It's been awhile since I been here, can't remember now. I'd have to play it again.
But I always enjoy your gamebooks. I'm one of those people who writes a gamebook then two months later can't recall what's it about. I'd be the worse person to ask for help someone if regarding my own gamebooks they're stuck on.
It's been awhile since I been here, can't remember now. I'd have to play it again.
But I always enjoy your gamebooks. I'm one of those people who writes a gamebook then two months later can't recall what's it about. I'd be the worst person to ask for help someone if regarding my own gamebooks they're stuck on.
No problem (and thanks again).
If it helps jog your memory, you might have picked up an outsize 'slingshot', encountered Eric, met a wizard in a clearing with a lot of insects and/or met a giant. Some of that would have made sense at the time.
As you died at 74, it's most likely (but not certain) that you were on the Smilemister/herb mission.
If you do play it again, I'm particularly interested in how people get on on the Shadechukker/amulets mission: how they attempt to get the amulets and how it finishes for them – how they win or get close. Most of the stuff I was most happy with went into those bits.
I know you don't play with dice but I'd be interested in how you use the spells you picked.
I'm intending to write walkthroughs for the missions on here, (plus a couple of comments on other things) but I don't want to do that before I know a decent number of people have tried them. Nobody needs to see a walkthrough before they've won at least once or lost several times.
(I'm committing myself to doing several things at once on here: there's a section to write for the AleFF, which Kieran has now put in for as well, I've an idea for next mini, which is likely to be quite silly and of course I'm still intending to get back to doing a YouTube version of Hovel.)
Hello everyone. This is my mini review for my playthrough of Greg Neill’s mini homage to Scorpion Swamp, a small gamebook from the guy most of you should know as the almighty Mudworm (since I’m posting this review in his thread that should be obvious, but, well… I need an intro). He asked me three years ago if I was interested in playing this particular adventure, and since I felt pity for the guy, I accepted.
A lame attempt at humour, very sorry. Actually, it’s more the other way around; while he did ask me if I could play his game, he was the one that felt pity for me since I kept complaining about my lack of time and so he offered me a PDF version of his story, so that I could have the pleasure of playing this at home, comfortably sitting on the porcelain throne (yes… that’s where I read most of my books… I’ll leave out the details). Let me tell you though, while I’m a collector and never say no to owning the real deal, there is nothing like carrying a bunch of floppy papers around (I believe… US letter size? 21.59cm x 27.94cm) to realize that there is a reason pocket books are small… It is a bit cumbersome to manipulate, to say the least, especially in such a cramped environment… Well, I’m sure you can picture it, so let’s get on with the review.
But first, a fair warning: if you are interested in playing Murderous Mire, you should do so now because I will do spoilers. Of course, I’ll try to avoid as much of them as I can, but you’ve been warned.
All right, so I’ve already mentioned above that Murderous Mire is an homage, a parody/satire of Scorpion Swamp – not sure of the exact term – and for all of Greg’s very well-known humour (just pick a random topic on this board to sample his style – he’s everywhere), this particular product of his, Murderous Mire (abbreviated to MM from now on, ok?), lacks one essential thing to make it true comedy gold: men in tights.
For all it’s fault, Scorpion Swamp was full of men in tights, which is infinitely funnier than anything else in the world, except, perhaps, hyperbole. So, for a funny take on the matter, I am deeply disappointed that there are no men in tights to be found anywhere in MM. Well, there could be, as I haven’t done every little thing in it, but if there are, they are well hidden and, well, it’s a short gamebook.
So, just like in Scorpion Swamp, you are an adventurer that came to possess a ring that could, potentially, help you navigate the Murderous Mire, a place that, according to local legend, only idiots visit. It will also allow you, possibly, to tell if a person you meet is evil or good (but not if they are idiots, but who cares? If they are wandering the MM, then that’s a given). Of course, there’s only 3 charges left inside the ring, and no ring recharging station in sight. Hell, for all I know, there was only 4 charges to it initially, and not 335 000 (said a certain Henry Delacour), which makes it not such a bad deal.
