Monday, 27 April 2015

Fabled Lands: Cities of Gold and Glory Review



Cities of Gold and Glory is the second entry into the Fabled Lands gamebook series, expanding the world into the green and pleasant land of Golnir, which is essentially Arthurian Britain, which suits me fine.

If you decide to create a new character in Cities of Gold you start at rank two and, as is to be expected in these books, you get your fleshy body flung across the beach after a gnarly shipwreck. Characters is Fabled Lands lose at oceans.

So here's me. I'm a warrior and I've arrived in Golnir to make my fortune thwacking anything that gets in my way and doing other warrior-ly things, like covering my pecks in baby oil and riding panthers. I don't have a name, not because I'm lazy but because I see this as some kind of amnesia play. No, I lie, it's totally because I'm lazy.

Despite my love for the series, Cities of Gold has the annoying habit of making it difficult to find quests. Back in Sokara I couldn't throw a cat without it hitting a quest-giver and soon I'd run out of cats and have to use weasels, which made me look ridiculous.

There are a few places to get quests - such as Castle Ravayne, which requires Charisma rolls to even get inside and speak to the baroness to acquire said quests. Boo! The other problem with some quests is that they can be random. I went off to find a dragon and had to keep on coming back in order to roll the right number to make the dragon appear. One the one hand, it makes the world feel a little bit more unpredictable. On the other, it means that you have the chance of being completely done in by other hazards instead of the one you're trying to get to.

Like the other books, you can do some extra-curricular activities, like investing money in the merchant's guild, buying town houses, getting a ship and boffing pirates, and becoming a devotee to certain gods. It's all tried-and-true Fabled Lands and one of the reasons these gamebooks are some of the best out there.

Cities of Gold is a good addition to the series, but falls down at making quests accessible. There are some cool characters, but none are particularly memorable. Still, I enjoy my time bombing around Golnir, killing highwaymen (and easy grind) and getting fat loot.