Monday, November 7, 2011

Vault of the Vampire

There's no particular reason to start with this one. It's #38 in the series, popular but not widely considered the best, and far from the most in need of a walkthrough/solution. However, I'm not sure where my copy of Warlock of Firetop Mountain is at the moment; hopefully I'll get to it soon. In the meantime.

This book is highly atmospheric. While a number of other Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks either strongly encourage ignoring roleplaying elements (Appointment With F.E.A.R., where you can easily die for not choosing to have your superhero character deliberately let a supervillain get away) or presume your character is highly mercenary (Forest of Doom, which phrases your motivation for going on the quest entirely in terms of the reward you expect on successful completion of your self-assigned task), in Vault of the Vampire, your character is presented as, effectively, a paladin. You have the option, during the book, to be ruthless or cowardly, but either is likely to cost you dearly. This book is also among the most forgiving of the Fighting Fantasy series, which is what leads me to say it doesn't really need a walkthrough. However, I wrote one anyway.

(Walkthrough behind the cut.)

Like most Fighting Fantasy books, your character has the standard Skill, generated by rolling a six-sided die and adding six to the roll (1d6+6), Stamina (2d6+12), and Luck (1d6+6). You also have a fourth stat, Faith, generated by rolling 1d6+3. Following this walkthrough, you should be handily able to complete the adventure even if you rolled a 1 for a starting Faith of 4; I make no similar promises for bad rolls in the other stats, however.

You begin play with ten Provisions (enough to restore 40 Stamina points total over the course of your adventure). Unlike some Fighting Fantasy books, you do not have, nor can you obtain during this adventure, a potion which will restore any of your stats to its maximum. You begin play with no gold and a basic, nonmagical sword.

This walkthrough won't list every entry, skipping entries where there is nothing to decide.

1: After accepting the quest to rescue Nastassia from Count Heydrich, choose "ignore the coach and ask directions to the castle."

148: (+2 Gold) Parlay with the figure.

344: (-2 Stamina, +2 Meals)

13: Valderesse is with you.

64: No choices.

383: Talk to the man.

126: (Stamina back to Initial value)

228: Possible injury before getting to:

362: Circling the castle before going in gives you a chance at a clue. It doesn't cost you anything to circle the castle; it also doesn't gain you anything if you plan on following this walkthrough the rest of the way. One way or another, you wind up at:

326: Open the south door.

18: Go through the west door, one step ahead of the rats. A possible battle later, the next time you have a real choice to make is:

311: Don't give up now.

342: Press on.

33: You can keep retrying this staircase until you succeed on the Luck test, but, of course, each time you Test your Luck, you lose one point of Luck. You should keep trying until you succeed or your current Luck score reaches 1 so that you cannot possibly succeed, whichever comes first; the adventure doesn't become impossible if you don't get the magic sword you can get here, but it does become a great deal harder. (-1 to -10 Luck)

86: If you are Lucky before you run out of Luck, there's a Faith test. Either way, ring the bell and follow Siegfried's instructions. (+1 Luck, +1 Faith, gain Magic Sword)

380: Reiner is in the Crypt, but you can't get in yet and you're not equipped to face him anyway. Head for the north doors.

2: Go into the west door and search it. Depending on the result of the Skill test, you may, or may not, gain treasure worth 4 gold pieces. The money will not help you on this adventure unless you only plan to use this walkthrough for part of the gamebook, in which case it might; the Skill test costs you nothing in any case.

110: Either way the test goes, you have a decision to make. If your current Faith score is 8 or higher you can skip the east corridor, and should do so if you want to maximize your chances of success: Go through the north door; If it is 7 or lower, go down the east corridor.

256: Follow the corridor...

166: ...and go in the east door at the end of the corridor.

252: If you encounter a Wraith but have the option to avoid combat with it, do so. If you do not have that option (that is, you succeed on the first Faith test and fail the second one), kill it.

316: Don't turn back now.

390: If you succeed on the Faith test, bypass the Ghoul. If your Stamina is 4 or more points lower than maximum after dealing with the Ghoul, this would be a really good time to eat Provisions until that is no longer the case (despite what the smell of the Ghoul does for your appetite).

159: It doesn't matter whether you succeed or fail on the immediate Faith test on entering this room. The mechanics are somewhat complicated, but practically speaking, you should search the room if you are prepared to bet your life on rolling less than or equal to your current Faith on 1d6+4. (This is not the same, functionally irrelevant, Faith test you make upon entering the room; there are a lot of potential Faith tests you can make in this room.) If your Faith is low enough that you do not wish to make that bet, you should instead try to wake the girl, and kiss her when you can't waken her by more conventional means. This way leads to a tougher fight, but with no save-or-die test at the beginning. Examine your Faith score, choose wisely, and hopefully wind up at:

51: (+1 Luck, +1 Faith, gain Shield of Faith)

The north door from the entry room of the castle

101: Go in the east door.

172: Don't go out of your way to attack the zombies if they aren't attacking you. Don't retreat. With or without a fight, press on into the kitchen...

282: ...and loot it (+6 Meals). Next go in the west door.

221: A basic fight, then, (+4 Gold, +2 brandy, gain Silver Mirror). When you want to restore health, you should drink the brandy up before eating Provisions. Whether you try the north door or not, you'll wind up going down the eastern side-passage.

353: Go in the north door. (Gain Book of Healers)

258: Talk to Doktor Adenauer.

