Sunday, May 26, 2013

AFF monster - alien

Here is another AFF monster - an alien.
From here by +Ekud.



LOCATION:  Anywhere.

REACTION:  Hostile.





LUCK:  7



SKILLS:  Awareness (6), Sneaking (6), Strength (6), Dodge (6), Acrobatics (6), Jump (6), Climb (6).

TALENTS:  Dark seeing, Combat Reactions, Fast Healer, Fleet Footed, Hawkeye, Light Sleeper, Strongarm, Magical Resistance, Clearsight, Lightning Strike

WEAPON:  Large claw.

ARMOUR:  Chitinous layer (as monster heavy armour).


Acid blood:  If an alien is killed, it will explode acid all over the place.  If it was killed in melee combat, then the character who landed the killing blow will take 2-12 stamina points of damage from the acid.  All other characters fighting it take 1-6 damage.

Capture:  Aliens will try not to kill all opponents.  If it renders anyone unconscious, it will drag them back to its lair where it will begin a process that will turn them into alien eggs over the course of 1-6 days.

Life cycle:  An alien will start out as an egg that will not hatch until someone is nearby.  Then a facehugger will shoot out of the egg and try to attach itself to a character at lightning speed (the facehugger has a skill of 5, a stamina of 2 and can move very fast.  It requires a dodge roll at -4 to dodge it).  If it attaches to someone then it will stay on their face for 2-12 hours before falling off dead.  The host seems to have made a full recovery.  After 1-6 hours, however, a baby alien (skill 5 stamina 2, super fast movement) will shoot out of the hot's chest, killing them and run off.  In 1-6 hours, it will have grown into a fully grown alien.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Monster: Shadow People

Good day to you all!  First, I have some blog related news.  Unfortunately, I have had to turn on the word verification for comments.  As annoying as it is, the blog is getting several spam posts a day and I jsut don't want to spend ages deleting them.  So, sorry about that.

Here is an Advanced Fighting Fantasy related post.  A lot is happening on that front.  The first Blacksand books (now with new material!) are being shipped out today and the release of the second monster compendium,  Out of the Pit 2 is imminent.

You can get updates about this and other AFF related matters on the forum.

Speaking of monsters for Advanced Fighting Fantasy, here is one that was inspired by a show from the Binnall of America podcast.

From this site.
A lot of my inspiration for gamebooks comes from podcasts about conspiracy theories, paranormal reports and paranormal experiences.  One paranormal report that fascinates me is that of the shadow people.  This was first bought to my attention by Jason Offut in his interviews on Binnall of America (you can find them here and here). 

One version of the shadow people is that they come to people as they sleep, sometimes prevent them from moving, terrify them and then drain life from them.  This seems like a pretty freaky experience.  You can read about encounters with shadow people here

Here is some AFF stats for a shadow person.



LOCATION:  Anywhere

REACTION:  Hostile



SKILL:                      10

STAMINA:               4

LUCK:                      10

MAGIC:                    10


SKILLS: Magic-Wizardry (5), Magic Lore (5), Second Sight (5), Religion Lore (2),  
Secret Signs (3), Strength (4), World Lore (5), Eldritch Lore (5),

TALENT:  Natural Mage.

SPELLS:  Darkness (1), Fear (1), Glowing Eyes (1), Lock (1), Open (1), Combine (+2), Concentrate (+2), Sleep (2), Fly (4), Grand Illusion (4), Restrain (4), Teleport (6)

WEAPON:  Draining touch, deals 3 stamina points of damage with each hit.  Non magical armour does not reduce this damage.

ARMOUR:  None.

SPECIAL:  Aura of terror:  If a shadow person activates this ability, all mortal creatures in a 5 metre radius of a shadow person will be overcome by a sense of terror and must all test their luck.  Anyone who fails will be unable to move through terror for as long as they stay within 5m of the shadow person.  This ability is very powerful and drains 6 magic points from the shadow person for every minute or part of a minute that they use it.

Immune to non magical weapons:  Normal weapons do not harm a shadow person.  Reducing a shadow person's stamina to 0 merely banishes it from the mortal realm.

 Planeswalk: Shadow people can move between their realm and the material realm. This requires 6 magic points and 10 minutes of preparation time.

Weakness to holy light:  If a shadow person comes into contact with holy light (such as light from the ability of a priest of Glatanka), they will have their skill reduced by 2 and lose 1 stamina point per combat round.  They will also not be able to cast any spells or use their aura of terror or planeswalk special ability while in the light.

Banishment:  Shadow people can be banished back to their realm if certain gods or spirits are invoked but this is difficult.  Only a character with either Religion Lore and/or the Secret Signs skills can do this.  They must make a check which can use the bonus to Religion Lore and Secret Signs.  Priests of good gods get a further +2 bonus.However, there is also a -4 penalty because it is very difficult.  If the player succeeds, the shadow person is banished.  If the player fails, then they will be affected as if they had been afflicted by the aura of terror for 1 minute.


A shadow person will find someone alone and asleep.  They will cast the restrain spell upon them and then, just because they are sadistic and evil, they will wake the person up and cast the fear spell upon them so that they are both paralysed and terrified as the shadow person drains their stamina.  A shadow person will never kill in this way.  They will drain half of the victim's current stamina rounded down.  If a shadow person is set upon by multiple opponents, they will try to use their aura of terror ability or try to fly or teleport away. 


