Search Amazon.com:
Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«13 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


Hey, do you remember that old adventure game book series, Fighting Fantasy, that was published throughout the 80s and early 90s? If you recall fond memories of rolling dice and flipping pages, read section 1. If you are unsure of what Blind Sally is talking about, read section 2.

: : : 1 : : :

Yeah, me too! It's been years and I've lost all my books, but I still remember going through Demons Of The Deep and Sword Of The Samurai. I came across Robot Commando in a used book store and (because I might be deranged) my first though was, "wow, wouldn't it be a blast to share this with a bunch of strangers on the internet?"

: : : 2 : : :

Fighting Fantasy is a series of single-player role-playing books created by British authors, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. They operate like a combination of a Choose Your Own Adventure book and a Dungeons and Dragons one-off. Written in second-person, you become the hero as you navigate through fantastic worlds, find hidden treasures, and defeat wicked creatures. Though a fantasy setting was often employed, there were a number of sci-fi and post-apocalyptic books written. This book, Robot Commando, is one of those exceptions. Originally published by Puffin, the series was picked up by Wizard Books in 2002 with a number of title being republished--unfortunately, Robot Commando was not one of them.



If you'd like to learn more about the gameplay mechanics, read on through section 3. Otherwise, skip to section 4.

: : : 3 : : :

The mechanics are fairly simply, and only require two six-sided dice. Our three stats are SKILL, STAMINA, and LUCK. We cannot exceed our initial stats, though we can be weakened and healed. There are a few exceptions, such as if we find an item that can boost our ability.

SKILL - this represents our general fighting expertise, both on foot and in a robot. It is decided by rolling 1d6 and adding 6 to that number. I rolled high for us, so 6+6=12. We have the highest possible starting skill.

STAMINA - is our health. It is decided by rolling 2d6 and adding 12 to the number. My rolls were pretty average. 3+4+12=19. That's a solid chunk of health.

LUCK - is how lucky we are and will affect us situationally throughout the game. It is decided in the same manner as Skill. Ironically, I was unlucky with my roll, so our luck is a bit on the low side: 2+6=8.

Robots have their own stats, which will be revealed when we encounter each one. These include ARMOUR, SPEED, COMBAT BONUS, and SPECIAL ABILITIES.

ARMOUR - is a robot's health.

SPEED - how fast a robot can move. Has ramifications in battle. A faster robot has a +1 bonus to its SKILL against a slower robot. Speeds are Slow, Medium, Fast, and (for flying robots) Very Fast. Also, if our robot is slower than our opponent, we may never Escape a battle even if the option is allowed.

COMBAT BONUS - when in a robot we fight with our skill, however, some robots may be more or less suited to our skills. As such, the combat bonus will either enhance or debilitate our own prowess.

SPECIAL ABILITIES - vary from robot to robot.

With regards to combat, I'll explain the rules when we get to an encounter. It is different depending on whether we fight on foot or in a robot. That aside, let's get caught up on the story!

: : : 4 : : :


Heck, yeah, that's a robot fending off a t-rex!
(Robot Commando was written by Steve Jackon, with the cover done by David Martin and the interior illustrations by Gary Mayes).

quote:

You are a rancher in the land of Thalos. Your people (and your enemies, the savage Karosseans) have built huge robots for many purposes. With a skilled operator at the controls, a robot can replace a hundred men--to mine ore, erect buildings, move cargo, or just about anything else.

The robots are also your best defence against the vicious dinosaurs of Thalos. Many years ago, the great lizards caused much destruction. But now mankind has learned to tame the beasts, and many of the folk of Thalos--like you--are dinosaur ranchers. The ranchers use Mark 5A utility robots, known as 'cowboys', to herd the dinosaurs! But wild dinosaurs are still dangerous, and all robots have guns to defend themselves.

One morning you awake to find everyone on Thalos asleep, except you. You cannot rouse them. As you begin to worry, Karossean robojets scream across the skies. Strange, as Karosseans usually steer clear of Thalos; the brave warriors and many robots make Thalos a difficult target to attack. You listen in on enemy radio chatter and piece together what has happened: the Karossean leader, Minos, has poisoned the planet with a sleeping sickness virus. For whatever reason, only you are immune. A thousand soldiers and hundreds of robots have invaded with the intent of looting the country of its riches and robots--the people of Thalos will be sold as slaves!

You are the last defence of Thalos. You buckle your father's old sword to your waist, pick up five medikits, and step into the robot parking-area. There are many robots, but only two are suitable for long-distance travel. A standard 'cowboy' walking robot, which is not fast, but sturdy and adaptable, and a light flyer, which, while very fast and manoeuvrable, is not really intended for combat.

