Tag Archives: Tunnels and Trolls

More Misc Shit

Okay, the last couple of weeks have been busy and not in a good way. Since my rule is to avoid talking about work on my blog, I will go into no detail, suffice to say, I glad this week is over and shit is done.

Went to a film festival last weekend, and we saw Second hand Lions. It is a really good movie, it is well scripted, with a solid plot and good acting by Robert Duvall and Michael Caine. If you are looking for a solid drama to watch, I highly recommend this one.

I finished my month of playing solo Tunnels and Trolls adventures. During week one, I played 4 hours, in week two, I played 2 hours, in week three I played 3 hours and in my final week, I played 2 hours. So at the end of the month, I had played a grand total of 11 hours. This was pretty close to the equivalent of 3 regular table top sessions. My character did finally make 2nd level, which is probably about right. As I said in an earlier post, solo play falls short in a couple of different categories. Like computer games, you have very little room for creative play. For instance, in the Friday night game, The party had to rescue the rich merchant’s daughter from the slavers, they had to get into a tower owned by a high level Battle Mage/Cleric, the tower was well guarded and the PC’s out numbered. One of my players, Scott came up with the idea to simply cast invisibility on everyone in the party. As long as they were careful, they pretty much had freedom of movement inside the tower. Computer games and solo adventures simply do not allow for that kind of play. So any way, I don’t think I will be returning to solo play for the time being.



T&T Solo Campaign, Part III

I have to say, as this moves along, it is getting less interesting. While these solo games are very playable, I kind of have the same problem with them that I have with computer games. Which is, I get bored. See, I play RPG’s more for the social interaction and character immersion than I do for the simulation. In World of Warcraft there really is no such thing as a clever plan or outwitting the Boss. When I play D&D with a GM and other players, we interact with our environment and our environment reacts to us, you just don’t get that in a computer game. You also do not get that in a solo adventures. At first I played out my interactions with NPC’s in my head, but as I went along I kind of stopped doing that. Further, when I was picking which path to go down, early on, I would try to choose the one I thought would be the most fun. As thing progressed, I started picking things based on what would get me through the adventure the quickest. I have one more week of play and one or two adventures to complete, I am REALLY hoping to be 2nd level by the time I finish.

T&T Solo Campaign, Part II

So this last week I did not have nearly the free time I had the previous week. I suspect I could have finished Four Jars of Mead in half an hour if I had the time to dedicate. This solo game can go one of two ways, if you make all the right choices and make all your luck rolls, you will be done in like 5 minutes. If you are at all like me, when in game playing a character, making good decisions is very rarely fun. Regardless, this adventure is not worth much in the way of experience points, so my guy is still first level.

  • Good: It is short and mildly entertaining. If you are starting a solo campaign, I’d do this one first.
  • Bad: It is WAY too short, not nearly enough options and it is pretty easy to tell which options will lead to disaster and which ones will get you home in time for dinner.
  • Ugly: If you decide to play the fool, it is easy to go completely off the rails and end up mugged and penniless.

My next solo adventure is the Temple of Issoth for those of you who are following along with me.

A Monsters!, Monsters! game I want to run

The opening scene, Four orcs are standing on the extreme edge of a battle that ended decisively against their side. The Dark Army is broken, their generals, the Nazgûlare all dead, Sauron is destroyed along with the One Ring and even the Tower has fallen. One orc looks at the other and says, “Well then, I guess that’s it?”, another responds “Yep”, the third orc says “Didn’t see that one coming.” and the final orcs says “What now?”.


Review: Monsters! Monsters!

Product Summery:
Name: Monsters! Monsters!
Publisher: Flying Buffalo
Author: Ken St. Andre
Line: Tunnels & Trolls
Cost: $14.95 (PDF $7.50)
Pages: 40 pages
Webpage: http://www.flyingbuffalo.com/mm.htm

Monsters! Monsters! was one of those games I really wanted to play back in the day, but for whatever reason, we never got around to it. The premise of the game is, the monsters in the dungeons get tired of having their homes continually raided by adventuring parties and they strike out to raid towns and such occupied by humans, elves, dwarves and hobbit. I have also heard of this game being played in the context of the monsters deciding they want to be heroes, because well heroes get all the good loot, all the pretty girls and get invited to all the best parties.

First let me say, from a nostalgic point of view, this book is great. The writing style is light and irreverent, as was common at the time this was originally published.The art is crude, it is about the same quality as your standard teenager van mural. This was very much a product of its time, however, by modern standards, this books appearance and layout are crude and unprofessional, art ranges from bad to worse. If someone released this product today, they would be laughed out of the business.

I like the Tunnels & Trolls game mechanic, characters are easy to generate, combat is quick and simple and you only have to use 6 sided dice, which may or may not be a good thing. I am told in the 7th edition of the game, there is a skill system in place, but none of that is here. This book is pretty much a verbatim reprint of the book that came out in 1976 and the rules are based on T&T 4th edition. You start out by rolling 3d6 for each attribute, Strength, IQ, Luck, Constitution, Dexterity and Charisma. You then draw from a standard 52 card deck and the card you get determines what type of monster you are. An Ace of Spades will make you Dragon, while a Seven of Diamonds will make you a Giant Slug. You then modify your attributes according to your race, the Dragon gets to multiply his Strength by 25, while the Giant Slug only gets to multiply his by 2 and because he has no arms, his Dexterity is limited to 3. I suspect if this game were going to be played by the book, it would take considerable amount of player buy in.

