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Mycelia Board Game Review

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Outback Crossing Review

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What Gamebooks are you Read-playing?

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01 Apr 2024 11:09 #342032 by ChristopherMD
Back in 2018-ish I picked up some Gamebooks for the first time since I was a kid. I think I was looking into solo RPGs when I came across them again. Some new stuff over the years but the field was still dominated by Fighting Fantasy and similar older stuff. The pandemic (not the board game) I think led to an uptick in the genre. Mostly same authors still, but a bunch of new stuff has popped up in recent years. And not all of it fantasy-based, which is great.

Anyway, I thought I'd kick off a thread as some folks here might be interest in this upcoming one. The author is well-known in the genre -- I'm probably going to play his Dracula one next. But the below one is Arkham Horror investigations where you play as either Agnes Baker, Nathaniel Cho, or Rex Murphy.

aconytebooks.com/shop/darkness-over-arkham-by-jonthan-green/

Anyone else still play these?
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01 Apr 2024 19:09 #342033 by allismom3
I went thru a phase a few years ago with a bunch of these. I liked the FF Sorcery mini series the best. Fabled Lands and Dave Morris Heart of Ice were also very good.
On a little bit of a different note- the CoC solo adventures were also well done. I played Alone Against the Dark and Alone Against the Frost. I think they also put out a new one recently.
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02 Apr 2024 13:57 #342038 by Virabhadra
I had a blast with the Lone Wolf books when I was younger - the ones I could find, anyway. Now there's a free app with the author's blessing that includes every book written for the series and a digital backpack / combat interface. You can pay for "bookmarks" to save your place in a story.
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02 Apr 2024 16:04 - 02 Apr 2024 16:09 #342040 by ChristopherMD
You can also read all of the Lone Wolf books free online (or download for kindle, etc).

www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Books

I think the Fabled Lands books are free somewhere too.
Last edit: 02 Apr 2024 16:09 by ChristopherMD.
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04 Apr 2024 11:20 - 07 Apr 2024 16:13 #342048 by ChristopherMD
Gonna try and recreate the post I accidentally edited over. Ugh.

I picked up Expeditionary Company to try. Its a cancelled Kickstarter that they put out POD with downloads on their website.

huge-gamebooks.com/expeditionary-company/

Its sort of a Gamebook/RPG as it has heavy RPG-ish rules for travel. You play the owner of a company that rents wagons and security to transport cargo/people safely to other towns. So part of the game is keeping your company profitable and the other part is going on caravan journeys. You select pre-genned guards and outfit them like a party. Then travel for however many days to reach your destination while using the guards to deal with events/disasters/monsters; so that your wagon and cargo stay safe and on schedule.
Last edit: 07 Apr 2024 16:13 by ChristopherMD.
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07 Apr 2024 16:15 #342076 by ChristopherMD
Started reading EC. I wish he'd explain the rules at more of a game system level than with a prose walkthrough but it is a gameBOOK, so I get it. I did get the biggest question I had answered, which was how long it is and what ends it. Game turns are divided into months, you do 4 things (journey, quest, etc) each month, and the campaign lasts two calendar years; so 24 turns.

Outside of that, I read Cages of Fear. Or rather, I died reading Cages of Fear. That's okay. The book is very similar to Escape the Dark Castle. Except there's actually less text in the book. You get a couple pages where you escape the dungeon. Every full page after is an encounter. You roll d3 when you win a fight and go forward that many pages. When you survive until the end (yeah, I looked) you fight one of three bosses based on your character type. Then a page of exit text I didn't read yet. Its an efficient, well-thought out little book. The combat is just 1d6 verses 1d6, higher deals damage, until one of you is dead or you flee. It's fun and cheap but the combat might be too simple for a book based on just combat (again, not much text) and not skills or puzzles. Its lack of prose means its competing with simpler board/card games which is probably not a good idea but at the same time I will play it more and hope they write more like it.
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10 Apr 2024 19:37 #342094 by mezike
A couple of useful links for y'all:

A website called "Home of the Underdogs" scanned a whole bunch of books, which you can now find on Abandonia or Annarchive .

A collection of good stuff, including Way of the Tiger, Cretan Chronicles, Fabled Lands, 2000AD Diceman, Combat Commander (set in the worlds of famous Sci-Fi novels), Middle Earth Quest, Narnia, and the fairly funky Stainless Steel Rat written by Harry Harrison himself. I also have some fond nostalgia for the "real life" series that I read as a kid and which puts you into historical settings.

Proteus Magazine.

