Sunday, October 31, 2010
I tried to collect OD&D stuff, but there is no way to get a complete collection in decent shape at an affordable price. It just doesn't happen. I have copies of most of what I want, and the rest will be forever out of my range. Besides, if I wanted a complete collection of everything published by TSR thru AD&D 1e (the EGG years), I'd need to devote a whole closet to it. It's not going to happen. Not if I want to live "Happily Ever After." The family will kill me. ;)
Tunnels & Trolls is a finite collection. 24 solos (with way too many printings for it to be worth a damn), 7ish editions, and handful of GM adventures, Corgi editions, the Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes spinoff - this is a finite collection. Besides, 24 solos gives me lots of ways to fill in that "alone time". Wait, that doesn't sound right.
That means I will still be reviewing T&T stuff (The Delver's Pack and MS&PE are probably the next in the hopper) just as I will be covering the general Old School stuff for the clones and the Indi games that I find interesting. Heck, Greg He Who Knows Boundless Energies and Creative Juices is working on something that I expect to be Old Schoolish, Newish and Indi-like.
It's a good time to be a gamer, I just found an often overlooked corner with Tunnels & Trolls. It's far from the only corner, and have no fears, my Bullseye Lantern does a fine job of illuminating those corners. ;)
Now, most GMs falls somewhere between these two extremes, they use a combination of homebrewed and pre-written. If you use the homebrewed method exclusively, this post is not for you. You're good. Go forth and prosper. Nope, this piece of drivel from my typing fingers is a loose list of do's and don'ts for those that don't have the time to homebrew 100% of the time.
DON'T run a prewritten adventure if your thoughts on the whole process is "this is going to suck, but I'll push thru it anyway". If you know its going to suck for you and your group, WTH are you going to make them suffer thru it? Wether it's going to suck because you hate pre-written adventures on principle, or the one you just spent your hard earned dollars on is not right for you and your group, just DON'T DO IT! Trust yourself, your players do.
DO make the prewritten adventure your own. Your players will know when you drop a random adventure into their campaign, so don't let it be a random plug in. When you plant in your garden, you don't drop the rose bush on top of the soil. You dig a whole, add fertilizer and compost, cover it back up, water... you make it a part of the garden. Its the same with pre-written adventures. You need to plant them and water them and make them a part of your campaign.
DON'T expect that the adventure writer wrote the adventure with you and your campaign in mind. He didn't. You'll need to read it closely and make changes. Too many traps? Take some out. Opponents too weak? Boost them up. Magic items that will unbalance your campaign? Change them.
DO get you players invested in the adventure. Rumors, hooks and plot threads can and should be placed in advance. The only one that can do that is you. (Unless you are running a pre-written campaign arc, in which case you may be supplied with many hooks and rumors).
DON'T treat an adventure like a one-shot with no campaign value as your players will react in kind.
DO ensure that you know the adventure as well as one of our own creation. There is little worse then watching the GM flip back and forth thru the adventure trying to figure out what happens next. Use a flow chart if it helps,or notes, or highlighting... whatever method helps you run this as your own.
This is far from a complete list. I'm sure I'll think of more the moment I post this. Feel free to add to it in the comments.
Today we look at Kobold Quarterly #15. In any ways, it is a direct descendent of Dragon Magazine (may the gods of Greyhawk rest it's soul - yes, the current incarnation doesn't count). Wolfgang Baur is the editor, and his Open Design company is the publisher.
KQ cover' both 4e and Pathfinder, but even those that prefer Old School will find stuff to sink their teeth in. It is invariably well written and well put together. That being said, I find the 4e stuff to be more then I generally want, but I understand why they want to cover both markets. It's a divided market. The Pathfinder articles I find much more useful, as they are easier to use with older D&D variants.
This issue includes articles by James Lowder, Monte Cook, Wolfgang Baur and many others. The James Lowder article is almost worth the price of admission by itself, as its a nice insight into the World of TSR under Lorraine Williams.
I do have some issues with the issue. Articles are not necessarily labeled for the system they are written for, which is annoying. I had to read a page of the article on critical hits before realizing it was for 4e. Pathfinder stuff I can convert, 4e I generally don't bother with. Shame too, as the article was well written.
My other issue is with the ads. Ads in a PDF edition of a magazine should be hyperlinked as a default. Many weren't. Shame really.
Overall, a very good magazine, if you recognize and adapt for the inherent weakness of covering two incompatible systems. Excellent value if you play both Pathfinder and 4e, good value if you play one or the other, and a decent value if you are an Old School gamer willing to convert some of the Pathfinder stuff.
So, they all get a prize, even if not the same prize.
John Stephens gets the copy of Realms of Cthulhu in PDF
JDJarvis wins a PDF copy of Fantasycraft
/Matt gets himself a PDF copy of Splicers RPG
The winners need to email me at email@example.com to get their prizes.
Congrats to all!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
My big T&T purchase on Ebay? tracking finally updated last nite, it appears they've had it since LAST Friday... again, no slip to let me know, thank god for (delayed) online tracking. All that being said, it wasn't waiting at my zoned post office, but a neighboring one. Yep, two trips.
That being said, I now have a 2nd printing of Monsters! Monsters!, and 13 of the first 14 Solo adventures. Oh, and a second copy of the 5e rules for T&T.
I guess you can say it was worth the wait ;)
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Police work is way easier then parenting, let me tell you ;)
I'll try and be witty this weekend. If I'm not witty, at least I'll be verbose (SAT words for the kid's benefit) heh
Don't forget the yesterday's contest. Entries must be in by midnite, this coming Saturday.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The contest is really simple, but it will require a minimum amount of work on your part to enter.
You are going to roll up a Tunnels & Trolls character, and one random poster will win a PDF copy of Realms of Cthulhu courtesy of RPGNow.
So, what you need to do is:
1 - download a free copy of the Tunnels & Trolls rules if you don't already own a copy of the 5e/5.5e/7e or 7.5e rules - any edition of the T&T rules will work
2 - roll up a character (or many, but only the first posting will count). You'll need some d6s for this.
3 - name your character
4 - post your character in this thread with a sentence or two describing him / her
5 - at midnite on Saturday, October 30th, 2010 I'll randomly choose one the posted characters as the winner, and send out the prize via email.
Pretty easy if you ask me ;)
P.S. Yes, I really do have T&T on my mind these days. So sue me!
I'm pretty impressed with the Delver's Pack for Tunnels & Trolls. While the box doesn't overflow from the cramming of too much stuff (can you really cram too much gaming material in a box), what is there is pretty good. All that and a whole stack of character sheets (the core box just comes with 4).
I'm going to be posting a new contest in a few (minutes? hours?), and the prize will be a PDF copy of Realms of Cthulhu. Seems to be the right prize for Halloween ;)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
See, this is what I don't understand.
When James shipped LotFP Weird Fantasy from the netherland known as Finland, I believe it took 3 days to go door to door to my house.
CDs purchased on Ebay from Australia? 2 days. Holy cow!
The Delver's Pack for Tunnels & Trolls that I ordered? Arrived at the Jersey City, NJ Postal sort facility last Wednesday. I know, I had the tracking info. It was updated last Thursday - Jersey City. Friday? Updated as - Jersey City. Saturday? You guessed it, Jersey City. Yesterday it finally hit my local post office and it arrived at my door today.
To put it simply, the USPS sucks a large amount of ass. I think the postal beast devoured two small orders from Flying Buffalo earlier this month. Rick is going to check the status after he settles in from con time in Germany.
UPS? God bless 'em. Never lost a package yet, and Amazon is where I do more shopping then anywhere else.
Anyhow, I'm finally getting a chance to look thru the T&T Delver's Pack. Looks good so far. I also got Steve Jackson Game's Zombie Dice via Amazon/UPS. Should be some family dice fun this weekend.
I want to thank my readers, posters, fellow bloggers and most importantly my family... I'm sure if my son totaled up the time i've spent blogging he'd be really pissed it wasn't spent killing stuff online with him and taking their stuff ;)
Thanks everyone. You've kept it fun, which is why I come back every day. Keep up the good work and I'll try and keep my end up :)
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Monday, October 25, 2010
First up is the counter collection.
Tunnels & Trolls isn't really a game that worries about facing and exact positioning, but counters, just like miniatures, can help the players visualize the game they are playing.
Fiery Dragon always does a nice set of counters, and these are no exception.
72 counters, covering both PCs and adversaries.
I believe the artist is Claudio Pozas, as he did the illustrations in the monster book and the special edition monster / magic book. His look fits Tunnels & Trolls pretty well.
We get a handful of character sheets, which are nice but small.
I expect one would get better use out of a sheet printed off the internet, but it's nice for inclusion in a boxed set, as it adds to the idea that it is complete in the box.
There is a fold out map of Trollworld. It's actually pretty cool, even tho' I don't know anything of the places on it. That's a hint Ken. Maybe a small wordbook for Trollworld, no more in depth then the 1st Printing of World of Greyhawk. I know I'd buy it as fast as Ken puts it to paper / word processing program ;)
Last is the 4 small six sided dice, about the same size as were included in LotFP's Weird Fantasy Boxed Set. Which means its nice they were included, but a bit small for everyday use.
I'm sure the formatting of this post is going to be all over the place, but screw it.
All in all I'm very happy with the T&T 7.5e Boxed Set. It's a lighter game then most of the D&D OSR clones and is certainly Old School, which is where I'm sitting my gaming table these days.
I'm waiting on the Delver's Pack to show up, maybe tomorrow ;)
edit: 500th post... go figure. That kinda snuck up on me ;)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I do recommend that if you find that demanding players are causing you to make up a lot of details on the fly, you should write down what you made up so you can be consistent later. Plot developments and adventure hooks will probably arise as the adventure unravels, so jot these ideas down as they arise or as you think of them. You might want to use them later or introduce them if play slows-down or goes in a different direction from what you had planned.
previous post about the Monstrum Codex.
We also get a few paragraphs on Balancing Encounters in T&T 7e/7.5e, which is based on a 4 character party. Strangely enough, the Balancing Rules that make mention of the Revised T&T rules (presented in the 30th Anniversary Tin and available for free at Trollhalla for registered members) refers to a Standard 3 person party. I might need to give the Revised (think alternate) T&T rules a closer look.
In any case, the booklet details 20 creatures for use in your T&T game.
The rest of the booklet gives a short and dirty introduction to magic items in T&T. It's enough to give the GM some ideas, but little more. Sample staves, wands, potions and weapons are stated out. It's a start, but leaves me hungry for more.
All in all, there's a lot of info crammed into those 22 pages. How about we get a book 2? ;)
The biggest winner in this whole thing? The pets. My girl's dachshund gets to have her mommy home one day a week and my feline Ashley thinks I'm home to keep her occupied all day. Pets really are the center of the world.
Did I mention that the girl and I have now designated one weeknite a week to be "Pub Dinner Nite"? This is working out to be a Win Win across the board! Heh.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The food was good, the beer was cold (and as we were guests of the beer distributer that was supplying the beer, it was all free... WOOT!). My girl and I did notice an interesting crossover tho... the German band was mixing Irish drinking songs into their selections, and singing them in German! It was a frikkin' hoot. Of course, my German is piss poor, so I was singing the songs I recognized in English ;)
Imagine when the Dwarf in the party catches the local Elfin Bard singing his land's drinking ballad in Elvish... or worse, the goblins they come across in the dungeon are singing it in their tongue... fun for all if you ask me :)
How much do you really need a monster book (let alone 2) for a system that allows one to design creatures with a simple Monster Rating. Quick refresh: MR is a creature's CON / HP. It determines the combat dice, and half the MR is the creature's Combat Adds. Pretty simple and flexible system.
So, why the Monstrum Codex? Because simplicity can be bland. The monster descriptions add flavor, which is always helpful. Special Damage and Special Abilities add depth and surprises that will keep the party off their toes. The Special Damage is dependent on the numbers of "6's" rolled... roll enough "6's" and the Special Damage "procs" (yep, that's an MMORPG term).
Personally, I like the idea of "procing" damage in a RPG... it keeps the Special Damage special, and out of direct control of the GM.
The book is spiral bound, just like the rulebook and the monster book... which is either a selling point, or not, depending on your point of view.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Anyhow, the 2 packages that were in my mailbox today were both Tunnels & Trolls related. The first was the T&T 30th Anniversary 7e Tin. I like the tin even if it is smaller then the 7.5e Boxed Set.
Items of note: a 32 page Alternative Rules booklet in addition to the 7e rules. I need to give this a closer look. Oh, and of course the CD, which includes (amongst other things) a greatly expanded equipment list and a copy of the T&T Computer game from 1990. I'll need to boot my PC to give it a try later.
The other package had a signed copy of Monsters! Monsters! and two signed copies of A Fragmented History of Trollworld. Very nice. A weekend of reading awaits.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Alright, how about a little bit better? Slightly more useful? Skewed more in the direction of Tunnels & Trolls? (probably - its my current bag, baby!)
Trollhalla, where you get to hang with the Troll God himself, and Trollbridge, where folks post about Troll and Tunnels and other such oddities.
Now, if you wanna do me a personal solid, and expand the amount of free online storage I can squeeze outa the fine folks of Dropbox (where a large portion of my RPG PDFs currently reside), you can sign up using my referral link up on top of this page. You get free online storage that you can access anywhere you have an internet connection, and I a bit more space to store the huge amount of PDFs I got with my donation at RPGNow for the Pakistan Flood Relief. (Over $41,000 donated by gamers as of this posting)
There are 39 1st Level Spells, 47 2nd Level Spells, 42 3rd Level Spells, 30 4th Level Spells and 30 5th Level Spells, for a grand total of... 188 additional spells for your T&T Campaign. The reason I say campaign and not game, is because the T&T Solos, if they allow magic wielding characters, have a Spell Matrix or Chart that help you work out a spells effect for that adventure - these spells do not appear on such a matrix, at least not with the current collection of solos I've come across.
Now, to put things in perspective... the core rules have 9 5th level spells, this book adds 30... and 6th level has 4 spells to choose from. I guess when I get the Delver's Pack in the mail I can let you know about the additional higher level spells.
Are they balanced for play? I don't know, but I don't think there is anything game breaking included.
Do they add options to your game? Yep. Just make sure your players earn what they get, and don't let them find anyone willing to sell any spells that you feel might upset the balance, but that's true with anny game system.
Overall, a nice addition to the core rules.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Anyhow, here's my list, in no particular order:
1 - Risk - classic set with the caltrop pieces
2 - Castles & Crusades - it made old school new
3 - AD&D - my intro to RPGs and my mainstay for years
4 - Chaos Marauders - one of our mainstays when we didn't have a full group for the gaming session
5 - Rifts - insane game, maybe that's why my first character was a "Crazy" ;)
6 - MERP - a fun alternative to AD&D. Bolas were a dangerous weapon against the PCs
7 - Baldur's Gate Series - When all you had were yourself... and an insane Ranger
8 - Spacemaster - I ran this more often then Traveller
9 - Everquest - Because Ultima Online taught me the true meaning of the word "grief"
10 - Tunnels & Trolls - playing with yourself can be fun. Git your mind outa the gutter! Besides, its fun for group play too ;)
11 - Battlelords of the 23rd Century - I never understood the rules, but the guns were big and we had fun playing
12 - Nuclear War - sometime you just need to nuke someone
13 - Warhammer FRP - it was a blast the first time around, and Dark Hearsay was the first Fantasy Grounds campaign I played in
14 - Ultima Series - Sometimes a good story beats lame graphics
15 - Anarchy Online - a MMORPG that also supported solo play? go figure
Fun stuff, if you are into poorly animated Fiend Folio creatures and Heavy Metal... apparently, I am into it ;)
Case in point - my Dragon Magazine Archive has been missing the first disc since, well, forever it seems. I even went so far as to bid on another set on Ebay to replace it (didn't win). What do I find in a stack of CDs that were on that shelf? The missing first disc. Nice.
