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

Saturday, November 27, 2021

November roundup and upcoming December events

 Hello all! It's the last weekend of the month and that means it's news roundup time!

A number of dogs have been stolen from the
local area recently. Police are looking for leads.

Releases

Victoria Hancox

‘Behind the Weeping Walls’ is the 4th book in The Cluster of Echoes hexalogy and is now available as paperback and eBook, plus the hardback edition has additional extras including all the puzzle solutions and hidden passages.

Jam Hirons

Back in the eighties game books were at the height of their popularity, selling in their hundreds of thousands. Come the nineties, the video game era took over and game books saw a decline, with even the most popular series being pulled from the shelves. With game book fans of yesteryear now adults, they now wish to introduce their children to the genre, with many of them becoming authors of interactive adventures in their own right. The game book market is now reviving, as this generation looks for ways to bring children back to reading rather than screen time.


Vulcanverse
Books 3 and 4 in the Vulcanverse series are to be released on December 1st. More details will be at Fabled Lands.

Choice of Games

Cliffhanger: Challenger of Tomorrow

Punch out Fascists and unravel conspiracies in this explosive pulp adventure set in a retro-futuristic 1930s world of airships, fast cars, and two-fisted action!

Cliffhanger: Challenger of Tomorrow is a 300,000-word interactive novel by William Brown, author of The Mysteries of Baroque. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Dawnfall

Soar through space and get back into the rhythm of the universe in these all-new prequel stories for Dawnfall by RoAnna Sylver! With five non-interactive short stories, totaling over 25,000 words, you’ll be able to spend lots of time revisiting this dazzling universe. Journey between distant planets, and see the stunning events that joined your favorite characters’ destinies and turned them into the people that you fell in love with.

Dawnfall (choiceofgames.com)

Hosted games at Choice of Games Raiders of the Icepeak Mountains is a 120,000 word interactive gamebook by Adrao, where a combination of your choices and the roll of dice will determine your destiny. The game is text-based, with artwork allowing you the chance to actually see the exotic locations and dungeons you will visit on your journey. Temple of Endless Night is a thrilling 200,000 word interactive fantasy novel by Dariel Ivalyen, where your choices fully control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Online courses

The Storytelling Collective is hosting a course on Choice Design in Solo Adventure Gamebooks. This is by Sersa Victory who has made several RPGS and gamebooks. It costs 35 USD.

Storytelling Collective


Computer games

Fabled Lands CRPG

If you have the Fabled Lands cRPG, you can now play in Golnir!

Fabled Lands - The Cities of Gold and Glory content update is live! - Steam News (steampowered.com)


Crowdfunding

Down In Yongardy: A Troika! Solo Gamebook by Chris Bissette — Kickstarter

Troika! is everyone's favourite Fighting Fantasy retroclone. Down In Yongardy takes Troika! back to its roots, stripping the mechanics back for solo play and throwing you into a branching-path solo adventure just like the ones you used to love.


Conventions

Dragonmeet

Jonathan Green and Ian Livingstone will be there. I plan on being there as well.

You can order tickets online until Thursday 2nd December.

Home (dragonmeet.co.uk)


Competitions

Entries will start to be accepted for the Lindenbaum Competition starting on the 1st December! Competition details are here: Lloyd of Gamebooks: The Lindenbaum prize for short gamebook fiction 2021/2022

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Magic the Gathering equipment revisited

 A while ago, I did a post on Magic the Gathering equipment I would wear as an adventurer.

Since that was 5 years ago, I thought I would do an update.


Previous: Adventuring Gear

Now: Skyclave Pickaxe

As with Bonesplitter, Wizards decided that some abilities are too strong to stick on a creature for 2 colorless mana and a common card. Aside from the fact that you can attach skyclave pickaxe for 1 mana, it is more expensive and difficult to use. That 1 mana has to be green and it needs to be attached for 2G.

Howver, a pick is always useful for mining, climbing, or, at a pinch, as a weapon.


Previous: Trailblazer's Boots.

Now: Swiftfoot Boots

Wizards doesn't go in for landwalk any more. It's either does nothing or makes a creature unblockable and this is bad for the game either way. Swiftfoot boots grant Haste, which is helpful and also Hexproof which stops opponents from targeting the creature, but the creature's controller can target it. This is an upgrade from Shroud.


Previous: Explorer's Scope

Now: Sword of the Animist

Sword of the Animist is way more effective than Explorer's Scope.


Then: Blazing Torch

Now: Delver's Torch

Delver's Torch is more of a power boost and allows you to venture into the dungeon when you attack.


Then: Grappling Hook

Now: Rogue's Gloves

Now I can steal some stuff with my gloves.


Then: Sword of Fire and Ice

Now: Haunted Cloak

Cool as sword of fire and ice is, I have a new sword and I need a new cloak.


Previous: Viridian Longbow

Now: Ranger's Longbow

Wizards also doesn't go in for creatures that tap to deal damage. They usually cost them right, but they messed up combat maths, turning the game into a mental exercise for an attacking player. A ranger's longbow gives a power and toughness boost and allows me to block flying creatures.

I also have a soft spot for rangers as I played a ranger in my first roguelike game (Moria). I eventually killed the Balrog with a level 37 ranger after lots of save-scumming.

Previous: Heartseeker

Now: Spare Dagger

Heartseeker is probably not going to get reprinted, so I'll go for the smaller, spare dagger.


Previous: Darksteel Plate

Now: Plate Armour

Wizards did a DnD themed set recently, so this is what heavy armour looks like now. It gives a bonus to power and toughness and has a Ward mechanic which increases the costs more to target it.


Previous: Whispersilk Cloak

Now: Prowler's Helm

Shroud is no longer in use because it didn't work how people wanted it to. Shroud meant that a creature couldn't be targeted. However, players always assumed that they could target their own creature. Wizards worked out that games are more fun when they let people play in a more intuitive way, so they replaced it with hexproof.

Prowler's Helm is the new version. Not completely unbockable, but I guess walls don't care if you are invisible.


So if you take me as a 0/1 creature, with the equipment, I am an 8/7 creature with Haste, Hexproof, Trample, Reach, Ward 1 and Vigilance. I cannot be blocked, except by walls. When I attack, I can sacrifice my dagger to deal 1 damage to a creature, search for a basic land, delve into the dungeon and if I deal damage I draw a card. If a land enters the battlefield, I get +2/+2, which combos with the Sword of the Animist. This means that every time I attack, I will get +2/+2 from the land I search up.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Gamebook blogs revisited

Hello all! 

I thought I'd update a list of blogs that are currently running and talking about gamebooks. 

Blogs come and go on tide and time, and since it's been a while since I've interacted with the blogosphere as much as I did in the 10s, I thought I would provide an updated list of blogs that are either completely about gamebooks or mention gamebooks that are still running.

These blogs have had at least 1 post in 2021. I have split them into gamebook authors/producers and gamebook playthrough blogs/reviewers.

If you have a gamebook blog that is active and I haven't mentioned it, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it to the list!

Gamebook authors/producers

Ashton MacSaylor

Ashton made a lot of great gamebooks back in the 10s. His post for 2021 details what he is up to now. His latest endeavours are Sun Sailor productions and Story Tables. These provide camps in role playing gaming and collaborative storytelling. Living the dream.

Fabled Lands

Dave Morris, gamebook legend has kept this blog going for 11 years with regular posts the whole time. The posts refer to many gamebooks and RPGs written by Dave and friends.

Fighting Fantasy

A blog about Fighting Fantasy. I assume that I don't need to explain what that is if you're reading this blog.

Fighting Fantasy.net

Fighting Fantasy.net is an awesome website that allows gamebooks to be played online. If you have a gamebook, you can host it there. One of the members, Matt Ward, also has a blog about gamebooks.

