The Defenders of Dusk

Dane Barrett’s latest gamebook, The Defenders of Dusk, is a ‘Fighting Fantasy-esque’ interactive adventure featuring dice rolling and a combat system, and matching the old tradition of 400 sections, with only a single successful path and ending (though there are a variety of different solutions to most situations, and several ‘sudden deaths’ have been thrown in for good measure).

The border city of Dusk stands as a great sentinel, watching over the boundary river separating the Western Realms from the tyrannical city-states of the east. Indeed, many a conflict has happened here over the past hundred years as the city-state of Dactyl, which serves as a staging point for invasions to the west, continually strives to find new ways to assault the border bridge crossing the great river. In all this time, Dusk, under the protection of a highly-trained Town Guard, has never fallen to a foreign power, always repelling even the most determined of attacks.

There is a foul scent upon the wind, however; a shadow looms from the east, and this time it brings the ominous signs of dark magic and evil creatures. Rumours abound from travellers and merchants that a new threat amasses across the river, though details as yet have remained sketchy. There is the talk of a vast army of men, orcs and lizard people, led by a dark mage and accompanied by a powerful beast of war. Such potential threats have led to Dusk’s Mayor cutting deals with several dubious organisations to help protect the welfare and wellbeing of the border.

Tonight, you, as a member of the Thieves’ Guild of Dusk, will partake in a night patrol you will never forget. For tonight could spell the end of the stubbornly determined border city, or it may just be the beginning of something extraordinary… YOU decide!

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser, and perhaps a little stealth and cleverness, are all you need to defend the city. YOU decide which route to follow and what tactics to use in this fantasy adventure gamebook!

The Combat system is quite similar to that of the Fighting Fantasy series, with 2 dice being rolled and added to a Combat skill number, vs the fighting skill of your enemies. Skill checks are handled much like the old SKILL system, except that the skills are split into multiple attributes such as Strength, Agility, Sense, etc. The reader must allocate set statistics to each attribute before they begin the adventure, so that their character will always have some strengths and weaknesses. Note that the dice-rolling odds are mostly weighted in the player’s favour, providing an element of randomness without causing the reader to fail through no fault of their own.

Featuring 250 pages and over 65,000 words, the book is illustrated in impressive style by a talented Indian artist who draws under the name ‘rcreativity’. The Defenders of Dusk is available from Amazon in Paperback, and as an eBook for Kindle.

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