anyone here read them? I realize that I'm not the target demo... but I've been known to read some YA fantasy from time to time. Are these any good?
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
You can also find some of these in some libraries in the U.S.
Yep. Also, I was very happy to see that my local library has "Art & Arcana" on order, which I found out when I went online to request that they get it.

BTW, most libraries have a way for you to request books. If you want to help the hobby, make requests for RPG and RPG-related/inspired books that have mass appeal.

I've found that books from better-known publishers are more likely to be selected. I don't know if that is because libraries get special deals from the larger publishers and distributors or that it just seems like a "safer bet" to the librarians considering them.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
So has anyone here read them? I realize that I'm not the target demo... but I've been known to read some YA fantasy from time to time. Are these any good?

I read the fighter one. I enjoyed it enough to read through the whole thing, including all the variants, in one sitting. It's not great literature, but it is an enjoyable enough read.

More important, both my boys (ages 8 and 11) liked it. I'll probably by the rest of the books as stocking stuffers.
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
Yep. Also, I was very happy to see that my local library has "Art & Arcana" on order, which I found out when I went online to request that they get it.

BTW, most libraries have a way for you to request books. If you want to help the hobby, make requests for RPG and RPG-related/inspired books that have mass appeal.

I've found that books from better-known publishers are more likely to be selected. I don't know if that is because libraries get special deals from the larger publishers and distributors or that it just seems like a "safer bet" to the librarians considering them.
Most libraries buy through one of two or three large distributors. If your requested material is not available through one of them, we will usually not order it direct, because we do get big discounts. I will look tomorrow to see if these are available and if so, recommend them to the Children’s Librarian for purchase in my system.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
So has anyone here read them? I realize that I'm not the target demo... but I've been known to read some YA fantasy from time to time. Are these any good?
I got all four when they were released and I have read them.

They are not as good as the early Endless quests written by Estes, and not quite as free to do as you wish as some of the other Endless quests, but they aren't terrible either.

The are FAR better than the Choose your Own Adventure books. I'd compare them to some of the weaker Endless quest books in the old line. Similar to Spell of the Winter Wizard or Light on Quest Mountain in the level or reading and enjoyability.

For positives and negatives...

Negatives first...

The main problem I have is how contrived some of the situations are. At times it seems entirely arbitrary. You stand here and kill this guy and Demogorgan makes you go crazy. You stand in the same place and hide and Demogorgan laughs at you and you escape. The freedom and logic sometimes don't follow. For example, you go this direction and the birdmen save you, but if you go and do this in the same place they don't. Why? Who knows.

On the Positive side...

AS far as anything with solo adventures coming out today, these are far superior to just about anything else coming out. They feel like D&D and even if the art is reutilized (though I think some of it is actually new) it matches with the feel of the story and is actually terrific. The artwork used in these Endless quests beat anything used in the old series hands down.

Adding: In comparison of the positives and negatives...so you know which side of the coin I lie, if he writes anymore of these Endless Quest books and they are released I will snatch them up the moment they are released.
 

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