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[Let's Read] Tunnels & Trolls 5th Edition

ZenDog

Take That, You Fiend!
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Well, technically, 'that Liz creates', as she's the editor of Fifth but actually wrote the majority of the work therein, basing it on Ken's original text from earlier editions (such text is still verbatim, such as the most of the text in section 1.2, from 4th ed.). Basically Ken's stuff was a skeleton, and Liz Danforth put on the meat that is 5th. Considerable meat, too, as 5th is about 40 pages longer than 4th.
Interesting, I didn't know that. I knew Liz Danforth's editing was a major reason the text was so readable, but I didn't know it went beyond editing and into the realms of co-authorship.
 

MachFront

Ugly is IN!
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Interesting, I didn't know that. I knew Liz Danforth's editing was a major reason the text was so readable, but I didn't know it went beyond editing and into the realms of co-authorship.
That's what I've heard anyhow. Surely Ken must have added some material and rules when the change was made to 5th ed., but I've always had the impression that Liz went a fair bit further than simply editing.
On top of that, you'll notice the Editor's Afterword and also it certainly seems like Liz 'talking' in a few of the sections, most notably the section entitled "More About City, World & Dungeon Building".
 

ZenDog

Take That, You Fiend!
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That's what I've heard anyhow. Surely Ken must have added some material and rules when the change was made to 5th ed., but I've always had the impression that Liz went a fair bit further than simply editing.
On top of that, you'll notice the Editor's Afterword and also it certainly seems like Liz 'talking' in a few of the sections, most notably the section entitled "More About City, World & Dungeon Building".
Okay, that's weirded me out a little. I'll have to change nearly 30 years of thinking! :eek:
 

ZenDog

Take That, You Fiend!
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1.4 Equipping Characters

Well whoever created Fang he needs equipment. This section takes us through equipping a character in a very newb friendly way, by showing how Fang spends his 80gps, starting off with the very basics: a pack and spare clothes, and a days provisions. At this stage it's noted that fang wants boots and rope, but doesn't get any as he has already spent 26 of his 80gps and should check out weapons and armour first.

Making T&T characters is always quick, it's equipping them that takes time, so many choices and a few different factors. Four pages were spent explaining how to create Fang, and two are spent on equipping him. It’s always a balancing act when choosing weapons (and to a lesser extent armour) as each weapon has a minimum required ST and DEX to be able to wield them, the you also have to balance this with how effective the weapon is, in the case of T&T how many Dice & Adds they get (more on that later but obviously you want lots of both) how much it weighs, and how much it costs.

With his low DEX and meagre coinage Fang's choice is somewhat limited. Statistically his best option is a club, but a Short Sabre is chosen as a more aesthetically pleasing option for a hero. Finally he kited out with the only armour he can afford a Buckler shield, and the last of his coin is spent on rope. No boots for poor old Fang.

In comparison to other rule books it's a very detailed example of equipping a character. Other rule books often just give you your starting cash and a list, but I find this method, a particularly the explanation of why certain choices might be made, illuminating. Especially for someone new to the hobby.

1.5 Provisions and Equipment

No prizes for guessing what this section, and its subsections: 1.51 General Supplies, 1.52 Weapons Charts, and 1.53 Armor & Shields covers. However the surprise comes in the variety of choice of weapons and armour.

1.51 General Supplies starts with half a page of text detailing in brief the availability of supplies, the exchange rate of coinage: 1GP = 10 SP =100 CP. No surprise for anyone who's ever played any fantasy rpg.

The other half page is list of equipment. It's all pretty standard: pack, torches, lanterns, oil, compass, rope, pitons, piton hammer, etc, and a few more interesting things. First there's the delver's package consisting of a small bronze mirror, a few sticks of wax, some chalk, salt, a short length of twine, and matches. All useful when lost in a mythical underworld full of traps and monsters. Then there's the Ordinaire Magic Staff (100gp) and the Deluxe Magic Staff costing 5000gp! That's a lot of delving before you get back to the shop to pick up one of those.

