Here is the blurb:
The seaport of Tak is the largest den of thieves, pirates and cutthroats the civilized world has ever seen. In this city of corruption there are two pirates known for their ruthless greed, their daring raids and their countless skirmishes with death. One of these infamous men is Abdul the Butcher. The other is YOU!
Only one of you can be King of the Pirates, but who will it be? A bet is made that the first to reach the distant Isle of Nippur with the greatest amount of gold wins the crown. But beware! The seas are treacherous, and many horrible dangers
await you. . . .
Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to embark on this thrilling adventure. YOU decide which route to fol low, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.
Yes, you, I tell you. YOU!
First things first, we have to determine the nature of our slovenly pirate crew. The key attributes here are CREW STRIKE (how good we are in ship battles) and CREW STRENGTH (the manning level on board our ship, the Banshee). And I rolled a 6, followed by a 5 and a 6, giving us a CREW STRIKE of 12 and a CREW STRENGTH of 17. Not bad at all. Abdul the Butcher stands no chance. I only hope I haven't squandered all our good luck on the ship.
Next, it's our (YOUR!) abilities. Skill, Stamina, Luck, as with all FF books. And I rolled a 6, a 3 and a 4, and another 6, giving us a Skill of 12, a Stamina of 19, and a Luck of 12. This is some seriously good dice rolling. It's pretty much impossible to complete most FF books if you don't have a skill of at least 10 (there's usually a guaranteed fight with a Skill 12 monster at some point) so we're good to go.
Finally, the book tells us we also need to keep a Log. This is a record of how many days our voyage has taken; this is a race, remember.
And off we go. Here's the intro:
The city of Tak, at the northern end of the Inland Sea, is the greatest den of thieves, criminals and cut-throats the civilized world has ever seen. Every form of vice and illicit activity is not only permitted, but even encouraged, in this city of scum. This, your home town, is where your adventure begins.
Of the numerous pirates drawn to Tak, you and Abdul the Butcher are recognized by all as being the kings in daring and greed. However, neither of you are particularly wealthy, as your love of gambling consumes all the riches that you bring back from your journeys against the enemy cities of Lagash,
Marad and Kish.
The infamy that the two of you have bred is also the source of a great rivalry; you each try to outdo the other in increasingly dangerous but breathtakingly successful raids. Your goal - the title of King of Pirates, the Sacker of Cities, which is never bequeathed, but only earned.
One evening, while dicing against each other in one of Tak's gambling-pits, somebody suggests that the two of you should have a contest to determine, once and for all, who is the greatest pirate. The idea appeals instantly to your audacious spirits. 'Yes,' says Abdul, 'let us have a race of speed and treasure.' You agree upon the terms of the contest. Each will take only one ship and, sailing from Tak on an appointed day, will head for the distant isle of Nippur, which lies deep in the great Southern Sea.
The journey must be completed within fifty days and, at the end, whoever has the greatest amount of gold wins the bet.
With shaking of hands all round and much toasting, the deal is sealed. Your journey is about to begin.
[In case you're wondering, no, I'm not typing all this out. Don't be silly. I scanned it and copy-pasted.]
And here we come to our first choice:
So have at it, readers. 55, 20 or 76? You decide. Then tune in next Monday to find out what happens...
On the day appointed for the beginning of the race, you take the Banshee out of the towering granite bay of Tak and into the Inland Sea. Abdul the Butcher's Haveldar cuts quietly through the water beside you.
Far to the east is the hostile but rich port of Lagash; to the west is the Scythera Desert, across which the caravan routes to the cities of Kish, Calah and Assur run. To the south is the mountainous isle of Enraki.
Head towards Lagash for a dangerous but daring raid against its coastal shipping? Turn to 55
Travel to the Scythera Desert to plunder the rich western caravans? Turn to 20
Patrol the Inland Sea via the isle of Enraki? Turn to 76