RuneScape: The Official Handbook

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RuneScape: The Official Handbook is a book written by children's author Tracey West, best known for her work on several Pokémon books in the early to mid 2000's. The handbook, along with the three novels (Betrayal at Falador, Return to Canifis, and Legacy of Blood) written by T. S. Church, are currently the only printed RuneScape sources endorsed by Jagex. The book covers most of the free-to-play parts of RuneScape, and also gives tips for newer players.

Since the book was printed in 2006 or 2007 (the exact month and year is disputed[1][2]), it does not reflect the updates since then, and as such has outdated information and graphics, such as the Party Room being shown in its former location in Seers' Village.

Content and Distribution[edit | edit source]

The book is a ninety-six page long full colour paperback publication which covers some basic information about the Free-to-play section of RuneScape 2 circa May 2006[3]. As these books were published by Scholastic Inc., they were primarily distributed to children at local school's book fairs, a business model famously adopted by the company.[4]

Chapters[edit | edit source]

The book's table of contents. Note the incorrect page number for "Mastering Basic Skills".

The book is organised into twelve unnumbered chapters. Interestingly enough, the table of contents at the front of the book lists the wrong page number for the "Mastering Basic Skills" chapter. Below is a table which briefly summaries the contents of each chapter.

Chapter name Page Description
Welcome to the
World of RuneScape
4 This chapter serves as an introduction to the book, and contains a very brief history of the creation of RuneScape, and subsequently Jagex.
Online Safety and
Security Guidelines
6 This chapter contains some consumer friendly information especially useful for children, including tips about being wary of staff impersonators and asking a parent or guardian before going online.
Rules of RuneScape 8 This chapter contains a printed version of the Rules of RuneScape.
Ten Tips for Beginners 10 This chapter contains beginner friendly information to help a new player determine what they should be doing. Examples include "Know your [minimap] dots", and "Goblins Are Easy Targets", among others.
Using Your Controls 12 This chapter covers basic control and functions of the game, including how to rotate the camera and how to trade with another player. Also worth noting is a comprehensive guide to take a screenshot using the PRINT SCREEN button, an unprecedented yet extremely important piece of information for a children's book of the era.
Mastering Basic Skills 16 This chapter contains basic and oftentimes inaccurate beginners guides for the following skills:
In addition, there are several tables comparing statistics relevant to each skill, such as experience gained while cooking by item, and the level a piece of armour can be made, for Cooking and Smithing respectively.
Mastering Combat 37 This chapter covers basics of the combat system, including how to determine whether you're winning or losing a battle by way of the health bar, and instructions on how to engage in combat by selecting the "Attack" option. In addition, there are tables comparing basic information between weapons of each combat style.
Mastering Quests 43 This chapter contains brief overviews for all eighteen Free-to-play quests available at the time:
Cook's Assistant
Romeo & Juliet
Sheep Shearer
Doric's Quest
Goblin Diplomacy
The Restless Ghost
Rune Mysteries
Witch's Potion
Black Knight's Fortress
Ernest the Chicken
Pirate's Treasure
Prince Ali Rescue
Demon Slayer
Shield of Arrav
Vampyre Slayer
The Knight's Sword
Dragon Slayer I
Characters and
54 This chapter acts as a bestiary for several characters that can be found in the Free-to-play section of the World map. This section contains multiple errors, in addition to trivia which, for all intents and purposes may be considered non-canon.
Maps 72 This chapter contains enlarged maps of several sections of the Free-to-play map, with additional information about places to shop and points of interest.
Random Events 92 This chapter details Random events, a creative solution for an anti-botting measure which has been reworked drastically since the release of Old School RuneScape. The book claims that there are four classes of random event encounters. These classes range from "Guardians", (e.g. River troll, Tree spirit, or Shade), "Gift Givers and Helpers", (e.g. Drill Demon, Drunken Dwarf, and Rick Turpentine), "Danger!", (e.g. Ent, Exploding Rock, or Whirlpool), and finally "Just Plain Annoying", (e.g. Big fish and Axe handle).
Glossary 96 This chapter contains a quick reference guide for common slang used by players of the game, such as "2H" to mean a two-handed sword, or "Tally" to mean talisman.

Trivia and errors[edit | edit source]

The bronze "hatchet" being displayed as a halberd is one of the book's many inaccuracies.
  • An image of Paul Gower's character can be found on page 47 in the image for The Restless Ghost.
  • All units of measurement in the bestiary are in Imperial units (pounds and feet) despite Jagex being based in the United Kingdom and using the Metric system in the game itself. There is also no official source for any of these measurements, and many of them seem to have been arbitrarily chosen; e.g. a six-foot tall giant spider.
    • The standard spider is listed as weighing 20 pounds.
    • The Al-Kharid guards are listed as weighing a mere 70 pounds. Men are given a more reasonable weight of 175 pounds.
  • On the cover, the globe seen on the desk depicts Europe with bits of Asia and northern Africa, rather than Gielinor.
  • On page 17, the book says that level 5 Woodcutting is needed to cut oak trees, rather than 15 Woodcutting.
  • On page 19, the book says there is no cost when sea bait fishing. One bait per fish is actually required.
  • On page 29, next to where it says "Hatchet", a bronze halberd is incorrectly shown.
  • On page 31, runecrafting altars are referred to as temples.
  • On page 33, the book says that level 13 Runecrafting is needed to craft fire runes, rather than 14 Runecrafting.
  • On page 39, a picture of a mithril hatchet is shown where it lists a bronze hatchet.
  • On page 52, the book says to have a pair of shears for the Vampyre Slayer quest, which was repeated from the Sheep Shearer quest. Shears are not needed in the quest.
  • On page 54, where the profile of a bandit is shown, its combat level is shown as "level 21", although it was level 22 at the time.
  • On page 60, at the part where it describes a giant spider, it said "You'll find them hanging out in the Lumbridge Castle basement, and in sewers and houses." There are none down in the basement.
  • On page 67, a scorpion's combat level was depicted at 12, although it was level 14 at the time.
  • On page 89, an older version of the RuneScape map was used when discussing Barbarian Village. The map on this page shows Falador and Barbarian Village before their graphical update on February 20, 2006. However, all other maps in the book display newer versions of the world map from after the update.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Tracey West. RuneScape - The Official Handbook (paperback). Scholastic Inc.. 1 January 2007. “ISBN: 9780439877725.”*
  2. Tracey West. RuneScape - The Official Handbook (paperback). Scholastic Inc.. 6 July 2007. “ISBN: 9780439877725.”*
  3. The handbook features the reworked version of Cook's Assistant from 24 April, but not the reworked versions of Pirate's Treasure or The Restless Ghost from 22 May.
  4. Scholastic Book Fairs - About us. Scholastic Inc..*