I feel like I’ve let the side down.
After numerous comments from my Constant Readers (TM Stephen King) about how the different routes through ‘The Dungeons of Torgar’ were all interesting and thrilling in their own way, I have effectively spoiled the party by making it through on my first try.
I guess this is somewhat reminiscent of ‘Flight From The Dark’ and ‘The Caverns of Kalte’, rather than ‘Fire on the Water’ or ‘The Cauldron of Fear’.
In the earlier mentioned adventures, flexibility of choice and replayability was prioritised over the idea of an ‘epic’ adventure. In the latter, the player was, once a preferable route had been found, shepherded in a particular way towards (hopefully) success.
It may well have been a combination of fortuitous choices in Magnakai Disciplines (along with lucky R10 checks), but on the path which I chose, I never got the impression that Lone Wolf was particularly close to death.
Aside : I drafted this before reviewing justsomeguy’s intersting appraisal of how I made a fortuitous combination of choices in the adventure and Magnakai Disciplines. Review the comments to the previous entry, if you’re interested.
This state of affairs (ie. making it through the adventure without laboriously banging your head against a metaphorical wall (and by wall I mean ‘almost impossible combat’)) is not necessarily ‘bad’, in that I’m always impressed when a gamebook actually follows through on the (frequently insincere) promise that a wise choice of disciplines along with finding the ‘right’ path can lead to success no matter how low the ability scores of the player.
Compare this with the Zakhan Kimah fight or the (forthcoming) fight in the next book (and all you Lone Wolf fans know which one I’m talking about). Without the counter-intuitive move of leaving my MEGASWORD behind, I’d probably still be in a wild-eyed frenzy, frantically making R10 checks in a search for an improbable series of numbers which resulted in victory.
Indeed, whether through good luck or good management, there was no real ‘final boss’ in this adventure. What appeared (admittedly to my adult eye) to be fairly obvious and logical choices during the ‘endgame’ resulted in victory without too much sweat.
Admittedly, by ‘victory’, I mean ‘ditched through a dimensional gate into a parallel gate where all Sommerlund’s greatest villains have been exiled’.
But that’s a future story.
Back to the ‘dungeons’, which, truth be told, covered a pretty small portion of the entire adventure.
The initial jaunt down the river with Sebb Jarel seemed promising, but didn’t really prove all that hard (for Lone Wolf at least – poor old SJ didn’t really escape the ‘DOOOOOMED’ label).
I’m waffling a little bit, because, to be frank, not much stood out in my mind as memorable about this book. It may have been different if I had taken one of the other ‘adventurous’ paths, but my general brief in this playthrough has been to select the options which I genuinely think will maximise Lone Wolf’s chance of survival. I’ve only been going for the more ‘interesting’ choices in situations where there is no other hint at to a preferable choice.
In summary, I’d have to say that this was one of the less memorable books, which is evidenced by the fact that I’m REALLY struggling to find worthwhile comments to make about it. It may well be that I chose one of the more ‘boring’ paths through the book, but if that is a consequence of trying to maximise the chance of success, then any complaints about being ‘boring’ must fall against the book rather than the player.
Next : Prisoners of Time!
Confirming details of the JUNE FUNDRAISER :
As many of you may (or may not) have noticed, this humble blog has a ‘buy now’ button on the lower right-hand side. This is for those who wish to make a financial acknowledgement of the work that goes into preparing 15,000+ words of gamebook goodness every month.
Any funds received will be used for the simple purpose of buying books, and particularly gamebooks.
There is the capacity to make both one-off and recurring donations, and, to make things a little more interesting, for this month of June I’m going to proclaim the following rewards :
Make any donation – Get namechecked in the blog, with thanks.
$5.00 (Aus) or more – Get namechecked and have me plug, on this blog, a web-page (including your own) of your choice (On the basis that same is not obscene or NSFW)
$20.00 (Aus) or more – Get namechecked, get the web-page plug, and have the responsibility for making a choice at some point during the playthrough of the current book.
$50.00 (Aus) or more – Get namechecked, get the web-page plug, have a choice in the book, and pick one of the Grand Master Disciplines at the start of Book 13 (if I get that far).
The above message will be placed at the bottom of each post for this delightfully freezing (in Melbourne) month of June…