Turn to 400! - Let's Play Solo RPG Gamebooks!

that's always a good sign it'll be something I enjoy

What!?! So this is like Advanced Choose Your Own Adventure? I didn't know this was a thing! This is great! I have a hard time coordinating people and time for gaming. Or maybe people just don't like me. Either way, I need to find me some of this.

I’m always looking for some kind of game to play on my phone that captures at least some of the enjoyment I get from PC gaming. In terms of gamebook adaptations, I can highly recommend Sorcery! 1-4. I would probably not recommend the expanded version of Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

I did start a play through of the entire Lone Wolf series on Project Aon a year or so ago but got sidetracked. I didn’t want to cheat and backtrack when something bad happened but also didn’t want to get stuck with a poorly developed and equipped PC by the later books. So I self-imposed the rule that the end of each book represented a saved game and I could “reload” and retry each book for a better outcome but not within the book itself.

As I type this, I just noticed a Project Aon now has Freeway Warrior complete as well AND is not blocked at my workplace... interesting.

Final note: Rebel Planet is my favorite FF gamebook and is under appreciated.

BLOOD SWORD: Battlepits of Krarth. Update #3

Spoiler:

After recovering from loss of their companion, the now trio press on, reaching a branch in the tunnel. Turning down the black marble passage they find themselves in another combat straight away - disturbing three assassins in the process of looting one of their victims.

COMBAT : The fight that follows was much easier fought. Though they took some damage, the enchanter's prepared spells fired off successfully and the considerably weaker opponents are dispatched with little effort.

The only item recovered was a black vial that Eleima identified as a deadly poison and was discarded. The room was of more interest - containing a devoius petrification trap protecting a hidden compartment. Risking instant death, the Trickster managed to open the compartment, gaining a precious Ring of Warding, which will allow them to increase their armour class during combat by expending any number of the four available charges.

Back-tracking to the other passageway, they next encounter a hidden library containing useful magical scrolls, and in the process of exploring it, Eleima recovered scrolls of Healing, Time Blink (allowing her to reset any combat back to the beginning if things are not going well - the bitter irony of discovering this so close to losing her friend was not lost on her) and "adjust". The latter, she used right away on leaving the library, weakening her mental strength, but reinforcing her speed (swapping a point of Psychic Ability with awareness - effectively making her slightly weaker to spell attacks, but increasing her initiative in combat. Given that she is the slowest one to act in fights, this could be very useful).

Continuing on, the party encounters the final challenge of the upper levels of the battlepits. Klef, the Grand-master of "The Spiral of Gold" challenges one of them to a confusing game of chance. The trickster, though, proves the better player and as Klef concedes defeat, he provides them with two items - an octagonal glass prism, and a blue ice jewel.

With that, a spell is cast and the trio sink down into the floor towards the lower levels below...

gewy wrote:

I did start a play through of the entire Lone Wolf series on Project Aon a year or so ago but got sidetracked. I didn’t want to cheat and backtrack when something bad happened but also didn’t want to get stuck with a poorly developed and equipped PC by the later books. So I self-imposed the rule that the end of each book represented a saved game and I could “reload” and retry each book for a better outcome but not within the book itself.

Lone Wolf does have some old school balance issues if you go "by the rules": picking your Combat Skill and Endurance randomly at the beginning, it's a significant boon (or handicap) that will stick with your Lone Wolf for their entire career.

Generally though, it's pretty balanced. None of the skills are enormously better or worse than others, and for the most part, your success (or failure) in previous books won't give you a significant handicap (or disadvantage) in future ones.

It does matter whether you've done a previous book at all, and after book 2, starting with a "clean slate" could make a significant difference in your experience.

Project Aeon is awesome. Those guys brought back books of my youth. I have the first two "sets" of lone wolf still on the bookcase. One set I haven't seen mentioned is Sagard the Barbarian. These were pretty good back in the day. Brutally difficult and the combat was fairly random. Gary Gygax and Flint Dille. One of the books suffers from a typical Gygax evil female betrayer plot but other than that, they aren't too bad.

There are a lot of the older books archived in the Internet Archives: Digital Library under their Game Books Collection. I was hoping to play one by reading it on my phone, but like Pyxistyx said up-thread, some of these have a lot of set up and require more note-taking (such as significant character documentation and mapping) than is feasible on a mobile device.

that's a nifty resource, thanks! (omg i recognise those interplanetary spy books - had a couple of those as a kid but they are long lost) definitely going to have a browse through there at some point.

