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Agent of Death
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2016 15:58:02

If you have not yet played this solo, then run - do not walk - to click ADD TO CART right now. This is one of the more REplayable adventures that I've yet had, though I doubt you'll be replaying with the same character. It really is that deadly - and a good deal of the character deaths are actually caused by your choices, though there are a couple of BOOM-You're-Dead occurances. For the most part, the clues are there and staying the noble and straight path (i.e. - Keep your eye on your ultimate goal) and you stand a much better chance. Luck certainly can play a factor.

One way or another, you're going to enjoy this. I enjoyed it so much, I paid for the hard copy of this solo AND for the PDF....despite the fact that I was one of the blindtesters!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Agent of Death
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TrollsZine! #6
by Kristopher R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/18/2016 12:20:32

A solid free issue with fun adventures and optional rules. I recommend it along with the entire Trollzine line for any T&T fan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TrollsZine! #6
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Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2016 14:16:08

http://dieheart.net/deluxe-tunnels-and-trolls/

This is a guest review by Wilhelm Person. Thanks for reading.

This Deluxe edition is the ninth edition of a game first released in 1975 by Ken St Andre as a simpler alternative to D&D, that focused on entertainment rather than simulation.

I had to look that bit up on Wikipedia. There has been a T&T based CYOA sitting on my shelf for years, but beyond that Tunnels & Trolls hadn’t really registered on my radar as an RPG. When I got the offer to review it for Sophia’s blog I accepted mostly to see what is all was about. These are my impressions based on reading the game.

The book

I got the game in PDF format, it is a massive tome (file?) of 386 pages US-letter. It is formatted with two columns per page and quite readable, even on screen.

The book is divided into four sections. First the actual game itself of about 160 pages. Then a 60-page section of advanced and alternative rules. 60 pages are devoted to introducing the default setting – Trollworld. The book even includes 40 pages of adventures, one of which is a CYOA style single player affair. Various appendices make up the remainder of the page count.

There are loads of really nice black and white retro styled illustrations breaking up the text.

The rules

The rules are simple, on par with early D&D or most of the current OSR games.

Character generation follows the following pattern: Roll 3d6 for the eight stats, with the neat twist that any triple roll, 1-1-1, 2-2-2 etc, are rerolled and added to the initial roll for potentially infinite stats. Select a class from Warrior, Wizard or Rogue (who is something of a mix between the two others). Select a race from Human, Dwarf, Elf, Hobb (hobbit), Fairy or Leprechaun, which gives multipliers for the stats. Fill in a couple of other fields, buy gear and the character is ready for play.

Saving throws are made against the stats, and also covers skill use. Stat+2d6 against a difficulty level (doubles are rerolled like the stat rolls during char gen) to succeed.

Close combat eschews to-hit rolls, just roll damage directly. Both sides in the combat roll and add up their damage. The party that got the lowest total distributes the difference as they please as taken damage. Ranged attacks involve a saving throw to hit, and if successful the damage goes directly to the target, instead of going into the general pool for distribution.

There is a magic system with a whole bunch of different spells that cost Mana to throw. If the cost is paid the spell is successfully cast. Character advancement is done in baby steps with the player spending experience points to raise the stats one step at a time.

Simple, right? There’s a bit more to it, some various special cases and so on, but I think you could join a game of T&T with the above summary and do just fine.

The setting

The Trollworld setting is whimsical, strange, random and other such things. Here are the first couple of sentences describing the dragon shaped continent of Rrr’lff:

Plate tectonics had nothing to do with it. The major landforms on Trollworld acquired their current shapes through the efforts of the Great Wizards who entered the world from Elsewhere. Rrr’lff, the Dragon Continent, was formed by Shangingshing-shingingshang, the oldest and greatest of all dragons on Trollworld. And so it goes on for sixty pages. Not very coherent, but loads of curious details and strange places. A treasure trove for anyone looking for inspiration for some whimsical and strange adventures.

The setting and rules aren’t heavily coupled, it would be trivial to separate them and use either with other products if desired.

The form

The form is traditional, a GM runs adventures for players.

