Warbringer! – Attempt 1, Part 1


Full disclaimer to start with.

As mentioned in my initial posts for this project, this is the one book that I never owned as a youngster.  I borrowed a copy from a friend for a couple of attempts, but didn’t even come close to finishing it without cheating.  All I can remember is that Avenger has to recruit from various potential allies to try and defeat Honoric, and that following a successful attempt at recruiting, there is then a gamebook version of old-school wargaming.

I have one or two other memories of the book, which shall be acknowledged as and when they arise.

Oh, and it is very clear from the start that, unlike all the other books in the series, you do not get a chance to rest and recuperate between books.  You start in media res, as it were, atop the burning palace overseeing the burning city of Irsmuncast.

Its better than those shows that end on a cliffhanger, and then segue to the hero, a week later, drinking a cocktail and talking about how ‘last week’s adventure ended so well, didn’t it?’


Back to the start of Warbringer! (way too many letters to type on a frequent basis).  As mentioned, I am on the top of the palace, wondering what the heck is going on, before I even get a chance to start wondering about Honoric’s invading army.  I have the choice of walking down the nearest staircase, into the interior of the Palance or examining the Orb and Scepter which I collected at the end of the last book.

Ah, Devil-Beast, how does it feel to die painfully and alone?

Even if I hadn’t read this book before, its obvious in the extreme that the Orb is intended to replace my lost eye.  What good the Orb might have otherwise done to rulers with two intact eyes is left to the imagination.  I examine the two trinkets which comprise my birthright.

In a startling surprise, the Orb is the right ‘size and shape’ to fit my empty eye socket.  Do I attempt to shove it in there??  Of course!  What could possibly go wrong with shoving a glowing green gemstone into an empty exposed gaping wound within my eye socket??

I place the Orb into the empty socket, and note that the flesh around it begins to ‘creep’ so that the Orb is being ‘sucked into place’ within my head.  Well, I’m going to assume that this isn’t a David Cronenberg movie, and that I won’t get taken over by the evil power of the foreign body part.  I allow the emerald to embed itself.

My flesh knits around the Orb (and I momentarily picture a group of elderly citizens knitting booties while sitting around a green glowing Orb) and I find that I can see the world through the Orb, now also including the ability to observe the supernatural plane as well.

Aside : There is a minor bug in the book here, in that it does not specifically acknowledge that replacing your eye with the Orb restores the -1 to all modifiers which occurred at the time the Grandmaster of Shadows sucker stabbed me at the point of death. I’m taking an executive decision to restore these modifiers now that I’ve got a glowing green eye.

I then hear Orcish voices on the staircase below me, and leap down to ‘do battle’.  I suppose its more thrilling than leaping down to ‘do lunch’.

Aside : The skill of Climbing would have come in handy here (for an alternate option), but here we are.

Stats: Endurance : 14, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 1


Awesome names : Only a nameless awesome glowing green eye.



8 thoughts on “Warbringer! – Attempt 1, Part 1

  1. So many possible routes to success or failure. This is going to be even more exciting.

    Personally I always assumed you started the book with your hit points restored at least as they would be at maximum if you started with this book, but your right it doesn’t actually say that. In fact in the copy I got most of the usual introduction simply wasn’t there, if it was the first WOTT book you bought there was no way you’d get a second.

    Have to ask, does your book say anything about hit points etc or not? If yours is the same as mine then it would be interesting to know did they change that for the reprint.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting comment about the intro to the book. My ebay copy had the entire story background, but literally nothing about the rules apart from the diagram of the different martial arts tactics.

    I don’t think it can be assumed that you get your Endurance restored. If you are starting with this book, I would say that the starting Endurance of 20 is balanced against the complete lack of modifiers, objects and knowledge. I vaguely recall that if you survive the initial struggles, there is an opportunity to get healed and Inner Force restored, although that memory is very hazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi!

    I discovered this blog a few days ago and am already at the stage of pressing F5 a few times a day to see if the new installment is online, so… thanks for the great read and the nostalgia!