So, you have access to a ring, and soon after, magic, and the way that Greg makes it work is that whenever you think you need to use said ring or magic, you can turn to a section that will then lead you to another section if you were right. You’re following this? This system is surprisingly harder to explain than to use, funnily enough, which might account as to why I was a bit confused at first and thought that Greg worded somehow poorly this concept in his rules section. Or it might just be me and my French heritage. I am thus obligated to give him the benefit of doubt. In any case, there’s a few simple rules to follow regarding this ring/magic situation, but basically it amounts to: don’t wait to be ask if you want to use magic, cause it’s going to be too late if you do so. Well, look at that! Seems you’ll have to use your brain a little in this adventure, after all. It’s not all fun and games, boys and girls! Or is it?
In the introduction Greg will encourage the player to avoid cheating – at least for us specific types that usually cheat when confronted by tough encounters – stating that this isn’t Crypt (you know which book I’m writing about!) and that you are not supposed to battle through a deranged gauntlet of SNK bosses. If you do, you’re doing it wrong.
Luckily for me I don’t need such an excuse to cheat! But still, I’m proud to say that I only cheated two times during this adventure, and both time it was kind of a ¨meta-ish¨ form of cheating, so I still kind of feel good about it. I’ll reveal what I did at the appropriate time.
For the rest of this review, I will try my hand at going through a walkthrough of my adventure and we’ll see how bad it goes.
So, as I usually do when I’m making a fresh character, I allocated dices for my stats (oops I guess that could be another type of cheating, oh well), but only partially. I allocated for my luck and my skill as I saw fit but took whatever the dices gave me for Stamina. I ended up with Skill 12, Stamina 20 and Luck 10 and feeling a tad overpowered – particularly in view of Greg’s previous introduction – but as you know, generally speaking, you’ll rarely feel overpowered in a Fighting Fantasy book, so I took that power. Less struggling through combat is less aggravation on my side.
Alright, so after the introduction my character enters the town of Scumtown-upon-Mire. There’s no false advertising here. And while this town might be full of scum right on the edge of a stinking mire, there’s nary a hypocrite here and that’s refreshing. So, feeling good about that fact I filled my lungs full of stinking air and adopted a brisk, light pace, as I wondered who would employ me and my talented ring.
Short story (too late), there was two options: Shadechukker and Smilemister. Thinking Greg was trying some basic reverse psychology I opted for the less threatening name of the two, Shadechukker, since all I had to go with here as far as clue was my gut feeling. I mean, personally, someone named Smilemister sounds really ominous and creepy, like Pennywise the clown, or something – at the very least – that’s too good to be true.
Meanwhile, Shadechukker is most likely just a sad dude stuck with an awful birthname, forced into regular AC meetings with his childhood friend, Poomchukker (there’s a third one, Poonchukker, but he’s still stuck this side of Hamburger Hill). After all, Poomchukker was just a good old neutral boy, back in the SS days.
But woe be me. Because I went and picked Poomchukker’s evil cousin. Really, it was all in the way he chuckled and kept saying “excellent” and oh, also that bit about the backstabbing contract he made me signed with the fresh cut finger of a crying baby lying nearby, on his deceptive carpet. But since, you know, I was planning to enter the Murderous Mire, it must have meant that I was a true born moron, the genuine article, so I couldn’t, well, you know, just back the f**k off and meet with that sunshine lollypop Smilemister.
So on with my destiny. Shadechukker gave me spell gems that I could take with me, and so I picked Ice, Illusion, Kindness, Growth and Wither. I left some of the other gems for various reasons – like I thought the Fire gem wouldn’t work so well in an environment as wet as a freaking SWAMP, you know? – and stuff like the real evil one that came with an impossible to pay rise in premium to my health insurance.
In the Murderous Mire I went, so equipped, and for the few of you who are unfamiliar with the premise of SS, Shady Chuck here wanted me to do the same thing that Selator asked the wannabe hero in that gamebook: basically, steal the master’s magical shit. Which is an asshole thing to do, but is what you get when you pick an asshole as a sponsor. Oh yeah, for clarification, the Masters are supposedly magic non-idiots who choose to hide in the Mire to be free of solicitation from idiots, because I guess idiots die in the Mire before they can reach them?? I don’t know if it’s truly a good plan, I mean, maybe it helps thin out the crowd, but maybe they are just the biggest idiots of the bunch. But what do I know, eh?
At first, I didn’t feel like such an idiot as I easily bypassed dangers that would have confounded the would-be hero from SS. My first true encounter was the freaking Pool Beast from the cover of SS and so, properly freaking out, I thought I’d break out the spell arsenal and since the guy was wading in a pool (duh): Ice gem it was. I also thought that if I use all my spell gems too quickly I’ll be doomed, even if this is just a short adventure, but what are you going to do? Die?
Besting the beast wasn’t so hard and I was rewarded with the gem on its forehead and lots of gore (I guess). That gem could be whatever I wanted it to be (false advertising; it couldn’t turn into a beautiful woman or a cooler full of beers) and so with this little fact duly noted I pushed on.
Next step (disclaimer: I’m prone to forget, mix, skip or plainly invent stuff up, so just do yourself a favour and click the back button) was arriving at a clearing and meeting with the Mistress of Birds. I think that was her title, Greg probably used a funnier word, but I can’t tell anymore. I could go check but that would require work. I’m working enough as it is. Now, I was supposed to steal the magical amulets of the Masters and here was my first chance of doing just that.
And! That was the first time I fully realised I was playing for the wrong team. I mean, I knew right away – right after that meeting with NotSelator – but now I actively wondered how I could still succeed in my task – win the book and give the creep what he wanted – while avoiding cursing my soul for eternity at the same time.
But then I remembered that Shadator didn’t ask me to bring him all the amulets, just, at the very least (begging, please!) one tiny single one. So, I thought to myself, some flexibility is probably in order. Some karma gymnastic. That particular Master I was meeting seemed like one of the gentle one and I didn’t feel evil enough to just take her out for a piece of trinket, magical or not. Only a truly evil person would work for Shadychukk and for my part, I had been railroaded into working for him, with no options to back off (looking at you Greg, constructive criticism). No way I was going to kill the nice lady.
As a “reward” of sort, she gave me information, confirming I was working for the lowest of the low who would backstab me at the first opportunity and that most Masters were of the friendly kind that didn’t deserve to die (not sure I was strong enough to kill them even if I wanted to). She did reveal there was one Master she wasn’t too fond of, a dick of some kind, and this one she didn’t care much what happened to him. She then pointed me in the right direction. That’s how good she is, but hey, I’ll take it; I needed a way out of this mess I was in.
As a friendly gesture, she allowed me to borrow Eric the Penguin, a little dwarf of a bird, not too talkative, but willing to silently help me to kill whenever I wanted him to. A cold type, get it? With stats of Skill 5, Stamina 5, I didn’t really want him to help me. But still, along he came.
I tried to head mostly in what I thought was the direction of the bad Master. Greg made it so that his offering of choices as to directions were as misleading as possible, most likely to emulate the confusion one would experience wandering the Mire. I was heading mostly the right way; but I had not counted on meeting another Master before reaching my destination. Somehow, the way the Bird lady explained it, I thought that this other Master (the Master of Bugs, I’ll get to him soon) was kinda more… south-ish of where I was heading.
