Prisoners of Pax Tharkas (1985)

This is the first volume of the Super Endless Quest adventure gamebook series from TSR, Prisoners of Pax Tharkas (1985). If the Endless Quest books are a riff on Choose Your Own Adventure, Super Endless Quest is basically a D&D version of Fighting Fantasy (though with slightly more rounded characters and writing), with stats and dice rolling. This is the only one of the series I’ve ever come across. Given how often I see Endless Quest books, I have to assume these just never had huge print runs, despite the series running three years across 18 volumes.

This is a Dragonlance story and what I like to think of as a janitor’s tale. The action takes place alongside the action of the the first Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, but you can’t effect the events of that novel (if given a choice to do so, that option is always wrong), so you wind up lurking on the edges of a more interesting and dynamic story, cleaning up a couple of minor messes. There also doesn’t seem to be an ending? Well, there are bad endings, but the good ending I got gave me a stat boost and encouraged me to play again. Not exactly the best reward, but Endless is in the name of the series so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Normally I am a sucker for Parkinson’s paintings but this one leaves me cold. The palette is rather bland and I am not sure what to make of mini-Dolly Parton there. Mark Nelson’s interiors are pretty nice though.

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