Category Archives: Tunnels & Trolls

Posts about, related to, or featuring content for Flying Buffalo’s Tunnels & Trolls and other related roleplaying games, like Monsters! Monsters!

dT&T: The Voyage of the Panora

Wherein your humble scribe presents a group of noble warriors for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. Why? Because his long-awaited hardback from the agonizingly (if moderately understandably) oft-delayed Kickstarter arrived at long last yesterday. Pictures of the book provided for your enjoyment.

Erginius of Autoria’s lost classic, The Panoriad, tells the tale of Alkibiades of Pythos and the journey he undertook to recover the Lyre of Tiros for the glory of Pythos and to win the love of Queen Meliana. The charming and charmed Alkibiades – a brilliant historian and philosopher with a talent for preparing spanakopita so delicious that Hera herself declared it the finest outside of Mount Olympus – recruited a disparate band to join him on his quest. Lasthenes, captain of the Panora. Echephron the beast tamer. Isagoras the tale-teller. Thestor, famed bronzesmith of Xaneira. Philonikos the Giant. And, of course, all of the unnamed Panoranauts who perished as the quest continued.

Among the dangers faced by Alkibiades and his compatriots included the Nacippe – a legendary sea serpent, the Oedes – twin tigers of Tartarus, the Haleclyphes – an army of damned souls risen from the River Styx, and Belemeos, son of Hades.

The tragedy of The Panoriad, of course, is that its ending has been lost to time. Many scholars have their own theories, and many fragments and forgeries have been discovered over the centuries, but none have been accepted by the academic community as definitive.

The Panoranauts

Alkibiades of Pythos / Human / Warrior 3 / 5′ 9″ 160 lbs
STR 16 CON 6 DEX 9 SPD 7 INT 14 WIZ 12 LK 16 CHR 32*
Combat Adds +8 Wt Possible 1,600 WU
Talents Cooking (+3), History (+3), Philosophy (+3)
Mace (5d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Lasthenes / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 7″ 155 lbs
STR 14 CON 12 DEX 14 SPD 14 INT 6 WIZ 11 LK 9 CHR 11
Combat Adds +6 Wt Possible 1,400 WU
Talents Knot Tying (+3)
Medium Spear (4d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Echephron / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 10″ 180 lbs
STR 13 CON 6 DEX 10 SPD 12 INT 8 WIZ 16 LK 16 CHR 19*
Combat Adds +5 Wt Possible 1,300 WU
Talents Animal Handling (+3)
Broad Axe (5d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Isagoras / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 10″ 170 lbs
STR 13 CON 9 DEX 19* SPD 10 INT 13 WIZ 6 LK 9 CHR 9
Combat Adds +8 Wt Possible 1,300 WU
Talents Storytelling (+3)
Short Sword (3d6), Javelin (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Thestor of Xaneira / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 5″ 145 lbs
STR 13 CON 12 DEX 14 SPD 10 INT 12 WIZ 12 LK 8 CHR 7
Combat Adds +3 Wt Possible 1,300 WU
Talents Bronzesmith (+3)
Broad Axe (5d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Philonikos / Human / Warrior 1 / 6′ 7″ 250 lbs
STR 14 CON 10 DEX 9 SPD 5 INT 7 WIZ 6 LK 11 CHR 10
Combat Adds +2 Wt Possible 1,400 WU
Talents Merchant (+3)
Medium Spear (4d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

The Antagonists

Belemeos, Son of Hades
MR 150
Special Damage: 1/2 (double Spite); 5/Dem Bones (MR 50 Skeletons)
Special Abilities: Bone Armor (10)

Belemeos is a demigod, son of Hades and the mortal woman Polytio. He serves as a guardian of treasures that have been consigned to his father’s realm. He wears armor constructed of the bones of dead heroes and stands well over 9′ high.

