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Tunnels & Trolls Free Rulebook
by Scot H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2014 16:11:30
T&T is already a simple game, so to "dummy it up" to even a MORE simple game seems redundant.

That being said its hard to complain about a FREE distribution even in this simple format.

I downloaded it out of curiosity (I already own a full edition of the game) and was neither impressed or disappointed.

So if you are looking for a DEMO of the full edition..... this should do the trick!

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tunnels & Trolls Free Rulebook
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Adventurers Compendium
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/06/2014 06:20:20
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/05/06/tabletop-review-tunnels-
-trolls-adventurers-compendium/


Although the deluxe version of Tunnels and Trolls is nearly a year late (for very understandable reasons), Flying Buffalo Games has done a great job of putting out the Kickstarter backer stretch goals like clockwork. So far, we have gotten remakes/reprints of Deluxe City of Terrors, Saving Fang From the Pits of Morgul, Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeons, The Complete Dungeon of the Bear and of course, the Quick Start Rules for DT&T that went out last Free RPG Day. So although the core product has been delayed due to illness and other issues, Kickstarter backers have definitely gotten their money’s worth and then some. Even better, none of these re-releases have been Kickstarter exclusives, so if you are a T&T fan, but you missed the Kickstarter, you can still pick these up… but you do have to pay.

The latest release from the Kickstarter is the Adventurers’ Compendium, which collects old adventures from the long defunct Sorcerer’s Apprentice Magazine. Now, I was born in 1977, and by the time I was learning to game, SA had been gone for a few years. I discovered Tunnels & Trolls later in life and loved the solo adventurers that were put out for the game, because it was a lot like the Lone Wolf or D&D solo books that I loved in elementary school. So for me, all of these adventures were brand new. Now, a few adventures come from other sources, like Pocket Adventurers, but the majority are rare and long out of print adventures that were originally published in magazine form. You’ll find ten solo adventures and three adventures for a party. Now the back cover only says nine solo adventures, but as you’ll see below, there are ten. Hey, you’re getting more content than you expected, right?

The layout for the Adventurers’ Compendium is a bit odd. You have the first nine solo adventures, all complete with “Choose Your Own Adventure” format up front. There is also an introduction to the tenth adventure, Circle of Ice. Then you have all the content for the first nine adventures. Then you have the beginning of the tenth solo adventure all by itself (which at first seems to be a second adventure by the same name, which is VERY confusing), and then you have the three GM/Party based adventures. This gives the book a strange feel when you just flip through it to peruse the contents. I think Adventurers’ Compendium would have flowed better with the GM adventures up front and the solos in the back, but then the primary appeal of the release is the solo adventures, so it makes sense to some degree that they are front and center.

I should also point out that the first nine solo adventurers are not separated out. Instead, you get the first page of each of the nine adventures in a row, and then all the “Choose Your Own Adventure” style of formatting has the contents of the adventures lumped into one big mass. I’m not sure why they did that for the first nine but not the tenth, as it adds to the strange formatting feel of the piece. You might completely miss the second Circle of Ice intro due to the layout if you aren’t careful. While the lumping all of the adventure content together in bulk form may sound strange in this review, it works really well when you actually play the adventures. Because each solo adventure is so short, it would be easy to see all the content and “cheat” your way to a successful completion. With everything mixed together it’s harder to do that, and come on, everyone who has ever played one of these types of adventures has done so at some point. So you may have to wrap your head around the fact each adventure isn’t segregated out, but once you get over it, you’ll find the adventures play better for it, even if reading the collection is harder with this layout.

So let’s take a quick look at each of the solo pieces.

•Kingwalker. This is an adventure for a 1st to 3rd level character where they complete a series of trials. Originally published in SA#1.


•Seven Ayes. This adventure is for a 1st to 3rd level non-magic using humanoid. The adventure can determine what your character is if you don’t have one already, and it is best to go that route. The choices are Dwarf, soft-hearted Orc or evil Human bandit. The adventure is pretty much a bar brawl. Originally published in SA#2.