James Schannep's blog

James Schannep has written several gamebooks in different genres with titles that are one work with an exclamation mark after them. His book genres include zombies, spies and superheroes.

Jonathan Green

Jonathan Green has written many gamebooks, starting his career in the 90s with the later Fighting Fantasy books. He now works on the Ace Gamebook series, based on public domain works.

Librojuegos.org - Librojuegos y Ficción Interactiva

This is a gamebook blog for those fans who speak Spanish.

Martin Noutch's blog

Martin Noutch is the man behind the Steam Highwayman open world gamebook series.

Project Aon blog

This is the blog for the Lone Wolf series and the free Lone Wolf gamebooks.

Samuel Isaacson's blog

Samuel Isaacson has written many awesome gamebooks in recent years with many different genres.

Tin Man Games

Tin Man games started in 2008 with their Gamebook Adventures series, which started out as apps that basically did what gamebooks did. Since then, they have branched out into many other apps including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain game.

Titan - The Fighting Fantazine blog

This is the blog for the Fighting Fantazine gamebook zine. Issue 17 should be out this month.

Trollish Delver

Scott Malthouse has written several great RPGs and also dipped his toe into solo RPGs such as Quill, the letter writing RPG.

Victoria Hancox's blog

Victoria Hancox has written 3 superb horror based gamebooks (With a fourth book out soon!)


Playthrough/review blogs

Adventure Gameblog

This blog covers many gamebooks from many different series.

Cybe's Website

Alison Cybe is one of the few people who has reviewed every Fighting Fantasy gamebook from the original series. They also have a podcast coming out soon.

Deathtraps and Dungeons

This blog was started recently and they have done the first 10 Fighting Fantasy gamebooks so far.

Ludicrously Niche

This blog delves into many subjects about the 80s, including some gamebook posts. These posts are usually about the mistakes in gamebooks called broken gamebooks.

Malthus Dire

Mark Lain has reviewed every Fighting Fantasy book and some others.

Mrs Giggles

Mrs Giggles reviews many things, usually in a very acerbic fashion. This year, she has been working her way through the latest Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf gamebooks.

Turn to 400

This is a comedy playthrough blog. My favourite is Forest of Doom.

Your Adventure Ends Here

This blog is currently working its way through the Fighting Fantasy series.

Interactive Fiction

I am classing Interactive Fiction as fiction that provides choice but has fewer stats and dice rolling that you would see in an RPG. It also has aims that are more about exploration and character instead of "kill the wizard" and a lot of them are in the format of computer programs where you can type commands rather than pick them.

Choice of Games

This website has many interactive fiction games. In fact, it is a juggernaut that churns out games with hundreds of thousands of words at an insane rate. They also have a blog about their craft.

Emily Short

Emily Short is an awesome figure in the world of Interactive Fiction, so much so that she has her own Wikipedia page. Her blog is full of pearls of wisdom.

Renga in Blue

Another awesome Interactive Fiction blog.

These Heterogeneous Tasks

Another awesome interactive fiction blog. My personal favourite post is a bestiary of player agency.


Finally, a massive host of links:

Demien's gamebook web page is the most comprehensive collection of gamebook information on the internet. Here is Demien's link list of gamebook related websites going back almost two decades.

Link List - Demian's Gamebook Web Page (gamebooks.org)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Advanced Fighting Fantasy "civilian" adventure - The Goblin Gang

Hi all!

If you follow Advanced Fighting Fantasy, you will probably know that they released the Combat Companion

As well as having plenty of great stuff for combat, it also had rules on creating characters with powers above or below the standard heroes in the core rulebook. 

The lowest "level" is civilian level - basically a 0 level commoner. 

I love low level games. The lower, the better, so I have created a civilian level adventure for Advanced Fighting Fantasy. I want to create enough adventures so the heroes get enough xp to go through to veteran level, which is what the heroes in the AFF core book start as.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1W-abSEjuilJ-3t6nDfLKA2iAvpfAIIrr/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=102398365992655245537&rtpof=true&sd=true