The Haleclyphes
MR 120 (8 X15)
Special Damage: 1/1 (normal Spite); 4/Curse You (Level 12, Targets CON)
Special Abilities: Impervious to missile damage

Seeming at first like a dense, swirling fog, the individual spirits that comprise the Haleclyphes rise from the Styx to repel any who would cross without the express approval of Charon.

The Oedes
MR 90 (45 X2)
Special Damage: 1/3 (triple Spite);
Special Abilities: Tough Hide (8)

As black as the grave, the twin tigers of Tartarus stalk the shores of the Styx hungry for any living flesh they can devour.

MR 70
Special Damage: 1/1 (normal Spite); 6/Blasting Power (Level 7)
Special Abilities: Tough Hide (15)

Nacippe is a red-hued sea serpent that preys upon smaller vessels across the breadth of the Sea, breathing fire to destroy the ships and deliciously roast their crews.

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Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls (Beta) Characters: A Warrior & A Wizard

Wherein your humble scribe rolls up a couple of characters for the Beta version of the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls rules. Because it’s more fun than worrying about the release of D&D 5e, the OSR controversy du jour, or the sad plight of the bees.

“What about these books, wizard?” Zegg asked as he and his companion looted the library that until recently belonged to their freshly-slain foe.

“No. No. No,” the Elven Enchanter muttered as he looked through the stack of skin-bound volumes proffered by his blood-spattered compatriot. “Those are just pale recreations of the text I seek.”

“And what of this tablet? It constantly overwrites itself with words of wisdom from other mages from around the city. Surely it will guide you to what you desire?”

“No, Zegg, it will not. These words run in circles like children at play. They are diverting enough, but they lead nowhere.”

“Well then, Reshek, can we at least partake of this jar of honey? It smells sweet and looks delicious!”

“You may taste of it, my friend,” the wizard replied. “But grow you not too fond of its contents. Precious little of that golden substance remains on our world. Better still, refrain from opening that container and we can sell it for a fortune in the markets of Zaar.”

Zegg the Slayer / Human / Warrior 2 / 6′ 2″ 210 lbs
STR 26* CON 13 DEX 14 SPD 12 INT 7 WIZ 11 LK 4 CHR 10
Combat Adds +16 Wt Possible 2600
Talents Swordplay (+3), Arson (+3)
14gp Scimitar (4d6+2d6+16), Dagger (2d6+2+2d6+16), Target Shield (8)

Reshek the Enchanter / Elf / Wizard 2 / 5′ 9″ 160 lbs
STR 9 CON 5 DEX 19 SPD 7 INT 20 WIZ 21 LK 9 CHR 11
Combat Adds +2 Wt Possible 900
Talents Gambling (+3), Confectionary Arts (+3)
25gp, Sax (2d6+4+2), Bronze Ring (Focus), Light Leather Armor (3)

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Heists For Fantasy Thieves

Wherein your humble scribe, drawing on the “All The Dice” random generator concept (tip of the hat to Grim), presents a random table for your nerdly needs.

My latest obsession/idea is an old school urban crime mini-campaign, something along the lines of the old Gamelords Thieves’ Guild RPG.

My first thought was to use Labyrinth Lord/AEC and break down the thieving skills a bit to turn that subsystem into something that players could customize to reflect their own individual thief’s specialties (sort like AD&D 2e did – but I don’t have those books handy to steal from reference). But when I started doing the math I quickly realized I’d be better off using a different system (one that was already skill-based).

So in rode BRP and the fabulous Classic Fantasy monograph (to be used if I feel the need to retain a degree of D&D style). If I ever make this get off the ground (and given my current levels of gamer ADD and the general scheduling issues with the folks I play with, that’s a dubious proposition) I’m going to need an idea generator for some thiefly adventures & heists. Hence, the tables below. Please feel free to make use of these in any way you see fit. Sharing makes the world go ’round!

Let’s Roll

Grab yourself a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20 and roll ’em. Check against the charts below and let your creativity fill things out as needed.

