Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Specus Vespertilionum

Series: Aquelarre
Contained In: Aquelarre (third edition) (Role-Playing Game)
Author: Fernández (del Río), Juan Pablo
Length: 18 pages (133 sections)
User Summary: A friend of yours has been sentenced to death for the murder of the son of a feudal lord. In order to prove your friend's innocence, you must track down the evil creature responsible for the deed and slay it.
Guillermo's Thoughts: Aquelarre (which translates as "witches' coven") is a popular Spanish language role-playing game set in Spain during the late Middle Ages. The game is made interesting by the wide variety of character options it incorporates (such as social class and occupation), and by the inclusion of fantasy and horror elements. The third edition of the game was published by the same company previously responsible for the Singular line of gamebooks, so it comes as no surprise that it includes an introductory solo adventure (the title, incidentally, means "The Cave of Bats" in Latin). Unfortunately, however, the end result is underwhelming.

The main fault is that the adventure tries too hard to take advantage of the variety of character options the game offers. While the Maelstrom solo forced the player to use a specific type of character, this game places fewer limits on the type of character the player is allowed to use. A consequence of this is that way too much space is dedicated to describing the different challenges and outcomes the player character faces as a result of his social rank and occupation. While this is something I would normally applaud, the problem is that there is little meaningful variation between the different storylines available. Since the events in the adventure only differ in minimal ways depending on the type of character you play, going through the adventure again and again with a different character does not bring much satisfaction. Consequently, the adventure will feel too short and simple no matter which character you choose.

In the end, one cannot help but think the 18 pages taken up by this adventure could have been dedicated to creating a few more meaningfully different storylines. This is a real shame, since Aquelarre includes a lot of material that could have been used for a more interesting solo. Overall, the adventure is not too challenging and you should be done with it in 20 minutes or so. It does not provide much value beyond this, so don't go out of your way to read it.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary.

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.