Wizards have tried to summon and control shadow people for centuries in order to utilise their power and knowledge for they know of many unearthly things.  Such summonings are likely to end in disaster as shadow people are malevolent and cunning.  A magic user who tries such a thing is a fool.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My post April A to Z reflections

Good day to you all!  Today, I'll talk about my April A to Z this year and how I think it went.  Again, I would like to thank the whole A to Z team for making it possible.  Being part of the April A to Z in the last three years has brought me a lot of followers, pageviews and connections.  It's helped me push my blog to its  limits.  This year, howver, I've not had to time to get the most from it and I will explain below.  This is nothing to do with the team, but rather to do with me and my circumstances.

The good:

As has been the case with the last two Aprils, I broke my record for blog views this month, going over 16,000.  This does not look like a dramatic rise compared to the previous months and it is not over double, like last year's A to Z, but I put this down to adding my name to the list super early and so I did not get an April A to Z rise just in April but also in February and March.  I also got a few more followers and saw a few more great blogs that I am now following.

The bad:

I think I peaked with last year's April A to Z and went downhill this year.  Last year, I sent all the wonderful participants individual sets of questions well in advance and published tons of posts.  This year, I had less time and sent everyone the same list in a big group email.  I also spent less time exploring the list of participants, which is a pain because I know that I have missed out in that respect.  I also missed a Sunday post, which is only the second time in the last 3 years (the first time was intentionally, as I was going to cut down on my posting, but didn't).


So basically, I din't have the time to get the most out of the April A to Z that I could have done and there is a good reason for that.

   Back in January 2012, I made a post saying that I was going to cut back on my activity on the blog, due to other commitments.  I said that I would post less than once a week, but that didn't stick, because I love posting too much and there was loads going on in the world of gamebooks.  However, I also had other writing to do, which I listed and it is taking up a huge portion of time too.

I also listed my life as a reason for cutting back on posts.  I didn't clarify then, but I will now - when I wrote that post, I knew that I had a baby on the way.

Since last year, I've been a daddy on top of doing a job and writing.  I've managed to keep going, but I'm definitely feeling the strain of too many commitments now, and it is coming across in the blog as before I might have slipped in a little midweek news update if I had a spare few minutes.  That sort of thing has not happened at all this year.  I also gave  up on the idea of writing a review for all 22 Windhammer entries last year, but maybe this year, with its extended time period, I might have a shot.

However, I will still commit to doing a post a week.  I tend to bulk write them when I have some spare time, so I can manage that.  These post will be more about analysis and less timely.  However, I'm still scouring the web for news - it will just go into Fighting Fantazine.  I will still like to do next year's April A to Z, but in what form, I don't know.

I would like to interview gamebookers, with the aim of giving them more exposure, but that does require a lot of work in March.  I could spend the whole year before planning posts or mini gamebooks for the competition, instead, but that will be less current.  I think the situation that will arise will be in the middle, where I will get some interviewees and then supplement the posts with mini gamebooks.

So there we go.  My life is very different compared to August 2010 when I wrote my first, short post about my Windhammer writing.  I think this blog peaked in 2012 when I really got into it, but I will still be here bringing some regular posts.

Until next week...toodles!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Holdfast - a new gamebook kickstarter

Good day to you, gamebookers!  Here is a post to broadcast the news that there is a new gamebook project on Kickstarter.  It is called Holdfast and I'd just like to make clear that it has nothing to do with glue.

Holdfast is an adventure gamebook for PrintAndroidMac and PC, following in the tradition of the old '80s and '90s greats: Lone WolfFighting FantasyTolkien Questand Fabled Lands. Taking up your ancestral weapons, you'll choose your path to reclaim your homeland through orc-legions, hidden grudges, and nameless horrors from the Deeps. You will delve, expand your fortress and confront a mighty army, if you have the mettle it takes to hold the realms of old.
With over 600 sections, you'll discover many different mysteries, threats and resources to aid in your rule. The book will be printed in soft and hard covers, black and white, with over 50 illustrations. We have partnered with Tin Man Games to use their excellent platform to provide the Android, Mac and PC versions of the gamebook.

It's looking very exciting, so have a look for yourself on the Kickstarter page.

April A to Z - bonus interview.

Hello gamebookers!

Today we have an interview that I couldn't fit into the April A to Z.  This is from the two Steves who have iHero gamebooks and other gamebook series.
released their awesome gamebook range of

So without further ado, here is the interview.

Who you are and how you got into gamebooks?

You can find out about who we are on the website - lots of boring facts! We read the Steve Jackson/Ian Livingstone books as kids and enjoyed them. So when a publisher asked if we could come up with an interactive series to get boys reading we came up with iHero (and latterly Crime Team and Ihorror)

What you have done relating to gamebooks?

Twelve stand alone iHero. 2 lots of 4 quest books 4 crime team books and 4 i horror books! (and working on some more!)

What you plan on doing now related to gamebooks?

We are slowly getting these books into foreign markets - they ahve been translated into Dutch and French, with other publishers across the world being interested in the titles...

What you think the future of gamebooks is?

I think apps and digital media is the way forward! How cool will that be - they are already available as e books but I think even more interactivity will work brilliantly on these types of books...

You can read more about the two Steves at their website and buy books from their shop.

Happy gamebooking!