Gamebook store

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Apocalypse is going to take a little longer


If you follow the comments on this blog, you'll already know the problem I have with Blood Sword book 5. It was supposed to be the end of the world, this book, but it looks like we packed up early.

The process for the new edition of Blood Sword involved Stanley-knifing my old copies apart, scanning each page by hand, cleaning up the inevitable OCR errors, remapping the flowchart to check it all worked, adding any new codewords and sections needed, then typesetting the definitive text file for printing.

It was meant to be a spare-time hobby. Instead it took a good chunk of the summer. As I started on The Walls of Spyte, I had an inkling it was going to take a bit more work. That’s why Fabled Lands Publishing got books 1-4 out first. “I’ll tidy up the problems with the fifth book over the next few weekends.” That's what I said. Famous last words.

What went wrong with book 5? I’ve been trying to figure it out. The whole Blood Sword saga builds to this huge climax on midwinter’s eve of the year 1000, when most people believe the world will end. The player-characters don’t just believe that, they know it for a fact. Their celestial foes the True Magi are going to reincarnate at midnight and then their plan is to get all Isil on humanity’s collective ass. “You have five hours to save the world…” This adventure should have been filled with terror, urgency, darkness, even (to use terms I never would in real life) good versus evil.

Instead it was an old skool dungeon. Well, you may say, The Battlepits of Krarth is a dungeon. True, but it’s not only that. The dungeon there is just the arena in which the real story of political machinations among the callous Magi plays out. More to the point, it’s full of traps and puzzles and whimsy because the Magi designed it that way. What’s Spyte’s excuse?

I can’t remember the exact circumstances of how the book got written – and, since I have a pretty good memory, that alone suggests that I was probably deep into writing other books like Knightmare and Heroquest. Most likely Hodder had been talking about when to schedule the last Blood Sword book for some time, and suddenly they needed it yesterday. That’s how publishers usually operate.

Oliver had been planning to take a holiday from his day job at Transworld to allow him to write the majority of this final book, so as to catch up on the fact that I’d written 90% of a series we originally planned to work on 50/50. But something messed up those plans. Oliver didn’t have as much time as he thought, and I was booked solid on other projects. At a rough guess, he did the first half, I did the last 50 sections or so. And to fill the gap, luckily Jamie was free and was able to jump in at very short notice, writing the remaining sections in about a week. Which, considering he didn’t even know the rules (and they do stretch to twenty pages, remember) was pretty impressive.

So to answer that question, what went wrong, I have a theory. I don’t think I told Oliver and Jamie what the story was. I probably said, “The PCs have to go through a ruined city fighting cultists and demonic guardians. They’re trying to stop a ceremony at the centre of the city, so get them to the top of the inner keep and I’ll take over.”

What I should have added: “It’s Doomsday. Make it about metaphysics, betrayal, and paranoia.”

Not knowing that, Oliver and Jamie created a dungeon full of weird experiences, dimensional gateways, riddling dragons, all that. Effectively, it was a second run at the Battlepits. The tone? All over the place. Instant and arbitrary deaths mix in with whimsical conversations with demons. At times the book verges on Comedy Hour of the Apocalypse. Other times it’s Grimtooth’s Traps. Then right at the end you get to my bit and we’re talking about Man judging God and whether self-sacrifice is the only way to beat the True Magi. It’s like three different gamebooks crashed into each other at high speed. The Walls of Spyte doesn’t really survive the collision.

Either Oliver or I should have been creatively directing this book. When he had to bow out early, I should have somehow rearranged my other deadlines in order to take over for the finish. The fact that one of the numbered rods you collect was left in the published book as having the label XX (it was supposed to read 100) suggests that each of us thought the other was responsible for checking the proofs. It wasn’t up to Jamie to fix it – he was just pinch hitting as a favour.

Some things are never going to get a shine however much you polish them. The Walls of Spyte doesn’t need a few corrective touches, it needs ruthlessly aggressive surgery. To make the book fit for publication, I ought to cut at least the central 300 sections and completely rewrite them.

But I’m very aware that people are waiting for this book. A rewriting job on that scale isn’t something to dash out over a weekend. I already have an outline for what I'd like to do with the book, but I’d have to clear a month at least to do it properly. If I was retired and only had matchstick models of the Palace of Westminster to fill my time it’d be easy, but when you’re a working writer there are few idle moments. Fabled Lands Publishing can afford to pay for the editing work to reissue old gamebooks like Blood Sword, Falcon and The Keep of the Lich Lord, but creating all-new gamebook material is a lot more work for, sadly, not much of a return.

