Sunday, July 14, 2013

Five more stupid decisions that you can make in gamebooks

1) Obeying the 'No weapons beyond this point' sign in Deathtrap Dungeon.


Walking along, you see a red line painted across the tunnel floor and notice a sign on the wall which reads: 'No weapons beyond this point'.  If you wish to abandon any weapons before continuing north, turn to 389.  If you would rather ignore this notice and carry on north, turn to 181.

You're in a dungeon full of deathtraps.  You've overcome them all to be faced by a red line and a sign.  Are you actually going to obey it?  If you do, you'll probably be killed by a ninja later on and you will deserve it. 

Chardonnay or type A?
2) Drinking Red Wine in Vault of the Vampire.

Drinking red wine in a Vampire's castle?  This is not red wine, this is blood, and it seems to be still warm! You spit it out in horror. Lose 1 faith point. Taking no more risks, you head for the west door. Turn to 45.

The above paragraph says it all.  If a vampire lives there and there's some red liquid, it's blood.  

You need to be
stern with yourself.
3) Trying to destroy the huge ironclad with your crystal explosive in the Masters of Darkness (Lone Wolf 12).

When you (Lone Wolf) leave to fulfil your mission of destroying some device in Helgedad that helps the Darklords survive outside of their polluted wasteland of a home, you are given three pieces of advice - never remove the amulet that helps you survive in such a hostile climate, never unsheathe the Sommerswerd unless it's to destroy Gnaag and use the crystal explosive to only destroy the device.

Now you may come across a huge ironclad, but you should not use the crystal explosive to destroy it.  For a start, it's not your mission and if you try, Joe Dever rightly kills you off.  Think about this - if you do complete your mission then do you think anyone will be in any fit state to drive the thing?  Of course not.  Think about the bigger picture or, if you can't do that, just do exactly as Banedon tells you.  

4) Using the Dark Veil ability when you confront Myurr in Dead of Night

I love Dead of Night.  It is a great book where you can get some good abilities.  One of them is the Dark Veil ability where you can make yourself invisible.  However, it comes with warnings:

However, this is a trick you have learnt from your study of Demons and so, whenever you use it, your EVIL score will increase.


Be warned, too, that more powerful creatures will be able to sense the veil, though they may not see you and may even know a how to use the veil against you!

So with that in mind, when you face the Demon Prince, Myurr, would you consider him to be a powerful creature?  Of course you would.  He's a Demon Prince!  However, you still get the option of using it and if you do, this happens:

Though you succeed in becoming invisible, you also contrive to give yourself over to the powers of Evil one last time.  Myurr has no trouble seeing you. when he beckons you forward with a mere twitch of his finger, you find yourself compelled to obev.  Your adventure is over.

You get exactly what you deserve.  

5)  Attacking a horde of pirates in Keep of the Lich Lord

There's a load of pirates and two chaos knights.  Just don't attack them.  Get on the ship and kill the captain.  He's far easier to kill.  


  1. With lots of 'stupid' gamebook options I end up taking them. I see them and think, 'that's just stupid'. And then I think, 'but if the option is here, perhaps there is some hidden logic...'

    I think this comes from playing the early FF books, which very often relied on a game of 'guess what the gamemaster is thinking...' and the only thing you know about the gamesmaster is that he's capable of being a bit of a 'dick'!

    1. That is another aspect of making decisions, which really does muddy the waters. A good idea for a blog post would be how to play the metagame with certain authors.


  3. I love to take the stupid route sometimes just to see what happens. Great post!

    1. Some gamebook takes lots of care and attention at describing in detail how you die...

    2. Beneath Nightmare Castle is great for that.

  4. How would you score handing over your weapons to the Archmage in Mampang, after he promised to hand you back the Crown of Kings if you do that?

    1. On the face of it, that is one of the stupidest things you can do. However, if you know what's going on in Steve Jackson's head, it is a relatively painless way to get out of that situation and if you can cast the ZAP spell followed by the RES spell, you won't need them. I have a post scheduled entitled five seemingly good decisions with surprisingly good results. Giving the Archmage your weapons is not on there, but there is another Sorcery! one - that is buying the bow and silver arrows. If you do, you get into a difficult and complex combat with a skill 9 opponent. If you don't you just need to make sure you can call upon Libra at the time and you are sorted.

    2. If later on you have a similar review of when honesty doesn't pay, you can mention declaring to Cartum the captain of the guards of Mampang that you are there to kill the ArchMage (especially if you are discovered as Analander and you don't have the image of his lady...).
      One of the few instances where Steve Jackson congratulates for your honesty, but...

  5. At that point of the adventure, a bit anything you can do will send you to the same place (in jail with Jann the Minimite as a companion...), but it doesn't mean that giving up your weapons on the basis of a "promise" from the Archmage is quite stupid...