The book notes that there are three possible routes to saving Thalos and defeating our enemies: one obvious, the others not so obvious. It also notes that the best path to victory is not the obvious one, and requires a minimum amount of risk, strategizing, and solving clues. We must also be careful on our adventure, because it is possible to be prevented from completing our journey, either by capture or death. In case we wind up getting really close to the end and dying, or dying straight out of the gate, I do have a precious artefact that I will entrust to the thread to allow us to save-state back to a previous point: a bookmark! However, to prevent the risk of failure from disappearing entirely, I only have one bookmark, meaning it can only be placed in the book in one place at a time. Pfft, forget that. That'll be dumb and take too much time and be boring. You know what? If we get killed, we'll just keep on goin' as a "new" character. We're here for fun. For robots and dinosaurs. For alien invasions. We're not here for tedium and lame boring crap.

That said, we need to make some decisions before we continue. We are skilled at combat, have decent stamina, and slightly below-average luck:

Skill: 12/12
Stamina: 19/19
Luck: 8/8
Possessions:
-Father's Old Sword
-Medikits: o o o o o
-Bookmark

We need to decide who we are. A name and gender is probably the minimum, but heck, this is our adventure, so I suppose we could make further decisions. The game probably expects us to be human, but maybe we're a dinosaur that pilots robots to ranch dinosaurs? You decide.

Oh, and we also need to decide on what robot we will take. The Standard Cowboy Robot or the Light Flyer Robot.

COWBOY ROBOT
Armour: 10/10
Speed: Medium
Combat Bonus: 0
Abilities: none

DRAGONFLY MODEL D
Armour: 5/5
Speed: Very Fast
Combat Bonus: 0
Abilities: We can escape from any opponent if given the opportunity to escape, even if they are also 'Very Fast'.

Blind Sally fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2014 around 08:25

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


: : :T H E · S T O R Y · S O · F A R . . . : : :



Sue, the Dinosaur Rancher
·Page 1 - Sue gets a Cowboy Robot, punches out a T-Rex, and goes to the City Of Industry.
·Page 2 - Sue cuts up a Robot Security Guard, plays with experimental weaponry, and descends into the City's tunnels.
·Page 3 - Sue gets hopelessly lost, and dies at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

Ultimate Sue, the Ultimate Dinosaur Rancher
·Page 3 - Ultimate Sue decides to not press the red button, wanders in circles, and goes to the fuel refinery.

Inferior posted:

On a planet filled with aliens, dinosaurs and cowboy robots, we've spent the last two pages getting lost and dying in some boring tunnels. We suck at adventure.

·Page 4 - Ultimate Sue destroys some War Of The Worlds-esque Tripods, repairs her robot, and gets eyed up in a junkyard.
·Page 5 - Ultimate Sue talks to a Giant Ape, goes to the City Of Knowledge, and visits Jurassic Park.
·Page 6 - At the park, Sue finds a Super Cowboy Robot, fights a couple of Triceratops, then leaves for the War College...
·Page 7 - ...where she performs a ruse, researches Karossean military weapons, and steals a Transformer, before going to the College of Medicine--where she synthesizes a cure for the sleeping sickness, before being killed ignominiously by lab experiments.

Wentley posted:

Well that was rear end. Not even a combat check? Gamebooks!!

Hollowed Sue, the Cursed Undead Dinosaur Rancher
·Page 8 - Hollowed Sue flees to the Thalos Museum, finds a Luck Amulet and a Karossean uniform, and leaves for The City Of The Jungle.
·Page 9 - Hollowed Sue fights a Nothosaurus, acquires a snake robot, punches out an Ankylosaurus, and tramples a Man-Trap Flower, destroying any hope that her sleeping sickness cure might save Thalos.

paragon1 posted:

Way to poo poo on players for not being retarded game.

Pilchenstein posted:

Burn the stupid book

Cloud Potato posted:

Told you so.

·Page 9 - Hollowed Sue returns to the city to find her Transformer destroyed by Karosseans, tries to return to her Serpent VII robot, and is also destroyed.

Literal Zombie Sue, the Literally-A-Zombie Dinosaur Rancher
·Page 10 - Literal Zombie Sue rises from the ashes of her robot's remains, escapes the ambush in a Borer Robot, and finds herself in a small desert town. She rides a Stilter Robot into the City Of Knowledge where she is promptly blown up by a Karossean Jet-Fighter.

Golden Age Sue, the Archetypal Heroic Dinosaur Rancher
·Page 10 - Golden Age Sue engages the Karossean Jet-Fighter and is promptly blown up.

