Monday, January 9, 2023

The Lindenbaum competition is way underway

Hello all! Here's a reminder that the Lindenbaum competition is underway. The deadline is 5pm GMT on the 14th February. Get writing!

Entry requirements for the 2022/2023 Lindenbaum competition

All entries must be in English.

All entries must be original works incorporating unique characters and world settings. This can include real world settings, people and events as long as they aren't the property of someone.

All entries must be previously unpublished works.

All entrants must state clearly on the first page of their entries that they are the authors of the work submitted.

All entries must be provided in rich text format (rtf) and sent as an email attachment All entries must be in any format that I can edit and turn into a pdf and sent as an attachment and link to lindenbaumprize@gmail.com.

Formats I know I can do this with are: RTF, doc, docx, Google docs, pdf, - leave a comment if there is a format that you want to know about.

All character or status sheets provided with entries must be presented in a simple layout that does not include complex table formats.

All entries must be spell-checked and thoroughly tested prior to submission.

The total length of the entry does not exceed 100 sections and a word count of 25,000 words.

Illustrations will not be accepted as a part of an entry except in two specific circumstances. 

Exception 1: Maps that are integral to navigation within the gamebook.

Exception 2: Graphics necessary as a part of puzzles or clues integral to the entry's narrative.

Graphics provided for these purposes must be in either BMP or JPG format and be included as a part of the RTF entry forwarded. 

Graphics purely of an illustrative nature will not be accepted.

The entry may either be a complete stand-alone story or a self-contained excerpt from a larger gamebook adventure of your own creation.

The entry can be of any genre except erotica.

There is no entry fee.

All rights remain with the author and the author can withdraw their entry at any time during the course of the competition.

An entrant can submit one entry only.

All participants must have a valid PayPal account at the time of submission. For reasons given below you must have a valid PayPal account if you wish to receive a cash prize. Account information is not required by the organisers of this competition unless you are one of the winning entrants. Only at the time of winning a prize will you be asked for your PayPal details.


Hyperlinking

Last year, I hyperlinked most of the entries. Response was lukewarm with one entrant specifically asking not to hyperlink. It seems that for a short gamebook, hyperlinks aren't completely necessary, so I won't do it this year.


Competition deadlines for 2022/2023

16th October 2022: Competition guidelines released

6th December 2022: Entry submissions begin

14th February 2023: Entry submissions close.

21st February 2023: Voting begins.*

18th April 2023: Voting closes.*

30th April 2023: Winners announced.*

* If there are more than 14 entries, these dates will be extended.


Voting

The prize is awarded to the entrant who receives the greatest number of reader votes. This prize relies on votes provided by readers who have read enough of the entries to make a considered choice as to the relative merits of the gamebooks submitted. It is expected by the sponsor of this competition that votes will be provided on this basis. For 2022/2023 the voting system applies as follows:

A valid vote must be forwarded by email to lindenbaumprize@gmail.com. A valid vote must nominate the three gamebooks most favoured by the voter from the competition entrants. A vote with less than three nominations cannot be accepted. A vote forwarded with more than three nominations will only have the first three accounted for in the voting tabulation.

Only one voter email is allowed per reader. All votes will be checked for duplication of email addresses.

Feedback to the authors may be forwarded to the competition sponsors at lindenbaumprize@gmail.com. All feedback given will be provided to authors at the end of competition as a part of the email notification of results.

Prizes

Winning entrant

A cash prize of £100 GBP (Great British Pounds) to be paid within 48 hours into a PayPal account of the winner's choosing. If you do not have access to a valid PayPal account the cash prize cannot be paid.

A desktop licence to the Gamebook Authoring Tool which lasts for 1 year.

A First Prize certificate memorialising their success in the competition.

Merit awards

Two entries are chosen for Merit awards. These entrants receive:

A cash prize of £30 GBP (Great British Pounds) to be paid within 48 hours into a PayPal account of the Merit Award winner's choosing.

A Merit Award certificate memorialising their success in the competition,

Commendation awards

If there are 10 or more entries, there will be 3 commendation awards. The entrants receive:

A Commendation Certificate memorialising their success in the competition.

