Friday, December 25, 2015

DT&T - First Level Spells

I remember looking at the 1st Level spells in 7.5 - there sure were a lot compared with 5.5. I thought 'Hold That Pose' was ridiculously over-powered for a L1 spell and lampooned it cruelly - but with game application, it became clear that because it lasted just 30 seconds and could easily fall foul of the khrem resistance mechanic it actually turned out to be an excellent addition, along with 'Dem Bones Gonna Rise' - great fun because you never know what will rise up in most locations.

I knew in advance that HTP was booted out (much discussion on the currently-demised Trollhalla where I pitched in to defend HTP) but what else was going to be in the candy jar?

Numerically, we get 11 spells. I think 5.5 was 10 and 7.5 was 20. So, looks like a harder but simpler row to hoe for the fledgling wizard.

The first new spell here is 'It's Elementary'; this seems to replace 'Call Flame' and 'Call water' from 7.5. I like this being rolled into one 'elements' spell and the WIZ cost (4) is better vis a vis other L1 spells ( 8 and 7 for those 7.5 spells).

'Unerring Bllade' is also here (it wasn't in 5.5 and was L2 in 7.5). It costs 3 WIZ and does 1 point of spite damage regardless of defence. As a GM, I've never had a player use it; as a player, I could think of reasons to cast it but that would be rather contrived. I'm voting this one a dud.

What's missing? 'Vorpal Blade'! It's L2 now... Gosh, it was hardly a game-winner at L1 - one combat round with a bladed weapon's attack doubled... As a GM, I liked it when players forgot to cast it. No, this is a L1 spell for me.

Both 'Teacher' and 'Magic Fangs' used to be L1 spells in 5.5 and are now L2. Teacher needed a big revamp, so fair play. 'Magic Fangs' was ejected from the 7.5 L1 spellbook but was hardly a big deal - they are both L2 now and the former I agree needed a change while the latter could easily be L1 still - is a wizard ever going to pay 2000 GPs to learn it at L2?

'Dem Bones' is now a higher level spell and again I think it could have stayed at L1 but I'm not overly fussed; I regret the loss of 'Sparkle' and 'That's a Natty Beard'. Both fun spells, I suppose they are the sort of spells a wizard can make up on the fly under the elaborated dT&T rules (if that's so, I can live with it). 'Know Your Foe' is gone too and was occasionally useful - maybe it's been kicked upstairs. 'Suppress Khrem' and 'Khrem de la Khrem' are likewise departed but maybe they aren't needed now with no khrem resistance.

The ones that I'm including at L1 in my games are:

  • Hold That Pose
  • Vorpal Blade
  • Magic Fangs
 These L1 spells still need a minimum INT and DEX of 10 to cast.

Correction - 'Know Your Foe' is still there - dozy me!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Spirit Mastery Game

...was listening to a shuffle on my iphone when the Stones' "Under My Thumb" came up. Great song and it nudged me to thinking about the Spirit Mastery spell and what an unscrupulous wizard might get up to with it....

Neither the 5.5 nor the 7.5 rulebooks explain it that well - is the victim aware of the foreign control, does he/she remember, what does 'subdue' really mean???

The game idea developed in to being a L2 wizard (Donald Nerf) coming to a town with no powerful wizards and very few at all . Donald had just given up his dungeon delving career as too dangerous, having just acquired a Spirit Mastery ring.

I house-ruled that the victim could not resist while under the spell and, if the wizard, commanded the victim to forget, it would take a higher INT SR by the victim than the level of the wizard for the act of control to be remembered.

We stuck Donald in Cartheph't, a small town I wrote a solo about when my car was stolen, and decided petty crime was the norm there with the only security for wealth being that the banks limited themselves to a 20% rip off.

After some though as to how to misuse his ring (sic), Donald booked a meeting at the bank to ask for a loan. Being a wizard, the bank agreed to see him and was soon in an interview room with the uninspiring assistant manager, Mr. Serpell.