Silver Age Sue, the Heroic Dinosaur Rancher for a New Age
·Page 10 - Silver Age Sue destroys the Karossean Jet-Fighter, gets a new Super-Cowboy Robot, and blows up a Robot Tyrannosaurus. She then visits the City Of Storms' famed Weather Bureau.
·Page 11 - Silver Age Sue visits the azure coast, yells at a herd of dinosaurs, then triggers a stampede, resulting in her fighting a Tylosaurus. She then leaves for the City Of Worship where she finds Nothing and RISKS ALL FOR GLORY!!!!
·Page 12 - Silver Age Sue wins untold strength and power, and flounders it away by falling asleep in the Temple Of Peace.

RabidWeasel posted:

All these options are carefully worded for maximum potential fuckery

Grimdark Sue, the Edgy and Misguided Anti-Hero for a more "Mature" Age
·Page 12 - Grimdark Sue loses her strength in the face of Fear, and travels to the Capitol City.

Happy-Go-Lucky Sue, the Carefree-Dinosaur-Rancher-More-Invested-In-Entertaining-Herself-Than-Saving-Her-Planet
·Page 12 - Happy-Go-Lucky Sue forgoes any responsibility and goes to the City Of Pleasure.


Blind Sally fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2014 around 17:46

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


I am ambivalent on the name and gender, but I am sure that a Cowboy Robot is the right choice. With a really great robot hat.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012


We need to be a cowboy named Sue (boy or girl optional) but I agree we need a Cowboy Robit with Stetson.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

I have a special ability. The ability to remove humor out of any joke.

Here, let me demonstrate. Just look over to the right.


Sue the Cowboy Robot Rider (Gender either way. Gonna officially vote girl because I flipped a coin)

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


I edited each robot's stats into the post, just in case that changed people's minds. However, Cowboy Robots ARE the height of robot fashion.

paradoxGentleman
Dec 10, 2013


Sue sounds more like a woman's name than a man's to me.
Also, if you have the opportunity to have a Cowboy Robot and you do not take it, you are clearly a soulless Karossean and deserve to be fed to the velociraptors.

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


Alright, let's roll with Sue! Being a discerning woman of taste, the obvious choice of transportation is the Cowboy Robot--which I imagine looks like a gigantic Yul Brynner.

SUE
Skill: 12/12 · Stamina: 19/19 · Luck: 8/8
Possessions:

-Father's Old Sword
-Medikits: o o o o o
-Bookmark

COWBOY ROBOT
Armour: 10/10 · Speed: Medium
Combat Bonus: 0 · Abilities: None


The Cowboy Robot is a man-shaped craft designed for herding dinosaurs. It moves by walking, and though it is armed with weapons for dealing with rogue dinosaurs, it's certainly not as powerful as a war robot. You leave the garage and take one last look at the people passed out around your robot ranch before setting off.



Of course, now you need to decide on a direction to go. The Karosseans are everywhere, but you overheard on the radio that their expeditionary base is located in the Capital City. You can't just charge in their unprepared, so you better arm yourself first. Luckily, there are many cities in Thalos! The two nearest ones are the City of Knowledge and the City of Industry. Hopefully you'll be able to find help in which city you decide to go to.

(So where shall we go?)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012


Industry sounds like it'll have a whole heap o' six-shooters layin' around.

What's this Father's Sword nonsense, we should have tons of guns instead.

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


Night10194 posted:

What's this Father's Sword nonsense, we should have tons of guns instead.

Well, them fancy-dancy city folks back East call it a sword, but it's really just our Poppa's big ol' bear-skinnin' knife.

Let's mosey on down to the City of Industry and see what we can see.

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


Sue heads off in the direction of the City of Industry. It seems like the logical choice. It's a place of great factories and machinery. You're likely to find a bigger and better robot, or some sweet invention to help you destroy the invaders.

After several hours of travel, you enter some narrow, rocky terrain that requires you to use the robot's hands to clambour over. To quote the book:

quote:

You wish you were in a vehicle that could just fly over all this!

Suddenly, you are knocked violently against the rocky walls. A T-Rex has attacked you!

TYRANNOSAURUS
Armour: 8 · Speed: Fast
Skill: 9 · Abilities: None


It's too fast for your robot, so you are forced to fight it.



Fortunately, your Cowboy Robot is MORE than a match for the T-Rex and you kill it with a quick 1-2 combo! You didn't even take a scratch (save for the minor bruises [-1 stamina] you received when the T-Rex sucker punched you)! If you're interested in a detailed break down of that particular fight and robot combat in general, read the Combat Explained section at the end of this post. If you're just along for this absurd ride, simply read the next section and help make a decision.

