Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls

The Fellowship reunites! But why?…

The old gang plays dT&T as a group! Plus, who is the mystery guest?

The old gang plays dT&T as a group! Plus, who is the mystery guest?

Last week I had the pleasure of host an extremely rare gaming event, where  Ken St Andre, Liz Danforth, Rick Loomis, Bear Peters and myself (Steve Crompton) played a T&T adventure together as a group.  Though we’ve all played T&T together in part at one time or another, this is probably the first time that all 5 of us have played at the same time in the same game.  Liz, Bear and Ken probably hadn’t played together in 30 years.  We all had a great time, and Ken ran a terrific and exciting adventure as the rest of us tried to get down from the top of the castle to the basement to try to close a portal that was allowing Drats (half-dragon/half rats) to swarm into the castle and wreck havoc.  I shall never forget it!  Great fun for all.  The event was even filmed, so maybe one day we’ll get to see that footage.

But the big question is WHY we were all gathered? What is the Fellowship of the Troll up to now?  We really can’t tell you anything at the moment as its all hush-hush. BUT in the picture above you’ll see that one of the other players  in our game has been blurred out of the picture. We can’t reveal his identity – yet. But some time in the future (perhaps soon) all will be revealed. Something cool is about to happen, but for now you’ll just have to guess and wait.

Also during the rare Fellowship gathering, four of us decided to take a visit to the old Flying Buffalo game store, which is now called the Game Depot.  Dave Petit  was the manager of the Flying Buffalo Game store, and now he owns the Game Depot.  We bought a game, said hi to the folks there and dropped off a couple of dT&T rulebooks; then we headed back to my place to play some more.

Ken, Bear, Liz and Steve go to the Game Depot for a visit.

Ken, Bear, Liz and Steve go to the Game Depot for a visit.

IN OTHER NEWS:  If you haven’t been getting or reading the dT&T Kickstarter Updates,  I wanted to be sure to add that as far as Flying Buffalo is concerned all the Kickstarter books and items have long since been shipped.  If you still don’t have yours, you need to contact Flying Buffalo and let them know.  A few items did come back as non-deliverable and we’ve tried to contact those people with no luck.  So if you are one of those few remaining Kickstarter backers, let us know.

OK that’s it for now – let the speculations begin!  What’s YOUR guess as to what secret project is the Fellowship of the Troll up to?  Let us know below…

 

 

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News, game design | 7 Comments

GenCon 2015 – dT&T Premiers!

On July 30th, The dT&T rulebook made its first official appearance in public. It was on display during GenCon at the Flying Buffalo booth.  Fellowship members Rick Loomis, Bear Peters and Steven S Crompton were on hand to answer questions, show off the book and generally let the world know that dT&T is done and being printed at this very moment.

We had two copies of the book.  One for fans and attendees would pick up and the other was for Bear, so he could run demos. We were also selling the PDF on a flashdrive and taking advance orders from fans and stores. The Kickstarter pledgers will get their copies shipped out first, and then we’ll ship the rest. We are tentatively hoping that the book will be back from the printers in the next 3 weeks (but that is just an estimate.)

The response to seeing the rulebook at GenCon was universal acclaim. Fans thought it looked great and those that have gone through the PDF, love the fact that the game is still the T&T they know and love, only with more art, more optional rules, more Trollword and more detail than ever before.

T&T Players gathered for a GM adventure run by Bear Peters

T&T Players gathered for a GM adventure run by Bear Peters

Bear Peters ran dT&T games every day of the con, along with several other GMS who were also running T&T demos. New players especially loved it, one exclaiming that it was the best role-playing experience they’d had ever had.  Old T&T players seemed to be very happy with the new rules changes, but one of dT&T’s big advantages is that it encourages GMs to adjust the rules to suit their own needs.

Steve Crompton & Goodman Games author pose for a photo at the Flying Buffalo booth.  Joe wrote the Grimtooth's Museum module for Goodman Games and played in on of the dT&T demos during the con.

Steve Crompton & Goodman Games author Jobe Bittman pose for a photo at the Flying Buffalo booth. Joe wrote the Grimtooth’s Museum module for Goodman Games and played in one of the dT&T demos run during the con.