•Golden Dust, Red Death. This adventure is for a 1st to 3rd level character. Most spells and missile weapons are not allowed, so a fighter might be the best choice for it. Here you are a skeezy drug smuggler. Originally published in SA #4.


•A Sworded Adventure. This adventure is only for a sword wielding warrior of 4th level of higher, so it’s a toughie. It can also lead to adventures NOT in this collection, so be warned. While I found Naked Doom on DriveThruRPG.com, I had no such luck finding Arena of Khazan. As such, this might be the hardest adventure to play through as originally intended, but the text does give a slight workaround. The adventure is basically about your character going shopping at a bazaar and the weirdness that befalls them. Originally published in SA#5.


•Stop Thief! This adventure is for non-magic using characters of 6th Level or less. Your character is hired to stop a group of thieves from their regular looting of the docks. Originally published in SA #7.


•Thief For Hire. This adventure is designed for rogues or warriors between Levels 1 and 4. Your character is offered 1,000 gold pieces to steal a scroll from the royal library. It sounds simple, but it definitely isn’t. Originally published in SA#12.



•The Legend of the _____(adj) _____(n). This is a comedy solo adventure where your friends help out beforehand by filling in the various blanks with the adventure Mad Lib style. Class and levels aren’t important. It’s simply meant to be a very silly adventure with a very silly trial at the center of it.


•First Command. This adventure is for a humanoid character between Levels 2 and 10. You are put in charge of your own ship (complete with a slave galley), and your mission is to sail south to pick up a tribute for your Empress. Originally published in SA#15.


•Hot Pursuit. This adventure has no class or race restrictions. You are hired by the captain of the city guard to ferret out spies from an organization known as The Rangers that have infiltrated the city.


•Circle of Ice. This adventure is for characters of any class between Levels 1 and 4. As mentioned earlier, you are given an intro page on Page 18, similar to the first nine solo adventures. Then you have all the choose your own text for the adventures except this one, and finally on page 58 (61 in the PDF), you get another, DIFFERENT intro to Circle of Ice, and then the text for playing it. It’s all very oddly done. It’s a fun adventure, just like the rest of them, though.


So that’s it for the solo adventures. Now we have the three GM based adventures designed for an entire party.

•SeaReaver’s Tomb. This adventure is for a party of middle to high level characters on a general tomb robbing expedition. The adventure relies more on wits and puzzle solving than straight forward hack and slash though. It’s a fun little dungeon that can kill characters in a lot of ways. Originally published in SA#3.


•The Tomb of Axton. This adventure is for seven characters, with each player controlling two or three of them. I don’t see why you couldn’t do the adventure with more players controlling less PCs though. This is another dungeon crawl where you rob a grave of a long dead guy for profit and glory. It’s a small dungeon, only fourteen rooms long, but each one takes a while to get through. In some ways it is very similar in style, theme and climax to SeaReaver’s Tomb. Originally published in Sorcerer’s Apprentice #9/10 (it’s what the text says).


•The Black Dragon Tavern. This adventure is for characters below Level 9. It’s not a normal adventure, being more a collection of encounters characters may or may not take part in, depending on their actions. There are NPCs to meet, games to partake in and things to eat. It’s not an adventure in the way most people think of them. Rather, it is a regular place for characters to meet and story seeds to be planted. Originally published in SA#11.

So there you go – fourteen long out of print adventures for only five bucks! That’s an excellent deal no matter how you look at it. Adventurers’ Compendium also includes a Sorcerer’s Apprentice cover guide, a random treasure generator, a few puzzles and more. Long time T&T fans who remember the SA magazine will no doubt love this collection. Younger gamers or those new to T&T will be impressed by the fact you are getting so many adventurers for such a low price, not to mention getting all these old, out of print pieces without spending time and a lot of money tracking them down on the secondary market. Adventurer’s Compendium is a must have for any T&T fan. It’s that good.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers Compendium
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Grimtooth's Traps Too
by Steven C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2014 11:36:05
As the main artjst and creator of many of the characters and traps for Grimtooth, I'm not really going to give you a traditional "review" of this book. I will say though that if you are a GM and you still like the gallows humor or our Traps books that you may find this Traps Too to be the most useful in terms of functional Traps. (You do not have to have the 1st Traps book to be able to use & enjoy Traps Too.)

