Destiny Quest: Legion of Shadow Rothdas book review RSS
1.0 Stars

Based off the title, and the cover art of a cloaked figure with a ball of magic power in one hand and a blinged-out trident in the other, I can tell that this will be fine literature. This is an evolved form of the choose-your-own-adventure book, and vastly expands the mechanics and combat portion of the book so that it is more like the written version of the rules for an Action RPG (e.g. Diablo). Below, I will chronicle my adventures as I defeat this book.

1: Looking through the rules, all characters have attributes which govern combat. Brawn/Magic + 1D6 deals damage if you win a combat round. Armor subtracts from damage taken. Interestingly, your Speed + 2D6 is used to decide who gets to deal damage in a combat round. If you lose the Speed roll, then you don't deal any direct damage that round. There are also 15 pages of different abilities which can modify the above.

2: I murdered a goblin, a hobgoblin, and a werewolf in the first quest, which is a variant of the Little Red Riding Hood tale. After looting the bodies, my speed is now 2. Fear me! So far there are three problems. One is that the combat is like if you had to roll multiple D6 for every attack that occurs in Diablo. Two is that after years of dice thievery by my gaming group, I now own only a single D6. :( Three is that the book does not have enough state, so that after beating one node, I can then "return" to characters I haven't even met yet on the path I took to get to that node. I feel like a Twine version of this book would work a lot better, where the author's could more easily keep track of state and modify just parts of the story according to that state.

3: I did the second quest line, and none of the loot was better than what I had collected in the first quest line. Fah! I'm quitting the adventure. There are not enough interesting decisions per unit of busy work, and contrary to my expectations the writing is absolutely terrible. More generally, I think that by taking a forgiving approach to the game where the monsters are easy, and you regain your health after each combat, and you can just start a quest over if you lose, the author's are shooting themselves in the foot. A lot of the appeal of CYO adventures is the constant possibility of instant, arbitrary death. Take that away and what is left?