Mike Stackpole (a virtual Fellowship member) got to have his first look at the printed rulebook and thought it looked gorgeous. He also helped us out when we ran out of dT&T rule flashdrives, he was able to make us a bunch more, so we could keep up with the demand for them at the con. We also sold a lot of solos, GM adventures and Trollworld maps. (Special thanks to Mike!)

Mike Stackpole and Bear Peters show off the new rulebook.

Mike Stackpole and Bear Peters show off the new rulebook.

After coming away from GenCon, we could definitely feel that there was a “buzz” about the new game and that many people who hadn’t played in many years, were ready to come back and give Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls a try.  Who knows? Maybe a new era  for T&T may be upon us!  Did you go to GenCon?  Let us know what you thought about dT&T and the convention.

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News, fantasy role-playing games | 8 Comments

MAJOR DT&T ACHIEVEMENT!

The Long trek nears its end as the Fellowship gets to Mt Doom and drops the ring into the fires.

The Long trek nears its end as the Fellowship gets to Mt Doom and drops the ring into the fires.

By the Fellowship of the Troll

Today we can officially announce that the finished text for the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls book is complete! This is a MAJOR milestone in the process. Everything Liz needed to write, revise, edit, and game-develop has been turned over to Steve for final layout. This includes the Core Rules, the Magic Section, the Trollworld section, the GM adventure and the Solo adventure — parts you’ve seen before now. The last bits completed were the Elaborations (which includes the many other non-human kindreds as player characters) and Liz’s city of Knor.

It looks like the book is going to be over 300 pages! You’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth.

“But when will it be out!?!” Of course that’s the question you want answered most!

Continuity checks and final proofing still need to be done. Liz is finishing up the cover painting and the last of the interior illustrations that were commissioned. Steve has been an ironman working on the layout and graphics. We hope to go to press by the end of February and start shipping the books by the end of March! Is that a guarantee? NO, but we are in the final stages of getting this book out to the world. If this were the Lord of the Rings movie, where we’re at right now would be the equivalent of having dropped the ring into Mt Doom.  All that’s left is getting rid of the orcs and returning to the Shire in one piece. (At least that is how THIS Fellowship sees it).

What Liz did was in many ways similar to her work on the vaunted fifth edition, but on a much bigger scale. As editor and game developer, she has had a fairly thankless task. If she does a great job, no one will know (as is the case with any editor of a book). Yet anything people don’t like about the game will probably get laid at her door.Ken has been incredibly supportive of the team throughout this long process, perhaps the most patient person of all. He wrote and turned in the draft rules, participated in discussions, and then had to wait (and wait) while everything was further analyzed, revised, poked and prodded by a gang of fans, friends, and pros alike. In the end, we believe the game still holds true to his vision for Deluxe T&T, raised to a high polish both in the written content and visually. It should become the summit of the T&T rules pantheon.

Stay with us just a little longer.

— The Fellowship of the Troll

“From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak I fought with the Balrog of Morgoth… Until at last I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountain side… Darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time… The stars wheeled overhead, and every day was as long as a life age of the earth… But it was not the end. I felt life in me again. I’ve been sent back until my task is done.”

“My task is still not yet done, but its ending beckons to me from the horizon…”     Gandalf –  Lord of the Rings  

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

NEW – Special Talents for Character Types

Rogues, Wizards and Warriors have special talents in the new dT&T rules.

Rogues, Wizards and Warriors have special talents in the new dT&T rules.

This month, we are going to delve into some of the changes and adjustments that have been made to dT&T in regards to talents and character classes. This is new information that is not in the Beta test edition and was based on feedback and suggestions by playtesters and the Fellowship.

TO OUR PLAYTESTERS: A tweak is being made to how character types start, and by extension, to certain talents. These talents are in addition to all the talents and talent-based rules already established. These special qualities are for the benefit of their particular character classes, and the roles the character types fulfill in the world at large.

The biggest change is that warriors no longer get the weapon and armor bonuses as part of their type-template, but will still be able to take one or the other benefit automatically. Because all characters also get one “normal” talent at level one, a warrior may choose to take the other benefit as his or her L1 talent — and therefore, warriors CAN begin exactly where they started before this rule change. They just won’t get a “colorful” personality talent from the main list if they do…. they’ll have to get those later, paid for with APs or advancements in level.

