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Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 7394 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #60 on: 03 November, 2021, 11:57:44 AM »
So far it's fairly irritating - there's a luck test that you win by having a LOW luck score (with an auto-death five nodes in based on the result). Maybe this was a reaction they had to people gaming the attribute scores.
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #61 on: 03 November, 2021, 12:21:29 PM »
Starship Traveller I think has a bad rep for being annoying. I've never played it, but I'm up for it.
I really think we should all play Deathtrap Dungeon soon if we can..
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Leigh S

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #62 on: 03 November, 2021, 10:02:05 PM »
Doesnt Starship Traveller have a bad rep for (at least early printings) being impossible due to an error with the numbering/paragraphs?

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #63 on: 03 November, 2021, 10:57:46 PM »
It may well be one of the misprint ones, yes...I know it's regarded as having too many extra rules (shooting combat, ship to ship combat, statting up redshirts) that add nothing to the book. I do have a copy so I'd definitely play it
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sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #64 on: 04 November, 2021, 11:33:42 AM »
I'd picked up the impression we were doing them all in order, at roughly one per week?  The original order of the Puffin editions, that is (not sure when Sorcery! is going to crop up though!)

There was also a Stainless Steel Rat gamebook, written by Harry Harrison - though it doesn't play like Fighting Fantasy or Choose Your Own Adventure, as you may expect from Harry!

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #65 on: 04 November, 2021, 11:40:26 AM »
I'd picked up the impression we were doing them all in order, at roughly one per week?  The original order of the Puffin editions, that is (not sure when Sorcery! is going to crop up though!)

Oh, man! I've been wanting to talk about Sorcery! but was worried about derailing the thread!
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Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #66 on: 04 November, 2021, 11:48:47 AM »
The Stainless Steel Rat gamebook was literally impossible to lose, Harry's idea of a joke. A waste of a book.

Sorcery! is simply brilliant.

I also really like Creature of Havoc and Beneath Nightmare Castle.

I, Cosh

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #67 on: 06 November, 2021, 12:08:18 AM »
I'm liking that the Maze of Zagor (viewed as a directed graph) is suitably confusing.

---

Has anyone played electronic versions? Do they even use entry numbers? Does it get randomized?
These graphs are very cool. Don’t know about others but I played the iPad version of the first Sorcery! and I think it still had paragraph numbers as a convention. It also gave you a limited number of bookmarks that you could jump back to when you realised you’d fucked up.

I enjoyed 80 Days. A more digitally native equivalent. Doesn’t have the same fighting RPG elements but there are quite a few good storylines you can uncover that allow for multiple playthroughs with different successful paths.

Think I misunderstood the communal forum play that was mentioned. There’s another forum I visit where we’ve played a couple together online. Really good fun but might not work here as the forum doesn’t support thinks like polling for choices. Also needs somebody who likes to type a lot.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #68 on: 07 November, 2021, 02:24:45 PM »
++SPOILERS++

So, Warlock had three insta-death nodes - encountering the Vampire, the Ghoul and if none of the keys are correct at the end.

Starship Traveller has thirteen insta-deaths, plus four death traps (passages where you can die on a random die roll).

The skills systems is horribly broken as well. Usually, a high score is always good (in either skill or luck). In this book, the Spock always needs a high skill (that's good), but the Bones character tests against a high skill twice, but when it comes to a life or death situation (*their own*), they need a low skill to survive. The Scotty only tests their skill once, and it should be low to succeed. (They all need a high skill to survive the twelve melee and seven phaser combats, though.)

Kirk's skill needs to be high half the time and low half the time, and the same for Luck (which was probably deliberate, but is also weird).

Suspicion: Steve Jackson was in a hurry, or terribly, terribly drunk.
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Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #69 on: 07 November, 2021, 04:20:31 PM »
Starship Traveller is a terrible book, one of the worst in the series.

Most of the science fiction FF books were pretty bad actually. Exceptions are The Rings of Kether (by Andrew Chapman, who did Seas of Blood and Clash of the Princes) and Rebel Planet.