With the first Traps book, I was still trying to find the right mix between humor and function in my illos and diagrams. I think Traps two is close to the perfect mix. the illos are funny and the they clearly illustrate how the traps work.

Also this book has the Fudge system stats for each trap. This REALLY makes it easier for you to plug these into whatever RPG you're using.

And I am particularly happy with the way the new 7 page Grimtooth comic came out. It gives you a nice overview of Grimtooths underground complex and you get the origin of Grimtina, his bratty kid sister.

Anyway - I'm really proud of Traps Too and all the new improvements and the updated cover. For me, this is THE perfect Traps book!

Thanks to those of you who have been fans all these years! SS Crompton

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grimtooth's Traps Too
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Grimtooth's Traps Too
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/14/2014 06:26:18
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/04/14/tabletop-review-grimtoo-
ths-traps-too/

So this is interesting. The Grimtooth’s Traps series has been around since 1981. Each book contains dozens of traps useable for whatever gaming system you prefer. Sure, being a systemless collection means that the DM has a little bit of work to do to make the trap fit the mechanics they are using, but the Grimtooth series is generally as fun (and funny) to read as it is to drop some of its traps into your campaign. Now, back in 2011, Flying Buffalo released PDF versions of Grimtooth’s Traps 1 and Grimtooth’s Traps Fore, each of which we have covered here at Diehard GameFAN. I’m not sure why they are being released out of order, or why it’s been three years since the last release (I’m assuming Flying Buffalo is simply hard at work with Tunnels & Trolls Deluxe), but I’m just happy to have them back where all gamers can get these classic books, as they definitely withstand the test of time. The fact you can get this book for only $4.95 should have long time old school gamers squealing in glee… or begging for mercy. I guess it all depends.

Grimtooth Trap’s Too contains 101 traps for DM’s to unleash upon their unsuspecting players – all of which are sure to hurt, maim or murder all but the most paranoid of characters. Every page is tinged with dark humor though, so don’t be looking for a book that takes its macabre mayhem too seriously. Grimtooth the Troll is a wonderful narrator, in the style of EC Comics’ Cryptkeeper and other comically evil characters. The introduction by Grimtooth himself sets the tone of the tome perfectly, and the artwork is pretty fun too.

The book is divided into five sections, each of which is dedicated to a different type of trap set. As well, each individual trap is given a skull rating. The more skulls on the page, the more lethal the trap is to explorers and adventurers. First up are Room Traps, which tend to be over the top and anything but subtle. These traps are designed to turn an entire room into a deathtrap. Sometimes they are the simple, tried and true teeter-totter floor that sends characters into a pit. Others are far more complicated and might even have decoy traps to distract players from the real deathdealer in the room. There are fun traps, like a safe where each wrong turn of the dial causes a foot of floor to fall away, or a metal bridge that transforms into a cage. Each room trap is fiendishly fun, and it is this section you’ll probably use the most.

Corridor Traps are for use in hallways, and help to add a little flavor to the dull drudgery of walking down a dungeon or underground caverns. These traps change hallways from places to rest or to encounter wandering monsters, into a fresh new hell to keep PCs on their toes. These traps range from the non-lethal, humorous variety, designed to warn characters that worse awaits them if they continue on, to fun takes on pressure plates or spring loaded pieces of floor. I also like the bee-hive trap, which actually shoots out metal darts instead of bees. There are a ton of great ideas to be had here.

Next up are Door Traps, which are obviously twists on the old trap door motif. The first one, aka “Double Trap,” is a classic. The door is actually a false one, and trying to unlock it causes the door to reveal itself as a giant spring loaded plate, which sends the PC (most likely a rogue) toward the opposite wall, which now happens to be littered with spikes. Another great one is where the keyhole to a door actually sets off a bomb. There are even gruesome takes on classic practical jokes. You know the one where you stick a bucket of water above a door and when it’s fully open a person gets wet? Well, replace the bucket of water with a five hundred pound granite block or swinging set of spikes!

The fourth set of traps in Grimtooth’s Traps Too are Item Traps. These are booby-trapped pieces of loot. The book cautions you to use these sparingly, as not every item a player touches should burst into flames, and having too many item traps can suck the fun out of a game. I agree wholeheartedly with these statements, but the occasional item trap can be a lot of fun. Magnetic gauntlets or armbands for example. A lot of the traps under item traps are non-lethal, like gems that are actually glue or extremely smoky torches, but there are definitely some literal killers amongst this collection. A bird cage with a blanket over it turns out not to be a parrot, but a basilisk! That’s a good, but obvious, one. So is the shield covered with a scentless flammable liquid or oil.

Section five is simply titled Items. This is a catch-all section for potential traps that don’t fit anywhere else. These include things like rocks that are actually napalm, coins that are actually a living hive mind that control their possessor, or a webbed doorway where the web is actually a fuse or trigger for a bomb. Another great one is the two swords mounted above a fireplace. If either is touched, a sack of gunpowder falls into the fireplace. BOOM! These traps tend to be the most bizzare and amusing in the book.

After these five sections of traps, you’ll notice you are only sixty-seven pages into this ninety-eight page book. What could possibly be left, right? Well, you have a two page commentary by Grimtooth, followed by a fun seven page comic strip about the character. After that, you get five pages of puzzles, like a maze, word search and rebus. It’s kind of bizarre to see those in a gaming book, but they’re entertaining at least. After that, the book closes out with what it calls the “Fudge” system. This is basically a way to help gamers convert these traps from the systemless designs they have to the mechanics of their choice. It’s quite interesting, and younger or less experienced gamers will find it a real blessing. Older or more experienced gamers won’t need this, though, as they’ll most likely be quite adept at converting things to their game of choice.

All in all, Grimtooth’s Traps Too still holds up thirty-two years later, which is pretty impressive for a systemless piece. Even gamers who feel they have seen it all, trap-wise, will be surprised or foiled by some of the traps in this book. Best of all, there are several other books out there along the same line bearing the Grimtooth name, so if you love this one, you’ll want to start picking up the others as well. Again, with a five dollar price tag for the PDF, this is an absolute steal and well worth downloading. Whether you play D&D, T&T or even a modern era RPG, you’ll find something to use in Grimtooth’s Traps Too.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeon
by David U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2014 10:47:18
This has always been my favorite tunnel adventure. It offers quick in-and-out adventures for those with short attention spans, or a longer "crawl" for those with more time on their hands. Some of the adventures are tough, others are very rewarding. I always took new characters through this to get them beefed up (especially if you go to room 9). I have even patterned two of my solo adventures after this one. Love it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeon
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Tunnels & Trolls Rules Version 4
by David U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2014 12:33:26
This is the version of the rules I grew up with. I loved it and still have the tattered and smudged original. From back in the day when these games were simpler. This one is worth having and fun to play by these rules. A great and light-hearted set of rules for new T&T-ers. The art is great and the fun attitude of the game still stands out. A nice piece of nostalgia.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tunnels & Trolls Rules Version 4
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Saving Fang
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2013 20:50:04
Ken St Andre has never made a secret of his type of reading, and it shows: Exciting things happen in his adventures, and it's no insult to say they are as plot driven as the stories of Gardner Fox, Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Robert E. Howard.

This solo can be played as pure action, if you wish -- but there are moments when doing the unlikely or thinking like a crazy man might accomplish something equally crazy. This adds a bit more intrigue, and there are real surprises hidden in this solo.

Ken wrote this to be compatible or based on first edition Tunnels & Trolls, but it's as compatible with the latest edition as with any other.

