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Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 13196 times)

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #435 on: 08 August, 2022, 11:26:33 AM »
Freeway Warrior Book 2: Slaughter Mountain Run

Part 2

Kate and I are speeding South on Highway 277, a pack of bikers on our heels. At the bridge on the South Concho river we run through - literally - a dogfight: two groups of men fighting packs of coyote and wagering on the outcome. I'm not given the option to slow down so we go straight through the dogs and end up with the surreal situation of one stuck halfway through my windscreen. I roll poorly, Kate can't get rid of it, so I have to brake and finish it off with my fire axe. The dogfighters (understandably) set the rest of the dogs on us but Kate covers us so we can escape.
By the time we reach El Dorado I'm shattered, so despite being chased we decide to pull over and rest and the Angelionos drive on past. Unfortunately, we meet them later strung out across the road in a line. This triggers a crazy pursuit / running battle to the Caverns of Sonora - this is a real place - which is populated by a bunch of people alluded to be First Nation Americans in animal skins and warpaint. My car by now is too badly damaged to continue and we're forced to duck into the caves as the cave people (as they're called) and the bikers fight it out. The fighting is brutal in close quarters, but the cave dwellers are victorious and we're able to slip away in the aftermath. I siphon fuel from the Angelinos' bikes but I don't have enough to reach Kent and things look glum. As we leave, Kate points out that the cave people aren't preparing a funeral pyre for the slain bikers but instead are cooking them...

It's a slow, long drive to Bakersfield the next day, during which I exhaust my water supplies. I can't heal damage from thirst using the medkit, so I use my supplies liberally to heal all other damage I've suffered, but I've now effectively reduced my maximum endurance. Kate and I are suffering from heat exhaustion when we reach Bakersfield and we have no choice but to look for fuel and water. All I find is a carton of cigarettes but Kate scavenges some food (I have plenty of this) and some dry white wine (this will not help our dehydrated state) for a romantic meal only slightly ruined by the library we shelter in catching alight (good job I kept that fire extinguisher!)
At Fort Stockton we're ambushed again, this time by three men in the remains of military uniform. It turns out this trio are marines out of Brownsville, heading to Fort Bliss near El Paso, but now stuck after losing their vehicle. They're friendly and friendlier still when I produce the map I stole from Mad Dog - not only does it show potential stops on the Freeway where we might be able to get fuel but also shows Mad Dog and Mekong Mike's plans to take over the East coast, showing the various clan strengths and pockets of resistance in detail. The marines leader, Sgt. Haskell, wants to get this to Fort Bliss and I offer to take the three of them to the rendezvous at Kent where they can join the convoy and we can all head there after.
By now we're really low on fuel and although we're tight for time we can only crawl down the Freeway to a fuel stop, running in fumes with the three marines sitting on the bonnet. At the fuel stop the only fuel available is in a tank secured with a bomb and code. It's not too hard to crack - there's a quick shootout with some clansmen whilst this is going on, but before long we have refueled and are en route to Kent, although I'm gradually dying of thirst.

At Kent we link back up with the convoy. Things don't look great - the Mavericks have been shadowing the convoy and moving ahead into the mountains, presumably to set up an ambush. Mad Dog has linked up with the Saints and now leads three clans our way from San Angelo, whilst an unknown Mexican clan has also crossed the border and is rampaging North. Our only choice is to head into the Apache Mountains and push for El Paso (this is the titular Slaughter Mountain Run) - the most direct route, but straight through the Mavericks.

A small skirmish aside, when we do encounter the Mavericks they're engaged in a pitch battle with the Mexicans. My awesome plan is to drive the convoy at speed through the warzone - which we accomplish with surprisingly little grief. In radio contact with Fort Bliss, they advise that they are also under siege, this time by the Mexicans. Scouting ahead, Haskell and I kill some Mexican clansmen who are looking to reinforce the siege and find a ground to air missile, but I don't take it as I don't wish to reduce my stealth score. Roughly two paragraphs later we arrive at the barricade and I'm forced to admit I didn't take the missile, meaning instead I have to sneak up to it and set off some explosives - this however is covered by a single stealth test. The barricade is destroyed and we make it tinot Fort Bliss - hurray! It's celebration time until our spirits are dampened by the arrival of Mad Dog, who has now recruited the Mexicans as well to form an army over 1000 strong to encircle the fort in a ring of steel....