BLOOD SWORD: Battlepits of Krarth. Update #4

One of the things that strikes me about this book is it's use of dungeon ecology that i don't think i appreciated as a kid. While the upper level is pretty much your standard deathtrap dungeon (to coin a phrase), the lower level is pretty impressively plausible (in a magical fantasy kind of way) and i'm PROBABLY going to steal it for D&D. In fact this whole campaign might be worth stealing for a D&D campaign, tbh.

The entire "level" is one massive lava filled cavern, the opening of an underground volcano that is held in check by the magics of the Magi (presumably used as a power source for the citadel?) Massive basalt pillars form the foundation of Kalugen Keep and sewage vents drop raw sewage from the city above to be disposed of in the fire below. Anything that is fire-resistant enough to dwell here live on large rocky platforms that jut out of the lava, connected by narrow walkways that are beset by winged creatures that fly by gliding on the warm currents wafting up form below.

It's Dark Souls AF.

Anyway...

Spoiler:

Our group reaches their next obstacle, a pair of stone bridges passing over a river of sewer water that cascades down into the depths of a ravine before reaching the cavern proper. Passing over the nearest bridge means they have to face their "greatest fear", or a lesser challenge awaits on the far bridge - but that means passing through a waterfall cascading form a giant gargoyle head.

I seem to remember something Really Bad happening if you go through the waterfall (i double checked afterwards and it basically strips you of all your equipment!) so i made everyone go the hard route. Each character had to pass individually and have a one-on-one combat with an old enemy of theirs. Both the trickster and Sage used trickery and guile to avoid a proper fight, but the Enchantress had to go toe to toe with an evil knight who was rapidly defeated with a summoned magical blade and extreme prejudice.

On the far side of the bridge, the group approach an old Grecian-style temple surrounded by cackling hags. Ignoring them, they step inside and find themselves facing Echidna (the monster, not the tiny anteater), mother of Hydrae, who attempts to hypnotise them into spilling their own blood. Everyone makes their resistance check, and combat is joined...

pyxistyx wrote:

that's a nifty resource, thanks! (omg i recognise those interplanetary spy books - had a couple of those as a kid but they are long lost) definitely going to have a browse through there at some point.

BLOOD SWORD: Battlepits of Krarth. Update #4

It's Dark Souls AF.

Anyway...

Oh I remember that part. Argh!

BLOOD SWORD: Battlepits of Krarth. Update #5

Alas! My Adventure ends here (for this run anyway!)

Spoiler:

Echidna proved much too powerful, and cut down the sage and enchantress before they could do any damage against her at all. Attempting to flee, the trickster tried to make for the exit of the temple, but was - sadly - finished off by the powerful demigod....

So first attempt fails at the first book! Oh noes! Losing the warrior so early proved to be quite the handicap I think. Next time through i wonder if taking a single (higher level) character through will work better. Or perhaps a pair of characters... hmmm....

Ok, i'm going to go back to the start and try again, and i'll pick these up as soon as I get back to this point in the book...

* * *

As a side note, this book is a gold mine for things to steal for my D&D games!

I love this thread and will be enjoying vicariously, as unfortunately I have lost my childhood collection of Fighting Fantasy books.

Every now and again I jump down a google rabbithole of old FF art and get the feels.

I have started my reread of my Lone Wolf books. Starting out I ended up rolling (using a die instead of the chart) a 1 for my combat skill, but a seven for endurance. Expecting combat to be difficult, I chose Camouflage and Sixth Sense to help avoid combat, Mind Blast to help some if I do get in a fight, Healing for the inevitable damage, with Hunting taking up my fifth slot, since I remember hating running out of meals. I rolled an 8 for gold and found 12 more gold as my starting item.

And off I go!

Lone Wolf, book 1: Flight from Darkness, part 1

Spoiler:

The Kai monastery has fallen in an attack from the Darklords. By a stroke of luck, I was away from the monastery, doing labor as punishment for my inattention during lessons, and escaped the massacre. As far as I can tell, I am the last of the Kai warriors, as lowly ranked as I am. It seems it falls on me then to try to make my way to the capital, to let the king know of this tragedy.

I immediately am faced with a choice of two paths southward through the woods, but my Sixth Sense warns me that the minions of the Darklords are still around searching for survivors. I decide to forgo the paths and cut through the foliage of the woods, where I might find cover from enemy eyes.

Sure enough, not half an hour into the wood, I hear wings overhead, and on the Darklord's flying servants appears overhead, headed to the south. I keep still and remain unnoticed until the passes by, and continue my own way south.

My journey is interrupted with a loud thunderclap echos through the woods, accompanied by shouting. Making my way towards the sounds, I find ruins crawling with armored minions of the Darklords. I am shocked to see that they are being held back by a single defender: a Magician no older than myself. The Magician is holding his own, but as I watch I see one of the minions sneak onto a pillar behind him and prepare to pounce. Making a quick decision, I grab a chuck of marble from the ruins and hurl it at the ambushes.

The projectile smacks into the minion head, sending him unconscious to the ground below. Gripping my axe I rush to the Magician's side, ready for a fight, but the minions, already disheartened by the causalities caused by the magic bolts, choose to flee into the woods once they see reinforcements have arrived. Their commander shouts in a grunting language as he retreats, the vengeful intent clear despite the language barrier.

The man introduces himself as Banedon, a member of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star. He was on his way to the Kai monastery when the Darklord's forces attack. His task as to deliver a letter to the Kai Masters, a letter that warned of the same Darklord army we were now surrounded by. He also brings word of a traitor in his order that may be aiding the enemy attack. He gives me a Crystal Star pendant as proof of our friendship and departs to try to reunite with his guild.

As I make my own way through the woods, I am suddenly ambushed! I race through the woods, dodging arrows as I make my escape. I find myself approaching the edge of the woods, the trees giving way to a rocky hillside. I turn and continue deeper into the woods, preferring the keep the cover of the trees over smaller rocks. It was a good decision, as the pursuing troops, use to their barren, mountainous home, quickly tire in the thick underbrush, and I make my escape.

After catching my breath and adjusting my equipment, I continue on, only to find my path blocked by a plant known as "Sleeptooth," due to it thorns inducing fatigue on those they scratch. Uncertain I can find a path through, I am forced to move out of the trees and onto a small path. The path leads to a small village named Fogwood. However once the village comes into view, I discover that the smoke which gives the village its name is missing and the huts and fields seem usually quiet and still. Gripping my axe, I slowly sneak toward the nearest hut. Inside I find a dead man, a speak impelled in his back, and everything inside smashed. I find the same is true in all the other huts. Taking one of the enemy spears, I press on.

I soon spot a black raven, which flies ahead as I approach. Continuing down the path, I find the raven again, this time perched on the arm of man in red robes. I call out to the man, only for him to turn and reveal himself as an undead servant of the Darklords.

He charges at me with a mace, and try to defend myself, but his mental assault and immunity to my own Mind Blast make it difficult and I take a heavy blow from his mace (LW:26-9, E:26-0). I manage to return a blow with the spear, but still take a grazing blow (LW:19-3,E:26-6). We continue to exchange blows (LW:16-5, E:20-4) and I continue to land strikes (LW:11-3, E:16-6), but I realize it will only take one lucky blow to decide who survives. The lucky blow isn't mine, however, and the undead minion crushes my skull (rolled a instant kill on LW).

So, that's that! It got a bit long... will have to work on brevity in my future write ups.

imbiginjapan wrote:

Anybody into the Way of the Tiger series?

I didn't know it until I was just reminiscing online about old books from back in the day, but then I spotted these pics and yeah, yes I did play a couple of these back then. Totally forgotten until saw these...

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/igBTsyG.jpg)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Mw42ySt.jpg)

... and then it all came back to me!

Glad this thread is here, my boy and I started playing through Firetop Mountain as week or so ago together, absorbed for an hour and a good time. Sidetracked by other things, we should get back to it and others. Had some luck at a charity shop who had a steady flow of FF books for a few weeks last year, got about a dozen for 50p a pop.

Remember enjoying Lone Wolf, will have to check out that online reading and some of the other books here.

Do Four Against darkness and D100 Dungeon fit here? Have been loaned some 4ad books and printed the free version of D100. Sitting there, still waiting for me to dig in.

Ah, yes. I just have one of those. Those pictures are too familiar.

