Announcing Tunnels and Trolls Deluxe

Greetings, everyone!

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.

So, here’s a question for you all. What one feature would you most like to see in a new edtion of T & T that hasn’t been in the game previously?

And we’re planning to put some new stuff into the game. For starters, let me show you Ken and Steve’s map of the Eagle Continent. The letter Z is very important in the language there, just as the letter K is featured in the Empire of the Goddess. By the way, the desert is pronounced Zeet, not zit. :)

Announcing Tunnels and Trolls Deluxe
2 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (82% score)

43 thoughts on “Announcing Tunnels and Trolls Deluxe

  1. The history of trollworld section in regular sized print for my tired eyes. Extensive random tables of mutations for your Gamma Troll/Troll Future style games…uhm…were-platypus kindred. An extensive index and glossary.

  2. Huzzah!

    First . . . does it have to be Deluxe? I think it would be cool to have a short, slick, and sweet core rulebook (everything you need to run Solos), and then make a “Deluxe” set by adding goodies . . . a GM dungeon and a Solo dungeon, character sheet masters, maps, a supplemental book with monsters and spells, Trollworld history, the history of the game, etcetera.

    The really important thing, and I’ve mentioned this before so bare with me, is a really good layout, thoroughly organized with lots of flavorful examples. Put things like the full weapon tables in the back.

    The book should be geared to total beginners. Write it for a 13 year old (a smart and tasteful 13 year old, of course) who has never heard of RPGs before. Examples, examples, examples, of dungeon design, character creation, combat, saving rolls, etc.

    And the main book manuscript file should be designed to, with the flick of a macro, become a 16 page give-away version, for Free RPG day.

  3. Huzzah!

    First . . . does it the new edition have to be Deluxe? I think it would be cool to have a short, slick, and sweet core rulebook (everything you need to run Solos), and then make a “Deluxe” set by adding goodies . . . a GM dungeon and a Solo dungeon, character sheet masters, maps, a supplemental book with monsters and spells, Trollworld history, the history of the game, etcetera.

    The really important thing, and I’ve mentioned this before so bare with me, is a really good layout, thoroughly organized with lots of flavorful examples. Put things like the full weapon tables in the back.

    The book should be geared to total beginners. Write it for a 13 year old (a smart and tasteful 13 year old, of course) who has never heard of RPGs before. Examples, advice, examples, and more examples, of dungeon design, character creation, combat, saving rolls, etc.

    And the main book manuscript file should be designed to, with the flick of a macro, become a 16 page give-away version, for Free RPG day.

  4. Since my biggest desire is for Danforth art, I’ve already won. Anything else is icing on the cake.

    So let’s talk about that icing.

    Ken, you’ve spoken how, to you, rolegaming is what your character DOES. Coming from a stage background, rolegaming to me meant all the character’s thoughts, spoken words, and deeds; more being revealed from dialogue than anything else. Online play offers a chance to go into the PC’s thoughts that live play doesn’t offer.
    Therefore, I’d love to see more essays about what rolegaming means to you, how you’d normally view and play a character — and perhaps an essay on how rolegaming moved from strictly-combat (original D&D and, I gather, early T&T) to actually portraying a character from the ground up.

    And maps, of course. Lotsa maps of the Real Trollworld and more of its known and unknown history.

    And if you want to throw in even more Danforth art, I shan’t complain!

  5. I like the suggestion(s) of adding in The History of Trollworld into the new Deluxe version. Forget about the smaller books-go with the full sized format 8 1/2 x 11 please.

  6. This is very exciting news! Like the others, I would like the addition of the History of Trollworld added to the mix and I’d like to see the full sized format return. I liked 7/7.5, but my favorite edition is still the Danforth edited 5th edition. That edition stands the test of time.

    I’d also like to see some discussion of combat maneuvers and GM advice for creating narrative combat scenes using the T&T system. I’ve played in a session with you, and it was one of my most enjoyed gaming experiences ever. Your advice in this area would be great for newer GMs.

    I also think a discussion of the “why of T&T” — your last blog post — in the book would be a great addition. It would help place the book in time, and help to make it truly deluxe.

  7. I couldn’t really think of any particular thing I’d like to see until now. I would like to see more tables on how to determine assigning saving rolls for particular tasks.

  8. One of T&T’s greatest features has been backwards compatibility. Despite all the complaints its really not that hard to use 7.5 material in 5.5 or even earlier, and if you manage to keep that in mind while writing then it really doesn’t matter what you change if we like it we’ll adopt it if we don’t we’ll skip on to the next bit.

    As for content suggestions I’d keep the character types (Warrior, Wizard, rogue) strait forward, maybe reign in the roguery talent a bit. And add some more Specialists for those who like piles of classes. Maybe work in some rules to thin down the number of D6’s rolled in combat a bit, its not hard to use an app to handle it but being able to resolve it with real dice is fun.

  9. New? Nothing.

    I would like to see a less ambiguous (How DOES Dura-Spell Battery work, anyway?) and more internally consistent (Why does Upsy Daisy work better when a giant casts it than when a fairy casts it?) magic system. If I actually ruled the world, I would like to see CHA more involved in spell casting (as a range factor, maybe?), and to see more of the utility spells that wizards would certainly develop (along the lines of the library spells in the Codex Incantatum).

    Yes, I am willing to expound on this topic at great length.

    And given that the consensus seems to be that Kremm resistance was not a good idea, some other mechanism that serves a similar function but is not so unpopular would be good.

    Paul (G’Noll) Haynie

  10. Great news! Looking forward to this!

    I would like to see some of the rules that have been ‘lost’ from earlier editions return, stuff like berserker fighting and two-weapon combat, for example.

    I would also like to see a wee bit more detail regarding the kindreds. I like that they are left sort of blank for the individual to define, but stuff like official rules for fairy and leprechaun sized weapons would be cool.

    Love live Tunnels & Trolls!!!

  11. For that matter, I’ve frequently made Appearance a separate attribute from CHA, but I’d just as soon it be a home rule or optional, than canonized.

  12. What Consensus, i like Kremm resistance. It makes formidable characters formidable. It answers the question, why doesn’t a sorcerer simply TTYF the bajesus out of every powerful fighter in their sleep.

    • My experience has been that most GMs ignore kremm resistance, and the discussions at the Trollbridge seem to back that up. Please note I said, “most”, not all.

      I agree with you that kremm resistance serves a worthwhile function, but it is a clunky solution, and something slicker and more popular would be better. (No, I don’t know what that would be.)

  13. Lots of good points here.

    I never played a game where Kremm Resistance was a factor, so I can’t really comment.

    I’ll second the notion about more details on the kindreds. Also, on T&T monsters in general. They deserve more than just a Monster Rating. The Firery Dragon book is a good first step.

  14. I would hope to see more generic spell names. The gonzo names often put new players.

    Number two would be less dice. Loadsa dice are are funny now and then but can be a bit of a pain.

    Number three: some things appear controversial – make those rules optional.

    And good luck. There was never a more noble cause!

  15. Pingback: Roleplayers Chronicle » A New Edition of Tunnels & Trolls is In Development

  16. I agree with a number of ideas already expressed above (lots of flavorful examples, go with the full sized format, backwards compatibility, berserker fighting and two-weapon combat, rules for fairy and leprechaun-sized, or ogre-sized and troll-sized weapons, more detail regarding the kindreds.

    I would prefer guidance as to how to create your own specialist rather than a list of specialists.

    I like the Kremm resistance rule – helps with a wizards’ duel throwing TTYF at eachother :-)

    The maps and background material about Trollworld should be fully compatible with previously-published material. Be sure to include a map of each of the main cities (Khazan, Knor, Khosht, Gull) with some background info. Could be a great basis for the readers to create GM adventures.

