Endless Quest

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Cover of Dungeon of Dread

The Endless Quest books were two series of gamebooks released by TSR. These books were the result of an Educational department established by TSR to develop curriculum programs for reading, math, history, and problem solving.[1] The first series of 36 books was released from 1982 to 1987, the second series of 13 from 1994 to 1996. These were respectively the first and last gamebooks released by TSR. A short spin-off series of 4 Endless Quest: Crimson Crystal Adventures books were also released during 1985. There were also several series of similar books that did not bear the Endless Quest name.

The mechanics of these books involved simple choices in the style of Choose Your Own Adventure books, rather than the game-like randomized elements of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. However, the stories and characters in an Endless Quest book, while not necessarily more complex than in a Choose Your Own Adventure book, are often more fully developed because the Endless Quest books are much longer. For example, the character referred to as "you" in the text almost always has a name, gender, and backstory. The result is that the books in the Endless Quest series resemble miniature novels with many different endings.

The majority of the books in the series were based on Dungeons & Dragons, but some were based on other TSR games (e.g. Gamma World, Top Secret) or even licensed properties (e.g. Conan, Tarzan).

Mirrorstone, a division of Wizards of the Coast that publishes fantasy fiction for children and teens, began republishing the Endless Quest series in January 2008. The first book in the series is a revision of Claw of the Dragon (#34 from Series One). They have updated the book, including making it gender neutral so it can be enjoyed by both boys and girls, and plan to update and publish more of the D&D books pending the success of this first title.


Endless Quest: Series One[edit]