However, there’s an interesting twist in that the players are expected to play a couple of characters a piece. With the recommendation of two to five players, that means that a party of around 10 characters that waltz around Trollworld killing monsters and looting their treasures shouldn’t be out of the ordinary.

Conclusions

The rules are complete for the genre, and pretty well written. I can see them being used as a drop in replacement for the rules of any OSR game, though stat conversions are a bit more work than usual due to the eight stats and different paradigm of combat system.

I get a retro feel from the Trollworld setting. A certain zany everything goes kind of deal. Just reading a couple of paragraphs at random should give me enough material to run a session without much further planning.

The form is traditional. There are some guidelines for the prospective GM on what to do when running the game though perhaps not much explanation of how to do those things. There are a couple of ready to run adventures included in the book, for anyone who’d like examples of how the game could be played.

Will I play it?

Perhaps …

The friendly names of spells go well with the overall style of the game (e.g. “Oh go away” and “Poor baby”), but they don’t sound very majestic to me. Perhaps I’m too used to the D&D spell names. The setting is random, but I can definitely work with it.

The huge parties of characters seem like an interesting concept. Like an Ars Magica troupe, but everyone goes on adventures together.

The text is incredibly verbose. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an RPG that wraps the mechanics in so much text before. To run the game I’d either have to make my own rules summary, or back up a couple of editions to a time when the book was slimmer. To jump in as a player at a con or join an existing game? Yes, sure, it would be nice to see the mechanics in action.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
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TrollsZine
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2016 21:55:39

The first TrollsZine is a great addition to my tunnels and trolls stuff.Its interesting and useful.I feel a bit more intouch with the tunnels and trolls gaming universe with it.It was scaned well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TrollsZine
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Deluxe Goblin Lake
by Don C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2016 08:18:54

Deluxe Goblin Lake is a fun and surprisingly replayable little adventure. There are some very swift in-and-out visits depending on your choices, along with several longer and more challenging encounters. In fact there are some epic victories with equally epic rewards possible here, but they won't come easy. The "out of your depth" feel is amply captured by the excellent cover illustration, but that just makes the victories all the sweeter.

Essentially, we have here an English language version of the pre-Deluxe 2012 French edition. It retains all of the charm and most of the writing of the original 1979 edition, and adds an extended introduction, a fun and comprehensive history of the Goblin kindred by Bill Kerr, Talents as per the Deluxe T&T rules, more equipment for Eekanewt (that's what I called my heroic, adventuring Goblin), all new art (new to the 1979 edition at least, which is still worth keeping for the Liz Danforth art), eyecatching layout and graphics by Steve Crompton, more tweaks to make it compatible with the new rules, and additional adventuring paragraphs.

All of this makes it a great value purchase, even for owners of the original version, and especially so at the currrent price of $2.95. Five stars!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Goblin Lake
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Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Robin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2015 19:05:58

An interested update to the old system. This product manages to add some needed depth to the game without rendering anything overly complicated. It's close enough to the earlier systems that veterans of the game should have no trouble adapting to this one. The mention of alternative rules suggested by the playtesters in the sidebars is a helpful touch, and the new talents system adds a bit more detail to the characters. Rules are set out in a clear manner and provide the reader with plenty of examples. My only significant complaint with it is that I feel there isn't enough on creating monsters/encounters outside of the standard monster ratings and save difficulties. Some suggested special rules might have been nice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
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Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Randall W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/06/2015 23:45:39

While the PDF was great and what I expected, except it had no color - and the PDF was advertised to be in color on the official DT&T website.

The rules were about what I expected them to be. It appears to be version 7.0 with a few changes here and there, but nothing which will prevent playing this venerable game. I guess I will have to wait for the hardbound edition to be available on Amazon for the colored version; I was so looking forward to the illustrator, Liz Danforth's artwork. It look so drab and dull without color.

Anyway, I do like the internal links to navigate within the PDF and thanks for providing these rules on DriveThru RPG!

(Now if you can only get your hands on the hardbound edition! :) )

Best regards and success in the future.