    Try to get new Rob Carver illos, if possible.

  17. Here is something that might be slightly controversial . . . even though it doesn’t change game play at all.

    T&T was revolutionary in making attribute (STR, DEX, etc) values an integral part of game play. They had a direct effect on combat, saving rolls, etcetera. Attributes in The Other System, even in later iterations, used tables.

    Another innovation was “expending” or temporarily lowering attributes as a result of damage, effort like going berserk or handing too-heavy weapons, and casting spells. In 7th edition, a new attribute, WIZardry, was introduced as a new way of “powering” spells. Most interestingly, a new game entity, Kremm, was introduced along with it. You expended Kremm, not Wizardry, to power a spell. WIZardry didn’t change; it was an unchanging (well, except for character advancement and curses) attribute. Kremm was expended, and could regenerate.

    I’d like to suggest what amounts to a *terminology* change to separate unchanging character *attributes* from the corresponding “expendable” part.

    CONstitution / Hits or Damage

    STRength / Fatigue

    WIZardry / Kremm

    The rules would need to make it clear in which cases the Attribute would *count* as being lower. (e.g., fighting with an over-sized weapon would in loss of fatigue, which would lower STRength for the purpose of computing combat adds.) (e.g, OTOH, having taken combat damage shouldn’t reduce your CONstitution for the purpose of a saving roll against disease.)

    Just throwing this out there. I’m trying to think of ways to make the rules less ambiguous.

    • This is similar to DragonQuest’s use of Fatigue (IIRC) from which initial hit points were taken before damage would be taken from (again IIRC) Constitution, or “regular” Hit Points. The consequences were that Fatigue could be regenerated rather quickly, which Constitution/Hit Points took considerable time and effort to be healed.

      This would be interesting, and probably helpful, if adapted to T&T. Yet T&T’s way of having wounds directly affecting one’s performance is so realistic and makes for such tense combat where a PC who controls his/her passions knows when to cut bait and run, that I’d hate to see that aspect of T&T lost.

  18. I’m sure this proposal is highly unlikely to get any attention, but here it goes:
    Reduce the size of the dice pools without changing the core of the system. The way to do it is to work with 1d3 increments, instead of 1d6 increments, and turning each 2d3 into 1d6. The result is the next:

    Now: 1d6 -> 2d6 -> 3d6 -> 4d6 -> 5d6 -> 6d6 -> …

    My proposal: 1d3 -> 1d6 -> 1d6+1d3 -> 2d6 -> 2d6 +1d3 -> 3d6 -> …

    • Madness meters! See, clearly there’s a need, just look at poor MormonYoYoMan upthread there. Clearly sadly bonkers. And we need meters to measure it!

        • That’s okay. A few short months in a sanatorium and you’ll get back plenty of SAN points. Eventually you’ll be ready to be released back into the wilds of the Call of Trollthulhu.

          But we can’t have Call of Trollthulhu without madness meters of some sort!

          • Hmmm…it appears that I’m not the only person who remembers a T&T/Cthulhu piece in S.A. before Chaosium published CoC!

  19. 1) Random house rules strung out trough various T&T zines,solos and rules editions over the years made official and complied together.

    2) Allot of new archetypes(sub classes) for warriors and rogues to really spice up those character classes, 7.5 takes care of the Mages but where is the cool sub classes for warriors and rogues that are not impossible to roll up.

    3) Advanced T&T combat with various cool combat maneuvers ,dodges, parries and called shots in the vital spots kinda thing that increase with level advancement , also what level of saving throws to use against low level and high level monsters or NPCS.

    4) Humans should have advantage or a reason to play them at the start of the game.

    5) A good low level solo and gm adventure maybe with pre gens. to get people started quickly.

    6) I would spend the extra 20 bucks for a cool last for years hardback T&T book.