Donald stunned Mr. Serpell while he was rummaging in a drawer for a loan agreement and then used his ring. Next he got Serpell to take a loan out in his own name and then to transfer money into his account from Mr. Serpell's account. Serpell's loan was a at 30% per annum rather than the 20 Donald had been quoted.

He topped things off by telling Mr. Serpell he was very good friends with Donald and this had been a social call. Mr. Serpell did not make a L3 SR on INT so he failed to recall what has happened to him.

Donald know has his sights set on the eligible and nubile daughter of his boss, Michaeldobber...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Armour Ablation

dT&T makes warriors have a SR on LK to avoid armour damage IF they choose to make use of their double-protection advantage and it has to be used during battle. OK, let's think about that....

First off, what advantages to warriors get over wizards and rogues? In 5.5, really just the double protective value for armour; in 7.5 they also go one extra add per level for a weapon in combat (now I thought that was so infinitessimally small a bonus that I made it a whole dice per level, something that hardly made them dominate the game). In dT&T, they get the armour bonus plus the whole dice per level for weapons BUT they alone may suffer armour damage under game mechanics as opposed to GM fiat.

Secondly, does armour damage seem reasonable? I'd say yes - not essential and few want to take away from the pace of the game by cluttering it with clunky rules but worth considering.

Third up, is the new rule simple? A LK SR - what could be easier? I think we can remember that and get it down without loosing the plot.

Fourthly, is it fair? (I accept fairness is not guaranteed in life, the game or anywhere I've been.) I think not...

dT&T already does away with INT SRs for wizards casting spells (Hah! but I won't!) so why ping the less desirable warrior? More pressingly, why shouldn't everyone run the risk of armour damage? How about a LK SR for anyone whose armour takes more hits that its maximum defensive capacity? Take that, wizards and rogues! It just takes more whacking away to get a warrior to run the risk of holey armour.

I like the notion in dT&T that warriors can make running repairs to their armour and that of their mates.

So - I give this rule change a plus but will house-rule it myself in the Elaborative Spirit :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Solos for Higher Level Characters

I was asked what to recommend - but I don't have many that would fulfil the specifications...

As for my efforts, The Arena of Khaboom has its moments as does Strangebrew, while Wizard Went a-Wooing caters for L13 wizards.

Here's my suggestion...

  1. Saving rolls: either a) follow 5.5 and make 1,3 a failure as well as 1,3 or b) raise all INT, LK and DEX SRs so that you need a minimum of 6 to make the roll e.g. your INT is 54 so you need a L9 SR for success (you can imagine a tougher situation to fit the level of the SR).
  2. For MRs, roll 1d6 then:
  • 1 or 2 - start with a MR that gives 50% of your combat adds (e.g. your CAs = 100 so base MR is 100) then add 2d6 DARO x 10
  • 3,4 or 5 - start with 75% (e.g. with CAs = 100 the base MR is 150)
  • 6 - start with 100%
You can do something similar for foes with attributes, substituting 50, 75 and 100% with their CAs equaling 75, 100 and 150% of your CAs depending on the roll of 1d6.
There - that might give you more of a challenge!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I realise that the Elaborations section is one big permission slip to discard any of the core rules and to do something another way!

There are good examples given but it is hard not to extrapolate the approval to go your own way.

I think this is excellent!

There is still at times a semi--preachy tone (like where we are told in the core rules that the 7.5 idea of spells sometimes failing for wizards - i.e. needing an INT SR to cast - is not right because, after all, warriors never lose their double-armour protection bonus (well, actually they kinda do because of the new ablation core rule!) but, what the hey!, we can let that go amongst old friends.

So, whereas I was going to critique the notion of giving bakers an extra 2d6 on every SR to bake a loaf of bread (representing the number of years they have trained/worked), I am just going to say 'thanks' for the nice ideas and a very big 'YAY!' for the top brass' 'yes' to tinkering.

Another big tick marked up in the Ledger of Judgement.