That's book 2 complete. As per my other post, really enjoyed this although the ending felt both a bit anticlimactic and quite similar to the ending of book 1. The first part was definitely the best with various branching paths to getting to Kate - this one was a lot more linear with several 'false choices' where you arrive at the same location no matter which option you choose.
The bit at the end with the missile is a good example of how these books work - in a FF, not having the missile would be game over: here' it just makes the game harder (although I expected it to be a bit harder than a single stealth check: feels like the book needed to wrap up at that point). With the right stats this was overall easier than the first book and a lot easier than FF or WotT.

I'll do Sea of Blood next which is another brand new one for me.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #436 on: 08 August, 2022, 08:23:49 PM »
I enjoyed that write-up! I'm surprised the army still exists in that post-apocalypse America.

I finally finished Usurper! today. I managed to beat the demons by deliberately losing (with the help of punches and lucky dice rolls) the first two attack rounds against the first demon, to avoid losing the endurance points you lose if you hit him, and then managing to win two rounds against the second demon, without taking the health potion until the other two demons show up. Then I managed to beat the second demon (while the knight fought the newcomers), and somehow didn't lose any endurance in that fight. Then I noticed a loophole when fighting the Usurper again: if you didn't hit him earlier, the book doesn't tell you that if you hit him you only cause half damage! So I was able to legitimately inflict normal damage, which I doubled with Inner Force and finally dispatched him!

After that there are no more decisions to make. The knight leaves, and I go to the roof of the palace to take down the Usurper's flag, the signal for the revolution to start. Since I successfully recruited the peasants, the shieldmaidens, and apparently even the untrustworthy merchant (he has some mercenaries), the Revolution is successful. Even my 100 samurai all show up! It turns out that they only survive if you send them via Doomover, not Tor! I am crowned Overlord of Irsmuncast!

I have ordered the fourth book!

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #437 on: 09 August, 2022, 09:54:56 AM »
Cheers dude. I don't think there's much of the army in post-apocalypse America tbh.
In the tradition of post-apocalyptic stuff I immediately assumed these army guys would be evil so I'm surprised they aren't (or at least yet!)

Glad you wrapped up Usurper. That fight is so cheesy, I think that's a legit way to win.
How did you do with Golspiel? I only didn't get betrayed by him because I used Shin-Ren to sus him out, but there's a load of stuff in the next book about dealing with his betrayal, so I assume it's the default setting.
Really enjoyed reading your playthrough.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #438 on: 09 August, 2022, 10:46:09 AM »
Thanks! It turns out I did manage to recruit Golspiel to my cause. I also used the Shin-Ren skill to realise he was planning to betray me, but actually that doesn't make any difference to the outcome! It's just an extra paragraph to add something to the encounter. It all just depends on how you answer his questions.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #439 on: 09 August, 2022, 11:05:19 AM »
I've just re-read your write-up of Usurper on page 20 -- you certainly had an easier time than I did!

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #440 on: 10 August, 2022, 03:39:59 PM »
I'm pretty sure I still died a few times in Usurper: I mainly remember being killed over and over by that stupid golem!

I'm working from home today and had a go at Assassins of Allansia. I haven't done a full writeup as I suspect it'd be full on spoilers for most, but it's quite good fun. The premise of the book is that Lord Azzur of Blacksand has put a bounty on your head for the killing of Zanbar Bone, and has dispatched a group of assassins to kill you off.
As you can tell just from that it's got lots of nods of other books, referencing a number of other places and characters, with a cameo from a FF companion of old (no, not Mungo) and I'm not giving much away by saying it ends as another book starts...

