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Messages - Richard

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Help! / Re: What apocalypse would you recommend?
« on: Today at 10:39:05 AM »
One by Conrad Williams.

Almost all of the Rogue Trooper stories are actually pretty lame, including most of the Gerry Finley-Day episodes. But there are enough exceptions, such as Biowire, Cinnabar and The War Machine, that 12 episodes of Cradlegrave don't outweigh Rogue Trooper.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 06 July, 2022, 12:20:55 PM »
The minimum number of Fear points you can pick up on the way to paragraph 400 is nine. Given that your maximum capacity for Fear is between 7 and 12, you have a 50% chance of losing with a die roll before you even turn to paragraph 1!

General / Re: Forthcoming Thrills - 2022
« on: 06 July, 2022, 12:11:35 PM »
Disappointing that "By Private Contract" didn't make it into The Son. It's the only omission from the series of SD graphic novels.

Off Topic / Re: This is the News!
« on: 05 July, 2022, 07:29:02 PM »
There won't be an election because the Tories know they would lose. They'll just hang on and hope that the next PM can turn it around.

It's good, but it has a lot of spoilers, which might put off people who haven't read them before.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 05 July, 2022, 11:34:21 AM »
Once I've completed it I'm definitely going to go back over it and see what I missed.

Film & TV / Re: The Boys Season 3
« on: 05 July, 2022, 12:14:19 AM »
Actually I've just realised I'm not quite up to date, so it may just be something in an episode I've not seen yet.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 05 July, 2022, 12:06:43 AM »
Way of the Tiger 1, play through 5

This time I choose arrow cutting skill (which lets me catch or deflect arrows), climb the rigging when the pirates attack, throw my shuriken ninja death star at the first pirate, all to deprive him of just one endurance point! Then I attack him and use up one of my inner force points, and this doubles the one more point of damage I manage to inflict! Well that was worth it! But I manage to kill him, use another inner force point to kill the captain, and finally make it to the Cobra Man who finished me off on my first play through.

This time I survive that encounter (without needing my anti-poison skill) and, avoiding a side quest, I enter the city of Mortavalon. This is the kind of place where, I am told, the largest temple is to the god of Death, whose priests sacrifice children. But there is also a small monastery where the monks follow the same god I do, and they help me out by telling me about an old hermit who can offer me some more useful help. I go there, and the knowledge I acquired at the very start of the book when I became a grandmaster enables me to earn the hermit's trust. I gain more knowledge about my enemies' whereabouts and also learn a new ninja technique which amounts to an extra point on my attack strength whenever I kick people.

After that I get into a couple of fights, and follow the hermit's directions to the next city, where I survive a cowardly assassination attempt. Leaving the city I pursue my targets to a castle, where I catch my first sight of them entering the gate. I try to enter the castle by pretending to be a wandering minstrel, but the guard seems a bit suspicious of my lies and I sneak away in case he's gone to fetch reinforcements. Instead I swim the moat at night and climb the wall, but I fail a dice roll and the guards hear me, leading to an instant death paragraph.

Play throughs 6 to 10

I am killed another five times trying to get into this fucking castle!

I didn't start over at the beginning, I used the paragraph where I arrive there as a checkpoint. There are a variety of ways to get in, all of them difficult, but when I finally managed to bluff my way in as a minstrel (much harder than getting into Balthus Dire's citadel!), I was at least able to do a bit of recon before the guards escorted me out again. This info not only offered me a new route into the castle on my assassination run, and a map of the castle, but there is also a lengthy paragraph which describes two of the three targets I have to kill, and they are very bad mofos indeed! I don't know how I'm going to deal with these two when I get to them! I'm starting to think all the guards and monsters defending the place are actually doing me a favour by killing me before I get to their employers!

As I've said before, all this description makes for a more engaging and immersive experience than most FF books. The structure of the book at the section where you're trying to infiltrate the castle has been well thought through and there are intelligent choices, particularly when your scouting of the castle as a minstrel leads to new and useful information about a vulnerable point of access.

