The Lindenbaum prize for short gamebooks is running! Entries accepted from 1st December 2021!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

September roundup and upcoming October events

 Hello all! Here are some things going on in the gamebook world.


Releases


You're a Wizard!

You’re a Wizard! is aimed at children aged 6-10 and is an interactive story in which you, a schoolchild, go on an exciting adventure. It’s a 100-section gamebook filled with original illustrations, and is designed specifically for a younger audience:

  • an optional, introductory approach to mechanics with no need for dice
  • language and presentation aimed to be accessible for early readers while stretching vocabulary
  • unsuccessful endings contain hints and shortcuts to “save points”
  • a minor sense of threat appropriate for the adventure, with no violence or death
The illustrator is Lee Hesketh.

It will be available in November. You can pre-order here:

You’re a Wizard! (paperback pre-order) – IsaacsonAuthor.com

Steam Highwayman on Cubus Games

Martin Noutch's Steampunk open world gamebooks are becoming an app! They will be released by Cubus Games on September 30th 2021.

http://www.cubusgames.com/steam-highwayman

Break Out Dig the News

Break Out Dig the News is a choose your own adventure text maze game. Such games take you on a trip through a story told in a non-linear way. You’ll need to make choices and face the consequences. Let’s see how far you can get in the wicked and vicious world of creative news writing and disinformation. I hope, it'll help you boost your resistance to the nuisanse news which bombard us all the time.

Break Out Dig The News by ils 9 on Genially

Artemis Tabletop

Artemis Tabletop is making solo games for DnD 5a and Pathfinder

artemis (artemis-tabletop.com)

Lone Wolf 31 out!

This is not new, but I've only just realised. Lone Wolf 31 is out. Only one more Lone Wolf to go!

The Dusk of Eternal Night - Lone Wolf 31

Skelley Tales

Cat Wheel Table Top has released some solo gaming experience based on public domain comics.

Skelly Tales 5 - Cat Wheel Table Top | DriveThruRPG.com

Zines

The Warlock Returns is on issue 4.

The Warlock Returns Issue #04 - Arion Games | Advanced Fighting Fantasy | DriveThruRPG.com

The Gamebook Zine is currently on issue 3

The Gamebook Zine 3 by Simon Palmer (itch.io)


Podcasts

Campaign on Dice is a podcast where two guys play through gamebooks

CAMPAIGN ON DICE | wwwwb (whenwagonwheelswerebigger.com)

The Instadeath Survivor's Support Group is currently playing through the Island of Dr Moreau by K.J. Shadmand.

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

Fantastic Fights and Where to Find them is a podcast where someone works through gamebooks. The current one is Appointment with F.E.A.R.

Fantastic Fights — Haunted Phonograph


Fundraising

Sam at The Warlock Returns Zine is running a charity auction and raffle for Mind. Live stream planned for the results on 24/10. Guests to confirm, and prizes may well be of interest..

The Warlock Returns auction for FF & AFF ttRPG Fans - GalaBid

Crowdfunding


Malivor: Cataclysm's Edge (MCE) 

Malivor: Cataclysm's Edge (MCE) is the highly-anticipated, third title in the Savage Realms Gamebooks library and is written in the style of the Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. YOU determine the outcome of the story by the choices that you make! Sometimes, your very fate will even depend on the roll of the dice themselves!

The two small shorts that you got in the Gamebook Zine issues 1 and 2 were only a taste of what will truly be an epic storyline and gamebook!

Malivor: Cataclysm's Edge | Indiegogo


Interactive Fiction & Gamebooks Discussion Group (Book Club) | Facebook

October's book is Dracodeep Dungeon by The Story Master's Tales.


Err, just one more thing...

Next week, I will be releasing the rules for the first Lindenbaum Prize for short gamebook fiction! This competition is inspired by the Windhammer competition which I loved doing from 2008-2015. 

Come back next week for the guidelines!


STOP PRESSES:

There is a Rebel Planet comic coming soon! FIGHTING FANTASY: REBEL PLANET the graphic novel by Mark Lain — Kickstarter


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Windhammer and a question

 Hi all. Who hear has heard of the Windhammer competition? When I mentioned it at the last online Beer-o, a lot of people hadn't, to my surprise.

It ran annually from 2008-2016 and the entrants include a lot of people who went on to write published gamebooks. The Arborell gamebooks are also awesome (and free!). It's stopped now.

The gamebook entries were short (100 sections and 25000 words max), so first timers didn't feel that they had an impossible task.

I enjoyed entering it and seeing some of the innovative entries - there's a mind bending symbolic one about light and darkness, one about being an orc in a dungeon, a couple of Fabled Lands inspired ones and one where you are a dwarf leader amongst others.

I'd like to start a competition like this, maybe as a gamejam on Itch or maybe on a website or both.

Who would be up for that?

Friday, September 17, 2021

Why I chose rerolls over bonuses

 Hello all! I'm sorry I'm late again. I keep forgetting how much work I get at the end of the school year and the beginning of the school year are way busier than I remember.

I wanted to write about one aspect of SCRAWL. SCRAWL changed a lot over the years, but there was one aspect of it that never changed and that was when the characters did ability tests, if they were good at them, they get an extra die to roll rather than a bonus to the roll. Then they use the best roll.

An ability test in SCRAWL has a number between 3 and 6. To succeed at an ability test, you need to roll equal to or more than that number on 1d6. 

There are certain abilities, items or codewords that help with each ability test. For each ability, item or codeword you have that helps, you may roll an additional 1d6. You only need 1 die to roll equal to or over the difficulty to succeed at the test.

I could have changed it. I could have said that each ability, item or codeword gives a +1 bonus, but I never did want to. I wanted to go into why.

The main reason stems from a problem that may occur in Fabled Lands or Tunnels and Trolls solos, which uses a level system. That is that if I gave bonuses out that add to the die roll, it will prevent anyone who didn't have those bonuses from succeeding. Fabled Lands and Tunnels and Trolls are great, but the books are suitable for characters of a certain level. If you attempt Lords of the Rising Sun as a lowly level 1, you will be splatted. And if you attempt the War Torn Kingdom as a level 6, it might be such a cake walk that you might find it boring. The same is with Tunnels and Trolls solos. Get the wrong level and it will either be too easy or too hard.

I just went out for some milk


Part of the reason is that the tests in those books, where you roll dice and add a stat, will be impossible to reach because your character's stat will not be high enough.

The answer is rerolls. If you give someone a reroll, they will have a higher chance at success, but the range of numbers they roll will still be the same as the range that someone without the reroll could have. For that reason, it will be harder, but not impossible, for a beginner character.

SCRAWL is intended to be a gamebook where anyone can do any quest in any order, adding to the openness of the system, which is why nothing gives bonuses. They only give rerolls. If I wanted to give a minor bonus, I gave it the bonus of rerolling all 1s that are rolled.

I'll be going into SCRAWL design more as the weeks go on (though not every week, that could get a little boring).