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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

Turn to 300- Dinner with the Lizard King

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25 Jun 2020 08:00 #311379 by Andi Lennon
When I was a boy my mother was a librarian,...

You are standing in the eerie hollow of a cramped cavern, an icy wind whips at your back as your torch flickers, sputtering wildly and throwingshadows upon the ancient stone. From here the path forks in two directions. To the right, the passageway evolves into a winding arc, furrowing deeper into the living mountain, from the left you can hear a guttural muttering and the sound of heavy machinery breathing its sinister industrial magic.

You must choose your path. If you choose the left hand path, turn to 34. If you go right, go to 130.

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26 Jun 2020 01:25 #311397 by mc
Thanks for the review of these Andi, I'd idly thought about getting one or two when I read they were available and then promptly forgot all about it. And, shit dude, my mother was a librarian as well and I ate up those green spines at a certain point.
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26 Jun 2020 03:20 #311398 by Andi Lennon

mc wrote: Thanks for the review of these Andi, I'd idly thought about getting one or two when I read they were available and then promptly forgot all about it. And, shit dude, my mother was a librarian as well and I ate up those green spines at a certain point.


Yeah man, for our generation they were seemingly as ubiquitous as Sesame Street. And just as educational.

They seem to be undergoing a renaissance of sorts too as that same generation enters the disposable income salary zone. Second hand prices can get pretty crazy. Hearteningly though there's a whole new wave of indie titles being published by longtime enthusiasts of late. I hope to highlight some of them on the site shortly.

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26 Jun 2020 04:05 #311400 by mc
Well, a free app and a few bucks here and there is something I'm willing to do!

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26 Jun 2020 13:10 #311409 by southernman
You missed Tunnels & Trolls that was both a DM led rpg but also solitaire adventure books that pre-dated, to my knowledge, both D&D and all the adventure books your article covers.
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26 Jun 2020 14:47 #311412 by Shellhead
I played a few of these kinds of adventures in the '80s. There were a couple of solo Call of Cthulhu adventure modules. Alone Against the Wendigo had an unfortunate editing error that could leave a character trapped in an infinite loop of repeating encounters with no way to finish the adventure aside from dying. There was a neat solo Car Wars adventure book that had some fake entries to thwart people who would try to cheat by peaking ahead... one of those fake entries started out with "SNAKES!!!..." I think TSR had a couple of linked solo adventures where you and another player would compete against each other. Each of you would navigate encounters in your own book, but there was a chance of meeting up and fighting, plus you were racing to reach a certain goal first. I played the science-fiction one, but I think there was also a sword-and-sorcery one where one player was a wizard and the other was a barbarian. My favorite was Alone On Halloween, published in the mid-'90s by Pagan Publishing as a solo Call of Cthulhu adventure. It seemed directly inspired by a one-shot adventure from Dragon Magazine #42 called The Mansion of Mad Professor Ludlow.
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26 Jun 2020 18:13 - 26 Jun 2020 18:14 #311418 by Andi Lennon

southernman wrote: You missed Tunnels & Trolls that was both a DM led rpg but also solitaire adventure books that pre-dated, to my knowledge, both D&D and all the adventure books your article covers.


Yeah, funnily enough I actually have the T&T App on my phone too and recently backed the kick starter for a reprint of their 'Toughest Dungeon in the World ' solo book. The App is pretty rudimentary but has some free content if you're so inclined and I'm looking forward to getting the book.

Not sure that T&T predates D&D given its homage of a name but I didn't feature it here as my only exposure to it as a kid was via the ads in back of old Dragon Magazines. It was amongst a whole host of titles I would daydream about with no real way to access back in the day.
Last edit: 26 Jun 2020 18:14 by Andi Lennon.

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26 Jun 2020 18:19 #311419 by Andi Lennon

Shellhead wrote: I played a few of these kinds of adventures in the '80s. There were a couple of solo Call of Cthulhu adventure modules. Alone Against the Wendigo had an unfortunate editing error that could leave a character trapped in an infinite loop of repeating encounters with no way to finish the adventure aside from dying.


Pretty sure there was a similar misprint in my childhood edition of the FF title Starship Traveller. I wrestled with it for years and it truly tested my sanity at one point. Still, back then the days were long and our options were limited.

I'll have to check out 'Alone on Halloween ' cheers!

