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Scrawl Ultimate Edition
by Matt C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/04/2019 17:57:46

Hello, I just picked up SCRAWL last night, and I am loving what I've read so far! There is an utter plethora of tools and tables for single player world building.

If you ever need art for a future edition, I am always available.

https://sites.google.com/site/mc87epidemic/gallery

Cheers!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scrawl Ultimate Edition
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Anvil of Power (build your own magic weapon for deluxe Tunnels and Trolls!)
by Mark H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2019 05:11:21

Anvil of Power

  • Starts with variant rules to make the dungeon match the abilities of delvers. This is wrong, a bad practice called "Quantum Ogres", where everything moves around to match your choices, which makes your choices meaningless. Instead, the world should be the world, and the delver takes a chance with the stats they have.
  • There are many typos and just incoherent sentences, like: "SPD: If you next round, you may reroll a number of your dice equal to your Attribute Level in SPD."
  • The spell listings for each level always have boilerplate lists, even when there's nothing there. "Spells you may use before or during combat: Spells you may use on another, willing target (not too useful) Spells you may use on any paragraph you are not fighting or performing a saving roll:"
  • Much of the solo rules are just restatements of the rulebook. It needs 14 pages to do less than the current mini-rules do in 10, or the old solo quickstarts do in 5, or most solos just do by telling you to read the rules, and 1 paragraph = 1 turn.

  • So finally we reach the adventure. It really isn't an adventure, so much as a crystal-collecting quest, a town with some shop paragraphs, and then the rules for forging a weapon buried in a maze of paragraphs. A number of paragraphs are just wrongly linked, like 160 sends you from a library trying to read a book to 172, a random corridor. Impossible to know how much of this is just broken, but there's a lot of loops where you meet the same things again.

  • The annoying NPC Darej/Deraj ("Jared") is a labyrinth designer (uh huh) who says "And there was one guy who wanted a bunch of puppets in his labyrinth", and references Terence and Philip from South Park. Seriously? Making an oblique reference to Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth is fine, pop culture nonsense is really not, and not even keeping your spelling consistent is annoying.

  • Magic weapon creation rules. The writing here is often confused, for example: "The formula to work out the cost of a power of a higher level is: The cost of that power – ((The power’s level – your level) x75)

    So if you are a level 1 delver and you decide you want a level 10 power, you work out the discount which will be 10-1 = 9. 9x75 = 675. The cost of a level 10 power is 1000 magic weapon points. 1000- 675 = 325. So it will cost 325 magic weapon points to buy a level 10 power when you are level 1. Let’s hope you live long enough to use it..."

    The cost would actually be 675, 325 is how much you have left afterwards. Unless the author meant to really give a 75% discount for higher level powers, instead of the reasonable 25%.

    This could be simplified, but I think it'd be better removed: It makes these weapons incredibly cheap if you buy ahead and focus on one game-breaking power.

  • You can't just turn AP into "Magic Weapon Points", you need an artifact to do that.

  • Many of these powers quickly stack to abusive levels: Fire Resistance stops 10 points of fire damage, can be taken every odd level; so by level 9 you can stop 50 points of fire damage, which makes adventures in volcanoes and against fire demons trivial. Clearly not tested or done any math on.

  • Meanwhile stat boosts are under-powered. Increase STR adds 1, can be taken at every even level; so by level 10 you can have +5 STR, but your highest stat by definition would be 100+. If it added +Level each time it was taken, that'd be +30, which is a respectable power boost.

  • Spell embedding only works for non-Warriors; which makes it somewhat pointless, since you could just cast the spell. A handful of the powers are utilities, mostly equivalent to casting a spell, and these work for Warriors just fine.

  • Easy to Wield reduces STR and DEX requirements for a weapon by 7, up to 3 times; which I suppose makes Trollish weapons manageable by average stats, but even by Level 3 a warrior should have better than average stats.

  • Some of these powers are useful, but I'd have to analyze each one to see how badly unbalanced it is, and then why? I may as well just do it myself; and already have, in my treasure tables, but I don't let players make their own weapons.