Beneath Nightmare Castle has (I believe) the most sudden death paragraphs, but you can still get through it with low scores if you find the best route, which is fairer to the players. The sudden deaths actually enhance the atmosphere of threat and grisliness.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #70 on: 07 November, 2021, 04:42:21 PM »
I've got zero interest in the sci-fi gamebooks, I must admit.
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sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #71 on: 07 November, 2021, 11:00:14 PM »
The Titan gamebooks (almost all of the fantasy ones) are the best, though I have a soft spot for Freeway Fighter, but then a) I had a friend at school who loved that book b) I'd recently seen Mad Max 2 and/or 3 and c) I'd read about Steve Jackson's Car Wars in White Dwarf but never played it.  Didn't like the superhero one, despite the Brian Bolland cover.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #72 on: 09 November, 2021, 11:55:12 AM »
I'd picked up the impression we were doing them all in order, at roughly one per week?  The original order of the Puffin editions, that is (not sure when Sorcery! is going to crop up though!)

I'm up for this. Citadel of Chaos next then? I can have a go at that this weekend.
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Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #73 on: 15 November, 2021, 01:26:08 PM »
Citadel of Chaos

I've played this twice before, and didn't get very far either time. I remember really liking the Doctor Moreau-stylings of Balthus Dire's haphazard army, though, so I'm looking forward to make good on past failings...

The Prep
My first roll, as always, is for skill. It's... a 1, which gives me a skill of 7. Ouch. This is going to be an uphill battle... But as if to make up for that, the Gods pretty much max out my other stats. Stamina 20, Luck 12, Magic 15 - so I've still got more than a fighting chance. I don't remember what all the spells do, but I take what feels like a broad spread, albiet skewed strongly towards making up for my low skill!

The Playthrough
To be honest, it's a...weird adventure. I sucessfully blag my way past the guards on the gate without the need for a fight, and that rather sets the tone. Keenly aware of my poor skill, I'm reluctant to get into battle, deciding to rely mainly on my natural charm to progress. I bimble about the courtyard and Citadel environs, chatting with Dire's weird cronies to little real benefit. My first encounter of note is the bloody leprauchan, O' Seamus, and it's not long before I realise why Balthus Dire had him locked away in the tower's depths. Having wasted my spell of Shielding and lost a precious skill point to his practical jokes, I'm geting seriously miffed when O' Seamus comes good, gifting me an enchanted sword for my being a good sport. Well, alright then! For the first time this adventure, I feel like I'm starting to get somewhere.

I go through a wine cellar and a room with a rock monster in it, and I'm soon back to feeling that I'm not really making the optimum choices. I'm dodging any dangerous encounters, but I'm missing treasure chests and clues, too. I then have a disastrous time on a trick staircase, of all things, and my lowly skill of 7 has plummeted to a 5. A 5...! Just as well I've done no fighting yet! I consider using a skill spell, but decide to hang on just a little longer before I do.

Eventually I enter a room that has a circular trench (a bottomless pit, or I've never seen one) and a chest sitting on a rocky island in the centre. One of the choices I'm given is to 'pick up the nearby rope and formulate a plan.' The wording of this intrigues me (and I'm getting sick of walking past treasure chests) so it's what I go for. My plan amounts to tying the rope around my waist, then lassoing the chest and trying to drag it over to me. Except the chest plunges straight into the void, and is so heavy that it takes me with it - no saving roll, no chance for a levitation spell, nothing. Splat. Somewhere, the Wizard of Yore pinches the bridge of his nose and mutters 'Star bloody pupil...'

The Verdict
I've long considered Citadel to be Firetop 2.0, and this playthrough did nothing to change that. Similar, but improved and expanded in all the right ways. I was impressed at how far I got sans combat. Beyond hacking at a troublesome tentacle around my leg, I spent my adventure chatting, bluffing and cajoling the creatures of the Citadel, which made for a nice change from my Firetop dungeon crawl. The magic mechanic mixes things up massively, too - I'm looking forward to another playthrough to really explore the spells, which I didn't get much oppurtunity to make use of. If only that first die roll had been different...
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Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #74 on: 15 November, 2021, 08:07:06 PM »
Brave of you to try that with the minimum SKILL!