Monday, November 16, 2015

What I'm Listening To

I had never read the Tarzan books before. I remember reading an article in a Sorceror's Apprentice by Ken comparing Conan and Tarzan and being surprised that Tarzan came off slightly the better of the two. Now I'm not so surprised.

Mind you, I'm too lazy to read now and so I listen as I pound the streets:

Librivox is free, easy to download and many of the readers are really good! Give it a try...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Languages - What dT&T Did to the World of Communication

In the Elaboration section, at page 201, we find '14.0 Languages'.

I remember asking about languages on Trollhalla and Ken replying that there was a major overhaul but he wasn't going to spoil the surprise.

My first question regarding a rule change is: "Was the old rule seriously flawed?". I'd say 'yes' to that, pretty much as the book does - to have a bunch of new languages 'arrive' as your INT goes up is a stretch too far even in a magic-rich world.

Next question: "Does the new rule solve the problem?". Answer: yes, it does. Languages are split into groups in a sensible fashion and every 3 INT points over the bar gives you a shot at a new language. Fair call, I'd say.

Last question: "Is the rule simple to apply?" Answer: yes, it is.

This time round, characters don't necessarily get literacy. Oracy is the norm but for wizards or  those making a L2 INT SR, reading and writing comes as well as reasonable conversational ability.

I like the naming of the languages e.g. not 'ogrish' but 'Hroga' and the division of the Common Tongue into major dialects based on geography is cool.

You might think it it too rooted in Ken's Trollworld but it is so straightforward to take what you want, adapt where you will and leave what you don't care for.

So, I'm giving this 10 out of 10. I didn't bother to make a major revision myself but waited patiently for this and that turned out to be a good call.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

My Package Arrived!

I went up the hill to make sure the bees kept on our land had water and what did I find sitting on the bench outside the guest apartment? Yes!! dT&T was finally here!

I hurried down the hill and excitedly opened it and guess what happened?

Yes, my daughter snaffled it!

Rather than review the whole book - which is weighty and gorgeous in equal measure - I shall cherry pick sections and write on those.

Languages first, I think...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Weirdworld Revisitied

It was too hot to work outside and I am not that good at siestas so I decided to have a crack at one of the very early Flying Buffalo solos. I imagined it would prove deadly very quickly and very often.

It has what I think may be the least attractive Liz Danforth cover - but maybe I just am not knowledgeable enough to  appreciate it.

My first character was (yes,'was') a human warrior named Blarney Scrotes. Barney gained a skull that could talk named Fred but went horribly wrong when he failed to heed a clear warning and died in a pool of lava. I don't suppose Fred felt to good about it either.

Next up was Tombola Fuggins. She did quite nicely to begin with and gained first a light-sabre sword and then a poisoned spear. She met a gunfighter (sic) and accepted the challenge of a fastest draw contest but was told she had no gun (she figured she could fire the light-sabre). The gunslinger gave her a gun and she resisted the temptation to just shoot him with it and went on to put a slug in him. Her reward was her gun turning to gold - worth 500 GPs. That was all dandy but she too failed to heed another warning and was promptly consumed by something very big.

I rolled up a hobbit called Wuddles Begaddlethorp. I like that name. When Wuddles enters Weirdwolrd, he will take due notice of all warnings!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gregory Goyle and Vernon Dursley in the Dewdrop Inn

Continuing the theme of sending Harry Potter characters into T&T games, these two unlovables ventured into Ken's Dewdrop Inn. Both are L1 characters with no strong attributes. Now, this little solo is pretty brutal so what to do?

When they get into trouble, Goyle makes a L1 SR on WIZ to attract the Dark Lord's attention so that they get rescued. Why does the evil V bother? He wants them to recruit more Deatheaters.

The intrepid pair have managed to sign up Toad Killer Dog, an uruk adventurer, and a succubus. Without Voldey's interventions, they would have been very dead very often.