I remember gamebooks coming up a few years back in conversation with Andy; as then, I give a strong recommendation for Kim Newman's "Life's Lottery" (although it's an interactive novel rather than a gamebook, it's incredibly good).
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22 Apr 2024 19:40 #342188 by NeonPeon
I livestream gamebook plays on my Youtube channel once in a while, and some of the recent ones I did were City of Terrors (the Tunnels and Trolls solo adventure), Twas: The Krampus Night Before Christmas by Jonathan Green, and some weird ones based on video games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Lemmings.
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30 Apr 2024 05:48 #342231 by mads b.
I've just finished writing a game book. It has no special rules (so no rules for combat, for instance), and the goal was to make it stupid, gory, and deadly. So basically you are the chosen one trying to fetch the village's magical macguffin from the evil kobold who has stolen it. But you are not the first chosen one. You are in fact number five and have primarily been chosen because you happened to have a rusty sword. You also get a choice of three items, but all the good ones have been taken by previous chosen ones.

Target audience is 9+ and so far it has tested really well. Made it in Twine which is a great program for doing these kinds of games. The plan is for it to be printed in August, but only in Danish so far.
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30 Apr 2024 16:59 #342236 by mads b.
Okay, I'm not sure I'll ever get around to translating the whole thing, but this is a quick translation of the first entry. Also, I just saw the graph of the entire book, and around 23% of the entries lead to a violent death, so being an adventurer is dangerous, I guess.

You are the chosen one. You are the adventurer destined to save your village. Everey since the magical macguffin was stolen from you, everything has gone downhill. You've suffered famine, disease, a swarm of killer snails*, and not to forget a long period of time where you all made a lot of foul-smelling farts. However, the latter can be related to the fact that the only thing surviving the swarm of snails was your cabbage.

Anyways, you were awakened this morning by the council of town elders. They told you that you were the village's only hope, and that your destiny was to go on a quest to steal the magical macguffin back from the lousy kobold who stole it from you. The kobold is notorious for stealing treasures, and it lives in a dungeon smack full of monsteres and traps that no one has ever survived. But now you are the chosen one who has to face all the dangers and do that; survive.

The village had a very solemn ceremony where you were blesse by the local priest and all that. You felt very chosen, but you would have felt the somberness of the situation even more if you hadn't done more or less the exact same thing several times for the past two weeks. Because, yes, you are the chosen one, but you are not the first chosen one. You are in fact the fifth to be told that they are destined to save the village and that with the priest's blessing, everything will be fine. But none of the other chosen ones has returned, so now it's your turn.

To be honest, you don't have a lot of adventuring experience. But you once found an ancient, rusty sword in a hollow tree, and you're pretty sure that's the reason it's your turn to be the chosen one. Because you are the only one left in the village with an actual sword.

So now you are on your way towards the kobold's dungeon which you believe is somewhere to the north. Yes, being the fifth chosen one also meant that all the good maps of the area had been taken, so you got a bad one. And you also got, as the other chosen ones, three items to help you on your quest.

"Three things you shall need, if your quest is to succeed," the eldest said. Normally she didn't speak in rhymes, but apparantly she felt it was fitting in the moment. She also said something about it having to be three things because the number was magical, and it all sounded right, you thought. That was until you saw what items you could choose from. Because here, too, the previous chosen ones had scored the best stuff.

You could choose between six different and very not magical items. The eldest pointed out that some monsters can be defeate by the strangest items, but she didn't sound all that convinced herself.

Choose three items from the list to be the ones you picked. Write your choices on a piece of paper.

- A back of GELO-bricks.**
- A mostly dead potted plant.
- A box of breath mints (without the breath mints).
- A ball of yarn.
- A small mirror.
- The hoof from a goat (without the rest of the goat).
- A small silver bell.

So, here you are. You've got your short buckled at your belt, a blanket on you back, and you also got a flask of water and the last bread in the village. And as the village disappears behind you, you feel more and more like a real adventurer. Plus, the other chosen ones might have defeated some of the monsters already. So maybe it'll just be a nice walk and soon you'll have saved the village and everyone will celebrate you for being a true hero. And no matter what, you won't be at home if the swarm of snails returns, so that's an added bonus.

You see a fork in the road ahead, and you whistle a jaunty tune as you Korsvejen

* Yes, a swarm. It was the quite rare flying killer snails, and when they've attacke a village's lettuce, beans and - on very dark days - children, you really want them to be even rarer.
** GELO-bricks are in no way whatsoever the same as LEGOs. We aree, after all, in the fantasy times, so LEGO hasn't been invented yet. Totally not the same.
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02 May 2024 15:28 - 02 May 2024 15:30 #342243 by Nodens
One of my favourite podcasts has a special on Lone Wolf this week. Very interesting look behind the curtain:

Imaginary Worlds - You Are Lone Wolf: A Father/Son Quest
Last edit: 02 May 2024 15:30 by Nodens.
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