Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tunnels & Trolls - Rumors, Updates and a Hopeless Redemption Attempt

It's a new edition, and it's in French!
It's been a while since I've posted anything substantial about Tunnels & Trolls. It's not that I'm not still collecting the pieces I still need for my collection, but I haven't been playing the solos and I haven't been playing in or running any T&T stuff online. I really should at some point, but I need to work in some LL and Blood & Treasure before we even get to that (let alone my regular AD&D campaign that is starting up soon).

Now there is word of a future edition of T&T - T&T Deluxe which may go the Kickstarter route. As Rick Loomis actually posted this back in July and we are almost in December, I'm going to assume he wants everything nearly done before kicking off the kickstarter:

Hi, folks. I try to avoid forums, as I find if I get involved in them I spend way too much time on them, and time is my most limited resource. Ken, Liz, Steve, Bear, and I are going to use kickstarter to create the newest edition of T&T. If you have strong opinions about the direction of the game, join the kickstarter and your opinion will definitely be heard. (You will be able to join for as little as one dollar, and you can cancel your participation the day before it ends!) We haven't started the kickstarter yet because we are still working on the presentation and the video. Nothing is "written in stone" yet - as the kickstarter proceeds we will determine what goes into the Deluxe Edition. Note that I am a firm believer in staying as close to 5.0 as possible. Ken likes to tinker. We'll work out a compromise. For those who want "more support for 5.0" please keep in mind that everything we produce is supposed to be usable with all editions. That's my insistence. If you want to stick with 5.0 -- I want you to be able to use all the new stuff. (And if there is demand, I may very well make a print on demand version of 5.0 or 5.5) 
Now as to the French edition. Patrice wanted to do a version in French, (with our permission) just for his own personal satisfaction. He got Ken to write some new stuff, and Steve Crompton to lay it out, and Liz to put up some new art. It came out so beautiful that now that I have run out of 5.5, I am not satisfied to just reprint 5.5. I wanted to have a deluxe edition even better than the French one. (Competition is what drives us to be better!) But keep in mind Flying Buffalo is a very (very very) small company. I don't even have enough $$ to just tell the printer "Print me up another 2000 copies of 5.5". Happy Day -- I have discovered Kickstarter. We'll use that to finance the new edition of T&T.
As for support for older editions: one of the things we definitely hope to do is create great new maps of Trollworld. Those will obviously be usable with any edition.  
Also - Patrice put out a French version of my solo adventure, Buffalo Castle. He got me to rewrite some of the paragraphs and make it better, so now I plan to print a new and better English version of Buffalo Castle!
This is part of Ken St. Andre's post from July:
I thought I would take a moment to tell you that serious work has begun on the next edition of Tunnels and Trolls. There is a 5 person nuclear team at work on the project right now consisting of Rick Loomis, Liz Danforth, Steve Crompton, Bear Peters, and Ken St. Andre. We’re doing this for several reasons which I will be sharing with you all later, but a big one is that we have run out of copies of T & T 5.5 and 7.5. Since a reprint is needed, why not make it bigger and better than ever before. Also, I have some new ideas I want to share with you all. Also, I believe a game needs to keep evolving in order to stay alive.
Yeah, I totally missed this. My personal preference would be something closer to 5.5 than 7.5 as far as rules, but closer to 7.5 as far as presentation.

There is a current attempt to by some members over at Trollhalla to facilitate a... it's not a healing, it's certainly not a mending, maybe a forgiving of James Shipman and all the ill will he has generated with some mighty underhanded stuff.

There is a reason that T&T went from 5.5e to 7e, as James had published the unofficial 6e that had been floating around. Judging from the current peek at James' site, they will need to skip 8e, as he's already published one that he's already gotten copyrighted: "Since it contains many rule changes, our Library of Congress Registered Copyright has been approved!" Strangely enough, James has 5.5 and 7.5 in stock. In the case of 7.5, its the rule book alone (it was always sold as a boxed set) and in the case of 5.5 it's spiral bound (FBI did not publish it recently in a spiral binding as far as I know). Personally, I don't seem James taking any steps to mend fences, right any wrongs or play by the rules. He's aslo reprinting the Corgi 5e version of the rules, 4e, 1e - the list goes on. The shame is that James has lots of cool stuff at his site, and no rights to publish any of them. How he could be forgiven and trusted after all this time, I don't know. I do know his site is like the Devil's treasure chest for T&T gamers, and the idea of removing the taint of evil from it is mighty tempting, I just don't think it can be done.

It does make one wonder how Shippy can make a profit of of old rulesets and Flying Buffalo can't figure out how to do the same. It's only recently that FBI put T&T 4e up on RPGNow in PDF. If FBI just spent the time to get their stuff in PDF and print on demand, you would lessen by far the business that goes to Outlaw Press.

Ah well. I really like T&T. I hope they stick to a 5e base with lots of options with the new edition. I also hope they have Ken's manuscript in hand before the Kickstarter starts. I'd hate to have to put them on my "Overdue Kickstarter List" ;)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. While I find some of Shippy's practices distasteful, and while I'd surely rather purchase books from the original creators if they bothered to make them available, the fact that they don't take the initiative to do so wouldn't make me feel as guilty about buying from him.

    Having said all of that, I'm definitely looking forward to Rick and Ken's Kickstarter project!


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition