It's time I had another go at Avenger!, the first of Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson's The Way of the Tiger gamebooks. Well, first published: as regards internal chronology the prequel, Ninja, comes first, but I don't own that one, and the series worked fine without it for decades (for values of 'fine' that include containing occasional bugs and lacking a proper conclusion), so Avenger! leads the way.
The only aspect of character creation into which I have any input is skill selection. I have four of a possible nine, and while Shurikenjitsu is mandatory, I get to choose the others. The discussion which followed my earlier attempt at Avenger! for this blog indicated that the ability to spit Poison Needles is pretty much essential, so I'll take that one. For the others, I'm sticking with Immunity to Poisons and Picking Locks, Detecting and Disarming Traps. I do remember that, at least in the second book, Arrow Cutting can be a literal life-saver, but I also recall the possibility of gaining a bonus skill in that book, so I won't worry about that until I actually reach the stage where I can progress to book two.
The early stages of this adventure are liable to follow much the same pattern as my previous try, so rather than repeat myself in detail, I intend to summarise all that happens as it did before. If you want more details, just follow the above link.
For a bit of fun, I'm going to try and make the summary a pastiche of the secret litany of the Ninja Grandmaster featured in the book. I wonder if I still have the version I wrote for the unfinished parody The Way of the Hedgehog, on which I wasted a fair bit of time back in the mid-eighties...
I AM NINJA.
My kicking is what brings down Gorobei.
My answers are correct.
My dream is precognitive.
My mission is given.
My journey is interrupted.
My Ogre foe dies, just.
My Fate roll leaves me unobserved.
My throw is ineffectual.
My block is unsuccessful.
My Endurance drops below zero.
My adventure was ended by the Buccaneer Captain's morning star.
I can't exactly say that the dice were not in my favour this time round, because I did get some good rolls. The only problem is that they were during the not-to-the-death opening combat and the irrelevant Fate check, and I wound up taking a lot of damage in the first couple of serious fights. Enough to kill me, in fact.
On the positive side, those fights did highlight some deficiencies in how my gamebook manager handles combat in The Way of the Tiger, so I have now fixed them, which should come in handy the next time I attempt this book.
That's two rapid failures in a row. My next playthrough will be my three-hundredth, so it's going to be another replay, and I need to choose from the shortlist nominated by Gloccus a shockingly long time ago. Over the weekend I shall take a look at them all, and decide which is most likely to provide a more substantial (and hopefully successful) entry.