    I’m posting this comment here because I noticed something peculiar. As a child, I played through books 1-2-5-6, but never got the chance to play 3 and 4. All in the French edition since this is where I lived at the time. Anyway, I still have books 5 and 6 and browse them from time to time. In my edition of Warbringer, it is not mentioned that you’ve lost an eye in the previous adventure. Instead, you get the option to bring the orb to your forehead (as an instinct suggests you to do so), where it will embed itself and be like a third eye, that you can ‘open’ at will to see magic.

    I’m left wondering why this differs. My edition dates from around 1995. Has this been changed in the following reprints or censored for young readers in France? If so it took a great deal of rewriting as you can interrupt the embedding process by tearing the orb away, leaving you with horrible scars and making you lose the adventure later on when asking for help – you look too ugly!

    Looking forward to your upcoming posts as I have forgotten book 6 quite a bit and it’ll be nice to discover the new ones. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First – Barristan thanks for reading! I’m really flattered and touched by the responses and feedback I’ve received around the world for my blog.

    The following relates to my 1980s edition :

    Regarding the Orb, if, on paragraph 1, you choose to examine the Orb and Scepter, the book specifically mentions “the emerald Orb is about the right size and shape to fit into the hollow eye socket where your left eye once was, the eye you lost battling the Grandmaster of Shadows in the Mountains of Undying Solitude.”

    If you don’t replace your eye with the Orb at that time, later at paragraph 141, it mentions that the Orb that is “roughly the right size to fit into your empty eye socket”

    So in my text, it seems to make clear that the Orb is intended to replace the eye lost in Book 4.

    May I ask how you heard about this little ol’ blog?


  5. Thanks for your reply!

    I’ve re-read the first paragraph yesterday to make sure and it doesn’t mention you are missing an eye or asks you if you have played through the previous book. This is most peculiar, I might try to dig into it.

    How did I find your blog? A chain of causality. My wife recently pointed me towards an app version of Sorcery! by Steve Jackson – another fabulous series and the adaptation is top notch. I talked about it with a friend on another forum (for the game Blood Bowl, another classic) since he has taken part in Project Aon (I love Lone Wolf to bits). He ended up telling me about the recent release of Lone Wolf #29, jumped on to tell me about Redeemer! and finally linked me to your blog he had just found. Not sure how exactly but he’s a journalist and more connected than me! I’m glad he did, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it – so many points you make drive me to realize how gullible I was as a child…

    And yes, this tortuous explanation totally means my vote goes to Lone Wolf next if you have the time/inclination!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am the friend who pointed Barristan here, and I too greatly enjoy reading this blog. I’ve read the whole thing over the course of a few days.

    Despite my first ever gamebook being Starship Traveller, I became obsessed with the form as a kid and read everything I could get my hands on.

    Many years later I discovered Project Aon and helped them a bit.

    Flash-forward to 2016 and I ordered LW 29: The Storms of Chai from Mr Dever. Naturally this resulted in a Project Aon-assisted playthrough of the New Order series, and as my interest in gamebooks has flared up once more I looked into some other stuff, amd when gamebooks are involved the names Smith and Thomson are never far away.

    I bought Heart of Ice on my Kindle and Redeemer! popped up in my recommendations.

    From the original “wow, didn’t know they did a seventh one – oh and a prequel too!” a quick search for Way of the Tiger brought up this blog and a great deal of entertainment so far. I’ve been a Way of the Tiger fan since getting my first books on Christmas Day, 1988 and wrote this review of Avenger! several years ago: https://gamebookreview.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/way-of-the-tiger-1-avenger/

    Inspired by this blog, I have started a playthrough of the WOTT series (this time from Books 0-7) and have been keeping a death count. I’m currently on Avenger VIII and haven’t even started Book 1 yet!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I looked up a couple of French forums, and it seems like other readers have picked up on the Orb being placed on the forehead instead of the empty eye socket as a ‘bug’. It looks like a translation issue, which in my opinion may have been for censoring reasons. That being said, translations/adaptations take sometimes a lot of liberty. I remember reading an article about the French dubbing of Fist of the North Star and was amazed to discover they basically remade the whole dialog because they didn’t like it! But I digress.

    Liked by 1 person

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