SUE
Skill: 12/12 · Stamina: 18/19 · Luck: 6/8
Possessions:

-Father's Old Sword
-Medikits: o o o o o
-Bookmark

COWBOY ROBOT
Armour: 10/10 · Speed: Medium
Combat Bonus: 0 · Abilities: None


You continue on your way and it isn't long before you arrive at the the City of Industry. It's normally quite the busy place, but you don't see any signs of life. Well, there are people lying unconscious in the streets, but only you seem to be awake. You have a number of choices ahead of you:

Where will you go?
1. The Fuel-refining Plant
2. The Robot Experimental Centre
3. The tunnels underneath the city
4. Just explore
5. Leave the city


: : :C O M B A T · E X P L A I N E D: : :

Robot Combat
-Roll both dice once for the opponent. Add their skill score (and +1 if they are faster than your robot). This is their attack strength for the turn.
-Then roll both dice for yourself. Add your skill score and any robot combat bonuses (and +1 if your robot is faster). This is your attack strength for the turn.
-Whoever has the higher attack strength scores a hit, causing 2 damage. If attack scores are equal, you evade each other's blows.
-You may use your luck in combat to either strengthen an attack or defend against a blow. To do so, role both dice. If the total is equal to or less than your luck score, then you succeed. If attacking, add an additional 2 damage to your strike. If you are defending, block 1 damage. However, if you are unlucky, you deal -1 damage while attacking, and take +1 damage while defending. Furthermore, for every subsequent use of your luck, you must take -1 from your total. Thus, each use of luck carries a greater risk of failing.
-If the opponent's armour reaches 0, they are dead. If your armour reaches 0, your are not necessarily dead. In some instances, you can escape on foot and find another robot.

I was a bit concerned about this fight considering the bonuses the T-Rex had, but I managed to squeak by. The first rolls were 18-19, so we just barely won it. I managed to get a lucky roll, as well, dealing double damage. Same thing for the second turn, 20-21, and I got a second lucky roll.

T-Rex ain't got nuthin' on Sue.

Oh, and a note on Medikits: they may be used at any time when not in combat, so I will leave it up to the thread when to use them. They only restore 1 stamina, so don't worry about hoarding them for an emergency.

Blind Sally fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2014 around 20:56

Inferior
Oct 19, 2012



Robot Experimental Centre. I got a hankerin' for some of them city smarts.

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


While I would have gone to library land, now that we're here (and punching T-Rex in the FACE) let's head to the Robot Experimental Centre for experimental cowboy robot fun.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012


Off to the robot center

We need to record that yes, robots can punch out a dinosaur. It's valuable information.

Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012


We totally should have gone to clever town, since knowledge is power and power lets you punch dinosaurs. But we'll make do with some Robot Experimental stuff.

Bacon In A Wok
Jan 27, 2014


Question for the OP: Is Luck an unlimited-use resource in this book? My experience with other Fighting Fantasy titles has been that if you attempt to leverage Luck (as was done twice in the T-Rex fight), each action reduced the Luck stat by 1 (making future Luck tests that much less likely to succeed). If this rule isn't in place for combats, it seems like there's almost no reason not to use Luck as much as possible, even with our relatively low score of 8.

Oh, and just to avoid the bandwagon, check out the Fuel-refining plant.

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


Bacon In A Wok posted:

Question for the OP: Is Luck an unlimited-use resource in this book? My experience with other Fighting Fantasy titles has been that if you attempt to leverage Luck (as was done twice in the T-Rex fight), each action reduced the Luck stat by 1 (making future Luck tests that much less likely to succeed). If this rule isn't in place for combats, it seems like there's almost no reason not to use Luck as much as possible, even with our relatively low score of 8.

Oh, and just to avoid the bandwagon, check out the Fuel-refining plant.

Thank you, yes, that's absolutely the case. I forgot to mention it in the last post so I will add it in. I did get lucky the second time, as I rolled a total of 4.

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!



I reckon I don't abide by no dinosaurs.

Oh, for anyone concerned about going to one city of another, the book provides a surprising amount of mobility. We will be able to return to cities previously visited or skipped.

Blind Sally fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2014 around 04:11

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!




Sue pilots her robot towards the Robot Experiment Centre. With a name like that, it's sure to have something good. You don't know much about it, other than the name, but you've read that top-secret experiments are conducted there.

You arrive and enter the lobby. It's pretty standard office building decor; you see nothing of interest. However, the directory notes some points of interests.

