Rings of Kether

YOU become a vice squad detective looking to bust a drug ring on some outer rim planet called Kether. Like the deadly Marijuana scourge of the twentieth century, this lethal drug is a threat to law and order and all that stuff.

Put on your white Don Johnson suit and shades, because the War on Drugs has reached out to the stars.

You’ll have exciting spaceship battles and brief laser blaster battles. You’ll get your butt kicked by gangsters. You’ll lurk about in warehouses and bars. You’ll stop at nothing to find out who’s behind… the drug rings of Kether.

Review and Opinion

This one is really interesting, in the amount of play that does not involve the dice. At one point I did a whole playthrough (in which I died) and realized that I hadn’t touched the dice since rolling up the character. On another play, the boss fight was the only combat at all, and my third time touching the dice in that play was near the end. So, that’s unusual in the relatively low ratio of game in this game book.

I’m not saying that that’s all bad. The writing was pretty decent, and thugs in bars was a welcome diversion from dungeons and caves. And there is so much interconnection in this book. It’s 400 paragraphs as usual, but the number of them dedicated to details of a conversation and choices during a car chase, and the number of paths that land back at the same decisions, is mind-boggling.

RoK introduced two new ways to get killed: spaceship battles (in space!) and gun fights. In both cases, it’s “roll 2d6, hit if less than your Skill” meaning that someone with a skill above 8 will hit relatively often. Your spaceship has 1d6 shields, so a couple of hits is a problem. A gun still does 2 Stamina damage, but depending on Skill there can be a lot of hits in a short time, making gun fights deadly and brief. So kudos again, to bringing in some new mechanics, which is something I appreciate.

All in all, a fun book and several fun evenings. I had to keep putting it away and coming back to it, because despite dozens of plays getting me close to the end (that boss fight is a doozy) I haven’t seen most of the book yet and I have a whole lot more mapping to do. That’s some significant replay value.

Errors

On 304 you get beaten up pretty badly, and “lose 2 Stamina points permanently.” It’s not clear whether this means to reduce your initial Stamina by 2, but I read it as such.

On 308 you “secrete” yourself, hiding out to wait for someone. Eeew.

On 44 you’re at a meeting with Mrs Torus. Depending on your path, you may have no idea who this is and the book doesn’t cover that.

Maps

 

Publication

Andrew Chapman

1985

Book 15 in the series

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