Gamebook writing help

If you haven't written a gamebook before, you might think that arranging and randomising the sections might be a problem. However, there are now good gaembook writing programs out there. One is The Gamebook Authoring Tool, which has a free version specifically designed to write a 100 section gamebook and export it to Rich Text Format. You can try it here: About The GameBook Authoring Tool – Crumbly Head Games

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

December news and upcoming January news

 Hello all! 

I only released the last news a few days ago, so this one will be short, but I thought I'd make a December one as well, just to keep up my one a month rate.

I'll also take this chance to wish you all a happy new year and that I hope 2023 will be a happy and prosperous year for you all.

Here's the news:

Arion Games festive sale

Arion Games is the company that releases Advanced Fighting Fantasy material.

With December well underway and both Christmas and New Year fast approaching, it is time for the annual Arion Games festive sale.

As in previous years, we have put every Arion Games pdf at DTRPG at a 40% discount for the rest of the month.  In addition, we will also have FOUR brand new adventures for four different games.  These will be sent free to every customer who has bought something of ours during December.  

(Don't buy anything from Arion games that costs $999/£830. They are the free festive games.

The plan is to send two out next week end to all December customers to that point, another the following weekend and another the weekend after, so if you want to get all four for free, make sure you have purchased something by then!

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/667/Arion-Games


Release - The Seeker of Valenreath

If you seek adventure, then enter the fantasy realm of Lorelos and embark on a quest to find an ancient relic. You are a Seeker and must choose one of multiple paths you can take to reach your goal. You will need one six-sided dice, a pencil and an eraser to keep track of your attributes, record your discoveries and determine the victor in battles. You will use a unique, 1d6 combat system to do battle with Orcs, Goblins and many other formidable foes. Your success will oftentimes be decided by your strategy and the roll of one six-sided dice, be it combat or the execution of a task or skill of your choosing. You may come across puzzles to solve and riddles to decipher. Use alchemy to overcome the many challenges you will face and discover items and potions to aid you in your quest. You will journey through the mysterious Faewood or the marshy Fens of Lorelos, before embarking on your perilous ascent of the Blackspire Mountains to find the entrance to the ancient ruins. The many challenges that you will face and the characters you will meet on your journey, are contained in this adventure gamebook of over 350 pages and 1000 paragraphs. There are multiple paths to achieve your goal and each playthrough will be different depending on your choices and selected abilities. Containing 50 hand-drawn illustrations, your friends and foes are revealed in 22 full page illustrations with many secrets to discover.

The Seeker of Valenreath: Amazon.co.uk: Makin, Matthew D: 9780645661507: Books


Release - Gamebook Collectors' Guide

Mark Lain has made a Collectors' Guide for 1000s of gamebook related items with cover art from Michael Sheppard. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BR71FN91/ref=sr_1_8?qid=1672242092&refinements=p_27%3AMark+Lain&s=books&sr=1-8&text=Mark+Lain


The Lindenbaum gamebook competition

Here is a chance to to win prizes with a gamebook writing competition! You need to write a short gamebook of up to 100 sections and 25000 words in length. The deadline for the competition is Febrary 14th 2023 at 5pm GMT.

Full details are at Lloyd of Gamebooks: 2022/2023 Lindenbaum Prize announcement


Adventures in social media

I was reminded of these blogs in the Fighting Fantazine forums.

Ludicrously Niche is a blog that covers lots of 80s and 90s memorabilia. It also has gamebook blog posts, including the broken gamebook series where the author points out the errors in different gamebooks.

http://cwickham.blogspot.com/?m=1

Deathtraps and Dungeons is an amusing blog where the writer goes through all of the Fighting Fantasy books. They have just released number 16, Seas of Blood.

Deathtraps and Dungeons

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Things for the holiday season

 Hello all! 

Dave Morris released a post earlier which included his free stuff to help see you through the holiday season:

Fabled Lands: Comforts and joys

I pride myself on being able to spot a good idea, so I am going to lovingly rip off his idea and add some more freebies that you could find. Some are mine and some are not. Some are gamebook related and some are not.

Whatever you are doing this holiday season, I wish you happiness for it.

