GMs talk about Demoing T&T at Free RPG Day

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As mentioned in a previous post, T&T was promoted in a big way for Free RPG day this year.  Over 7000 copies of the T&T Adventures book were distributed to stores all over the US, Europe and even in Australia. We also encouraged long time T&T players to run T&T Demo games at their local stores and we even provided prizes for some GMs and players.  Many of you took us up on that call to action, ran games and showed off the T&T Adventures phone app.

I decided to take a look at how Free RPG Day was for a couple of those GMs and their players with their reflections on the days events…

Our first GM is Thessaly Chance Tracy
Q: So where did you run your Free RPG Day Demo?
Wyvern’s Tale FLGS in Asheville, NC.

Q: Had they played T&T before or where they new players?
Two of my players were part of my regular Friday night game. They came because they knew it would be fun.  I had another guy who gamed with me years ago, and came as a nostalgic reunion of sorts, I had a young woman who always plays at my table when i run publicly. I also had a father and his 9 year old son, who was very excited, and one long term gamer who said he had played everything BUT T&T.

Q: What GM adventure did you run? How did it play?
I ran the GM adventure Journey to Blackwall which is in the T&T Adventures Japan book. I modified it in a number of ways, but the basic gist of things remained constant.  In order to dispense with too much time on player introductions, I dispensed with the Moon Silver Tavern and the dwarf, and made all of the characters part of the Scarlett Orb Mercenary Co.  they had been assigned the task of escorting Siebu’s caravan.   I also changed the number of trolls in the final encounter from 100 to 10 and gave them 75 MR each instead of 100. This ensured that there could be some actual dice rolling and the excitement of sneaking around and attacking as opposed to handwaving a big battle because of a magic orb.   The leprechaun wizard DID still use the orb, but i required her to be within 5’ of the troll it was used on.

Free Game Day

Q: Can you tell us about the most notable event during the game?
There were two moments that I will call notable during the game. The first was when the “I’ve played everything BUT T&T guy decided to take his samurai Nova Nagasaki straight to the head of an ambush and taunt Guzbug from a distance.  A troll hurled a boulder at her, and I asked for a first level Dex roll. Like a squirrel not knowing how to avoid a car though, she rolled a 3 and was squashed flat as a pancake.  The player didn’t seem to think that meant DEAD at first.  He was given a second character, and immediately did the exact same thing with that character, including the hurled boulder and the 3. He killed two characters in five minutes
The second great moment was when the 8 year old boy, playing Daisen the dwarf ran forward to attack the troll with his axe. He took significant damage, but his armor absorbed most of it. The fairy came and started poking that troll in the eyes and ears with a knitting needle, which enable the dwarf to strike a killing blow on the troll with his axe. The look on the kids face was pure joy.

Q: What did the players think of T&T?  
ALL of the players left with smiles on their faces, and three people asked for my phone number, hoping to be part of the regular game. The most important of these being the dad with the young boy, Henry.  My tables ALWAYS have a good time.

Q: Did they get the Free RPG Day T&T book?
Everyone at my table, and many others as well had the Free T&T Japan handout. The Wyvern’s Tale had 30 copies!   I feel like people know that this game not only exists, but it is BEING PLAYED here in Asheville.

Q: Do you think you made any T&T converts?
I gave the prize you sent, the big T&T Adventures Japan book to the young boy Henry. He promised to teach his friends!

Q: Any advice for other GMs who might run a demo?
My advice to GMs who want to run a demo? Know your adventure! (Because you won’t know your players)

Q: Any final thoughts about Free RPG day and T&T?
I think Flying Buffalo should try to continue being a Free RPG day sponsor.

Our Next GM is Charles Isaac
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Q: Hi Charles, how did you first discover T&T?
I first discovered Tunnels and Trolls back in the early 80s, when I bought the box game, at ORCCON gaming convention in Los Angels area. I bought my first solo adventures at the now defunct Games Castle in Fullerton, CA.