But before even getting there, I had to meet the dreaded Dull Beast. This is the location of my first cheating. First, there’s a special rule to that encounter. The Dull Beast is so dull, see, that every two rounds or so (I might remember wrong, but that’s the gist), your attack score drops because you forget to fight it. Which, as you can see, can make this a perilous encounter if not delt with rather quickly. Well, my first intention was to tell Greg that his Beast was so dull that after a round or two I just forgot the special rule, which would have been a good meta joke and some helpful bit of cheating. But then I thought having Erik fight with me could alleviate the pain, somehow. I was wrong.
See, I’ve got some peculiar dices. They’ll usually go high numbers, low numbers then high numbers again. Or the reverse. They’ll alternate quite reliably, somehow. Oh sure, they’ll have a few misses, but I went entire battles that lasted quite a few rounds and lost characters that way against a single enemy because I didn’t cheat just so I could see if my dices would ever break the pattern. They did not. If you are on the wrong side of that one-two step, you’ll be doomed. Of course, over time, I’ve developed a wrist technique to do a combo breaker on my own dices (now that’s science!), but still, it can quickly become very annoying when you are on the wrong side of this equation. Of course, if it’s your enemy that’s on the wrong side, then it’s sweet ride all the way.
So, when I went and throw a third party into the mix, Erik in this case, it disrupted the flow of the universe. Suddenly it could be bad role for Boring Beast, good for me, bad for Erik, good for monster, not so good for me (and good for Erik, I guess, but wtf is that going to change? With a skill of 5). Sigh. Seeing my mistake, I went and restarted the battle without the little dude. Just a rookie mistake.
Moving on. I reached the Master of Bugs. An interesting twist was that, contrary to his counterpart in SS, this one was rather friendly. I wasn’t going to get my amulet quota with him. And he too, like the Bird Lady, wasn’t too fond of a certain Master up north. So, we left each other without hard feelings and north I went, or aiming north as much as possible.
After passing a Giant with a fondness for slapping butts, I happened upon a clearing full of Scorpion Grass. A Wither spell later it was dead Scorpion Grass. With this out of the way I ended up against the Master I was looking for, the dreaded, terrible Master of Gardens (Mog).
Now, I knew from the others that Mog was evil, so I didn’t waste time talking to him. I went into attack mode, and with another Wither spell, using the special blank gem I had taken from the Pool Beast, I was able to avoid the worst (from what I could gather). Still, the battle promised to be hard; with a time-frame to respect against an opponent with pretty good skill, which meant I would need, without using luck, perfect rolls all around to win against him.
That’s where I cheated a second time. Kinda. Well, I decided on using luck all the way to allow me some room to breath. That’s not cheating. But, at one point, one of my die went wild on the floor and disappeared out of sight. I’ve got a house rule that whenever such a thing happens (just because I hate it), I reroll that particular die (because I don’t trust them, they’ll flip on me when I don’t look). This time the die that went and disappeared was seriously low, and, if kept, would have made the probability of me losing that fateful fight that much closer to reality. My subsequent replacement roll was pretty high. Anyhow, this could be considered cheating by some. But I don’t have time for this.
Let’s try to finish this now. Having just barely survived my encounter with the Master of Garden cocktails, and now in possession of his silver amulet, I decided it was high time to leave the Mire behind. I mean, I was so sure that I would die facing the Master, that I wrote Greg to inform him of my imminent demise, but that I was basically okay with it as I regretted my life choices. I was kinda looking forward starting over with Mister smileysmiles.
But, since I ended up winning, I thought: why not? Let’s push on toward Shadeshukker and see if I can make it out alive. I mean, clearly, he was the bad guy of the story, and no good could come out of me handing out amulets to that dude. So, what would be our mutual fate?
In truth, this review/playthrough is dragging on way too long, and it was never my goal to spoil every little thing, from beginning to end. Some people are not going to stop reading at the word spoiler and I’d hate to reveal all of Greg’s secrets.
