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Monday, August 10, 2009

Troll Talk (unsolicited)

The only game I'm running these days is Tunnels and Trolls, and this is over the internet.

I don't write much about T&T, though, don't tinker or tweak much, having settled on a comfortably loose set of house-rules and guidelines early on. This is something that's come up at Vin's Trollbridge before (among other places) - that it's hard to get too worked up about different approaches, modes of play, etc (of course, in this way it probably helps that T&T never approached the kind of dissemination that D&D did - the pool of opinions never got too cloudy...)

It also never suffered from differences between editions (up until fairly recently anyway). It is a game that promotes a 'ruling-over-rule' approach, demands that the GM exercise personal judgement for determining how difficult a character's action may be to perform (which seems to be a big chicken-bone-in-the-sandwich for many players of games of more recent invention). No list of monsters, no list of magic items, very little in the way of 'implied setting' in this sense.

Tunnels and Trolls is a game that I don't write about very much, because it's a kind of a perfect specimen in my opinion (and the opinions of at least a few others)!

Of course, like any RPG that sees a lot of service in home games and longer campaigns and such, there were a lot of spells added to it, common items and monsters, standard practices for special cases and conditions - but at no point did I ever feel like I had to make up something to account for a deficiency in the rules, a kludge of a subsystem - nor that I had to outright exclude or ignore some part of the rules as presented as being too far out, or just 'that's not the way I'd do it'.

Rumours are in the air that a chaotic 8th edition is in the works. My hopes are that it is a variation on the 'perfection' of the 5th edition - since something being 'more perfect' is only meaningful in an Orwellian sense...

1 comment:

Timeshadows said...

There are so few actual rules, and so many admonitions to create one's own T&T out of it, for any need for officialism to arise.
--No two T&T campaigns are ever the same, no matter how similar many parts may be.

As far as creating settings or setting-specific rules, I'll say that the T&T community is big on cannibalism, and short on crediting those who make such innovations.

It is also a tiny fraction of the general RPG community, and perhaps that, along with the sort of folks it appeals to, help explain the lack of factionalism.

All in all, I am thankful for T&T above and beyond any other /system/ that came out afterwards, but love many settings and as a result, setting-specific-rules-sets for their very intimate handling of that integration.

That said, if I had 1d6 and another player in a desolate and dire circumstance, I would always first 'go for' T&T as a basis of a game.