Location of item(s) to be liberated, 1d4

  1. Temple or other religious/ceremonial building
  2. Private residence (1d4: 1 lower class, 2 middle class, 3 upper class, 4 nobility)
  3. Mercantile building (guildhall, apothecary, etc.)
  4. Governmental building (military hq, prison, town hall, etc.)

Complications of the job, 1d6

  1. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  2. Minor complications, roll for a second guardian for the item (now under double guard)
  3. Major complications, roll for a second location (the item has been moved)
  4. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  5. Serious complications, roll for two more guardians and a second location – the item(s) has been moved to a new location and is under a different kind of protection
  6. It’s a setup! A double-cross! A trap! Everything proceeds normally, but something bad happens if the job is successful (not paid, guard alerted, the job is completely fake, etc.)

Method of payment for liberating the item(s), 1d8

  1. No payment
  2. Keep anything else you can take
  3. Coin: ((2d4-1) X 10)% of item’s value
  4. Coin: ((1d10+10) X 10)% of item’s value
  5. A minor, limited-use magic item (potion of healing, etc.)
  6. Information (a treasure map, the name of a spy, etc.)
  7. Coins: (3d8 X 10) total gp value
  8. Gems: (4d6 X 10) total gp value

Nature of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d10

  1. Plain ol’ coin money
  2. Magic item (weapon/armor/shield)
  3. Religious relic
  4. Gems or jewelry
  5. Paperwork of significance
  6. Object d’Art (statue/painting/etc.)
  7. Symbolic item
  8. Magic item (non-weapon)
  9. Roll again twice using d8s
  10. Roll again three times using d8s

Guardian of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d12

  1. None
  2. Locked chest/safe
  3. Trapped & locked chest/safe
  4. Magical wards
  5. Generic human/demihuman guards
  6. Tougher-than-generic human/demihuman guards
  7. Natural animal(s)
  8. Monster(s)
  9. Undead
  10. Demon/devil
  11. Roll again twice using d10s
  12. Roll again three times using d10s

Source of the job, 1d20

  1. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  2. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  3. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  4. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  5. Religious connection (prelate with a problem, a favor for the god of thieves, etc.)
  6. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  7. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  8. Romantic connection (spouse, mistress, etc.)
  9. Family connection (no-good brother-in-law, dying aunt, etc.)
  10. Political connection (local political faction, foreign government, etc.)
  11. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  12. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  13. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  14. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  15. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  16. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  17. Military/Police connection (the corrupt sheriff, a questionable general, etc.)
  18. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  19. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  20. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)

Some Sample Heists

  • Your older brother offers to pay you a lot of money to break into the town armory and steal the enchanted Shield of the Sentinels. Of course, the armory is guarded by a pair of basilisks, but that’s not a problem for someone like you. You know he can afford what he’s offering; you just don’t know what he’s up to, which is planning on double-crossing you by turning you and the shield in for the reward to pay off his gambling debts.
  • Old Garril the Stonemason offers you a number of small diamonds he once found in a wall he was repairing to steal the sixteen large sapphires Korath the Bold recently donated to the Temple of Naali. These are locked in a chest stored within the high priest’s chambers.
  • You’ve heard a rumor that there’s a woman in Amberton who will pay a nice sum of money for a set of enchanted combs that are currently available in the shop of Forlburt the silversmith. The smith is a paranoid sort, who employs a small number of human guards and trained hounds to stand watch over his shop even as he locks all of his merchandise within a heavy (and trapped!) safe every evening.
  • Your guild or crime family needs you to break into the manor house of the Harbormaster and steal the ledgers for the last season’s shipping taxes. Your reward for pulling off this heist is the name and location of the man who killed your family when you were young. Everyone knows that the house is protected by magical wards. Not even your contact knows about the wraith that has been bound to guard the grounds.
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And The Trolls Shall Be Born Again…

Wherein your humble scribe mentions a Kickstarer and presents a couple of characters and a monster for T&T 7.5.

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Kickstarter for the new Deluxe Tunnels & Tolls. If not, click that link and learn all you could ever want to know about this project. There’s also more information available in this press release on the official dT&T blog.

It turns out that all of my dreams and plans for using any version of T&T last year fell through spectacularly (if by “fell through” I mean “I didn’t do jack to make them happen”), and I don’t imagine I’m going to do much with any version of T&T this year, either. But I am backing the Kickstarter because, well, I like T&T and enjoy the concept of seeing it live on – especially with the hand of Liz Danforth being involved once again.

So, being in a Trollish frame of mind at the moment, I thought I’d throw out a couple of T&T 7.5 characters and a monster for them to face off against. Go nuts with these if you have any inclination to do so. Otherwise, move along quietly and I promise to return this blog to its now expected, if still somewhat saddening, silence*.

Xal Balaq / Rogue / Elf / 2
STR 8 CON 5 DEX 14 SPD 18
INT 21 WIZ 8 LK 20 CHR 28

Height 6′ 4″ Weight 151 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +15

Talents Roguery (+4)
Languages Elvish, Common, Dwarven, Hobb, Orc, Troll, and so on…
Spells Knock Knock

Cutlass (3+3), Kukri (2+5), Cuirboille (7)

Vorzt / Warrior / Human / 1
STR 16 CON 12 DEX 14 SPD 9
INT 7 WIZ 9 LK 11 CHR 13

Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +7

Talents Gambling (Luck +4)
Languages Common

War Hammer (5+1), Throwing Axe (3+2), Scale Mail (16), Kite Shield (12)

Plague Troll

Monster Rating: 60
Combat Dice: 7d6+30
Special Damage: 1/3 – Plague Trolls fight with a terrifying ferocity, doing 3 points of Spite damage per 6 rolled in combat; 6/Plague Infection – In rare cases, Plague Trolls can communicate their disease to non-trolls. Those who become infected suffer an immediate loss of 1/2 of their remaining CON. Plague victims take an additional 2 CON damage each hour (unless an L3SR on CON is made) until they expire. Natural healing does not replenish any CON lost to the disease. Only a casting of Healing Feeling will cure the Troll Plague.
Special Abilities: Plague Trolls are desiccated and lack significant meat on their bones – thus cutting, slashing and stabbing weapons are less effective against them. Treat Plague Trolls as having 4 points worth of armor against these types of weapons. Unlike healthy trolls, Plague Trolls do not regenerate damage – their regenerative properties are too busy keeping them alive to heal them of any damage within the timeframe of a combat.

Plague Trolls are trolls that have contracted a hideous wasting disease yet refuse to die. They look like regular trolls that have shriveled and shrunken away to nearly skeletal creatures. They are quite mad and easily enraged – the disease has accelerated their metabolisms, making them far quicker than healthy trolls – and are known to actively seek death.

*For those who care, I’m still not feeling the mad drive to create RPG stuff, though I am back on track with running my Dungeon Crawl Classics game. And the big Call of Cthulhu game I was in most of the past year and a half is starting back up shortly. And it looks like I’ll be joining up with what should be a long-term BRP fantasy game in the near future, too. So I’m gaming, just not writing.

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Fight On! #13 Is Out

Fight On! #13That’s what I said. Fight On! #13 is now officially available (print, pdf). This issue is dedicated to the mighty Ken St. Andre and has a substantial number of Tunnels & Trolls-related articles. Here’s the full rundown:

Table of Contents
The Swashbuckler (Calithena) 3
Elves as Green Men (Walt Jillson) 4
Variant Kindreds (Age of Fable) 5
Grognard’s Grimoire (Erin “Taichara” Bisson) 6
Cantrips Gone Wild! (John Laviolette) 7
Battle School (Ken St. Andre) 10
Mysterious Laboratory of Xoth-Ragar (Alex Fotinakes) 15
Knights & Knaves (The Venomous Pao) 22
Creepies & Crawlies (garrisonjames) 25
Artifacts, Adjuncts, & Oddments (Hudson Bell & Cal) 27
Slaughter in the Salt Pits (Gabor Lux) 28
The Library of Karvu Naudra (Jason Vasché) 33
An Unfamiliar Encounter (John Larrey) 36
The Goblin Market (Richard Rittenhouse) 40
Bonus Tables (Jeff Rients) 45
What is this Monster Scared Of? (Dustin Brandt) 46
Fruiting Towers (Patrick Wetmore) 47
Tricks & Treats (Andreas Davour & Wayne Cayea) 58
Mythal (Calithena) 61
The Tale of an Egg (Baz Blatt) 69
The Darkness Beneath (Makofan) 78
Champions of ZED (Daniel Boggs) 98
In the Shadow of the Catskills (Michael Curtis) 111
Scramp! (Richard Rittenhouse) 116
Education of a Magic User (Douglas Cox) 120
Top Tips for Tunnels & Trolls (Big Jack Brass) 121
Doxy, Urgent Care Cleric (J. Linneman & K. Green) 122

In addition to all the great art you’ve come to expect, you’ll find a delightful full color front cover by none other than Liz Danforth, the glorious queen of gaming art.

So what are you waiting for? Go throw a little green at those responsible for making this wonderment a reality. You’ll be glad you did.

p.s. The fact that your humble scribe just happens to have an article published in this issue in no way compromises his integrity when recommending that you purchase this fine volume. No, really. Honest!

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(My Dreams Of) Gaming Plans For 2012 (Because You Care)

So the Thanksgiving game happened. It was a WWII commando raid using a Mini Six/D6 Adventure mashup and it was a blast. But I’m not here to talk about it. Not right now, anyway. I’m gunning to do that a little later on, when I’m ready to post the materials I put together for the game. Nope, instead I’m here to talk about what I’m hoping to run next.

First up, sometime during the Winter Solstice Holidays break, I’m hoping to pull off a BASH game for a friend, his 13 year old son, and maybe a few other folks. I’m currently thinking Golden Age/WWII supers kicking fascist ass in Europe. But the ideas are swirling and unformed at this point, so who knows what (if anything) will ultimately come to pass?

After that, I’m pondering a few possibilities:

  • Some kind of hard(-ish) SciFi using good ol’ Classic Traveller and some Stars Without Number action
  • Labyrinth Lord/AEC romps through either the Against The Giants series or maybe Castle Amber, The Lost City, or some other classic modules
  • A BRP– (or possibly BoL-) based, Mythic Russia-fueled, Russian fantasy game
  • A Mini Six (with add-ons from Open D6) or Mercenaries, Spies, And Private Eyes 80s-style espionage game
  • A Call of Cthulhu Dreamlands miniseries (probably not until the CoC game I’m playing in wraps up, though)
  • A BRP/Renaissance (or maybe Tunnels & Trolls or Honor + Intrigue) black powder fantasy adventure
  • Droids. Seriously. Either with the original rules (unlikely) or with something else (D6, maybe?)

just to name a few (in no particular order). All of this is subject to change (i.e., my whims and interests) and player buy-in, of course.

That’s Great And All, But What About Giving Us Some Sweet Gaming Content, Pao?

Yeah, I know. My content output has absolutely tanked of late (and, honestly, not-so-late). I’m struggling with that, really. Part of me wants to be cranking out stuff like I had been, but another part just isn’t inclined to spend the time on it. So it’s not quite burnout, per se. It’s more a case of conflicting interests and such. So to answer the question that I asked on no one in particular’s behalf, “Reply hazy. Try again later.”

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T&T: The Expert Class

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not exactly new to Tunnels & Trolls, but I’m also not well-versed in it. I can probably count the number of games of it I’ve played on one, maybe two hands. But those games stretch back to the early 80s. Regardless of my general lack of grounding in the game, I have often – especially lately – been drawn to its strange combination of depth and simplicity. It seems capable of a wild & woolly richness that I think can be applied to other, less “fighty” genres quite well. So as I try to shake this weird, undefined psychedelic science fiction setting out of my head (where it’s clinging, like water in the ear) I keep finding myself thinking that T&T might be the engine to drive it.

