Reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a solo adventure.

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Brimgeth
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Reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a solo adventure.

Post by Brimgeth » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:45 am

With a lack of players at the present, I decided to run a solo adventure for Advanced Fighting Fantasy and what better than to start off with The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. In the spirit of some of the "Wherein I read/play"forum posts from http://www.rpg.net, I thought I would post the adventure as it plays out on the forum here.

I have to mention that it has been some time since I read this one, and to my memory I don’t think I successfully completed it. In fact I’ve forgotten some of the actual details of the book so this is going to be almost a new experience. For the most part, I will be using the actual book text, and substituting parts where I think the AFF rules would work best.

As combat is going to be a big part of the game, I created a human warrior and named him Talen, once of city of Chalice. Talen has travelled across the city states of western Allansia hiring himself out as a caravan guard and mercenary soldier. After all the point allocations and skill selections, my character looks like this:

Talen of Chalice, human mercenary warrior
SKILL: 7/7 STAMINA: 16/16 LUCK: 10/10
Social Scale: 0
Trait: Strongarm
Special Skills: Swords 2, Bows 2, Armour 2, Ride 2, Sneaking 1, World Lore 2, City Lore (Chalice) 2, Religion Lore 1, Forest Lore 1
Languages: Common 4, Orc 1
Equipment: sword, leather cuirass, backpack, flint and tinder, lantern and oil flask, 5 Provisions
Treasure: 2 GPs, Potion of Stamina

I used some gold (had rolled for a total of 6 GP) to buy extra Provisions (preserved food/day from the prices available at 4 GP. I estimated one day would have three meals, therefore allowing 3 Provisions), giving me a total of 5 Provisions; a little expensive but I would take “iron rations” on a dungeon foray over normal food any day.

Interestingly, my copy of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain mentions that the potion you select has two measures. I must have missed this, because I remember using the potion once then erasing it on the Adventure Sheet. Given that my character is starting with less provisions and in AFF the STAMINA recovery rate for eating is less than that mentioned in the gamebook, I’m going to allow Talen to have two measures on his potion to balance this out.

I have also decided that rather than choosing the option given in the text, I’m going to make a roll for it. I will assign resolution numbers to each option and roll 1 die; which ever number pops up will correspond to the option selected. This will add an element randomness, and will allow me to play Talen as if I had never read the book before, and don’t know what lies beyond. For any other situations not covered by AFF rules, I will come up with something when necessary.

So armed with two dice, a pencil, an eraser and some graph paper, Talen is set to face The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
Last edited by Brimgeth on Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

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Re: Reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a solo advent

Post by d6&d6 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:09 am

Good luck with your reading ;)

The last time I've read it, I succeeded on the second try.

I'm also about to make this adventure to my gaming group soon!
Tentez votre chance...

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Post by Brimgeth » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:24 pm

Rumours and the entrance to the Warlock’s domain

As part of Talen’s creation I have already decided that he has spent some time in the village indicated in the Rumours section of the book already, spending money to equip himself and talk with the villagers about Firetop Mountain. Each villager he spoke with had a different story: the Warlock was a young man; he was old; his magic derives from black gloves he wears always; a deck of cards act as a focus for many of the Warlock’s spells; there was a ferryman on a subterranean river that required a toll to cross; the Warlock has goblins and other foul things that serve as guards and obstacles to trespassers. Each story told contradicted the other, but all agreed that the Warlock had a vast wealth locked away within the depths of the mountain.

When Talen eventually left the village, some wished him luck calling on Sindla and Fulkra to give their blessings to the adventurer. Other villages cursed him for a fool and a few wept tears for him, as if they knew that the warrior would never be seen again. For two days Talen travelled on foot, his journey uninterrupted until at last in the noon day light he reached Firetop Mountain.

Intending to rest for a moment, Talen unsheathed his sword and laid it on the ground close at hand. He removed his pack and sat near a cluster of mossy rocks. He considered what lay before him, gazing up at the jagged rock outcrops and the peak of the mountain where he could just see the eerie red colouring that gave the mountain its name. He briefly wondered if it was some sort of plant growth that was coloured so before looking at the cave in front of him. Recounting the stories told to him, Talen stood and picked up his belongings before approaching the darkened opening.