Randall Williams



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
The color (in addition to the cover, of course) is on pages 233 to page 248. I know, 360+ pages is a lot to look through! That would be an interesting thought, tho, to have Steve Crompton go through and colorize all those Liz Danforth drawings, just for the pdf. I wish he had time! Rick
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls gamemaster Screen
by John B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2015 09:31:20

Very attractive screen and pretty useful considering the simplicity of Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls. If I had a recommendation it would be to offer this in a four-panel option so it is compatible with The World's Greatest Game Screen.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls gamemaster Screen
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Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Moritz E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2015 08:06:11

Reading this newest version of the T&T is like coming home. When I was a young lad I played a lot of T&T, both the solitaire adventures as well as the group adventures. There was always something special about the free-from and humorous approach of Ken St. Andre and his friends, and this has been preserved for this edition. T&T has always been of the most flexible rules systems out there, but it is also never "complete" or thorough. Even in these rules the authors constantly give several possibilities to approach a subject or solve a situation, sometimes even discussing that they had different views on a certain rule. But perhaps this is why it is such an engaging read - T&T is what you make of it, and that the system is still alive is a credit to its simplicity and absolutely unique style. It is great to see so many new illustrations, but also many of the old (and fondly remembered) ones. I especially liked the complete history of Trollworld, which reads as a truly complex history with fascinating personalities - "Game of Thrones" anyone? Even though I am sure we will see an 8th edition at some point this is probably the best and most complete edition the game ever had. Very recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
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Four Jars of Mead - FBI0093
by Kaiden R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2015 11:17:27

Pretty nice adventure! It's around 10 pages and definitely worth the $1 spent!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Four Jars of Mead - FBI0093
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Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2015 10:35:42

The original T&T came out the year I was born, and I first encountered the game in it's 5th edition when I was twelve, before I ever played D&D. I still find the Monster Rating system far easier than statted foes. This is the best edition of T&T since 5th [and I have all of the post 5th ones]. There are a lot more "clothes" on the rules, but at its heart, it's still the same easy to digest game. The book also contains probably the most comprehensive writeup of Ken St. Andre's Trollworld under one cover. Another fringe benefit to T&T is that the game has had one author at its helm for 40 years, and Ken St Andre and publisher Rick Loomis are still actively engaging us fans. I am looking forward to the hardcover. Now FBI needs to do a deluxe version of Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
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Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Johannes A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2015 03:34:09

I like the art in dT&T. It draws a lot from Sword & Sorcery: fighting apes, Dinosaurs, Toad-men and Grey. I also like the timeless art nouveau style. Makes this an art piece itself.

The rules make delvers stronger (there is a paragraph to upgrade legacy delvers), good for soloplayers too. They are really good (5.5 have been my favorite up to now). I especially like that rogues can specialise at level 7.

Also it's interesting to get insight to Trollworld and the successes of Leotrah. This background together with the images gives T&T a strong feeling it never had before (I think).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Don C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2015 10:17:47

I've been a huge fan of Tunnels and Trolls since 1980 and I'm very pleased with this latest iteration. I believe it was originally designed to be a cleaned up, enhanced version of the 5th edition, and that's exactly how it feels to me. There are a few new wrinkles, like the extra saving roll for humans (much needed for the solos!) but it's essentially a more complete, and very welcome, version of the game I know and love. The Elaborations section is especially fab, including masses of new detail on Trollworld and its cities.

I have no complaints at all. The only less-than-elated thing I can say is that I probably won't be using the armour ablation rules (too fiddly for my tastes), but I have no problem with them being there for those that want them.

Well done, the Fellowship of the Troll! :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2015 09:03:20

Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/07/17/tabletop-review-deluxe-tunnels-trolls-core-rulebook/

What a long strange road trip it has been for the newest incarnation of the longest running fantasy RPG (under the same system) out there. Back on January 3rd, 2013 Flying Buffalo decided to do a deluxe version of the fantasy RPG, Tunnels & Trolls. I, along with 1637 other gamers jumped in on that crowdfunding initiative and together we raised $125K for Flying Buffalo, which was big bucks on Kickstarter back then. The belief was that the game would be ready for release in August of 2013. Well, nearly two years later we still don’t have a physical copy of the game but we DO have the PDF which came out in early July! Now it’s not like Flying Buffalo has kept T&T fans hanging. There were multiple reasons for the delay besides the usual underestimation of time it takes to complete something. Every Kickstarter has this problem) but there was also sickness and other issues that kept the final product at bay. To their credit, Flying Buffalo kept releasing a lot of adventures for the system along with a Free RPG Day Quick Start Rules set for DT&T. You can take a look at my review of just SOME of the Kickstarter backer freebies here. Even though the game has been delayed, I’m more than received my money’s worth. Of course now it is time for the main event. How does Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls hold up?

Well, quite nicely actually. For longtime T&T gamers, the rules are about 90% the same. The only real big change is that the game is more player friendly in that a lot of negative adds (things that negatively affect your dice roll have been removed) and there have been some changes to the positive adds (things that are beneficial to your dice rolls). Other than that the game is pretty much as it has been for a long time. Only the first 165 pages of this mammoth tome are devoted to the game’s core rules. The rest of the book is dedicated to optional rules (Advanced Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, if you will), information about a campaign world and some adventures. The game is fairly easy to learn, especially if you are a long time gamer. For people brand new to gaming some of the methodology and mechanics might seem a little odd, but the game is heavily invested in its 1970s OSR roots and a few concepts like how magic works and levelling up may take two or three read-throughs as it is very different from your typical RPG< regardless of genre. Perhaps the most important thing you'll note is that Tunnels and Trolls does not take itself very seriously. While the game can certainly be dark and lethal, the game is more comedy-action than GRIMDARK and that is one of the reasons that Tunnels & Trolls is as much fun to read as it is to play.

Chapter One is simply an introduction to Tunnels & Trolls, along with an explination as to how the book is laid out. Chapter Two is only a single page long and is a general overview about how to play a RPG. The next chapter is two dozen pages long and it’s all about character creation. Instead of assuming everyone reading this has PLAYED T&T in the past (which is mostly likely NOT the case), I’ll give a quick break down of stats and classes. Vets, you can skim ahead.

Okay, T&T has eight stats: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Speed, Intelligence, Wizardry, Luck and Charisma. So some very similar stats to D&D. you also roll 3D6 to get your starting stat, which again, is similar to D&D. However if you roll a triple of any number with your dice (says three 4s) you get to roll again. You can keep rolling until you stop getting doubles. So there is a possibility of having a starting stat of say 36. If you roll three 6s, three 3s and then a total of 9 on your next roll, you start with a stat of 36. That’s pretty powerful, right? That’s how it goes in T&T. After that, you get your combat adds. For every point in a physical stat over 12, you get +1 to your personal adds. Physical stats are STR, CON, DEX and SPD. So let’s say that 36 was in CON. You would get +35 adds in addition to anything over 12 you had in the other three physical stats. If the 35 was in IQ (Intelligence), you would not get the bonus to your combat adds, but you would get any for stats over 12 in the four physical attributes. Combat adds are used with your dice rolls in combat and the more you have, the more powerful your attacks will be. This is a nice change from games where only STR adds to damage and attack rolls. With T&T you can have a high SPD and DEX and be a better fighter than someone who is pure brute strength.

There are three basic character classes: Warriors, Wizards and Rogues. The first two are self-explanatory but Rogues are not necessarily thieves ala most other RPGS. In T&T, rogues are simply people who are jack of all trades. They are adventurers but without any formal martial or magical training. As such they can do both, but not as well as the other two classes. There are also Specialists which are simply people in the other three classes who rolled a triple for a stat in character creation. This comes up more in the optional rules though.

Tunnels & Trolls also has different character races than most games. You can choose from the usual human, elves and dwarves, but T&T also lets you play as a faerie, leprechaun or Hobbs (hobbit). Finally let’s talk character levels. In T&T your level is your highest stat divided by ten and rounded down. Sound confusing. Well let’s do this as an example if your highest stat is 3-9, you are 0 level character. If it is between 10-19 (most starting characters), you are a Level 1 character. If you are the example we looked at earlier where you have a 36 stat, you are a level 3 character. So on and so forth. Stats raise as the game goes on (you buy increases with Adventure Points, T&S XP equivalent) and so it is up to the player as to what level they are. If you try to make a balanced character your level will be less than your friend who only puts his increases into the same stat every time, but you’ll have a better chance of surviving a myriad of things. The choice is up to you!