Simon Tranter's art (especially the cover!) sets the mood eloquently! I might quibble about the supporting (?) character of Cherry, who really should have enough sense to wear at LEAST chainmail for protection, but that would be my only quibble. (Or I might have given Cherry the line from Bus Stop that Marilyn Monroe made famous: "It's not Cherry - it's Sha-REE!")

All in all, an exciting and enjoyable romp, wherein we may (or may not) meet and successfully rescue Fang, whom we haven't seen since 5th edition Tunnels & Trolls. He seems to have just as bad luck as he did in 1976!

(abridged only slightly from http://grandparpg.blogspot.com/2013/10/fang-returns-unless-y-
ou-dont-save-him.html )

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Saving Fang
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Saving Fang
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2013 06:35:48
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/08/16/tabletop-review-saving--
fang-from-the-pits-of-morgul-tunnels-trolls/

Saving Fang is the latest Tunnels and Trolls release from Flying Buffalo as we count down to the release of Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. Saving Fang was free to Kickstarter backers but is $2.95 for everyone. Three dollars for a full length solitaire adventure is pretty good, though, and this particular adventure definitely gives you your money’s worth.

It’s interesting to note that as Buffalo Castle and Deluxe City of Terrors have been rereleased with the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls branding, Saving Fang is actually for FIRST EDITION Tunnels & Trolls, which is crazy old when you think about it. The foreword mentions that you need a copy of 1e T&T to play the adventure, but honestly, I don’t know where you can even get one. It’s not on RPGNow.com or DrivethruRPG.com. They have the fourth edition rulebook up there, but not first edition. While this does somewhat constrain who can play Saving Fang, Tunnels & Trolls hasn’t changed that much since the original version from the late 70s, so adapting this adventure to a later system shouldn’t be too difficult a task. So on one hand, it’s a bit odd to see a solo adventure coming out for 1e T&T in 2013, while on the other, it’s great to see the older editions are still being supported as Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls creeps ever closer to release day.

Like all solitaire adventures, Saving Fang is one you play by yourself in a vein similar to the old Lone Wolf or Choose Your Own Adventure novels. You follow the text of the adventure, turn to the sections it tells you to, roll dice when appropriate and so on. It’s a lot of fun and because there is so much variance and branching paths to these adventures, you can replay them multiple times with completely different events and outcomes. It’s great fun if you want to play a RPG but can’t get a group of friends together. These are also great if you fly a lot. Put down your tray, break out your Kindle and some d6s and play your way to your destination.

As you can probably guess from the title, the plot of the adventure is that your protagonist has to save a man named Fang from being sacrificed in the Pits of Morgul. He was carried away by ghouls and there are plenty of undead for your character to encounter. What’s interesting is that also you are playing this adventure in a solo manner, you can actually start off in a party with a red headed woman named Cherry and a river troll. Of course you can choose not to adventure at all, which gives you a short but amusing story too. That’s all part of the fun with these types of adventures. I played through it four times and ended up with everything from gathering an army to attack Morgul to going on madcap adventures with Cherry. It’s also worth noting that the ghouls in this adventure look an awful lot like baboons for some reason. None of your playthroughs will be very long. Some will take minutes and my longest was still under an hour, but that’s not uncommon for this type of adventure. It’s about having a fun solitaire adventure and that’s something Saving Fang definitely provides in spades.

All in all, this is your typical Tunnels & Trolls solo adventure. There are a lot of plot options, the adventure is saturated with a wry sense of humour, mixing mayhem with mirth and with a price tag of only three dollars, it’s a great addition to your collection of solo adventures. Heck, if you don’t have any other friends that like tabletop RPGs, Tunnels & Trolls is a great investment due to the sheer number of high quality solitaire adventures like Saving Fang that have been made for the system. It easily boasts the most solitaire adventures for any system and although Saving Fang is for a much older version of T&T, it’s still one you can easily spend a lot of time coming back to and finding it as fun the fifth or sixth playthrough as you did the first. This is definitely a must buy for any T&T fan or someone looking for a solitaire experience.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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City of Terrors
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/16/2013 08:05:06
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/07/16/tabletop-review-deluxe--
city-of-terrors-deluxe-tunnels-trolls/

