Friday, April 26, 2013

Legend - a playthrough

Hi folks, I know what you're thinking. Two blog posts in one day? Madness!

Well, the last wasn't really on-topic, so you get a freebie. Here's a journal of not one, but two play-throughs of Legend, by Endmaster. Endmaster's story-oriented work on the Storygames website is some of my favorite gamebook material out there, but Legend is more game-oriented. I'm curious to see how it plays out.

Without further ado...

Part I

I started out rolling incredibly well for my stats, with spectacular double 6s for stamina, and an excellent 5 for mind. Then, in an ironic twist, I rolled a 1 for my luck.

Sadly, so far the game part is uninspiring... before even getting to the end of the first page I'm already zoning out. The deeper I get into gamebooks, the less patience I have for long-winded rules.

Nevertheless, after a few false starts I manage to push through them to the point where I get to pick a class. Being masochistic, I decided to start with the mage. This makes Skill, i.e. my fighting stat, which was already not great, now even worse in exciting new ways. I am so going to die...

While poking around the small town where I start, I run into Brenda, who I've apparently had a crush on since I was a kid. Naturally, now seems like the right time to confess to her, at which point she promptly informs me she recently started dating some musclehead named Klint. Uh-oh... here he comes now.

Well then! I guess I get to try out these combat rules earlier than I anticipated. The way it works is, whenever I start a combat I can cast a spell to do damage before going into regular combat. It does 4 by default, but by making my spell test harder (a Mind check--roll under on 2 dice) I can do more damage.

In this case, the fight isn't to the death; all I need to do is knock him below 10 stamina to win, which is pretty easy to do with one powerful blast from my magic finger. Maybe the mage wasn't a bad choice after all!

With Klint flat on his ass, Brenda falls into my arms, and we kiss passionately enough that my alignment goes up by three. After some undisclosed amount of time, however, like the gentleman I am, I dump her to return to my adventuring.

I think I'm a callow jackass... nonetheless, the story didn't give me any other choice, and this way I get to take a lock of Brenda's hair on my journeys!

On the road to the next big city, I naturally get ambushed by orcs. My Flame Finger makes short work of one of them (that good roll on my initial Mind stat is paying off here) and while the other runs away, I loot the body to find a map to the orc cave.

What are we waiting for? I can't just leave orc caves lying around the countryside where they might hurt someone!

At the grim-totem bedecked entrance, I stroll on in and pick a path at random. Lo! It takes me directly to the throne room, where one ugly badass and his two guards await.

This is my first time bringing the wizard to a real fight, and some crunching numbers quickly informs me the odds are not in my favor. Heavily.

I decide to take a risk on casting the most powerful spell I think is feasible, because unless I do my butt is toast anyway. Alas, I fail the spellcasting check by 1 point (8 when I needed a 7) and the spell misfires injuring me, whereupon the three uglies proceed to teach me the meaning of pain.

Well, that was quick. Howsabout we try again with a warrior, then, shall we?

Part II

Alright, I've rolled up a new character. We'll call him Bregg Brawnbones. He's named after his muscles. I had the good fortune to roll max on Skill, and even though my Stamina roll wasn't great, with the warrior bonus it's still higher than would even have been possible for my mage. My mind... well, let's just say Bregg isn't known for his "thinking." I rolled low and it went down from there.

On the plus side, I got my father's sword, which gives me a bonus in battle. And I feel this strange urge to start repeating these words, almost as if they were a holy phrase, "I like swords."

As before, I see Brenda in the market, but she's still grieving over the disappearance of my brother, and it would be crass to impose upon her now, so I move on to see what sort of things they have for sale. I also hear there are some promising ruins outside of town which fade dramatically from the forefront of your mind as soon as you talk to a certain young lady.

I pick up some rope and a lantern, and head out to those ruins, before a certain blonde charmer gets anywhere near me.

The ruins are satisfyingly creepy, especially when a secret door lets me descend to the lower levels, where there are probably monsters. I am not disappoint. A skeleton quickly looms at me from the shadows, which I make short work of with my great brawn and fancy sword. And hey, since I have a lantern, I'm not even at a penalty due to darkness!

Pushing on into darkness and waving my sword threateningly, the darkness obligingly yields up to me two doors and swears that's all it had in its pockets. One leads to some sort of wierd blue crystal which I decide to investigate later. The other yields up some gold (aww, good dungeon! You get a pat on the head) and then kicks me out. (Fuck you, dungeon!)

Apparently no blue crystal for me.

Whelp, onward toward the big city! My business in the starter town is complete. Looks like orcs are still troubling the road. This time, there is very little subtletly to my response, and I make short, bloody work of the weaklings.

It is time to avenge my fallen brother, the mage-who-remained-unnamed. This time, though, I'm exploring the rest of the goddam cavern first.

In the first room I find an ogre, who I have an epic battle with. Just before I kill him, he manages to wing me once, giving me my first injury. "It's just a flesh wound!"

After that I brutally murder him and take his gold and jewels. Ah, the life of an adventurer is grand. After that I find some sort of wierd intelligent goblin. Mutant. I kill him before he can look up from his books and take his gold too. My purse is starting to get heavy!

His desk is littered with vials of liquid in strange colors and other mysterious things. Knowing that I'm not smart, I almost decide to leave well enough alone, but being not smart, I instead drink the nearest vial of the strange-colored stuff.

Lucky! Turns out it's a healing potion, and there's three more where that came from. I'll take that stamina back, thank you very much :)

Okay, now I'm really going to... dammit, what's this red stuff? Curiousity gets the better of me, but when I drink a bit I can discern no effect. I stuff them into my bag anyway and glare at the purple vials. Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound, down it goes...

Ack! See, I KNEW drinking strange liquids in mysterious dungeons wasn't a good idea! My corpse is gloating.

Yep, that last one was a fatal poison. Should have gotten out while I had the chance.

Ah well, we shall leave Bregg choking on his own idiocy in the dirt, and returrn to more civilized worlds where we suffer nothing for our failures except a prematurely aborted game.

Someday I shall most likely return to this world. I'd like to get past the first adventure. But that day will not be today, and those adventures may or may not be chronicled here.

If you would like to try your hand at Legend, check it out for free, here:

Just don't drink the purple vial!


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