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Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 1508 times)

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #75 on: 15 November, 2021, 08:12:41 PM »
Brave of you to try that with the minimum SKILL!

I always play the stats I roll - it's part of the fun! As it turned out, max skill still wouldn't have saved me from falling to my death.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #76 on: 17 November, 2021, 04:26:43 PM »
Inspired by Dark Jimbo, I played Citadel of Chaos again.

I am using a digital dice app on my phone. It gives me Skill 12, Stamina 24, and Luck 11; assuming that nobody will believe I didn't just make those up, I reluctantly roll again. This time I get Skill 11, Stamina 17 and Luck 11, which is still pretty good! I also get 13 magic spells. I choose a broad range of nearly all of them, and a couple of spare Stamina and Levitation spells (partly because I remember that I will need to have a Levitation spell left over at the very end of the adventure).

At the courtyard gate I manage to bluff my way past the GUARDS, which is easy because one of the three names I can choose to give them is "Blag." I walk around the courtyard to a group sitting by a campfire, who turn out to be three ORCS and a DWARF. I sit down with them without waiting to be asked, and they tell me the password to get into the main building. I continue to ask them questions until they get pissed off and attack me (except for the female orc). Emboldened by my high stats, I forego the opportunity to use magic and fight them with my sword instead. I kill the three combatants, taking two wounds myself. I'm allowed to keep two out of the three items they have: 8 gold coins, a copper key, and a jar of ointment. I guess that artefacts are likely to be more useful than money, so I leave the gold.

I next walk over to two people haggling over a magical dagger. I end up buying the dagger myself, using a Fool's Gold spell since I have no actual gold. (I end up never using the dagger during the adventure.) On my way across the courtyard again, I encounter some magical creature, a tornado / woman combination. Given various options, I decide to talk to her, Test my Luck, am lucky, and she leaves me alone. Arriving at the door to the citadel, I knock and give the password the orc told me.

Once inside, I walk past the steps leading down, go through a door, and at a second door I ring the bell for the butler. I follow the butler's directions, and wind up trying to tiptoe through a guardroom, where I wake up a sleeping guard -- a GARK, actually (a goblin/giant hybrid apparently). Given a range of options to deal with this situation, I imaginatively elect to fight him with my sword. I emerge unscathed from what effectively amounts to unprovoked murder, and loot the room, taking six gold pieces and a hairbrush.

Leaving, I am faced with a boring choice of directions: left or right, with no information about what may lie in either direction. Going right, I approach a door, and a voice bids me to enter. Wary of encountering the very annoying (and Skill-sapping) leprechaun tosser Dark Jimbo bumped into, I decide to avoid this and walk past the door, reaching another door with a sign that says "Players Only." Dimly recalling from a previous read of this book that going through the gambling den leads to unavoidable defeat later on, I choose the option to go back the way I came and go through the first door instead, which turns out not to be the leprechaun but the library. Phew! In the library I read a book called Secrets of the Dark Tower, which very helpfully warns me about something called the "Doompit Trap," which is what did for poor Dark Jimbo, and also tells me the number of the combination lock on the door to Balthus Dire's private quarters. Reading another book about Dire himself tells me that sunlight is harmful to him, possibly fatal. Noticing the librarian acting suspiciously, I decide not to push my luck by staying around and I leave.

I find myself in a big dining hall. Expecting everything to be a trap, I go up the right hand staircase without incident, and find myself on a balcony with three doors. Choosing the left door, I use the copper key to get in, and find MRS DIRE. Distracting her by making a gift of the poor Gark's hairbrush, I steal a Golden Fleece from her bed (Testing my Luck twice to get it, since I know I'll need it later) before leaving.

Offered yet another choice between left and right (definitely a weakness in this book I'm afraid), I arbitrarily choose left and encounter the Doompit Trap. I ignore the hell out of it and just walk around it and get out, ignoring the odour of Dark Jimbo's rotting corpse at the bottom of the pit.

Up some stairs, and in the next room I encounter the terrifying GANJEES, who are in fact so terrifying that I automatically lose 1 Skill point, 2 Stamina points and 1 Luck point. You can literally die of fright in this encounter! There is also a suitably scary illustration by Russ Nicholson (criminally replaced in the modern editions by an inferior artist, but I have a 1984 printing so all is well). I remember from previously that the Ganjees are the toughest enemy to defeat in this book, but I'm not sure I remember how, except that using my sword here is definitely a no-no. I think their magic is more powerful than mine too, so I rummage around in my backpack for something else to use. The only thing I have that I can use here is the jar of ointment which I took from the orcs, and (thank goodness!) they accept it and let me leave unmolested.

In the next room I use the Golden Fleece to get past the HYDRA, and then use the combination number from the library to get through an impenetrable metal door into BALTHUS DIRE'S chamber. He throws a trident at me, which I block with a Shielding spell, and it's on!

I take the opportunity to top up my reduced Skill with a Skill spell, before Dire conjures up a CLAWBEAST to fight me. I cast a Weakness spell on it, and then finish it off with my sword while it lies helpless on the floor.  I cast a Stamina spell, which restores my Stamina to 17 again. I cast an E.S.P. spell to try and read Dire's mind, but he partly blocks it and I don't really learn anything. Dire casts his own spell, and the room begins to shake like in an earthquake, so I use one of my Levitation spells to fly over to the window and pull down the curtains, causing the sunlight to flood into the room and kill him. Turning to 400, I am told I can use my remaining Levitation spell to escape from the citadel without having to go back inside and face the Ganjees again.

