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Item - Creatures from the Depths


Series: Prince of Shadows — no. 2
Translated Into: V├Žsnerne fra dybet (Danish)
Authors: Chalk, Gary
Kerrigan, David
Illustrator: Chalk, Gary
Date: 1989
ISBN: 034042835X / 9780340428351
Length: 64 pages (223 sections)
Number of Endings: 32
User Summary: The usurper of your throne has planned a politically convenient marriage for himself, and you plan to intervene by kidnapping the bride-to-be.
Demian's Thoughts: This book picks up nicely from where the last one left off; interestingly enough, while it does allow you to carry over your character from the previous book, it also lets you re-roll your Strength if you so desire. This is nice, because it means that you're not locked into a poor score if you happen to complete the first book after rolling poorly. The story also nicely resupplies you so you're not disadvantaged as a result of your experience. The only thing that might pose a problem is if your previously-chosen Princely Skills were inadequate, since there's no way to change or add on to these, but this isn't too severe a problem. As for the book itself, I found it to be an improvement over the debut volume. The story moved along quickly, featuring a diversity of options, characters and situations, and keeping me engaged throughout. As in the first book, events are fairly linear but there are enough alternative paths to make replay worthwhile. Replay didn't prove necessary for me, though, as I actually completed this successfully on my first try (though I only barely survived one major combat). The low challenge factor may be a turn-off for some, but I didn't mind; the story was fun, and it's nice to feel really clever once in a while by succeeding without being killed over and over. Really, my biggest complaint is that the series had to end here. Considering how short these books are, the story was only barely getting started at this point, but the seeds of romance and adventure that were sown here might have led to great (or at least above average) things. Definitely a shame. I wouldn't be surprised if the large format of the books was the source of their downfall. The books cost more than standard-sized paperbacks but offered less actual content, and Gary Chalk's artwork isn't spectacular enough to justify the extra expense; perhaps a more modest approach would have allowed the series to survive longer.

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Play Aid

Prince of Shadows Character Sheet (left side)

Prince of Shadows Character Sheet (right side)