New year, new content

Despite surgery and ongoing health issues, and moving again to another town, I’ve continued to work on Volume Two when able, writing and illustrating various smaller pieces to complement the main adventure. Recently completed is ‘A Strange Tale from Lukerm’s Tavern’ – a short illustrated story added as a bonus to the back of the book. A lean man named Aeyric tells the tale of the luckless Ehmul Vaunarr to a traveller resting at Lukerm’s Tavern in the coastal town of Thern; thought-provoking in nature, this piece expands Quahnarren’s lore and history regarding unusual spirits and otherworldly happenings often unseen.

A deadly dual threat to assist against multiple opponents

I’ve also completed the illustration for one of the new RARE items available in Volume Two (see above). The slim Twin Knives of the Silver Moon offer the player enhanced opportunities during battle, increasing inflicted damage and therefore your chances of success, while restricting the abilities of some opponents. Manufactured by unknown skilled craftsmen in the employ of the Silver Moon – a mysterious order of elite and deadly fighters – these thirteen-inch curved steel knives feature cutting edges that flatten at the tip, a silver-capped handle carved from the bone of a Bathouk, and the tang features an engraving of the order’s waxing crescent moon symbol.

Weapons, clothing and gameplay balance

As I continue writing and illustrating my gamebook, which is now at over 50,000 words, I’ve been considering the use of weapons in conjunction with the initial player statistics (most of which are set at specific values, rather than determined by dice rolls) and my desire to allow players to customise, personalise and upgrade their character by adding new items and equipment.

After considerable thought I’ve finally decided to incorporate both one- and two-handed weapons into my gameplay and fighting mechanics, eventually realising that it is a sensible and realistic addition that doesn’t over-complicate the simple system I favour for a gamebook adventure. I’ve now added short swords, which can be used as a one-handed option with an additional shield (providing an armour bonus) together with a two-handed option, utilising a long sword without a shield (providing an expertise bonus). Both options give a choice between attack and defense bonuses, which is more of a general preference for individuals to play and shape their character in a style or approach they prefer.

This then affects gameplay balance, as any two players may have very different characters depending on what bonuses they have added to the initial player stats. I now have to be very aware of the lowest and highest levels of bonuses available within the adventure at any point, so that all of the enemy encounters are set at a fair, yet challenging difficulty for any player. Most of the items with bonuses are reasonably expensive, so financial management is an important issue for players to consider when contemplating new purchases.

Every weapon or personal item that is found or is available for purchase during your adventure is given a short description detailing its construction, features and style, providing information for players who like to clothe and equip their game characters in specific ways. So, if you desire to attire your character in clothes of a certain colour, fabric or style, the Tales of Quahnarren series will be a favourite shopping destination!