Here is the first real good Tunnels and Trolls news for 2013. The Kickstarter proposal is finished and has been submitted to the Kickstarter authorities. When they approve it, the project will go live. It could happen before the end of the day, or perhaps it will take a couple more days to finalize, but we hope it’s ready to go.
When DT&T goes live, it will run for 33 days. Here’s a little known trollish fact for you all. Trollworld has two moons. There’s a story behind that, and I might as well share it, as I believe I may be the only person who remembers it.
Way back in the dawn of roleplaying history, I created a card dungeon called Gristlegrim. I wrote 3 brief room descriptions on several 5 X 8″ cards that I could then shuffle into any pattern I wanted and produce a new random dungeon to explore every time we played. This was so long ago that I hadn’t even learned that Gristlegrim was a one-eyed Dwarf with jewels in his beard yet–I just liked the name. One night when I was going to run Gristlegrim for the players (with Bear Peters in the group, I think), we decided to do a crossover game with Marc Miller’s Traveler science fiction space guys crashlanding on Trollworld and having to enter Gristlegrim to try and find some mithril to repair their starship. I let them take all their sci-fi weapons in. The adventure that followed was more like Flash Gordon than the Fellowship of the Ring, but we had a great time. The party fought their way through the entire dungeon, collected the mithril they needed, went from level 1 to level 6, and found an exit. When they came out, it was night, and they looked up into the (strange) sky and saw two moons glowing down upon them. Up to this time, everyone thought that Trollworld was an analog alternate version of Earth, and only had one moon, our moon, Luna. Thinking that they had switched dimensions or universes, the party did not exit from Gristlegrim. They stayed in the dungeon and tried to get back out the way they came in. They didn’t make it. Total party kill. Bwa ha ha ha ha! Evil Game Master laughter!
Then I told them that they hadn’t bothered to ask me how many moons Trollworld had when they landed on it, and that their chance to exit was on the right world all the time, and that Trollworld had two moons.
And then that adventure and fact was forgotten for something like 20 years. Adventures in Trollworld usually focussed on dungeon delving, or surface exploration. Very little attention was ever paid to the heavens.
But somewhere around the year 2000 I wrote/compiled a Trollworld chronology/history that explained the main back story for the Dragon Continent, and how Lerotra’hh came to be the ruler in the city of Khazan, and somewhere in there I mentioned again that Trollworld has two moons, and this time I named them, Sar and Sharane, and described them as a small dark moon and a larger reddish moon.
When we were putting together the final Kickstarter proposal yesterday, I argued for not doing a standard 30 day time period for it. For one thing, I don’t want to do the same thing everyone else does. For another, I thought that having a few extra days could only help. I suggested a 40 day proposal. Everyone else wanted a shorter time. Bear said he thought the number 33 was lucky. Superstitious me, I kind of like the number 33 also. Steve said that 33 could be the number of days in a Trollish month. The word month comes from moon, but Trollworld has two moons. If we chose a Trollish month for the length of time for the Kickstarter project, how could we explain it?
Bear Peters has had a large part in the development of the history of Trollworld, larger than anyone else except me. Back in the 70s he first wrote about the Rock Trolls, and he stated that they liked to spend time on mountaintops watching the stars at night. Trollish astronomers! Who else has that in their game cosmology?
And if the Trolls were astronomers, they would know how long it took the moons to revolve around the planet. We didn’t think of this for the last 38 years. I thought of it yesterday, Jan 1, 2013. What would constitute a Trollish month on a world with two moons? Our months last from full moon to full moon. So would theirs. But with two moons, they would both have to be full at the same time, and we want that time to be 33 days in order to get the lucky number. That means that one moon, the closer one, would have an orbital period of 3 days, and the other moon would have a period of 11 days. Every 33 days they would both be full on the same night, and that is the basis for calculating the length of a trollish month.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take a month, trollish or otherwise, for Kickstarter to approve the project and let DT&T get started!