Where will you start your search?
1. 2F: Interface Mechanisms
2. 3F: Weapons Development
3. 6F: Amplifier Project
4. 10F: Deteronics
5. Leave the building

paragon1
Nov 22, 2010

Who wants a hug?


3F: Weapons Development sings a siren song to me. We must go to it.

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


1. 2F: Interface Mechanisms

We can BE the cowboy robot.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007


I'm not sure what deteronics are but they sound like they involve detonations, which is another word for explosions, which are good.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

In bird we trust.

The Lone Badger posted:

I'm not sure what deteronics are but they sound like they involve detonations, which is another word for explosions, which are good.

2nd-ing Deteronics, because Sue's Cowboy Jaeger deserves to have giant sticks of dynamite as its primary weapon.

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


I'll take that as a tie-breaker. To deteronics!

You take the lift and find the floor to be nothing but a mess of cubbyholes and bookshelves. There doesn't seem to be any sign of robots or devices. There are tables. Oh, and chairs. You see lots of stacks of paper, too, but nothing is jumping out at you.

Hmm, now what?
1. Keep looking, I'm certain there's something here.
2. Nah, this is dumb. Go back to the lobby.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

In bird we trust.

Keep looking. Look the hardest you've ever looked in your meaningless life!

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


This is dumb (tables and chairs, pshaw!), but we're here, so keep looking!

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


You keep looking. The results are so hilarious, I'm just going to quote the book for this one:

quote:

You poke around, looking for something useful. You find nothing, but a huge book falls from a high shelf and hits you on the head. Lose 1 STAMINA point. The other bookshelves are teetering ominously. You leave in disgust and return to the lobby.

That's what you get for messin' 'round with book-learnin'.

SUE
Skill: 12/12 · Stamina: 17/19 · Luck: 6/8
Possessions:

-Father's Old Sword
-Medikits: o o o o o
-Bookmark

COWBOY ROBOT (Parked outside the Robot Experimental Centre)
Armour: 10/10 · Speed: Medium
Combat Bonus: 0 · Abilities: None


Okay, now what?:
1. 2F: Interface Mechanisms - 1
2. 3F: Weapons Development - 1
3. 6F: Amplifier Project
4. 10F: Deteronics
5. Leave the building


(I'm leaving paragon1's and Wentley's original votes in place, so we'll need some votes to break the tie or choose something else).

Blind Sally fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2014 around 20:57

Wentley
Feb 7, 2012


Man. That'll teach us to get out of our cowboy.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012


Weapon time.

Inferior
Oct 19, 2012



Amplifier. Only the Power of Rock can save Thalos now.

Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012


Inferior posted:

Amplifier. Only the Power of Rock can save Thalos now.
What he said.

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


Just as you were about to make a choice, you once again become flummoxed with indecision. Only this time it's the Amplifier Project that is starting to sound good:
1. 2F: Interface Mechanisms - 1
2. 3F: Weapons Development - 2
3. 6F: Amplifier Project - 2
4. 10F: Deteronics
5. Leave the building

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012


Weapons Development is self explanatory, let's go with that.

scalded schlong
Sep 20, 2003


Amplifier! Guitar things to death with it.

e: oh alright, weapons to tiebreak.

scalded schlong fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2014 around 22:39

Ravane
Oct 23, 2010


Weapons Development. I'm itching to fight some more Kaijus, though.

Blind Sally
Jan 9, 2007

Jim's now a Blind Cave Salamander!


After another bout of crippling indecision, you finally decide on Weapons Development. Phew!

When you leave the lift on the third floor, you are immediately stopped a human-sized Guard Robot standing in the hallway. "Sorry. No admittance," it says.



Hmmm...
1. Try to reason with the robot?
2. Attack the robot!!!!
3. Go to another floor.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

In bird we trust.

Blind Sally posted:

After another bout of crippling indecision, you finally decide on Weapons Development. Phew!

When you leave the lift on the third floor, you are immediately stopped a human-sized Guard Robot standing in the hallway. "Sorry. No admittance," it says.



Hmmm...
1. Try to reason with the robot?
2. Attack the robot!!!!
3. Go to another floor.


gently caress this, let's just go home. ATTACK THE ROBOT!

VIOLENCE IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!

paragon1
Nov 22, 2010

Who wants a hug?


Reason with the robot Maybe he'll be our friend!

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

In bird we trust.

paragon1 posted:

Reason with the robot Maybe he'll be our friend!

Anyone wearing a pair of hipster glasses that enormous is not reasonable.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

scalded schlong
Sep 20, 2003


Seduce Reason the robot!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«13 »