Endless Quest: Series One
# Title Setting Author Published Cover art Interior art ISBN
1 Dungeon of Dread D&D Rose Estes June, 1982 Larry Elmore Jim Holloway 0-935696-86-5
2 Mountain of Mirrors D&D Rose Estes June, 1982 Larry Elmore Jim Holloway 0-935696-87-3
3 Pillars of Pentegarn D&D Rose Estes June, 1982 Larry Elmore Harry J Quinn 0-935696-92-X
4 Return to Brookmere D&D Rose Estes June, 1982 Larry Elmore Timothy Truman 0-935696-93-8
5 Revolt of the Dwarves D&D Rose Estes Jan, 1983 Larry Elmore Jim Holloway 0-88038-020-9
6 Revenge of the Rainbow Dragons D&D Rose Estes Jan, 1983 Larry Elmore Harry J Quinn 0-88038-021-7
7 Hero of Washington Square Top Secret Rose Estes May, 1983 Jeff Easley Timothy Truman 0-88038-022-5
8 Villains of Volturnus Star Frontiers Jean Blashfield May, 1983 Larry Elmore Jim Roslof 0-88038-023-3
9 Robbers and Robots Top Secret Mike Carr July, 1983 Larry Elmore Vernon Posey 0-88038-036-5
10 Circus of Fear D&D Rose Estes July, 1983 Keith Parkinson Kevin Nichols 0-88038-037-3
11 Spell of the Winter Wizard D&D Linda Lowery Aug, 1983 Larry Elmore Jeffrey R. Busch 0-88038-054-3
12 Light on Quests Mountain Gamma World Mary L. Kirchoff
James M. Ward
Aug, 1983 Keith Parkinson Steve McAfee 0-88038-055-1
13 Dragon of Doom D&D Rose Estes Nov, 1983 Clyde Caldwell Harry J Quinn 0-88038-100-0
14 Raid on Nightmare Castle D&D Catherine McGuire Nov, 1983 Jeff Easley Jim Holloway 0-88038-101-9
15 Under Dragon's Wing D&D John Kendall Feb, 1984 Larry Elmore Sam Grainger 0-88038-076-4
16 The Dragon's Ransom D&D Laura French Feb, 1984 Clyde Caldwell Doug Chaffee 0-88038-077-2
17 Captive Planet Star Frontiers Morris Simon Jul, 1984 Clyde Caldwell Sam Grainger 0-88038-078-0
18 King's Quest D&D Tom McGowen Jul, 1984 Ben Otero Kevin Nichols 0-88038-079-9
19 Conan the Undaunted Hyborian Age James M. Ward Jun, 1984 Clyde Caldwell Doug Chaffee 0-88038-120-5
20 Conan and the Prophecy Hyborian Age Roger E. Moore Jun, 1984 Keith Parkinson Sam Grainger 0-88038-121-3
21 Duel of the Masters D&D Chris Martindale Sept, 1984 Clyde Caldwell Keith Parkinson 0-88038-154-X
22 The Endless Catacombs D&D Margaret Weis Sept, 1984 Jeff Easley Jeff Easley 0-88038-162-0
23 Blade of the Young Samurai D&D Morris Simon Nov, 1984 Clyde Caldwell Gary Williams 0-88038-155-8
24 Trouble on Artule Star Frontiers Catherine McGuire Nov, 1984 Jeff Easley Mitchell O'Connell 0-88038-169-8
25 Conan the Outlaw Hyborian Age Roger E. Moore Dec, 1984 Keith Parkinson Ron Randall 0-88038-222-8
26 Tarzan and the Well of Slaves Tarzan Douglas Niles Jan, 1985 Larry Elmore Ben Otero 0-394-73968-X 0-88038-206-6
27 Lair of the Lich D&D Bruce Algozin Mar, 1985 Jeff Easley Jim Roslof 0-88038-212-0
28 Mystery of the Ancients Gamma World Morris Simon May, 1985 Keith Parkinson Doug Chaffee 0-88038-217-1
29 Tower of Darkness D&D Regina Oehler Fultz Jul, 1985 Jeff Easley Mark Nelson 0-88038-204-X
30 The Fireseed D&D Morris Simon Oct, 1985 Larry Elmore Jeffrey Butler 0-88038-171-X
31 Tarzan and the Tower of Diamonds Tarzan Richard Reinsmith Dec, 1985 Jeff Easley Jeffrey Butler 0-394-74188-9 0-88038-205-8
32 Prisoner of Elderwood D&D Bruce Algozin Feb, 1986 Jeff Easley Gary Williams 0-88038-283-X
33 Knight of Illusion D&D Mary L. Kirchoff Jun, 1986 Clyde Caldwell Sam Grainger
Jim Holloway
0-88038-284-8
34 Claw of the Dragon D&D Bruce Algozin Sept, 1986 Clyde Caldwell Stephen Fabian 0-88038-306-2
35 Vision of Doom D&D Mary L. Kirchoff Dec, 1986 Ben Otero George Barr 0-88038-307-0
36 Song of the Dark Druid D&D Josepha Sherman March, 1987 Jeff Easley Jim Holloway 0-88038-442-5

Collectors' sets[edit]

  1. contains Books 1–4, ISBN 0-88038-056-X
  2. contains Books 5–8, ISBN 0-88038-057-8
  3. contains Books 9–12, ISBN 0-88038-163-9
  4. contains Books 13–16 no ISBN

Endless Quest: Crimson Crystal Adventures[edit]

TSR also released a spin-off series of four Endless Quest: Crimson Crystal Adventures books during 1985. These books add a small twist in the form of a clear sheet of red plastic that comes stapled to the inside. This plastic piece is removed and then overlaid on top of certain portions of the book to reveal hidden images (by acting as an optical filter).

Endless Quest: Crimson Crystal Adventures
# Title Setting Author Published Cover art Interior art ISBN
1 Riddle of the Griffon D&D Susan Lawson (pseudonym for Margaret Weis and Roger E. Moore) March, 1985 Keith Parkinson Mario D. Macari, Jr.
Gary Williams
0-880382-10-4
2 Search for the Pegasus D&D Roger E. Moore March, 1985 Clyde Caldwell Mario D. Macari, Jr.
Gary Williams
0-880382-11-2
3 Renegades of Luntar Generic Sci-Fi Roger E. Moore June, 1985 Keith Parkinson Mario D. Macari, Jr. 0-880382-18-X
4 Stop that Witch! D&D Mary Clark September, 1985 Keith Parkinson Mario D. Macari, Jr. 0-880382-51-1

Endless Quest: Series Two[edit]

The second series differed from the first in several ways: they were printed in smaller type, the section numbers were independent of the page numbers, they were based on different original games, and they were not officially numbered (collectors and gamers use the numbering shown below, continuing from series one, for convenience).

