Category Archives: Optional Rules

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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