Saturday, 18 July 2015

Tin Man Games: Siege of the Necromancer

I'm told this book is hard.

Siege of the Necromancer begins with a classic FF trope - a bad dude has amassed an army, and someone has to kill him. You. Even if you've spent the last year working in a coal mine instead of practising how to kill necromancers backed by an army of 'goblyns' (don't tell me Peter Jackson has trademarked the conventional spelling...).

*adopts first-person perspective*

Aforementioned necromancer Erid Buul has taken control of my home town, and my investigation begins badly when goblyns kill two of my travelling companions and horse, leaving me wearing nothing but a backpack and a leather jerkin. Luckily, my lack of pants doesn't appear to be an issue - it's certainly never mentioned again. I guess the shocking sight of a pants-less coal miner must make up for the lack of defence in those nether regions.

My remaining companions, sans character shields, are quickly dispatched, but not before one of them gives me a badass battleaxe, which makes short work of an 'ogryn' and two more gobs.

Sneaking through the city, I eventually chance upon a dying redshirt lying in a boat who gives me a MacGuffin. To thank this kind stranger, I dump his body in the ocean and use his boat as a shield to escape being arrowed in the same way.

Ow! My dignity!
Following his instructions, I'm soon in a cave faced with four doors. Having had a glass of wine already (IRL - there's a disappointing lack of drinking in this gamebook, but that's understandable given the circumstances. I guess. *sad face*) I decide to keep things simple and just take door #1. There'll be time to check doors two through four later, right? 
In there is an alcove, which I can't resist checking out because to do so I have to turn to page 400 - no true FF fan can resist the option of turning to page 400.

The book could read, 'Would you like to dip your leg in oil and stick it in the fire?' and I'd do it if it meant turning to page 400 (not IRL - depends how good the book is, I suppose). 

So one thing leads to another, and I'm soon hanging from a stalactite fighting some kind of shrieking bird thing which is definitely the worst result from a page 400 I've ever had. But I also find another dead guy with a MacGuffin similar to the other one, giving me confidence I'm right in calling these things MacGuffins and also that I'm on the right track. 

The MacGuffins are rubies. I'm guessing they're important. You can have more than one, right? It's also a clue Siege of the Necromancer might be a gamebook in the Ian Livingstone fetch-quest mould.

With that in mind, when I soon came across a badass sword (did I mention I lost the badass battleaxe? Dropped it in the ocean. There's going to be some very confused sea anemones in that town), I had to have it. When I picked it up, it triggered a trap and I was shot by an arrow - figuring that was it, I decided to take it anyway. That wasn't it. 

To death!
I note this book gives you six 'bookmarks', whereas An Assassin in Orlandes gave you three. I wonder why?

If you want to try it out for yourself, check out the Gamebook Adventures website.