The big problem they have is the Vernon just will not believe in magic and it is a problem for more than just Tinkerbell...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cluedo meets Tunnels & Trolls (with a little help from Buccaneer)

Here is the game, set up on one of the thick rugs I dragged over to NZ from the UK many moons ago (it and its partner came from a place called Trago Mills in Devon).

Here's how the game works:

You deal one treasure card and one crew card from Buccaneer to each room on the Cluedo board. The crew cards indicate MR of the room's guard. There are red and black cards in Buccaneer with 1,2 or 3 crew showing. Red 1 = MR 10, Red 2 = MR14, Red 3 = MR 18, all the way up to Black 3 = MR 30.

The treasure cards may mean you find treasure in the room or there may be a penalty. Where they speak of 'reducing your crew card' total, I play you may have to reduce your combat adds via one or more attributes.

The aim of the game is to be the one who has most treasure safe in the bank at your home town (the board space you start from). Guard cards and treasure cards are not replaced once the guard is beaten.

All attributes are rolled up with 4d6 QARO.

SPD is used to move on the board. You can move up to 3 spaces per turn plus 1 extra space per L SR made on SPD - a critical fumble means you trip over.

DEX allows you to get out of a room before a fight starts (if you make a L1 SR). Remember, you only see the number on the back of a crew card but you do not know if it is red or black!

STR determines how long you can fight for. After 2 rounds of combat you must make progressively higher STR SRs or lose 1d6 adds each round.

LK determines anything else! Can you locate the secret passages, are you Born Again if slain, etc.

Oh, and there are weapons and armour. I used all the Cluedo implements as weapons: the candlestick, spanner and lead piping as 3d6 bludgeoning weapons, the rope for DEX SR lassoing, the dagger as a 2d6 stabbing or throwing weapon (DEX SR) and the revolver as a 5d6 +15 nuke! The revolver requires an appropriate DEX SR to hit plus a roll to see if it backfires or explodes per the 5th Edition rules. The treasure cards offer the opportunity to gain crew and you should read that as weapons or armour. I used cufflinks for 3 hit shields.

All the treasure, weapons and armour are placed on the stairs, which must be visited to get anything you are entitled to.

You can attack other players to kill and rob them. You may give victims the chance to rise again ion their home town square.

Of course, you can add in other attributes - WIZ for a deus ex machina intervention, CHR to convince a guard or another player to make nice, INT to find the secret passages or to impersonate another player at their home town bank. CON is need to see when you die!

And there you have it - a simple way to have a cool family Sunday evening without stress when you're tired or wined out ")

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Little Bit of Rules Tinkering

Charlie wanted to roleplay a character inspired by Rita Skeeter from the Harry Potter books. I suggested she work for the Khaboom City Chronicles and we went from there.

It led us to thinking about talents which don't relate to adventuring, mainly in the context of citizens.

What we came up with was spendable EPs (Experience Points) which work like APs (Adventure Points) but can be spent only on upping the particular talent.

Let's suppose you have a 'Nose for a Scoop' talent and that it is based on LK. Let's further suppose the talent is +4 and your LK is 20. You get a particularly good scoop by making saving rolls on the talent and you have garnered 250 EPs. You can now spend these EPs to up the +5 to +6 by spending ten times the current LK value (since LK is the attribute the talent is based upon). You spend 200 EPs leaving a balance of 50 and now have the talent at +6.

It wasn't complicated and we liked it.

Friday, October 9, 2015


We advanced three games over the last 24 hours. They all seem to head in the direction of dilemmas rather than combat or even saving rolls.

First off, is a long-running Skype game featuring Angel, van Persie and Rooney (all based on ex-Man Utd players although some might quibble at me classifying the last in this vein!) and set in the small city of Qadouche. These three low level character4s, none a wizard, have survived a pyramid expedition and now own a tavern. Having seen off a jealous rival owner (Bob Scraggit of the Raged Glass), they have set out again with captain Studley and his men, delivering a cargo of statues to a temple.

