I’ve been so preoccupied with indieweb stuff that I forgot I was gonna post more about my adventure gamebook. For those who are unaware, I signed up for a game jam on itch.io that focuses on making gamebooks (the technical term for Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style books, as CYOA is trademarked). By using the WritingFantasy format for Twine, I’m slowly but surely putting together a gamebook that I hope to release as a hyperlinked ebook bundles with a pdf character sheet so that all you need is dice and a writing instrument to play the game. So far I’ve mostly written out some rules and some worldbuilding, but I’m getting about ready to dive into the main plot of the book. So here’s an overview of what this is all about!

The Fluff

The story centers around a young anthropomorphic dragon who has come to a city full of dragons after getting kicked of its nest by its parents. Looking for a place to sleep, the dragon eventually comes to a book exchange and is given a room in the basement and food in exchange for helping the proprietor out around the shop. When a rare and powerful tome is taken from the shop, it falls on the newcomer to help locate the missing item.

Dragon society in this world is anarchist-leaning, with a few twists. First of all, dragons do have personal property but don’t have currency. Instead, they operate on a system of trading goods and services directly, sometimes even simply in exchange for favors. The Book Exchange, for example, gives books out to dragons in exchange for books the dragons have already read, almost like a library, but with a constantly shifting catalog, as travelers often bring in books from outside the city to exchange fore newer books. Dragons do have hoards, but rather than just being piles of treasure, they are a reflection of that dragon’s personality and memories. A magical reflection, in fact – dragons can magically recover when they sleep with their hoards, a feature that is reflected in the rules.

Dragon society has no official hierarchy or leaders, but there are spiritual counselors known as The Voices Who reside at the Temple of the Roaring Mother and essentially act as priests. Every dragon is considered equal to each other in the eyes of the Roaring Mother, and the Voices are no exception. They exist simply to help dragons find spiritual fulfillment and not to direct or lead the city, which is run as a sort of direct democracy.

The Crunch

The rules of the book feature a d20 roll under system with four base stats and two derived stats. The base stats are Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Focus (FOC) and Influence (INF). Strength represents physical might, dexterity represents finesse and the ability to maneuver, focus represents the ability to memorize and recall information as well as to observe and concentrate, and influence is the ability to persuade, bluff, beguile and intimidate. These are the stats that are tested using the roll under system. The derived stats are Endurance (END) and Power (POW), which act more as pools of points that can increase or decrease, although they never increase above the starting value. Endurance is the character’s resistance to damage, roughly equivalent to HP, and Power is the character’s reserve of magical energy, roughly equivalent to MP

The base stats are derived by rolling 2d6+3 for each stat, with the player allowed to switch any two stat values after rolling. END is calculated as the sum of STR and DEX, and POW is the sum of FOC and INF. This means that the player’s base stats should each be between 5 and 15 and the derived stats should be between 10 and 30 at the start of the game. my hope is that this keeps things relatively balanced, but I won’t know until I’ve completed the book and tested it myself.

And that’s what I’ve been working on writing wise! I’ll keep posting updates as I work on the gamebook. I’m having a lot of fun doing this so far, and I’m really hoping that I can finish this and turn it into something cool.

2 thoughts on “The Fluff and the Crunch: a Look at my Adventure Gamebook WIP

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