Now let’s get back to the quick overview of the chapters. Chapter Four is about equipment for your characters. This is a lot of lists and mechanics. Weapons, armor, poisons and more can be found in Chapter Four. Chapter Five is a look at Saving Rolls, which are how you avoid danger. Essentially you are given the target number then you subtract the specific attribute that applies to the saving roll. So if you need to make a Dexterity based saving throw with a target of 30 and you have an 18 in your DEX – you need to roll a 12 or higher on two dice. Like with any 2d6 rolls in Tunnels and Trolls though, if you get doubles, you get to roll again and add the new roll score to your previous one. Lots of simple addition in this game! Chapter Six is a list of talents your characters can pick up as the level up and/or start the game with. There are certain talents only Rogues can get, but otherwise this is pretty straightforward.

Chapter Seven is about monsters and how scaled back they are stats-wise compared to PCs. Chapter 8 is “Combat” and it’s probably where you will spend the bulk of your time with this book until you have the basics down pat. Essentially though both sides roll 2d6 and add up their personal adds and other factors. The side with the highest total hurts the side with the lowest total with the damage generally being the difference between the two rolls. That’s a very brief explanation of T&T combat and you’ll actually want to read the book for a better understanding but that’s the mechanics in a nutshell. There explinations of different types of combat here too. Magical, berserk, martial arts and more. Again, you will want to read the whole chapter as combat is notably different from many other RPGs.

Chapter Nine is “Magic” and it’s here you’ll learn how spellcasting work and receive a massive list of all eighteen levels of spells. I know, it is a unusual number of levels, but T&T is a very unique game. You’ll also want to read the spell names. Nothing shows off the sense of humour inherent in Tunnels and Trolls like the magic spell lists. You have names like “Take That, You Fiend” and “Better Lucky than Good.” There are also some spell names which are sure to provide an immature reaction like “Blow Me To…” This chapter also shows how characters learn spells, how you know if a character can cast a spell or not, how spell points (WIZ) recharges and more. Magic-users are extremely powerful in T&T so like chapter eight, you’ll want to spend a lot of time in this section of the rulebook if you are new to the game. You’ll go into the book not knowing the word Kremm and you’ll walk away with it being second nature to you by the time you’ve had a few T&T games under your belt. Finally, Chapter Nine contains information about magical items, wards, power storage batteries, and how to create your own spells. Like I said, you’ll spend a LOT of time re-reading this chapter.

Chapter Ten is “Putting it All Together” and it’s essentially wisdom for GMs on how to run a good cohesive game that everyone has fun with. Simple but sage stuff. Then you have Chapter Eleven which are a few pages of spell appendices and you’re done. That’s the rules. Well…mostly. Remember the rules are only the first 165 pages of the Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls book. Now it’s time for the “Elaborations” which are optional and/or advanced rules you can either use or ignore in your T&T game. The book assumes you will NOT use any of these for a list of reasons provided at the start of Chapter Twelve but you’re more than welcome to if you think any of these will improve your game.

So what is in “Elaborations”? You’ll find the concept of training, which actually determines a character’s starting age. There are more abilities added to each class, such as weapon of choice for warriors, racial magic for wizards and rules for Specialist classes. Chapter Thirteen gives you new races to play as. Many of these are usually monsters or antagonists and there’s a huge list of options. You have vampires, werewolves, gnomes, gremlins, minotaurs, lizard people, ghouls, trolls, dragons and even demons! It’s pretty crazy. The reason for all these different races is Monsters! Monsters! – the sister game to Tunnels & Trolls where you play the bad guys. Chapter Thirteen essentially fold the concept into DT&T along with a description of their races and how to play them. Very cool.

