Tuesday, 2 July 2013
A sneak peek at Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
Posted by Scott Malthouse
If there's one RPG release I'm going nuts over in 2013 it's the epically Kickstarted Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. I've had my supporters fridge magnet, post card and other gubbins, as well as a revamped Buffalo Castle solo adventure, but I hold in my hands a preview copy of dT&T. The lean tome was distributed for Free RPG Day this year, but I didn't manage to get hold of one. Fortunately Ken St Andre had a stockpile so he sent me a nice signed copy. Cheers Ken! I also have to note that this is still a work in progress and some of the rules herein could change, so bear that in mind.
I guess my first observation is that the new edition is an amalgamation of 5th and 7th editions, which will come as a relief to those like myself who use a homebrewed version of cherry-picked rules from both versions. It's still very much the same game, as T&T has never strayed from its tried-and-true formula. The stats are the same, except Intelligence is back to being IQ like in 5th edition. Character types are still Warrior, Wizard, Rogue, Specialist, Paragon and Citizen, but there have been some tweaks. For example, the Warrior now gets to add her level's worth of d6s to their weapon dice, making Warriors even more stand-out killers - a nice addition. Right now it looks like Specialists can be any type of character type you want, rather than the mages and ranger we had in 7th, but this could change.
Kindreds have seen a big revamp this time around. We're shown Human, Elves, Dwarves, Hobs, Uruks and Rock Trolls. The text does state that there are others, but whether that's referring to rare kindred as in the previous editions I'm not sure. If these are the new common kindred then Fairies and Lebrechauns are now rare, which I believe was something that Ken was discussing on the Outer Sanctum blog. Rock Trolls are hugely powerful, with x3 to STR, CON and CHR, although the book says that none of these are better than the other - which isn't really the case.
Another big change is the removal of negative personal adds. In previous editions you would receive a penalty to adds for every attribute point you had below 9 in certain attributes, but this is now gone, which does make sense as I always hated rolling up characters with -3 personal adds. They felt useless. Melee combat is the same, however, but described in a much more clinical way in the rules to make it easier to understand. But missile combat is going to be very familiar to 5th edition fans because missile adds have made a comeback. It also looks as if the dexterity saving rolls to hit have been made more realistic, which is great. However, there is no mention of spite damage anywhere, which is weird because I always thought it was a good mechanic to prevent stalemates.
Spellcasting seems to be the same, which is good because it's one of the simplest and most effective magic systems there is. Talents are also back from 7th edition, which is also good.
So what can I say about dT&T so far? Well, it looks a bit like my own version, which is great. I like that they have got rid of negative adds but I think missile combat could end up being a little too deadly. The kindred seem fine aside from the Rock Troll, which I wouldn't want my players running unless they were all Rock Trolls. Too powerful. All-in-all, it looks like dT&T is shaping up well.