Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tunnels & Trolls

Tunnels & Trolls is another good game that I rarely got the chance to play.

It has spent it's entire life being unfavorably compared to D&D which, while somewhat merited, is disappointing all the same.   T&T was the SECOND RPG ever created.  It came right on the heels of D&D, written by amateur game designer Ken St. Andre. Ken saw D&D and decided that it was poorly done, so he went home and wrote his own rules.
You can read about his recollections here, but what I want to do is talk about mine.
I have talked about Tunnels and Trolls in the past, mostly dealing with the whole Outlaw Press affair.

I think one of the reasons my group avoided Tunnels & Trolls, other than the appearance that it was "D&D Little Kids" was the humor.  T&T had a humor about it absent in D&D.  Today I can look at it and appreciate it for what it is, but then that was too high a mountain to climb.  This roleplaying stuff was serious business to my 12-13 year old mind.  And there was the whole status deal.  I learned early that if you were not playing "The Right Game" you could get shunned.  Yes social elitism from a group of social outcasts (read: nerds) but it happened.  So even if I was so inclined to try T&T, I doubt if I could have gotten anyone to play it with me.

Looking back today I can say while I am disappointed that didn't give T&T the chance it deserved back then, I can certainly make up for lost time now.  I make an effort to go to the Flying Buffalo booth each Gen Con and buy something, even if it is something small. The T&T fan communities, Trollhala and Trollbridge are the two largest I know of, are very active.  Truth be told, maybe even more active these days thanks to the OSR.

Anyone familiar with D&D will recognize a lot in T&T.  Same sorts of creatures, same sorts of adventures. Players have levels, races and classes.  Plenty of weapons, spells that go 20th level and magic.
I would love to play this a couple of times with my kids, or even sit in on a Convention game.

You can still get official Tunnels & Trolls products from the Flying Buffalo website.


Timothy Brannan said...

Having done more reading today I think I am going to have do more T&T.

Carter Soles said...

I don't know if it would be feasible for you or not, but Ken will be running T&T games in person at OSRCon this year!

Timothy Brannan said...

Yeah, not so close to Gen Con.

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