I also stumbled across Scrollworks Issue #1 by Christian over at Destination Unknown. A little piece of history was buried on that shelf it seems.
I still have to clean out the top shelf in the closet in my son's room. There is gaming material I haven't touched in years up there. It may be another archeological dig ;)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Spells in T&T. You either love them, or you hate them. Not for game reason tho'. Game-wise its a pretty tight system. Each spell has a Level, WIZ Cost (which lowers as the character advances in level), Duration, Range, whether or not it can be powered up and then, of course, the spell description. It's actually very well done without being overly complicated.
Nope, the love or hate is due to the Spell Names: Upsidaisy (levitate), Healing Feeling (cure disease), Dum-Dum (lowers target's INT), Slush-Yuck (rock to mud) and of course, the (in)infamous Take That You Fiend! (TTYF - a basic attack spell).
Tunnels & Trolls doesn't take itself too seriously, although it's easy to play it as a serious game. T&T is a flexible, lite hearted system. If the action isn't covered in the rules, it can probably be covered with a Saving Roll (think ability or skill check, depending on where you are coming from). Which is great, as good players think out of the box, and a good RPG system will encourage that.
For those asking, the more I read the T&T rules, the more I like them. Fun is more important then game balance, which I think has been forgotten in D&D's later incarnations.
Working a late one tomorrow. Think I'll roll thru a T&T solo in the morning. Wish me luck. Some are more killer then the worst Killer DMs ;)
Monday, October 18, 2010
Onebookshelf / RPGNow / DrivethruRPG has, with the generosity of a number of its publishers, put together a bundle of RPG products for a price of $25, with the proceeds going to DWB. Heres the quick blurb:
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Uhm, combat. Your weapon will decide the number of dice (d6) in combat, and you get Personal Adds, which are added to the total die roll. That is compared to your adversaries dice and adds (usually in direct correlation to its MR, or Monster Rating). The difference is the amount of damage done to the loser. If there are multiple characters / adversaries on each side, the dice totals on each side is added, and the losing side takes the damage (distributed amongst its members).
Armor blocks a certain amount of damage points - Warriors get to double the points that their armor blocks. Damage is taken from CON. Time or a Poor Baby spell heals damage.
Spite Damage is derived from each "6" rolled... even the winning side can suffer from Spite Damage.
Personal Adds are derived from 4 of your attributes... each point over 12 is +1 Personal Add.
That's the basics of combat. The side that can maximize it's numbers in combat while minimizing it adversaries numbers in active combat will have the advantage (with the enclosed encounters from Fiery Dragon, T&T can almost become tactical RPG).
Now spells, Saving rolls and other variables obviously will change things, but that is why you are playing a roleplaying game and not a wargame. The combat system is pretty flexible, and the MR system allows for quick changing of monsters combat ability if you goofed in your adventure design (when the TPK is the GM's fault, not a result of poor play on the side of the players - or if the players are steamrolling everything). Heck, the MR system allows for the quick design of monsters and adversaries, thereby allowing the GM to keep things fresh. If only Raggi had a similar system for LotFP Weird Fantasy ;)
Spells are a whole other kettle of fish. I'll get to them next...
Character generation, at it's core, is pretty much as you know it from any of the OSR games at: roll 3d6 per attribute, either in order or assign as you will. In Tunnels & Trolls, your race (Kindred) will determine modifiers to those rolls. Not + / - 1 as in the games you might know, but as a multiplier: in the case of a Dwarf, x2 to STR and CON, 2/3 to CHA (Strength, Constitution and Charisma - see, you know the game already ;)
There is also a point system for character generation, sort of as a nod to modern sensibilities. When using the point system, Kindred modifiers are not applied.
Wait, I almost forgot the rule of TARO - Triples are rolled over AND added to the previous roll. Ex: You roll 4, 4, and a 4, which equals 12. Keep the 12, roll 3d6 again... they total 10, your total score is a 22 for that attribute.
Me, I was always the roll 4d6 and drop the lowest type of GM in D&D and such. Using that in T&T will greatly increase the odds of rolling a triple (if the player can choose which die to drop). It will also improve the chances of rolling scores high enough for a Paragon (Warrior / Wizard dual class). I don't think it would be all that balance breaking, especially as Attribute Scores will be increasing as one spends earned Adventure (experience) Points.
Adventure Points allow one to increase Ability Scores. They are earned by killing stuff, role playing, saving rolls and other methods. Increasing you Ability Scores can increase your Personal Adds (more on this later), make you better at relevant Saving Rolls, make you better at surviving combat (CON = HP), etc. They also determine your character level in 7.5e (back in 5e, your Adventure Point total determined your level). In 7e, it cost 100 AP x current stat to increase by 1 (from 10 to 11 costs 1,000 AP). In 7.5e, that cost has been lowered to 10 AP x current stat to increase by 1 (from 10 to 11 costs 100 AP). The lowered cost is definitely more reasonable, but I suspect the AP award for completing the included solo adventure (reviewed here) was written for the 7e rules. Or Ken is just a very generous GM ;)
K, that's it for now. Back later
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The book itself runs 174 pages. 14 pages of which consists of the Armor and Weapons Glossary. Back in 4e (T&T, not D&D) they basically tell you to look the stuff up that you don't understand on your own (this was prior to the internet). Now, 14 pages to tell you exactly what it is your character is buying. I like it myself.
