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The Ravages Of Fate
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The Ravages Of Fate

Sat Nov 9 09:26:55 2013
The Ravages Of Fate

Where the Empire's justice cannot prove guilt or innocence the matter is left in the hands of the gods; or better said: at the claws of a troll. Likewise, those whose guilt is certain are sent, for both may win freedom by venturing into the forsaken lands beyond The Jaw and returning with one token of vindication and absolution: the head of a troll.

The fortieth online gamebook is now ready to play. It's the 'unedited' version of Ulysses Ai's 2012 Windhammer competition entry.

Phil Sadler
Sat Nov 9 10:51:04 2013
Who'd have thought that we'd ever have forty gamebooks here to read? It's a very good thing.
And appropriate that it should be the author of gamebook number one that draws attention to it.

Sun Nov 10 20:58:02 2013
One of the first few to try this I hope! Wish me luck!

Sun Nov 10 21:25:53 2013
Star - optimum ending reached
Completed it! Nice story :)

Sun Nov 10 22:13:52 2013
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
Very wordy, too much reading, not enough action. 7/10

Mon Nov 11 04:56:08 2013
Star - optimum ending reached
Ulysses... I know you're writing the last of the WWGB series... but were you planning to also wite a sequel to this one?

Your ending certainly leaves the possibility open.

Mon Nov 11 06:47:42 2013
@ D-L-T

I know that the end of The Ravages of Fate does sound like it was setting up a sequel, but I didn't intend to write one. I actually struggled to find a way to finish off the book, other than just arriving back at the wall and being given a pardon. That kind of ending rewards the character, but not the reader (for a good example of this kind of thing, check out the end of Forest of Doom). So the ending was really just meant to be interesting to read.

However, I admit that I have since thought it would be interesting to have a series of gamebooks of the same type, where each gamebook is basically just a fight against one huge monster. However, I am trying to retire from all this gamebook writing, so I probably won't unless I find myself with a lot of free time and the inclination to do it. Game books of this type are a lot easier to create, so there's a distant possibility that there will be a sequel.

I also should point out that there may not be much interest in gamebooks based on a single extended piece of combat. Although the reviews and feedback I got from the Windhammer competition was of little value, it was all at least consistent in expressing dissatisfaction that it was 'just a big long fight'; which is what it was meant to be. Therefore, if this view is representative of reader in general, demand for a sequel may be low. Feedback from this site should decide that matter, but still, how much time I would devote to a sequel is minimal.

Tue Nov 12 13:40:08 2013
In the background I found this phrase: "It don't matter what the truth is now".
Shouldn't be: "It doesn't matter" etc.?
Is this a typo or something that I missed?

Tue Nov 12 15:00:29 2013
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
I've been hammered to the ground like a nail!
I enjoyed this gamebook (great work on descriptions and characters above all), but I think you could have added some more choices of strategy... however, maybe they are in other storylines...

Robert Douglas
Tue Nov 12 15:54:42 2013
@ Chompoo,

It all depends, perhaps that's how the character talks - i.e a pirate, American, even a Briton from a particular locality? Even officers in the Sharpe TV series used 'incorrect' grammar - although this was a fashion thing at the time done on purpose: '...would be, were he here, but he ain't....'. They probably did this to simplify statements.

Tue Nov 12 23:06:30 2013

Unfortunately not. As this book was originally written for the Windhammer competition, it only has 100 references, so it is quite 'cramped'.

I used 20 references (I think) to get to the Pit, then another 20 before the fight begins, so the fight only has 60 references, which might sound like a lot, but it really isn't.

Wed Nov 13 01:25:32 2013
I read this yesterday night, and after three tries and a little cheating I managed to reach the successful ending (the choices that get you there are almost funny, although I suspect there are other ways). The characters are well built, the descriptions are outstanding, and the battle narration nearly meets the standard of Tolkien epics. It is to its credit that the story kept me awake until nearly early morning, and it's a shame it won no Windhammer prize.