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27 Jun 2020 03:39 - 27 Jun 2020 03:43 #311428 by mezike

Andi Lennon wrote: Pretty sure there was a similar misprint in my childhood edition of the FF title Starship Traveller.


Yes, there was, deja vu? :laugh:

Thank you for another excellent article Andi. I’d clean forgotten that I bought some of these apps a long time ago, but I didn’t reinstall them when I upgraded my tech because although they are ok it’s just not the same feeling as the books. Maybe I just missed the experience of riffling through the pages of a book while trying to keep my fingers in place on two other locations just in case.

As an adult reader by far and away the best in class for me in this genre is Kim Newman’s Life’s Lottery, which has the benefit of reading as a straight novel as well as being a fully playable game book. Because it is Kim doing the writing it also has plenty of dark satire and twisted horror, and pokes fun at all kinds of genre tropes as well as dropping some social commentary along the way.

I’ll also mention again Destiny Quest by Michael Ward which is a great modern series of books that have more of a video game RPG feel about them.
Last edit: 27 Jun 2020 03:43 by mezike.
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27 Jun 2020 04:20 #311429 by Andi Lennon

mezike wrote: . Maybe I just missed the experience of riffling through the pages of a book while trying to keep my fingers in place on two other locations just in case.

As an adult reader by far and away the best in class for me in this genre is Kim Newman’s Life’s Lottery, which has the benefit of reading as a straight novel as well as being a fully playable game book. Because it is Kim doing the writing it also has plenty of dark satire and twisted horror, and pokes fun at all kinds of genre tropes as well as dropping some social commentary along the way.


Haha yeah there was almost a yogic prestidigitation in some of the knotted shapes your hand would have to pull as it held open the pages for two or three forks whilst reading on. You just don't get that with a phone :/

I'd not heard of Life's Lottery but it looks great, and at 600+ pages probably in a whole new league of ambition. It'll be cool to see the format embrace something other than wizards and shit. I'll have to check it out. Many thanks!
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27 Jun 2020 06:03 #311430 by southernman

Andi Lennon wrote:

southernman wrote: You missed Tunnels & Trolls that was both a DM led rpg but also solitaire adventure books that pre-dated, to my knowledge, both D&D and all the adventure books your article covers.


Yeah, funnily enough I actually have the T&T App on my phone too and recently backed the kick starter for a reprint of their 'Toughest Dungeon in the World ' solo book. The App is pretty rudimentary but has some free content if you're so inclined and I'm looking forward to getting the book.

Not sure that T&T predates D&D given its homage of a name but I didn't feature it here as my only exposure to it as a kid was via the ads in back of old Dragon Magazines. It was amongst a whole host of titles I would daydream about with no real way to access back in the day.


You beeze right, that's what happens when adding a post while watching TV after a couple of beers.
It's a great system and works extremely well for solo dungeons. I've been picking up quite a few of the solo dungeons in the last decade to reminisce back to my teen days, around on eBay but also you can get them on the DriveThruRPG site.
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27 Jun 2020 06:25 - 27 Jun 2020 17:53 #311432 by Andi Lennon

southernman wrote:

Andi Lennon wrote:

southernman wrote: You missed Tunnels & Trolls that was both a DM led rpg but also solitaire adventure books that pre-dated, to my knowledge, both D&D and all the

To be shamefully honest I'm not sure I have the patience or inclination to run through these things 'by the book' as it were - with pencils and fastidious stat tracking and dice rolling under the bed. Even as a kid I'd give them one or two spins that way then after being splattered and defiled by blind luck yet again I'd often just imagine the battles. More often than not they ended in my dramatic victory with a pirouette as coup de grace.... or something.

Last edit: 27 Jun 2020 17:53 by Andi Lennon.

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27 Jun 2020 11:53 #311436 by Nodens
Nice read, thank you. I can vouch for the free version of the Lone Wolf Magnakai series. On my second playthrough right now.
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27 Jun 2020 17:52 #311441 by Andi Lennon

Nodens wrote: Nice read, thank you. I can vouch for the free version of the Lone Wolf Magnakai series. On my second playthrough right now.


Does it have the Gary Chalk art? Cos if so I'm all over it. That man is a wizard.

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27 Jun 2020 18:27 #311442 by Nodens
Yes, it does. It uses the complete books as online at projectaon.org with permission from Joe Dever and the artists, iirc.
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