T&T now gives you the following classes to choose from: Citizen (your average schlep), Rogue (mix a bit of warrior and a bit of wizard - reminds be of the bard class from Dragon 56 / Best of Dragon), Warrior (your meat shield), Wizard (makes things go BOOM and such), Specialist (not really it's own class, but various specialties based on some of the other classes), and Paragon (Warrior / Wizard combo - not watered down like the Rogue - needs exceptional rolls at character generation to be one).
One omission in the rules in my view, is the lack of any real description of the Kindred, or intelligent races. The main races are Human, Dwarf, Fairy, Hobb and Leprechaun. There are also 32 rare Kindred races. Five of them have footnotes on the Kindred Attribute Modifier Charts. The rest? Nothing is said about them. We have the stat modifiers, but I dont even know what a Urook looks like, acts like, anything. Let alone Urookin. A sentence or two on each would suffice.
Don't get me wrong, I love choices, and T&T is a game with lots of choices. I just like to have an idea about my choices aside from a purely muchkin POV. If they used the same font as the Armor and Weapons Glossary, a Kindred Glossary would take 3 to 4 pages. Something to think about for the next printing / edition.
I know I'm sounding negative at this point, but don't let it throw you. I really like this boxed set, and thoroughly enjoy the T&T rules. More tomorrow about the rules.
Then I realized something. It's a matter of simplicity to change any Old School D&D module to T&T. Assign the creature an MR, decide if it has any special abilities that will come into play with the roll of an assigned number of natural "6's" and you are pretty good to go.
I mean, D&D (2e and earlier) is my native born language, but I've become fairly fluent in T&T, and translating between the two doesn't appear to be to difficult (at least from D&D to T&T).
What this means is that with minimal work, I have a nearly limitless source of gaming adventures for use with T&T. In theory at least. I need to put the theory to the test.
Anyhow, the 7.5e review will continue, probably later today. Oh, and some thoughts on D&D B/X (as i have the Expert rules now - never did have it back in the day - AD&D was the big boys' game)
Friday, October 15, 2010
Here's the box full of it's goodies. Notice how it doesn't want to stay shut?
Here's the enclosed map of Trollworld
The two enclosed adventures, one solo and one for a GM / group
Here's the rulebook, spiral bound
The extra spells and monster book - spirals again
See, I found the third counter sheet. Also, the character sheet and the SE Monster and Magic book
Here's the whole set, including the dice.
I'll start the reviewing this weekend ;)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
What does one get in their snazzy box full of T&T?
174 Page rulebook, spiral bound (selling point or a demerit depending on who you talk to). Everything you need to run a T&T adventure is in the book. As an aside, it is similar LotFP Weird Fantasy in that you don't have a monster listing in the main rulebook. Monsters / adversaries are easy enough to draw up - just assign an MR number and you are good to go. Still, for some, this omission can seem lacking. But wait!
There is a 43 page Monstrum Codex to give you some sample monsters and unique powers for them to beat your players senseless. Also spiral bound.
Then we have a 50 page Codex Incantatem. More spells for levels 1-5. Again, spiral bound.
Easy to overlook is the 22 page Monsters & Magic (Special Edition) book, or really, closer to pamphlet. Some basic monster and magic item info. Not spiral bound.
The Solo Adventure "Strange Destinies"comes in at 24 pages, not spiral bound. I wrote about this a few days ago.
The GM Adventure "Hot Pursuit"comes in at 16 pages. No spirals here.
A fold out map of Trollworld.
Tokens from Fiery Dragon Press (their art always rocks)
See why it has trouble fitting in the box? I'll do a more indepth review of the actually books over the next week or so.
The PDF version of the 7.5e Boxed Set can be found at RPGNow.
Thing is, how can a boxed set of the 5.0 rules go for 3 times the price of the 4.0 rulebook (which I grabbed for 26)? It's not like either was in mint condition. Well, i waited, and found the same boxed set, slightly dinged (still looks awesome) on the outside but damn near mint on the inside, for less then 17 bucks (plus shipping). It wound up coming from Troll and Toad even tho' I found it on ebay. These lads know how to pack!
Yes, working at the Tunnels & Trolls collection. Must secure as much as I can before I lose sole control of the discretionary funds ;)
I'll be posting some thoughts n the T&T 7.5e boxed set later tonight.
I remember it being advertised as a fantasy world without elves, and my perception was that it was a D&D variant of sorts. I never knew more then what the magazine ads showed me, but no more.
Talisanta.com offers free and legal downloads of nearly all the books in the Talisanta line and there are many. Others are in the process of being converted for download. It costs you nothing but the bandwidth to take a peek.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Lets see... mini adventures? Check. New magic items? Check. New class? Check. New spells? Check. Random tables? Check. All that and more fully infected by the Raggi touch? Hell yeah!
Yes, some of this has appeared elsewhere. So what? James has a unique touch when it comes to RPG products, and it shows here.
Alright, now for the word of James himself:
Green Devil Face is back!