If you have any other suggestions or want to drop me an email, I am on sl1605@gmail.com.


Gamebook podcasts

Free gamebook radio in your ears. Here are some gamebook podcasts:

The Podcast from Firetop Mountain (podbean.com)

Fantastic Fights — Haunted Phonograph

Podcast (magnamund.com) (The Lone Wolf podcast)

Welcome to Instadeath Survivors Support Group by Instadeath Survivors Support Group (anchor.fm)

A Mug's Gamebook - Hosted by Tom Bartlett (acast.com)


My gamebook stuff

Lloyd of Gamebooks: Stuart Lloyd's bibliography


Windhammer Competition

7 years of gamebook entries!

https://www.arborell.com/gamebook_archive.html


Lindenbaum Competition

1 year of gamebook entries!

Lindenbaum 2021/2022 - Google Drive

Also, you can spend the dark nights writing an entry for the 2022/2023 competition!

Lloyd of Gamebooks: 2022/2023 Lindenbaum Prize announcement


Fighting Fantazine

In case you missed it, issue 17 came out this year after a 5 year hiatus. If you have never heard of Fighting Fantazine, there are 17 whole issues to explore! Each one has an adventure in it!

Home (fightingfantazine.co.uk)


Non-gamebook stuff

Even the most hardened gamebook fan likes the occasional non-interactive piece of entertainment, so here are a few things I've been enjoying this year.

My Dad Wrote A Porno (not safe for work). A man and his two friends read through, and comment on, his dad's terrible erotica. Absolutely hilarious. Adult themes only. Best not to drive or operate heavy machinery whilst listening to this podcast.

Playground - OpenAI API - this is a chat GPT thing where you can ask it to write various things and enjoy.

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell - YouTube - educational Youtube channel exploring the big ideas with cute duck animations.




November news and upcoming December news

 Hi all! I'm really sorry I haven't posted for a while. I have had an intense few months in real life land and I'm sorry. Here is what was big news in November. 


Kickstarters

Defenders 3: Heiress of the Tundra

This Kickstarter has finished now, but you can follow along here.

Defenders 3: Heiress of the Tundra by Derick William Dalton — Kickstarter

is the third installment in a series of fantasy choose-your-path gamenovels penned by Whitney Award-nominated Derick William Dalton.

The Defenders series is a melding of tabletop role-playing and fantasy novels.  Inspired by Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, and Lone Wilderlands, reader choices and hero abilities allow a range of storylines and adventure paths.

Defenders game novels have an introduction explaining the mechanics of character traits, skills, combat, use of gear, and character improvement. The story continues from the first two books, Throne of the Bandit Lord and Elusive Elixir. The tales boast diverse paths in both plot and cartography, and continue in book four.


New releases

Gregor's Sidequests

Gregor's SideQuests: A Mini Gamebook Series (Gregor's Adventures) - Kindle edition by Malak, R.. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Hired on as a caravan guard, Gregor must travel the inhospitable deserts of the Red Lands, survive the blistering heat of the four suns, and ensure the survival of Halthane, a gnomish merchant.


Smorgasboard by Barry Green

Smorgasboard | Wyrd of Mouth Comedy

Bing bong!

Welcome to the blurb! If you're looking for a synopsis, you've come to the right place. My name is Bongo, and I'm the official bard of Smorgasboard. That is, the black-and-white, interactive, adventure comedy contained within this text. It's my job to keep you entertained as you choose your route through the maze of this dark, alternate reality.

Don't just browse the cover, see you on the inside!

Yours, Bongo

"Probably the strangest book I've ever read!"

Smorgasboard is a semi-graphic adventure novella in which YOU, the reader, attempt to navigate your way through to its conclusion at Castle Smorg. Not all is as it seems, with a dangerous enemy plotting against you, native insurgents, and an array of cryptic hints hidden amongst humour. An information war wages across the board. Can you traverse the pages without coming to an untimely demise? Decipher the clues to escape or be subsumed into the narrative forever...


Nemo's fury

Nemo's Fury – The all-new interactive fiction game based on the classic adventure by Jules Verne (nemosfury.com)

Choose your own adventure with the legendary Captain Nemo on board his incredible submarine, the Nautilus.