Rogues, who had no special qualities in the Origins beta, now have an extensive selection of free-if-you-don’t-fumble qualities, and can select abilities that mirror warrior and wizard qualities (with limitations). Their unique options are particularly suited to the underlying concepts of being a rogue in T&T.

Professional Abilities

Every character type receives ONE special talent or ability at the time they are rolled up, available only to members of that type of character — a “Special Studies” ability, which could also be called “Professional Secrets.” This initial “professional talent” costs nothing in AP and is in addition to other talents a player selects. It requires no saving rolls, is always successful, and can be invoked at any time, up to once per combat round.

Thereafter, as the character progresses, they may choose to take another course in “special studies” instead of a talent from the regular talent lists, at the same AP cost as any other talent. However, the professional talents will never require a saving roll, will always be successful, and can be invoked at any time, up to once per combat round. A character’s free first-level “normal” talent can come from this list of professional talents (with the benefit of being a special talent) or from the general talent list (which must be handled with saving rolls and all the other mechanics of talents).

If some of this is confusing, remember that newly-created first-level characters get talents this way:

ONE “normal talent” automatically for being first level.
and now, ONE professional “special studies” talent, limited by their character type.
They can select a SECOND professional “special studies” talent instead of their “normal talent”.

Thereafter, as characters level up, they can acquire up to two talents per level —
ONE “normal talent” for going up a level
The option of ONE additional “normal talent” which has to be purchased with AP (using the basic talent rules).
At any time, they can select another professional “special studies” talent instead of taking a “normal talent.”

A warrior’s “Special Studies” options:
Weapon Proficiency: This is the same as the Weapon Bonus a warrior got previously.
Armor Skill: This is the same as the Armor Bonus a warrior got previously.

A wizard’s “Special Studies” options:
Adept: Wizards can choose one school of magic (any one of the ten schools of magic), and thereafter any spell from that school of magic costs -3 WIZ points to cast. Magicians can take studies in the SAME school of magic up to three times (paid for as a talent), allowing them an additional reduction of casting cost thus: -3 the first time a given school is taken, -5 the second time that same school is taken, and -10 the third time that school is taken. As always, no spell can be cast for less than 1 WIZ.

A rogue’s “Special Studies” options:
Magical Studies: Like a wizard’s Adept ability, the rogue can choose one school of magic, and thereafter spells from that school cost -3 WIZ points to cast. However, rogues can only take a maximum of TWO schools of magic (total, including another taken later, after gaining “life experience” in the form of level increases, or spending AP), and may NOT take the same school of magic more than once. (If they were more studious, they would have been mages to begin with.)

Deadliness: a rogue is able to take a warrior’s Weapon Proficiency in one of these categories of weapon, and all weapons in the chosen category can get the Weapon Proficiency bonus. No proficiency bonus is available for a weapon over 4d6.
daggers
bows (up to 4d6)
unclassified hand-to-hand weapons
unusual projectile and thrown weapons (up to 4d6)
Stealth and Subterfuge: a rogue can take any one of these talents as a professional secret, with the added advantages of no saving rolls, always successful, and can be invoked at any time, up to once per combat round.
Physically agile:
acrobat
dodge
evasion
Manually dexterous:
sleight of hand
lock picking
pickpocket
Potion mastery:
alchemist
poisons
Cleverness (IQ skill checks succeed automatically except for fumble roll, up to 3 levels above the character’s level)
Charming (CHR skill checks succeed automatically except for fumble roll, up to 3 levels above the character’s level)

Sample Spells

In other news: Sometime in the next 30 days (probably less) we will be releasing the magic system and spellbook for dT&T as a PDF to those of you who have pledged on the dT&T Kickstarter or are on our playtester list. We are pulling all the stops to get the rules finished up and are in the last laps of the editing process. We are very sorry it has taken so long, but hang on just a bit longer – dT&T is coming!

Meanwhile take a look at this new rules info and let us know what you think.