To make T&T work for my (admittedly rough) concepts, which are informed mostly by things like Space: 1999, Moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and some of Samuel R. Delany’s books (Nova and Babel-17 especially) I need a class that isn’t really found in T&T: one that represents the highly-trained (or naturally gifted) scholar/scientist/expert/engineer/etc. One could arguably accomplish this with the Citizen class (in 7.x), but as written the Citizen just sucks too much for regular play – especially when compared to the other classes (as it should, since it was intended to).

So what I’m proposing is a class I’ll call the Expert. This class should excel at knowledge-oriented things, so their “special ability” is the rapid acquisition of Talents. For this setting I’m going to likely allow other classes (at least their Human members, if other races crop up) to begin with two Talents. Therefore, in order to make the Expert stand apart, they’ll gain Talents at an accelerated rate early on. Here’s the Talent progression I have in mind:

  • 1st level: 3 Talents
  • 2nd level-5th level: 2 Talents
  • 6th level & beyond: 1 Talent

This means that the Expert will wind up having 5 Talents more than their less-skilled brethren once they reach 5th level, and stay that way thereafter. That seems like enough of an edge without being too fiddly or encumbering. Further, the “bonus talents” (those over and above what other classes would earn at the equal level) can never be “worth” less than a +3 rating. Those talents, however, must represent some kind of non-combat-oriented knowledge or skill.

Where I’m hitting a roadblock is how to have these guys perform in combat. Clearly they’re not Warriors, so they definitely don’t get any kind of armor bonus (or attack bonus, in 7.x). But I also don’t see them as uniformly unfighty as Wizards or, god forbid, Citizens. So I think I’ll just let them have normal Combat Adds (like Rogues and Specialists). Still, I’m not sure that this doesn’t overpower them somehow. So I’m open to suggestions.

Since this is all pretty clearly for T&T 7.x, I should note that the “Level Attributes” for the Expert are: INT, DEX, LK, and CHR. Those seem the most reasonable, but two of those are also Combat Adds stats, so I worry a little about pushing these guys too hard in the combat direction. PSI (which is just Wizardry renamed), STR, CON, and SPD definitely don’t fit the archetype, though. So I guess I’ll run with it.

Anyway, here’s a quick trio of Experts who find themselves in a strange new world. Let’s hope all that fancy book learnin’ helps them survive.

Gauthier M / Expert / Human / 1
STR 12 CON 7 DEX 9 SPD 10
INT 15 PSI 9 LK 9 CHR 9

Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +0

Talents Linguistics (+6), Poetry (+5), Fencing (+3)
Languages More than a few

ElectroPistol (4+4), Woven Techsuit (6)

Declercq G / Expert / Human / 1
STR 11 CON 6 DEX 14 SPD 14
INT 15 PSI 5 LK 10 CHR 10

Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 lbs.

Adventure Points +4
Combat Adds

Talents Physics (+4), Archaeology (+3), Stardrive Engineering (+6)
Languages More than a few

ElectroPistol (4+4), Woven Techsuit (6)

Rieux A / Expert / Human / 3
STR 8 CON 14 DEX 8 SPD 8
INT 32 PSI 13 LK 10 CHR 11

Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds −3

Talents Star Piloting (+3), Trick Shooting (+6), History (+6), Literature (+2), Chemistry (+4), Persuasion (+4), Chess (+4)
Languages Freaking All Of Them

ElectroPistol (4+4), Woven Techsuit (6)

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The Lost Expedition Of Martin Hidalgo

Wherein your humble scribe presents three characters and a monster for Tunnels & Trolls. I believe tapas is in order…

In the late summer of 1526 the Spanish explorer Martin Hidalgo Guadalupe Ramirez y Sanchez set sail for Hispaniola from Seville with but a single caravel (the Santa Inez) and a small number of men, which was all the dwindling fortunes of his family could afford. The ultimate goal of the Hidalgo expedition was, of course, to discover as much information about (and plunder as much gold from) the New World as possible. The ship and its crew never reached Santo Domingo and was presumed lost at sea. At the time it was theorized that the ship may have encountered Hurricane San Francisco, which later caused significant damage across Hispaniola.