The True Finnwegian Old School Role-Playing kult unearths the legendary zine from its 14-month slumber to deliver more madness to lay your players low! This isn't the solidly-composed, somberly delivered material that LotFP normally trades in, this is MADNESS UNLEASHED! Rapid-fire fuel-air explosive blasts of pure energy and creativity which will ignite your imagination because this one's just too hot! If you run an old-school game and you can't find something in here to put in your campaign RIGHT NOW you're just hopeless. You're not hopeless, are you? Then PROVE IT! Buy this PDF RIGHT NOW!
... it's all contained within SIXTY-NINE HOT PAGES... (plus OGL)... how can you resist?
Contents of This Issue:
Knights of Science - A New Character Class by James Edward Raggi IV
The Tower - Mini-Adventure by James Edward Raggi IV (originally presented in Fight On #4 - contains more backstory than the version in Death Frost Doom!)
The Dread Sorceries of Duvan'Ku - New Spells by James Edward Raggi IV (originally presented in Fight On #4)
Fell Magick Items of Duvan'Ku - New Magic Items by James Edward Raggi IV (originally presented in Fight On #4)
Random Inn Generator - Create an Inn and its Visitors from scratch! By James Edward Raggi IV (originally presented in Fight On #2)
Wand of the Weird - A wand of Bizarre Effect by James Edward Raggi IV
House of Snails - A mini-dungeon by James Edward Raggi IV
The Frog Cult - A mini-dungeon by James Edward Raggi IV
The Tomb to Die For/In by R. Lawrence Blake
Random Treasure Generator - The Old Treasure Tables Presented in a New Way by James Edward Raggi IV
A Spell Point Theory - Another Look Adapting the Vancian Magic System to Spell Points by James Edward Raggi IV
Plus Classic Green Devil Face Tricks/Traps:
The Room of Four Pits by Ramsey Dow
The Sneaky Book Room by James Brian Murphy
The Child by Zak Sabbath
The Chamber and the Glass Box by Zak Sabbath
Shrieker Stew by Jonathan Becker
Pool of Testing by Jonathan Becker
Shaggy Dog by Jonathan Becker
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Working on a full review of the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e Boxed Set (so full that I can't even close the damn box after taking off the wrap). I might do a book by book review of the box, like I did with LotFP's Weird Fantasy. Not sure yet.
Was hoping to game some tonight via Fantasy Grounds 2 and Rolemaster, but technical difficulties may be putting a damper on that. Ah well, there is always next week.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Ebay, and the Flying Buffalo website, are where I've been plugging the holes in my Tunnels & Trolls collection. Before the Outlaw Press / James Shipman debacle I'm sure there would have been alot more items on my list to buy, but that's okay. There's more then enough for me to look for (did I mention I bought a 4th edition copy of the T&T rules? Talk about nostalgia).
I think I'm down to 2 books for my OD&D collection: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes and Swords & Spells.
I need to work on my man cave, so I can display my Classic Gaming Collectibles ;)
As I wrote last night, the fiancee played thru a T&T solo last night. She had fun and got the taste of what roleplaying is about. We used the adventure Strange Destinies, which was included in the Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e boxed set (I'll give that a proper review shortly).
First the good. Atmosphere was great. She really got into the mood when I read the pieces that set the scene. When the player actually shivers with a description, you hit the right points. Nice recap in the beginning of the adventure detailing saving rolls and such. All in all, it was fun...
There is a "but" that needs to be added there. This is NOT an adventure for the average beginning player character warrior type. It is lethal, almost to the point of "why bother to roll the dice". Case in point. Rachel rolled triples on the score she assigned to STR. The total was a 26, doubled as a dwarf to a 52. She was a formidable warrior, and according to the 7.5e rules a 5th level character. Her first encounter was with 1 Giant Bloodworm (MR 120). It rolls 13d6 in combat with +60 adds. The Dwarven Warrior Sheba was armed with a short sword for 3d6 and +48 adds (she also had 10 pts of armor, doubled to 20 for being a warrior). Average rolls with adds would have been 105 for the Giant Bloodworm and 60 for Sheba. 45 damage less 20 for armor means 25 points of damage to Sheba in the average combat round not including Spite Damage. Heck there was a 50% chance of here encountering 2 Giant Bloodworms at a pop, which would have been insta death.
My solution was to halve the MR of all the creatures encountered. Even with that, Spite damage and combat rolls left her with 8 points left of her initial 28 CON when she found her way out. As written, not a really good way to introduce a new player to the rules or to RPGs. as dying without a chance in the first encounter isn't much fun. Which is a shame, because the T&T rules themselves are much fun (as was the adventure after I waved the GM Wand of Monster Nerfing).
So, nerf the monsters and you have a viable solo adventure for a warrior with decent combat adds. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but you need to adjust it to make it work. Or maybe run it with more then one PC.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
My dice rolling attracted the attention of my fiancée, who immediately declared the whole thing looked too complicated. I declared otherwise, had her roll a character (roll 4 dice, take best three, arrange as you will) and jumped into the included solo adventure, with myself taking the part of the reader / quasi-GM / monster roller. Even with her choosing a Dwarven Warrior, some of the random monsters had to have their Monster Ratings halved to give her a chance.
With the MR adjustment, the fights were challenging, especially with the Spite Damage (natural 6 is 1 point of unstoppable damage), but she prevailed. I think in retrospect the Adventure Point award was excessive and geared toward the 7e award system, but all that matters is in the end the lady had a blast.
