Ken’s dTnT Journal, Post 6

One of our Kickstarter supporters emailed to ask if we’d consider adding a Martial Artist character to the available character types.  This idea of adding more character types to the mix is one that comes up fairly often.

The answer is: I already have that covered. You probably don’t know about it because we don’t handle character classes quite the same way That Other Game does.

You can have any kind of character you want in Tunnels and Trolls.  The game is open-ended.  Here are a couple of paragraphs about how to create a Martial Artist character in T & T.

oriental swords and sorcery heroes as shown in Jackie Chan's Forbidden Kingdom.

oriental swords and sorcery heroes as shown in Jackie Chan’s Forbidden Kingdom.

Specialist (SPD)—Martial Artist.  The Speed attribute is a measure of reaction time, not of absolute velocity.  A Martial Artist is well served by being able to react more quickly than his/her opponents.  It seems like time itself slows down for them.  While some Martial Artists use their own bodies as weapons, others prefer to use physical objects such as staves, swords, knives, etc.  When a Martial Artist is asked to make a saving roll on SPD, he/she may double the final total dice score before evaluating the result.

 – – –

1.3.3  Other Character Classes

One could easily imagine dozens or perhaps hundreds of other character classes that describe individuals with special abilities.  The thing that players and GMs need to realize is that such character classes are already included by two mechanisms in the rules.  First, there is the Specialist class where the player may invent the character class of her desire by tying the class to an enhanced attribute such as Speed pr Dexterity or Charisma.  Second, there is the use of Talents to simulate special feats that the character can regularly accomplish.  Thus, instead of having a myriad of different character classes such as Acrobat, Bard, Engineeer, Hypnotist, Martial Artist, Mentalist, Navigator, Trickster, Umbrella Pedlar, Witch, Zoologist, etc., each player may create their own version of the unusual class by using the Specialist and/or Talent rules to define the player character.  For example: the Martial Artist was described as a Specialist using the Speed attribute.  A Martial Artist could also be a Citizen with a Talent in Martial Arts: Chair-fu based on Dexterity.  The Talent allows the character to do unusual feats in combat using any kind of furniture as his weapon.  Players, you are only limited by your own imaginations in defining your character as you create it.

So, when you ask me if we could do this or that with Tunnels and Trolls, the answer is Yes.  But, it’s up to you as players and GMs to use the T & T guidelines/rules to finish creating all the archtypes you want to play.  Specialists and Talents–two different ways to make anything you want for your T & T adventures.  I have better things to do than invent 1000 ways to differentiate fantasy adventurer characters.

Now I just have to finish typing out 1000 different spells.  Next time I create an rpg that uses magic, I’m just going to come up with a system, and leave the spell invention to you players.  Come to think of that, I already did that for this deluxe version of T & T.  It remains to be seen whether you players will really get involved with using your new powers of magic!

Comments?  We love to hear/read what you think.


Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, fantasy role-playing games, game design | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Post navigation

5 thoughts on “Ken’s dTnT Journal, Post 6

  1. Geoffrreh

    My son and I had hashed out the idea of a monk class. Pulling together some ideas I read around the net, we came up with something. It may be overly specific for some, but it could easily be simplified I think. Also, our version involves a lot of dice rolling since all attacks and defenses are the results of saving rolls. You can read the description, if your interested, here:

  2. David Crowell

    I bashed out a character Type based on Classical Greek wrestling and boxing a while back. Nothing against Easter style martial artists, but I thought it would be fun to see a Western style unarmed combat specialist.

  3. An open-ended system that encourages collaboration between player and GM sounds cool . . . but be sure to put in plenty of examples! And a little discussion on balance and fairness. The powers and duties of the GM and such.

  4. Fairness is absolutely essential. Balance . . . not so much so. If you players are outgunned or outclassed by the monsters, it’s up to you to use your brains to figure out a way to win. There is no way I know of to balance brains.

  5. Though that’s true it’s possible to find out if you can balance that out by becoming a GM for Texicon at the TABLE Expo in 28-30 March 2014 in Irving Texas at the Westin hotel. To become a GM visit for further information on the TABLE Expo and how you too can help the community grow and find out if they have the brains to play T&T!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: