In this gamebook you play Toby, a young squire in the service of a knight of the realm. You must travel to Dragon's Deep, solving puzzles, fighting monsters and avoiding traps to ultimately defeat the red dragon.
This book has been divided into sections, and you should choose one of the options at the end of each section, which will send you to the section you should read next.
You start with 10 vitality points. If at any time your vitality points reach zero then you have suffered a fatal wound. Unless it says otherwise in the text, this will mean that your adventure is over. There are various ways in the adventure to recover vitality points, but they can never go above the initial value of 10.
The defence score is a measure of how good you are at avoiding attacks. You start with a defence score of 6 and it can be improved by wearing armour and carrying a shield. You can only carry one suit of armour and one shield at a time.
There will be times during your adventure that you will get into a fight. You will be given your opponent's vitality (abbreviated vit), attack (att), defence (def) and damage (dmg) scores. Some opponents will also have an armour (arm) score. Make a note of these in an empty box on the Encounter Record before starting the fight.
Unless it says so in the text, you can always do one of the following before the fight starts (assuming you have the relevant skill or equipment):
Roll for initiative : Roll one die to see who attacks first. On a result of 1, 2 or 3, your opponent attacks first. On a roll of 4, 5 or 6, you attack first.
Your attack : If it is your turn to attack, roll two dice and add the attack bonus granted by your current weapon. If this is equal to or higher than your opponent's defence score, then you score a hit and your opponent will lose a number of vitality points equal to your weapon's damage score. If you are fighting unarmed then you only do 1 point of damage. Any damage will be reduced by your opponent's armour score.
Your opponent's attack : When it is your opponent's turn to attack, roll two dice and add their attack bonus. If it is equal to or higher than your defence score then they hit and you lose vitality points equal to their damage score. If you are wearing any armour then it will reduce this damage. If you are fighting more than one opponent, then each opponent gets to make a separate attack.
Now repeat : Keep taking turns attacking until one of you runs out of vitality points.
Somehow heroes always manage to win against the odds. Call it destiny. Call it fate. Call it karma. They have their ups and downs but when it really matters, things just seem to go their way. Hero points can be used to influence Toby's fate and can mean the difference between life and death. After you make any dice roll, you can opt to spend a hero point to adjust that dice roll to any result that you wish.
For example, if you make an attack roll and the result is a miss (maybe you roll two ones) then you can decide to use up one hero point and set the result to 12 (two sixes), thereby ensuring that the attack does successfully hit.
An essential use of hero points is to ensure that an enemy misses you. If an attack roll shows that an opponent has hit you, then you can spend a hero point and make the roll a 2, thereby ensuring that you aren't hit and so avoid losing vitality points.
If you have played The Renegade Wizard then any Hero Points that you had at the end of that adventure carry over. Otherwise, you start the game with 10 hero points and will gain hero points for performing heroic deeds such as defeating evil monsters.
You start Dragon's Deep with one skill. If you have already played The Renegade Wizard then you will already have picked your first skill. Otherwise, you can pick ONE of the skills listed here and write it down on your adventure sheet.
Arcane Knowledge You are able to decipher magical runes dramatically improving your chances of using and identifying magic items as well as helping you to avoid magical traps. In order to learn to cast spells you must first learn this skill.
Hunter's Guile You are a skilled hunter. You are trained in the use of bows and crossbows and will gain a +1 bonus to your attack score when shooting with one of these weapons. You are stealthy and so enjoy improved chances of success when trying to remain unheard and unseen.
Fierce Attack You are able to deliver particularly strong blows. You get a +1 bonus to any damage you do in hand-to-hand combat and an additional +1 if your weapon is an axe.