If you’re desperate for book 5 in its original version then you’ll find plenty of people flinging free PDFs of it around on the internet. Personally I’d recommend waiting till I can fix it, though at the moment I’m not sure how to find (or fund) the time. I'd be tempted to say it's a job for Kickstarter, but I've already comprehensively debunked that as a viable way to fund print gamebooks.

Alternatively, since all the above is just my own personal taste and some people say they like old skool dungeons, I could just release the book without my name on it. If in a couple of months I still haven't figured out a way to clear enough time to rewrite it, that's what I intend to do, so either way it ought to be back in print by the spring. Who knows, it might turn out to be the most popular in the series, and all this agonizing is just me.

In the meantime, so as to have something to mark the season, here's a link to some of my Knightmare books. And I'll leave you with W B Yeats, whose poem "The Magi" did not in fact inspire Blood Sword, but fits it rather splendidly all the same. Happy New Year!
Now as at all times I can see in the mind's eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

51 comments:

  1. Personally I'd wait till you find the time to do the rewriting. Blood Sword is a wonderful story and I think it deserves a proper conclusion. But I own the original version (in Italian), so I'm not as desperate as others may be...

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  2. Well... everything you've written about the book is true. I wondered for a long time about the final book's tone. It is, indeed, all over the place. And there's a lot of fighting going on. Probably more than in any other two (or three) BS books combined. It definitely feels off.

    I wouldn't throw away the chance to modify the book to make it fit with your original vision - after all, you did write the vast majority of the series. After 20 years, Way of the Tiger has been expanded to what it should have been back then. Why not do the same with BS?

    But of course, the final word is up to you. I think many people would welcome a simple reissue just as gladly. The original print goes for some crazy money these days - I should know that!

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  3. I'm getting the impression that most people want these things to collect rather than to play. But if the series got a new lease of life as, say, a videogame or even as a Dragon Warriors campaign, then maybe it would be worth rewriting the end. (In fact it would be essential to do that before it could fit into the DW world.)

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    1. We have been waiting for so many years that a few more moths won't make a difference. Gamebooks hardcore fans are remarcably patient!
      WRT collecting gamebooks, we already have the original versions in our collections! What would really upset me is having the five Bloodsword re-published now and then ANOTHER NEW VERSION with the updated fifth book in a couple of years...

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  4. Put me down as voting for a rewrite, if possible. If it is not possible, a traditional re-release would be good too.

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  5. Me too! I vote for the rewrite!

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  6. If buying all five re-issues funds a rewrite, I'm all for it... Why the complete five books? Because I still remember biting fingernails awaiting the next installation of the series. Well, specifically because of the cliffhanger at the end of Book 3, and when Doomwalk finally got published and arrived to Asian shores it was payback time with Aiken. Though the suspense was cleared at the end of Book 4, knowing that there is a Book 5 now only makes my brain twitch if I only get the re-issues of Books 1-4.

    That kind of "brain twitch" in this time and age of instant buys and e-commerce? Distractingly infuriating. And biting fingernails is a filthy habit. Which is also why I never bother watching these new-fangled TV series with a long storyline until all the episodes are issued in DVD-format and I buy the whole season.

    It's been 8 years since I managed to procure Books 1-3 at a second-hand bookshop and printed out HotU's scanned versions of Books 4-5 to finally continue my annual ritual of playing all 5 books since losing my originals to the cleansing fires of a puritanical parent 23 years ago. Getting my grubby mitts on a new version that lacks the last book because there's a re-write? Infuriatingly distracting.

    I respect that you have your priorities, Mr. Morris, so my ramblings are probably the ejaculations of a disturbed mind. I am painfully aware that I am most likely a single individual opinion on this subject. So I'll patiently await your final decision and if a re-write is confirmed, then I'll blunt any "infuriation" by collecting FFG's Descent 2e and Netrunner until "Blood Sword book 5: The Walls of Spyte - 2nd edition" comes out.

    Oh, and Happy New Year 2015!

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    1. Happy New Year, Godwin. The idea of completion interests me, as some of my favourite TV shows got canned in mid-season (Cupid, The Journeyman, Awake) and sometimes that's better than if they'd staggered on to a disappointing finale on continued aimlessly with no end in sight.

      My own storyline in Blood Sword was largely wrapped up in book 4. As we must have planned even then for Oliver to take over book 5, I used Doomwalk to tie up the Aiken arc and my work was done. Saving the world? Those plots never interest me anyway.

      So on reflection I think there probably is no need for me to rewrite book 5. I don't like the book myself, but I was effectively off the series by then. Every return of Davros since 1975 has been wince-inducing, but it doesn't invalidate the brilliance of "Genesis of the Daleks". The trick is to make the most of what you like, not the least of what you hate.

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    2. Even if you don't plan on a re-write now, your opinion of Book 5 does raise an interesting question: How would Dave Morris have imagined the final adventure?

      Personally, I think the time-warp bit with Myorg of Farantar in book 5 was awkward, somewhat like the side quest involving the old knight in book 2. Based on flavour alone, I am more inclined to help the old knight than Myorg, but comparing the rewards, you get more out of helping Myorg than vanquishing the Lady in Grey (I suppose an argument could be made for getting one of five orbs in that quest).

      Well, don't force yourself to do something you're not too keen on, Mr. Morris. I can relate to your discomfiture with "saving the world" plots, though in my case it is a matter of getting bored with the notion of having powered up characters duking it out with an overpowered antagonist. Role-playing usually gets thrown out the window and everything dissolves into a furious contest of dice rolls. I find myself gravitating more towards adventures that offer more options during the climactic final battle. Like how that sliver of potassium can be used against Skrymir... now that's a good memory.

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    3. How would I have imagined the final adventure? "Not a dungeon" probably sums it up. We did actually finally play the end of the millennium in Tim Harford's Legend campaign (see earlier posts tagged Redemption) and it wasn't the only time a Legend campaign came to an apocalyptic end. There's no saving the world if God doesn't want it saved ;)

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  7. That you had to cut up your personal copies wounds me.

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    1. Could be worse. At least it wasn't my Dalek annuals.

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  8. For my part, I intend to play Walls of Spyte if/when it ever comes out. I'd like to see the book re-written simply to allow it to be the best version of itself in the eyes of the writer, but I'll take a re-edited version if that isn't possible.

    I've never fully understand the mentality of having something but not using it. I own the full Lone Wolf series from 1-20 including Grey Star 1-4 and The Magnamund Companion. Every year or so I'll play through them as a series(First GS 1-4, then the adventure at the back of the MC then LW1-20).

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    1. There's the rub. The best version of a book in the eyes of the writer isn't necessarily the best in the eyes of the readers. If I'd written Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I'd be saying it needs a complete rewrite (in fact rethink) before I could publish it. But the reality is that it's twenty times more popular than any of my gamebooks.

      Add to that: who *is* the writer of Walls of Spyte? I only wrote a very small part of it. So all I can say now is that if I'd been the lead writer it would have been a very different book. Maybe not a better one, as far as the readers are concerned.

      I heard a rumour there may be a reissue of the Grey Star books, possibly with new titles to follow. Don't quote me, though - I'm not an insider to the Lone Wolfiverse (didn't even know Grey Star was part of that canon) so it could all be hearsay.

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    2. Since you note that you've written 90% of the previous four books, I'd say that you're the lead writer, maybe not of the last book, but certainly of the series. Whatever the original arrangement was, Blood Sword is your baby and your baby was born with defects in your eyes. The only thing to do now if figure a way to extract the time and money you need to give your baby the corrective surgery it needs. Clearly the folks on this board will be happy to help since they love your baby too.

      The Grey Star series is occurs at the same time as the Lone Wolf Basic Kai series, with both starting in MS 5050 though it takes place in Southern Magnamund. I'd like to see a reissue (including minor rewrites as there's a point in Book 1 that's almost unsurvivable without cheating to some degree) though its hard to see where the story would go after Book 4's fairly decisive conclusion.

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    3. I wonder if RTD ever winces when he's watching a Moffat episode of Dr Who. Probably whenever those pesky Weeping Angels make yet another appearance. But his involvement ended when he resigned as show runner. I was show runner of Blood Sword through books 1-4, then handed over to Oliver for book 5. Coming off editing those first four, I was initially bothered by the sharp change to D&D-style adventure in Walls of Spyte, but increasingly I'm just thinking, OK, I told the story I wanted to, and where it went after that isn't my business.

      As for Grey Star... Really, I'm not kidding, I know nothing. I didn't even know the years were prefixed MS. But if I hear any rumours from those in the know, I'll pass them on.

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  9. For my 2 cents worth, I say give it a polish and get it published. Ultimately this is a reissue of a work originally written around 30 years ago. If you change it too much it becomes a different book. In which case, why not just write a different book?

