Tunnels & Trolls is the game that broke open the genre in 1975 [1] by showing that the entire concept of “a role-playing game” could be made broader, wider, and further developed to encompass a diverse range of ideas about what would make gaming like this a hobby worth pursuing. Today there are hundreds of different RPGs to suit every genre, every taste, and something for every player and T&T led the way.

In the 37 years since then, T&T has seen seven major editions [2] with many accessory adventures and supplements. The game has been published worldwide, including translations into French, German, Spanish, [Italian?], Japanese, and even Finnish. It had two computer games created for it, and it has influenced other games time and again.[3] A lively fan community shares ideas about the game in their blogs and forums, and generates new publications licensed and approved by the original designer and publisher. Tunnels & Trolls is a solid substantive game that has weathered the years, worldwide, and thrived.

Now we’re back for more.

Welcome to the gate of possibilities. In T&T, your heroes might be the sort to shine or stumble, to seek adventure lurking in dark alleys …or maybe adventure comes knocking on your round front door with a kazoo band led by red-suited monkeys!

If you are the kind of person who loves the worlds of imagination… who treasures the creativity you can bring to a role-playing game, through unusual characters doing exceptional things (whether heroic or humorous) in places exotic or off-beat, then you share our vision of what Tunnels & Trolls is and can be. For decades, T&T chose to be the maverick, the unconventional game, the first game to show there was more than one way to play a role-playing game. All the while, the core rules delivered just enough structure to let you live your creativity though the simple, lightweight, but powerful rules.

The original designer and developers of Tunnels & Trolls placed a premium on what you could do for yourself. The early team of Ken St Andre’s friends and co-creators had so much fun making up the the world, the cities, the non-player characters who came alive in our own imaginations, it seemed only logical that you should do the same. Yet for decades, we’ve been asked “Tell us about YOUR world! Tell us about the places your own characters explored, adventured, lived and died. You hint at so much — so share, already!”

Ken will introduce you to the Trollworld as you’ve never had it revealed before. There are regions of the world which the original developers knew intimately, and other parts just sketched in with a word, a tacit understanding, or perhaps an evening’s brainstorming captured in a fistful of hand-scrawled notes. Over the years, Ken St Andre’s cohort of dedicated fans have explored the world through his novels set in Trollworld, and in small-press adventures, and there have been long discussions threaded through half a dozen websites and forums.

Character creation has changed, with new personas possible like Paragon, Specialist and Citizen. An advanced option allows a player to craft one’s character from a pool of points. Attributes have been tweaked: magicians no longer benchpress boulders to improve their spell-casting abilities. The playable kindreds, of which there are many more, might be common or uncommon, but no race is automatically considered good guys or evildoers. Character advancement is more easily determined and attributes define one’s level. A character’s talents derive from an opened-ended skill system, enabling certain tasks to be accomplished, and to differentiate and enhance every character’s unique qualities.

Still, the game and its mechanics remain lightweight and customizable. You can still play with friends face to face or using any of the virtual tabletop hosts to play with friends too distant to meet in person for an evening’s adventures. And you can still play the solitaire adventures when you have a little time to kill and no one else to play with.

No matter who or where or how you play, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls has the power to carry you away.

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News | 6 Comments

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  1. SSCrompton

    The Kickstarter will have a longer complete video that will go into some detail about how Deluxe T&T came together and what might be in it. Stay tuned…

  2. Jason Mills

    Less is more. What T&T needs is a solid, definitive edition that is widely and consistently available – as v5.0 was. Endless ill-thought-through tweaking, fixing things that aren’t broken, optional rules that dilute the standard and padding the thing out with an irrelevant gameworld – all this frustrates many fans and harms the game’s prospects.

  3. SSCrompton

    Well Jason, I think you may be in the minority at least as far as the background of TrollWorld goes. T&T fans have been clamoring for more world info since the early 1980s! As GM, you can always play it “old school style” that’s one of the great things about T&T – its very flexible, and we encourage people to play the game their way! Some people like very detailed blow-by-blow combat, while others are more interested in a quick result and a fun narrative, so it will depend on you to use what works best for you and your gaming group.

    Same goes for Trollworld. If you already have a world setting where your group play, use that, but some people are fans of the pieces of Trollworld they’ve seen in the solos and in Ken St Andre’s Novels like Rose of Stormgaard. They want more – and we plan to provide it, along with ways to create magic items, new spells, new creatures and kindreds and much more, all in one rulebook.

    Who knows, you might even find some new things you can use. But if not, keep playing Classic T&T!

  4. anem kram

    Will the Deluxe edition be full sized? I did not care for 7 & 7.5’s (6″x 9″) format.

  5. SSCrompton

    YES! The Deluxe T&T will be full-size (8.5 x 11) There will be a softcover or Hardcover edition available – So you’ll be able to have it either way. Needless to say, the hardcover edition will cost a bunch more. Printers charge a lot for doing hardcovers – so don’t blame us…

  6. Arrdhann Trrelish

    I welcome the full-size version of dT&T i enjoyed the smaller size of 7.5. i just felt the need to through that out there because most people didn’t like the smaller size

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