by JH Brennan, fantasy (1985)
Armada Books, £3.50, ISBN 0-440-97325-2
As Pip, you are once again needed in Avalon. This time, a strange rot has settled upon the land, blighting crops, causing clothes to fall apart, and... really, everything has fallen apart. Merlin believes that a curse has fallen upon Camelot, and it is up to you to, er, wander around seeking clues as to the source of the Curse and put a stop to it.
Realm Of Chaos sounds like a wild goose chase, and in many ways, it is. Be careful - you have to go through three consecutive maze-like sessions of wandering around, and each session becomes increasingly more brutal. At first you will be making turns at random, but late in the campaign, you are controlled literally by the fickle roll of a die. You have to keep scoring within a fixed parameter or you can spend hours, maybe even weeks, wandering around in circles. Okay, maybe "weeks" is an exaggeration, since you'd most likely do the right thing and start cheating once you realize how ridiculous it is to even try to play this campaign straight up. And when you cheat, the other problems in this campaign - you need some items that you have no idea you need until it's too late - are also magically solved.
There are some amusing humor to be found here, but be warned, there are also ridiculously unfair battle encounters that take place even early on in the campaign, some typographical errors when it comes to numbered paragraphs that will make your circular wandering even more excruciating, and other poor design elements that mar this campaign from the start. Really, don't be a fool and play this one straight up. Cheat. I doubt the author will blame you for doing so.
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