They came across a band of slavers with 30 captured elven children, all bound for the same temple. The twists and turns of mischievous fortune saw them holding the slavers' wagons and the children while the slavers hold the Captain and the statues. After setting up a successful ambush in a canyon (the slavers took their cargo to the temple and sold it on), they face the dilemma of what to do with the children. Do they seek to return them to their homes (which would mean a sea journey with no ship known of), do they seek to rescue Studley and his men, do they raid the slavers' camp (and possibly free more slaves) or do they return to Qadouche and try to find a good home for the children?

We shall see...

Secondly, we have a party of 4 elf wizards (one a ghost) who received a free pass on the underground dwarven canal system to any destination...

They arrived in the small city of Vulgaria, having had to row the barge for the last week because the khremmstone power unit was lost overboard (Captain Bluddengutz is distraught with the shame!). They were told by the first person they met that the ruling Baron was crippling the city and people with excessive taxation for his own entertainments and glory. Thereupon they decided instantly to seek to kill the Baron in his palace.

He is now safely in a bunker, they have just murdered the senior wizard from the local Guild in the Wizards' Guild offices and Bluddengutz is in prison for collusion with the elves. The ghost is being tracked by a ghost hunter and his ghost hounds while the visiting Canzoni's Circus is in dire straights, seeking private investigators to look into a series of disasters befalling the troup since the started their week-long stint in Vulgaria.

The dilemma here seems to be do they just make a run for home and abandon their hopes of treasure or do they seek an alliance with a new Guild head and continue to go for the Baron?

The third game involves the resurrected slave of the oldest pcs we have. Is he still 'owned' after years of death? What will the pcs make of his return. At the moment, he is trading off looking like a very wealthy lord and charging everything he can to his account at Khaboom's plushest hotel. Surely this will come back to bite him... He seems to be considering buying up slaves at the market to release them.

On we go!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Friday (Game On!)

Come Friday, we start a new game. Four PCs, I think and a murder/sabotage mystery employing Mad Roy Cram's cast from Calzoni's Circus. The cast has been involved in various adventures I have participated in so I know (and love) them well.

Here is some of the data Mad Roy provided:

26 roustabouts
26 roustabelles
their 21 children of various ages
27 circus stars
13 side show folks
54 horses, including Tzamba and Lady Songway's pair
27 sturdy large circus carts and coaches

Haynee Canzoni and his wife Karlota who shared duty as Ringmaster and Ringmistress
Morgo the Ogre who did feats of strength
Blumphoma the 600 pound fat lady
Mergal the Mysterious - a rogue hedge wizard and stage magician. Old and arthritic, he tends to drink a lot. He resents Perry as a possible replacement.
The Juggler brothers, Jok and Johjo
Doomian the Knifer who has a dagger tossing act, and his assistant and partner, Dumia
The very popular clowns: Saphira, Bonk, Boink, and Boodles. They are VERY funny.
Wikam and Marjo, the trained dog act and their canine octet
Saldo, and his wife and kids who do a good horse act with trained horses
The Acrobats: Felippo, Fafonna, Foxey, and Fedorah
Krusha the Great with his animal act: a Bear, a Cougar, a Wolf, and a Bear
Lupini and Messanga the high wire tight rope act
The Trapeze group: Block and Dekkar, and Avera and Santa.
Studger -  ahobbit who works the ticket booth part-time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

dT&T - I think my hardbook copy is in the mail!

It's like being a kid again, waiting for the mailman to show up!

DT&T Release Party at Game Depot

I had 3 pieces. One of them was small. :-).
We sold about 40 copies of the paperback edition. This one:

Flying Buffalo had a table set up to sell books and give autographs. The entire Fellowship of the Troll was here, but Bear and I were out running games. Visible: Rick Loomis, Liz Danforth, and Steve Crompton.
We ran 3 games of T & T. Bear Peters is probably the best T & T GM in Arizona–I might have said the world, but I have gamed with a few really awesome people who can give him a run for his money–Thessaly Chance for one, Mark Thornton for another. (And I’m not bad (grin)). Everyone seemed to have a great time.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Magic City Mayor

Just finished another proofread of my novel - that's it, can't do any more!