The tragic loss of he expedition would likely have faded into history but for the “reappearances” – three in total, spread out over the course of more than a century – of men who claimed to be survivors of the ill-fated voyage of the Santa Inez. The first of these men, a middle-aged Spaniard who called himself Juan Albano De Urquiza, “reappeared” in Madrid in 1539, telling tales of a terrible storm that “swept the Santa Inez into the skies themselves” and her safe arrival upon shores where “the snakes walked like men and devils mined gold from the earth.” De Urquiza expired from an unknown illness shortly after telling his tale to a number of sailors at a dockside taverna in Málaga.

The second reaparecido surfaced in 1588 in London. Upon his deathbed, Theodorus Van Waerwijk – a wealthy Dutch merchant who had only recently set up shop in England, confessed to an unnamed Anglican priest that his vast fortune came not from hard work but from the hands of snakes and devils he met “after Saint Agnes delivered me to that other world.” So vivid were Van Waerwijk’s descriptions that the priest entered them into the church’s records as proof of the power of Satan over the minds of even the most righteous of men. How it came to be that these words appeared several times within a series of Irish broadside ballads in the 1790s is unknown.

The story of the final person to claim connection to the Hidalgo Expedition is perhaps the unlikeliest of all. In August of 1692, at the height of the Salem Witch Trials, a “deshevel’d and derrang’d man who spoketh both in tonnegues and in the language of the Portugal” appeared out of thin air on the streets of Boston. Jose Marcelo Teixeira, as he was finally identified, was at that time a mere 19 years of age, exhibited innumerable strange behaviors and is reported to have “called upone the names of demons and cast spelles of a magickal nature.” These accusations most certainly led to his inclusion amongst those who were hanged during that dark stretch. Before he was executed, however a sympathetic old sailor who had settled in Salem and spoke a small amount of Portuguese recorded several conversations with Teixeira, the written notes of which were discovered amongst the personal effects of some distant relative only within the past decade. In these notes, the terrified and tormented Teixeira details a land similar to that described by both De Urquiza and Van Waerwijk, including references to walking snakes and devils under the hills.

Juan Albano De Urquiza / Warrior / Human / 1
STR 10 CON 13 DEX 11 SPD 16
INT 13 WIZ 12 LK 11 CHR 12

Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +3

Talents Navigation (+4)
Languages Spanish, Hissanthi

Cutlass (3+3), Dagg (5+15), Cuirass (10), Open-face Helm (4)

Theodorus Van Waerwijk / Warrior / Human / 1
STR 10 CON 10 DEX 8 SPD 11
INT 17 WIZ 10 LK 14 CHR 8

Height 5′ 1″ Weight 250 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +2

Talents Trading (+3)
Languages Dutch, Spanish, English, Hissanthi

Gladius (3+2), Arquebus (8+30), Cuirass (10), Open-face Helm (4)

Jose Marcelo Teixeira / Paragon / Human / 2
STR 15 CON 16 DEX 13 SPD 12
INT 21 WIZ 15 LK 15 CHR 14

Height 5′ 8″ Weight 180 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +7

Magic Will-o-Wisp, Got A Match?, Psychic Compass

Talents Seamanship (+4), Singing (+1)
Languages Portuguese, Spanish, French, Hissanthi

Broadsword (3+4), Buckler (6), Cuirass (10), Open-face Helm (4)


Monster Rating: 30-130
Combat Dice: 4d6+15 to 14d6+65
Special Damage: 1/2 – Hissanthi are vicious fighters; 4/Poison Bite – Hissanthi possess a caustic venom that does 2d6 damage directly to Strength (no armor) if it is delivered.
Special Abilities: The scaly hide of Hissanthi acts as 5 point armor.

