Sunday, 11 March 2012

Temple of the Fool God review {T&T}

A couple of months ago I received an email from Stuart Lloyd asking for some advice regarding his first ever Tunnels and Trolls solo. Now that I've played through it I've realised that I should be the one asking for advice because Temple of the Fool God is a triumph of design and ingenuity and one of the best solo adventures I've played in a long time.

While dungeon adventures aren't exactly original territory for solo adventures, it's what Temple of the Fool God does with the dungeon that makes it such a delight to play. For one, there isn't a heavy focus on combat; you can actually get through the game fighting only one weak creature. That's not to say that if you explore the temple enough you won't come across its evil denizens, such as livings statues and killer toys. Fool God instead focuses on character abilities to help them through the temple. By giving multiple saving roll options along with logical talent suggestions to overcome a single obstacle, it makes it a little bit easier for weaker kindred to survive the adventure. The adventure also encourages thought on the player's behalf, such as remembering to bring along flint and steel with your torch or buying a grappling hook to use with your rope.

However, at the same time the nature of the adventure brings rewards to those who act foolish on occasion. You see, the story goes that King Vincentio of Mounteback has invited you to seek adventure and wealth in the Temple of the Fool God, a dangerous and, frankly insane place, that is said to hold untold wealth. It's a tradition in Mounteback to honour the fool and law dictates that the king must be advised by 12 fools in his court, heeding their words for apparently that gods themselves speak through simpletons. There's a great scene when you arrive in the palace where the fools are all talking to each other that got a big laugh out of me. The deal goes that if you emerge alive, you must give half the treasure to the king, though you're assured that even half is beyond your wildest dreams.

To aid you you're given a selection of items to choose from, such as armour, weapons and other gear you may need for your journey. You're also presented with a list of useful talents that will come into play later on. If you've already chosen your talent, you are given an object that allows you to swap your talent out for one on the list for the duration of the adventure. This is to make it easier, but it's probably not necessary because of the number of saving roll options you're usually given when performing a challenge.

All-in-all there are few faults in Temple of the Fool God aside from some typos. It's likely you will emerge with a big heap of cash, which seems over-the-top for low level delvers but when you're buying out the weapon rack it's difficult to complain. Lloyd has a great writing style and a good sense of humour, even managing to slip in a reference to the great UK show Crystal Maze. If you're looking to get your character some cash and want to have fun along the way, then Temple of the Fool God can't be recommended enough.

Buy Temple of the Fool God from RPGNow