Looking at the other options I could have chosen, Dire would actually be quite a formidable opponent if it wasn't for his weakness to sunlight, which somewhat undermines what would otherwise have been a challenging final encounter. Overall, while this book is essentially just another dungeon crawl, I still quite enjoy it.

Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #77 on: 17 November, 2021, 05:06:21 PM »
Love that you role-played DJ's corpse into your go-through.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #78 on: 18 November, 2021, 11:08:23 AM »
We finally got around to playing Warlock the other day - I'm not sure how well the back story comes through but I think part of the dungeon complex was flooded, killing the people living there (hence all the undead after the river) and a tribe of goblinoids moved in shortly afterwards (hence the goblins and orcs before the river).  We are me reading out and Rackle making decisions.

Our play through started with Skill 9, Stamina 20 and Luck 7.  We were doing fine until we injured our hand on the wax-covered portcullis lever.  It was considerably more difficult to get out of fights unscathed with Skill 6 - four zombies did for us in the end.

We'll probably have another attempt and then move on to Citadel of Chaos.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #79 on: 18 November, 2021, 11:24:43 AM »
Sheridan, sorry to hear of your zombie demise. Skill 6 is a death sentence!

Loved these playthroughs of Citadel. I haven't tackled it yet due to unexpected bogosity at the weekend but I'll have a bash this weekend instead. I remember liking this one apart from the stupid Ganjees. Forest of Doom up after that?
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #80 on: 18 November, 2021, 11:49:48 AM »
All being well, I'm going to have another bash at Citadel this weekend. I can hardly do worse!

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #81 on: 18 November, 2021, 12:10:49 PM »
On my way across the courtyard again, I encounter some magical creature, a tornado / woman combination. Given various options, I decide to talk to her, Test my Luck, am lucky, and she leaves me alone.

You were lucky - I seem to remember she killed me horribly on my first-ever playthrough!

...ignoring the odour of Dark Jimbo's rotting corpse at the bottom of the pit.

Knowing that I sort-of saved the next adventurer from the same trap has genuinely taken some of the sting out of a very ignoble end! :lol:  I only skim-read your account, Richard, so as not to give myself too many spoilers, but it was a great read in the grand F/F roleplay tradition.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #82 on: 18 November, 2021, 01:47:23 PM »
Thank you!

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #83 on: 23 November, 2021, 01:08:46 PM »
Very chuffed to find this weekend that I still had a copy of Night Dragon at my parent's. That was a real favourite back in the day - properly hard but probably the closest to a full RPG experience that the series ever got. I'm glad I'll get to play it without needing to fork out some 40 notes on Ebay.

sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #84 on: 23 November, 2021, 03:03:44 PM »
Very chuffed to find this weekend that I still had a copy of Night Dragon at my parent's. That was a real favourite back in the day - properly hard but probably the closest to a full RPG experience that the series ever got. I'm glad I'll get to play it without needing to fork out some 40 notes on Ebay.

I think I have that one - just checked my inventory and assuming it's correct then I do, but then I'm also mossing five of the other later books (which is more than I was expecting).

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #85 on: 27 November, 2021, 09:30:59 AM »
Many are the students of the Great Wizard of Yore. After the last apprentice's ignoble end in the bowels of Craggern Rock, the estimable conjurer hurriedly sends his next greatest student off to the Citadel of Chaos, to see if he can fare any better...

The Playthrough - Attempt II
A Skill of 12 is a great start, Luck of 7 less so... But with a magic score of 16, I'm quietly confident. With this embarrassment of riches I treat myself to one of every spell, plus doubles of some of the more useful...

Following in my luckless predecessor's footsteps, I confidently bluff my way into the Citadel. This time I march up to one of the various groups in the courtyard and come away with an enchanted dagger for my troubles. The whirlwind-woman dogs my footsteps, but thankfully it doesn't come to blows (ba-dum-tish).

Emboldened by what's already a more successful playthrough, I rap smartly on the door to the Tower, confident I can bluff my way past the guard. I can't, as it turns out, but in the ensuing fight I run rings around the poor Rhino-man, dispatching him to the Great Savannah in the sky without breaking a sweat.

Forewarned of O'Seamus' tricks, I pay the leprechaun a visit. Once again a Skill point must be sacrificed, but I'm wise to his other games and illusions, and the Magic Sword and Silver Mirror are soon mine. Onward to the wine cellar, and the Black-Elf Somellier offers me a few choice vintages to sample. I pick poorly, however, as I down a truth potion and start blabbing my purpose here - the Somellier cannot leave these vaults alive!

He's dispatched easily, and I loot the corpse and the vaults at lesuire. A few rooms on, I'm still adventuring in my predecessor's footsteps, as I reach the room with the golem. Supremely confident in my swordplay, instead of running past I whittle him down to so much gravel. This is much more like it.

A later room presents a truly bizarre encounter with a flying dog's head(!) and a chair that turns into a man that turns into a snake...? Whatever these things are, they're easily distracted, so I'm through the room with no harm done. Were those the infamous Ganjees? Well, I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. My self-satisfaction lasts until the next room. Ah. These are the Ganjees... When I'm offered a chance to look for an item to use against them I take it, sure that this must be where the Silver Mirror comes into play... But it's not even an option, and I'm forced to fight them. That ends as well as you might expect. Blasted back out into the stairwell, I plummet to my death - the same death, after all that, as my luckless forebear. Splat.

The Verdict
Another fun adventure. I didn't intend to shadow my last playthrough quite as closely as I ended up doing, but for all the extra loot I picked up, it didn't really help me in the end. I did feel that I was making much better progress, though. Maybe next time I'll make it all the way to Dire...