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Graham Hart

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What with one thing and another, I haven't been able to give the gamebook concentrated attention over any extended periods of time, and I haven't even yet advanced very far into it, though I hope soon to make up for that... but that in itself has brought one issue to my notice. I actually enjoy the mechanics: all the fiddly stuff with dice and tables is my sort of thing, and I don't think it's really all that complicated once you get into it; however, "getting into it" does require some effort. I've found that when I've been away from the gamebook for a while, on returning I have to put in some serious study of the combat instructions in the book, along with Appendix 11 of the Campaign Guide and the "Combat for dummies" thread here, to remind myself of how the system operates. No offence intended, but I think that's mainly because the mechanics are not set out as transparently as they should be. To reiterate: I don't think that the combat system itself is hard work; I think that understanding the combat system is hard work. It needs to be better explained, which you might bear in mind for Volume 2 (there will be a Volume 2, right?).


Some other specific questions and comments:


(1) I think that the Backgrounds listed in section 251 ought to be in the introduction. This is information that the reader has to keep referring back to (unless they copy it out by hand on the notes sheet).


(2) I think that "Damage", as self-explanatory as it might seem, ought to be described in the list of Effects in the introduction, given that it is the converse of "Guard" (which is described).


(3) Why does the Character Sheet have a box for Wounds? As I understand it, the reader suffers a Wound when their Defence drops to zero in combat, whereupon Defence is rebooted with a reduction of 1d4 and the reader takes +1 Glory, but they would be recording those consequences anyway, so what is the point in separately recording the number of Wounds? (I realise that this might relate to circumstances later in the gamebook that I haven't yet encountered.)


(4) Healing Kits: are these single-use items? i.e., the reader uses a Healing Kit once and then it's gone? Common sense would suggest that must be the case, but I thought I'd check.


(5) The introduction states that "You can carry ... one spare weapon or shield ... strapped to your back". Does "strapped to your back" signify the Belt Slot on the Character Sheet?

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Yep! There will be volume 2. :)


1) I think we agree, from our internal discussions. It may be worth having as a hand out as well.


2) Good point!


3) It is possible to reverse the effects of Wounds in one case, but overall it is more of a visual record, I believe. That said, there was some discussion about a new 'class' which would use this information.


4) Single use, correct.


5) No, I believe it is a separate slot for back, but you are right: it should be indicated on the Sheet.



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Ah... with reference to point (5), then, I might slightly have misunderstood the direction in the introduction: "You can carry one spare weapon strapped to your back" isn't telling you that you can carry only one spare weapon (and that, incidentally, "strapped to your back" is where it goes), but that "strapped to your back" is a slot specifically available for a spare weapon, regardless of what else you're carrying? The weapons in sections 156, 217, and 235 are described as being attached "to your belt".

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