by Robin Waterfield, fantasy (1986)
Puffin Books, £3.99, ISBN 0-14-032154-3
Masks Of Mayhem starts off with an idiot plot, which is not a good sign of things to come. You are the ruler of Arion, and yet, when the evil sorceress Morgana shows up to cause trouble, your court wizard Ifor Tynin tells you to go kill her. Apparently wizards like him can't do anything because the magic unleashed in the battle will cause plenty of damage. Like a fool, you believe him, let him be in charge during your absence, and set out to kill Morgana, alone. You don't even bring along a cabal of men with you!
Needless to say, the "twist" at the ending can be seen a mile away, and worse, the payoff is pitiful because Mr Waterfield doesn't even confirm that you are far smarter than he believes you to be. As for the campaign itself, it is a boring by-the-numbers sequence of random combat encounters stringed together. The design of the campaign is such that you will fail even at the last moment if you have not fulfilled some conditions of the campaign - which you wouldn't know until you actually fail - and there are plenty of abrupt failures abound too. The reward for your hard work is a two-sentenced paragraph.
Masks Of Mayhem is an ineptly-written waste of time.
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