You spell that kind of luck B-A-D
Caverns of the Snow Witch is starting to get old. I’ve already taken a few breaks on to other books, hoping that a second wind would give some insight. So far, it’s only confirmed that there are a minimum of 7 Test Your Luck rolls, with the best path. This means that a initial Luck of 12 would be a meager 5, meaning snakebites and avalanche injuries and your adventure ending here.
On my last playthrough I cheated and still couldn’t get through. I’ll skip a lot of the details, as the adventurous part is covered in the previous postings.
I started with 12/24/12 stats (yeah, I cheated), and I play with two house rules: a) Only lose a Luck point if you pass the TYL roll, and b) shields and the amulet of courage etc. don’t add 1 Skill, but add to attack strength so they’re not subject to the initial Skill score.
After defeating the yeti, I cheated again by collecting my 50 gold and refilling my provisions back to 4. So I enter the Cavern with 4 food, 20 stamina, and 11 luck.
This did not help as much as you would think.
I fight my way through the critters, the temple, and the wizard. I evade a giant, and raid a alchemical stockroom, outsmart a rat, and garlic-stake the snow witch’s vampire form. So far so good; 10 luck left, and still 16 stamina and 4 food. Then the tiresome bit of curses and traps and loot, and the snow witch in a snow globe — with two more TYLs for the battles and our escape. Luck is now 8, stamina 18 after eating 2 food leaving me 2 more.
During the journey home are 3 mandatory TYLs: bird men, a werewolf while camping, and the trolls at Stonebridge.
In combat, I’m feeling pretty great or even overpowered. My 12 skill, a +1 sword from the trolls, my +1 shield, and the +2 amulet of courage, gives me a kickass 16 attack strength. But with a luck of 6, I’m not feeling very confident.
But then that curse kicks in. I lose 2 skill, and am losing stamina on every page. I run into a critter in a cave with a skill 11, and it rips me down to 9 stamina, and cost me a TYL (failure would have been instant death, somehow I rolled a 5 and passed), then I run into a rattlesnake and a failed TYL kills me outright.
Yeah, I really don’t know what to think of this. Even cheating and house-ruling, the sheer number of lethal TYLs here, combined with a nearly-complete absence of healing and luck restoration, makes it phenomenally unlikely to win with the best of stats.
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First published June 16, 2018. Last updated January 25, 2023.
I think CotSW was where Sir Ian really decided to say “I’m going to FUQQ these players up!” by putting SK 10/11/12 in the story like mandatory pit-stops at a NASCAR race and draining ST just for the helluvit. Yeah, DD was difficult, but it was *expected* to be. (10,000 gold to a winner, you better have a high sense of difficulty)
I mean, seriously? Outside of CotS this game was about the most ridiculous. When you CHEAT and LOSE…repeatedly!…that’s saying something.