Stepping within the air felt cold and dank. Talen could see and hear moisture trickling from the rock walls, pooling on the ground. Deeper within the cave it was too dark see further so the warrior lit his lantern and proceeded down the passage way, brushing cobwebs aside and listening as vermin scurried away out of sight.

After a few yards, Talen reached a junction with pathways leading east and west. The adventurer stopped and debated which course to follow.

(I assigned odd numbers to the West path and even numbers to the East path. I rolled 1 die, and got a six so East it was.)

Figuring that one way was as good as the other, Talen headed down the east passage way.
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

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Post by Brimgeth » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:52 am

The first trap

At the end of the passage was a wooden door. A cursory glance at it revealed that the timbers were in good condition with no sign of worm rot and the iron hinges appeared to be without any corrosion. Talen tried to open the door, grasping the handle and giving the door a slight push.

“Locked.” The adventurer murmured. He put an ear to the door, trying to listen if anybody or anything was on the other side of it; no sound could be heard. Talen wondered what was beyond the door; treasure perhaps? Fortune must be smiling on him if he found some loot so early in his quest. He considered if he should take a chance and try to charge the door in or go back down to the west passageway.

(I assigned odd numbers to break the door down, and even numbers to turn back. I rolled 1 die again, gaining a three.)

Talen decided to try to force the door open. He put down his lantern then backed up a little way. When he judged he was far enough the warrior sprang forward, running at the door. He lined his shoulder to it and slammed into the door with terrific force.

(Talen doesn’t have the Strength Special Skill so I rolled a Skill Test using my SKILL of 7. Fortunately I rolled exactly 7 so the door opened. I also deducted 1 point of STAMINA as per the AFF rules for breaking doors down.)

The door burst inward with a cracking of timber and Talen rushed into a small room. His momentum propelled him through and being unable to slow or stop himself, he tumbled down into a shallow pit in the chamber’s floor and sprawled out there on the bottom. Cursing Talen picked himself up and checked for injuries. Fortunately the pit was shallow, being some two metres deep, and he found that he had only suffered some bruising and a few scrapes. The adventurer climbed out of the pit and left the pit trap behind, dusting himself off. He collected his lantern then went back to the junction to try the west corridor.

(Talen’s characteristics now are SKILL: 7/7 STAMINA: 16/14 LUCK: 10/10. Talen has now lost 2 points of STAMINA due to charging the door and for falling into the pit. I also decided not to make a Test for Luck with the pit, deciding that the fall was inconsequential in damage, and Talen couldn’t avoid the pit because of his speed entering the room.)
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

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Post by Brimgeth » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:14 am

The Sleeping Sentry

Down the west passage Talen travelled, past the junction leading to the cave entrance. Not far ahead the warrior saw that the path turned right and as he approached he could hear a rumbling sound as if someone was snoring in their sleep.

Cautiously Talen peered around the corner and saw in a small alcove a twisted looking creature, not human, asleep. The creature, who was obviously a sentry, was dressed in crude armour patchworked of leather and hides. A curved sword hung in a scabbard from its waist and a spear was propped against the wall. A lit torch above the sentry shone down on the scene and by its clawed feet, Talen could see a wrapped clay bottle and a battered tin cup lying on the ground, with dark liquid spilling out. The warrior guessed that the guard had passed the time on his watch drinking until it fell asleep at its post.

The adventurer thought that it might be easier for him to sneak past the creature as it slept rather than kill it; in this way he could pass unnoticed by the Warlock’s guards and servants. If he killed the guard, there was a chance that it would wake long enough to cry a warning. As quietly as he could Talen tried to sneak past the snoring humanoid.

(Rather than make a Test for Luck, I decided to use Talen’s Sneak special skill to get past. With the torch and his lantern I figured that the light wasn’t dim enough to apply a bonus modifier to the skill test. I did apply a +1 bonus due to the guard’s drunken slumber. With Talen’s Skill score of 7, his Sneak special skill of 1 and the bonus, his modified Skill for this was 9. Unfortunately I rolled a 10.)

As Talen crept past, his boot crunched down on some loose rubble on the ground. Disturbed, the sleeping guard began to stir, grumbling in its half wakened sleep.

(I now decided to make a Test for Luck to see if the guard would come awake as the paragraph stated. This time I rolled a 4 against Talen’s Luck score of 10, a success.)

