|The Kai Monastery|
Quoted from Flight From the Dark:
"Healing This discipline can be used to restore ENDURANCE points lost in combat. If you possess this skill you may restore 1 ENDURANCE point to your total for every numbered section of the book you pass through in which you are not involved in combat."
Quoted from The Kingdoms of Terror:
"Curing The possessor of this skill can restore 1 lost ENDURANCE point to his total for every numbered section of the book through which he passes, provided he is not involved in combat."
These passages contain the core of one of the big dilemmas I think there is when interpreting the rules of the Lone Wolf books: when are you allowed to restore an ENDURANCE point to your total?
Now, the first thing to notice is the possibility that once you have acquired Curing, you may restore 2 points per passage without combat. I don't think that's the right way to read the rules though. There are other advantages to Curing which make it seem like an extension of Healing, and not a way to get an extra ENDURANCE point. Besides, if you could restore that two points at once, you would be virtually unkillable and I don't think that's what was intended.
The larger question which occurred to me only after years of reading the books was whether you can use Healing/Curing to restore ENDURANCE points not lost in combat. The quotation from Flight From the Dark explicitly says, "points lost in combat." However, Curing carries no such stipulation. The ENDURANCE points box in the Action Chart has no explicit area devoted to keeping track of points lost in combat versus points lost elsewhere, so that seems to indicate that all ENDURANCE points are equal, no matter how they are lost. For years I dutifully restored ENDURANCE points one by one, no matter how I had lost them, until I read the first book of the "New Order" series.
When I read Voyage of the Moonstone, the first book of the "New Order" series, I really paused when I read the write up for the Magnakai discipline of Curing. It read: "You are able to restore ENDURANCE points lost as a direct result of combat." Those words sealed the question for me. Admittedly the rules between series are meant to be a little different. The +1 bonus of Healing and Curing was not carried on for Deliverance, the Grand Master level of that discipline. However, the wording of that quotation from the "New Order" series was so close to the wording of the other two passages I have quoted that it seemed clear to me the idea of a "direct result" of combat was meant to be applied in the other cases. Despite differences in rules between series, in this case we are talking about Curing, plain and simple. It's the same Magnakai discipline regardless, correct? If so, I think we must all refrain from restoring that ENDURANCE point lost in a bad fall and save our Kai powers for the more serious wounds of combat.
The only counter to my interpretation is that Lone Wolf was capable of feats which the new Grand Masters are not. But that seems to be a bit of a cop out. Yes, Lone Wolf has special abilities no other Kai Lord has, but the rules regarding the use of Healing and Curing are constant throughout the books. ENDURANCE points are expected to be lost in certain ways at certain rates. The possibility of restoring them is a counter balance in the rules to the possibility of losing them through combat and other means. That balance of losing ENDURANCE points is a constant in all the books. Even the "New Order" series uses the same Combat Results Table as Flight From the Dark. I think in light of the evidence, it is clear the intended use of the restorative powers of Healing and Curing is simply to balance the loss of ENDURANCE points in combat, and if so, that rule ought to work no differently in any Lone Wolf gamebook, regardless of the series.
This all begs the question of record keeping. Upon deciding how I would interpret the rules, I created a need to figure out a way of applying them. The result is a little section in the ENDURANCE points box on the Action Chart which I call "Restoration." Whenever I lose ENDURANCE points in combat, I note the number of ENDURANCE points in the Restoration section. Then, I know I have that many points to restore to my total. When I want to restore a point, I raise my overall ENDURANCE point level by one, and lower the total in Restoration by one. It works like a charm.
And you know what? It's improved my enjoyment of the books. I am no longer concerned with obsessively keeping track of my ENDURANCE points score. Since only points lost in combat can be restored, I have less points to keep track of, I therefore don't keep checking and updating my Action Chart and I can concentrate on the story more. You all probably think I'm taking all this way too seriously.
Well, one thing is for sure, there is more than one grey area when it comes to understanding the precise application of the rules in Lone Wolf books. (I'm not saying they are complex, just that there's room for interpretation.) This whole Healing/Curing thing is something that has bugged me.
If you've got any comments, I'd love to hear them.
Since I published this article shortly after the Monastery first went online, many people have commented on it in favour or against. Although no one has offered irrefutable evidence on the "points lost in combat" issue, David Davis did offer this insight from the Lone Wolf Club newsletters: "[Joe Dever] said that when you upgrade Healing to Curing the bonus stays at +1EP, the advantage being that you can do other smart stuff too."
Joe also said in another newsletter (one of the only ones I have), that the +1EP bonus is meant to carry on into the Grandmaster series if the reader has Healing or Curing from earlier books in the series. It's a kind of "loyalty" bonus.
Of interest to anyone concerned with ENDURANCE points should be this file: an Extended Combat Results Table.