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Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 7310 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #30 on: 24 October, 2021, 04:01:01 PM »
I never didn't cheat with my gamebooks, though. Like, if going left killed me, but going right got the secret key that open the wizard's safe - why play through the entire book again just to get to that decision point?

I'm assuming everyone had as many fingers as possible keeping track of the previous set of moves.

Which leads me to stats: did anyone accept a Skill of 7? I mean, it's like going into the dungeon with a rusty sword and a tap water potion. I used to do a halfway house - and only go in with above average dice rolls on the initial stats.

Are there any gamebook purists out there?

---

Lone Wolf #6 - The Kingdoms of Terror - is impossible without cheating (assuming you're on a play-through and not just running it standalone). The starting battles in The Plague Lords of Ruel (#13) have the same problem. Dever trying to maintain balance once he'd gifted us the Sommerswerd in book #2 was something to behold.

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I like the grand battle game-books, but I've never played Armies of Death (FF #37). Other books with grand battles are Warbringer! (Way of the Tiger #5) and (to an extent) The Dungeons of Torgar (Lone Wolf #10).
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

wedgeski

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #31 on: 25 October, 2021, 09:10:30 AM »
Which leads me to stats: did anyone accept a Skill of 7? I mean, it's like going into the dungeon with a rusty sword and a tap water potion. I used to do a halfway house - and only go in with above average dice rolls on the initial stats.
I was very amused to open Warlock and find, in 12-year-old me's handwriting, maximum skill scores pencilled into all the boxes. :)

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #32 on: 25 October, 2021, 09:47:30 AM »
Are there any gamebook purists out there?

When I was digging around Fighting Fantasy Reddit's and the like last year I found there were a lot of these people out there who are full of scorn for those who don't fix their stats!
As a kid I just rerolled endlessly until I had at least max skill or stamina... there really is no point having minimum stats, especially in some of the books where there's loads of tough fights.

I've never played Armies of Death and it sounds great. Agree that Scorpion Swamp is pants. Talked to a mate about this in the week and he's given me a really tatty copy of Seas of Blood, which I have never played either. Winner!

I have emerged from the uncharted deeps of my storage bin with a slightly cobwebby box of FF books. How do we want to do this? Fixed skill scores and then everyone gets to choose their own potion? Start with Warlock and report on how far you get?

This sounds like a plan, lets do it! I'll kick off my read this week. Are we maxing skill scores to stop us being killed by random goblins?
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wedgeski

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #33 on: 25 October, 2021, 09:54:38 AM »
This sounds like a plan, lets do it! I'll kick off my read this week. Are we maxing skill scores to stop us being killed by random goblins?
Let's do it! We'll aim for one book a week.

sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #34 on: 25 October, 2021, 10:08:30 AM »
Cool - I'll defend Scorpion Swamp though - not only did it have one of three missions once you got to your destination, but you could revisit some areas and the setup would be different the second time around!  As an added bonus, it was written by Steve Jackson - but the other one to the Steve Jackson who co-created the series, causing no end of confusion on both sides of the Atlantic (the USA Jackson being the one behind GURPS, Munchkin and the Munchkin Apocalypse: Judge Dredd expansion set a few years back).

sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #35 on: 25 October, 2021, 10:09:41 AM »
p.s. I'm tempted to pick the average scores - following the D&D standard array concept.

sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #36 on: 25 October, 2021, 10:16:51 AM »
p.s. found this:

recommended minimum stats - small spoilers for some of the books.

Quote from: that-link-above
Some of these are more exact than others. 'Average' denotes around Skill 9, Stamina 19 etc..


Warlock of Firetop Mountain - Average should be ok, combat not too hard.

Deathtrap Dungeon - Skill 11.

Seas of Blood - You need roughly SKILL 10. The key difficulty is large-scale battles, for any chance at all to win the book you need a minimum CREW STRIKE 11 and CREW STRENGTH 15.
Caverns of the Snow Witch - maximum on everything, but even then probably impossible to complete the final section without cheating.

Citadel of Chaos - It is theoretically possible to complete with any stats. However the Balthus Dire showdown at the end is potentially difficult, depending on how you choose to play it.

Trial of Champions - Maximum on everything. Even then you will probably run out of stamina and die. This book is broken.

Scorpion Swamp - Average stats will allow about the right level of difficulty. Note the 'good' quest is the easiest.

Siege of Sardath - I recommend at least Skill 9 or 10.

Sword of the Samurai - Skill 10

Masks of Mayhem -Skill 10

Dead of Night - Almost any stat roll should be ok. Using the special skills is the key.

Howl of the Werewolf - Any

Stormslayer - Average

City of Thieves - Skill 9

Daggers of Darkness - Average

Creature of Havoc - Average

Sorcery! Series - If you play a wizard you can probably get through on SKILL7.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #37 on: 28 October, 2021, 10:05:28 PM »
Just had a run at Warlock and the vampire killed me. I was doing ok up till that point although I burned my stamina potion early on a poison needle trap.

The art in this book is just lovely.

Anyone else do better?
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Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #38 on: 28 October, 2021, 10:13:52 PM »


I've been taking this opportunity to map it as a directed graph.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #39 on: 28 October, 2021, 10:22:43 PM »
That's the one! I have mapped it before but didn't use it this time.
I remembered certain stuff like getting the Di Maggio enchantment but not where to go, and so basically wandered about like a lost drunkard until something killed me.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #40 on: 28 October, 2021, 10:55:43 PM »
So far my favorite part is throwing some cheese at the portrait and it just laughs at your puny efforts.
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #41 on: 29 October, 2021, 08:54:33 AM »
Thats class. I can't even remember what the cheese is for (I know where you get it)
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Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #42 on: 31 October, 2021, 12:24:49 AM »
You use the cheese to distract some rats.

I was surprised, when finishing my map, to find only two insta-death passages - from the Vampire and Ghoul encounters. I assumed there would be more.

I'll paste in a copy of my graph (open in new tab to get it full size). Spoilers, obviously:

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Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #43 on: 31 October, 2021, 08:19:53 PM »
Ah - double-checking that I had all the entries accounted for, I noticed a couple of gaps so updated:




The key combos at the end are quite well done - you get punished more for getting 1 of 3 correct than you do for getting 2 of 3 correct.

There are two entries which you shouldn't be able to achieve (because it would be impossible to pick up those combinations of keys), and also an impossible (arithmetically) key combo that leads to a win. (I read that the magazine version of Warlock had a slightly different key placement, as well.)

I'm liking that the Maze of Zagor (viewed as a directed graph) is suitably confusing.

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Has anyone played electronic versions? Do they even use entry numbers? Does it get randomized?
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sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #44 on: 01 November, 2021, 12:16:20 AM »
Great work, Funt - though after going to imgur on your first flowchart I got caught by a Hallowe'en rabbit hole and haven't actually had time to go through the book myself!