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1 on 1 Adventure Gamebooks
You Are Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (Gamebook)
You Are Thieves' Guild Assassins (Gamebook)
Voleurs et assassins (French)
Ward, James M.
Nelson, Mark A. (interior)
0394552407 / 9780394552408
|User Summary:||Fritz Leiber's famous thieves are after a fabled treasure, but their quest is hindered by the efforts of a series of greedy assassins.|
This is an interesting change of pace. For one thing, the writing has a lot more flavor than I expected from its usually very minimalist author. More importantly, the gameplay feels different. While earlier books have set two relatively evenly-matched teams with similar goals against one another, this one instead gives one player control of heroes on a quest while forcing the other player to try to guess the location of the heroes in order to block their path with villainous foes. Whenever one set of bad guys is defeated, another one takes their place, and whenever the villains fail to locate the heroes, bad things tend to happen to them. This is actually entertainingly cartoony in feel. Had I played this in person rather than by e-mail, I would certainly have yelled "curses, foiled again!" on several locations. Yes, I admit that I am a ham. Anyway, while I didn't find the gameplay quite as engaging as that of Battle for the Ancient Robot, I did enjoy this set quite a bit.
I am not very familiar with Fritz Leiber's iconic characters, but the fact that they have some history makes the characters in this particular adventure seem much more alive than in the other 1 on 1 books I've played. The adventure is quite well-done, with interesting encounters on the quest to find the sword or kill those seeking it. I liked how the assassins' book described their fate should they fail a battle, and the visit to the Death Star was a nice touch. The only problem I have with it is that things are horribly unbalanced when it comes to the players gaining allies. If I'm not mistaken Fafhrd and the Mouser have one chance to add to their part, and that's only on one of the guests they have to go on if they get killed. The assassins, meanwhile, have quite a few chances to add allies to their ranks. If you can get past that, though, this is easily one of the best 1 on 1 games you can get.
Of all the gamebooks in the One on One series, I think this one is the best. I agree with Demian in that the writing seems to be more fleshed out and sharper. Maybe it's because Fafhrd and Gray Mouser are established characters. By using characters we already know, it takes pressure off the writer. Here, he just writes the story, instead of creating the entire gamebook from scratch. It seems to be a good method, because Dragonsword of Lankhmar is far better than the first 4 in this series!
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Counterpane - I've got this for sale on ebay.co.uk now
Fireguard - Thieves Guild Assassins