I also recall having another book which was Star Trek-y. It wasn’t ST, but it’s main mechanic was choosing your crew for missions to different planets. Each crew member had a specialty that could change the choices you had available. Unfortunately I have long forgotten the title of the book/series.

My dad reading firetop mountain to me and my brother as kids (effectively DMing them with us) is what got us into gaming to begin with, so that’s a good place to start bubblefuzz!

pyxistyx wrote:

My dad reading firetop mountain to me and my brother as kids (effectively DMing them with us) is what got us into gaming to begin with, so that’s a good place to start bubblefuzz!

That's pretty much what we did - I read the passages, he made the choices, chucked the dice and drew the map.

Mantid wrote:

Ah, yes. I just have one of those. Those pictures are too familiar.

I also recall having another book which was Star Trek-y. It wasn’t ST, but it’s main mechanic was choosing your crew for missions to different planets. Each crew member had a specialty that could change the choices you had available. Unfortunately I have long forgotten the title of the book/series.

That may have been the Fighting Fantasy book 'Starship Traveller', which had some rules for creating a crew and shipboard/group combat. The crew had to recover the coordinates to a black hole to return to their quadrant a la Star Trek Voyager. There were some decent ideas but the book felt half-finished with a ton of barely fleshed out encounters as well as a fairly confusing continuity problem involving a plague.

also I believe that's one of the books that originally had a misprint which meant it was impossible to complete.

Just like Zantar

The other day I took inventory and I have approximately 96 gamebooks. I have read maybe a dozen of them in the past half-decade. Puts my video game pile of shame to shame...

Browsing game books is a fine source of procrastination. Just stumbled upon this, which had long been lost to the memory mists...

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ZwwmLLs.jpg)

Anyone else have it?

Gods, I love some of those old-school rpg drawings - so awesome!

The dragon sorta just looks like... "Ma'am, your kids left this horse on my front lawn... again."

Bubblefuzz wrote:

Browsing game books is a fine source of procrastination. Just stumbled upon this, which had long been lost to the memory mists...

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ZwwmLLs.jpg)

Anyone else have it?

Yup*. There's also Out of the Pit, which is basically a monster manual for Titan with all the creature stats from the fantasy books that had been released up to that point.

*Although i have the smaller paperback release. That one is the big A4-ish book.

I've also got the three volumes of Advanced Fighting Fantasy, which was their attempt to flesh the system out into a "proper" TTRPG, as well as the two small rpg books they released (FF: The Introductory Role Playing Game and The Riddling Reaver)

pyxistyx wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Browsing game books is a fine source of procrastination. Just stumbled upon this, which had long been lost to the memory mists...

TITAN

Anyone else have it?

Yup*. There's also Out of the Pit, which is basically a monster manual for Titan with all the creature stats from the fantasy books that had been released up to that point.

*Although i have the smaller paperback release. That one is the big A4-ish book.

I've also got the three volumes of Advanced Fighting Fantasy, which was their attempt to flesh the system out into a "proper" TTRPG, as well as the two small rpg books they released (FF: The Introductory Role Playing Game and The Riddling Reaver)

Searches images - nope don't think I had Out of The Pit.

Although Riddling Reaver is one of the books picked up recently at charity shop, I need to find the intro book.

Man, if I had known those existed...

Bubblefuzz wrote:
pyxistyx wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Browsing game books is a fine source of procrastination. Just stumbled upon this, which had long been lost to the memory mists...

TITAN

Anyone else have it?

Yup*. There's also Out of the Pit, which is basically a monster manual for Titan with all the creature stats from the fantasy books that had been released up to that point.

*Although i have the smaller paperback release. That one is the big A4-ish book.

I've also got the three volumes of Advanced Fighting Fantasy, which was their attempt to flesh the system out into a "proper" TTRPG, as well as the two small rpg books they released (FF: The Introductory Role Playing Game and The Riddling Reaver)

Searches images - nope don't think I had Out of The Pit.

Although Riddling Reaver is one of the books picked up recently at charity shop, I need to find the intro book.

cwor ... I had Out of the Pit but not Titan. Half the magic of FF was the illustrations, I would stare at them for hours

OK... Sure... Why not?

Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure

I will say, putting a British actor in a large leather chair, surrounded by a cheap-looking set, then having him narrate passages from the book with some ambient dungeon noises in the background... I found it oddly relaxing and cozy.

OMG. I love this idea!

They can have a different guest actor per book - Jackanory style