Monday, 1 July 2013

See His Little Feet

It's hard to tell precisely what makes some blog entries so much more popular than others, but it does seem pretty clear that posts about Tunnels & Trolls Pocket Adventures attract significantly less attention than almost any other kind. My attempt at Abyss is the oldest of my playthroughs to have fewer than 50 views, and the two posts that have been viewed fewer times than the one on Circle of Ice have been around for less than a month, whereas that one came out in February. Nevertheless, for thematic reasons I think it appropriate to turn my attention to the first adventure in the series, Ken St. Andre's Goblin Lake, today.

For character creation I'm going to have to either use real dice or spend a while writing extra lines of code for my T&T gamebook manager, as it's not set up to create Goblin characters, and the process for doing so deviates from the 'roll 3 dice for everything and modify numbers as required' method used for other non-human characters. As I'm not likely to have to create Goblins ever again, I think I'll use the dice I got free with issue 2 of Proteus, and the ones I got for joining some kind of official Fighting Fantasy fan group. Giving me:
Strength 10
Intelligence 8
Luck 22
Constitution 10
Dexterity 14
Charisma 11
Speed 13
Some surprisingly good rolls, there.

For some time I have been seeking Goblin Lake, home of a community of Goblins, and at the start of the adventure I've just found the cleft that gives access to the subterranean complex where it's located. Squeezing through, and heading up the stream that issues from that cleft, I reach a point where the natural phosphorescence so popular in underground caves enables me to see, and the passage opens out into a grotto. A voice addresses me in the Goblin tongue (which I can understand, being a Goblin), telling me that non-Goblins are not welcome here (it is possible to play as suitably-sized non-Goblins on attempts after the first one, which will obviously make for a significantly different adventure), and indicating that the locals call this place Fishsquish Lake. I point out that I am a Goblin, and am welcomed in.

Snorkin, the King of the Lake Goblins, invites me to join his people. Not knowing how 'bigger and nastier looking than the others' translates into stats, I decide that now is not the best time to try challenging him for the kingship. It soon becomes apparent that this is a pretty impoverished bunch, but then I start to hear of Snorkin's fabulous treasure. Deciding that he can trust me, the King shows me the hoard in question: coins to the value of less than 2 gold pieces (and most of them in bad condition), a broken mirror, an enchanted dagger that does less damage than my own flint blade (but lights up when you say the magic word) and a few magazines. Somehow I manage not to become overwhelmed by avarice.

Over the course of the next 3 months, I live the life of a flunky, gaining some Experience Points for run-ins with denizens of the caves and the odd adventurer. Then I get bored, and decide to go diving for treasure. There are a number of skeletons in rusty armour at the bottom of the lake, and I try searching one. Narrowly failing my Saving Roll, I attract the attention of something tentacled which dwells at the bottom of the lake. More precisely, a ridiculously overpowered giant devilfish (in the archaic 'octopus' sense of the word, in case any marine biologists were wondering). And when I say 'ridiculously overpowered', I mean that getting the luckiest rolls imaginable would mean I only got killed three times over in the first round of the fight. I didn't roll that well.

The 'go here if you die' section includes a request from Mr. St. Andre that readers send him details of their character and how he/she/it died, so he can laugh at them keep track of the statistics. I don't know if he's still recording those details, or living at the address given, for that matter, so I shan't be sending him a postcard, but for the record: I was playing a Goblin, who got killed in paragraph 11F (though I had to transition through 2A to get to the generic death section) and was called Gabbo. I was quite enjoying the adventure until the OTT combat.

No comments:

Post a Comment