Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Games That Can Now Be Named - Erol Otus's "Island Town" (Old School Adventure / Setting)

Last Wednesday at "Games That Can Not Be Named" I had a chance to play in Erol Otus's Island Town. (Yes! I can name it now). Although written for on of the older D&D rules / clones (I'm not sure which, as I was a player, not the DM) we actually played it using Tunnels & Trolls 5.5e.

As I mentioned in last week's post, we had a blast. We broke up into two team of two players (who each ran two characters). I'm not sure if that's how it would work in the adventure using the D&D clone of your choice, but for T&T it worked well.

It most certainly WAS NOT a normal adventure / setting. Failure to perform the initial rituals of coming of age properly (you worked as a team, so it was all pass or all fail) pretty much meant your characters weren't going to remain in the island's breeding pool.

Yes, the Island was just as much off center as Otis's art usually is. Beautifully off center.

What I saw looked like Otis's art, but I wasn't able to leaf through the booklet to be sure. What I did see looked really nice.

Alright, another evening of Games That Can Not Be Named. I'm interested in seeing what's up next...


  1. Hi Erik,

    All the art in the book was indeed by Erol Otus himself. I used Tavis' copy, signed by EO, very cool!

    The adventure was OSR and implied some interesting variations to start the adventure -- 0-level characters with stats rolled on 2D6. I didn't see a rules section in my speed-reading/skimming, but there may be an appendix that spells it out.

    I was ready to run it with 2 players with 2 characters on the same 4-person team, but the arrival of 2 more players kicked it up to feature inter-team rivalry and cooperation. A fortuitous turn of events to be sure!

    The adventure seemed designed to kill off at least a few characters, and included a lot of ability checks (roll your attribute or less on 1D20). That made for an excellent fit with the T&T saving throw system, which is really another form of attribute check. Even though only one character died, I think there would have been more casualties if play had continued even a half hour further.


  2. David, thanks for filling in the blanks for me. It was a blast to play. Thanks for running it :)

  3. It was also a blast to run. My thanks to you, Tim, Ray, and our lone female player whose name I unfortunately never caught.

    I should mention that through Games that Can't be named I had played in an Everything is Dolphins game run by Ray (the designer) along with you and my Island Town mystery player, then played in another Dolphins game run by Tim (publisher and art director). That's plenty of synergy for three game sessions.

  4. Very true. Mystery player is Ray'ssignificant other. She rock's in my book, offered me a Corona in the first session ;)


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