Talen froze as the guard stirred. He held his breath and gripped the hilt of his sword as the creature shifted into a more comfortable position and resumed its snoring. Breathing a sigh of relief Talen sneaked on past the guard and went on his way past down the tunnel.

(Talen’s characteristics now are SKILL: 7/7 STAMINA: 16/14 LUCK: 10/9. A shame it turned out the way it did; I really wanted to fight that guard.)
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

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Post by Brimgeth » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:44 am

A Key Found

A little ways down, Talen spied a closed wooden door in the west wall. He stopped in front of it, again seeing that the door was in good condition. Remembering the first door he entered in this dungeon, Talen listened for any occupant within on the other side. Faintly through it, Talen could hear the rhythmic growl of someone snoring.

‘This must be a guardroom,’ Talen thought. ‘Would it best if I went on past?’

(I assigned odd numbers to the option of opening the door and even numbers to continue on north. I rolled a 2 on one die so Talen continued north.)

The adventurer decided on continuing up the tunnel north rather than chancing on waking whoever was in that room. No sooner than he moved away, Talen saw that there was another door in the west wall. He listened as he approached but couldn’t hear anything inside. Briefly he wondered if this was the room of the sentry he had passed earlier.

(I repeated my die roll procedure from before, and rolled a 5 this time, so I was going to open this door.)

Opening the door Talen spied a dingy room lit by a low burning candle on a makeshift wooden table. The room smelled rank with dirt and sweat, the floor and walls were dirty and the furniture consisted of a rough made table, some stools and low pallet bed with straw bedding. Under the table Talen saw a small box made of wood. Talen went over to it and picked it up. The box felt light but he could hear something inside it as he gave it a gentle shake.

(This time I applied odd numbers to opening the box, and even numbers to leaving it and leaving the room. I rolled a 3 on one die.)

Talen prised open the lid of the box before he tried to throw the box from him as the head of a small green snake darted out trying to bite his wrist.

(Because I think Talen would have tried to get the box away from him before the snake bites, I considered two options; A Test against Talen’s Skill score to throw the box modified by -2 due to the speed of the snake’s movement, or a Test for Luck to avoid a potentially venomous bite. I decided to Test for Luck and rolled a 7, avoiding the snake bite.)

The snake bit at the thick leather bracer that Talen wore on his right wrist and luckily its fangs were unable to puncture the armour piece. Talen dropped then kicked the box away from him, and drew his sword as he could see that the snake was coiling itself to prepare to strike again.

(My first combat in the book! I modified some of the the snake’s particulars to AFF rules, so the stats for the snake appeared as thus:
SNAKE SKILL 5 STAMINA 2
No armour
Damage Roll -1 2 3 4 5 6
Small bite 2 2 3 3 3 4
Snake is poisonous, same potency as spider venom on AFF pg 53

Combat began with the Snake having an Attack Strength of 10; Talen rolled an Attack Strength of 13 making him the victor. I rolled a 4 on my damage roll, allowing for 3 points damage plus 1 point for his Strongarm trait, given a total damage of 4 STAMINA points. With no armour the snake was well and truly dead.)

As the snake struck, Talen brought the blade of his sword down and across in a cutting arc. The keen edge caught the snake in its midsection and sliced it in half. The two parts of the snake coiled and writhed as blood and viscera leaked out of its terrible wounds. With revulsion the adventurer used his sword to flick the pieces of the serpent away from him.

Cleaning his blade, Talen looked again at the box; it was an ordinary box that one of the guards used as a home for its pet snake, but he saw that something had fallen out of the box when he dropped it. A dull bronze key lay on the ground. Talen picked it up, examining it. It seemed perfectly ordinary except for the number 99 engraved on it. He put the key away in small pouch on his belt then left the room.
(On his Hero Record I noted that he found a bronze key and gained 1 Luck point.)
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

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Continue writing in this fashion?

Post by Brimgeth » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:51 am

I just wanted to ask whether I should continue writing this in the descriptive fashion I have been using? While I personally don't mind it, it does seem that I am bogging down in the book because I am trying to transcribe the events as I go, which is taking twice as long to read the book itself.
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

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Re: Reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a solo advent

Post by Bronn » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:33 pm

Go with what works best for you! I'll continue enjoying it regardless.

