Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tunnels and Trolls

I've had several Tunnels and Trolls solo modules sitting around my house that I bought a number of years ago. I enjoyed playing through one of the adventures and found it interesting but maybe a more sparse version of Fighting Fantasy book.

A number of weeks ago I stumbled across this post which rekindled my interest in playing some Tunnels and Trolls partially because I'm less interested in solo CYA style modules and more interested in doing my own thing via Mythic. I've got a special itch for Old School rpgs as well and T&T is about as old school as you can get since it remains for the most part pretty much unchanged since 1975 (it's also the 2nd oldest rpg ever).

I had looked for the new box set online (T&T 7.5) but didn't have any luck. Noble Knight was selling it for 60 bucks and that seemed to be the only option but seemed to steep to take the plunge. The other day I swung by my FLGS to check out some board games when I was surprised to find a new copy for 35.00 so I decided to take the plunge.

I really like this box set - very similar to Ancient Odysseys Treasure Awaits box set.

The artwork is fantastic - doesn't this cover make you want to play some Tunnels & Trolls? It's literally overflowing with stuff (You can't even completely shut the box). Contents include a 170 pg rule book, a solo module, 2 monster manual supplementes (about 60pgs total), a gm adventure, a magic supplement, map of the world, three pages of cardboard tokens, and 4 mini d6s. You got everything you need.

Anyway I've played through the solo module and have been reading the rules and after giving it another chance I have to say that there is a lot to like especially in the 7.5 version. I think it could work well with Mythic solo play.

What I like so far in my reading:

Battles are fast and resolve all combatants in opposing roles. It's very simple and at face value might seem too simple but it's actually is quite elegent system and seems to work well based on my experience with it in the solo modules. I could see this working with Mythic since combat results can be described easily in a narrative.

The mechanics eliminate the need for Monster AI which is a plus for solo play (less decisions and interpretations). Also, since single dice rolls are used for numerous characters that means it's easy to have other NPC's (or familiars) join you in your solo adventure.

The SR mechanics are simple and really easy to calculate. 2d6 plus attribute versus SR level. SR levels are easy to decide and lends itself well to balanced difficulty which again is plus for solo play.

Buying equipment is a mini game in itself. I like that that you don't start with plate mail and a long sword but may start only with a sling, a dirk, and a steel cap. You have to earn your items. Plus the weapons are awesome! A Sax? YES! I don't even know what that is but I bet it's bad ass!

The experience system is very clear and I think would be easy to calculate with solo play. Check it out to see what I mean. Basically killing monsters is only one part of gaining experience.

Here is a link to the free quickstart rules. This is for the 5.5 Edition and not the 7.5 edition but they are very similar.

If I feel inspired in the next week or two, I plan on doing a simple AP of using T&T with Mythic and sharing some mods and ideas that I think will make T&T even more Mythic friendly. Stay tuned for further details.


Fun at the Library said...

You sound like you've seen the light, and are a convert. Then you really should join Trollhalla.com.
--Ken St. Andre

lj said...

yes, I think I have seen the light - I'll be sure to join Trollhala. I didn't mention this in my post but Tunnels & Trolls was the first time I heard of an RPG of any kind. I was 8 years old, living in Australia and a friend of mine let me look through his copy of Captif D'Yvoire. It's such an honor to have you stop by!