My original copy of this game has went missing along with a couple of hundred odd issues of the Dragon magazine and 10,000 Magic cards. So I was happy to hear Flying Buffalo reprinted this last year for Gen Con. The old geezer in me is happy to it reprinted exactly as I remember it when I was teenager. The modern gamer in me cringes as what passed for Tier 2 RPG back in the day. This is on my list of things to play this year, I might make Bruce run this for me so I can play a Kobold named Mog who wants to be a Paladin.

Summery (Scale of 1-5):
Appearance and Layout: 1
Game Mechanic: 3
Setting: 5
Overall: 3

Castle Buffalo is done

Finished Castle Buffalo tonight, took me about 3 total hours. While nothing replaces a good GM, this was overall a good experience and I will continue the campaign.

  • Good: Came out with a Con of 30 and a Str of 37, gained 490 XP, 120 GP, 210 SP and 3 magic aspirins.
  • Bad: Once I started bumping up Monster ratings by 10, the monsters became more of a challenge and some of the monsters in there are outright mean and tough, even after my Con was doubled I walked out with less than 10 hit points.
  • Ugly: The ass hole wizard at 8D reduced my Cha to 5 when I refused to flip a coin with him the first time in the room.

My next adventure is Four Jars of Mead, hopefully i will make 2nd level.


T&T Session 1

I dove into Buffalo Castle this morning and played for about an hour. During that time I fought 1 Octopus, 10 Buffalo and 3 Blood Bats. I picked up 260 experience points, 20 gold pieces (GP) and 10 buffalo hides worth 5 GP each. None of these monsters was particularly hard to kill and the only damage I took was spite damage that occurs when the looser of the round rolls a 6. I was a bit concerned about this, so I did a bit of research and sure enough, I have an early version of the module and it is suggested that players of 5th edition or higher should add 10 or more to the MR of encountered creatures. So going forward I will add 10, and if I still find it too easy, I will start adding 20 to the MR.

Tunnels & Trolls Solo Campaign

My plan at this point is to play through the month of January and then decide if I want to continue. I will play from January 5th to February 2nd, that is four weeks. I will attempt to play 4 hours a week and when i sit down to play, I will play for a minimum of 1 hour. I will start with Buffalo Castle and whatever level my character is at that point will determine what adventures I play next.

I have about two dozen T&T solo adventures of various levels, which I think will be more than enough to keep me going for a while. I am actually very surprised at the amount of free material there is for this game. I am pretty sure a new player could play this for a year without spending a single copper piece. There are also a good amount of these solo adventures available as PDF, most for under $4. So between the stack of modules I bought back in the 80’s, the modules available online either free or cheap, I really can keep going with this for as long as I care to do it.

Me rolling up my T-n-T character

I rolled up my Tunnels and Trolls character, for those of you who don’t trust me, here is the video.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJvNckTNfPQ]

I rolled 4d6 and took the best 3 for my character, I don’t think I will have to worry about power creep here and I wanted to have a decent character. In a game where there are other players, having a sub 10 attribute can be fun and interesting, in solo play it simply holds you back. I rolled 17, 12, 14, 15, 16, 10 and here is the resulting character.

Character Name:____________________  Type: Warrior  Kin: Human Level: 1st
Height: 5′ 11″ Weight: 190 lbs Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Brown Gender: Male
Str: 17 Int: 12  Luk: 14 Con: 15 Dex: 16 Chr: 10 Adds: +11
Possible Weight: 1700 Weight Carried: 400
Adventure Points: 0

Weapon: Scimitar Dice- 4 Adds- 0 Weight- 100
Weapon: Poniard Dice- 2 Adds- 0 Weight-10
Armor: Complete Leather Hits- 6 Weight-200
Armor: Buckler Hits- 3 Weight- 75

Other Inventory:
Lantern w/oil
Iron rations
Hammer w/pitons

One of the things I plan to do this year

One of the things I really want to do is play, rather than GM some sort of RPG. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind GMing, in fact just the opposite. However, I do really enjoy playing as well, but unfortunately, I really don’t have time to dedicate to another full time game group. So my plan is to do some solo questing.Playing D&D solo is a lot like masturbating, while it is not nearly as satisfying when done with other people, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

One option I have is to start with Judges Guild Survival of the Fittest. It is a solitaire dungeon for 1st level D&D characters. Reviews seem to indicate it takes about one evening to complete (4-5 hours). I really do not have that kind of time to dedicate to this, I will probably play an hour a night maybe 3 times a week if possible. Hopefully I will finish it up inside of say 2 weeks. After finishing this, I could probably entertain myself pretty steadily with randomly generated dungeons.

Another option I have is a company called Avalon Games publishes modified Pathfinder RPG system designed for solo play. They have a couple of quest books out which are suppose to be complete campaigns for solo play or playing in a group with no GM.

Finally, rather than D&D, I can go with Tunnels and Trolls, for which I have a small pile of solo adventures that I bought over the years but never played. Additionally, there seem to be a lot of other T&T solo adventures there that are either free or extremely cheap.It really looks like I have access to material here and this is probably my best bet.

It is a good possibility this will bore me in much the same way World of Warcraft bores me, but there is only one way to find out.