Hi, has anybody read 'The Curse of Drumer' and 'Below Zero Point' on the Fighting Fantasy Website (supported by Wizard Books rep. Dave Holt)? What do they think to them?
In BZP, my heart missed a beat when reading entry '328' - Robert D must be a fellow fan of 'Pavane'. It's alternate history, set in 1968 where the Spanish Armada succeeded and England remained a Catholic nation. He made a subtle tribute to 'The Signaller' story there!
Roleplaying figurines and Quasar also make cameo appearances in the BZP adventure.
I remember reading a 'Rebel Planet' review on Amazon; he's obviously a huge SF fan. In the past he mentioned great disappointment at FF community's lack of interest in SF titles, prompting him to create an SF gamebook of his own.
'The Curse of Drumer' is testimonious to Robert's most favourite gamebook: 'House of Hell'! I recently managed to get in touch with him and discuss his online writing further. RD gave little away, but he's planning a second outing for the Sean Calibre Case Files. Furthermore, Prison of Pestilence will be extended to a trilogy - he's dusted down POP and sent it off to Dave Holt (who received it, but has yet to post it on-site). This adventure - along with Snakeland Scorpion - was originally posted on Mark J Popp's FF site in 2000. Check Titanicca for further details.
He's also considering another sci-fi themed adventure...but this is being kept tightly under-wraps. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for polished gems 'Prison of Pestilence' and 'Snakeland Scorpion' on the Official FF Website.
Gaetano Thu Aug 4 22:16:10 2011
For some reason, your email address is bouncing back as well, so I'll post a brief comment-
I had a go with your adventure, the Curse of Drumer. I think it's a very interesting and modern take on the House of Hell story. Given that it's a full 400 sections, whereas most of the amateur adventures seem to be around 50, it's a major accomplishment. Congratulations!
Robert Douglas Fri Aug 5 04:22:21 2011
Thanks for giving COD a go - hope you enjoyed playing it! How far did you get? :-)
Yes, I decided to change Fear to the same procedure as Testing your Luck; I was never really happy with House of Hell's 'add 2 Fear points, etc'. It just seemed a bit too simplified.
I wasn't sure whether my introduction of guns would be a bit much, however. What do you think?
COD's player character has a criminal background (I wanted to break the mould of having just an ordinary bloke and give him some interesting traits).
Besides a few new faces, I had to connect COD to HOH, so
I also wanted to re-introduce some characters that survived House of Hell. No doubt you bumped into Isaacson - in HOH he was the one being ribbed by his fellow brethren as it was his big night! There are one or two others that make a return, but I won't spoil it for you.
It would probably be pushing it re-introducing the Kris Knife to COD. I preferred a clean slate as regards to mystical weapons required to defeat the Black Night Brotherhood.
Gaetano Tue Aug 9 05:56:27 2011
Hello Robert, I thought using Fear the way you did was fine; some readers might prefer having had it the same way to maintain the flavor of the original, but it's just a matter of taste. However, one thing to consider is that when testing fear, the results should be the opposite of what happens when you test your luck. In other words, the desirable outcome should be from rolling two dice and rolling a number that is equal to or MORE than your current fear score. This would mean that the character has accumulated less fear throughout the game, and is therefore less likely to be scared to death from one event.
I agree that giving the character a backstory makes things a little more interesting than just a faceless "you" character. I also like how you connected the story to certain events from HOH (I did the same with my story). Also agree with introducing a new weapon to replace the Kris knife- something I also did.
FishFingers Fri Jan 13 00:06:07 2012
Will 'The Curse of Drumer' be appearing in the 'gamebooks' section? Just wondering how the riddle and combination code would work in this system.
Funny you should mention it, that's going to be the next one. The riddle and combination will be handled the same way as that sort of thing usually is : for example the Kiasyd's riddles in Outsider or the floor selection in Wrong Way Go Back.
ffproject Sat Feb 4 07:56:16 2012
The Curse Of Drumer
Robert Douglas' sequel to House Of Hell can now be played online.
"The-the Earl of Drumer's place," he gasps, "You're having a joke with all of us," he laughs nervously, "go on, own up to it!" Your face remains puzzled, no hint of a mischievous grin emerges. Terry's face falls. "Look, look," his hand grips your shoulder, almost crushing it, "you don't know me, I don't know you, but listen, listen," he grits his teeth to emphasise the point: "Don't go there! That place is cursed, I tell you, cursed".
Ibrahim Sat Feb 4 13:01:11 2012
Hi Everyone. Try as I might, I cant get passed the grandfather clock puzzle in the house of droomer's celler. Could someone give me a hand with this one? I should mention I've never played house of hell before so if knowledge is required from that gamebook I apollogise.
Robert Douglas Sat Feb 4 14:19:25 2012
This puzzle is based upon the player's knowledge of the dread number '666'. The short hand is to be placed on a particular number while the button is pressed, then placed and pressed twice more to give a three digit number: '666'. Simply select '6' each time the text prompts you for a number. 'House of Hell' has no bearing on this puzzle whatsoever.
It was probably unfair of me to assume fans would be familiar with the bible or 'The Omen' films. However, Andy sent me an interesting link concerning an old parchment which mentions the number is actually '616'.