    • You could apply the kindred attribute multipliers to the AP cost for the enhancement costs, if you want to encourage low-multiplier/human play.

  20. Lots of good ideas here.

    If a product is going to be called Deluxe T&T, I think it should be able to support every edition of T&T that has come before. What I’d like to see is a core set of rules that make up the first 33% to 50% of the book, followed by all the optional rules that people can use, which would allow them to basically play any edition of T&T that has come before or a mix of rules from different editions. It’s always been said that if you don’t change T&T, you aren’t really playing it, and that’s fine, but it would also be nice for people to say they are playing by the latest official rules when they decided, for example, to use kremm resistance or not, to require SRs for spell casting or not, to use STR or WIZ to power spells, to use the experience chart to advance characters or to buy up attributes, to add or not add the character level when rolling an SR, to use SPD or not in calculating combat adds, to use spite damage for the losing side or use it for both sides, to always apply spite damage as additional damage or to use spite damage as a minimum amount of damage, etc., etc. I’d go back through all of the previous editions of T&T, and if there is any rule in there, if it’s not in the core rules for Deluxe T&T, then it should be explicitly stated as an optional rule for Deluxe T&T.

    And then add a bunch more optional rules. Surprise us.

  21. As for more Trollworld information, I’d rather that wasn’t included in the official rules. But it would be cool if two campaign boxed sets–one for the dragon continent, one for the eagle continent–was released in addition to the rules. The one thing that D&D has always had over T&T is the campaign boxed sets. Dark Sun, Myth Drannor, Hollow World, and Ravenloft were favorites of mine, and great source material that could be adapted to any game system with a little effort. I understand not wanting to force your own vision of Trollworld onto the players, Ken, but I can tell you that some of the best times I’ve had playing RPGs has been in campaigns based on material taken from those four campaign sets listed above. Did the games as played always follow the scripts? No. And I seriously doubt anyone would play Trollworld exactly as you wrote it, either, but having the source material to draw from gives GMs a kickstart and helps draw more GMs to actually run games in Trollworld. Without the source material, a busy GM’s “Trollworld” might look like some D&D world, because there is D&D campaign source material available, and not so much for T&T.

    • Yes, I’m sure lots of us T&T fans just love the traditional setting: Khazan and its arena, Gull and its sewers, etc. The Crusaders of Khazan T&T computer game was a lot of fun, mainly because it was a Trollworld campaign and it came with a wonderful map.
      Speaking about maps, consistency is of the essence. However, in Trollworld’s chronology, Gala is mentioned as the capital city of Khara Khang’s kingdom on the Eagle continent (see 1160 A.K.) whereas Gala is nowhere to be seen on the new map.
      The Crusaders of Khazan PC game took into account all previously published material, which was great for all the players that were familiar with Tunnels & Trolls.
      Keeping the new products consistent with the old products would give a sense that what you bought and learnt about T&T in the past is still valid and is still valuable.

  22. This is the 1st blog I have ever posted on, I wanted to give my 2 copper on the upcoming T&T Deluxe.I am firmly in the 5E camp as a core rule, all of that stuff was innovative, straight forward and different from anything else and is still solid today. This includes using the stats directly for damage and spell costs. Options there will be and this is all to the good but the base rules are excellent.
    Following are things I have done or have had to address with new players that I think would enhance the rules for the gamer new to T&T’s unique approach…
    Play up the SR system, more examples of its uses and how it applies to many situations. This has become THE core mechanic used when we play. We love the gonzo, over the top successes and fails.
    Give humans a better stat option to stat. TARO is OK but it is too rare. Perhaps re-roll sixes or allow a player to choose which stat(s) get a boost.
    A good explanation of what the stats represent (generic skill blocks in my view) with examples of where they place the character on the mundane to legendary scale of things.
    The saturation bombing of The Other Game (with new bombs every few years) have given people a rigid view of what RPGs and classes are, thus some T&T resistance is met when asking people to play a free form RPG like this. Some dissertation on what is meant by ‘character type’ and how this lets you play any sort of ‘class’ may be helpful.
    A skill system should be optional but surly people will want to use one, it lets them ease into a new system to have some familiar ground to start from.
    Go ahead and mine the Trollbridge for some of my ideas if you think they have merit, I am excited about this project and I hope to see it in hardcover with the awesome art of Danforth to once again inspire the next generation of gamers.