Explore the sensational ocean depths, battle extraordinary monsters, and try to unravel the mystery of Nemo’s masterplan.

But will you survive to tell the tale? Nemo’s Fury is a survival combat adventure, the interactive fiction game where YOU are the hero.

Our game is inspired by our love of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy books, RPG’s such as Dungeons and Dragons,

the galaxy’s greatest comic 2000AD, and of course, the adventure stories of Jules Verne.

And it was written in Ink using Inky, the same programme used to create the excellent interactive fiction adventure, 80 Days.

(Which we have nothing to do with, except have a great time playing!)


The Ticking World Adventure Calendar

The Ticking World an Adventure Calendar - Etsy UK

One part advent calendar, one part branching adventure story, The Ticking World invites you on a journey to the cold, snowy North to unravel a fantastical mystery.

Every day brings new scenes, choices and illustrations.

As each explorer makes their own choices, they will encounter different fantasy characters, locations and mysteries. No two paths are the same, but every journey will last the same number of days and, like a traditional advent calendar, end on Christmas Day.

Perennial calendar format for re-play year after year.

Spiral-bound flip calendar with metal hanger for easy display.

Recommended for readers aged 9 to 99+.

Written by Brendon Connelly and illustrated by Maya Evans.


Dark City Games

This company has released 4 gamebooks. You can see them here.

darkcitygames.com/?fbclid=IwAR1khYJ_s1_vwx0XwmpQ-q1g4k3dtSckCkmuzKgMFNqgcTuOmLL-JVgcsOc


Winds on the North

Winds of the North – Thomas P. King, author and game designer (thomaspking.com)

Winds of the North is a sandbox game, a cross between a Harvest Moon farming game and a survival adventure game like the classic Barbarian Prince. You begin with a small farm, some silver, and a few starting animals. Your only real goals are to survive and somehow become a Viking King or Queen. Along the way, you are free to do just about anything you want.


Rise of the Ancients Book2: Ashpherron

Rise of the Ancients Book2: Ashpherron: Amazon.co.uk: Wilson, DR Graham A.: 9798846779167: Books

The ancient gods are awakening. Having slain the vile monster known as Bruidd, you are now drawn to the Southern Land of Ramun, by rumours that another ancient god, the fire serpent Queen - Ashpherron, might be released from her aeons long imprisonment. You must first journey to Neshara, to hire a mercenary, and rescue the desert princess, Fazara, so that she can guide you across the desert. You must travel to the Tower of Kadash, there to investigate a mysterious death, then retrieve the lost crystal shards from the ruined temples of the desert, command an army of desert warriors against the Shadow Guard, and finally, journey to Mazarkand, to confront those who would free Ashpherron from her underground prison chamber... and maybe, face off against the living goddess, Ashpherron herself, before she can lay waste to all Umatta. Can you make it in time, and will you have to kill another living god? You have already killed one, so why not another?

In this interactive gamebook, you make the decisions, and you suffer the consequences.

Choose wisely or die trying!


Podcasts

Lone Wolf podcast

I have just discovered this podcast. There are 2 episodes so far and the next one is out on January 5th.

Podcast (magnamund.com)


Fantastic Flights

Since my last blog post, HJ Doom has covered Caverns of Malice, Escape from Castle Ravenloft and Battleblade Warrior.

Fantastic Fights — Haunted Phonograph


Conventions and gatherings

Fighting Fantasy Fest 5 will be on September 2024

Fighting Fantasy Fest 5 | fightingfantasy


Adventures in social media

I collated people on Twitter that I would like to follow just in case it goes down (at time of writing, Elon had locked everyone out of the offices and apparently 75% of the employees had resigned, so who knows?) and I got an email from Adam Dawes.

adamdawes.com - FF Construction Kit

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Entries are now being accepted for the 2022/2023 Lindenbaum competition

 Entries are now being accepted for the 2022/2023 Lindenbaum competition.

The rules have changed slightly this year. The format of the document can be any format that I can convert to a pdf or a pdf itself. A bit nebulous at the moment, but that does include rtf, Google Docs and doc. Any other formats, we will work out as they come.

