Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tunnels and Trolls Classic Solos

As a backer of the Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls crowdfunding, I also received the Adventurers Compendium (in PDF format.) It is a compilation of 10 solo adventures (and some GM adventures too), originally published from 1978 to the early 80's. Looking for a quick RPG fix, I decided to try some of them (being fully aware that many of them are brutal.)

To keep to "old school" traditions, I rolled a character (although Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls does have an option for point-buy character creation.) Thus was born Brelok, the rogue. From his attributes, we can see that Brelok is quite frail and not really charming; an odd, twitchy man hiding in the shadows and stealing what he needs:

Brelok (level 1 human rogue)
STR 6, CON 17, DEX 4, SPD 14
IQ 12, WIZ 5, LK 13, CHR 4
Personal adds: +3
Talents: lock-picking, stealth
Items: high quality dagger (2d6+4), 20x caltrops, leather armor (3 hits), lock picks, basic delver's package, 6gp.

(Note: personal adds are a bonus added during combat by the character. For those curious about this game, there is a free short version of the rules.)

The wannabe warrior
And off went Brelok for a stroll in the wilds, only to be captured by barbarians, stripped of his possessions and put to a trial to determine if he is the reincarnation of a legendary king. That is how the mini solo adventure "Kingmaker" starts. It did not last very long: in the first trial, Brelok was crushed in combat against a much tougher opponent.

After such a quick career, Brelok went to the Abyss, a solo adventure for dead characters, included in the Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls book. Not that he fared much better there, being dragged to hell by a demonic creature right away.

The smuggler
In a parallel dimension, Brelok II tried to smuggle drugs into the city of Gull, in the solo adventure "Golden Dust, Red Death". Not only did he make a good job of it, but he gained 2000gp and 1000 adventure points. 

With these gains, Brelok II raised STR to 8, DEX to 7, SPD to 17, LK to 15. These changes increased his personal adds to +8. He also purchased a high quality shortsword (3d6+4) and a suit of brigandine (8 hits, -2 DEX).

After these upgrades, Brelok II went to another shopping session at the Great Bazaar of Khazan, starting "A Sworded Adventure". He got mugged but got 200 adventure points in the process, more than enough to raise LK to 16 (add 1 to his personal adds.)

Enjoying his good luck so far, Brelok II traveled to a distant fishing village, in "Seven Ayes." There he found his doom in a tavern filled with weird and ugly folk (and I cannot add more without giving out spoilers.)

I am still amazed at how open and rules-light Tunnels and Trolls is, compared to other "old-school" RPGs. Looking at its 1st edition reprint, the same core ideas present in the Deluxe edition are already there. This alone makes it inviting for narrative play and solo play. The vast amount of solo adventures is good, too.

The mini solo adventures that I tried can be really brutal. I am convinced that if a given adventure is recommended for characters up to, say, level 4, then a level 4 character is required -- preferably a warrior with a lot of personal adds.

1 comment:

Fitz-Badger said...

That takes me back. My earliest rpg gaming was with T&T and the solo dungeons.