"I have played books 1,2,3 and 4 and lose without a reasonable survival possibility. The monsters are too powerful, you start off with sixteen shards, and there is nothing available in the Fabled Lands for anything under twenty shards except maybe a ferry ride. It's disappointing because I like to play fair, but no matter how hard I try and how careful I am I get killed off.Well, that gave me and Jamie pause for thought, I can tell you. We always knew the FL books would be trickier to balance than any ordinary gamebook because there are so many possible routes through. But if it's really the case that the books are so tough that a starting character can't even get going, that's a serious flaw indeed.
"Also, how is a level one character going to get two hundred shards to buy a boat? I don't even see opportunities to steal or to earn money. The game is simply too hard! It's unfortunate because I really do like the game and want to play it. One player suggested using a level 6 character and playing book one with that character - which would work, but that seems to be cheating. I think you guys could have made weapons and armor and other stuff cheaper, and given characters more money and a better chance at fighting enemies. I don't like a cake walk but this is way too tough!
"What do you suggest? By the way I bought all six books at once. I want to enjoy playing the series but I want at least a measure of possibility that I will survive!"
What's been your experience of the books? Did you start out in The War-Torn Kingdom with a 1st rank character? Did you need to cheat, or were you able to make your way in the world? We need to know!
And while I'm talking about FL... Megara Entertainment have just released the first collector's edition Fabled Lands book. This is a full-colour hardback and it's on sale on Megara's website for $50. Not cheap, but you do get a whole lot of lavish colour pictures and a foreword by yours truly. The text is mostly unchanged from the original edition, apart from a few places where the illustration deviated from the description - a priest becoming a priestess, things like that. The illustrations that are colorized versions of Russ Nicholson's work are the most successful, for my money, but there's plenty to suit all tastes. This is a limited edition, so if you want a copy then better grab one now.