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!