Here my first draft of an agent query:

(This is exactly how the story was told to be by the wizard, Souza Fortescue, who appears in my fireplace some evenings when the moon is hidden. I have not deviated at all from the facts as he gave them because that is one way to make him bad tempered – and bad things happen when he gets grumpy.)

How do you maintain law and order in a city full of wizards? The Mayor of Khaboom has his hands full at the best of times but now has a pressing problem. It was his decision to let goblins migrate to the city and now the electorate are in an ugly mood, worried about their jobs and giving the newcomers a hard time. What makes it worse for the Mayor is that a renegade wizard is plotting to use the ‘Goblingate’ problem to seize control of the city and destroy the Wizards’ Guild at the same time.

The Mayor gets sucked into a deadly trap by his unseen enemy and neither his magician allies or his mighty bodyguard can save him this time. It is only the entanglement of three ordinary citizens in the web of intrigues that offers a lifeline to the one man who can keep anarchy in check in this magic-rich world. A satyr intent on seducing a medusa, a school girl aiming to graduate from Wizard School and a rabbit trapper wrestling with his prejudices against goblins all spiral out of control in the hurricane  blown by the forces of greed and darkness.

The Mayor is under pressure to reverse his policy of racial tolerance if he wants to be elected again for a 6th straight term – do you sacrifice your principles to stay in office? The satyr, Panticles, needs to choose between reeling a big new corporate client for his boss, Kelba the Centaur so that he can make partner or follow his nose and chase the girl – his client’s niece, a rather glamorous medusa. The girl, Mea, is kicking her heels after being caught up in the death of a classmate she had a running feud with - which closes down Wizard School, leaving her to choose between finding a tutor or lend a helping hand to the many that reach out to her. As for the ordinary man on the street, Wobbly Blunt can carry on hating the slimy goblins or work with them to rescue the Mayor – a man he knows, likes and admires but seems to have badly let down human folk with his latest political strategy.

In the background lurks an arrogant, callous man, hurt by rejection by his peers in the Wizards’ Guild, now willing to commit genocide, not just for power but for the greatest prize, revenge. As Strangebrew skirts round cementing a risky alliance with the Arch-Demon, Ashgoleth, the pawns in his game fall into his dungeon trap like dominoes lined up for his grim amusement.

Can this motley assortment of citizens of this magic city overcome the challenges hurtling at them from all sides and rescue the Mayor before the city falls?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's Been A Long Time

Too much GMing, not enough blogging. Been on a run of finding new players - never in the same place, so quite a few games on the boil - more girls than boys for once.

Anyhow, here's a map of the Kraken continent drawn by my daughter...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

TrollCon 2015

Here it is - in my hands! dT&T's bodyguards look mean though...

Kris (Startroll) gave me a copy of Monsters! Monsters! and then ran us through Oscar's Inn from memory, even allowing the randomly created 'DERFA' as a special magical possession of my warrior, Bumcrackle.

Next morning we found ourselves facing harpies in Bear Peter's deserted castle. Larry DiTillio spoke of a sequel to the 'Isle of Dark Smoke' while Bumcrackle survived his second adventure.

Then we were off to the Trollcave for the adventure of a lifetime under the streets of Khazan with the Death Goddess herself. It was a masterclass in GMing but even more so in storytelling. Homer would have been impressed and Kamea his the jackpot too. Here you can see the Trollgod unleashing a TTYF on the unruly players.

On Sunday, John (Manikbobo) took us through his very frustrating and cunning teleportation dungeon. Bumcrackle survived a third time (he did not venture out in Khazan very wisely) and found a new love for meditating on ceiling art. Bear, James, Charlie and Kavela pulled him through.

Liz wasn't there so I stood in for her when we had to hit the road for Tucson.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The House of Wish and Wonder

I have written up the game we played with the 'Liability' character into a short GM adventure. The setting and supporting cast comes from my "Poisoned Chalice" solo.