I also remember someone working on a full AFF treatment of Firetop a while back. Would love to see that!

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Re: Reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a solo advent

Post by torus » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:03 am

Seconded - it's great to read but also interesting just to see how you handle the encounters AFF style, and how they go. My suspicion is that the book will be tougher with AFF rules..

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Re: Reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a solo advent

Post by darksoul » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:55 am

I find this interesting. I'm curious to see how it turns out. Yeah, I imagine it'll take longer to write what occurs.

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Re: Reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a solo advent

Post by Brimgeth » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:43 pm

The difficulty in this sort of conversion is that by itself the gamebooks offer only a limited amount of options, but I think I've got a good balance of using a bit of creativity while still remaining within the parameters of the book.

In any case here's the next update.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Treasure found at last

Continuing up the passage north, Talen could see another door in the west wall in the light of his lantern. As he approached it he could hear rough voices raised in dreadful tune being sung in the Orcish tongue. The words sounded slurred and garbled to Talen, even though he knew a smattering of words in Orc speech the song was indecipherable.

(I assigned odd numbers to the option of opening the door, and even numbers to leaving it. I rolled a 4 on one die, so Talen passes by)

Deciding to leave the revellers to their drinking, Talen walked on not quite believing his luck so far at avoiding the Warlock’s Orc guards. The sounds of the singers faded as the warrior continued north until he could see that his path reached another junction, branching to the east and west.

(Odd numbers were assigned to the option of going west and even numbers to the east path. I rolled a 3 on one die.)

The adventurer shone his lantern down each passage way considering which way to go. The passage east darkened further, and when he faced west Talen could just see that it ended at another closed door. Walking towards this door, Talen heard voices once again, only this time one voice seemed to be raised in anger. Then there was a hissing sound that ended with a crack followed by a shriek of pain. Touching the handle, Talen found that the door would open easily.

(Again, I assigned odd numbers to the choice of opening the door, and even numbers to going back and down the east route. I rolled a 3 once more.)

Talen readied his sword just in case and kicked open the door. In the doorway he saw it opened to a large room with sturdy furniture that suggested someone with rank used this room. He espied close to a large desk was a chest and in the farthest corner from him a man sized creature wielding a whip as it stood over a smaller being who cowered before it, welts on its back caused by the whip previously oozing dark green blood. At the sound of the door opening both creatures turned to view Talen in surprise at his intrusion.

(Three options this time according to the paragraph so I assigned the numbers differently this time. I allocated a 1 or 2 to attacking both Orcs, a 3 or 4 to attacking the Orc chief and hoping that the servant assists, and 5 or 6 to leaving the room. I rolled a 2 so Talen attacked both Orcs.)

Taking advantage of the Orcs’ surprise, Talen advanced into the room with his sword raised. If he let just one Orc live there was a chance that it would raise the alarm and Talen could not let that happen. The larger Orc chief sneered at the human warrior and drew its curved blade from its scabbard with his left hand while holding the whip out to the side with the other. The chief wore better armour than Talen had seen other Orcs wear; a cuirass of darkened leather that was riveted with brass rings. The smaller Orc, obviously a servant however wore only rags and clutched a small dagger looking at Talen with fear. Talen reasoned that greater threat was the Orc chief so he moved in to attack it.

(Combat once again. The book declares that you fight the Orcs one at a time, but I decided to use the rules for having multiple opponents in the AFF book. I also adjusted the stats for both enemies as well:

ORC CHIEFTAIN SKILL 7 STAMINA 6

Dice Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7+
Monster medium armour 0 0 1 1 2 2 3
Sword 2 3 3 3 3 4 5
Whip 1 1 1 2 2 2 3
(Counted as an improvised weapon. I determined that the chief would use his whip every second round it fought)

ORC SERVANT SKILL 5 STAMINA 3
No armour
Dice Roll 1 2 3 4 5 6 7+
Dagger 1 1 2 2 2 2 3

The first round of combat began with the Orc chief rolling for a total Attack Strength of 14, and Talen rolling an Attack Strength of 18. He rolled a 2 for the damage roll, giving a damage of 3 points; adding the damage bonus for his Strongarm trait resulted in a total damage of 4 points. The Orc rolled for the armour deduction, rolling a 1 resulting in no reduced damage. The chief is now down to 2 STAMINA POINTS.

