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Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 7629 times)

NapalmKev

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #105 on: 02 January, 2022, 04:41:03 PM »

 Avenger! which is the first book of a rival series of books called Way of the Tiger with a Ninja character. Anyone remember that?


Way of the Tiger is a great series and I still have the complete original run (books 1-7). The book '0' prequel came out much later and I've never played it.

In other gamebook news - During my Big New Years' Clean & Tidy session I dug out some of my FF books. I've decided to play through Trial of Champions* and then straight onto Armies of Death. I hope my adventures will be worthy of a tapestry or something.

Cheers

*Is ToC one of the broken books? I seem to recall a problem actually attaining enough Rings to succeed... We'll see I suppose.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #106 on: 02 January, 2022, 05:48:50 PM »
I was going to correct you and say there were only books 1-6 in Way of the Tiger, but then I looked it up. There were only six in the original run, with the last one ending on a deliberately ambiguous cliffhanger - but then years later (2014-ish) a book 7 was published to tie up the series.

I haven't played book #7.

I loved that series, though - the setting was very well developed.
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MumboJimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #107 on: 03 January, 2022, 10:02:55 PM »
I found an archive of Warlock magazines (it was the Fighting Fantasy magazine that ran quarterly in the mid-80s in case you didn’t know). Check them out: https://annarchive.com/warlock.html

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #108 on: 05 January, 2022, 12:24:01 PM »
 Well, I seem to have started a thread without ever realising it existed.  And I've really enjoyed reading it - special kudos to Dark Jimbo, whose self-aware travel blogs of Firetop Mountain and Darkwood Forest are comedy gold. 

Poor old warlock - it hadn't really occurred to me till now that he hadn't actually done anything wrong, and the successful player is essentially killing Alan Moore after ransacking his home.  Sorry, Warlock.  I was just following orders.

Edit - thanks for the link, Mumbojimbo! The second issue of that magazine was my introduction to Fighting Fantasy, and I still aim towards those illustrations when trying to furnish and decorate my home.  True story
« Last Edit: 05 January, 2022, 12:29:44 PM by JayzusB.Christ »
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Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #109 on: 05 January, 2022, 01:38:07 PM »
...special kudos to Dark Jimbo, whose self-aware travel blogs of Firetop Mountain and Darkwood Forest are comedy gold. 

Gosh, thanks! I wasn't sure how many people were reading them, to be honest, but they're fun to write - and keep me playing the gamebooks.

As there don't seem to be any other playthroughs of Forest of Doom on the way, any day now I'll strapping back on the leather armour and heading off to Port Blacksand...
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sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #110 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:22:43 PM »
It won't be as good as Dark Jimbo's, but we're on our second trip through the forest (well, we got killed by the demon but played on regardless, not that we had both bits of the hammer).
Next one in the pile is Starship wozzit.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #111 on: 05 January, 2022, 03:31:58 PM »
I'll have a Forest of Doom report up later this week!
Not looking forward to Starship Traveller tbh.
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sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #112 on: 05 January, 2022, 04:29:38 PM »
I'm not looking forward to Starship Traveller either, but it's been sitting on various shelves for the last thirty years*, so about time I did something with it more than just having it there for completeness' sake.

* I'd have tried to play it a few times when a kid, but haven't revisited it since.

Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #113 on: 05 January, 2022, 05:18:47 PM »
Starship Traveller spoilers right here:



[right-click and save as to get your own copy of the full sized image]
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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #114 on: 05 January, 2022, 09:00:11 PM »
Fair play, keep 'em coming, all!

Partucularly looking forward to the Dark Jimbo vs Zanbar Bone smackdown 😀
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #115 on: 06 January, 2022, 10:31:57 AM »
Right! With a big nod to Dark Jimbo, it's time for me to venture into the FOREST OF DOOM!

