The Eye of Winter’s Fury is the third entry in the best-selling DestinyQuest gamebook series. We asked the series creator, Michael J. Ward, for some top tips to help readers prepare for this exciting new instalment in the epic fantasy saga. Over to you Mike…
‘FOOLISH MORTALS! Yes, it is I – the gamesmaster of doom – and your worthless lives have finally come to an end!’
Pauses. Listens to crackly Gollancz voice on the other end of phone.
‘What, I can’t kill them off? I have to actually help them? Oh lord, how tiresome.’ Glances over shoulder. ‘Maureen! Put the flamethrower down. Now! We don’t need it yet. And no – put the saw-bladed toothbrush back in the box. Yes that box. We’re playing the good guys now. Get with the program – sheesh, underlings!’
‘Right, let’s give you noobs some glimmer of hope then. Are you listening? Right, let’s get started…’
1. Print off your hero sheet
In DestinyQuest, you take on the role of a legendary hero: the main character of the story whose actions and decisions are under your control. As your hero progresses through the book, you will acquire loot (in the form of weapons, armour and magical items), which you can use to boost your hero’s powers and help them to overcome the many deadly challenges ahead.
The hero sheet helps you to keep track of all these items and their vital statistics – and, as you can print off as many copies as you like, you don’t ever have to mark the one inside your book. (Too generous, I know.)
2. Power up your abilities
DestinyQuest is similar to a fast and furious computer game. Your hero has lots of different powers and abilities, which they can call on in combat to help them beat their opponents. In DestinyQuest 3, there are over 180 different abilities available – many of which are new and exclusive to The Eye of Winter’s Fury. No hero should leave home without knowing their blizzard from their frostbite, otherwise things could get nasty! (Maureen will tell you.)
3. Sign up for combat training
Combat in DestinyQuest is simple and easy to learn. Each combat is divided into rounds, where you decide who hits who and who takes damage. Once the basics are understood, you can start to add in your hero’s abilities, to help you change your die-rolls, boost your powers and dodge your opponent’s attacks.
4. Get some career advice
As your hero progresses through the story, they will get to specialise in a career. This will give you extra bonuses and abilities, and help you to customise your character further. Fancy rushing headfirst into the action, whirling a pair of giant axes around your head? Or perhaps you prefer a more refined approach, frying your opponents from the side-lines with a well-aimed spell or two? Whatever your play-style there is a career for you, from the muscle-bound berserker to the fire-flinging pyromancer.
5. Dig out the dice
There’s no getting away from it. DestinyQuest might be a super-cool reinvention of the gamebook (Maureen’s words, not mine), but you still need to roll dice. Thankfully, you won’t have to resort to any of those odd-looking ones with eight, ten or a hundred sides. Just a handful of six-sided dice will do the trick. So get looting your games cupboard to see what you can find.
6. Buy the book
Last but not least, you’re gonna need the book! The Eye of Winter’s Fury is available now at all good bookstores and online retailers. I’m obviously a little biased here (being the author and all that) but it really is a splendid-looking tome (kudos to the Gollancz team!), with two full-colour maps on the inside jacket and a superb cover by the talented Dominic Harman. Within its 700+ pages, you will discover a truly epic adventure; one where you get to make the decisions.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pencil and some dice and take the plunge into the exciting world of gamebooks! Who knows, you may even beat the infamous ‘gamemaster of doom’!