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Fabled Lands

Fabled Lands

This thread recently re-introduced me to Fabled Lands, a series of choose-your-own-adventure style gamebooks. I read one of these years ago, well before I ever played a "proper" RPG - and I also recently discovered that someone has ported them to digital form.

So here's the plan:
  1. Download the game.
  2. Play it. No saving/reloading, just take it as it comes.
  3. Tell us how you die.
Points for not dying literally straight away, and bonus points* if you start in an earlier book (starting in a later book and then travelling to an early book is easier).

*There are no points, and these books also have no "end", so eventually you just die.

Oooh, I remember having some other choose-your-own-adventure book when I was a kid and absolutely loving it. I'll probably give this a try, seems fun!

I recall having an Indiana Jones book where taking what looked like the right choice didn't always end well (i.e., you and Indiana both eaten by anacondas).

"Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"

If you're into choose-your-own-adventure, check out Brass Lantern, a web site dedicated to interactive fiction.

PS: a number of Infocom's games are available on Github, including Zork and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Sounds cool. I am going to give this a go though, see if anyone else is inspired to try and outdo me.

I've already played this game quite a bit and I have a high-Rank character with oodles of gold and gear and stuff but I had to save and reload a lot which isn't really in the spirit of it. So this time, I'm going to start at Book One and see how it goes with no do-overs. I will make a Warrior, though, because that seems to give you a bit of an easier start.

So please welcome Redshirt Rob. He left his homeland when an extended outbreak of peace made his skills redundant and now, armed with his trust battle-axe, seeks fame through adventure and the glory of battle!

Unfortunately he's shipwrecked on the Isle of Druids where a crazy old man tells him that destiny has foretold his coming and leads him to "The Gates of the World" which will apparently take him to other places. Instead, however, he decides to explore the coastline, finding a small trading post there. A priestess asks him to fetch a boar's tusk, but he has no idea where to get one, so he sets off to explore the forest. Unfortunately he gets lots and staggers back to town half-starved, where he spends a lot of his meagre amount of money resting in an inn.

Deciding that the Isle of Druids is not for him, Redshirt Rob heads back to the Gates of the World and travels through a portal to the city of Yellowstone. There, he gets work from Guildmaster Vernon who asks him to kill some ratmen who are living in the sewers, offering a fantastic 450 shards for the task! Unfortunately he can't find anywhere to buy a torch or candle and can't afford a lantern, so he spends some time exploring the city looking for other opportunities.

Unfortunately, he's accosted by guardsmen near the palace who demand he pay a "tax" which he can't afford. Failing to talk his way out of it, he gets a beating for his trouble, and all his money stolen.

Later that night, he's walking near the warehouses when he hears a cry for help. Unfortunately, he's hit over the head from behind and captured by "The Unspeakable Ones" who threaten to eat him in sacrifice to their god, Badogor the Unspoken. By shouting Badogor's name over and over again, Rob infuriates the cultists and causes enough confusion that he can grab his weapons and attempt to fight his way free! Unfortunately there are too many of him. He is overpowered, killed, boiled with herb and garlic, and eaten.

RIP Redshirt Rob.

So... that didn't go so well.

Garthus Swiftfinger found himself wrecked on the Isle of Druids, the splinters of his small boat washed upon the shore around him. Found by some crazy old man shouting something about prophesy and his coming being foretold, he was led up the hill on the center of the isle and shown the three way-stones that would lead to the cities of Sokara.

Being mistrustful of the crazy old fellow however, Garthus first decided to explore the island upon which he'd been wrecked to see if opportunity for some easy coin could present itself.

In short order, he'd managed to find a small settlement and whilst not finding any opportunities to lift purses or perform any break-ins, he did find a shrine with a priestess willing to let him go hunt for the tusk of a were-boar she needed for one of her rituals. Putting this to the back of his mind for later, he decided to set out into the forest that covered the rest of the island.

This was his first mistake. Not being much of an outdoorsman, Garthus found himself swiftly lost within the forest and it took him several days to find his way out by which time he was starving and weak.

