Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some Further Thought on Tunnels & Trolls in Actual Play

I found that T&T makes for a really good pick up game last night for some of the following reasons:

1 - Using the Quickstart rules available at RPGNow, you have all you need to create your character (and advance him or her) through the first few levels of play in about 5 pages. That's including spells, weapons, armor, equipment, combat rules, character generation, saving throw rules, etc.

2 - Using the T&T 5/5.5E rules probably works better for pick up games because of the above reasons. Anything else the GM wants to add (like Spite Damage or the Rogue class) can be explained easily enough.

3 - the game's use of D6s exclusively makes explaining the rules to new comers much easier then a handful of variable dice. Everyone who has ever played a board game knows what a D6 is.

4 - 3d6 in order works fine in a campaign game, where one time magic, magic items and plain old leveling will help survivors overcome their weaknesses. For a one-shot, I'd suggest allowing the player to arrange scores as they want. It helps overcome the fighter with negative combat adds, and lets the player who wants to play a wizard the actual chance to play one.

4 - A DM that can convert D&D to T&T on the fly is a huge blessing. I hope I can do nearly as well when I get around to running (not just playing) some T&T

5 - Oh Run Away is very useful for dealing with adversarial / disruptive players. It teaches a lesson and doesn't cause any real harm. Nothing like watching the expression when they are told: "Hmmm... nope, this isnt D&D, there is no save. Based on key stat totals. That's why yours failed. Mine won't" ;)

6 - T&T rewards players for thinking out of the box when they use the Saving Throw system by awarding expo based on the roll, fail or succeed. I never realized how effective this system was and how flexible it was until I saw it in action last night. Once the players groked how it worked, experienced role player's put it to an extensive test. It passed with flying colors. I'd like to import something similar to the D&D line of games.

7 - DARO - Doubles Are Rolled Over is the secret to the Saving Roll system. When you can keep rolling and adding, so long as you roll doubles, even the nigh impossible can at the very least be attempted.

Hmmm - I think the Saving Roll system from T&T deserves a post of it's own one day.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I have been getting more and more intrigued by T&T lately.

  2. Hi Erik,

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the game -- I had a good time running it, and am grateful to Alex and Tavis for the opportunity.

    "4 - A DM that can convert D&D to T&T on the fly is a huge blessing. I hope I can do nearly as well when I get around to running (not just playing) some T&T"

    I've gotta say that T&T makes it very easy to convert from D&D, so I'm confident that you or any seasoned GM could it well. I used Labyrinth Lord as a substitute for Moldvay D&D to serve as my mental baseline. The unified mechanes of 3E/Pathfinder look like they would also convert to T&T easily*.

    With that in mind, I think the easiest adventures to convert from D&D are probably TSR's B and X modules, OSR stuff, and 3E/Pathfinder products.

    If you're interested, I could go into specifics about how I'd handle more specific conversion issues. ;+)



    *Princecon uses a house system that hacks OD&D with D20 rules and a spell-point system. You can download the Princecon 36 rules for free here: http://www.princecon.org/pcon36/#downloads.

  3. I got turned on to T&T in the early eighties, and ever since I started game mastering I've always preferred it to D&D: partially because I like the system overall, but also because the game never seems to have attracted rules lawyers in the way that D&D did: with all the essentials in one thin book, it was always clear who the arbiter of all was.


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