Let’s just say that, as I tried to get back out safely, I ended up in some more mischief that was dealt with a healthy combination of whatever little magic I had left and some good old bashing till death do us part. I acquired some useless trinkets (useless for what I ended up doing, anyway) and faced-off against the hilarious Picnicker. I needed to mention that one, because it made me laugh a lot – a clever throwback to the thief in SS. Also, in the end Erik turned up useful and more brain than brawn was needed to achieve victory, so take that to the bank.
All in all, I was pretty satisfied, and one day I might even try to go work for Mistersmiles. Who knows?
Parting thoughts, little stuff: On my way back, facing off against the Giant, choices being offered were lacking and vague. How did I leave him? It seemed annoyed last time I saw him, but I would have venture overall happy, just the same, since touching my butt must have given him a little bit of joy. And not being offered to use magic? Seemed strange. So, I rectified this with some clever finger editing.
In any case, I think the magic and ring system could have been streamlined a little. It’s a complicated system, which must be a bitch for the author to keep track of. Also, this might just be a first world problem, but seems to me everything ring and magic related could have been regrouped in one place, allowing for less flipping back and forth through the pages. That might only be a paper-related problem though, as hyperlinks would make all of this trivial. It’s all nitpicking, really, (Nitpicker fights Picnicker, now that would be sweet) I gotta point out something! Greg cannot be allowed to be perfect.
And so, I’m glad I took the time to play this little number. It’s well done, clever, challenging enough and not too frustrating… Of course, you’ll get a better nostalgia blast out of it if you know anything at all about Scorpion Swamp, but it is not required to enjoy it. I’m less glad at how long I took to finally play it, though, and how gigantic this review has turned out, but I guess I do have a reputation… and I owed this to Greg, after all his patience. I just wished I was more of a technical guy, so that I could overload him with stats and whatnot. But I need to end this rambling. Good work Greg!
My goodness Hynreck, that was epic! Well done me lad! I have been pleased to write reviews of Greg's past work. I enjoy reading his stories as the effort that goes into them is clear, so the least i can do is share my thoughts. On this occasion though you have been so thorough that all I will say is that I loved Picnicker too. A short gamebook gives instant rewards to the reader and can still be complex and satisfying. Creature of Hangover and his Christmas themed short are still my favourites, but all of his creations are great reads.
Author and illustrator of The Demon Sorcerer gamebook.
Oh yeah, Shady ran away, and I chose outside as I thought I'd be more at an advantage if I kept him away from all his toys... I have no clue how hard it would have turned out inside, but I (obviously) did well outside. You can call me Dom no problem, I usually don't publicize personal info because of internet blah blah blah, but it's no big deal. I only know of a few names here on the forum because of the more active members that writes stuff left and right; yours because it was written on the pdf you forwarded me. (can't recall if I've seen your name prior to this...) So, I thought it would be weird of doing a review and presenting the stuff you've done under the almighty mudword avatar!
Oh yeah, Shady ran away, and I chose outside as I thought I'd be more at an advantage if I kept him away from all his toys... I have no clue how hard it would have turned out inside, but I (obviously) did well outside.
Yes if you have the Master of Gardens' amulet it's definitely a smarter choice to be outside. If you go to the study it doesn't make much difference which amulet(s) you have. I'm not sure which is tougher if you just go in swinging and hope for the best. If you go to the study it's best to make use of a Cunning Plan. But outside with that amulet is still better.
You can call me Dom no problem, I usually don't publicize personal info because of internet blah blah blah, but it's no big deal. I only know of a few names here on the forum because of the more active members that writes stuff left and right; yours because it was written on the pdf you forwarded me. (can't recall if I've seen your name prior to this...) So, I thought it would be weird of doing a review and presenting the stuff you've done under the almighty mudword avatar!
Yes fair point about the weirdness. I knew your full name because you mentioned it when you joined the forum. I should tell you that it appears along with many other forum members on Titannica. (Yours could be removed if you wanted.)