Ibrahim Sat Feb 4 15:02:01 2012
Hi Robert, thanks much, I'll get on with the game and let you know my impressions when I'm done. I hope it's long, there's been a decided lack of outsider length games on here recently which is a shame.
Robert Douglas Sat Feb 4 17:04:55 2012
Okay, Ibrahim. But even on high scores 'The Curse of Drumer' is quite a challenge. I hope you get on with it okay :). I have to say I've been killed several times by my own gamebook...whether ill fortune, combat, etc. However, I'd managed (just about!) to complete it - that penultimate battle reduced my Stamina to 1, phew! - so I quickly wolfed down FIVE meals before facing the last opponent.
Please let me know if it was long enough for you; I wanted to put a fair bit of dialogue into it, make it more realistic with banter, suggestions, arguments etc amongst the characters. Bit worried it was too long, though. I learned my lesson from 'Prison of Pestilence' and 'Snakeland Scorpion' as regards an exhausting Background.
Ibrahim Sun Feb 5 10:49:10 2012
Hi Robert. Many thanks again, I'm still playing it and I'm liking the dialog and the characterisation, much better than a simple FF dungion crawl. I have noticed that you are testing your skill, stamina and luck a lot more than in the other gamebooks on here but I'm enjoying it all the same. I've never played prison of pestilance or Snakeland Scorpion so will have to check them out when I've finished this title.
duffmeister Sun Feb 5 12:53:40 2012
I agree with Ibrahim, I've been loving the Curse of Drumer. I always found the original House of Hell decent but hardly great, whereas The Curse of Drumer is genuinely exciting, detailed, chilling and entertaining. I really like the approach of adding other characters to the adventure, it makes it more varied and also adds an element of fear for your companions rather than just for your own hide. Still not finished it
I got vampired on my first attempt and werewolfed on the second.
but it's brilliantly good fun.
Oriol Sun Feb 5 13:51:50 2012
Hello al :) does anyone know where I can play house of hell...? I jsut stumbled upon this new sequel and I've never played the first one.. :S and it's not on the website.
It's one of the original published FF gamebooks, so you won't be able to play it here (you can of course buy it). Fortunately, The Curse Of Drumer has a self contained storyline, so you aren't really at any disadvantage if you haven't played House Of Hell first.
Robert Douglas Sun Feb 5 15:53:14 2012
@ Ibrahim and Duffmeister,
Thanks for the kind reviews! It's true that I like a good mix of test rolls and enemy encounters - but always with a chance to replenish your scores (and it takes a bit of of work on player's part to find these opportunites).
Apart from the Earl of Drumer and Jenkins, I also wanted to bring back Isaacson (who'd since been promoted) - since his 'big night'. Nelly was one of 'House of Hell's' captives. I wanted 'The Curse of Drumer' to have some relation to 'House of Hell'.
Ibrahim Mon Feb 6 07:02:32 2012
Hi Robert. I'm now at the door which requires me to work out the combination, the one passed the room full of snakes. I've tried what is probably the most likely sequence in this puzzle but either I am wrong or the game mechanics are. Any help much appreciated, and if you dont want to put the spoiler on list, you can email me at ibrahim(dot)gucukoglu(at)live(dot)co(dot)UK. I'm sure you can figure out the punctuation but I dont want to be spammed by trollers.
Ibrahim Mon Feb 6 08:38:25 2012
Hi Robert, its OK, I completed the gamebook and really enjoyed it. Thanks for a really good gamebook, probably one of the best I've played in a good while now and I hope to see your other works POP and SLS playable on here soon.
Robert Douglas Mon Feb 6 08:47:19 2012
Each number is squared to give the next in sequence: 2, 4, 16...so it's 16 squared = 256
Jordan Wed Feb 8 03:29:32 2012
Robert, Droomer was an excellent addition to the online gamebooks! I absolutely loved it, and look forward to more of your gamebooks to hopefully be added for online play in the future. Do you know if your other two, Prison of Pestillence and the scorpion one, can't remember the exact name of it, will be added? Also, for Droomer, just to make sure I got the best ending, was reference 400 the best ending? Again, thanks for a helluva great gamebook! May Droomer's curse finally be at an end!
Robert Douglas Wed Feb 8 22:35:43 2012
Thanks Jordan, and glad you enjoyed it! 'Prison of Pestilence' and 'Snakeland Scorpion' are available in the Downloads section of this site. However, it's really up to Andy (webmeister) - he's the one who processes gamebooks into online play, making certain all the variants work, etc.
Entry #400 was the best ending. However, as a truly satisfactory conclcusion, you'll need to meet and convince Chief Inspector Eddie Farthingdale to your crusade. He can be found investigating Reverend Maddesby's cottage home.
Drumer's Curse has been lifted - at least for the time being if not forever - but perhaps there's room for a prequel? I would say that such a successful conclusion wouldn't have any significant bearing on events of later adventures, simply a quest for an individual's survival. It would be set during Georgian or Victorian times; a world of muskets and sabres, when diseases such as cholera and typhoid stalked the land, when highwaymen prowled the roads, and wars dominated Europe.
In The Curse of Drumer, my 'hero' was a city-bred villain, caught up in hellish events, out of his depth. But who would be the hero/heroine of a prequel? And what would it be entitled?
Adam E. Johnston Thu Feb 9 06:04:25 2012
Curse of Drumer was great Robert, I look forward to playing it again in the future.