Here is Kavela's sketch of the main characters:

  • Broadless, dwarf liability
  • Hyacynth, elf sorceress
  • Cedric, human wizard
  • Nipsy, kobold warrior, smitten with/by Broadless 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls

I can well imagine the enormous work involved in trying to pull together a set of rules and supporting material in a way that could bind together the devotees of both the 5.5 and 7.5 editions. So - the wait may have been longer than we would have wishes but the job is now done.

The first pdf version (there will be another correcting the inevitable typos) looks really splendid.

I haven't had time to read that much in detail but it is well structured and very well presented. It has humour and it gives choices.

The spellbook has been carefully revised and inconsistencies and lack of clarity addressed. There are fewer L1 spells than in 7.5 and some spells (eg Little Feets and Vorpal Blade) and Oh Go Away can now affect multiple targets for higher level wizards. Although the Khaboom Wizards' Guild will continue to do things a little differently, I think they will understand the revision in distant Khazan.

Specialists have been reworked so that they actually make sense! Fantastic!

The learning of languages looks to be a masterclass and does so much more than removes the non-sensical approach of 5.5.

There are some things I think I will resist (because of games work consistently well another way): we will keep the INT check for spellcasting and we won't completely ditch the concept of adding level to saving rolls (maybe only for WIZ and LK SRs).

Although there is a lot of detail, a lot of pages, it does not look as if it should be daunting to a newcomer because of the strength of the structuring and the clarity of the layout.

More later, I'm sure.

(Oh, and the artwork rocks!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Liability

We stumbled upon a new T&T character type!

Charlie rolled up a character with every attribute under 10 and that seemed kinda special... an anti-warrior wizard perhaps.

He is a dwarf so his STR became 18 but even so he just seemed like he ought not to be written off without a chance of (vain)glory.

He was soon referred to as a liability and that got me thinking: what if he was a liability to others?

I needed some rules, pronto!

This is what I ran with -

  • he might affect anyone he came into direct contact with if: 
  1. He failed a L1 SR on LK and
  2. The person encounter failed a L1 LK SR
I needed more!

  • I decided he could never increase his LK and he would only ever get to add 1 for level, no matter how high he rose (rising at all seemed unlikely)
  • He could only affect a particular person once per day unless he/she really got actively involved with the 'Liability'
  • He affected creatures with no less than horse-like intelligence
  • To affect less intelligent creatures required a critical fumble on their part
The dwarf was christened 'Broadless' for a reason that was clear to Charlie but which escaped me. I gave him a bonus talent for playing the lyre, just for the sake of the pun, but he needed to make a L1 SR on CHR otherwise he leaked sweat from his armpits copiously and odiously. (The players soon came up with the idea - being considerably younger than me, of collecting his armpit sweat, straining it through his socks and seeing what happened; an improbable SR on WIZ caused a female kobold - Nipsy-  to become absolutely smitten with Broadless, this leading to an extended and entirely untenable misadventure).

Broadless soon wanted to know if he could focus his liability (dis)ability and I gave him that in the interests of madcap gaming. So, if he MADE a SR on LK he increased the target's LK SR level i.e. if he made a L2 SR on his focus talent (based on LK) at, say, L2 then the target's LK SR would need to be at L3 to avoid the liability affect - which I had to quickly gauge (Broadless still had to fail at L1 LK after he made a focus SR).

The adventure spiralled on to Castle Lostreld, scene of my "Poisoned Chalice" solo, and I found ti expedient to have Lord Shivorq's Vizier-Wizard, Nethalkan, fashion a rainbow pendant that protected against the liability effect - well, Nethalkan is L13 so fair play).

Enough already! Now I shall go back to reading Roy 'the Boy' Thomas' account of how Marvel acquired the rights to Conan as I sit drinking a Blue Moon beer in Far-Eastern California with a 100 degree evening prowling outside and Death Valley beckoning me on to ever hotter extremes tomorrow as I wend my way Phoenix-wards, born aloft on the wings of the news of the birth of dT&T.