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News, fantasy role-playing games, game design | 26 Comments

THE HUMAN ADVANTAGE

by Liz Danforth

One of the more controversial rule-changes appearing the beta edition, leading to lengthy discussions in Trollhalla, is about the human advantage — the ability of a pure-blooded human to get a do-over on an missed saving roll.

This is a brand new rule, never seen before, and as such it should get extra scrutiny. But I think a few words and pictures might illuminate how I came to this choice. (I’ve grown fond of the “quick sketch to encapsulate ideas” so don’t expect tight finished drawings. The purpose is idea, not fine art.)

THE MISSING CONTEXT
Let’s start with something NOT apparent from the beta rules. This was then:

That Was Then

 

And this is now, a big part of what I’ve been thinking about at as I work on the rules:

 

How the relative power of the kindreds seems to be changing.

How the relative power of the kindreds seems to be changing.

Overall, Ken’s draft manuscript has made the playable illkin bigger, badder, stronger, smarter, better, faster, taller, wider, regenerative, numerous, quicker, naturally armored, elusive, poisonous to be around, and overwhelmingly rolled up as mid-to-high level characters. Orcs (uruk) used to be x1 all attributes, for example but, as written right now, they start out overpowered right from the get-go. Other monstrous kindreds were worse. (Just look at the rock troll character in the Free RPG Day book. Completely OP for a brand new character, particularly when you compare it to the other sample characters.)

A WORLD OF MONSTERS
I’m crunching numbers on the monstrous kindreds, trying to find ways to make them wonderful and playable and monstrous and fun without breaking the game.

But in addition, I am the champion of the human spirit, the way Ken champions monsterdom. Whether in literature or in games, humankind holds their own even amidst a universe of older, wiser, smarter, tougher, more magical, more deadly races. Why? WHY? This makes absolutely no sense.

I am not interested in just paying lip service to our species. We might as well all switch over to playing M!M! Don’t get me wrong — M!M! is a fine, fun-as-hell game, but but it isn’t T&T. One of my key jobs with the game’s development is to keep the game recognizably T&T.  Monsters! Monsters! is a different game.

Humans:  the other Red Meat

Humans: the other Red Meat

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS
I spent about 10 days mulling over ideas for mechanics to support humankind. Some things I came up with were just plain clumsy. Some were weak. I absolutely wanted something T&T-deadKISS-simple, and yet powerful enough to make a human worth playing at all.

I tossed suggestions back and forth with Bear and ran things past Ken. Ken reminded me that he had a rule implemented at some time about humans getting heirlooms, hand-me-downs from their elders, and that would be their advantage. I felt this was, at best, weak. Look, there are half a dozen ways in use to get old weapons and armor, and the “legacy” weapons already fit more than one option there already.

THERE HAD TO BE SOMETHING BETTER
Saving rolls are a key mechanic in T&T. Tweaking a human’s ability to live or die on a saving roll is powerful as hell, yes. It’s also pervasive… it lasts the entire life of the character, not just making them OP at the time they’re rolled up.

But it is also self-limiting. Getting two bites at the apple doesn’t change the statistical odds of making or missing the saving roll... it simply gives you a second opportunity. You can fail just as badly as ever.

2ndBite at Apple

 

Moreover, it never takes place “off camera.” No 3-attribute specialist “But it really rolled up that way! I was so lucky!”

I also believe that a game shouldn’t be all about SRs… it should be thinking and RPing and not an unending clatter of random die-rolls and forced chaos. (Ken favors more chaos than I do.) Saving rolls should be used for turning points, and for the hand of fate to step into the mix now and again.

And that is exactly why I think the mechanic is so appropriate to benefit humans who have absolutely nothing else going for them. Something has enabled humankind to thrive on Trollworld. It’s sure not evident in our prime attributes, our backstories (which are infinitely varied, and every kindred can have those anyway), or in our weapons or armor or ability to acquire provisions, or boondoggle our way past foes.

The SR mechanic provides that advantage, the potentially more-generous hand of fate that can still slap you down, still make you pay full price for failure. It’s a reflection of the human will, the spirit that drives us further than reason dictates, and sometimes we over-reach ourselves to our doom. But it’s not an I-WIN button.

