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Super Endless Quest
Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Combat
Game System : Magic
Game System : Randomization Method : Dice
Game System : Scores
Genre : Fantasy
Genre : Historical Fiction
Genre : Horror
Product Family : Dungeons & Dragons
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
AD&D Geemu bukku [AD&Dゲームブック] (Japanese)
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Italian)
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Aventura Sem Fim Série Avançada (Portuguese)
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Solo-eventyr (Danish)
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Spelböcker (Swedish)
Aventura juego de Dungeons & Dragons (Spanish)
Donjons & dragons, niveau avance (French)
This series began life as the Super Endless Quest series, changing its name to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Super Endless Quest with the third book and dropping the Super Endless Quest part entirely starting with book four. As the original name suggests, these are more complex companions to the more simplistic Endless Quest books. Each book features a pre-created character (printed on a bookmark) which the reader can customize by distributing points among various attributes. These attribute scores are then added to dice rolls to determine success or failure in various actions during the book. There are also hit points to keep track of, and some books feature experience points (which can be spent to modify dice rolls), spellcasting, or other special rules. Most of the books take place in different Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings, though the fifth volume is set in historic Japan. Most volumes stand alone with no continuity between them, except for books seven, nine and eleven, which form the Kingdom of Sorcery Trilogy. Although these three books feature a continuing storyline, no character attributes are carried over from one book to another.
Gamebooks1. Prisoners of Pax Tharkas
2. The Ghost Tower
3. Escape from Castle Quarras
4. The Soulforge
5. Test of the Ninja
6. Master of Ravenloft
7. Sceptre of Power
8. Nightmare Realm of Baba Yaga
9. The Sorcerer's Crown
10. Lords of Doom
11. Clash of the Sorcerers
12. Curse of the Werewolf
13. Gates of Death
14. Trail Sinister
15. The Vanishing City
16. Shadow over Nordmaar
17. Spawn of Dragonspear
18. Prince of Thieves
This long series was released by TSR between 1985 and 1988, apparently stemming from the success of both the early Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf books in the American market, as well as that of TSR's own Endless Quest series (in fact, early titles in the series carried the label Super Endless Quest).
Although the series was meant to promote some of TSR's settings for the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game (specifically, Dragonlance, Ravenloft and Forgotten Realms), many of the adventures take place in fantasy settings born of the imaginations of their own authors, and one even takes place in historical Japan without any fantastic or magical elements. The writing is usually more detailed than was the case in the Tunnels & Trolls solos or in the average Fighting Fantasy gamebook, with rather long text sections and more emphasis on characterization, thus making for colourful, entertaining reading experiences rather than favouring die-rolling and brain-exerting over all things.
Several books in the series include companion characters with stats, but unlike in Blood Sword, the reader usually only experiences the point of view of one character, meaning that as a player one often has to convince her / his companions to do whatever she / he wants and can never quite be sure of their motivations and intentions, thus making the social interaction aspect of the adventures more interesting than is the case in most gamebooks.
All the books use the same general game system, with minimal variations made to suit either the needs of the story or the whims of the author. Each character has hit points (a measure of life which can or cannot be determined randomly, depending on the book); skill points which can be allocated at the beginning among a varying number of skills, and in most books there is a limited supply of so-called "experience points", which can be used to tilt the results of skill checks in the player's favour, with limits. Skills are checked by rolling one or two dice (again, depending on the book) and adding the result to the appropriate skill, trying to obtain a result above a certain number which depends on the difficulty of the task. Even combat is resolved in this way, and seldom are monsters' stats used.
In many books the player is given the ability to use one or more AD&D special abilities and magic spells (again, the specific rules used vary a bit from book to book). Depending on the book, the reader can play a fighter, a wizard, or other AD&D classes like thieves, paladins and rangers.
This series presented many creative and original ideas, and despite the fact that Internet gamebook fandom hardly mentions it these days, I believe it deserves a look on the part of gamebook aficionados.
After playing about half of this series over the last thirty-five years, it has some nostalgia for me. Not as much as the Endless Quest series of which this is a spinoff, but the Advanced D&D Adventure Gamebooks do fit in as more of a "gamebook" with the dice rolling aspect.
Guillermo's comment covers all the important aspects of this series, so I don't have much to add. I just find it interesting in that I don't think I've ever had a character die from loss of hit points in this series. I think this is because the series does not have the drawn out Fighting Fantasy types of battles, where you and an opponent fight until one is dead. I was much more likely to suffer from insta-deaths, a result of a single failed skill roll.