Monday 10 October 2011

Why Tunnels & Trolls would make a great wargame {T&T}

Recently I re-read A Fragmentary History of Trollworld, a short tome that outlines this history of T&T's default campaign setting. 

While T&T is often looked at as a comedy game, it actually has a rich and rather serious back story, full of notable heroes, villains and epic wars. From the massive Wizard Wars spanning thousands of years, through the Uruk Wars where monsters rise against 'good' kindred, and the siege of Khazan; there's loads to go on, which leads me to think that T&T would make a great basis for a wargame.

The rules are loose enough that they could possibly be incorporated into the wargame. Each unit could have its own Unit Rating, similar to a Monster Rating, which could derive its abilities. However, it would probably be best to create entirely new, but simple, rules for this new type of game. In fact, using a system like Hordes of Things or the like could be just the trick. For smaller skirmishes Songs of Blades and Heroes would be a great ruleset.

Here are just some of the ideas I've had for scenarios:

The Elven-Trollish Wars - The Attack on Kharg

In ancient times, the elves and trolls raged a fierce war with one another. The war lasted for thousands of years, eventually culminating in the elven attack on the trollish city of Kharg. This could either be a massive game where the elves must breach the city walls and capture the capital building while the trolls try to stop them.

The Dwarven-Elven Wars 

In A Fragmentary History it is said that the elves and dwarves found in small skirmishes rather than huge battles. You could do a million things with this, including having the dwarves' objective be to capture an elfin emissary or get an elf mage into the right position to cause an earthquake to raze a dwarven stronghold.

The Monster Wars - The Jungle of the Naga Realm

The great wizard Khazan united all good kindred in a huge war against monster-kind. Part of this war consisted of a crusade into the jungle realms of the Naga snake people. In the history, the attackers are overwhelmed by Naga magic and almost completely eradicated, but this scenario could easily be balanced for a more fair fight.

There are plenty of other notable battles and skirmishes in Trollworld's history and I think it would be a waste if somebody didn't play some of them out as a wargame.


  1. 20 years ago I made a prototype T & T wargame, including rules that allowed you to use T & T player characters as heroes either on their own or attached to larger military units. There were terrain rules for different kindreds on different terrain. Elves were great in forests, Dwarves did well on hills, men were best on open terrain. No one would even play it with me or consider it for publication.

    Nothing of that material survives today except my memory of it.

    --Ken St. Andre

  2. @atroll Oh, that's such a shame - it would be great to see that game come to life. The rich history you've given Trollworld along with the plethora of kindred and monsters would make it a great wargame I reckon.