City of Thieves is #5 in the series. It's more forgiving than Return to Firetop Mountain, but less so than Vault of the Vampire; you have less than a one-in-three chance of surviving the final encounter if you reach it your first playthrough and don't look up a solution online.
One feature of a number of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks, including this one, is that taking a suboptimal path through the adventure can result in you having items that are, not vital, but useful enough to make you think that the path that involves getting them must be the correct path. "Here's a key that opens the villain's tower. Surely I need that. Surely it was just bad luck that I also lost all my money before I reached Nicodemus, and so I couldn't finish the adventure. I'd better go the same way again."
This Gamebook also features some seriously nasty fights, some more avoidable than others. It's not quite as bad in that regard as Return to Firetop Mountain, but you'd better have rolled a high Skill--or have very lucky dice.
You begin play with ten Meals and a Potion of Skill, Strength, or Fortune. The Potion, again, contains two doses. The Provisions are technically useless, since this book, like some earlier gamebooks (Warlock of Firetop Mountain), only allows you to eat when an entry specifically permits you to, but, like most later gamebooks, no entry actually says you can eat--they appear to have eliminated the need for the gamebook to specifically say you can eat for the numbered entries, but not for the rules section on Provisions. At the conclusion of the Background section, you'll also have 30 Gold Pieces and a beautiful broadsword which serves to tempt a more mercenary character into accepting the quest.
When following this walkthrough, don't Escape from any fights unless it's specifically called out in the walkthrough.
1: You are challenged at the entrance to Port Blacksand. Tell him you wish to be taken to Nicodemus.
202: Go quietly.
151: Don't pay the man.
29: Feign illness.
143: Say you have the plague.
306: (+2 Gold, Gain Merchant's Pass)
74: Any of the paths will ultimately lead to Nicodemus, but Clock Street or Key Street drags you through far too many opportunities to lose money you can't afford to lose, your health, or your special broadsword, so this walkthrough will assume you took my advice and went down Market Street.
116: Keep going.
93: Enter the tavern.
62: Sit with the goblins.
198: (+9 Gold Pieces, Gain Ivory Skull and put it around your neck immediately)
147: (+16 Gold Pieces) Don't drink the potion.
105: Approach the door.
64: If the encounter with the Wolf leads to you having an iron key, use it. If not, try to force the door. If you cannot force the door, skip to after that house.
159: Search the room you are in.
278: Pick up Goblet B, only.
209: (+12 Gold Pieces) If you are confident of making at least one of your next two Luck tests, walk through the archway and pick the lock on the chest (having started to pick the lock, don't give up). If not, go directly up the stairs.
60: Draw your sword in readiness.
After that house .
148: (-1 Gold Piece)
287: If your Stamina is two or more points below maximum, food is probably a good purchase here. Stop and listen.
3: Pay him.
37: (-3 Gold Pieces, +2 Luck)
398: This is a game of pure luck, and not the stat kind. You have a 50% chance of gaining, and a 50% chance of losing, 5 gold if you accept. Whether you decide to play or not, you'll wind up at:
52: Buy the Climbing Rope, the Iron Spike, and the Lantern. (-6 Gold Pieces, Gain Climbing Rope, Iron Spike, and Lantern)
200: You don't need a clairvoyant, you have me. Keep going.
117: Rain won't hurt you. The house might. Press on.
31: Climb down the steps.
329: Head down Candle Street.
238: Continue east.
139: If your Stamina is 4 points or more below maximum, you should enter the house, give the ladies your Ivory Skull necklace which you no longer need, and drink some of the soup. If not, just keep going east.
375: Climb over the wall.
40: Ask to join in the game.
168: This Skill test is important. If you fail, lose the Climbing Rope and the Iron Spike (or the Ivory Skull, if you still have it).
91: Give the beggar a Gold Piece.
332: (-1 Gold Piece, +1 Luck)
124: Continue along Harbour Street.
180: Hide behind the barrel.
171: Walk down the jetty.
399: Climb the rope ladder.
87: Go quietly down the stairs.
50: Open the door on the left.
271: Go get the pouch. Then go in the other door.
232 (Gain 6 Black Pearls): Hide behind the door.
12: Surprise the pirate captain.
176: Leave the ship.
78: Stay on Harbour Street.
256: Talk to the women.
320: An important clue.
216: Don't help him, it's a trap.
317: You don't need candles.
280: You do need something silver.
213: Talk to the silversmith.
248: You should probably pay him. If your interpretation of the rules is simultaneously strict enough that you can't eat Provisions, and loose enough that you can choose "cannot afford to pay the asking price" despite having the money, then choose "cannot afford to pay the asking price"; he'll take all your (useless) food instead of any of your money. Either way:
100: East into Stable Street.
246: If either your Stamina or your Luck is not at maximum, you should buy a drink of the healing potion.
363: Lift the manhole cover.
48: This makes it an official RPG! Climb down the ladder.
321: Walk north.
28: Keep going.
104: Climb back to the surface.
205: Turn right into Tower Street.
127: Help the old man.
51: Go for a drink.
325: (+5 Stamina)
348: Leave the thieves to their business and keep going.
76: Enter the barn.
25: Talk to the blacksmith.
169: If you have at least 26 Gold Pieces at this time, you should buy the chainmail coat. If not, decline and leave.
115: Hand the liar over to the town guards.
274: (+5 Gold Pieces)
222: Go into the gardens. (-1 Gold Piece)
370: Pick a flower and fight your way out.(Gain Lotus Flower)
133: Walk down the lane.
307: Walk past the trolls.
219: It's a trick question. Answer "No."
393: Let them throw you out.
201: (+2 Stamina) Mix the Hag's hair and lotus flower together. Keep the pearls separate. Note that you would have lost the gamebook at the recent "do you have all the items?" check if you had not collected the pearls, even though you have no actual need or use for the pearls.(Lose Hag's Hair, Lose Lotus Flower, Gain Mix of Hag's Hair and Lotus Flower)
259: Pull the cord.
4: Tell him you're a lost traveller.
339: I'm guessing I don't need to tell you that if you go to sleep you won't wake up. Explore the tower.
77: Climb up to the third floor.
310: Climb up to the fourth floor.
65: Open the white door.
319: Open the sarcophagus.
352: Throw your Lantern at the mummy. (Lose Lantern)
106: Inspect the sarcophagus.
163: (+2 Luck, Gain Ring of the Golden Eye)
231: Climb to the next floor.
197: On to the roof.
314: Ask him to heal some of your wounds.
94: (+6 Stamina)
96: Walk over to the chest. From here, you're on auto-pilot. Good luck!