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Bedlam
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2013 11:38:48
Tunnels & Trolls, for some reason, attracts solo adventures, but here's a real gem.

Go rooting around the local insane asylum in search of a missing nobleman's son or any loot you can, ahem, liberate... it's not the most likely of places to find wealth, but you are skint.

And at long last someone has used PDF technology to good effect for a solo adventure. Read the paragraph, make your choice and CLICK on the appropriate number to go to the next paragraph. Far better than scrolling up and down the file, or even flipping pages.

Er.. 'scuse me. I've got a mental hospital to explore. See you later... hopefully :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bedlam
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Deep Where the Liche-Lord Lies - A Descent into Horror
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2013 18:31:53
And we thought Tomb of Horrors was scary...

That was a long time ago, when we learned, after several attempts, to cheat egregiously. It could never get that bad again, because we were smarter - and we started using systems which not only made more sense, but which enabled us to learn from our failures as well as our successes.

Welcome to a new place, one which is not Tomb of Horrors, nor even an emulation of it. For one thing, you're going to walk into it expecting, at worst, a band of brigands and raiders under the direction of some dim-witted ogre. Dangerous, yes, but less so for you and your hardy band of highly-seasoned warriors, specialists, and wizards. Human and non-human you be, and you've never tasted defeat nor fear.

That was before you discovered the secret of the Forest of Maugaral and the mausoleum it hid. And that's just the beginning of your trouble --- no, this is not "Tomb of Horrors for Tunnels & Trolls." This is its own nightmare -- and yours.

"Deep Where the Liche-Lord Lies" is Andy Holmes again proving that he can send a shiver or two up your spine. Disguised as a simple hack-and-raid mission, this adventure holds secrets and puzzles to keep your group occupied for at least three sessions, if not more. And they WILL keep coming back, because Andy has the knack of throwing JUST enough at the PCs where they think they have a good chance to press their luck just One More Time.

Plus, of course, your players' characters realize that they're in it all the way now, and that backing out is worse than suicide. The various monsters and traps aren't the real challenge; that real challenge is to the players...What will they decide at different moments, different places?

The only thing to fear is fear itself.....they say.

Inviting your presence is Vasarax himself, on the cover by Simon Lee Tranter. The liche looks almost neighborly, having decomposed comparatively little. He seems cordial and friendly. Chilling!

Inside, illustrator Jeff Freels strips the facade away. Your more pleasant foes have a look of greed and vice to them which is truly disturbing as you study their features - for some reason, it's what Jeff DOESN'T include in the portraits and settings which is unsettling. Don't dwell too long on the frontpiece for Level 6. If you thought Jeff's humorous cartoons were "cute," don't be surprised that he turns that impression against you.

Tavernmaster Games continues its impressive output with this high-level adventure that is designed for Tunnels & Trolls - but suitable for anyone you want to feel the crush of despair.

(This review first appeared at http://GrandpaRPG.blogspot.com/ on 4/20/13)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deep Where the Liche-Lord Lies - A Descent into Horror
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Formication
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/12/2012 10:07:59
Tunnels and Trolls has always been notable for the quantity and quality of solo adventures available for the system, and here's a fine innovative example.

Delights include a truly alien environment to explore - the inside of an ant colony - not to mention being a fairly uncommon race yourself: you are a fairy. A captured and battered fairy whose wings have been ripped off, yet. Sitting in a well-lit room at the computer, it's a bit surprising to find out just how claustrophobic the corridors of an ant colony can be but the vivid descriptions coupled with ingenious time-pressure - you've been given a masking scent but it wears off quickly, especially if you get into combat - makes it all quite scary to play through.

Technically, it is laid out clearly in the standard 'paragraph plus options: move to the next paragraph indicated by your option choice' style used by most solo adventures, although the scroll button on your mouse gets a lot of use, no use of integral hyperlinks within the PDF. (I think only one PDF solo gamebook I've read does that, it seems so obvious....).

From the plot point of view, there is quite a lot going on in that ants' nest. As a fairy you are small enough to scamper around without too much difficulty, but there are still some problems to overcome. The twisty tunnels and chambers are not really mappable, and sometimes they collapse. A neat point is the inclusion of 'random encounters' to make everything infinitely variable, as well as set encounters when you get to certain places.

