The Ultimate Lone Wolf Replay System
It seems like no matter how many times you play through certain Lone Wolf books, you wind up making the exact same choices. And doesn't it seem that if your character is powerful enough to survive the tougher battles, much of the series will be too much of a breeze? Don't you wish that you could play books like 11 or 17 as stand-alones without having a 99.99846% chance of death? This new system solves ALL of these problems. Interested? Read on to learn more. . .
If you are a little confused, don't worry; I'm going to explain it all, step by step right now, as if you were to play it out. It may seem a bit lengthy, but I promise it'll be worth it.
I. Choosing your series type:
First, you have to choose which books you are playing:
Keep in mind that these games are actually listed in order of increasing difficulty. In other words, the more books you play, the more challenging the game will likely be, despite the fact that you will earn more Items and Disciplines. Also note that this system is designed with the basic series (1-20) in mind. I may later incorporate Grey Star, the New Order books, and/or even Dawn of the Darklords into this system, but not now. (I have only provided point lists for books 1-3, but will provide more when interest demands it).
If you are playing type 2 or 3 (trilogy or cluster), choose from the following sets, which I have been pretentious enough to name:
Books 1-3: Treachery's Consequences
*Okay, so that's two books, not three. Sue me (that's a joke! Get Johnny Cochran off the phone). It still counts as a three-book set.
If you play a cluster, you play two trilogies in a row (for example, 4-9 or 13-18, but not 4-6 + 10-12 or 1-3 + 16-18).
II. Choosing Your Point System:
There are two types of points to earn--Valor and Discovery.
Valor points are earned through acts of bravery, selflessness, or even dramatic flair. Typical ways of earning them include saving an innocent victim, or defeating a rare or powerful enemy. They are detracted for acts of cowardice, selfishness or needless destruction.
Discovery points are earned through finding out significant information, or figuring out something relevant to your mission. Examples of events that award you these points would include finding an important message or using a Discipline to assess an event. You lose these points for acting senselessly, wasting time, or making a very lucky guess.
You can choose from three point systems, each with an accompanying bonus:
I'll explain exactly how the multiplication works later. Right now, you just need to understand that the standard point system weighs the points equally, whereas both the Valor and Discovery systems each favor their respective points. In other words, if you are playing a Valor system, you will want to play Lone Wolf as being more of a flashy hero, if you are playing a Discovery system, you will want to play Lone Wolf making more sound judgments, and if you are playing a Standard system, you'll simply be going for a more balanced strategy.
Note that each book tends to favor one type of point system over another, i.e. it will not have the same number of Valor points as Discovery points available. Therefore, a game played with one system is not comparable to a game played with another, just as a game played in one book or set is not comparable to a game played in another.
III. "Luck of the gods"
Before you start your adventure you are given 30 Luck points. Rather than use Random Numbers to pick your Combat Skill and Endurance points, you use Luck points. For every 2 points you spend you can increase your Combat Skill by 1. For every 1 point you spend you can increase your Endurance points by 1. You are still only permitted to raise each category by 9 points (which would use up 27 out of your 30 points at most, leaving you with a minimum of 3 leftover points). If you want to carry all 30 Luck points with you through your adventure, you will have to start with rock-bottom stats (10 CS and 20 EP, or 25 CS and 30 EP, depending on which book you start from).
So why would you want to save any of your Luck points? They can be used to "cheat" any Random Number pick. Here's how they work:
When you are instructed by the text to pick a Random Number or are engaged in combat, you may simply pick any number of your choice between 0 and 9. If there are any adjustments to make to the roll (e.g., "Add 2 to this number if you possess Huntmastery"), then they happen after the pick, just as if you picked the number randomly. If "0=10", that fact will still come into play if you pick 0. The cost of this option differs by game type:
Books 1-7: 3 Luck points
Sets 1-3 and 4-6: 3 Luck points
Set 1-6: 3 Luck points
Full Series: 1 Luck point
Example: You are playing book 8 as part of the 7-12 cluster. You are beset upon by the Silver Swamp Python but you have Animal Control and have earned the rank of Primate since you have completed book 7. Since you do not have Invisibility or the rank of Tutelary, you note that you have only a 30% chance of turning aside the beast. This set only requires 1 Luck point each time you take a Free Pick (it would cost 2 Luck points if you were playing this book as part of the 7-9 trilogy, 4-9 cluster, or as a stand-alone). You decide to spend the required 1 Luck point on this option, giving yourself a 7, 8, or 9. Any of these numbers are high enough to escape the Python's wrath without requiring additional adjustment from the text, so you have probably just avoided a dangerous fight with the use of 1 Luck point.
Free Adjustment: If you have already picked a number randomly, and you want to change it, you can do so by adding or subtracting any number of points to your pick, at a cost of 1 Luck point per point of adjustment (this does not depend on game type). You may still not increase your pick above 9 or lower it below 0 (0 is considered as zero for the purposes of free adjustment, regardless of how 0 is represented in the text or combat chart). All adjustments in the text, including 0 becoming 10 if that occurs, happen after you have already used your free adjustments.
Example: You are fighting the Akraa' Neonor at the climax of book three, playing as a stand-alone (section 200). Partly because you have given yourself a good Combat Skill score, you are fighting in the 0/0 ratio column. However, partly since you have given yourself a good Combat Skill score, you have only 5 Luck points left. You wish to save 3 Luck points to help avoid the 40% chance of death in the next section (272). Since this leaves you with only 2 Luck points to use in this battle, you do not take a Free Pick (which would cost 3 points). You are in the seventh round and pick an unlucky 2 as your Random Number. The Akraa'Neonor has 9 Endurance points left, so you realize that you would not defeat it in time to save Loi-Kymar unless you adjust the pick. Rather than use all 5 of your Luck points to increase your pick to 7, you use 2 Luck points to decrease your pick to 0, which kills the beast with 3 Luck points to spare.
