I recently picked up some of Ian Livingstone's First Fantasy gamebooks from eBay. These were intended as introductory gamebooks for younger readers, but I thought they might make for good stories to read to my daughter(s) - my three and a half year old is into Star Wars, the Princess Bride, the Neverending Story, and playing with the Heroquest miniatures, so...
And we had a bit of fun, skirting a two-headed giant, investigating a race involving immensly fat people (complete with belly wheels), but then the book insisted that the only way to proceed was to return to the previous junction and go south. My daughter had already rejected this option.
'But I don't want to go south,' she said. 'I told you I didn't want to go south!'
'But that's the only way the book will let us go...' I said.
She shut the book and climbed down from my lap.
Actually, in the wake of receiving my Kickstarter copy of the new edition of Blacksand, I also plumped for copies of the Heroes Companion and the Crown of Kings. These three books have got me excited about Titan again - and you might have seen that Titan is close to my heart. I'll probably do some kind of review of the books at some point, perhaps comparing them to their counterparts in the original FF/AFF range. But for now I'll say that while The Crown of Kings is a pretty nifty conversion of the Sorcery! gamebooks, it will need to be a bit of tweeking if you are to accomodate 'willful' players unwilling to accept 'gamebookey' constraints on their action, be they three and a half or thirty five. I don't blame the admirable Graham Bottley, reviver of Advanced Fighting Fantasy, for the presence of these gamebook 'relics' - he was probably correct to err on the side of caution, ensuring the preservation of the character of Sorcery! series. But with a few changes here and there, when my gaming group finally reconvenes (Hand, Foot and Mouth has cancelled this evening's session), we might find ourselves brawling with Red-Eyes in Khare, Cityport of Traps!