Monday, January 17, 2011

The Trollish Taproom - It's Fiendishly Simple

When I first came across Tunnels and Trolls back in the early 80s (probably 83 or 84) it felt incomplete to me. Where where the monsters? Was there another book for the monsters, like AD&D? What are my players supposed to fight?

I cut my teeth on AD&D, and the simplicity of T&T didn't gel well with me in my teenage years. That's a damn shame. I just couldn't understand that monsters could be defined with a single number, representing both attack strength (dice plus adds) and hit points. One number to work with, multiple purposes.

As an aside, this is the same teenager that spent a summer DMing for his friends in the Poconos, with just the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide - no Monster Manual. I didn't understand that an Ogre's HD of 4+1 was actually 4d8+1... I thought 4+1=5 HP. Yeah, my players were tearing thru stuff that summer.

So, it T&T, it's very easy to create a monster. All you need to do is give it an MR and a description. The addition of "spite damage" and special "procing damage" allows one to truly make unique adversaries for their party.

This is something that Raggi seems to be striving for with his LotFP Weird Fantasy rules. Where monsters are unique and scary, something that D&D and it's clones have a hard time accomplishing with their books of monsters.

Still, that is one of the many things T&T 7.5e did right - it gives us a monster book or two. In my mind, they are more for use as examples then anything else, to show what one can quickly build with the T&T rules. Then again, Claudio's Poza's art helps anyone's imagination ;)


  1. My recent GURPS experience has reinforced the value of simple, fun to play systems. I really dig the T&T stuff you sent me. Very solid!

    Hell of a game yesterday, by the way. I was so cored playing that I had the game on with no volume and caught the entire thing. Nice!

  2. Yeah, damn Jets didn't have to stage that last minute comeback this time either ;)

    I really need to get a T&T game rolling, even if I use a VTT. Its not like it needs a complicated character sheet or anything


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