Q: So where did you run your Free RPG Day Demo?
Game Chest in downtown Sioux Falls, SD. Great people, great place and they rent tabletop games.

Q: What brought the players to your demo?
John, who was working a shift at SF Game Chest, played T&T back in the 80s while in college guided some players to the game table. I am glad he did as we were supposed to start at 2:30 and no one showed up till 3pm. I was going to start playing a solo in the Japan T&T book to demo for onlookers when people came.

Q: Had they played T&T before or where they new players?
The group were all experienced gamers but had not played Tunnels & Trolls.

Q: What GM adventure did you run? How did it play?
“Journey to Black Wall” as found in the (60 page) T&T Adventures Japan book.

Q: Can you tell us about the most notable event during the game?
I have a new all time favorite critical failure from a saving throw. One player decided to play Iris the Fairy Wizard from the pre-gen characters in the Japan T&T book. The first real stop is to ring the bell which I described as a rope hanging down attached to a silver bell, with the “Ring For Service” sign on it. Since they were experienced gamers they assumed a trap. So, they sent the Fairy in to pull the rope in case there is a trap. Iris the Fairy has a STR of 3 and a weight of 1lb, so this will actually take some work. Therefore, I set up a one-half level saving throwing, 10-Str, to pull the rope.

Iris rolled 1 and a 2. First, saving roll of the game.
So, tragically the fairy slipped on the rope due to a muscle spasm in the wings and cramped up and fell to the ground. Taking 1d6+1 to the CON of 4 so a 50/50 chance of death. She lived. Bad news fairy is weakened and knocked out with only one CON point left. Hisoka felt distress as Iris was injured at his mistress’s gates. Hisoka said he was honor bound to heal the fairy which he did.

Q: What did the players think of T&T?  
It was interesting first of all everyone loved the combat system and in particular the spite damage. They also liked the DARO and TARO systems. They also thought the leveling and character improvement systems was a great way of doing it.

Q: Did they get the Free RPG Day T&T book?
Yes, there were plenty to be had at Game Chest.

Q: Do you think you made any T&T converts?
Maybe. John brought over two more people for me to explain the game to them. One of them was excited and loved the solo aspect. I also did a demo of the T&T APP on my iPhone. He then downloaded the T&T Adventures APP and before I left he was playing when I was leaving.

Q: Did you give out any prizes to the best player(s)? 
Yes, I had a set of Tunnels and Trolls magnets that I gave to everyone I still have one left over.

Q: Any advice for other GMs who might run a demo?
Steve, this was my first time being a GM in 32 years being a GM in anything, needless to say I was nervous and excited. And my advice plan on having fun. The nice thing is you never know what you are going to get, who is going to show up, and what will happen. In my case I had experienced gamers. Another game had players who had never played an RPG game before. I also get to share a game that I greatly enjoy with others. Just have fun, meet new people and enjoy life.

Q: Any final thoughts about Free RPG day and T&T?
It was an overall fun that allowed me to share my favorite game with new people while getting back in the GM saddle. So, anyone in the area want to do a regular game?

Special thanks to our two GMS Charles and Thessaly for running those demos and being willing to answer my questions about them!  If you ran a T&T demo – tell us all about it in the comments section.  How did it go for your group?

And while were at it don’t forget our Kickstarter for Vaults of K’Horror!  We made the goal, but now we are trying to get the stretch goal that adds a brand new 19 page solo adventure by Hall of Fame Award winning Ken St Andre.  So if you haven’t pledged for that yet please do so – thanks!  We’ll have more news soon!

Vault of Horrors Kickstart Main


Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “GMs talk about Demoing T&T at Free RPG Day

  1. atroll

    I just want to say well done to Thessaly and Charles, and by extension to everyone who ran or played dT&T on June 16. You all got to play more T & T that weekend than I did.

  2. SSCrompton

    Yes but you were busy at Origins promoting T&T and being entered in the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design HALL OF FAME! You have now officially been recognized for your contributions to Gaming – Congratulations Ken St Andre!

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