Post by thealmightymudworm on Nov 19, 2013 15:14:11 GMT
From TUFFF (a year after the opening post)...
Hmm. Interesting that no one has posted about this book at all. I would have said this is a fan favourite, for sure! Not just because it's written by the ridiculously talented Stephen Hand, is illustrated by the equally excellent (although a little scrappy here, although I really like the ones opposite 105 and 118) Martin McKenna, but also for the excellent plot, the creepy setting and that cover that makes you just want to pick it up and play it. It also has some unique encounters - The Kauderwelsch Monster, the Possessed Hand, and of course the Shadow Warriors themselves. I also thoroughly enjoyed the follow up (of sorts), Moonrunner.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Nov 19, 2013 15:15:24 GMT
*SPOILERS AHEAD!* The encounters were really cool, but I also liked its complex structure. For example that opening sequence where you have to escape the city - there are so many different options and outcomes depending your choices, what you decided to buy, and luck with the dice. It made replaying the book from the beginning fun, instead of tedious.
Its pretty difficult in terms of stats though - and a lot depends on that roll to determine the life force of the Spear of Doom. On one of my later attempts I rolled a 12/24/11 character (with gold 19), but then rolled a life force of only 6. I fought through all the remaining Shadow Warriors, but by the time I reached Voivod I had only 2 stamina remaining, and was slain in the first attack round! (It was the 1st Shadow Warrior with his crazy martial arts skills who really damaged me). One thing I don't understand is the need for obtaining the number code. I mean, we as reader need it to find the appropriate reference, but why would your character? Why wouldn't he simply be able to follow the map to the Battle Plains? Why does he need to know this mystical number? It kind of reminds me of Appointment with FEAR, where you have to know the day of the week in order to win - we as the reader may not know, but your character certainly would!
And Masterchief I definitely agree with you about the cover - there is something about it that makes you want to play it.
This is another new book for me, but one that I had noticed quite a few times in my youth due to that catchy cover, quite well done. I'm jumping ahead a bit, but for quite a long time I thought those scarecrows were the shadow warriors. So when I first met the SW in the Magyaar Pass, I thought, well they look nothing like those on the cover, so much for an accurate representation! Then, of course, I thought: well maybe there's something else to it that I will find later... and I did found the answer I was looking for, when I got to that part of the book.
Inside illos still well done by McKenna, an appropriate choice for that type of story. Stephen Hand displays a vivid imagination, slightly twisted and macabre, with lots of different and original settings, some more or less cleverly disguised as hommage to old horror movies. Just loved the mash up of all those dark themes and elements. Well done.
More for fun than for nitpicking (but still it is), there's a few blunder in there, though easily forgivable in view of the overall quality of the book: as pointed by Greenspine, Hengmar (that wizard in Royal Lendle) must be the quickest writer in history, able to write about his own abduction while it is happening. At the very least we were spared the: "oh no! they've plunged a blade into my flesh, I feel my life draining away pointlessly!" kind of even worst ending. Here Stephen Hand falls victim to the nonsense cliché ending often plaguing Lovecraftian-style stories. At the very least, his fault was spread only over a small paragraph, while other Lovecraft wannabes end whole stories on that false note (don't get me wrong, Lovecraft himself usually avoids this kind of mistake). Also, there's at least one Sky Lord moment in there, to tarnish and otherwise shiny book. It's in the beginning, when you get to the public ranters part. You are being pursued, yet you can't help yourself and stop to hear some ranting lunatics. Even worst, if you don't pick up disgruntled man number 1 first, you can stay there and listen to all 3 people rant for what seems to be an eternity, with no options to just bug off. It's a check your brain at the door moment, for sure. Does that strikes you as familiar? Remember bumbling idiot Sky Marshall Homer in Sky Lord? How, while being pursued by dangerous life-threatening blobs, he couldn't stop himself from playing a game or two in the gymnasium? Yeah, could you wait a bit, I gotta go run after a squirrel.
Okay I'm back. I'll agree with Jamus also on the map and number details at the end. It's obviously just a way to avoid cheating, the code and numbers replacing the keys with the numbers in Warlock, but it's still doesn't make much sense and takes off a bit of shine on the ending product.
Still, I had a blast playing this book, and didn't mind starting over after failing the first time, because I knew different choices would lead to other great things that I had previously missed. And to tell the truth, I'm already looking forward for another playthrough, somewhere down that yellow brick road (aww come on! too cheesy). So I'll leave now, while avoiding the tomatoes.