    I suspect you're a much more harsh critic than your readers are Dave, so you're probably looking to make something perfect written back when you were a much younger man. Ask any producer of creative work and they're bound to wish for the same opportunity. Of course, with books you *do* have that opportunity, but frankly I'd much rather see you spending your weekends on a new VR title.

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    1. Well, as I said above, Mike, I'm not being self-critical in this case because I'm perfectly happy with the parts of the book I wrote. There just aren't many of them, lol. I don't feel any urge to rewrite anything else of mine. Maybe that's complacency, but mainly it's because I'm like most writers in just wanting to move on to new projects.

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    2. On a slight tangent, it's probably why so few books are actually co-written (as opposed to being credited to 2 authors but written by only 1), but then I guess that's what any decent editor would be there to iron out. Perhaps in this case you'll need to see if Oliver and Jamie have any free weekends coming up... :)

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    3. I don't know how many co-authored books are genuine collaborations. Certainly it's possible to write as a partnership (Galton & Simpson, Larbey & Esmonde, Perry & Croft) but those are from TV where you can easily divide up the scenes; it's harder with a novel. Jamie and I co-plot the Dirk Lloyd and Starship Captain books, and Leo has input into the storyline for Mirabilis, but the bulk of the writing is just done by one person.

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  10. THAT'S why the numbers of the key rods never added up properly! I thought is was some weird roman numeral thing (XX = 10 x 10, right?). Wow, that's niggled at me for a couple of decades...

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    1. No, it was just that everybody had gone home..!

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  11. Take your time, do it right. I sympathize with the time issue, though.

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  12. Maybe I should recap the post. In summary: Blood Sword was a rudderless ship that went onto the rocks. I'm happy with the bit I wrote but it's just the last 10% and it doesn't fit with the rest. In an ideal world I'd like to completely rewrite the book, but I don't have time. So, unless Fabled Lands LLP can figure out a way to justify a full rewite for business reasons (unlikely) we'll probably just re-release the book in its original form. That's still a lot of work because there are sections where it is assumed you must be playing solo, or that you must be male. So I need to find the time to edit those mistakes out at least. But if you want my view, the series ends at book 4. (The showdown with Aiken is personal, after all - God's plans are His own business.) I also recommend disregarding Fringe episodes 4.21 and 4.22 btw.

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  13. This would be perfect for a Kickstarter page. The stretch goals could decide how much of the book gets rewritten.

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    1. Trouble is, if you're having to deliver print copies of books, the amount of money that's left over to pay for writing and artwork isn't very much. Unless everbody is willing to buy a b&w paperback for $30!

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  14. I'm going to take a different tact with this post than my previous one, which means I'll avoid all those creepy baby metaphors. BSwd5 tells a story that's similar in structure to your Golden Dragon, Temple of Flame book. You have Team Magi and Team Bloodsword (who may just be one person with the Bloodsword) who are utterly opposed to one another. You also have the ruins of Spyte, which has become a mutated magical ecosystem that's hostile to all visitors at this point even though Team Magi might have a bit of an inside track since the Magi built the place.

    So, to my mind, having Spyte be whimsical, confusing and utterly lethal by turns is completely appropriate for the place. If the Battlepits were Jurassic Park, then Spyte is the Lost World and somewhat works as is.

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    1. Maybe it helps if you like "dungeon" games? I'm a hardcore roleplayer but I don't play the traditional Dungeons & Dragons type scenarios. In the case of Golden Dragon - well, yes, but they were just for little kids. I thought of Blood Sword (books 2-4 anyway) as being more than that.

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    2. I ought to add that, given unlimited leisure time to devote to Blood Sword, I'd probably completely rewrite Battlepits too - removing most of the dungeon there. I think the *idea* of the Battlepits contest is interesting, but a little dungeon goes a long way, and the best drama is in the intrigue with the Magi.

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  15. On a bit of a side note, there's something that's been a bit of a mystery to me. I've been keeping an eye out for a second hand copy of book 5 on book finder for almost a year now, and apparently there is a copy available, but the price ranges from crazy to insane, most of the time. Twice now its dropped down to an affordable price and I've tried to buy it, only to get an email a week or so later that a clerical error was made, or the book was so badly damaged in transit they couldn't send it (money refunded mind you). Who's behind this madness? It seems to me like someone is very diligently trying to make a nice profit off a used book, using unscrupulous means, or who knows?

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    1. Bots are the usual culprits when it comes to crazily high pricing. I don't think any human seller seriously expects to get $500+ for one of my old gamebooks! But bots can't be responsible for those cancelled orders you've experienced. I can't even figure out their angle - they're not making a sale, after all.

