There wasn't much response when I brought up the possibility of replaying the early Lone Wolf gamebooks before progressing to the next sub-series. Still, the one person who did comment was in favour of the idea, so I'm at least going to give it a try.
I'd rather not replay a book I've already won when there are so many I have yet to beat (or even try) on this blog, and I'd prefer not to just resurrect a character who died. Given that I succeeded at the first book, and then carried my character from it over into book 2, where he met an early end, this could be problematic. But in this one instance there is a work-around, as I failed at the edited and expanded reissue of book 1, so I could have another go at that to kick off this second attempt at the series.
Not being keen on superfluous repetition, I won't go into much detail where this attempt closely parallels my previous one so if you haven't already read that playthrough, I recommend that you do so now. Anything I do differently, or which doesn't go the same way as before, will get covered, though.
So what are this version of Silent Wolf's stats?
Combat Skill: 14
Disciplines: Sixth Sense, Healing, Weaponskill (Spear), Mindshield and Tracking
Slightly weaker than before, but I am at least consistent in getting less-than-optimal weapon proficiencies.
So, as before I'm doing extra combat practice as punishment for not paying attention in class, and then the Monastery is attacked. This time round I won't bother taking the time to grab a weapon because I've already ranted about what happens if I do that. Kai Master Star Fire throws me his sword and draws the axe he keeps as a back-up weapon, then tells me to close the gates while he deals with the approaching Giaks. One of the Giaks decides that I look like easier prey, and charges at me. It takes me two rounds to puree him, and I don't take a scratch.
As before, I am sent to activate the beacon while enemy troops are airlifted into the monastery grounds. The berserk Giak who attacks me as I set off does some damage, so this time round I stop to look in the cupboard after being mind-probed by Judgmental Twit (or whatever that Kai's name was) - even if there's nothing in there, that's still an extra section's worth of Healing. I find chairs, tables and antique pewter plates, none of which are on the Weaponskills list, but then turn up a dagger and a rope. The dagger's no help, but that rope is going to come in useful later if I remember rightly.
The unnecessary-looking trip to my dormitory is another potential source of excess sections to help me with my Healing, but it could also lead to additional fights or getting fatally trapped, so I'm not going to risk it. Out into the training park, as before. Abysmal rolls very nearly cause me to lose the fight out there, but the imbalances of the Combat Results Table enable me to survive - just. For a while after that things go just the same as before, except that the weapon I grab from the armoury is a spear. And thus, I guess I give the Giaks' ladder a hefty kick, as poking it with a spear wouldn't achieve much.
Between the rage bonus and my now having the weapon I've been trained to use (plus a much better roll), I skewer the next Giaks I encounter before they've finished turning away from the bodies they were mutilating. Events then transpire much as they did before until I'm on my way across to the chapel, at which point I am reminded that, while I may have figured out how to get through the tombs under the Graveyard of the Ancients without needing Mind Over Matter, there are still situations in the book that make it worth having. As I didn't pick it, that Drakkar with the crossbow has a 50% chance of killing me. And the fact that this blog entry ends here should be a pretty big hint as to how I know just how fatal the sub-optimal outcome to that roll is.