PART 1

In truth Darkwood forest is a well-trodden path for me and as I pocket the dying Bigleg's loose change nostalgia and deja vu come flooding back. Feeling confident, from Yaztromo I snap up the holy water, garlic buds, nose filters, fire capsules, armband of strength and gloves of missile dexterity as I seem to recall all of these are useful and then it's excitedly off into the mulchy gloom of the forest to find the missing bits of the hammer.

Before long I've been robbed, attacked by a blood-sucking tangleweed and battled both a treeman and the iconic shape changer. Having already lost all my money to the thief I am forced to eschew an offer to be ferried across a river by a friendly centaur and stumble out of the river covered in leeches. In terrible shape I bed down for the night and am promptly attacked by a giant spider. It dawns on me that I am hopelessly lost and definitely not on the right path.

The next morning I sensibly decide not to venture down a mysterious well as I know it's full of gremlins and not much else. I also decide against harassing sleeping gnomes, but I can't stop myself venturing into a hut, picking up a vase of Gom Jabbar and stealing the contents which include a much-needed potion of healing . Continuing North I find an overgrown crypt - I think one of the bits of the hammer lies within, hooray! However I have no key - boo. With a sinking feeling I hurry north along the path. Accosted by bandits, my heart isn't really in it and I pay them off with gold from the abandoned hut before stumbling onto Stonebridge where, red faced, I have to explain to the Dwarves that I made it all the way through the forest and found exactly no bits of their hammer at all. Gloomily trudging back round the outside of the forest I get an arrow in the neck from some hillmen and my adventure is over. That's where overconfidence gets you!

PART 2

Arriving back at Yaztromo's tower, I restock on exactly the same items and once more I'm into the lethal leafy boughs of Darkwood. As a general rule in gamebooks, if given a choice, I always take the left-hand path but this time I decide to turn east. I pay the crow, take it's advice and pretty soon I'm crossing swords with a pair of Hobgoblins. This, if I remember rightly, was my first ever FF battle and I dispatch these two goofs with a big grin and help myself to their stuff. Finding a nearby slimy hole I venture in and defeat a massive slimy worm, then following the crows advice press on to the North where I flatten an ogre with a well-placed rock, free his captive only to have the ungrateful wretch turn on me. Luckily, Goblins suck and one brief fight later I am clutching one half of the fabled hammer!
Unable to stop myself I loot the cave and thank goodness I brought those nose filters. Whistling cheerfully I stroll carelessly onwards and am promptly trapped, drop my sword and end up being extorted of five gold pieces by some precocious little brat. Annoyed, I climb into some poor ape mans house, kill him and steal his stuff too, and this time it's a bracelet of skill. I'm starting to feel pretty damn invincible this time.
At this point I think continuing north will take me out of the forest too quick, so I revert to type and start heading west. Not long after I meet a hunter - what is he doing here? - and he gives me some belladonna. I can't remember this encounter from previous playthroughs, which has me a bit worried. My next stop is the Darkwood Forest arm-wrestling champion, who I guess just hangs out in his hut in this bogus forest arm-wrestling passersby. Naturally I use my armband of strength to cheat and win his dust of levitation which I know I do need to finish this book. Hooray again!
This time when I bed down for the night the encounter is with vampire bats, but I keep the little terrors at bay with my garlic buds. My new day starts with that classic pick me up of an arrow in the shoulder: I avenge my wound (and my previous iteration) on the hillmen and the silver key is mine - exactly what I needed last time out.
By now I'm lost again so I sneak a peek at the east and west options. East takes me back to the Gremlins well, so I follow that route, skip it again, and pretty soon I'm back at the crypt but this time with the key to get in. Old memories flooding back I use my ill-won dust of levitation to get into the sarcophagus, douse the monster inside in holy water and lo, the second part of the hammer is mine! Not wanting to risk anything now I once again pay off the bandits and then it's off to Stonebridge for beer and treasure. Adventure completed!