Chapter Fourteen is about languages. It’s four pages long and gives both a list of languages in Tunnels & Trolls as well as how you learn them (mechanics-wise). Chapter Fifteen is “Extended Talents” and is essentially a continuation and more in-depth version of Chapter Six. Chapter Sixteen is “Accessories.” Here is a frank discussion on using miniatures with T&T and how the game was never designed for that. Nonetheless the creators talk how miniatures and various computer programs or apps can be integrated with the game. It’s an interesting read. Finally we come to Chapter Seventeen which is entitled “The Kitchen Sink” since it is a massive hodge podge of odds and ends that simply didn’t fit anywhere else. There are lots of charts, a page on guilds, commentary on dice and more. It’s short, but the topics are quite varied. It feels disjointed but at least the chapter is named appropriately.

At this point we are done with the rules parts of Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls but there are still two more sections. Yes, this is a HUGE book. The Trollworld Atlas is the next section of the book and it easily could have been a supplement on its own. Sixty pages go into the Trollworld Atlas. That’s more than a third of the pages devoted to the core rules section. It’s that long and detailed. If you use your own homebrew you can skip this section but for everyone else, this is a fine look at the fluff/creative side of the game. There’s a timeline, maps, world history and continents shaped like animals. It’s a lot of fun to read and there’s even a 16 page color gallery slapped in the middle.

The last eighty (!) pages of the book are devoted to Tunnels & Trolls adventures. I was really happy to see the sheer amount of adventures in the book as these days only Chaosium includes actually adventures in the Core rulebook. This is a great slice of old school. There is a traditional GM led adventures where one person takes the role of GM and guides other players (that use characters) through adventures. There is also a Solitaire adventure similar to “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. It is with the Solitaire adventures that Tunnels & Trolls really has made a lasting name for itself over the decades and it’s fantastic to see some of each in the core rulebook. The adventure doesn’t include any beginner adventures though, so don’t look for a simple adventure designed to help teach you mechanic. In fact the very first adventure in the compendium is “Abyss” and it is designed for after your character dies. The next “Into Zorr” is a GM led adventure for four to eight characters between Levels1-5. “Into Zorr” is used in conjunction with the TrollWorld Atlas and give you a taste of the official world for T&T. It’s extremely long and will take several play sessions to get through. It’s a mini-campaign in its own right.

So 2,500 words later, we’ve had a nice long look at Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. It’s pretty fantastic if you’re a longtime fan of the game. Younger gamers or people new to T&T with this latest incarnation might be a bit stymied at first with how different the game plays (and reads) compared to most other high fantasy RPGs, but the game has stood the test of time for a reason. It might not be your favorite RPG ever, but it’s one you’ll definitely have fun with and even laugh out loud because of at least once. I really enjoyed what was here and think Flying Buffalo’s team did an excellent job. If you didn’t take part in the Kickstarter and you’re a longtime Tunnels & Trolls fan, you’re going to want to snatch up DT&T as soon as it is available to the general public. Newcomers can afford to be a bit more hesitant. Like with any core rulebook I suggested getting the PDF or playing a few adventures with people that know the system before making a large financial commitment to any system. The good news is that T&T is VERY affordable compared to most other gaming systems (especially on the PDF front) and so if this review has piqued your interest you won’t break the bank trying out Tunnels & Trolls.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Free RPG Day - 2013/Deluxe T&T Minirules
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2015 09:02:17

Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/06/18/tabletop-review-deluxe-tunnels-trolls-preview-pack/

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls releases later this year, but Flying Buffalo doesn’t want fans of the system to wait until then. They’ve already released an updated version of Buffalo Castle on DriveThruRPG, and for Free RPG Day 2013, they released this Preview Pack to not only whet the appetite of those waiting for the release of Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, but to also draw in both new gamers and those that remembered T&T but haven’t played it in forever. I picked this up on Free RPG Day, and was excited to see what is in store for the 1,637 Kickstarter backers that helped make this new edition of T&T possible.

Out of the eighteen pages in this document (which includes the insides of the cover), sixteen are pure content. The inside front cover is an introduction to the system, as well as the history of Tunnels & Trolls. The back inside cover is a plug for Buffalo Castle, and tells you have to get a free PDF version of the adventure. So in fact, you’re getting two products for free if you picked this up on Free RPG Day 2013. AWESOME, especially since Buffalo Castle in an incredibly fun solo adventure for a 1st Level Warrior. Between this Preview Pack and that adventure, you can try the game out on your own before moving on to play the included multiplayer adventure in the preview pack.