I got killed three times on my playthrough before I made the end: strangled by a hand of death, killed in combat by a Decayer and assassinated by one of the assassins in an especially gruesome way having drunk water contaminated by devil bug larvae.... that aside the book was reasonably straightforward, with two of my deaths coming right at the start and most of the fights being quite straightforward: the bulk of the assassins rely on killing through stealth and subterfuge and are therefore a bit weedy in combat, although a couple of them are brutal. That said I didn't win the book, as I got all the way to the end only to find I'd missed one of the assassins and it was game over for me! The assassins themselves are a varied and interesting lot though and they're the best thing about the book imo.
Overall it was kind of fun with it's concepts and callbacks to other books in the series but wasn't the strongest of books on it's own. The map itself seems fairly linear and you acquire a huge amount of items, most of which do nothing, and a lot of which award SKILL bonuses. This is good as the first part of the book has LOADS of ways to lose skill.

Should also note the art is pretty bad in this book, although I have a posh edition with a lovely map of Allansia in it and a great Karl Kopinski cover.



You're a dark horse, Boots.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #441 on: 10 August, 2022, 03:54:13 PM »
Here's that map - lots of familiar places on here:



...and because this is pretty much the only place I can show this off:

You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #442 on: 10 August, 2022, 05:37:29 PM »
Very nice!

Are those new locations (Flax, Largo, Dogfish Island) in the book?

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #443 on: 10 August, 2022, 05:48:19 PM »
Dogfish island is where the book begins. I may have passed through Flax in the book too, but I didn't pay that much attention!
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #444 on: 10 August, 2022, 06:34:12 PM »
Hey Jimbo, how are you getting on with Sorcery 3?

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #445 on: 11 August, 2022, 09:08:10 AM »
Hey Jimbo, how are you getting on with Sorcery 3?

Haha, good, thanks! Must be well over a third of the way through now (2 of 7 serpents dispatched) but my main focus has been FFs. I seemed to be forever playing catch-up to Barrington, so I've ploughed ahead with the titles I own and got another five playthroughs/write-ups in the bag for when everyone else catches up to those books.
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Blue Cactus

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #446 on: 11 August, 2022, 10:34:44 AM »
Tonight I will be playing Legend of Zagor over Teams with my pal. I’m not committing to a full quest report but I will let you know how it goes and how we inevitably meet our doom!

Blue Cactus

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #447 on: 11 August, 2022, 10:36:34 AM »
I see from the inside back cover ad there was also a Legends of Zagor board game with miniatures and whatnot. Interesting!

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #448 on: 11 August, 2022, 10:59:46 AM »
I've never played that so very interested in how you get on / how it plays!

I'm sure I remember seeing an advert for the boardgame. It's qute Heroquest-esque, but had an audio element where Zargor would mock the player, or produce sound effects. Tbh it sounds incredible.

I seemed to be forever playing catch-up to Barrington, so I've ploughed ahead with the titles I own and got another five playthroughs/write-ups in the bag for when everyone else catches up to those books.

I've slowed up on purpose on the FF books as I felt I was getting too far ahead! I have flexible working and my job is generally reactive, so I can have quiet periods where playing a gamebook is possible (and actually easier than reading a normal book) so I get lots of opportunity to play them that I guess others don't. Currently I'm getting my pirate ass handed to me on Seas of Blood.

I have the first 25 (so everything up to Nightmare Castle) and then sporadic books after that. I think realistically I can do the first 35 but won't be able to go much beyond that given the cost of the books, but I did splash out a little and get myself Moonrunner and Shadow Warriors. So there's a way to go yet!
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #449 on: 11 August, 2022, 11:35:53 AM »
Moonrunner is a fantastic book. Looking forward to seeing what you make of it.

The Time Serpent is phenomenally hard to beat! I think the third book is the hardest, all because of that fucker!