I also won't be hyperlinking any books this year.

Entries are to be sent to lindenbaumprize@gmail.com.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on the 14th February 2023.

Full rules to be found at:

Lloyd of Gamebooks: 2022/2023 Lindenbaum Prize announcement

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland review by Paul Savoir

Fantasy Game Book Review by Paul Savoir

Jonathan Green is a great writer! I recently read his ACE gamebook 'Alice’s Nightmare in Wonderland' that was published 2015 I certainly had enough curiosity to read it and I was so glad I did! All you need to play this game are 2 dice and pencil and paper. A pack of 52 playing cards is an optional extra. Several years after the events of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Alice finds herself back in Wonderland. The quest is to save the world of playing cards and talking animals! All wonderland is threatened by the queen of hearts! I as the reader decided which route Alice should take, which perils to risk, and which of Wonderland’s strange denizens to fight or befriend. So my choices as reader decided her success or failure! What a great way to read a book, so much more enjoyable as a game than an ordinary novel.

Through decision making and chance, as dictated by a roll of the dice, the reader drives the narrative onwards, battling a host of weird creatures along the way.

The book has 400 pages, but 520 book sectors so this is like getting 2 fighting fantasy books for the price of 1. This ACE gamebook has character stats of endurance, logic, agility, combat and insanity so it makes the game interesting especially for adult players. Combat is easy enough, very similar to fighting fantasy.

It is a lot of fun and could be enjoyed by children and adults alike. There are mild horrific elements although these are not scarier than anything i watched on tv when i was age 13!

I really like Jonathan Greens style of writing and I love the art work. It’s not just dice rolls either, there are puzzles to be solved.

I am not going to judge the book for its difficulty as different players and different routes and choices effect how easy or difficult it is and players could cheat or homebrew modify the game to alter its difficulty and replayability.

To any gamebook collector this book is a must-have! To anybody interested in exploring gamebooks I would advice anybody to read this book. It is well worth it! 

Its genre: fantasy, horror,alittle bit scifi or steampunk, choose your own adventure, gaming book.

Available as pdf or paperback, maybe hardback as well?

Also there is a special illustrated deck of cards and colouring book that is for sale as well to add to the playing experience.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

October news and upcoming November news

Hi all!

I'm sorry for the late release. Everything seems to be getting busier. Anyway, here is the news.

New releases

Choice of Games

Choice of Games has, of course, delivered some awesome gamebooks!

Will you overthrow the queen and her clockwork iron army, or join her as a spy? The relics you recover from the elven dungeon will change the course of history!

A Crown of Sorcery and Steel is a 450,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Josh Labelle. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

A Crown of Sorcery and Steel (choiceofgames.com)

After finding yourself trapped in another dimension, you and your friends must fight for survival and defeat the monsters that lurk in the shadows. Make sure to grab a weapon as your quiet Halloween night turns into an adventure out of this world! 

The Midnight Saga: The Monster is a thrilling 355,000 word interactive fantasy horror novel by C.C. Hill, where your choices control the story. The game is text-based, with artwork to show key moments of the story, fantastical creatures, and a variety of monsters that you will meet along your journey.

The Midnight Saga: The Monster (choiceofgames.com)

When a group of corrupt witch hunters comes to your village, accusing your brother of sorcery and wrongly accusing you of abetting him, your life takes a violent and abrupt change for the worse. After you’ve suffered more than you can bear, and endured terrible tragedy, perhaps your only option left is to become the very thing that your enemies fear and despise so much.

The Nascent Necromancer is an epic, 238,000 word interactive fantasy novel by Samuel Young, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

The Nascent Necromancer (choiceofgames.com)


Last Hand of Rhyalla VII

This title has Adult Content.

This is a FREE UNOFFICIAL ADULT solo adventure for the Alpha Blue RPG. It's part text adventure, part CYOA, and part alien sex simulator, all combined together to create a unique roleplaying experience. Choose from 6 different objectives and explore the colony on Rhyalla VII. Will you rescue the kidnapped royal, capture space pirates, or bring down the evil Federation? YOU get to decide! Everything you need to play is included except paper, pencil, regular six-sided dice, & your imagination.