But I reply mostly to praise Ulysses Ai storytelling skills. I've been following this website for quite some time, and Ulysses' gamebooks are among the best. The Diamond Key is, well, a diamond, which feels more like an interactive novel and it's a match for all but the most prolific fantasy writers. The Wrong Way series is of a different calibre altogether, and it's distinguished by an enjoyable Douglas Adams-like humour, while at the same time all parts are quite challenging and carefully constructed as gamebooks. I especially enjoyed The Golden Crate, which is the only gamebook that got me trying to get it right no matter how many tries it took (usually I quit or heavily cheat after 2-3 attempts).

I'd suggest Ulysses to consider writing a "proper" fiction book, as I really believe he's a talented storyteller.

BTW, the website additions are subtle but quite useful. It's good to see this site going on and getting better (I was afraid it was half abandoned due to the lack of updates), it's amongst the best of its kind.
Thanks. There will inevitably come a point when the site is no longer updated, but it will not be abandoned except for circumstances beyond my control.

Wed Nov 13 02:50:07 2013
@ George

Thanks for the high praises.

The Golden Crate is also my favourite of the series.

I am working on "proper" fiction at the same time, but those stories take a lot more work than writing a gamebook. I may have a short novel finished next year, which I will certainly let everyone know about for those who are interested.

Wed Nov 13 05:36:55 2013
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
I think there is a repetition in the 41-82 combination...

Wed Nov 13 06:34:15 2013
@ Yaztromo

Yes, you're correct: 41 shouldn't lead to 82.
82 should only be reached from 57 (after the Ravager has grabbed you in his hand) when certain conditions have been satisfied.
Well... in the online version you can go from 41 to 82. I made this change so that Thaumaturgy would be a viable option (otherwise to gain any benefit from this choice you have to fail a SKILL test). However I obviously didn't do it cleanly enough to begin with, so it read as though Gouge stabs the Ravager twice. I've now corrected this.

Fri Nov 15 14:47:23 2013
Star - optimum ending reached
it was fun and not that hard if you think about it.

Ben, Mage of Blashyrkh
Fri Nov 15 20:56:25 2013
Star - optimum ending reached
Man, that was a cool story!

Had lots of fun running through this one.
The writing is superb and detailed, the characters impressively developed and believable, the suspense high throughout--I was on the edge of my seat throughout the fight with the Ravager, and I kept muttering to myself "Will it ever die, damn it.", as well as even less charitable stuff.
I was able to successfully complete the scenario on my first attempt, and I'm stoked about that, though I'm not sure my success should be ascribed to luck, to the low level of difficulty, to my heroic skills. I prefer to believe the latter, of course... :)
I'm quite taken with the storyline, too. I hope the sequel the outro seems to foreshadow will eventually materialise, and I'll definitely play it when and if it does.

Kudos to the writer. A really compelling, thrilling and rich adventure. Better than some official Fighting Fantasy books I've played!
Best enjoyed with some Finntroll music blaring in the background.
Some great comments, thanks for taking the trouble to write them. It does seem to be among the easier gamebooks to complete, although nowhere near as easy as, say, Bad Moon Rising or Tomb Of The Ancients.

Sat Nov 16 15:16:11 2013
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
This time I died for just a couple of unlucky dice throws at the very end...
I really appreciated the descriptions and the characters involved!
I hoped that choosing your specialization (stealth, thaumaturgy, swordmanship etc.) had a greater impact on the game.
In the duality game-book, this is more a book than a game: log descriptions, several sections that send you to a single section or that have an outcome determined by dices (no willing choice), so you feel a bit less "in control" than other gamebooks.
A really very enjoyable reading!

Sat Nov 16 15:24:34 2013
Skull - non-optimum ending reached
In section 31 you are asked if you want to strike using your sword or the golden dagger even if you don't have a golden dagger.
In that case the question is shown but the following paragraph is taken automatically (your sword).
In other parts of this site the option is not even shown: is it a bug?

BTW at he final fights the Ravager scores always at least a 6 when fighting with me...:-S
Yes, the dagger thing is a bug, and it's now fixed. As for the Ravager's scores, I think you're just having a run of bad luck, there's nothing in there specifically making this happen.

Sat Nov 16 17:01:19 2013
Eh eh eh...I can only agree about the run of bad luck with the Ravger... happens!

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