  23. I’m firmly in the camp of Paul. If it’s to be a deluxe version it should be internally consistent. 7th ed. introduced a lot of new oddities in the magic rules and frankly, if I need to make shit up I don’t need to spend money on a game. Seriously, this might sound like boring or mundane stuff, but if T&T looks like some stuff thrown together, people will buy another game. Thus, it will need an index, and the rules for how magic items are powered needs to be less of a contradictory mess it is now.

    These days a game has to be far slicker than in the olden days.

  24. The main thing Deluxe T&T needs I’m afraid is to simply backtrack a little, let’s say, oh… maybe to 5th edition, cast it in stone as the Cononical edition and then and only then do we all start bolting on additional or alternative rules and other lovely goodies in the form of supplements(of all kinds), such as House Rules, GM Adventures, Solo Adventures, Monster Manuals etc… etc…

    Someone else said something similar above. We seriously do need an actual canonical edition first-and-formost before we release any more ‘latest’ editions. We’ve already got ‘editions’ coming out of our ears, what we need is supplementary material a-go-go to support a stable ruleset.

    No more minor House Rules released as the next big thing please.

  25. Hi
    Big fan of 5th edition here.
    I’d personally do this:
    1) three types only: wizard, warrior, rogue
    2) No ability score multipliers for kindreds, simply a higher number of dice (or lower in some cases)
    3) Simple 2 points improvements per level to an ability of choice (this may cause a reworking of spell’s IQ and DX requirements plus a reviion of WIZ costs per spells, like a flat 3 points per spell level?)
    4) Bring back two weapons fighting and berserk fighting
    5) Streamlining of missile combat, so it works the same way as melee.
    6) Some clarifications on small kindreds and weapons/armor
    7) Let Talents add a straight 5 points to ability scores (or adds) when rolling dice, have the character chose between the 2 points improvement or a new Talent when he takes a new level
    8) Give humans a free Talent and 1d6 to be added to an Ability score of choice

    And last: personally I don’t like TARO
    My 2cp

    • It’s simple enough to combine 5.5 and 7.5 together as one system, but I hope the future of T&T is full of new innovative ideas that take it to even bigger heights of this fantastic hobby we all share. The dream team of t&t ers now assembled to work on the new edition should make it a really awesome tome to behold indeed. Can’t wait. Hardback, hardback!!!!

  26. 1. A third (fourth? Nth?) for at least a few sentences about each “common” kindred, and at least a phrase about the rest.

    2. Although 7.5 was my first exposure to T&T, I like the structure of 5.5: complete basic rules for Humans Warriors, then rules for other Types, Kindreds, magic, etc.

    3. On the other hand, please keep all the spells and magic rules together, even if it’s a separate book. Focus rules in one book, half the spells in another … ugh.

    4. Please consider an editor. The French editor flushed out a lot of consistency and explanation issues. Maybe next edition will make me more comfortable using Specialists.

  27. I would love to have included an alternate combat system to take care of stalemates and death spirals. I always liked the saving throw mechanic and would like to see it as an option to replace the dice-pool mechanic in combat in these two situations. What if a player could spend a round making an attack via the saving throw mechanic instead of the dice-pool and do some damage guaranteed, at some cost to the character (damage or something else)? In any case, I’d like to see melee fighters have the same ability to counter those two situations as magic and bow-users get. I thought the current saving throw mechanic would be a simple way to do that.

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