  • There's no drawbacks. Great magic swords in myth and literature tend to be just as annoying to own as they are powerful; Saberhagen's Books of Swords illustrate that well.

The basic idea of a forge that lets you turn AP (forget this MWP stuff) into a level-scaling magic weapon — or armor or artifacts, not addressed here — is interesting. This is not a good adventure, and the rules are greatly unbalanced and untested.

★½☆☆☆



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Anvil of Power (build your own magic weapon for deluxe Tunnels and Trolls!)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for your in depth review, Mark H.! It might be possible that you put more effort into this review than I put into the book! Quantum Ogre: I know, I'm a big softie. I don't want to deprive anyone of not having a powerful magical weapon. The quest: You are right - it really took a back seat to the magic weapon creating rules. The quest was a thinly veiled excuse to get a magic weapon. Pop culture references: I guess they are there to amuse myself, mainly. It's kind of like how people make bad puns, not because other people think they are funny, but because the person making the pun thinks that the other person's reaction to the bad pun is funny. I did actually mean to give a 75% discount for higher level powers. I worked with the logic that you are not getting anything of value straight away, and, as you pointed out, you have to survive long enough to use it. You pay in time, rather than with MWP. Power stacking: It does get abusive at higher levels. I intended that to reward people who wanted a "theme" to their weapon. You actually didn't point out that stacking gets you a discount, so it is even more abusive than you mention in the review. After all, if someone is sinking a large portion of their MWP into one power, they won't have as much versatility as someone is diversifying. I put the whole MWP in to make sure that people couldn't just power up their weapons all the time - a way to not abuse them. There are no drawbacks, and you are right, a lot of powerful magical weapons do have drawbacks. I tried to think up an easy list of drawbacks to include which would grant the user more MWP. I couldn't think of easy ones. Of course, I thought of ideas such as the weapon losing its powers in situation X, against enemy Y or if you do action Z, but I would never be sure if there would be enough information in a solo to make the situation clear. What I've taken from this is that I should trust my readers to make that decision themselves. The stat bonuses are weak: I'm a bit disappointed in myself that I didn't realise how weak they were. I will rectify this if I get to the rewrite. In short, all the ways of making super awesome powers was deliberate as most of Tunnels and Trolls seems to actively encourage abuse. I mean, TARO and DARO can create obscene situations. In conclusion, I might rewrite it as a level 1 adventure and I will rectify all the spellings etc. Many thanks for pointing this out. I know this probably means very little to you, but I learnt a lot making this book and the magic weapon rules and I will carry this over in my future projects. I'm not sure if you see that as a good thing or not. It's a thing, at least. May the Troll God Father always smile upon you!
Scrawl
by sean m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/20/2017 20:31:11

Excellant solo system.All of the add on modules make this a must have for solo rpg fans.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scrawl
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Explore to the Core (A SCRAWL supplement)
by sean m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/20/2017 20:29:40

Great hexcrawl supplement. Any chance of a hyperlinked version to make it easier to move around the pdf?Also an index would be cool as well. Just love all of your solo modules for use with Scrawl,it is a fabulous system that is evolving.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Explore to the Core (A SCRAWL supplement)
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Creator Reply:
Many thanks for your great review and your excellent idea. I will include hyperlinks in SCRAWL. The grand plan is to put all the modules into one big volume and hyperlink that. I have 4 things left to write - caves, ruins, forests and jungles. Many thanks for your custom and I hope you enjoy future products!
Temple of the Fool God
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2016 20:59:22

This project really hits the correct definition of chaos. Not evil. Just random, creative, and in places irrational and illogical. in short, gangs of fun. And since it is so random, very easy to play again if you are masochistic enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Temple of the Fool God
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Khazan City Chaos
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2016 12:57:48

If you can get past the opening sentence "You never thought that as an adventurer could be so boring." and ignore one or two other such that leave out a word or three, (fortunately never vital omissions) this is a very good solo. Yes that was a run on sentence. So I will admit being a hypocritter.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Khazan City Chaos
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Trailblazers!
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2016 12:32:05