Anyway I'm particularly touched that you put aside your standard practice of cheating for the purpose of playing the adventure! Perhaps at some point I'll set a mini adventure in a hosiery department to say thanks.
It's good to have it confirmed that it's quite possible to win the Shadechukker mission with non-cheaty play without going mad. You obviously played it quite well.
Your main criticism about the look-up system is I'm certain true even though I can't immediately think of how to improve it. I haven't read gamebooks in the quantities that some on here have and so the magic system was based on the Charm of Disruption in Keep of the Lich Lord. I didn't realise how ambitious the expansion would be.
As you're still considering a mission for Smilemister I don't want to give away everything but info about Shady and the Masters seems OK:
It's deliberate that Shadechukker isn't spelt out as being the bad guy until after you've set off on the mission (although it becomes pretty guessable). Even if you try to use the ring you'll find it's blocked. I was keen to avoid the situation in SS where you pick someone obviously evil to serve and then get told off if you follow through with it. So in MM there's just a chance that you could set off thinking Shadechukker is neutral and be upstanding. On the other hand there's not much to say that you haven't gone in with your eyes open and won as an evil-doer who would quite happily have killed any of the masters for their amulets so long as they got paid. I left the Shadechukker winning paragraph slightly ambiguous – have you destroyed an evil regime or just taken it over? You have the power to have an easy life dealing fairly with the villagers – or an even easier one exploiting them ruthlessly. It's really up to you. (That said, the most statistically forgiving path to winning on the Shadechukker route is consistent with being a good guy.) Strictly speaking it's not true that there are no opportunities to change back to Smilemister. If you explain your confidence to Shadechukker with the "I'm well hard, me." option he makes you fight a giant rat, (a bit tougher than the stone goblin in SS) and you can switch to Smilemister after that. For that reason you can regain 2 STAMINA on meeting him.
Btw, aside from being variant on Poomchukker or a mash-up between him and Grimslade, 'Shadechukker' is sort of a play on 'throwing shade' which young people (you know, the post-Puffin generation) use to mean giving someone a filthy look. ______________ 'The Mistress of Birds' is the name of the character in SS. She's pictured in that with doves and hawks landing on her hands in a clichéed Francis of Assisi style. A match between magic and the poetry of flight. I can't resist undermining stuff like that, so it's the Mistress of Flightless Birds in MM. The idea that a sorceress could have special powers over birds – but limited to emus, kiwis and the occasional penguin was one of the ideas that made me want to write this in the first place. I'm quite capable of laughing out loud at my own jokes.
Good call on not killing her and taking her amulet.
In fact it isn't really possible to do that anyway – you can do at most one. If you attack her she doesn't hang around to fight (see para 107 – the closest to a finger-wagging para you'll see). The only way to kill her is with a Curse spell and that will result in a gruesome death for everyone in the clearing including you. The only way to get her amulet is to use an illusion spell and steal it, which works just fine, but it means that you can't get Eric who as you saw is very useful back chez Shadechukker.
As for the Giant,
After passing a Giant with a fondness for slapping butts, I happened upon a clearing full of Scorpion Grass.
On my way back, facing off against the Giant, choices being offered were lacking and vague. How did I leave him? It seemed annoyed last time I saw him, but I would have venture overall happy, just the same, since touching my butt must have given him a little bit of joy. And not being offered to use magic? Seemed strange. So, I rectified this with some clever finger editing.
OK... First of all, I think the relevant paragraph here was "As you dash past him, the giant aims a rather half-hearted kick at you to help you on your way. It still hurts like hell." ...so unless I've got the wrong bit, I think your reading of what he did to you is a little creative. Secondly, just because your butt fills people with joy in real life, that doesn't mean that ability transfers to the player.
So I think you should probably have ended up fighting the giant.
The giant is a bit more of a problem in MM than SS. I decided late on to make his clearing a bottleneck so if you visit the north of the mire the default is to encounter him twice. The first time it's easy to avoid taking significant damage, but if you leave him as angry as he is to start with you'll end up fighting him the second time round.