City of Terrors is a solitaire adventure for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. It was originally released way back in 1978, and has remained a popular adventure for the system ever since. This is the second adventure release for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, even though the core rulebook for this updated version of the second oldest tabletop RPG has yet to come out. It’s okay though, because the adventure actually isn’t updated AT ALL for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls and uses the previous rules system (Fifth Edition). There is a page dedicated to converting the adventure to DT&T, which is odd, because it bears the DT&T logo on the cover. As well, the random NPC list has the old system stats rather than the new ones which, again, is equally strange. You would think Flying Buffalo would want to clean this up and change the stats instead of telling the player to do it themselves! Yes, the text actually tells the player to roll 3D6 and write down the new stats for the NPCs when you encounter them. I’m not sure if it’s lazy or sloppy, but honestly, Deluxe City of Terrors should have just been released as a Fifth Edition adventure. It’s not hard to do the conversion, but if you’re going to release an adventure for a new edition, the staff behind it actually needs to do the proper editing and conversion themselves rather than say the adventure is for the newest rules set, but have it be for the previous rules and make the player do all the work. If someone was going to do all the work themselves, they’d write an adventure on their own, wouldn’t you think?

Anyway, small rant over. City of Terrors is a wonderful solitary adventure. There are roughly two dozen adventures that can occur between these nigh seventy pages, some of which are good and some of which are merely mediocre. For example, my first adventure had me go up to some guy on the street, attack him, kill him, then walk to a ship and it was over. That was the entire adventure. Others were much longer, ranging from eventually killing the brother of the Sultan that ruled the city to doing battle with a master of time itself. It’s pretty wild how varied the adventures within City of Terrors can get, but be careful, as there are many instant death options as well, killing you without a chance of a saving throw or the roll of a die.

If you’ve never played a solitary adventure before, think back to things like the Choose Your Own Adventure books or even “gamebooks” like the Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and even Dungeons & Dragons versions that were big in the 80s and 90s. City of Terrors is laid out exactly like that. You start with 33C on page 40 of the PDF, and your choices will lead you to other options. Each choice will lead you to an encounter, a fight, your grisly demise, or all of the above! These adventures are great for when you’re feeling like tabletop gaming but can’t get a group together to play with. It’s just you, a piece of paper, some dice and this adventure, and that’s all you will ever need. There are many different outcomes and so you can replay the same adventure multiple times without repeating much, if any, content. That’s a pretty good deal for five dollars.

I should point out that there is a LOT of potential sex in this adventure, so this probably isn’t an adventure you’d give to young kids learning how to roleplay. Give them one of those aforementioned gamebooks, as you can find them for cheap on Ebay or Paperbackswap.com these days. You can have sex with everything from a gorgon (not advised) to a wizened old crazy cat lady (also not advised), so the usual Tunnels & Trolls comedy is in full effect here, albeit a more R rated version than usual. If you flip through the pages to look at the art, you’ll also see pictures of your potential lovers which, again, if more amusing that titillating or creepy.

Speaking of the art, I absolutely love the myriad of drawings you’ll find on the interior. Rob Carver and Liz Danforth did an excellent job as always, and you can feel free to flip through the art without worrying about reading any spoilers or the like. After all, the text is so jumbled up, you’ll never know if a section you gloss over will be reached by your character in his or her adventure. The adventure also sports a beautiful wrap-around cover that is quite nice, but I have a feeling you need a physical copy to get the full effect here.

