Meet The New Trolls

T&T 7.5 Contents

I’ve been meaning to buy the box set of the 7.5 edition of Tunnels & Trolls for a while now. Sure, I know there are people out there who really prefer the older 5.5 edition, which is still readily available. Sure, I already have the “30th Anniversary” mini-tin of the 7th edition. Sure, I prefer the classic Liz Danforth cover art to Claudio Pozas‘ reverent rendering of the classic T&T party.

T&T Delver's Pack ContentsAll of these reasons – coupled with laziness, miserliness, and plain ol’ procrastination stayed my hand. Until Friday night, when I discovered not just the main set, but also the Delver’s Pack, on the shelves of the inventory clearance sale (50% off!) at my friendly local game store, Dragon’s Lair (whose RPG section appears to be shrinking, a disconcerting concept for a different discussion).

I couldn’t really pass up what amounted to a twofer deal on something I’d been resisting getting even though I really wanted it, so I yielded to temptation. Like all things T&T I want very much to like these things more than I actually do – which is not to say that I don’t like them. I like them quite a bit. But when I take the lids off the boxes I want the room to be flooded with mystical light that transports me to a place where I can game whenever I want, with whomever I want, and the Dublin Dr. Pepper & Newcastle Brown Ale both flow as freely as water. That’s not really too much to ask from an RPG, is it?

Anyway, I’m glad I snagged these and I hope to actually do something with them sooner rather than later. Not that I don’t already have enough systems waiting on me to do something with them as well (*cough* BRP *cough* BoL *cough* Labyrinth Lord *cough* E-T-C). Speaking of which, you’re allowed to ask me why the hell I’ve been so quiet lately, since SXSW has come and gone. The short answer is that my fantasy baseball league is in the thick of its player acquisition period and that’s been eating my brain. Plus, I must confess, a little malaise has crept into the Pao’s brain and I’m not quite as chock full of ideas as I was recently. That’s ok, it’s part of a natural cycle. And maybe this experiment in nerdly materialism will spark my imagination and spur me on to a fresh round of posts. Or I can just knuckle down and focus on finishing the things I said I’d finish and let the actual friction of writing do the trick. Either way, bear with me just a bit longer, amigos!

In the meantime, let’s meet the (no longer all that) New Trolls:

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0 thoughts on “Meet The New Trolls

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      I really only got the Delver’s Pack because it was half-off and it would shut up my inner completist. It’s got the second volumes of the Monster & Spell books, which are nice to have, though, so I don’t regret the purchase.

      I’ve had the 30th Anniversary tin for a number of years now and love it, so this was a somewhat superfluous purchase. But it looks like things got cleaned up a good bit (from what I’ve looked at so far), so I’m more than willing to believe your assessment of it, Doc.

      Now if I can just find the time to actually play the damned thing, I’ll be extra happy 🙂 Cheers, amigo!

  1. G-Man

    Put me down for a pint of the Black in that mystic gaming world you’re talking about, V.P.

    I bought my boxed 7.5 from Ken himself. I love the carboard counters and teeny-tiny wooden six siders that come with. Don’t know if I’ll ever play the thing myself, but I like having it around for inspiration.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      You’re on, G-Man! The taps shall pour whatever the drinker desires in this promised land! And again, I’m jealous of your encounter with his Kenness. That must have been very cool indeed.

      I’m a complete sucker for smaller form factor games. I think it goes back to my childhood, when I would bring the Traveller box on car trips and roll up countless characters and subsectors as we drove along. So the new T&T stuff – like the digest-sized Big Eyes, Small Mouth books a decade ago, reach into my brain and refuse to let go, even if I never wind up playing the games much.

      1. G-man

        Speaking of RPG nostalgia and geeky materialism . . .

        I went into some kind of frenzy and bought the PDFs for Stormbringer (First Edition), Hawkmoon, and the mammoth adventure Rogue Mistress. It’s excellent stuff, and the character generation for Stormbringer and Hawkmoon is a game in itself. You have any experience with these systems?

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          I’ve got the PDF of Hawkmoon, and lots of stuff for Elric! & 5th Ed. Stormbringer, but I’ve never actually played 1st edition. It sounds delightfully random and hardcore old school, though, so it’s definitely on my list.

          I haven’t played Hawkmoon yet, and my Elric!/SB5 experience is actually all via the BRP big gold book (which, as you know, I adore). So all in all my interest in these games isn’t technically RPG nostalgia. It’s more discovery of that which was lost 🙂

          1. G-man

            Having played both Stormbringer and later Elric, I found I actually liked the first edition better (though magic is definitely more fine-tuned in Elric and not as prone to abuse).

            Some interesting points about First Edition chargen:

            Abilities are 3d6 in order, including Int. and Siz. (no 2d6+6). This can be brutal, but the scores can also be heavily modified by cultural background and body frames.

            Hit points are equal to Con and modified by Size (+1 HP per point over 12, -1 HP per point under 9). This is my preferred HP calculation for BRP systems.

            Skills are much easier. You get several “class” or occupation skills at a much lower base than what you can start in Elric (e.g. a warrior starts with three weapons skills at 50%, 40%, and 30% plus bonuses, and has a chance of having Ride skill), several “everyman” skills at 10% + bonus, and 1d6+2 other skills to chose, starting at 1d100/2 + bonus. (Note that parry and attack with a weapon count as two seperate skills)

            End result is you can generate characters faster in Stormbringer with a much more random (and often fun) feel, though they start out weaker in comparison to their Elric counterparts.

            Hawkmoon chargen is essentially the same as Stormbringer.

          2. the venomous pao Post author

            SB1 sounds like such gonzo fun, I regret that I never had a chance to dig into it. The PDF of it is on my list for sure.

            And I really need to give Hawkmoon a read after having spent my pennies on it. That’s actually one of my biggest problems with PDFs – unless it’s something I’m actively using, I tend to forget I have them 🙂