Endless Quest: Series Two
# Title Setting Author Published Cover art Interior art ISBN
37 Dungeon of Fear Dragon Strike Michael Andrews 1994 Jeff Easley Terry Dykstra 1-560768-35-5
38 Castle of the Undead AD&D Ravenloft George Barr 1994 Clyde Caldwell Terry Dykstra 1-560768-36-3
39 Secret of the Djinn AD&D Al-Qadim Jean Rabe 1994 Jeff Easley Terry Dykstra 1-560768-64-9
40 The Siege of the Tower AD&D Greyhawk Kem Antillies 1994 Jeff Easley Terry Dykstra 1-560768-94-0
41 A Wild Ride Wildspace Louis Anderson 1994 Jeff Easley Terry Dykstra 1-560769-28-9
42 Forest of Darkness Dragon Strike Michael Andrews   Jeff Easley Terry Dykstra 1-560769-32-7
43 American Knights Gamma World Nick Pollotta 1995 Jeff Easley Terry Dykstra 0-099540-21-5 1-560768-99-1
44 Night of the Tiger AD&D Ravenloft Jean Rabe 1995 Roger Loveless Terry Dykstra 0-099540-81-9 0-786901-14-4
45 Galactic Challenge Amazing Engine Allen Varney 1995 Dennis Kauth Terry Dykstra 0-786901-58-6
46 Bigby's Curse AD&D Greyhawk Anne K. Brown 1995 Jeff Easley Terry Dykstra 0-786901-78-0
47 The 24-Hour War Gamma World Nick Pollotta 1995 Keith Parkinson Terry Dykstra 0-786901-98-5
48 The Test* AD&D Greyhawk Wes Nicholson 1996     0-786904-85-2
49 Sands of Deception* AD&D Al-Qadim Jean Rabe 1996     0-786904-94-1

* These were never released. The Test was written, turned in, and ready to print, but dropped at the last minute. Sands of Deception was written, but dropped as well.[2]

Related series[edit]

The related Super Endless Quest series changed its name to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Gamebooks starting with the fourth book; these books added a more complex game system to stories that otherwise share the same style with the Endless Quest books. A bookmark-style insert was provided with simple Dungeons & Dragons statistics for the book's main character, and a dice-rolling mechanic was added for determining the character's fate within the story.

The Fantasy Forest series of gamebooks (1982–1983) is quite similar to the Endless Quest books, but it is aimed at a somewhat younger audience.

Other similar series from TSR included HeartQuest (interactive romances, set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons), Catacombs Solo Quest (more complex again than Super Endless Quest), and 1 on 1 Adventure Gamebooks that were each a pair of books for two players/readers.

TSR also used the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Gamebooks format for books tied in to their Marvel Super Heroes roleplaying game, published as single-character Adventure Gamebooks, and later as 1 on 1 Adventure Gamebooks, and featuring licensed Marvel Comics characters.

Reception[edit]

The first four Endless Quest books were reviewed by Marcus Rowland in White Dwarf #39 (March 1983).[3] Rowland rated Pillars of Pentegarn as 5 out of 10, Mountain of Mirrors as 4 out of 10, Dungeon of Dread as 6 out of 10, and Return to Brookmere as 7 out of 10.[3] Rowland also reviewed the next two books in the series, giving both Revolt of the Dwarves and Revenge of the Rainbow Dragons 5 out of 10.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The History of TSR". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2005-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Unreleased Books". The Acaeum Forum. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  3. ^ a b Rowland, Marcus L (March 1983). "Open Box: Dungeons & Dragons Endless Quest Books". White Dwarf (Games Workshop) (Issue 39): 14. ISSN 0265-8712. 
  4. ^ Rowland, Marcus L. (April 1983). "Open Box". White Dwarf (44): 13. 
  • "D&D 4th Edition and Endless Quest". Gamer Radio Zero Podcasts. Episode 29. 2008-02-13.

External links[edit]