That's a good catch for Life of Brian. Hadn't thought of that. But I'm pretty sure it's described in the scene that the hero just can't resist listening to the ranters even though he is fully aware of being pursued. Otherwise, blending in for a bit in a crowd is not such a bad idea; in this case, perhaps, just poorly worded.
Here Stephen Hand falls victim to the nonsense cliché ending often plaguing Lovecraftian-style stories. At the very least, his fault was spread only over a small paragraph, while other Lovecraft wannabes end whole stories on that false note (don't get me wrong, Lovecraft himself usually avoids this kind of mistake).
The worst example of such writing I have ever encountered is in the otherwise pretty decent The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. There's a sequence where some malign influence takes control of the narrator's body, compelling him to approach the door and unbolt it to let in the hideous beasts outside - and he's writing about it even as the evil entity forces him to cross the room!
Imagine a modern version: Ugh, getting hard, ngh, to type on my iphone...
I'll have to dig out my books on all things Lovecraft, I don't remember reading that one. And since I'm only half way done, it's probably in the batch I've yet to read. It gets tedious, sometimes, you know...
Hope Hodgson died in 1917, before the bulk of Lovecraft's stories came out, so he's not one of the imitators. He wrote in a similar vein, though. His best works (IMO) are The Boats of the Glen Carrig and The Ghost Pirates. Worth reading, if you can track them down.
Duh. That would explain why I had not read him, if he is not among Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos "friends" like Derleth, Bloch and all the other smaller fishes... I'll keep an eye out for that particular name, though.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Nov 19, 2013 15:30:35 GMT
I just picked this one up first time in 20 years. Although I remembered quite a lot of the scenes I did not remember the specifics like which option to take and which item to buy etc. This book is fantastically written and with great illustrations. The one tiny flaw, as already alluded, is the business about the book of numbers. Also there is a small consistency error between text and map, going south of Gront the text describes a fork branching south-west - whereas the map shows this as an east-west crossroads with the east track leading to the stone circle. But I don't want to dwell on this too much given the rest of the book is so well written.
On my first game I didn't even make it out of Royal Lendle. In running away from the tax-man I was cornered by Bandolph (spelling?) and his goons who did alot of damage, then I got clobbered by the black-robed man and his agitators at Speakers Corner.
On my second game I made it all the way through to the end battle, but was very low on stamina when I faced Voivod and was unlucky with Spear of Doom - thus resulting in my death. (I took the decision that I could not eat provisions in between fighting Shadow Warriors & fighting Voivod since it was all part of the same battle.) Also worth noting I lost my weapon early on and did not find any options to acquire a new one, so I spent most of the book fighting bare handed. I felt the author could given the player more options try and pick up a new weapon. Apart from that it was all good fun.
Sword, axe, or mace as weapon options are still more of a choice than just a sword. This book is actually one of the more balanced FF books. There's a path that lets you win through even with minimum stats. So anything more than minimum should be a doddle, technically speaking.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Nov 19, 2013 15:39:56 GMT
Ah yes I see now there is a weapon-seller in Shattuck.
When you arrive at Shattuck the text states "where will you seek for the man of numbers?" On my game I looked for him at the main square first, meaning I couldn't go back to explore the other 2 locations.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Nov 19, 2013 15:41:28 GMT
A little help, please, in a passage of this book that it is difficult to understand what the author wants to say: In the paragraph 183, in the fight with the fourth shadow warrior, what he wants to say is that if we do not have luck in the beginning we loose 6 strength points and 1 skill point, and then we do a normal fight, or, he wants to say that in each time that the warrior wins an attack, we loose 6 strength points and 1 skill point? I think it is the first one, but i'm afraid it's not very clear to me.
Hi I'd say that if you have no weapon AND you fail your Luck check, you lose 6 Stamina and 1 Skill. If you have a weapon AND you fail your Luck check, you lose the weapon because it is knocked from your grasp (but you don't lose stamina or skill). If you pass the Luck check, you avoid the attack and nothing happens. AFTER you have resolved the Luck check, you then fight the fourth shadow warrior.
The weapon isn't knocked from your grasp; it is destroyed. You can't recover it. For the duration of the battle you will be fighting unarmed (-1 Skill). You may look for another weapon if you survive the combat.