Hissanthi are the snake-men native to that other world where the Lost Expedition of Martin Hidalgo found themselves after the Santa Inez was lost at sea. Some Hissanthi know a few spells, but mostly they are not given to magic use.

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The Basalt Bird Of Beq’Azir

Wherein your humble scribe presents three characters and a monster for Tunnels & Trolls. All of these are best enjoyed with some dates and hummus.

“And why are we climbing this damnable cliff again, wizard?” the brusque Bakir asked of his companion.

“We seek the Basalt Bird of Beq’Azir, of course!” the magician exclaimed, his voice unfazed by the effort expended in hauling his bulk up the mountainside. “It’s eyrie is known to lie atop Mount Rafeeda. The Scrolls of Sha’Qahir plainly state…”

Bassam’s discourse was – thankfully – interrupted by a screech that sounded more like stone on stone than it did the cry of a living thing.

“Na’asaad!” hissed their fellow climber, as she drew her short sabre from the jeweled scabbard at her delicate waist. “It would seem that the beast he seeks has found us instead.”

A rough black shadow streaked across the sky and turned to attack the party of miscreants who had dared to encroach upon its territory. The sun gleamed off the razor-edged talons as the creature gained speed.

“Quit crowding me, you stupid oaf! I can’t invoke the powers with that damnable dagger of yours dampening my magical mastery!” Bassam barked at Bakir, whose Kris was indeed interfering with the invoker’s incantations.

“Damn your twisting of God’s laws, wizard! I need room to fire this arrow!” the warrior retorted as he drew an arrow and took aim.

“Stop it, both of you!” commanded Bari’ah. “We have to work together if we’re going to survive this,” she continued in that ever-so-persuasive voice of hers. “Quickly now, Bassam, trade places with me – that should give you the distance you need. And it is plain to see that I will take up far less space than you, giving Bakir the freedom to use his bow. Insa’Allah, it will fell the bird before it reaches us!”

Bakir / Warrior / Human / 3
STR 30 CON 16 DEX 12 SPD 10
INT 6 WIZ 11 LK 15 CHR 7

Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +7

Talents Trading (+3), Survival (+1), Riding (+6)
Languages Desert Tongue (Barely)

Scimitar (4), Kris (2+3), Heavy Self Bow (5), Mail Armor (24), Target Shield (8)

Bassam / Wizard / Human / 2
STR 9 CON 14 DEX 12 SPD 10
INT 21 WIZ 14 LK 13 CHR 12

Height 5′ 10″ Weight 260 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +1

Magic All 1st level spells, Find Object, Nohearums

Talents Falconry (+5), Psalms & Psayings (+3)
Languages Desert Tongue, Quite A Few Others

Dirk (2+1), Sling (2), Quilted Silk Armor (3)

Bari’ah / Leader / Human / 2
STR 7 CON 14 DEX 16 SPD 9
INT 12 WIZ 8 LK 15 CHR 23

Height 5′ 2″ Weight 90 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +5

Talents Leadership, Astrology (+5)
Languages Desert Tongue

Short Sabre (3+1), Soft Leather Armor (5), Buckler (3)

The Basalt Bird of Beq’Azir

Monster Rating: 78
Combat Dice: 8d6+39
Special Damage:
3/Vorpal Blade – The razor-sharp talons of the Basalt Bird slash its foes most effectively
5/Oh Go Away! – The bizarre cry of the Basalt Bird panics its foes
Special Abilities: Fly Me – Despite its rocky nature, the Basalt Bird can, indeed, fly. Also, its stony hide acts as 8 point armor.

The Basalt Bird of Beq’Azir is a legendary creature spoken of in many myths and stories throughout the region of the Silver Desert. It is rumored that whosoever can capture the bird will be granted three wishes by the Lord of the Air as he bargains for the release of his beloved pet. Of course, wresting wishes from a demon is certain to ensure a degree of enmity that most mere mortals would rather avoid.

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