Deciding to leave the island behind once and for all, he climbed the hill once again and this time went through the first of the three way-stones to the city of Yellowport.

Sadly, whilst exploring the merchant's quarter by night he found himself ambushed and beaten unconscious by an unseen assailant.

Coming to within the warehouse he'd been scouting, Garthus found himself bound both hand and foot facing a group of men who introduced themselves as the Cannibal cultists of Badogor the Unspoken. Managing to keep them off-guard for a time with his silver tongue and acerbic wit (not to mention the fact that repeating the name of their god sent the cultists into paroxysms of rage) Garthus managed to free himself from his bonds and recover his equipment. Alas, in the ensuing fight he was once again overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of cultists and unceremoniously thrown into the pot along with garlic and herb, then eaten by the cultists.

The Fabled Lands can be a cruel and unforgiving place...

Wow. It sounds like Garthus had a similar (and similarly unforgiving) experience to Redshirt Rob, huh? The Fabled Lands books really do not pull any punches.

That they don't. I did manage to get a fighter character a little further on with a second playthough, but he's now stuck in the position of no gear, no money and so little stamina that he's having to resort to beating on thugs at night in the hope that he can pull enough cash together to buy another sword and armour (to be honest, the odds aren't exactly in his favour)

OK, having another stab...

Please welcome: Crazy Dave, Warrior (Book 1)

Crazy Dave finds himself stepping through the Gates of the World to Marlock City. He has many exploits there, but unfortunately none of them are successful.

First, he tried to track down a ghoul on behalf of the Church of Nagil, but had no way to find it and someone else beat him to it. Then, he stumbled across a burning building and tried to rescue a woman from inside, but the flames were too hot and he was forced back. Finally, he got in a shouting match with a member of the guard, beaten, and left black and blue in the gutter.

Whilst recovering at the local inn, he decided to buy a few people some drinks and listen for rumours. A troubadour told him that the dreaded man-beasts could be soothed with music - a fanciful tale! Deciding that he was getting nowhere, he set off in search of fame and fortune elsewhere.

Wandering down to the shore by the Shadar-Tor, he met some merfolk who lured him into the sea. Luckily, they kept him alive with their faery magic, before returning him to dry land. It's quite a tale, but as a result he found himself in Yellowport, quite wet and with none of his possessions.

Exploring Yellowport by night, Dave found himself captured by cultists of "Badogor the Unspoken". Seeing that they planned to eat him, Dave realised that he had no choice but to join the cult. After claiming that he, too, followed Badogor, he was able to persuade the cultists not to eat him.

After defeating a thug who attacked him and taking his gold, Crazy Dave bought a celebratory round of drinks at a tavern, where he met Phyletes, a priest who asked him to recover a book from the dreaded scorpion men. Travelling to Venefax, he enquires about the scorpion men, but doesn't hear anything good. Apparently they hate fire, but have poison stings, and one of them is a sorcerer. Whilst there he also agreed to help find a child who has apparently been taken by a monster. However, after following a suspicious man, Dave discovers that the monster is no monster at all but a group of men who've been kidnapping people! As a reward Dave is given some armour and a sword, which is good because up until now he was fighting with just his fists and a saucepan for a helmet.

Feeling much better prepared, Dave heads out into the dreaded Scorpion Blight. He's soon set upon by a scorpion man, but deftly dispatches it with a single swing of his new sword! Approaching the scorpion men's lair, he sneaks in during the night. Unfortunately, a talking stuffed animal's head reveals his presence, alerting their leader to his presence! Fortunately, Dave gets a strange feeling that something is wrong, and realises that the scorpion man is actually an illusion! The illusionist is Kaimren the Portly, who promptly surrenders, and Dave takes him back to Venefax to hand him over to the authorities. Returning the book to Yellowport, Dave is rewarded with Molhern's secret knowledge - of fighting techniques! Finally he is starting to feel like a hero.

Where to next, for the adventures of Crazy Dave?

wow, I never noticed that Marlock city was that intereresting... then again my last character assassinated the governor of Yellowport for the KIng, so I tended to give Marlock city a wide berth afterwards


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