Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lone Wolf

I apologise to my readers for the long absence, but these days most of my gaming is RPGing, which isn't really a gaming form which I think translates well to a blog format.

Specifically, I have been running a Lone Wolf Adventure Game campaign since October. The campaign has been in the works since I learned the news of Joe Dever's death last year, and it was my plan to commemorate the first anniversary of his death by keeping the Lone Wolf legacy alive.

Even though I did not play through all (or indeed many) of the original gamebook series, the richness and depth of the whole setting - Kai lords, the Darklords, Magnamund with its many nations and varied geography - were an inspiration to me as a young gamemaster. Over the years I have returned to and set my campaign in Magnamund - it is a testament to the popularity of the works of Joe Dever that the setting has incarnated in several forms after the original gamebook series.

The latest official version of the Lone Wolf RPG is Cubicle 7's Lone Wolf Adventure Game, which I am using for my current campaign. The rules follow those of the original gamebooks system closely, and are therefore a little simplistic compared to the other popular fantasy RPG systems. The combat system is also likewise simplistic, and in some ways flawed (with the correct traits, a character in plate armour and holding a great shield is virtually invulnerable), but can be epic, with a few mooks falling to the heroes every combat round.

But what makes Lone Wolf special is not the rules, but the narrative. Everything was unashamedly epic. Our hero traveled vast distances to exotic realms on his quests, meeting allies and enemies with very different powers from those of the Kai, and of course, the fate of the whole world rested on the outcomes of his every action.

As a game master, I can only hope that my campaign gives my players an experience that approaches that I had playing the gamebooks as a teenager.

Thank you, Mr Dever.