Her big questions? Can I buy more equipment? And Can I only use her in solo adventures?
I might have a gamer on my hand ;)
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My son wound up picking out a Star Trek Next Generation board game and some used DVDs. I would have picked up a copy of Dungeon! But then I would have need to store it, as I doubt it would get use.
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Tenkar, my third level Dwarven Cleric in Castles & Crusades ( via Fantasy Grounds 2) was involved in too long of a discussion as to wether one leaves a sleeping giant lizard sleeping. Apparently, they will awake on their own and try to run off with said Dwarven Cleric. Ouch!
In the end the Lizzie was defeated, Tenkar was rescued and much gold and silver was had by all. Not bad for a nite's work.
I think we are about to hit 2 years with this campaign, and although the group has had much turnover, it has remained a very fun group to adventure with.
Now, of course, my yet to be implemented FG2 campaign first was to use LL, then C&C, but now I am thinking Tunnels & Trolls. Simplicity of system may be best for an irregularly playing group.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010
It's been over 3 months since the last issue of Oubliette was released on the virtual magazine stand. In that time, OD&Ditties closed it's doors, leaving one less magazine / fanzine covering the OSR, let alone RPGs in general. Still, Oubliette 4 was well worth the wait.
30 some odd pages for the magazine with another 50 or so bonus material, the reader is given a lot to look at for the 2 bucks he spent.
We get an adventure (geared to firearms but they can be removed), fiction, new monsters, weapons, a cartoon, reviews... and then we get the bonus material.
From the publisher's spiel:
80 jam-packed pages including: 34 Page Magazine, 13 Pages of Magic-User Spell Cards for Labyrinth Lord, and Character Sheets, Figures and Multi-Part Maps for this Issue's Adventure.
Written for Labyrinth Lord, but also ideal for use with any Basic/Expert/Advanced original or clone, with little or no adjustment required.
# Weapons Test - A Labyrinth Lord Adventure with Guns
# Monster Club #6 - Zombies
# Firearm Rules for Labyrinth Lord Part 3 - The Monsters Fight Back
# Tales from Hell - Buckets of Legend
# Monster Club #7 - Monster Scaling
# A Hunting We Will Go - An Encounter for Labyrinth Lord
# PC for PCs - Featuring G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
# Purist to Puerile - The Orc
# Seven Magical Mirrors
# Free PDF Round-Up
# Mouse Watch - A Cartoon for Grown-Ups
# The Song of Sithakk - Part 4 of our serialized story
# Plus loads of Bonus Material including: Magic-user Spell Cards for Labyrinth Lord and Large Scale Maps and Character Sheets for the Adventure.
Warning! Oubliette may contain content that is suitable for adult audiences only. Persons 18+ only.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Sorry about that, but somehow the Muppet Show's Pigs in Spaaccceee! popped into mt mind with the title. In any case, New Khazan is a nifty little sourcebook to bring something akin to DragonStar (a very cool 3e setting for D&D) to your Tunnels & Trolls game. I'm not saying it is like DragonStar, but it seems a closer fit for this purpose then, say, Spelljammer.
So far I have done little more then check out the first few pages, as somehow it failed to synch with my DropBox folder, which means it wasn't available for bedtime reading last nite, but I plan to correct that in a few minutes. I'm sure I'll come back to this again in a few days, after I get a chance to read further.
Anywho, here's the blurb (gotta have the blurb):
More than elves and trolls in outer space, more than star warriors casting spells, New Khazan has its own unique flavor of space fantasy.
This supplement begins with the assumed background of Tunnels & Trolls, then extends all those fantastic creatures and spells into a distant future where reptilian astro-gators guide ships through tunnelspace and police subdue criminals with Hold-That-Pose nets and TTYF guns powered by smaller versions of the same Kremm crystals that drive starfaring battleships.
New Khazan gives you descriptions of the worlds, prominent kindreds, civilizations, technology, and common character types of the fantastic future.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Everyone loves a good barroom brawl. But what happens when the fight gets out of hand and innocents are harmed? Witness the innkeeper's wife Evelyn Mortigan. When her entire family is killed in a fire caused by drunken adventurers, she utters a curse with her dying breath and returns to torment all those who would practice the adventuring trade. Can the characters escape her wrath, or will they be forever trapped in the Inn of Lost Heroes?
The Inn of Lost Heroes is a Labyrinth LordTM adventure for 4-6 characters of 3rd through 5th level (about 15-20 levels total). This adventure was designed as a one-shot that can be dropped into any existing campaign. The party should ideally contain at least one fighter or dwarf, one magic-user or elf, one cleric, and one thief or halfling character. The adventure centers around an inn that has become trapped in the nightmares of a vengeful spirit. Escaping the inn is the primary goal of this adventure, however, resourceful characters may also find the courage to free the trapped souls of former adventurers and finally lay the spirit to rest.
Author's Note: Know your group! This adventure begins by trapping the characters in an extraplanar dream world where some of the game mechanics they are accustomed to are slightly altered or do not work at all. It contains strong elements of horror as well as thematic material that may be disturbing to some. Common horror tropes of isolation, injury, and "taking the toys away" are also present. This is not an adventure that can be overcome by combat alone. If you suspect your players would not have fun with this type of setup, you may want to pass on this module.
Definitely not your run of the mill advnture, it might prove a nice change of pace for the proper group.