The King is dead - long live the King!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fairies v Trolls

Our "Journey to Centre of the Earth' game continued on its merry way yesterday.

I had a very busy week so I had given the resumption of this campaign very little thought - last time I had fuelled Felix's wish to kill the other pcs by giving him about a dozen clans of fire imps (he got them all killed, of course).

I had in mind to give him a robot - slow but almost impregnable - and to throw in three competing groups of rock-fairies. As it happened, he wanted to have another crack with my last hand-out, changing the imps for trolls - in clans of 38, MR 70 each troll, with a chieftan with MR 140 and a shaman. There were six clans.

Thinking as fast as my saturated brain could mange, I decided the fairy groups went on an annual troll hunt; I invented a system of troll-shaman magic centred on hedge-spells and WIZ dependent on how many murders the shamen had committed, represented by a belt of bones.

We ended with on troll clan exterminated, bar the chieftan who had been hit early on with an extreme 'bad stomach' spell, two pcs captured by a group of fairies, a sentient horse pc set on fire, another pc's ear-stud-activated wolf brained by a troll-bludgeon spell, the rest of the pcs 'recruited' by a second group of fairies and Felix having gathered the other five troll clans together to resurrect, 'Metal Head', a robot fashioned by the bird-serpent wizard-god Zweetz, which had been buried bar the head by the trolls at a Feli-beast feast.

The faires had arrows which did not kill but had a particular effect - floating, lead-feet, weeping, manic laughing, flame-breathing (the horse set itself on fire when floating and laughing hysterically) - determined by the roll of 2d6, which I had to record as we went along as I had nothing prescribed in advance.

Anyhow, a satisfyingly crazy game, with plenty set up for next time and neither the L13 wizard nor the mega-accurate-with-a-crossbow-doing 150+ per shot-warrior dominated.

And I got to kill the wolf and the horse (well, Felix killed the wolf, his first pc kill for a long time).

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Here is the map for last weeks Dragonlands game. Each player took the part of a dragon inside an egg. One way or another, they all emerged fully grown on an island and found they were telepathically connected to other dragons.
No dragons fought but some 'coerced' others. Few dragons bothered flying because most could swim and they all discovered they were Wish-dragons the bigger the wish, the harder the saving roll but teleportation was no big deal.
After minor skirmishing - they destroyed a fishing boat, drove pirates on to an island and ate an orca - they forged an alliance with Lord Arrowheart, owner of the biggest treasury in these parts (dragons measure gold by the Claw), they gained special abilities by virtue of this co-ownership of a sufficient quantity of gold. Then, when the Dragonman aarmy came from over the Snowy Mountains, the dragons led Lord Arrowheart's four regiments into battle and routed the enemy, avoiding slavery and becoming fully-fledged Wish-Dragons evaluating and granting the wishes of other dragons in service of the great dragon god, Hormuz.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Two PCs from the Much-Loved "Transport the Cannonballs" Game

Meaty Mutt is still going strong, currently adventuring his way to the centre of Trollworld with his mate Wedges and his pocketful of dynamite. The Stiltman died on a barge in a melee with slaves - he should never have been in danger but another player's dwarf proved more bloodthirsty than would have been wise.

Monday, June 8, 2015

More Action from the NZ Mind Games (2nd Weekend)

 Critically fumbling again (but the t-shirt's cool)

 Darcy's dragon is cooler though

Those who saw it out to the bitter end (the wish dragons won the day)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Extempore Drama Gaming

Here is one of the current random creations we are gaming with at the moment:

(one player is controlling the creatures and wishes to destroy all the other pcs; they are trying to find a way out of this place and can only move from stone to stone at the moment as they try not to fall int the lava)

Creatures emerge from their area on a roll of 9 or higher (roll once per day unless disturbance nearby); when they meet each other, roll 1d6: under 7 = fearful, 7 = neutral, above 7 = aggressive                                         Page 1