75: First and foremost, ask about getting into the library. If you have more than 6 Gold, feel free to buy any other information you're curious about; you will not have any other use for gold in the rest of this gamebook.

332: You have the key.

378: (Gain Book of Swords; note number 188) Press on until you come to:

154: Open the south door.

131: Talk to Gunthar Heydrich.

15: (+4 Stamina, gain Crucifix) Show Gunthar the Book of Healers.

235: (Gain Potion of Healing) It is not apparently possible to show Gunthar both books, but he gives bad advice if you show him the Book of Swords anyway. Press on.

294: If your Stamina is 4 or more points lower than maximum, this would be a really good time to drink brandy/eat Provisions until that is no longer the case. Then open the north door closest to you (-4 Stamina) and fight the Minor Thassaloss there. Search the Thassaloss's chamber.

320: If you have a Magic Sword, open the remaining north door, and after exploring that room, follow the corridor around to the south. If you don't, follow the corridor around to the south. (+1 Faith, note that you have destroyed one of Reiner's coffins, if you have a Magic Sword)

31: The first east door has nothing. The west door has an incidental fight, 3 Gold Pieces of loot, and a potential net loss of 1 Luck point. Open either at your discretion before opening the second easterly door.

227: Talk to the man. (Gain Castellan's Keys, Silvered Stake)

87: Go into the door on the east side.

302: Silence the organ.

37: (-1 Stamina) With some nearby object.

149: The candlesticks.

203: (-1 Stamina) Go through the north door.

361: (+2 Gold Pieces, gain Ring of Regeneration) You have met Gunthar. Succeed or fail on the Skill test, you wind up heading for the door at the south end of the balcony.

244: The white wine will restore 4 Stamina points, but cause you to fight your next battle (only) at a -1 Skill penalty. Decide whether to drink it or not. Don't touch the bottled blood or blood cakesred wine or biscuits. With or without drinking the wine, your next fight awaits you beyond the west door. NOTE: If you reach this point without having destroyed at least one of Reiner's coffins (because you did not have a Magic Sword and failed the previous Skill test), the gamebook is not winnable.

135: You may, or may not, now have the Curse of the Bat, but it shouldn't make a difference even if you do. (Gain 4 Gold Pieces, and press on)

382: (+1 Faith, note that you have destroyed one of Reiner's coffins) Open the first desk drawer.

392: (+4 Gold Pieces) If your Stamina is 4 or more points lower than maximum, this would be a really good time to drink brandy/eat Provisions until that is no longer the case. If your current Luck score is 12, open the second desk drawer. If not, my advice is to leave it alone and open the safe. Either way, if you survive, it will be a while before you have a choice to make again, at:

123: You remember that Lothar referred to the Count saying "Forward and back" and laughing. You translate the code on the chest by advancing every other letter one place in the alphabet, and regressing the remaining letters one place.

Herein the armour of Siegfried
the chain mail of the valiant one
three hundred and fifty separate links
of finest armourers craft

350: (+1 Luck, +1 Faith, Gain Siegfried's Chainmail)

157: Enter the tomb of Boris the Drunkard.

210: Investigate the sarcophagus.

262: Having come this far, turn around and, seriously, open the bottle. From this point on, you should finish your Provisions before you drink brandy, since you are past the part of the book where you risk suddenly losing all your brandy, and you can drink brandy more quickly than you can eat Provisions.

306: Head for the T-junction.

230: Go in the south door.

8: Walk toward the ghost.

102: If you have the spell(s) Luckspell and/or Trueheal, you'll need to decide when to use them; this walkthrough will not mention them again. I will call out the ideal times to use the other four spells you may now have, one of them very shortly. If you do not know the spell Shatter, and your Stamina is 4 or more points lower than maximum, this would be a really good time to drink brandy/eat Provisions until that is no longer the case. If you know Shatter, you should save your Provisions.

371: Very shortly indeed. If you know the Shatter spell, cast it at the Major Thassaloss. Do not use Forcewall or Jandor's Bolt here; neither will help, and both would be better saved for Reiner anyway.

224: Go down the north steps.

257: Open the door.

338: Wait to see if anything happens.

229: You have all the items Siegfried asks you about. (Gain 1 Holy Water, +3 Stamina or Stamina restored to maximum)

94: Cut yourself without hesitation. (+4 Stamina, +2 Luck, +1 Faith, gain Nightstar)

82: If your Stamina is 4 or more points lower than maximum (unlikely as that is at this point), you will never find a better time to drink brandy/eat Provisions until that is no longer the case. Go down the south stairs.

274: Show Reiner your Silver Mirror.

17: Throw as much Holy Water as you have at him. If you know Jandor's Bolt, follow up the Holy Water by casting it at him, and finally, if you know Greatstrike, cast it before attacking him.

28: Reiner turns into mist and starts to retreat. Cast Forcewall to trap him if you can, unless your Skill is so high and your dice have been so unkind so far that you think both of you regaining some Stamina will be to your advantage rather than his. (If you have the Forcewall spell and no means at all of regaining Stamina--all your meals are gone, no Potion of Healing, no brandy, no Trueheal--you should use Forcewall to trap him in any case.)

106: If you somehow know the Greatstrike spell at this point, use it. Neither other spell will be at all helpful even if you still know them. This is the final battle; good luck, brave warrior.

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