The Author takes 15 pages to explain the newest version of T&T which give so much more than the older versions. That in itself is well worth the price. And then the solo itself about colonising a new land is excellent.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trailblazers!
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Legend of the Wayfarer core rulebook
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2016 00:53:31

I like the 1d6 method. It is vastly simpler than working out all the adds, and doesn't reguire classes etc.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Wayfarer core rulebook
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Test of the Warrior
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2015 19:02:30

I liked it. It used its own system, of pick a path type adventure. Which is the down point since you have to go from paragraph to paragraph on a computer. Once past that annoyance, it went well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Test of the Warrior
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Legend of the Wayfarer core rulebook
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2015 03:58:35

Not much to this book and nothing special that I could see.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Wayfarer core rulebook
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Creator Reply:
You\'re right, it is the bare bones rules. As I write more books, I will amalgamate them into a book on the world (I might even think of a name for it!). I will also put the special rules from the books into the rule book and expand on it. Legend of the Wayfarer is a work in progress and the more books there are, the more you will get a feel of the world and the rules. I would love it if you tell me what you would like to see - a list of monsters? A history and geography of the world? Adventure ideas? All these will become more clear with the more books I write. I hope you stick with it and see what happens - and when the books are free, what do you have to lose?
Temple of the Fool God
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2013 19:12:44

Steve Jackson (the American version) once complained that there wasn't enough "silly" in RPGs, that they were taking themselves far too seriously.

He should enter the Temple of the Fool God.

One of the conceits (?) of solos, especially TnT solos, is that your character is willing and eager to enter into an arena type of game in which he or she is most likely going to be killed. Of course, there's the promise of Great Reward if one survives, but one has to wonder - just who is running these arenas and how do they make a profit if there is no paying audience? (Only Roy Cram has an answer for that in his two Gamesters solos.)

Nonetheless, our PCs gleefully enter into these death traps with all the survival instincts of the cast of either version of "the Haunting." And in this case, that's exactly the sort of mentality which will give us, the players, the most fun. (Not the PCs, of course, the pitiful fools!)

The previous review may have given you some idea of the puns, the Pythonesques, and the expected twists on RPG cliches that you'll find herein. Let's just add for the proper seasoning, that this was written by the inimitable Stuart Lloyd, who never disappoints, and the art is by Mr or Ms Public Domain, who was not available for torture and questioning.

Someday, someone is going to gather the funniest TnT solos in one volume, and we'll never get around to playing them because we'll just laugh and laugh while reading them. This belongs in the front of that book.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Temple of the Fool God
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Khazan City Chaos
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2012 19:51:29

Possibly the craziest solo I've played. It's not that the plot, characters, or options are crazy in themselves -- it's crazy in that there are so MANY ways this could play out. This could and should be played many times, to see if it comes out different each time. I played it four times, and it was different each time - and no less dangerous!

I want to see more solos by this Slloyd14 guy!

*jeep! & God Bless! --Grandpa Chet, the MormonYoYoMan



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Khazan City Chaos
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Trailblazers!
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/09/2012 18:25:57

Stuart Lloyd is changing the way we play Tunnels & Trolls solos and he is changing the way I look at T&T as a whole.

Rather than moping back to Edition 5 of T&T (which would be my primary instinct when writing a solo game) Mr Lloyd takes 7.5 with all it's suggested talents, he embraces the opportunities for customised skill checks (SRs), adapts to the new types/classes and tackles in-book spell-use head-on. Text sections provide options to perform "stunts" which make even the most mundane encounter memorable to play. The situations in Trailblazers! are refreshingly original. The plot can switch from the lowly to the epic - from scrambling about about to saving the day - of this stuff heroes are born.

There's a sprinkling of humour and chagrin, very much in the style of older T&T solitaire games, so T&T old school regulars will like this. The replayability factor is very high. (Do not be discouraged by the charming public domain art! This is high class content! High-production values of the mind!) - I should also add that his solos are easy on the ink cartridge and his PDF prices are kept extremely low. As well as a one off, you can also play Trailblazers! as the third in the series of T&T solos Stuart Lloyd has written.

-Billiam B. bit.ly/rpgblog



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trailblazers!
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Khazan City Chaos
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/18/2012 09:50:54

Khazan! Possibly the most famous city in the T&T universe! Chewing up and spitting out players in countless adventures.

