Saturday, 2 May 2009

Solo review: The Amulet of the Salkti


This is the first in a series of reviews covering classic and new T&T solos.

Tunnels and Trolls is well known for being a balls-to-the-walls deadly game. It's a system that likes to keep the old-school RPG 'you will die at any instant' mantra, rather than new D&D which coats dungeon walls with silk padding and gives first level characters powers to rival Superman.

Although in T&T the GM'd games are deadly, the solitaire adventures often actively seek out to destroy anything that sets foot in them. The Amulet of the Salkti is one of these solos.

Designed by David Stephen Moskowitz, Salkti is a classic solo where you have to seek out the lost amulet to save the city of Freegore from Sxelba the Slayer, a wicked demon who looks like he got his name one day from a random string of alphabetti spaghetti, and his orc army.

Sxelba was accidentally summoned by one of the ancient people, the Salkti, and proceeded to wipe the Salktians out of existence. Some of the Salkti fled for their lives, whilst others began to forge an amulet to destroy Sxelba. Unfortunately, the demon found the amulet-makers just before they could finish the item. They used it, but not to its full potential, trapping Sxelba for at least 200 years.

The thing is, that was 300 years ago and Sxelba is back doing naughty things like destroying towns. Finding the amulet is the only hope the people of the region have of combating the evil menace.

The adventure has 209 sections and is written for delvers level 1-8 with up to 33 personal adds, but you're going to have a hard time going in there with a low-level character as it's simply too difficult for most. Your delver will be tested to her limits in the dungeon and will most likely get her brains splattered all over the walls if you're not skilled enough.

Salkti introduces an items matrix that could be referenced to see if you can use a certain item on a specific page number. Once you have cross-referenced the chart you will be told to flip to a page that will give you the outcome of your action. There is also a button matrix for all your button mashing needs, and a travel matrix. They are all really nice ideas that are simple enough to use.

There are some cool traps that require a little noggin use and some tough opponents to battle. The toughest part, though, comes in the form of many, many saving rolls at one point in the adventure.

Salkti is fun and full of nice ideas but taking in a delver any lower than 4th level would probably be suicide.

If you want a copy of this solo you can find it at Paizo.