What a lovely nostalgic experience this has been. One of my favorites as a child, playing it again reminded me my I enjoyed it so much - there's very little insta-death unless you do dumb stuff like attack Yaztromo and the chance to return to the start on failure (even though I messed that up) is so welcome when the forest is basically a literal maze. There's so many things in there that I didn't run into - the giant, the mushroom guys, the werewolf, the sexy / disturbing catwoman - and stuff I skipped like the gremlin well and the wyvern - without mapping it as I went, I could have been wandering about in there for days, it feels truly massive. I'm not sure if it's nostalgia kicking in but I find Malcolm Barter’s artwork super evocative and just the right side of disturbing: his twisted Orcs, Gremlins and Hobgoblins especially. Between this and Citadel there's been some superb artwork that's not the sort of thing you'd normally see in a child's book - not gory, but so imaginative and grotesque and just downright odd - fantastic stuff.
Apparently you can win the book with just three fights so it's not one where maximum skill is required either. The nastiest monster I found was the shape changer and that was in my sub-optimal playthrough.

Anyway, if you read to the end of this, thanks / apologies! Starship Traveller awaits!
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #116 on: 06 January, 2022, 10:34:12 AM »
Also, anyone seen these?

https://sevensqua.red/collections/fighting-fantasy

I got the Deathtrap Dungeon one for Christmas and following that I'm thinking about getting FoD as well.
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MumboJimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #117 on: 06 January, 2022, 11:57:07 AM »
Buoyed by the discussion here, and a nostalgic reading of the Warlock magazines, I gave Warlock of Firetop Mountain a go last night. Rather than cheat a bit, as I used to as a nipper, I thought I’d play it completely by the book (pun intended!): follow the rules to the letter and even draw a map as I went on.

RnGesus was on my side, at least at the start, as I rolled outrageously good stats: Skill 11, Stamina 23 and Luck 10. This allowed for a bold play style, as I could rifle through all the rooms early on with barely a scratch and soon had 26 pieces of gold, the bronze key, the potion of invisibility, glove, cheese etc. My luck eventually started to fail me the other side of the river though. Naively I told the man with the dog that I was raiding the place, at which point he set his dog on me, and after I killed the dog, he turned into a werewolf and came at me. I thought I’d fare pretty well in the fight, after all, I had skill 11 compared to his 8….but the rolls were bad! I defeated him, but with stamina now depleted to 9. I’m now on paragraph 122 which has the memorable picture of the four gaunt looking men in rags, so I’m still to do labyrinth part of the adventure.

It’s been quite interesting to follow the rules properly. I’ve realised how important the luck mechanic is, and how the game is set up to reward boldness by giving you luck points. But by doing that it also provides an incentive to test your luck during battles, as otherwise you won’t get the benefits of the luck points you get (as you can’t exceed your initial value). Also using provisions to give a +4 to stamina becomes important, and those paragraphs where you’re allowed to take a meal become very welcome.

I’ll continue tomorrow. I have a vague plan of replaying the first 6 books, as those were the ones I had as a kid.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #118 on: 06 January, 2022, 12:18:37 PM »
Loving these adventure accounts - thanks guys! Huge nostalgia thrills all the way, with a new realisation that the player is essentially a murderous thief.  Looking forward to more.

Forest of Doom has a special place in my heart, being the first FF book I personally bought with my own money. I hadn't appreciated at the time what an amazing piece of art the original cover was.
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sheridan

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #119 on: 06 January, 2022, 08:23:12 PM »
Between this and Citadel there's been some superb artwork that's not the sort of thing you'd normally see in a child's book - not gory, but so imaginative and grotesque and just downright odd - fantastic stuff.


Jackson and Livingstone fought to make sure they got to pick the artwork - resulting in it being in line with the Games Workshop / White Dwarf / Citadel style.  Compare and contrast with any other children's books of the era, or even TSR / Dungeons and Dragons / Dragon magazine of the time.