Good luck, you'll need it to get out alive. (I got eaten by an ant-eater...)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Formication
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you Megan R for the positive review. Paragraph links have been added to the pdf so no more having to scroll through page after page to find the next part of the adventure.
Tavernmaster Games: Universal Simple Easy-Life Enchanter's Spell Selector A4
by Alan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2012 01:28:23
Really enjoyable, detailed flowchart.
TTYF!
All other magic optional.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tavernmaster Games: Universal Simple Easy-Life Enchanter's Spell Selector A4
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Formication
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2012 19:46:38
OK, I'm lazy with my T&T and don't like to keep track of CON or AP (HP or XP in most other RPGs) or usually forget. Can't be lazy with this solo, or your character dies when you finally do notice. Or something like that.

Dripping with atmosphere, it would be good reading for that alone. But you'll enjoy fighting, victory, defeat, and the death of at least one player character. Heck, I've lost three in this solo and I keep coming back to it. It's that much fun!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Formication
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The Tavern by the Sea
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2012 19:28:06
Have to agree: this may have been the best T&T adventure from 2011. It's definitely in the Top 5. Richly defined characters who really are characters, sudden changes in plot, and replayability make this fun. The fact that there is yet another adventure within (a dungeon outside of town) is like icing on the cake. Very Good icing!

*jeep! & God Bless!
--Grandpa Chet, the MormonYoYoMan

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Tavern by the Sea
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Sideshow
by Chet C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/01/2012 19:04:36
Tired of deep, damp dungeons? Take in a show - at the circus sideshow, for a refreshing change. Remember what they told you about Evil Clowns?

All seriousness aside, Holmes once again twists the conventions of solo adventures and presents one with humor, surprise, playability, and - most important - fun to play! For only a buck?? That's way too cheap for this solo! The presentation is such that you probably won't even notice that it uses a convention from FBI's Solo #2.

It's so good and so different, that it ought to be packaged with every Tunnels & Trolls box.

*jeep! & God Bless!
---Grandpa Chet

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sideshow
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Formication
by Scott O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2011 07:35:30
First of all let me be frank and honest about my relationship to the author of this solitaire adventure. He is my big brother. He it was that got me playing T&T more than 30 years ago and recently he has introduced my boys (ages 9 and 11) to role-playing. Indeed, he let Tom and Matt play test this very product.
I very much enjoyed playing this solo. There are pre-generated characters so that the lazy or busy, such as me, don’t need to spend time rolling up a new alter ego. I think the atmosphere of being trapped in the giant ant colony is well done and there appear to be numerous places to explore and dangers to encounter. I liked the idea of the protective scent decaying the longer my character stayed underground, though I perhaps didn’t enjoy the ‘housekeeping’ that this entails to keep track of it.
Overall, I think Sid has done a good job in putting together this book. It plays well and the cover and interior artwork by Jeff Freels is excellent. Well-done big brother!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Formication
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The Tavern by the Sea
by Ken S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/20/2011 20:51:34
I created the Tavern by the Sea, and decided to share it with my pal Andy Holmes. Damned if the didn't make it even better than I thought it could be. This is a short solo adventure for Tunnels and Trolls. I meant it to be both complete in itself, and a jumping off place for other adventures. Andy went ahead and jumped off into another adventure, and gave it to you as part of the product. You really get two solos in one. The original American version has some colorful and evocative art by David Ullery, a member of Trollhalla. Andy's British edition has even more amazing art by Trollhalla member Jeff Freels. No other solo adventure has so many bizarre characters--from Big Burp the Trollish bouncer to Miraxus the Pirate Vampire and many another rogue you can insert into your own adventures. And then there is the bar brawl to end all bar brawls--you gotta love it!
One more thing--Andy Holmes is a man with a lot of heart. He's donating the entire proceeds from his version of Tavern by the Sea to Jeff Freels' transplant fund. Yes, the artist needs an organ transplant, and we've been trying to raise money for it at Trollhalla, but this is an unusually selfless gesture by Mr. Holmes, and the artist is the man who needs the transplant. As you can see, he is working to help himself while entertaining us gamers. Get a copy--and maybe help save a talented life.

In a year of unusually good T & T gaming releases, this version of Tavern by the Sea gets my vote for best release of the year. I'm proud to be associated with it, but in all honesty, it's the additional writing by Andy Holmes and the great humorous art of Jeff Freels that lift this product above the rest.
--Ken St. Andre

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Tavern by the Sea
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