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    2. Hmmm. Perhaps they are waiting for me to win the lottery, or do something really foolish while drunk off alcohol and nostalgia. Well it is comforting to think that its probably not an actual person diligently changing the price by a few dollars every day. I will (sheepishly) admit that one of the copies I tried to purchase was close to $90. Lets just hope this isn't the point in history where artificial intelligence gains the upper hand (over me anyway)!

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    3. P.S. Kudos on the robot screening process, I get it now ;)

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    4. What happens is you get two bots competing. Say one sets the price at $10 in Amazon Marketplace. Then another bot thinks, "My vendor has a higher approval rating, so I'm going to set my price at $10.50." So then the first bot thinks, "I can set my price at $10.40, I'll still be competitive." And so it goes, nudging up towards $100 and beyond.

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  16. Having just received Blood Sword 1-4 for Christmas and knowing that it's a five-book series, I'm glad to hear that the last book will be reissued in the near future. I've never read them before, so I'll be happy just to have the complete series. I don't have a very strong preference on whether Book 5 comes out in the original form or a modified one, taking advantage the opportunity to improve things before reissuing it. An updated version would be nice and I can wait for that, but from your posts, it sounds like that would take significant time and effort which might not be feasible especially since some people are waiting on this last book of the series. I guess what I really want is for you as the author to be satisfied with the reissue. Whatever form that takes will be fine with me.

    On a more general note, I do have a collection of gamebooks from my youth, some complete and some not, but the majority of the ones I've bought in recent years I've never played before. Therefore, I'm not getting them just to add to my collection; my intention is to read and play them all (eventually). I'm glad to see a number of series being republished, so I can get them for reasonable prices; old books that are out of print can be expensive. I've got the reissues of Fabled Lands and Critical IF in addition to Blood Sword mentioned above, as well as the first set of Fighting Fantasy reprints. I've put Way of the Tiger and Golden Dragon on my Amazon wish list, and plan to get those eventually, too. I think I'm going to have to track this site more closely so as not to miss news about all the new re-releases. :) Thanks for making yours available again. It's great to have a second chance at books I missed the first time around.

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    1. We have Falcon book 1 coming out soon, James. Like Critical IF, that series was a little more grown up than some of the MG-targeted gamebook series of the '80s, so think it holds up well today.

      "I guess what I really want is for you as the author to be satisfied with the reissue..."

      Thanks. What this discussion has helped me to see is that I'm not the author of Walls of Spyte. Coming straight off editing books 1-4, I didn't quite appreciate that at first. So I really am now seeing it as Who after RTD. Oliver (with Jamie's help) was in charge of book 5, and I shouldn't criticize any more than RTD carps about Moffat's stories.

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    2. Thanks for the info. I looked around a bit for more about the Falcon series, and it does sound interesting. I'll have to add it to my list of reissues to keep an eye on. I figure I should be able to get everything I'd like to as long as your books stay in print for the foreseeable future. I expect they will, which is why I'm waiting on some purchases, but if that's going to change, please try to let us know so that we can try to get books we don't have before they become scarce again. Thanks!

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    3. Currently all the books are set up as print-on-demand, so they will remain available as long as Amazon/Createspace endure - which is probably longer than the lifetime of the human race. We did consider "vaulting" some titles, which is how Marvel and Disney stimulate people to actually buy their back catalogue on the principle that nothing is ever more desirable than when it's going out of season. But there are so few gamebook fans in these digital days that I assume pretty much anybody who wants our books in print will have already bought them.

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    4. Ah, that's good. Print-on-demand will let customers get the books whenever they want, and I'd assume there are benefits for you as well (like no extra, unsold books to worry about). As I understand it, The Way of the Tiger and the Golden Dragon series each have one more book to come (a new sequel for the former, a reissue for the latter), so I figured I'd just wait for them to be complete and then buy the full series. And I do prefer real, physical books, at least for gamebooks, so I'm glad yours will continue to be available that way; it gives me time to pick up the books I want when it's most convenient for me to do so. Thanks.

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    5. There is going to be at least one more WOTT book, Redeemer, written by David Walters. That's published in hardcover by Megara Entertainment (I think it's already available) but Fabled Lands Publishing don't have the rights so there won't be a paperback, not from us anyway.

      As for the other Golden Dragon book - we have no plans to release that in the foreseeable future, but you never know.