Luck points are used up just like Items. Once gone, they are not restored in the next book you play. If you "continue," however, you may still have points you spent in that same book (see below). You may use either the Free Pick or Free Adjustment options for any Random Number pick at all except the Combat Skill and Endurance point scores. You may even use these options on other "frontmatter" picks such as Weaponskill and Gold Crowns (you may or may not find that useful).
After successfully completing a book, refer to the point list for the book you just played (see below). Successfully completing a book means getting to section 350 (exceptions are made for books 3 and 5; see their respective point lists). The point list will refer to certain sections of the book and award or detract anywhere from 1 to 5 valor or discovery points for certain actions. If you are playing the Standard point system, multiply all of these bonuses AND penalties by 2. If you are playing the Valor point system, multiply all Valor point bonuses and penalies by 3 and keep the stated adjustments for Discovery. If you are playing the Discovery point system, do just the opposite (multiply Discovery bonuses/penalties by 3, keep Valor bonuses/penalties as stated). Add this score to any points you may have from previous books (if any) in the game-type series you are playing.
Mark this final total with a saved copy of your Action Chart before proceeding to the next book in the series. I will refer to this total as your Adventure Score. If you get stabbed to death by Drakkar spears, get hurled into the Lake of Blood or otherwise fail your mission in the next book, you may use this saved Action Chart, which should include your previous Luck points and Adventure score. You do NOT have the option of keeping any points or Items earned in the book in which you failed. Additionally, each time you "continue" in this manner, you lose 10 points from your saved Adventure score.
After you complete the last book in the game-type series you are playing (which would be the first book if you are playing stand-alone, the third book if you are playing trilogy, the sixth if you are playing cluster, and book 20 if you are playing full series), tally up your Adventure score as usual, then add any leftover Luck points to your score (they each count as 1 Adventure point; they cannot be multiplied like Valor and Discovery points). You should now have your final score. It can be compared with other scores for the same game-type series and point system.
V. Tips for maximum scores
VI. The Backwards Game
If you ever get bored with the gazillion variations of play this system has, there is one final variation that should interest you: Reverse Scoring. Playing this way, all Valor and Discovery points are awarded NEGATIVELY. This means that +3 means -3 and -1 means +1. In other words, your goal is to act as selfishly and/or as foolishly as possible while still surviving. You can play a Standard, Valor, or Discovery system with this variation, just as with a normal game. All book series types (stand-alone, trilogy, cluster, or full) are compatible with this variation as well.
This is not as easy as it sounds. In some books, you will be actively seeking opportunities to be particularly nasty or ignorant. In others, you will be more on the look-out to avoid places where you wind up automatically acting noble or wise. This last variation is obviously contrary to the spirit of the Kai, but it provides lots of wicked fun! There are a few points cleverly hidden with this final variation in mind: you may have to look in areas few people ever venture to find them.
By far the most important part of this rules system, for me anyway. Tell me what you think (Miiiiiike@aol.com). Better yet, tell all of your fellow LW fans (Kai Wisdom comes to mind)! If you see any way to improve this method of play, or have any requests, questions, or concerns, don't hesitate to let me know. Okay, on with the essential lists. . .
VIII. Point Lists
The following are point lists for books 1-3. This means that you are limited, for the time being, to playing books 1, 2, and 3 as stand-alones, or as the Treachery's Consequences trilogy. If there is any popular demand at all to continue, I will go ahead and make up the rest of the lists. I may also make up point rankings, to let you know what the average versus maximum scores are for each system(considering all the possible variations, that would be pretty difficult!).
I recommend that you play each book as a stand-alone and consult the list only AFTER you complete the book. This will give you the unique opportunity to figure out for yourself what gives you the most Valor or Discovery points. After you have done this once with each book, you will learn exactly how many points are awarded or detracted for certain actions. You can then use this knowledge in strategizing to perfect your stand-alone scores or to attempt the first trilogy. Remember that you can play each book and/or the trilogy in any of the three point systems (Standard, Valor, Discovery).
Most sections grant or detract points for simply getting to the particular section alive. Other sections require that you have or are missing a certain Discipline or Item to get the appropriate bonus or penalty. Still others require that you either take or keep an Item available in that section to get the point adjustment. "Taking" an Item means adding it to your inventory at the time but it doesn't matter if you discard it later, even in the same book. "Keeping" an Item means that you still have it when you finish the current book (what you do with it in future books has no effect on your score, however).
You may want to take notes at each section of the book you pass through, so that you know precisely how many points to add and detract. However, since that can be a bit troublesome, you can probably rely on many of the descriptions of the points given here and simply refer back to the appropriate section if unsure. If you have a spare copy of the book you are using, you may even wish to pencil in the points at their respective sections once you've already read the list.
Section 8: +1 Discovery (D) for figuring out the location of the battle.
6: -3 V for attempting wanton theft.
Note: If you are playing book 3 as a stand-alone or as part of the Treachery's Consequences trilogy (1-3), section 61 also counts as an acceptable ending after which you may tally your final adventure score. However, if you are playing it as part of the 1-6 cluster, or as part of the full series, you must still reach 350 to continue on to book 4 (i.e., if you get to section 61, you must restart book 3 with the inherent penalties associated with "continuing" just as if you had gotten killed).
14: -3 V for attacking the defenseless Barbarians
Lone Wolf © TM Joe Dever 1984-2000.