There are over a dozen pieces of art inside the Preview Pack, not counting both outside covers. The art is excellent and really showcases the high fantasy, and sometimes bizarre, nature of Tunnels & Trolls. The Preview Pack is worth flipping through just for the art, to be honest.

The Tunnels & Trolls Preview Pack contains both simplified rules for the game and a full adventure for up to four players. Five pages are devoted to the rules, with a sixth containing three pre-generated characters: A Level 1 Human Warrior, a Level 2 Human Wizard and a Level 3 Citizen Rock Troll. It’s interesting that they chose characters of different levels, as the Troll is so powerful compared to the other two combined, I have a feeling that’s the one everyone will want to play.

The rules for T&T were meant to be a simpler alternative to Dungeons & Dragons. I’m not necessarily sure that’s true though. Character creation is simple enough, as it’s 3D6, and if you roll triples of any number, you get to roll again and add your previous score to the roll, continuing until you stop rolling triples. This means you can have a character with an Attribute of 4 minimum and a maximum of… whatever! This is an interesting concept, and doubly so that your CON roll is also your Hit Points in T&T, so a Warrior could have say, four hit points and a Wizard could roll 32! As well, to create a demihuman, you have to engage in fraction multiplication instead of a +X or –y to an attribute. For example, to make an elf, you have to multiply Int (IQ is the actual abbreviation in T&T) and DEX by 3/2 and CON by 2/3. That’s fine for most of us, but I can see little kids or those that are terrible at math disliking this aspect of character creation. The Preview Pack gives rules for Humans, Eleves, Dwarves, Hobs (Hobbits/Halflings), Uruks (Orcs) and Rock Trolls, which is a really neat variety of playable races. It also gives a list of six classes to choose for this preview adventure, and in reading the descriptions, you’ll see that the system is very rules light, where you can just make a skill and add a number to it for a descriptor. So you could have a Rogue (which is actually a Wizard/Warrior hybrid and not a thief) with a skill of say, finger painting and another with Oratory. It’s a very interesting open system that people tend to love or hate.

The rules system then gives you a list of weapons and items and a short summary on how to run combat, be it melee, missile or spell based. Basically, each side rolls its dice, called a “Hit Point Total,” which I know is sure to confuse many a person when they first see Hit Points used in that way. The side with the bigger roll subtracts the roll from the smaller side, and the end result is the damage done. From there, you’re shown how Saving Throws and Experience Point accumulation and spending works. There’s even a list of spells for levels 1-5. In essence, this is a pretty detailed set of quick start rules that should give you a good idea on how Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls will play, as well as if it is a system you want to invest in or not. One thing the book doesn’t really do a good job of explaining is how tongue in cheek and silly the game can be sometimes. I love comedy, but I know there are others who like their tabletop games to be SERIOUS BUSINESS so, there’s a head’s up for you.

The adventure in this Preview Pack is entitled, “The Chambers of Z’Tpozz the Madd Dwarf.” It’s all about an evil Dwarven Wizard who has kidnapped a princess and sequestered her inside a live volcano. The PCs will have to enter the volcano, get through the twelve room dungeon, survive trips and monsters and find the princess before their supply of potions that allow them to resist the intense heat of the location wears off. It’s an interesting adventure with a few unexpected twists, like the chance of the heroes accidentally killing a potential ally, an interesting secret about the Z’Tpozz and a twisted fate that can befall the kidnapped princess. It’s not the best Tunnels & Trolls adventure, but for a freebie it will definitely do the job of helping gamers decide if they want to play it or not.

I’m really happy with the Tunnels & Trolls Preview Pack. It confirmed that my decision to back the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter all those months ago was a good one, and although the rules and adventure contained in this packet aren’t for everyone, it definitely it worth tracking this down if you didn’t manage to pick it up on Free RPG Day 2013. Who knows, this little free introductory kit just may get you to pick up the core Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls book when it is released later this year.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Free RPG Day - 2013/Deluxe T&T Minirules
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