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    6. Thanks for the clarification. I think I did see WOTT 7 on Megara's site, but as a hardcover it wouldn't match the rest of the books I planned to get. I was hoping for a paperback release, and it's too bad you can't do that, but oh well. In this case, I might get WOTT 1-6 and wait on getting 0 until 7 comes out in paperback, if it ever does. Since 0 and 7 were kind of bonuses, going beyond the original series, I'm less concerned about missing out on them than the original books 1-6.

      If the one other Golden Dragon book isn't planned for re-release, it's good to know that. That means the reissue series is effectively complete now, so there isn't much point in continuing to wait for another book. I'll get the series when convenient. And anyway, should that last Golden Dragon book end up being reissued in the future, I could always get it then.

      Since Blood Sword 5 is planned for a spring release, maybe I'll make one big purchase when it comes out: Blood Sword 5, WOTT 1-6 (and maybe 0), and the five Golden Dragon reissues. That should work out well for me, I think.

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  17. WOTT 0 has been available in paperback from Createspace since April 2014 (ISBN-10 1499106122, ISBN-13 978-1499106121). I'm still waiting for Book 7 though, as that's only available in hardback so far.

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    1. I doubt that Megara will be issuing a paperback edition, but possibly David Walters himself will. You could try contacting him on Twitter: @DavidWaltersx

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  18. I have been silently reading this thread for a couple of months now but have been too lazy to post anything. While I am for a rewrite to fix all of the inconsistencies before I read the series for this first time, it sounds like "The Walls Of Spyte" (TWoS) is going to be reissued as-is due to time constraints and personal preference on Dave's part. That is his perogative and I can see the logic in it. He has said that he is happy with the small bit he contributed to TWoS and forcing him to rewrite the book with a storyline he is not very enthusiastic about (he has stated he has never been big into the destined savior[s] of the world theme) could lead to an unsatisfying result. This is fine, I can live with it, and will probably purchase the "Blood Sword" series eventually.

    However, commenting without suggesting a solution seems rather pointless to me so I came up with a crazy idea. If Dave is content with the 10% he wrote, why not stick with that? Keep the 10% Morris ending but have people contribute their own individual sections, keep and tweak the ones that fit best into the conceived revised storyline, and put it all together in a new version. Based on this board, it sounds like you might have a bunch of hardcore "Blood Sword" veterans who would be willing to try their hand at their own section and pitch into the lead-up to the final battle. Maybe make it a contest. I have not read any "Blood Sword" so I would eliminate myself based on my inexperience with the specifics of the complete series and tone (well, isn't that convenient, Mr. Full-Of-Ideas-But-Don't-Help-Out?). Now this may end up being a lot more work than one person writing the book themself but Dave would probably have a better sense about that than anyone. Maybe this is a dream project. Hey, I said it was crazy.

    Oh yeah, has anybody mentioned this as a potential Kickstarter project yet? : )

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    1. I've been waiting twenty years for fans to complete the Fabled Lands series, but apart from a couple of determined souls it doesn't look like the community as a whole is ready to pitch in :-)

      As the problem with Blood Sword 5 is that there are three clashing visions in there, I'm not sure that the solution is to invite a hundred people to each contribute a piece. Paul Gresty did offer to rewrite it all from my notes. He's the last son of Krypton, I swear.

      As for using Kickstarter to pay Paul (and/or whoever) for the writing & editing - well, I'm not sure that Blood Sword has enough fans out there for that to work. They're dedicated, but they're few in number. But let's review that after the Kickstarter for The Serpent King's Domain.

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  19. Hi Dave,

    Happy to hear that The Serpent King's Domain Kickstarter is going well. I just pledged for the hardcover edition. I have a strange feeling your fans would absolutely fund a Walls of Spyte Kickstarter. Separately, I really enjoyed the Frankenstein Inkle app. Hope that your fans might enjoy some new writing of yours in book form in the near future as well.

    Best regards,

    Jeremy

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  20. WOAH! What a blast from the past! I just wanted to say that the Blood Sword series was THE single most memorable gamebook series from my childhood, due to the wonderful atmosphere and varied fantastical scenarios. I share your anti-dungeon sentiment.

    I will definitely snap up the entire set when Book 5 is released. I would also be interested in any "Director's Cut" version you release at a later date.

    Thank-you for the happy gaming memories.

    Kin

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  21. Hello there. Is there any chance there is a date set for Walls of Spyte to be published again?

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  22. We have Falcon book 1 coming out soon, James. Like Critical IF, that series was a little more grown up than some of the MG-targeted gamebook series of the '80s, so think it holds up well today.
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