The Arborell gamebooks have been brought to my attention through the gamers' 
list, so I went to the website and checked the game out, never having played a 
gamebook before.  I downloaded it, (two zip files,) put them on my Pac Mate 
and, upon discovering it needed stats sheets and combat resolution sheets and 
dice, I starting an Excel spreadsheet.  It keeps track of everything and rolls 
two dice whenever any variable is changed.  For example, in the first phase, it 
adds the points from your strength, agility and so on, and shows the total 
underneath the last attribute.  (You can't go over 50.)  It calculates your 
combat value as well.  It will also have a complete list of all equipment you 
can buy with the second set of 50 points, the cost of each, with running points 
total under that.  You'll just erase the variables of any unwanted items.  It 
still needs a bit of work, and I'm sure someone with more Excel experience 
could do a lot better than I, but if anyone wants the file I'll send it to 
Arborell's development team, and perhaps someone else could host it as well in 
the meantime.  I haven't looked at the maps yet but perhaps there's a way to 
write one for the PM or a Braille embosser, much like the maps in NetHack for 
the PM--dashes for horizontal walls, dot 4-5-6 for vertical ones, and so on. 
As for the game itself, it's totally usable on the PM.  In my usual addicts' 
style, I spent an entire game playing it--about three hours on the Excel 
programming.  It's a great game--as I told my daughter, it's a choose-your-own 
adventure for grown-ups, and as I told my brother, it's a d&d game when you're 
by yourself.  
Ken Downey
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