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Author Topic: Gamebooks  (Read 9534 times)

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #345 on: 30 June, 2022, 12:33:22 PM »
Jimbo's gamebook spreadsheet is a thing of unmitigated majesty and nerdery. I may have a similar one myself now based off his template..

Such an awesome writeup on Sorcery there. I definitely played at Cityport of Traps and maybe another one of the series but when I think back I may be getting some of it mixed up with Lone Wolf. This review also inspires me to give it a go though.

Having raced a couple of books ahead of everyone else on FF and with WotT in limbo, I've decided to have a go at Freeway Warrior to see if it makes up for the disappointing Freeway Fighter. It's ace. Writeup to follow.
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Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #346 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!

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #347 on: 04 July, 2022, 09:06:53 AM »
I must have fought those pirates literally about a hundred times. Throwing the captain can kill of him in one move - his defence is pretty weak to throws and you can put him over the side, ending the fight. Good luck!
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #348 on: 04 July, 2022, 10:39:30 AM »
That's how I did it the first time, but the ogre keeps battering me!

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #349 on: 04 July, 2022, 12:57:06 PM »
Oh yeah, the ogre. I always take arrow cutting, so I normally weaken him with a shuriken and then try to finish him off quick with a couple of kicks, using inner force for at least one of them. Never try to throw him (you may have already found this out!)
Knowing when to use inner force is pretty important as some of the fights are horrific (the one at the end of book 3 is LUDICROUS in its difficulty). You don't want to run out before the end, but don't be afraid to drop really dangerous opponents with it.
I love that image of the ogre jumping between the ships. He looks like an absolute wall of muscle.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #350 on: 04 July, 2022, 01:15:11 PM »
I keep forgetting about inner force! I'll try that.

Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #351 on: 04 July, 2022, 04:32:17 PM »
Loving combat-tactics discussion for WotT.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #352 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.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #353 on: 05 July, 2022, 09:13:31 AM »
Loving these write-ups. Think I'll have to add WotT to 'the list'...
@jamesfeistdraws

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #354 on: 05 July, 2022, 10:55:35 AM »
Great writeup!

Sounds like you missed the arena in Mortavalon, which is a shame as it's excellent. Kwon's flail is the business!
I think the descriptive paragraphs, and the need to make intelligent and thematic rather than random choices, really elevates this book.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Richard

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #355 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.

Funt Solo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #356 on: Today at 03:24:35 AM »
House of Hell

Skill: 12   
Stamina: 15       
Luck: 12
Fear: 7


Playthrough
Being of a nervous disposition, and having just been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, Frank was shitting bricks before he even got into the spooky house, got knocked unconscious and woke up tied up on a bed. His chest was tightening even more as he broke free and staggered nervously around, looking for an exit. Who knows what was going through his mind in those final moments of clutching panic?

Post-Match Interview
Probably it's not possible to win this one with a Fear score of 7. Unless there's some optimal route that avoids all the spooks.
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #357 on: Today at 09:22:10 AM »
I love a good short playthrough! 😆
@jamesfeistdraws

Barrington Boots

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Re: Gamebooks
« Reply #358 on: Today at 10:26:20 AM »
Nice!
I think couldn't get through without FEAR 10, I'm pretty sure I read online 9 is the minimum. The fear mechanic sucks, quite frankly.
You're a dark horse, Boots.