Thiathrow by Tammy Badowski
Warning! Review may contain spoilers!
Thiathrow is a dice heavy gamebook of revenge, with you playing the clan leader seeking gory justice. Tammy Badowski entered the Windhammer competition last year.
The gamebook starts with a lot of rules, which are quite heavy and worded in such ways that are very difficult to decipher. For example “So if a sword is +1 then when you make a successful roll in combat add the +1 to your current hit point which is the one point you’d normally subtract off your opponent’s defence or health” is just a long way of saying “So if a sword is +1 then you can do an extra point of damage”. There’s also a curious rule which allows you to eat a meal during combat, which just sounds bonkers. Think of the indigestion!
But indigestion is one of the least problems here. This is a bit of a strange world where science doesn’t really apply. Babies slide out. Broken bones heal in minutes.
Without a midwife, you both bring your child into this world. Althea screams and you go to clasp her hand tightly.
Then the baby slides out, quickly you take it up in your hands and stare down at its little round face then it starts to cry.
The gamebook opens pretty graphically with the massacre of your clan and family. You are inexplicably spared a horrible death so you’re off to get revenge. There’s a pretty good chance this revenge quest will end pretty quickly by section 1 – you’re immediately thrown into a difficult fight. With a combined health/armour value of 20 versus your starting health of 12 means the odds are stacked against you. That’s also at least 40 dice rolls even if you hit every round. Noone wants this.
There are issues with the writing, there’s missing commas and awkward sentencing. On the upside, there are more than a few sections of super gore though, which I rather enjoyed. When there isn’t any gore the writing is less interesting. Some bits I liked – leading a clan is always fun, and it is nice not to be the solo adventurer.
It is difficult to recommend this gamebook. A lot of work has gone into it but as it stands the combat system makes it unplayable.