In a very unhelpful and quite old school way there's no description of either or even a note to tell you where to find one (page 2 of section 2.21 The Logic of Magic, by the way).

The first sentence of 1.52 Weapons Charts reads . . .

Below are the vast range of weapons available to the delver.

They're not exaggerating either, There are for example 22 different types of sword to choose from, dived into five classes of sword. There are also Hafted weapons (in three classes: Slicing heads, Stabbing heads, Mashing heads) Pole Weapons, Spears, Daggers, Projectile Weapons (three different classes of) Weird Weapons and Accessories, and a modest selection of poisons to smear on your shiny new weapons.

I've seen this again and again in T&T rolling up a character 5 minuets equipping a character two-hours. I exaggerate, but only slightly. The choice can be overwhelming for people new to the hobby, but I love the choice.

Each weapon is rated by the Dice + Adds it does in combat (damage) ST and DEX required (how strong and skilful you need to be to wield it) and it's weight and cost. For example compare the two-handed Great Sword (6') which gets 6 dice and no adds requires a ST of 21 and DEX of 18 to wield it costs 120 Gp and weighs 170 weight units (17lbs) to the Short Sabre (2'-2.5') 3 dice and 1 add (3+1) requires a ST of 7 and a DEX of 5 cost 40 gps and weighs 30 (3lbs).

What you get all told is a wide selection of weapons most of which you won't be able afford, let alone lift or control, when you start out. There's a lot to spend your loot on when you get out of the dungeon.

There's also a good selection of protective gear in section 1.53 Armor & Shields. Armour in T&T absorbs damage rather than deflecting it. The complete sets of armour range from Quilted Silk/Cotton that absorbs 3 hits to Plate that takes 14 hits. You won't be starting out with Plate though as it costs 500 gp. As well as the complete sets of armour you can buy it in parts (Chest, Limbs, Head) and get a selection of shield including a couple with offensive capabilities.

All in all there's plenty for players to mull over and kit their character out with before play and after those first few adventures. That's if the monsters you create in section 1.6 don't kill 'em that is.
 

Enlightened

.........................
Validated User
I have a question. How does natural healing work? How quickly do Delvers regain lost CON? And how quickly do wizards regain STR from casting?
 

ZenDog

Take That, You Fiend!
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I have a question. How does natural healing work? How quickly do Delvers regain lost CON? And how quickly do wizards regain STR from casting?
Wizards regain ST at 1 point a turn as long as they're doing nothing more taxing than walking (section 2.21 The Logic of Magic pg 1 paragraph 9) and natural healing is a very vague 'lengthy recuperation outside the dungeons' (section 2.3 Sequence of Events -Phase 4: Recovery).

So as far as the question 'how does natural healing work?' that would be down to individual GM's and probably depend on the type of campaign.
 
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MachFront

Ugly is IN!
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I have a question. How does natural healing work? How quickly do Delvers regain lost CON? And how quickly do wizards regain STR from casting?
Officially?
1 CON per day.

This is one of at least a couple bits of errata that are in the shortened version of the rules in the Corgi solo books (well worth getting if just to read the absolute core of T&T in a few, short minutes). The other notable one being the rule for dual-wielding (ST and DEX required of both weapons is added together. The combined dice and adds of both weapons is now used for combat total.)
 

MachFront

Ugly is IN!
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How would someone get the corgi books anyhow, if you lived in the USA?
Oh, they're all over Amazon, eBay, at Noble Knight, etc.

Of course, if one just wants to take a look at the core of the rules, then the free version of the rules on RPGNow is the same as was in the two recent Free RPG Day products from FBI and which are the same, save for not having much higher experience and spell levels, as the truncated rules in the Corgi solos.

Actually...I almost forgot, the Free Dungeons website has the entirety of the rules from the Corgi solos.
 
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