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The Sword of the Bastard Elf
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The Sword of the Bastard Elf

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Kicked out of home at the cruelly young age of 60, you're left to fend for yourself in the wilds surrounding Bilgeton. You are the Bastard Elf: embark on an epic quest in search of your human father and his fabled couch upon which you might crash, or blow that off as soon as something better comes along. Can you survive in this strange and vicious fantasy realm?

The Sword of the Bastard Elf is an epic single player gamebook adventure of ludicrous size and scope. It's more than 350,000 words long with 1825 sections to jump around and more than 100 original illustrations to gaze at (in your choice of full colour or black and white line art). It also includes a beer and pretzels role playing game for a "Dungeon Bastard" and up to four players, and an introductory scenario to get you started. 

Featuring writing by the weird and enigmatic Herman Skull, illustrations by the humble and enigmatic S. Iacob and a never-before-seen illustration by fantasy art legend Tony Hough (Fighting Fantasy illustrator for Spectral Stalkers, Night Dragon, Knights of Doom and Bloodbones), there's a lot of entertainment right here! It's certainly not a gamebook you'll get to see all of in a single sitting, or probably even ten sittings, with plenty of different ways to get to your goal, or die somewhere outside being eaten by something horrible. However you go out you're guaranteed to have a good time doing it, as every page drips with a combination of black and very low-brow humour.  

A lot of love has gone into this tome. You'll notice the PDF is hyperlinked so you can click your choices to go to the page number you want, and the 170+ items are illustrated and listed in the back of the book for your item-hoarding convenience. There are multiple print versions so you can pick the experience you want: an old-school black and white soft cover book with chunky line art, or an insanely heavy hardcover book in full colour. If enormous tomes aren't your style there's also now a travel edition which packs all this into a man-portable brick of a book (get it here). All versions have the same berserk quests, the same brutal and weird humour and the same goldbrick of an elf to guide about a world that is thoroughly uninterested in his continued survival. 

If you spring for one of the print versions you will own one of the biggest behemoths possible to pack into your bookcase. The stunning full-colour hardcover version weighs in excess of 2kg and commands the respect and awe of anyone entering the room. The slightly more reserved but still utterly huge black and white version will still dominate the bookshelf while also being just portable enough to lug around with you when you go places. 

You can get a couple of things to help you in playing this book : a deck of item cards (regular cards or a print & play/digital reference version) or a special pre-printed card book with a lot more information about the items you'll pick up and the world you're stumbling around in when you play this game.  A bit later on there'll be a Bestiary with even more info, hints and tips and useless jokes. But you don't need any of that stuff to jump in - all you need is a couple of dice and your two rock-hard fists!

Warning: This is not for little kids! While there's nothing overtly sexual or extremely horrible going on here there are some very weird characters, something called a phalloknight, lots of codpieces, an unpleasant dragon and some violent situations which could put anything younger than a teenager off gamebooks forever. Also they won't get the really good jokes.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Ross H April 05, 2021 11:55 am UTC
I've now played/read this book approaching 40 times, and I've just purchased a hardback copy - simply because I love it! On every level, it's just great.
Customer avatar
Samantha I April 05, 2021 2:31 pm UTC
Thanks! I'm glad you like it that much :D did you get one of the ridiculously hard endings yet? there's a few really difficult ones hidden in there :)
Customer avatar
Jean-Francois B May 12, 2020 6:57 pm UTC
It's like if the 7 books of Fabled Lands had an orgy and made a giant baby, it's a compliment since the series is one of the pinnacle of the CYOA books IMHO.
Instant buy!
Customer avatar
Samantha I May 12, 2020 9:15 pm UTC
Thanks, that is a heck of a compliment!
Customer avatar
Jack M May 12, 2020 4:42 pm UTC
So is this a simple CYOA with just choices to make and the occasional penny to flip or one where you make a character and collect stuff?
Customer avatar
Samantha I May 12, 2020 4:49 pm UTC
You roll character stats and collect stuff (about 180 things from memory) that modify your stats and give you special powers or options (mostly, some of it's just garbage). There's a few pages of rules explaining how the combat/skill system works and then about 800 pages worth of choices to make. I doubt anyone will ever see everything that happens in this book and there are lots of little surprises and challenges in there. Plenty of jokes, too.
Customer avatar
Samantha I May 12, 2020 4:54 pm UTC
Oh yeah, also its system uses 6-sided dice. At least two of them, three would be better.
Customer avatar
Jack M May 12, 2020 4:56 pm UTC
I'm sold!
Customer avatar
Samantha I May 12, 2020 4:58 pm UTC
Yay! I hope you like it!
Customer avatar
Jack M May 12, 2020 5:02 pm UTC
Hell yeah man! Thanks for responding so quickly too, very awesome of ya :]

PS: i nabbed the soft b&w/pdf package, gotta have that giant book!
Customer avatar
Dani J August 16, 2018 3:58 pm UTC
Finally It's out! Can't wait till I get my paycheck
Customer avatar
Samantha I August 16, 2018 4:19 pm UTC
I'm glad it's finally out too, it's taken nearly two years!
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File Last Updated:
July 31, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on August 16, 2018.