There are a few ways of improving his mood and even one way of only visiting him once. But if you don't sort things out the first time he attacks immediately when you return, so you're limited to aggressive spells.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Dec 24, 2018 18:04:20 GMT
Just skim re-read Dom's review. A couple of things: -I've started saying "...infinitely funnier than anything else in the world, except, perhaps, hyperbole." in casual conversation. -Henry Delacour... I don't know who this is, which makes me think I'm missing a reference. -I'm wondering if you read the Dull Beast fight as being harder than I meant it to be (I see now it's very easy to read it this way).
The instructions say you lose an AS point every other round. Say you have SKILL 10 and roll 8s over and over. I imagined hero being slightly distracted each round and then having an 'Oh right!' moment. So their Attack Strengths would go: 18, 17, 18, 17, 18... But I suppose the rule could be read cumulatively, as the hero slips into a coma of boredom: 18, 17, 17, 16, 16, 15... Bad for you; bad for the penguin.
At some point I want to post some walkthroughs and possibly other stuff on this thread – maybe even before the end of the year – but I've been caught up in AleFF stuff (currently in touch with Kieran about getting a couple more of the sections up).
But of course at the moment everyone is trying to get maximum points in Festivities (or playing Tammy's Grim Holiday 2 or Daredevil's Wight Christmas – I have downloaded that one but haven't played it yet).
-Visit Shadechukker -Your reasons are your own -Pick five spell gems: ICE, 2 x CURSE, KINDNESS, WITHER -Enter swamp and head North-West *Cast ICE on Pool Beast* Fight POOL BEAST SKILL 5 STAMINA 8 (Note: feel free to use LUCK a couple of times) + multicoloured spell gem -Head North by North-West -You are serving Shadechukker, tell the MISTRESS OF FLIGHTLESS BIRDS all about it Note that ERIC THE PENGUIN (Sk 5 St 5) is with you. -Return South by South-East -Return South-East If your STAMINA is 2 or 1 (unlikely!), use multicoloured gem as a HEALTH spell -Head North-East *Use ring to detect character of PICNICKER: he is evil* *Cast CURSE* - deduct 2 STAMINA points Recover 4 STAMINA points +silk slingshot -Head North by North-East *Cast KINDNESS* on the MASTER OF BUGS -Accept his help Restore 2 LUCK points -Ignore plant (on Eric's advice!) and head North Restore 1 STAMINA & 1 LUCK point -Cast CURSE on the MASTER OF GARDENS -Immediately cast WITHER +MoG amulet Restore 5 STAMINA points and 1 LUCK point -Head South-West Face the MACE TREES This is a significant fight (roughly overall Sk 9 St 17 overall but with breaks during which you could cast a spell) - it is almost certainly worth using the amulet and Testing your LUCK to cast either WITHER or GROWTH (doesn't matter which so long as you exit straight after the GROWTH spell, which is probably funnier). If you don't succeed, you could use the multicoloured spell gem instead if you still have it, but this is only worth doing if you think the fight will kill you. Probably worth fighting each tree unless you're seriously injured. If you're close to both victory and death, call Eric into battle (getting him killed is not good!) -Head South-East -Talk to the giant -You have a silk slingshot + lump of sugar, HEALTH gem and life-saver flint Restore 1 LUCK point -You are not still seeking items – head South by South-West -You've been here before; you didn't attack the MASTER OF BUGS -Head South by South-West -You have been here before; head South-West You are at the exit of the Mire - are your stats all at their initial levels? If so, you serve Shadechukker and wish to leave the mire. Skip down to *exit* If not... -Head North-West -You have been here before; head North by North-West -You have been here before; this is your first return and the amulet you hold is neither than of the MISTRESS OF FLIGHTLESS BIRDS nor that of the MASTER OF BUGS. -Pick up the egg Restore your stats to their initial levels -Head South by South-East -You have been here before; head South-East *Exit mire* to Shadechukker -You have an amulet -Attack him (or take the bag and then attack him) -(Hopefully) Eric is with you Fight CARNIVOROUS FISH with Eric's help If you win, and you've taken hits, restore your STAMINA with the giant's sugar and/or HEALTH gem -Chase Shadechukker into the copse -You have the MASTER OF GARDENS' amulet (and deflect the tree) Use the multicoloured gem to cast GROWTH if you have it, or Test your LUCK to use the amulet to cast GROWTH ––> win Failing those, you will have to fight SHADECHUKKER SKILL 9 STAMINA 16 with high stakes damage. (Don't forget the giant's life-saver flint which will save you one lost attack round.) -Take command of Shadechukker's dwelling and magic. Live like a sorcerer-king!