The Orc servant then attacked, rolling an Attack Strength of 11. Talen rolls for an Attack Strength of 19. As a result he successfully defends against the servant’s dagger thrust.

In the second round, the chief rolls the dice and gains an Attack Strength of 11. Talen again rolls for an Attack Strength of 19. He rolls a 5 for his damage roll, getting 3 points damage then adds his damage bonus for 4 points. The chief rolled a 3 for the armour reduction, gaining a roll of 3. The Orc’s STAMINA is reduced to zero, and it falls.

The servant then rolls dice and gets an Attack Strength of 9. Talen rolls for an Attack Strength of 15, successfully defending himself.

The last combat round left Talen against the servant Orc. The Orc rolls the dice and gets an Attack Strength of 12. Talen rolls and again gets an Attack Strength of 15. He rolls for damage and gets a 6; 4 points of damage, add the Strongarm trait bonus, giving a total of 5 points of damage. With no armour to protect itself, the Orc servant is cut down.)

The chieftain thrust forward its sword at Talen, who easily batted it aside with his own blade. Recovering before the Orc, Talen then scored a deep wound along the chieftain’s sword arm and the creature’s weapon dropped from nerveless fingers. As Talen stepped back, he detected motion from the corner of his eye and avoided being wounded by the smaller servant who had stabbed out at the warrior’s legs with a small dagger. Talen kicked out at the smaller Orc and sent it sprawling from him.

The wounded chieftain then lashed out with his whip, now it’s only weapon, sending the cord snaking towards Talen. The warrior had anticipated this however and reached out to snag the whip on his other arm before cutting through it with his sword. He then drove his sword forward with a powerful thrust at the larger Orc, puncturing through the Orc’s armour and killing the creature.

By this time the servant had recovered and sought to sink its dagger into Talen from behind while the warrior was engaged with its larger master. Luckily its attack was a weak one and the dagger’s edge was turned aside by the hardened leather back piece of Talen’s armour. The warrior pulled his sword from the chieftain’s corpse and turned to meet the servant whirling his blade so that it chopped into the unprotected side of the smaller Orc. With a groan it slumped to the ground and died.

Breathing deeply from the exertion, Talen stood ready and listened out in case anything had heard the fight and came to investigate. After a short while with no sounds of alarm being raised, Talen wiped off the blade of his sword and sheathed it. A quick search around revealed nothing of value in the room and on the bodies of the two Orcs, except for a key found on the Orc Chieftain, so he then considered the chest. It was a plain wooden box with a big iron lock attached.

(Again I jumped from the text of the book here a little. I figured that the Orc Chieftain would have a key to open this chest. The book gives the option of breaking the lock or leaving it alone and if you break open the lock, you get hit by a small dart trap.

I determined the following course for Talen; I assigned odd numbers to opening the chest (rather than breaking the lock Talen uses a key he finds on the Orc chieftain to unlock it) and even numbers to leave the room. I rolled a 1, so Talen opens the chest. Regarding the dart trap I figured Talen didn’t think to check if there was a trap (not that he would have the skill to disarm one!) so copped a dart piercing him. Luckily I rolled 1 on a die so he only lost 1 STAMINA point.)

Talen put the key he had found on the Orc in the lock and turned it. He heard the lock click and saw too late that a small dart sprung out of a hidden space in the chest and struck him. Fortunately the dart did not penetrate deep and on removing it, he noticed on the metal point a black substance flaking off; with relief Talen guessed that whatever poison this dart had been coated with had long since lost its potency. He cast the dart aside and opened the lid of the chest.

Inside the chest he saw a number of items; a leather bag laced up, a small bottle and a black silken glove. Talen picked up the bag and heard the clinking sound of coins within. Opening it he counted out 25 gold coins stamped with the heraldry of Salamonis. Putting the coins back in the bad he then tied the pouch of gold to his belt. He looked over the black glove and could see nothing unusual about it so he put that in his pack hoping it would come in use later. He then picked up the small bottle and examined it. It was made of smoky glass and was sealed with wax. The was a small label on the bottle that pronounced it as a potion that made whoever drank it invisible for a short time. Talen also put this in his pack.

Pleased to have found some treasure the warrior left the room, closing the door behind him and headed off down the opposite corridor.
"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

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