I-WIN-brokenW

IMPROVING ON THE IDEA
I’ve heard two suggestions made about how to fix the mechanic (aside from simply throwing it out — which is always your option).

(1) Make the do-over apply only to Luck saving rolls. I strongly disagree with this idea, myself, because you’re only compounding chaos and saying nothing about what it means to be human. Reaching down to the marrow of your bones to lift the car off your kid (a STR saving roll), the dying warrior staggering forward with twenty arrows in his chest to strangle the bowmen shooting him (CON saving roll), or the child gnawing her lower lip determined to parse the confusing language on a Magic card (IQ saving roll) … we are not all about luck. That isn’t the only aspect that should be in play, I feel.

(2) Make a fumbled roll of 3 on a first saving roll a failure, period, with no do-over. I’m okay with that, actually. Nothing Fate loves more than rubbing our noses in our overweening expectations. So, just when you get cocky enough to think you’ve got the situation sewed up? BAMMO, you fail and fail hard. The only downside I see to this is a slight complication to the KISS principle, but it’s not severe. I’d go along with making this the final rule — that’s what playtesting and feedback are intended for, after all.

THE BOTTOM LINE
For those who think a second SR for humans is just too powerful, there are two observations I’d make. One: perhaps you’re relying on SRs too much. Two: as is always true with T&T, nothing inhibits you from tossing the rule entirely, even with the core rules.

You asked the team to make the best game we could, and I believe something is badly needed here, some reason for any human to be a desirable PC. This is a sleek, elegant, simple rule, a piece of background and story-augmentation that lets humans continue to compete with and against the other kindred in the crazy mixed-up world of T&T.

(Be sure to add your comments below…)

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News, game design, Trollhalla.com | 53 Comments

BETA PLAYTEST EDITION of dT&T RELEASED!

Beta rules

At Origins in Ohio we officially released the Beta Playtest version of the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls rules. The 105 page dT&T Beta Core rules release includes; character creation, character types, playable kindreds, equipping your character, weapons, armor, saving rolls, basic talents, combat and the intro to Trollworld.  We have also included the Free RPG day dT&T mini-rules.  However it is not a complete set of the rules.  Magic is not in here for example.  Nor are the elaborations (extra cool and weird things you can do with T&T.)   Also we are not including the Trollworld section or the gm and solo adventure (although all those are done) Mostly because those sections do not need to be “playtested” in the same way the actual rules do.

If you are a Kickstarter pledger, you should have already received a FREE downloadable pdf copy of the Beta rules.  We also printed a limited number of the betas, which are being sold at Origins and Gencon.

As some of you know, we had our share of doubters who thought we might have abandoned working on dT&T and all gone on a cruise down the Danube River using the Kickstarter funds.  Fortunately for us – the vast majority of you knew better.  We have in fact been working our asses off getting as much done as we can.

So what else have we done since the Kickstarter ended?

We did updated versions of Deathtrap Equalizer, City of Terrors, Dungeon of the Bear and Buffalo Castle.  Then there’s the world map, the coins, the GM screen, Adventurer’s Compendium, Saving Fang solo, the Free RPG Booklet and the reprint of the 1st edition T&T Rules.  Plus t-shirts, a postcard, bookmark, pencils, dice, and blog updates… And then on top of all that, we’ve been working on the rules, which we couldn’t really show you until now.

We hope you’ve liked all the stuff that has come out and we are sorry we aren’t done yet.  There is still a fair chunk to go on the rules.  They’ll be corrections and tweaks as we get feedback from the playtesters and T&T fans.  We still have the Elaborations yet to put together.  But at least you know we are getting close, and you have now seen what we have been up to.

We want to give a very sincere Thank you, thank you, for being there for us and for your patience.  We have really been pushing hard to get deluxe Tunnels & Trolls finished and make it the best version of the rules we can possibly make.  So stay tuned… for the best is yet to come!

