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This gamebook system is designed so that each adventure can be fit on a single sheet of paper, printed as a three-fold, two-sided pamphlet. Players create their characters by distributing ten points between two attributes (Stamina and Magic). Spellcasting is achieved by scratching off runes corresponding with the desired spell from a "Tome of Magic" (a grid of runes). While exploring, players copy drawings of rooms onto a map grid, gradually building up a complete map of the area they are in; some of these room drawings include numbers which direct the reader to text encounters. When combat is engaged, a strategic diceless system is employed. The first (and so far only) adventure was released at GenCon 97, and it is freely redistributable, so copies can be downloaded from the Internet, photocopied for friends or received by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the author.
Gamebooks1. Quest for the Auburn Pelt
Glastyn (formerly Galloglass) Games has consistently impressed me with its mix of generosity and originality. From the nifty card game Fimbulvetr to the generic "piecepack" board game set, all of their products offer something a little different at a reasonable price. Thus it didn't surprise me too much to find out that their offering in the gamebook field (first released at GenCon '97) is both mechanically interesting and freely redistributable (provided it's distributed in an unaltered form). The "book" is actually a single sheet of paper folded into a three-fold pamphlet. It features a diceless game system with point-based character creation, rune-based magic, inventory management and combat rules that work sort of like Lost Worlds without the pictures. You move around by drawing a map on graph paper (which, remarkably enough, is included) and reading text sections whenever the map segments indicate that you must do so. This is definitely one of the best uses for a single sheet of paper that I've ever encountered!