Flying Buffalo's range of Tunnels & Trolls solo adventures included a few Pocket Adventures: little A6 booklets with just 16 pages (including covers, introductory text and special rules) and around 60 sections. The three of them were included in one of the eBay job lots that filled in most of the gaps in my collection last decade.
Pocket Adventure 2, Abyss, is something of an oddity in that the character you play in it needs to have died in a previous adventure. Inspired by medieval Christian mythology and the underworld of ancient Greek legends, it revolves around an attempt to escape from hell and return to life. Theologically a little dubious, but it is only a game.
One thing I'm not short of is dead T&T characters. The only question is which of the seven who failed to survive their adventures is most worth trying to bring back. I've never actually played this adventure before, so I have no idea what challenges await, which stats are most likely to be tested. My character from Naked Doom has nothing worse than low average, so I'll give him a shot.
Str: 13 Int: 9 Lk: 11 Con: 9 Dex: 14 Cha: 13 Spd: 10
He is automatically equipped with the largest sword he can wield, which is a falchion.
I find myself beside an ancient battlefield. A leonine figure appears before me, states that I may regain my life and soul 'by braving the Abyss' and quotes Dryden at me to say it's not going to be easy. Then I am alone, standing on cobblestones. If I'm interpreting the text correctly, moving forward would take me onto the battlefield, which could mean having to fight revenant warriors, so I'll try heading sideways instead.
This takes me to an open courtyard containing a well that belches smoke and fog. Abbadon emerges from the well, and I must fight it or let it drag me down into the well. I suppose I shall have to fight. Combat is as swift and brutal as usual, and that's one character who's never coming back.
The 'total failure' section states that, while the character who's just been defeated is gone for good, I can still try others, and in the interests of making this blog post a little more substantial, I'll let my Dwarf from Buffalo Castle take the challenge.
Str: 12 Int: 9 Lk: 14 Con: 20 Dex: 9 Cha: 8 Spd: 10
His comparatively low Dexterity means that his weapon is a gladius, which isn't as effective as a falchion, so he'd better stay away from the courtyard.
One of the things about gamebooks is that it's sometimes harder than you might think to judge whether or not a particular course of action is advisable. Trying to prise out one of the cobblestones doesn't seem particularly smart to me, but maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. Could they be good intentions given form? And if so, does that make digging one up more or less wise? Only one way to find out...
A small green spider bites my hand, causing my little finger to drop off. Not a great start. Especially as the attendant Dexterity loss means I can't handle the gladius any more. So am I now unarmed, or does it somehow get replaced with a slightly inferior short sabre, which is now the best weapon I can use?
I step forwards, and unexpectedly encounter a scantily-clad blonde who makes a pass at me. There's no way this can't be a trap, so I politely turn her down with extreme prejudice. Well, I try, but 'she' turns out to be a monstrous false prophet, and a more formidable fighter than Abbadon. Unsurprisingly, I do not survive the resultant battle.
I shan't bother with a third try.