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

News on Deluxe Cover art & Last chance to bid…

Liz Danforth has posted an update on her progress on the Deluxe T&T cover painting along with some news about her editing progress.  You can find that information on her latest blog post at:  http://www.lizdanforth.com/2014/05/opportunity/#comments

Its also the last Chance to bid on T&T paintings by Liz Danforth

The auction for Liz’s paintings of the 7th ed. of the T&T Rules and for Elven Lords closes May 18th.  If you still want either of these paintings now is the time to get your bid in.  Right now the T&T  7th ed. cover has a bid of $511 and the Elven Lords painting has a bid of $1000.  These are both very reasonably priced and either one can be yours for $1 more then the highest bid.

If you want to bid on either one of the finished paintings – Elven Lords or Two Seconds Later –  send Liz a private email at etdanforth @ gmail.com (no spaces) with your best offer. Auction ends May 18th Sunday night, midnight, MST, without further extensions.  Odds are, once these are sold, we will never see them again.

Visit Liz’s blog for details and for new news about her progress on the Deluxe T&T cover painting:
http://www.lizdanforth.com/2014/05/opportunity/#comments

The original cover paintings for Elven Lords and Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition.

The original cover paintings for Elven Lords and Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition.

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News | Leave a comment

Selling the Cover Paintings for T&T and Elven Lords

by Liz Danforth

This post will be about the paintings you might know as the covers to the 7th edition of Tunnels & Trolls, a painting I call Two Seconds Later and the T&T solitaire adventure called Elven Lords. Here’s a look at both.  There are larger versions of both paintings to look at more closely further down the page, along with links to more detailed information and the history behind each piece.

 

The original cover paintings for Elven Lords and Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition.

The original cover paintings for Elven Lords and Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition.

T&T, SEVENTH EDITION COVER PAINTING BY LIZ DANFORTH

Nine years ago, Rick Loomis asked if I would paint a new cover for the next edition of Tunnels & Trolls, coming from Fiery Dragon. Rick asked me if I could re-do the original scene from the game’s 5e cover, but shown as the scene would look “two seconds later.” I was intrigued. The idea of revisiting that scene with the delvers and the charging troll seemed like a fun challenge. It was! And if the painting isn’t as iconic as the earlier painting, it still remains an integral part of T&T’s history. (Rick himself owns the original painting done for T&T Fifth Edition).

The original cover painting to Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition

The original cover painting to Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition

FURTHER PARTICULARS
The painting is unframed, 14 x 20 inches (appx 35 x 51 cm). It is acrylic on paper affixed to 100# Strathmore illustration board. There are NO publication or reproduction rights attached; all rights are reserved. (That is true for all the art on my website.) The piece was completed in March 2005, while I was living in Scottsdale Arizona.  I’m asking a minimum of $500.00 for this piece.
More details and the history of the painting for T&T’s 7th edition is here: http://www.lizdanforth.com/2014/04/two-seconds-later/

 

ELVEN LORDS COVER PAINTING BY LIZ DANFORTH

This painting has a very different history, and was not originally done to be anything but a stand-alone painting. It was absolutely the most ambitious painting I had done to date, with deliberate color theory work and photographed models. Ultimately, this was my first painting that I felt was completely successful, hitting every goal of composition and execution that I set for myself. Mike Stackpole, then at Flying Buffalo, wanted to see it put to use; I certainly had no objection. He wrote Elven Lords to go with the painting, and FBInc sold it in a signed limited edition.

Original cover painting to Elven Lords.

Original cover painting to Elven Lords.

FURTHER PARTICULARS
The painting is sold unframed, 24 x 30 inches (appx 61 x 76 cm), acrylic on masonite. There are NO publication or reproduction rights attached; all rights are reserved. (That is true for all the art on my website.) The piece was completed in 1986, while I was living in Scottsdale Arizona.  I’m asking a minimum of $1000 for this piece.

More details and the history of this painting used for a solo adventure is here: http://www.lizdanforth.com/2014/04/elven-lords/

 

PLACING A BID  

Anyone is welcome to place a bid on either of these pieces.  Just send me an e-mail.

Questions? You can ask in the Comments below, or email me privately at etdanforth@gmail.com.  You can also use that email address to send me your bid for one of these original paintings right now.  I will accept offers (through Monday May 12th, midnight MST) at that point, the highest bid wins.