This may appear to be a small solo, but you will find that if you're playing this thoroughly enough that you will pass through a good many of it's 56 sections. A lot of the scenes provide the reader with the opportunity to test different abilities with Saving Rolls. This gives this solo a high "replay" factor, so believe me when I say that you are getting more than your value for money.

That's what this solo is all about: -money. Lucky fortune -and a fight- at the beginning will provide your low level character with more cash than they will see in a entirety of adventures. It's a pity there's no option to walk away at that point (not to mention that if you're a freshly generated character the introduction will provide you with a sack of cash). Now, I've played too many shoot-em-ups to know that free health and weapons usually means something big is around the corner... So let us a assume that a fool and their money is about to be easily parted. But you, the player, are no fool because this solo will probably cost you less than a dollar.

The author explains in the preface that he his developing his own standardised solo rules for Tunnels & Trolls – in this case the 7.5 edition. It's perfectly possible to play a warrior without spells talents and maybe even a character from 5/5.5 or earlier editions, but you'd be missing a treat, because Khazan City Chaos is extremely comprehensive in the instructions as to how to employ Talents and Spells from the 7.5 lists. T&T 7.5 in many ways encourages improvisation and special moves in combat -but this requires a creative and judicial GM to be on hand, which is not possible in solo texts. Less confident players also like to be led by the text in the section as to what they are able to do (despite some T&T solos claiming that the broadest interpretation of the text should allows player to do whatever their characters feel like). Mr Lloyd's genius here, in addition to all of the spell guidelines, is the implementation of “stunts” in combat – these are special saving rolls based on attributes or talents, which allow for dramatic and memorable moves. Many of the stunts are totally optional, which may come as a relief for fast-play players – just give 'em the MR and let 'em get on with it! ;)

The extra options reminded me a little of gamebooks, like Lone Wolf, where the character has options to use skills to effect the outcome of an encounter – they was always something strangely satisfying in this (when compared, to say, standard Fighting Fantasy). The stunts add a lot of flavour to combat. These along the many tests in the adventure result in a sense of ingenuity and achievement of behalf of your character – even when some of the trials in the urban world may seem without the thrill and zap of combat (although combat is only ever a section away).

Stuart Lloyd's narrative style is impeccably balanced between the do-or-die thrill of the quest, peppered with light hearted commentary about the characters and their environs, which fits perfectly with the traditional style of T&T solos. He appears to be planning a whole series. So be warned! By purchasing this you may find yourself collecting all of his titles as soon they hit the press!

This solo will entertain new players and be refreshing for the veterans too. GMs of all editions of T&T may like to take a look at this solo since talent guidelines, the stunt descriptions and many options to use attribute (or talent) SRs makes for inspirational game-planning.

-Billiam Babble http://bit.ly/rpgblog



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Khazan City Chaos
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Temple of the Fool God
by Billiam B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/07/2012 21:10:08

Generally I have mixed feelings about the idea that Tunnels & Trolls games should often be light and humorous, but Stuart Lloyd provides a feasible background for such japes. By taking on the patron god of fools (who's name in short form takes up most of a paragraph) you are forced to put part of your sensibilities aside. Chaos truly reigns. Like with many T&T solos, some sections are sub-games in their own right, where the player can choose to raise the stakes for higher gains - random treasure tables also provide a bet like dice rolling flutter. Sections can be revisited and considerable ground can be covered and replayed - giving Temple of the Fool God a lasting game life. The Monty Python-esque humour might be a little much for some, but for others it's a jolly evening in. 'Fool God is written for the T&T 7.5 edition, which is good, because dedicated solos for that edition are still thin on the ground, compared to mighty back catalogue of published and amateur adventures written for 5/5.5. Fool God is a packed read with 190 sections. All of the sections are properly hotlinked which means you get straight the right section when using an on-screen reader or a touch-tablet. It is ideal for both new players and veterans (for 1st level characters - with equipment provided in the text). Challenging nonsense. ;) Billiam B. bit/ly/rpgblog



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
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