Much like with Buffalo Castle, it’s great to have City of Terrors reprinted for a whole new generation of gamers. It’s not as well done as Buffalo Castle, due to some of the aforementioned edition issues that plague this version, but where Buffalo Castle can only be played by a Level One Fighter, City of Terrors can be played by any character class, and they don’t have to be a brand new character either. There’s something for everyone in City of Terrors, and with a price tag of only five dollars, you’re getting a great deal that will allow you to engage in some solo gaming goodness for hours on end. I’d definitely pick it up if you’re a fan of Tunnels & Trolls or are looking for a good system to let you game solo until you and your friends can get together.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
City of Terrors
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Buffalo Castle
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/15/2013 07:49:56
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/05/28/tabletop-review-buffalo-
-castle-deluxe-tunnels-trolls/

Back in January of this year, I joined 1600+ other Kickstarter backers to fund Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls, which is the second oldest tabletop gaming system. Well, Kickstarter backers recently received their first digital reward: a reprint of Buffalo Castle. For those unaware, long before there were Choose Your Own Adventure Novels and things like the Lone Wolf gamebooks, Tunnels & Trolls was putting out solo adventures that a gamer could play by themselves. No DM, no group of friends. Just you, three six sided dice and the adventure itself. As a very young boy, I loved solitary adventures, because it meant I could play when I wanted to without having to organize some big session with other people’s schedules. For others, it meant they could play an RPG even if they couldn’t afford a video game or didn’t have enough friends to run an actual game with. These solo adventures were a wonderful idea, and for a whole, they spawned an entire industry. As such, it’s nice to have the progenitor of the concept back and readily available as the herald for the upcoming Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls line. Thirty years later, the adventure is still as fun to play through as ever, although you WILL need a T&T rulebook to make a character and play through Buffalo Castle.

Buffalo Castle is for a single First Level Fighter only, which is a good way to do things, as you get just the basics. You don’t have to worry about magic, speed or anything. This is an entry level adventure for newcomers and veterans alike, and generally the easiest way to start off an old school fantasy setting is with a Fighter. The plot of the adventure is simple: a sick child needs a magic potion and the nearest one lies within the walls of Buffalo Castle. Unfortunately, the wizard who lives in the castle and makes the potions is completely mad, so they need a brave warrior to enter and get the potion before the child succumbs to its strange disease. It’s not Shakespeare, but for an intro and/or solo adventure, the plot works and establishes a good motivation for why you are wandering the halls of a castle filled with monsters and things that want to split your head open.

The layout of Buffalo Castle will be familiar to any of you who have played a Choose Your Own Adventure or roleplaying Gamebook, in that you’ll be reading a numbered section which will then tell you to flip to a different section. This is to build suspense and keep the game fresh. It also means that the adventure is far from linear, and you can replay it several times, discovering new content and battles with each playthrough. At the same time, it also means you shouldn’t try to read the adventure like you would a normal one, as it will just come off as gibberish. I do love section 19E though. It made me laugh as I flipped through the pages trying to see what I missed on my playthroughs.

The last few pages of the adventure are a Wandering Monster table and a map of the Castle, in case someone wants to try and convert the adventure into one a group of players can enjoy together. I think that’s a nice touch. All in all, Buffalo Castle remains as fun as it has ever been, and it’s a perfect example of the somewhat humourous less “SAVE THE WORLD FROM A GREAT EVIL” mindset a lot of fantasy games have. It’s a simple low-level concept for a low level character, and it holds up thirty years later. If you’re a Tunnels & Trolls fan, more than likely some variant of this adventure is already in your collection. If you’re new to the system, the idea of tabletop game or solo adventuring just sounds appealing to you, I heartily recommend picking up Buffalo Castle along with the core Tunnels & Trolls rulebook and giving it a try. T&T is generally the system I suggest for people brand new to RPGs (along with the old Marvel Super Heroes RPG by TSR), and Buffalo Castle is a perfect example of why.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Buffalo Castle
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TrollsZine! #7
by J. F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2013 09:53:14
The TrollsZine is a truly magical creation. Fans of Tunnels & Trolls contribute their creativity simply to share their love of the game and to promote it in this free high quality magazine. It's a fun read with a great variety of articles, ideas, and artwork (I was fortunate enough to be asked to do the cover for this issue, and I'm proud to have been a part of this fantastic process and to be included in such talented company with the other contributors).