Thinking back through it, I'm not sure this couldn't be improved – it may well be better to
engage minimally with the Master of Bugs rather than be committed to using a Kindness spell as you could then take along another Growth or Wither spell, as there's no problem with visiting the giant's clearing twice if you can leave him happy.
But I do think this should give someone playing with 7/14/7 a much better than 50% chance of winning (maybe 90% at a guess), so I'm not too worried about it.
I'd be interested in the reactions of hynreck and anyone who's tried playing the Shadechukker mission to it, though bear in mind that many of the spoilers will also apply to the Smilemister mission so it would probably be better to try that out first.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Apr 15, 2019 2:21:08 GMT
I'd forgotten that I'd written up something about the logic of how Curse spells work in MM.
What's that you say? That I've answered a question not only that no one wanted answered, but that no one would have expected an answer existed for, even if they'd wanted it, which they didn't?
I think I must just have been a bit surprised that I'd actually finished the adventure and felt like waffling on about it. Perhaps I'll reuse the idea for something else.
Thinking about it, it might be quite fun to see how many Curse spells you can load up with – and use – on the Shadechukker mission and still win. (I think there may even be a way that you could use the full five and win, but only with loaded dice.)
In Scorpion Swamp, using a Curse spell resulted in the loss of a die roll of STAMINA points. This limited the number of occasions on which it was worth doing (in keeping with the slightly finger-waggy character of the book) even more than the book did with spells in general. Worse, it made it a bit tedious.
In Murderous Mire, the effects on you depend on whom you're casting the spell. The more evil they are the less severe the consequences for you – but this isn't pointed out anywhere, you have to infer it. (Of course if you do twig it, it potentially makes the ring rather more useful.)
This wasn't supposed to be just finger-wagging: I tried to imagine a sort of mechanism for how the spell might work and thought that maybe there's malevolent energy around people all the time (at least in the FF world) which isn't normally capable of having physical effects. Some of this is generated by a person eg when they do things others might resent and that's directed at causing harm to them alone (a bit like karma). Some of it is just general malevolence.
So my idea was that the Curse spell gives physical power to as much malevolent energy as is needed to destroy the person cursed. If they are surrounded by malevolence directed at them, that is given power first. After that, enough of the generalised malevolence is realised to make the spell effective – but that will attack anyone present equally.
So there are a couple of points in MM where the victim of the curse dies in spectacular fashion and the hero is a bit surprised not to have been taken with them. Whereas the curse on the Mistress of Flightless Birds kills her, you and all the birds in the clearing.
So the backlash from all the curse spells are:
-Most evil Shadechukker/Master of Gardens (both will kill for fun and profit) - none (but they may attempt to block the spell or take their own revenge) Picnicker (who steals but won't kill you unless necessary) - 2 STAMINA points Master of Bugs (honourable, but no kindness and fairly vicious if threatened) - 2 SKILL 5 STAMINA points Giant (generally good natured even though currently enraged) - 2 SKILL 8 STAMINA 2 LUCK points Mistress of FB (flawlessly good) - death! -Least evil