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Series - Fatemaster

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Alternate Title: Unicorn Fatemaster
Publisher: Unwin -- United Kingdom
Categories: Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Character Advancement
Game System : Combat
Game System : Inventory Management
Game System : Magic
Game System : Randomization Method : Dice
Game System : Scores
Genre : Fantasy
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Translated Into: Le Maître du destin (French)
Unicorno (Italian)
Yunikoon Feitomasutaa [ユニコーン・フェイトマスター] (Japanese)

These somewhat larger-than-average gamebooks are mainly distinguished by their mapping system; as the reader moves through each adventure, he or she is given small drawings which may be copied and assembled together to create a detailed map. When outdoors, these map segments are in hexagon format, while indoor maps are printed as if on graph paper. The rest of the system is fairly standard, though it does show a bit of creativity. Rather than using hit points, players lose points from their attributes, thus making their characters weaker in combat as they sustain damage. Spell-casting is also nice, with a lengthy list of possible spells to cast, each costing a certain number of points; it's not as flexible or impressive as the Sorcery! system, but it's workable. It appears that only two books were released, with a third never making it past the planning stage. Perhaps the series met its end as the direct result of its flexibility -- there's so much to do in each book, you almost don't need another one. Still, it's always a shame to see a series die prematurely, and while the end of Fatemaster isn't as tragic as the failure of Fabled Lands, it would have been nice to watch the series evolve further.


1. Treachery in Drakenwood
2. Fortress of the Firelord
3. Marauders at Redmarsh

Related Documents

Play Aid

Fatemaster #1 Character Sheet

Fatemaster #1 Graph Paper (enhanced)

Fatemaster #1 Graph Paper (straight scan)

Fatemaster #1 Hex Paper (enhanced)

Fatemaster #1 Hex Paper (straight scan)

Fatemaster #2 Character Sheet

User Comments

Sometimes a series can be a hit for some readers, and a flop for others; in my case, this was a disaster. The short-lived "Unicorn Fatemaster" is one that, for all its worth, asks a great deal of the reader but doesn't bring everything it could to the table. Rough, gritty and unforgivingly difficult, the books manages to shine a bit with an intricate make-the-map-as-you-go system, though even that isn't tuned to perfection (failing to line up at least twice per book). Breaking from its surprisingly cheap introductory scenes to an "open-world" concept, the books actually feel scattered and poorly structured rather than free, what with their very concentrated goals and an enormous world of pseudo-filler (not to mention how cheap, trope-laden and generic the world is). There's length without substance, challenge without charisma, ridiculous difficulty with indifference, and at the core of the books, no motivation (nor initial inspiration) to honorably carry through deem the series a failure. Not recommended - it's neither for typical hopeful readers nor the intensive grinders out there.


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