On my last go I made it as far as the roof of the keep, and it feels like I'm about to reach the endgame as my targets live in three turrets at the top of the keep. But it's late, so I'll try again tomorrow.

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 04 July, 2022, 04:28:36 PM »
Zenith seems like an odd thing to leave out. A terrible decision in fact!

Film & TV / Re: The Boys Season 3
« on: 04 July, 2022, 01:34:09 PM »
It's a fantastic series and I've really enjoyed it. As much as I like the comics, I think all the changes for tv so far have been improvements.

Jayzus, why do you think the Black Noir twist can't happen? What did I miss?

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 04 July, 2022, 01:15:11 PM »
I keep forgetting about inner force! I'll try that.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 04 July, 2022, 10:39:30 AM »
That's how I did it the first time, but the ogre keeps battering me!

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 03 July, 2022, 11:28:55 PM »
Way of the Tiger 1: Avenger!

So I finally found time to start this book today!

First impressions

I've never come across Way of the Tiger before, so I'm interested in how it differs from Fighting Fantasy. My first thought on reading the rules is that the combat system seems to be quite complicated, but when I actually use it during the game it turns out to be much simpler than I thought. It gives you some choices to make instead of just rolling dice (though it has dice rolls too), and there is even some description of the fight.

Description is another difference: there's generally more of it than in FF, and several paragraphs are much longer than you would see in any FF book. I welcome this, as it fleshes out the story a bit and makes scenes more interesting.

There's a detailed colour map of the mainland, which includes some locations from FF11: Talisman of Death, which is fun.

You don't have to roll dice to generate stats for your character, instead you are given your stats. This is fairer than FF, where usually if you roll a skill of less than 10 you're probably fucked before you've even started.

You have to choose three special skills from a list of eight (e.g. climbing, lock-picking). I like this (there are a few FF books which have this too).

In an early paragraph in the story, your ninja boss tells you "there is always time to bite off one's tongue from one's head and bleed to death rather than betraying secrets under torture." That's a bit darker than anything I've read in an FF book! (Mind you, my mum still confiscated one of my FF books when I was ten!)

First play through

My character is a ninja and I've spent my whole life training to be the best ninja I can be. The story opens with me in single combat with one of my comrades (not to the death) to see which of us will be promoted to super bad-ass ninja. I lose, because I missed an obvious clue in the text. D'oh!

I then get sent on the actual quest which is the focus of the book (why didn't they send the other guy?). I have to go and assassinate someone before he can get to where he's going. My journey starts on a ship that takes me from the ninjas' island to the mainland. On the way we are attacked by pirates, but I very easily make short work of them and kill their captain, after which they leave us alone.

Arriving at a port, I am offered a choice of two doors, one black and one white, that lead from the harbour into the city proper. I choose the white door, and am greeted by a knight decapitating a priest, graphically illustrated by Bob Harvey. I follow another priest, and he seems to be about to lure me to my death, but it seems to be so obviously dangerous and stupid to play along that I think this is just misdirection by the writers to see if I will chicken out, so I hold my nerve, and am rewarded with useful information and transport to outside the city. Progress!

I am immediately presented with a choice to follow the road or trek through a wilderness, and the information I have just learned from the intimidating but friendly priest means I know which choice is the correct one. I next encounter a Cobra Man (a dude with a cobra's head) who is about to kill a small child. I attack him but he bites me, and because I don't have the immunity to poisons special skill this instantly kills me.

Second, third, and fourth playthroughs

I choose immunity to poisons special skill.

This time I win the fight at the start, and after answering a multiple choice question correctly I am promoted to Grandmaster, and am given some presumably important information and a ring which I'm told will come in handy later. After that I make all the same choices I made before, since they all seemed to be the right ones, except that this time the pirates kick the shit out of me and kill me three times. Fuck! This combat system is brutal.

I'll give this another go later in the week!

Prog / Re: Prog 2288: Law versus Claw
« on: 02 July, 2022, 02:18:50 PM »
I think Pandora Perfect and Cadet Dredd were both fine, but I didn't like anything else.

why is there only one Phearax on display, what happened to the other missing people?

Well on page three there's an alien monkey wearing glasses.

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