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Item - A Solo Adventure

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Series: Maelstrom
Part of: Maelstrom (Role-Playing Game)
Dates: 1984
January 23, 2008 (eBook)
Length: 48 pages (pp. 120-167; 160 sections plus introduction)
Number of Endings: 10 (not including sections which only conditionally end in death)
User Summary: You are an assassin, and an attempt to abduct you leads you into an adventure....
Demian's Thoughts:

This is a decent little adventure. The author's decision to make the reader's character an assassin is certainly an unexpected change of pace, and the adventure's design is quite entertaining. There are lots of areas to explore and keys to collect, and completing the mission is nearly impossible without making a map. Fortunately, mapping the adventure is both easy and fun, and with a successfully-drawn map, it's possible to win without having to take too many risks. Unfortunately, the adventure's twist ending makes the coherence of the whole plot a little questionable, but this doesn't detract from the gameplay in any way. What does make the gameplay a bit of a pain, though, is the combat system. The attacker rolls against the Attack attribute, and if a hit is scored, the defender has a chance to cancel the damage by rolling against Defense. This may work for group adventures, but in the solo adventure, where many Attack and Defense attributes are in the area of 35% or so, it's just too hard to score a hit, causing battles to drag on for far too long. Thankfully, combat is relatively infrequent if you play cautiously....

Hint - Some attributes are definitely used a lot more than others; keep this in mind during character creation.

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Guillermo's Thoughts:

I must admit I was a little disappointed that the author chose to make this intro game a "find the items" crawl (reminiscent of old computer adventure games) instead of taking advantage of the unusual Elizabethan-era setting to construct a story with an actual plot and characters. Nonetheless, the adventure is a lot of fun to play through, with mapping and exploration being key for success. This doesn't mean it's perfect, though. You need to avoid all the numerous opportunities for fighting that are present (since even the old housekeeper has much higher stats than the player character), and the consequences of failing even a single skill roll in the adventure are severe. I was also a bit miffed that, upon completion of an included subquest, the game includes no congratulatory text; the book just carries on as if the reader had done nothing at all. If you can look past these flaws, you will find this to be one of the best introductory solo adventures out there. Definitely recommended.

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Users Who Own This Item: B0N0V0X, dave2002a, dblizzard72, drystan, Ed, Gallicus, Gamebook, Gibraltar, greyarea13, knginatl, lek, Malthus Dire, nerelax, Nich, Robert Mammone, slloyd14, twar

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