If you're already a fan of the game, or want to learn more this collection is something you need to pick up. The game's creator, Ken St. Andre, has links to the issues of TrollsZine on his Trollhalla website (membership to this great community is free: www.trollhalla.com) which is a great endorsement for this publication. You need this one!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
TrollsZine! #7
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TrollsZine! #7
by Tavernmaster G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2013 16:03:11
Once more the Trollszine has arrived. With its fantastic mix of articles, GM adventures and even a solo it more than lives up to the tremendous standards set by the previous half a dozen issues.
There is something for everyone here ranging from a learned discussion about gunpowder and early firearms by Justin Williams to a piece for the New Khazan setting detailing doomsday weapons from David Moskowitz. Jesse Lambert's mini solitaire adventure 'The Wizard's Hut' is great fun and the author has even done his own excellent illustrations; how I'd like to be able to do that! Perhaps my favourite piece is from Dan Prentice talking about special damage and how to expand its use in your campaign. I even learned that 'spite' damage was a concept introduced to T&T by the one and only Roy Cram in the pages of the brilliant Sorcerer's Apprentice.
I have only scratched the surface of what is on offer in this edition of Trollszine, but cannot praise all the contributors and, of course, Dan Hembry for all his hard work editing and pulling it all together, enough. There is so much brilliant material here it just comes as such a surprise that someone has given it a rating of just 1 out of 5. I cannot imagine anyone who plays T&T who would not want to have this great resource available. Well done again all involved and 5 out of 5 from this troll!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Tunnels & Trolls Free Rulebook
by Richard H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2013 16:31:12
I remember how the Dragon Magazine and TSR guys were so upset about Tunnels & Trolls back in the day. I always thought it was a blatant copy that was a parody based on their negative remarks, but the modern era positive reviews made me finally download this.

This particular file is a bare-bone free preview. All in all it feels like a stripped down version of Original DnD. It also turns out I was sorely disappointed by the "Choose Your Own Adventure" solitaire mode.This little rulebook failed to make me sold on T&T, although the publisher's site and players swear by this game. For a free product, I wanted a hard sell. It felt like a 1970s/1980s Steve Jackson fighting fantasy gamebook- without his superb writing style.

Not sure why T&T is a good alternative to DnD at this time. Perhaps the simplified rules?

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Tunnels & Trolls Free Rulebook
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Four Jars of Mead - FBI0093
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2013 12:24:24
This is a neat little solo adventure, with the delightfully-mundane task of going to fetch some mead for a party. Now, as it happens, I actually was introduced to the drinking of mead during a gaming session, although I think it was D&D rather than Tunnels & Trolls that we were playing, sometime back in the early 1980s as the game was being played in my college dorm room!

Anyway, the adventure sounds straightforwards and it is possible to perform it in a straightforward manner, just doing your errand and even getting a drink of mead into the bargain. Don't believe it - well, I just did it! Of course, there are plenty of complications if you are unlucky with your die rolls or make the wrong choices along the way...

The text is clear, the options available are laid out for you well (might be improved by utilising the technology of PDFs to hyperlink them to reduce the amount of scrolling!) and there are plenty of chances to get into trouble and, well, make an adventure out of getting the mead in for tonight's party.

Just the thing for a quiet moment when you want to play but cannot find any gamers... enjoy!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Four Jars of Mead - FBI0093
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Tunnels & Trolls Free Rulebook
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2013 20:28:44
Some folks will probably discount this game entirely due to the formatting and layout, but what's hidden in here is a classic game that's very easy to pick up. T&T definitely has a sillier, more tongue-in-cheek feel than Dungeons & Dragons, but a loyal following online will tell you there's still plenty here to like.

There are two adventures included. The rules aren't what you'd get with Tunnels & Trolls 7th edition, but they'll work for solitaire products or just trying it out for beer n' pretzels gaming.

This is a good, quick intro of a product many gamers have likely heard of, but have never played.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tunnels & Trolls Free Rulebook
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