11 July 2008


I finally pulled the Tunnels & Trolls preview from last years Free RPG Day off the shelf.

Bits of it seem really close to some of the directions I’ve found myself going in my own attempts at a homebrew system. Of course, as with most games, I get this urge to tinker with it, and I really think I need to put my energy into creating campaigns rather than tinkering with mechanics.

An abbreviated version (HTML) of the rules can be found online. You can also download a PDF version for free.


Matthew James Stanham said...

I picked up this year's version last month; it is on my list of things to read. Do you know if it differs to any great degree from the version offered last year?

I can certainly sympathise with your feeling that it is more useful to invest in a campaign world than tinker with yet another rule set... but it is a hard temptation to resist.

I have found that not only campaign worlds develop organically in the process of play, but rule systems too.

Robert Fisher said...

I happened to grab this year’s T&T Free RPG Day freebie too. (My FLGS had copies left over when I went in looking for a copy of the full game—which they didn’t have in stock.)

The abbreviated rules are almost identical.

Last year’s gives you one solo adventure and one short GM adventure.

This year’s has one of each too (different adventures than last year), but also includes four pages of pregen PCs. Since the page count is the same, that means less pages for the adventures.

OTOH, some of the pregens have full-stats for equipment that was left out of the rules, so you essentially get a little extra rules content.

Re: tinkering. Yeah, that’s part of it too. I want to tinker with the rules as we play. Which means getting a campaign started rather than tinkering with the rules up-front.

Matthew James Stanham said...

Ah yeah, I downloaded the version from last year, so now I can see that as well. Yeah, the rules are an exact reprint, even claiming that the product was put together for Free RPG Day 2007...

The pregenerated characters do seem a bit like filler, though I was amused by the 250 lb Elf Wizard.

I probably would not choose to play Tunnels & Trolls given the choice between it and B/AD&D, but it was an interesting read.

Robert Fisher said...

One of the things that’s kept me from taking T&T too seriously when I’ve glanced over it in the past is that the combat has seemed too abstract. I’m now thinking I want to give it a try, though.

One thing I really find attractive is the four class system.

Warriors: Good at combat, but sacrifice the ability to work magic at all.

Wizards: Can work magic, but sacrifice combat ability.

Rogue wizards: Can fight normally (i.e. not as good as Warriors but not as bad as Wizards). Can work magic, but only if they can manage to get their hands on spells and—even then—not as well as Wizards can.

I kind of think of them as the “normals” who either couldn’t qualify for one of the other two classes or who just choose to not specialize.

Wizard-Warriors: (I think they call them “Paragons” in 7th edition. They are T&T’s Paladins. They are the Super-munchkin class from SJG’s Munchkin.) Those few who fate has gifted with the ability to master both combat and magic.

As simple as T&T is, I think it could be even simpler. I’m tempted to pare down the attributes and make the weapons and armor more abstract.

For me, it’s not about whether to play T&T instead of D&D. For instance, I might find it a nice chance of pace for pulp-fantasy without clerics.

Matthew James Stanham said...

Don't get me wrong, I would give it a whirl if somebody else was running the game, it just doesn't grab me as a 'must play'. I drew the comparison to D&D as the closest analogue, but the same would hold true for Shadow Run, Role Master, D6, Savage Worlds or True20.

Too many games, not enough time.

Robert Fisher said...

T&T might also have potential for inspiring D&D house rules. e.g. The "saving roll" system could be used for D&D ability checks.

Matthew James Stanham said...

Yep, there are definitely ideas in T&T that are worth stealing. If I hadn't already encountered it in the Baldur's Gate CRPG series, I would have likely stolen the concept of 'you must be this strong to use X'.