As always, thank you for your interest in my work, and best of luck!  – Liz

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News, fantasy role-playing games | 1 Comment

April Update: The march to completion continues…

Abyss has been updated and will be added to the dT&T rulebook

Abyss has been updated and will be added to the dT&T rulebook

This update, were going to go down the list and give you an overview of what has been done by the Fellowship so far this month.

Trollworld section:  As mentioned previously, over eighty pages of the Trollworld section have been, written, edited, proofed and laid out. The solo adventure that goes in the rulebook is edited and added in. An updated version of Abyss, this solo allows players to take their dead characters into the underworld and try to bring them back to life.  The Fellowship thought this would be a perfect solo to add.  That way everyone who owns the rules has a chance to save their favorite characters.

In related news, Ken St Andre finished his section of the GM adventure that goes in the rulebook and has turned it in for editing and layout.  Connected to Bear Peters’ adventure, these all take place on the Eagle continent, where you encounter strange creatures and kindreds as you explore these new lands.

Bear Peters has finished a complete overhaul of the weapons charts and has almost completed the armor charts as well.  He is now working on finishing off his section of the GM adventure, which is connected to the Mad Dwarf adventure that was in the free RPG booklet that when out in 2013.

The Adventurers Compendium, a collection of mini solos and GM adventures from Sorcerer’s Apprentice (plus the Circle of Ice solo) have been printed and it looks gorgeous. All the material has been revised and updated to be compatible with the new rules. The book will be shipped later this summer. Rick will have these at conventions and it will very shortly be available as a PDF download at drivethrurpg.com. Kickstarter pledgers will soon get a free pdf copy of this book.

Rick Loomis and his shipping team continue to ship out items to the Kickstarter pledgers. The latest being shipped include the Trollworld map, City of Terrors print and the Fellowship poster.

Meanwhile Liz Danforth has turned in sections of the core rules for layout and final proofing as the mad march towards finishing the book continues. Liz will also be announcing an exciting opportunity for collectors of T&T art.  Stay tuned for the next update coming soon!

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News, fantasy role-playing games | 4 Comments

Developers Diary: New Humanoid Height & Weight Chart

By Liz Danforth

As part of the editing for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Liz continues to revisit and refine different aspects of the game. In this “Developer’s Diary,” we get a peek into her working process. The height and weight chart gets used to establish human measurements, and by analogy, also those of other playable humanoids. — Steve

I have considerable respect for Ken’s creativity, which often derives from his habit of non-linear thinking. Sometimes I find trouble arises from too much erratic chaos, and there I step into the design and development work. This is a look at how I took what Ken started with, where it led, and the route I travelled to get there.

Where We Started
The original height and weight chart in 5e isn’t particularly remarkable, and certainly not a major game mechanic. But it always bothered me a little… someone 7’2″ being 350 pounds seemed excessive. I thought someone 4’0″ being 75# was too small (although that turned out to be incorrect). I took a good long look, starting off by charting Ken’s numbers. They didn’t follow a very smooth progression of height to weight, and it did skew badly at the upper end. Something was off.

I went to a variety of web pages to look at “recommended” weights for various heights, and also looked at worldwide averages for both height and weight. I looked at male/female dimorphism too. I decided that issues with the obesity epidemic (affecting measured averages in my reference pages) could be allowed for as Trollworld’s adventurers would probably be relatively strong and muscular for their heights.

Then I straightened out the uneven spread of heights Ken had chosen, to give a smooth bell curve to the roll of 3-18, while retaining his relatively extreme ends that were still considered metabolically normal. (I did not want to invoke metabolic disorders like gigantism or achrondroplasia for the chart.) I considered, but decided not to invoke the TARO rule, which would only raise the upper end without modifying the lower range.

Bringing the Pieces Together
Here’s a look. The numbers in black are Ken’s original height and weight ranges (what he gave me in the draft manuscript for dT&T), and the revised ones in red are mine. The bold numbers are the average results (and reasonably accurate for heights of Western culture males), the regular numbers are commonly seen outliers (people you’d say are tall or short), and the italics are the more extreme outliers that would be remarked on as eye-poppingly tall or short.

Revised Ht Wt Chart

The weight part of the chart was an interesting puzzle, with several variables I shoved back and forth. First, I took an average recommended weight for males (which was given as a range) and averaged it to a single number that I rounded to the nearest 5#. That’s actually the first number in the red Revised column.

To test-calibrate the results, I compared this to my experience of my own weight as a much younger female who (when fit and exercising regularly) fenced, did martial arts, played indoor soccer, biked, ran 3 miles a day for many years, and did swim competitions (not all at the same time!). I am 5’8″ and was never a jock by any means, but I could kinda hold my own. I was always somewhat heavy but usually considered comely enough back in the day — and the “recommended” male weights looked about right to me, whereas the recommended female weights seemed ridiculously sylph-like. I decided to leave the recommended weights right where they were, regardless of gender.

So now I was looking at a series of numbers that seemed okay but maybe still a bit light for the males (although technically slightly above recommended values). A fellow 5’10” and 165# might be very dashing in an Armani suit but he wouldn’t be cast as a lead in an action flick — not muscular and bulky enough to seem credible. So I dug around more, and came to the conclusion that multiplying the base number ×1.2 gave a pretty satisfactory range of weight. Definitely higher than the AMA wants us to weigh, but again, the game is (mostly) focused on the adventurous adults, not the starving orphan on the street nor the bloated vizier who never lifts a finger except to call for more honeyed sweets.

Height and Weight, Visually
When I was done, I charted the range of weights I’d come up with against the heights on this chart. It’s a simple line progression of weight to height, but built around norms grounded in our world. It made an interesting comparison to the yellow highlighter line of Ken’s original data.

Revised Ht Wt Chart2

You can use the range of weights as male/female suggestions, or as wimpy wizards on the low end and thuggish warriors on the upper end. Or, simply use the weights as a reasonable range for either gender or any type, and whether they’ve been eating high on the hog or scrounging in middens for their dinner. Although the Phoenix players always ran their females just as they were rolled, dropping weight by 10% and height by 5% will give you a more conventional female still able to pick up a warbow or broadsword without dislocating her shoulder. And as always, players are invited to simply decide for themselves the height and weights of their characters, or even to roll once for height and once for weight to get any crazy combination that comes up.

Glancing Back
In the 5th edition of T&T, you determined attributes (including height and weight) of other playable kindreds according to multipliers against the human norm. In that edition, the chart for the “good” kindreds (the only options you had at the time) looked like this:

KINDRED                            HEIGHT            WEIGHT

Dwarves                                   2/3                   7/8
Elves                                        11/10                  1
Hobbs                                      1/2                     1/2
Fairies                                      1/10                 1/200
Leprechauns                          1/3                   1/4

That mechanic remains the same, but some attribute multipliers for the playable kindreds will be different in Deluxe from what has gone before. I didn’t realize how frequently those multipliers have been changing all along until I compared attributes given in Fifth Edition, the French edition (derived from the 7.5 edition I don’t have), the Free RPG Day book, and in Monsters! Monsters! Elves, for example, have weighed the same as humans (×100%), or 90% or 67%. And let’s not even discuss dwarves and trolls for now….

I hope you found this small excursion diverting, and a glimpse of what goes into the work I’m doing on Ken’s original draft of the rules. My aim is to make the game mechanics strong, logical, and likely to result in believable, playable characters for you to take out exploring and adventuring. Tweaking this chart is a tiny piece of that.

IN OTHER dT&T NEWS     by Steve Crompton

AdvenCompendium Cov Front sml

The Adventurers Compendium is completed and is now at the printers! This 88 page collection of nine mini-solos and three GM adventures have all been taken from the pages of the hard-to-find Sorcerer’s Apprentice magazine. The solos have been updated and enhanced with new, lost and classic art by Liz Danforth, Rob Carver, Steven S. Crompton and Stephan Peregrine.

The Adventurers Compendium also includes the Circle of Ice mini-solo which has been out of print for over 25 years. In addition, there is a full-color gallery of covers from Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a new treasure generator by Ken St. Andre, and more.

Other than the dT&T rulebook itself, this is the last book that needed to be created for the Kickstarter pledgers. It will also be available for sale online and at conventions from Flying Buffalo sometime in early April.

Categories: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls News, fantasy role-playing games | 3 Comments

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