Saturday, 24 October 2015

FF #16 Seas of Blood

Haha! I'm really nervous now. How long has it been since I started writing these reviews??

Well, after what seems like forever (how long is that, actually?...) With far too much I have to do and not enough time for what I'd rather be doing... er,  I have managed to re read Seas of Blood =) 

So here you go then; (and I'm going to refrain from any stereotypical piratical outbursts during this review... Land lubber!)

#16 Seas of Blood

The city of Tak is the greatest den of thieves, pirates and cut-throats that the civilized world has ever seen!

In this city of scum, there are two pirates infamous for their ruthless greed, their daring raids and their countless skirmishes with death. One of these villains is Abdul the Butcher. The other is YOU. Only one of you can be King of the Pirates. A wager is laid, a race is on. But which of you will win?

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need for this rip-roaring adventure. YOU decide which course to sail, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

Pirates are cool.
Even Johnny Depp managed to be semi cool when he played one (not anywhere near as cool as Geoffrey Rush was though) And yes, this book allows you to be that cool, badass Pirate Captain you always (maybe) dreamed of being.

Love it. Pirates and monsters and magic and no babes and adventure. I played the shit out of this book as a pimpled youth and enjoyed it just as much as a pimpled adult. I still have my original copy...

How did I get my curtains to hang horizontally? 
Well, that's the magic of computers that is...

The idea is awesome. You basically sail the Inland sea in search of treasure and babes (but usually only finding treasure) to fill the hold of your ship and win the contest with Abdul to become the King of Pirates.
 Being a cut-throat badass with a boat full of naughty pirate scum, you can go for broke and act with surprising impunity, honestly, I didn't remember how violent this one was!
Nothing is sacred to the thirsty pirate, I sacked towns, burnt a monastery, started a fatal brawl in a tavern after cheating at dice, stole shit, chopped people up and sank their ships, drew a dirty penis on a wall and raped an Elf-chicken... unbelievable. I was about 7 when I read this for the first time. And people wonder whyI turned out like this...

This one is Andrew Chapman's work again, the last book he wrote for FF I think? I did a bit of interwebs detective work (because we can do that now, back in the old days you just had to remember stuff) and the few reviews I found treated it a bit harshly, I thought.

But you know what it is? It's the same problem that 'Rings of Kether' had. It's the whole 'two separate story lines that somehow come together and make a cohesive tale' problem.

Ok, I'll try to explain. On the first play through everything was pretty normal - leave Tak, raid caravan, sink ships, sack town, take slaves and sell them yada yada.
The second time through however things got weird quick.
 After doing some of the aforementioned normal pirate shit I decided to take a bit of a swim and found a sunken vessel. Sounds normal, right? So I starts poking around and find myself beseeched by a group of creatures calling themselves The Sea Sprites - Guardian keepers of the Salt Skull... OK.
So I have to help the sprites out by going deep down under the ship and battling a Krell who has stolen a priceless artifact of immense power and importance that separates salt water from fresh water (the skull)
Turns out the Krell can talk too; but it doesn't matter cause I stick him and recover the skull, which I then good natured-ly return to the sprites who bless my floating syphilitic eyesore and send me on my way.

 'Hahahaa, yummy, a human for me to... 

Right. So that was a weird way to spend an afternoon.

 I could go on about how un-piratey of me it was to bother with returning such a treasure - but lets face it, it's a gamebook. There's only room for so many options and we'll have to save the plot-exploding player decisions for RPG's... I'm not even going to talk about the swamp goblin horde/sunken castle adventure or the giant birds nest/dungeon crawl brain maggots...
Gets away from you, does this book.

The rest of the book is great though, there are a good range of foes to fell and some genuinely funny interactions (bit like some of the moments in 'Space Assassin') which I wont spoil. Some of the enemies you meet are other pirates who know about your bet (and I reckon were paid off by Abdul to get in your way!) And some folks who just don't know whats about to hit them! But the crown jewel as far as this books writing goes however has to be the ridiculously cool fight with the Cyclops.
That was fucking fantastic.

The art is by Bob Harvey, who also did the interior art for 'Talisman of Death' and I came to know and love while reading the 'Way of the Tiger' series. He has a cool style which is perfect for this kind of setting - sort of eastern mythology meets Sinbad. I did read that he is often compared to Alan Langford ('Island of the Lizard King', 'Sword of the Samurai') and, yeah I'd agree with that, but I would say that Bob has more D&D going on in his work.

And that cover... love that cover =)

Rodney fucking Matthews is the man! I didn't have a print of this piece as a kid but I did have a HUGE fantasy locomotive by Rodney on my wall. Great cover with a perilous scene from the book displayed to wet your appetite!

So yeah, 'Seas of Blood' Buy it and read it already!

Can I go now?



  1. Well done Ace, good to see you back in the saddle :)

    Oh, and just a tip, I think you might want to remove your newsfeed off of the Oldhammer forum if you're gunna post plastic airplane kit builds...a few people aren't too happy about getting notifications about them :D

    Unfortunately I don't think you can select when to do newsfeeds on a "per post" basis either. Might want to ask the moderators, they'll know better than I on this subject.

    How's your Goliath dudes going? Painted up yet? Also, any more FF reviews on the offing?

    I bought a whole bunch of FF's for my son while I was back home to read, but he's still too young to get into them...a few more years :)

    Cheers bro.

    1. Thanks man, glad you liked it =)

      As far as the Oldhammer forum is concerned I haven't received any notification that I'm breaching any rules of conduct? If anyone has issues with this blog being posted to the forum they can let me know.

      Lots of things end up on this blog, but then I guess I'm just an interesting guy =)
      I would seriously love to do more gaming. I'm looking forward to my first proper games of RoC, RT and continuing with Rackham's Hybrid and it's so disappointing to not be able to get round the table to actually play and photograph for the blog; but in an effort to not waste what small amount of time I do have I concentrate on solo endeavours, not all of them concern the same things.

      The Goliath's are getting there, slowly! And there will def be more FF coming up, all a matter of juggling real life and work ;)

      Take it easy,


  2. Goodness me. The memories that came back just looking at your post. ^_^
    I used to love these choose-your-own-adventure books and even have some old copies from my youth lying in a cupboard somewhere. Tried my hand writing some of my own as a child but failed miserably. XD

    1. Glad you liked it! These books are some of my favourite memories as a kid. I never gave writing an adventure a go however! What was the story you started going to be about??

    2. Heh heh ... nothing worth mentioning at all. Safe to say most decisions resulted in the most gruesome death possible. :)

    3. Oh, see now I really want to read it!

  3. I remember really digging this book way back. I was thinking about the last few days and wondering why it was never reprinted. I guess the slaving your way to a win would be frowned on these days :(

    1. I think you are right reg the politically correct twits ruining the chances of a re-print, sadly. Def one of the most re-playable books from the series!

  4. that was the first FF book i ever read, found it at a jumble sale and it sucked me into the whole lot.

    1. Not a bad way to get started! Did you ever manage to collect them all?