The year after he ended his collaboration with Joe Dever on the Lone Wolf books, Gary Chalk started this series. In it, the reader controls the destiny of Edrix, a street-smart thief who is actually rightful heir to the throne of a fantasy kingdom under the rule of a tyrant. Mechanically, the books are quite similar to the Lone Wolf series. You carry your character from book to book, gaining skills and items along the way. There are two different kinds of skills (Princely Skills and Street Skills), and it is randomly determined at the start of the first book which type you have more of. Also randomly determined is your Strength, which serves as both your combat skill and your hit points. Combat is straightforward, involving adding your Strength to the value of your weapon and any applicable skill bonuses, then subtracting your enemy's armor value (if any) and attempting to roll under the resulting number on percentile dice (or, if dice are unavailable, using a Lone Wolf style random number table) in order to hit. There are some problems with vagueness in the rules (fighting multiple enemies is unclear, and it's not explained whether or not you can exceed your initial Strength value), but it's a pretty workable system overall. Where the series diverges from Lone Wolf (and indeed from the vast majority of published gamebooks) is in its format – rather than being a standard paperback, each Prince of Shadows adventure is a large-format, saddle-stitched, 64-page booklet with a fairly elaborate layout. This is an attractive change of pace, but it seems likely to have increased the expense of producing the books, which may help to explain why the series was cut short so prematurely.
Gamebooks1. Mean Streets
2. Creatures from the Depths
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