In December 1991, I was sent a parcel. It arrived while I was at work, and thus got taken back to the Post Office to await collection. This is significant because the route from where I then lived to the PO passed a charity shop, and I popped in for a quick browse on my way to get the parcel. A great swathe of one bookshelf was *that* green, and the row of FF books contained four that I'd never owned or played before (and at least a dozen familiar titles). They were 25p each, and I could not resist. I got the four that were new to me, plus three that I remembered having enjoyed back in the eighties, and went on to fetch the parcel. Attempting these books over the course of the weekend got me hooked all over again, and the next working day I used my lunch break to return to the shop and get the nine FFs still on the shelves. Within a year, I had all 59. The earliest of the books of which I had no prior experience was Legend of the Shadow Warriors, and I did not survive the initial encounter with the Warriors. Judging by my dice this time, history may well repeat itself here.
A veteran adventurer fallen on hard times, I am the last-resort choice of a group of farmers from Karnstein (notorious home of the vampiric Ingrid Pitt) who claim to be on the receiving end of frequent attacks from folkloric riders. Suspecting a Scooby-Doo set-up, I agree to help, and refrain from tarrying to gamble with Bartolph the Suspiciously Lucky. There's time for a little shopping, and to wonder why Provisions are on sale in the part of town where 'more unusual items are to be found', before times get harder with the arrival of a hefty bill. Like perhaps everyone, I run from the taxman, briefly taking refuge in a suspiciously deserted magician's shop.
Looking around, I find evidence that the absent Hegmar was a very fast writer, having had time to jot down eighteen words between the moment his presumed abductors burst through the door and the time they dragged him away from his desk, rather carelessly leaving behind what he was writing, where any Karnstein-hired adventurer might find it. I take the risk of checking out the Orb, and succeed in adding it to my inventory rather than having to deduct my mental faculties.
Then the chase is on, and I seek sanctuary in the Temple of Geomancers. The riddle on the gate is obviously about an eclipse, but the application is less clear. Will turning the sun handle to cover the relevant plaque work? No, but it does lead to an encounter with the Geomancers and a do-or-die riddle. Maybe having watched that plodding Matt Modine film about separated twins will turn out to be of help, as it taught me the difference between a solstice and an equinox... and I pick the right answer and get to keep my head. So that's how you get the brooch I've seen mentioned during previous attempts.
Back on the road again, and I Donna it, reaching the city gate, which wasn't what I'd hoped for. Still, a well-timed dash enables me to elude the guards waiting for me, so I make my escape and leave old Quinsberry feeling blue.
Meeting up with the man who begged for my help, I accompany him and his friends to a Hungarian-sounding spot, at which point we encounter the eponymous Warriors, and they're certainly not Old Man Jenkins in a rubber mask. Time to beat a strategic retreat. Alas, one is too fast for me, and is sufficiently adept at martial arts that this meddling adventurer won't keep him and his fellows from getting away with it.
Post by deadshadowrunner on Dec 8, 2015 3:58:18 GMT
For my taste,there is something wrong with someone I could name.
1 You are in a dark corridor. You can go forwards (go to 2) or backwards (go to 3). 2 You walk forwards. After a while, you pause. Go to 1. 3 You turn around and walk forwards. After a while, you rest. When you finish resting, go to 1. 400 Eh? How did you get to this section? No matter, for the Deadshadowrunner has found you. The last things you see are a pair of sly eyes and a grinning mouth with sharp teeth floating in the darkness.
Wasn't Voivod an evil entity that possessed an innocent man? How is that like a switch?
No. I do not like Voivod. Materialisticaly speaking is not a case of possession. It's different. Possession is when a demon takes possession of Kieran's body or Vagsancho's body and acts through him. In Voivod, his primary form was not the form of the man but his own form. I do not like the switch between good and evil. It's tasteless.
i just read LotSW again and i was pleasantly surprised that i discovered something new even though i thought i'd examined the book to bits already. i don't recall it being mentioned but it's a minuscule detail i never noticed before: just before you bump into Quinsberry Woad (some reference to a Queensbury Road maybe?) an annoying shyster tries to sell you a mongoose paperweight but you tell him where to shove it. later on in the adventure, you may be captured by Doktor Kauderwelsch. if you get free, one of the items you can grab on your exit happens to be a mongoose paperweight. i know it's nothing major but i just love this bit of detail and the fact that the conman does okay selling paperweights. i may have to reread it again just to see if i missed anything else.