What exactly is a solo fantasy adventure gamebook?
Gamebooks are a form of interactive fiction – adventures where you decide how the story will progress at certain points within the developing narrative. As the story unfolds there will be opportunities to upgrade and equip your character, battles that must be resolved by rolling dice, and various other instances that may directly hinder, or ultimately help, your long journey.
Equal parts story and game, the Tales of Quahnarren series of gamebooks offer detailed adventures within an original fantasy world. This style of fantasy adventuring replicates much of the role-playing strategy and personal choice available in multi-player tabletop games – condensed into an easily accessible package for solo players.
How long is the adventure in Volume One?
The book is immense. Volume One features numerous routes to choose from with a wide range of detailed encounters and conflict situations, colourful characters to meet, and extensive areas to traverse and explore. Balquis, the major city within this book, is larger than Port Blacksand, the main location in the Fighting Fantasy adventure ‘City of Thieves’ – yet Balquis makes up less than half of the book’s content. You will find that there are many difficult decisions to make, tough battles to fight, and complex circumstances to consider as you make your way south – resulting in a book that will not be completed in just a few hours, unless you deliberately avoid all that makes a fantasy adventure exciting!
Also, note that Volume One covers the first three days of the full journey to Liust, which will be completed in Volume Two. Together, these two books will form one of the longest and most detailed gamebook adventures ever created and published.
What more can you tell me about the world of Quahnarren?
Quahnarren and its inhabitants share a rich history over a period of many hundreds of years. This first book takes place in the central to south-eastern area of the island nation, exploring only a fraction of the entire landmass. Articles, stories and further details about Quahneri life are available as additional bonus content within Volume One.
What difficulty level is the book set at?
The Tales of Quahnarren series has been created for readers that enjoy the sense of discovery and adventure available within a realistic fantasy world. There are a number of very tough enemy encounters to overcome (especially difficult for those who do not equip their character with enhanced gear) and some very tense situations to survive without suffering harm. However, health can be bought and found easily, and the overall journey isn’t overly punishing. The aim of these books is for every player to choose their own route and create an individual experience, without the frustration of the ‘one true path’ gamebook mechanic, or frequent ‘death paragraphs’ that halt the story, often without any indication that certain choices will lead to immediate doom.
This series features two game difficulties, known as ‘Ongoing’ and ‘Restart’. ‘Ongoing’ allows you to continue your adventure from the point of your demise with only a small financial penalty, and ‘Restart’ is the traditional gamebook difficulty system, whereby you must restart your adventure from the very beginning after succumbing to an untimely death.
Can I play as a female adventurer?
Yes, your character has no gender and is unnamed. It’s entirely your decision to play as either a male or female – as it should be in a gamebook adventure of this scope and design.
How violent is the combat, and the book overall?
Whilst there are several scenes involving brutal combat and the upsetting results of such barbaric activities, there is very little that would generally be described as overly violent or too shocking. However, I have set this series at a more mature level than what can be found in many other series, so some caution should be shown if you wish to avoid realistic fantasy violence.
Note that none of the books in this series will feature sex scenes, offensive language, racism or discrimination of any type. Also, no animals were harmed in the making of this adventure.
I really love my weapons – what do you have available to use?
It wouldn’t be a genuine fantasy adventure without a decent selection of weapons. The two volumes will feature one- and two-handed swords, axes, knives, maces, cudgels, clubs, daggers and more. Your personal route may see you locating a scythe or a bullet-shooting stone bow to use as ranged weapons, or become involved in battles where you have the opportunity to use a throwing knife as an early strike against your opponent. Of course, all this destructive weaponry is balanced by plenty of available armour: helmets, shields, gauntlets, vambraces and demi-greaves.
Tell me about the additional RARE items?
The RARE items are exactly that – valuable items and equipment that will distinguish a character and provide great benefits to those who carry them. Note that the RARE items for Volume One can be retained for use within Volume Two, so your character can carry two RARE items during the second book. Also, two of the RARE items currently planned for Volume Two will deliver additional benefits if you carry specific RARE items from Volume One.
Can I take a closer look at the game system?
Yes, a pdf named ‘Instructions, Rules & Maps’ is available to download for FREE from DriveThruRPG. This document includes the entire front section of the gamebook, which explains the various elements of my system, including the unique battle process, the armour and weapon bonuses, and the two levels of difficulty.
The full-colour edition is very expensive – why?
Unfortunately, as there’s no alternative print process available to me at this time, the price is significantly higher than I would wish due to the production costs involved with a Print On Demand product. Any book of this size – and in full-colour – will always be above a ‘standard’ gamebook price, however, as this adventure offers 1000 sections and has plenty of replay value, I consider it to be a quality product at a reasonable price for its generous amount of content.
For those who find that the price is simply too high to purchase the full-colour edition, the black & white version and the hyperlinked pdf are available at a much lower, and more affordable price point.