Last Hand on Rhyalla VII - Sean Loftiss | DriveThruRPG.com


Brown Water Navy

Brown Water Navy is a rules light game where you take the roll of the skipper of a PCF in Vietnam. Inspired by B-17 Queen of the Skies this book will take you through some of the most dangerous places in Vietnam, and beyond. But don’t expect it to be easy. This D66 gamebook is fun but challenging. All you need for this book is two standard six sided dice, some paper and a pencil.

Brown Water Navy : A Vietnam Patrol Boat D66 Gamebook: Campbell, Brent: 9798357418067: Amazon.com: Books


Tin Man Games

Tin Man Games, the company that bought gamebooks to apps as far back as 2008 has new releases!

Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown

Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown is a role playing adventure that brings tabletop gaming to life in virtual reality! Also includes a new non-VR mode for players without VR hardware. Join a band of scoundrels in this unique sea-faring tabletop RPG adventure!

Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown on Steam (steampowered.com)

Fighting Fantasy Classics

Tin Man Games plans on releasing 3 new titles, one of which is Armies of Death. There is also Creature of Havoc and Temple of Terror.

They have released a blog post with what they have been up to for the last 2.5 years: Two and a half years later… - Tin Man Games


Crowdfunding

You are the Hero 40th Anniversary edition!

Just 6 days left to back this updated history of Fighting Fantasy by Jonathon Green.

YOU ARE THE HERO - 40th Anniversary Edition by Jonathan Green — Kickstarter

Heart of Ice ultimate edition 

Heart of Ice is getting an ultimate edition (it's already funded)

https://fabledlands.blogspot.com/2022/10/heart-of-ice-ultimate-edition.html?m=1

Marching Order Quick and Dirties

Marching Order quick and dirties is a new type of delve. They're no nonsense adventures meant to be played in a single sitting. Each one comes on a six panel fold out brochure that fits real nice in your Marching Order box. There ain't no new monster cards or nothin' fancy like that- just the delves, quick and dirty style. 

Marching Order Quick and Dirties | Indiegogo

Dice Men

The history of Games Workshop from 1975-1985 has been funded! It will be out on 10th November.

Dice Men: Games Workshop 1975 to 1985 by Ian Livingstone with Steve Jackson: Unbound


Zines

Warlock returns

Issue 7 is out!

The Warlock Returns Issue #07 - Arion Games | Advanced Fighting Fantasy | DriveThruRPG.com

Voidspace

Issue 4 is out!

voidspace 4 – voidspace _ (voidspacezine.com)


Blogs

Fighting Dantasy

Fighting Dantasy made a blog post on Shadow of the Giants! Fighting Dantasy has been making posts about gamebooks for decades now, so a new post is very exciting!

Fighting Dantasy


Adventure Gameblog

In October, it covered Lost in the Desert of Dread

Adventure Gameblog (myadventuresendhere.blogspot.com)


Podcasts

Fantastic Flights

The latest episode is Midnight Rogue.

Fantastic Fights — Haunted Phonograph


The Podcast from Firetop Mountain

The podcast featuring Alison Cybe and myself has finished its first season, ending on Crystal of Storms. You can listen to them all here: The Postcast from Firetop Mountain - YouTube

The Postcast from Firetop Mountain - YouTube


Competitions

Lindenbaum

I've announced the Lindenbaum competition:

Lloyd of Gamebooks: 2022/2023 Lindenbaum Prize announcement

A few rules changes - I'm not hyperlinking this year as people didn't seem too bothered about it and people can enter in any format I can edit and convert to a pdf.


Meet Ups

Jason Archer (creator of Fighting Fantasy.net) is planning a meet up in Sussex

Beyond Fighting Fantasy (and other gamebooks) | https://fightingfantasy.net is contemplating arranging a mini-meet-up/Beer-O forthe South-East in my hometown of Bexhill in Sussex - we have 2 possibl... | Facebook


Conventions

Adventure X

Adventure X takes place at the British Library on the 5th and 6th November!

You can get passes from the British Library: AdventureX The Narrative Games Convention Saturday Pass 2022 - The British Library (bl.uk)