This Saturday nite looks to be a go for C&C / FG2. Our DM should be emailing me the file today or tomorrow, so I can get my net book all set up for the weekend. Gaming 2 weeks in a row after not gaming for about 4 months is a beautiful thing.
All that and a 3 day weekend to boot!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Now head over to the Free Dungeons Website. This is a troll's heaven. Another free version of the rules can be found, character sheets, and adventures (automated even). Yep, you can play solo on your computer. You don't even have to break out any dice (tho you will want to when you move on to other dungeons).
Rinse. Repeat. Enjoy.
Monday, October 4, 2010
I have a Old School style module or two to review. Hopefully a day or two and I'll have somethng written up.
Tuesdays are going to be Tunnels & Trolls Tuesday at the Tavern, because somebody needs to show the other Old School game some love. I'm not saying other days won't have something T&T related, but Tuesdays WILL have something T&T related.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I'm going to attempt to complete a Tunnels & Trolls Collection of sorts going forward. I think I've found the system that both interests the future Mrs Tenkar, and is made for solo play. I see no reason why I cant run some of the solos with myself as the GM. Besides, the more T&T I read, the more I like the system. Wish I wasn't such a closed minded gamer 25 years ago, or I might have some classic OD&D and T&T stuff without requiring Ebay, but back then it was AD&D, Rolemaster and all the "crunchy" crap ;)
I need to see if I can track down a T&T Character Sheet for Fantasy Grounds 2, as that is really all you would need to run a game using the system.
Last night was the first session of Castles & Crusades via FG2 that we've has since before the summer. As we only run once a month for the most part, a session recap before start is damn important, and I missed the major recap as I was 90 minutes late. Hopefully we can sneak another session in next week (looks good so far)
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Lets see, time to break out the dice!
d3 and a d20 = d60 :)
Rolled a 48 and a 18.
Psikonetic gets a PDF copy of Fantasycraft
kalpesh sorthiya gets a PDF copy of SplicerRPG
Games provided by OneBookshelf / RPGNow / DrivethruRPG
The winners can email me at tenkarstavernATgmailDOTcom and I'll send you the code to redeem your prize. Congrats to both!
(get in touch by next Saturday, October 8th, or the prize will be passed on to someone else)
My package arrived from FlyingBuffalo yesterday. I was a little disappointed at the size, as I had the mental image of 5 books and the 2007 Free RPG Day adventure taking up far more shipping space then they actually did. I was fine after I popped the sucker open tho: 4 Corgi double adventure books and the City of Terror (and the above mentioned 2007 Free RPG day adventure).
I think I'll be working on getting a complete set of T&T adventures, theres is something fun about rolling dice and progressing your chartacter, even if it is solo. The included abreviated rules include spell lists thru 9th level, so you really could play these without even referring to the T&T rulebook. I'll be surfing the net looking for a write-up that details all the changes between editions, although it appears everything is backwards compatible for the most part.
As a side note, the Corgi books were printed back in 1986, so they are classics already ;)
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Friday, October 1, 2010
Part of the reason has been a shortage of actual releases that I have an interest in. If there is no chance i'd ever use the piece, why waste my time and that of the publisher. I do have one or two reviews that I might get to this weekend. Time will tell.
The rest of the reason? I'm simply having way too much fun going thru my classic ebay purchases. When I get my package from Flying Buffalo full of Tunnels & Trolls goodness, watch out world! Heh
Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition
How To Use, Exploit, & Abuse Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise! By Venger Satanis - "In this book, I detail the city of A'agrybah, along with various adventuring locales - the largest being an offworlder high-tech facility called Elysium....1 hour ago
Some Classic Dungeons and Dragons Settings to Return? - It looks like “Dungeons & Dragons Is Bringing Back at Least Three Classic Campaign Settings”: *Dungeons & Dragons* will be revisiting several classic cam...6 hours ago
Star Wars Gamemaster Handbook – A book that teaches gamemastering - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game by West End Games was first released in 1987, four years after Return of the Jedi had been in theaters. It got a second edit...14 hours ago
The Hero’s Journey 2nd Edition, Campbellian roleplaying at its best! - (this review done using the reviewers own purchased copy) I have been a James Michael Spahn fan since he wrote his Swords & Wizardry Companion. His writing...1 week ago
The Halls of Arden Vul Complete Nominated for an ENNie award! - Proud to say that The Halls of Arden Vul Complete (the PDF version of AV) has been nominated for Best Adventure for the 2020 ENNies. To celebrate, I'm runn...2 months ago
The Mauve Plague, Gravy Urns, and Batlace Frills: News from the Hill Cantons - And now the News... In a statement beamed from the Oracular Society today *Morafans the Rickmaster*, the Psychosocial Health Minister of the Overking, ha...6 months ago
Strange, Dangerous, and Inhuman: The Fey and Fairie - When I was a boy I loved fairy tales. Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss in Boots, Rumpelstiltskin - I devoured all of it. My fascination that there was a strang...8 months ago
Merlynd the Magician: A Remembrance of Don Kaye, TSR's Co-Founder Now Available - LINK to Description and Ordering: https://www.tlbgames.com/collections/the-red-book-line/products/merlynd-the-magician9 months ago
The Withered Crag custom print version for sale again - Just re-enabled the direct sales button for the custom print (classic style detached cover) version of F4 The Withered Crag, and also for F3 Many Gates of...11 months ago