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Tunnels & Trolls vs Classic D&D (OD&D, BD&D)

Eisenmann

10th Level ADD Gamer
Validated User
Depends what I want the game to be like.

If it's going to be about working your way from near zero to hero then 0D&D.

If it's about dungeon crawling or the like that's a bit more over the top from the get-go then Tunnels & Trolls.
 

vgunn

New member
Banned
Great question. I didn't get to play T&T when I was younger and had infinitely more experience with D&D. Recently I have gotten to take a much closer look at T&T (and MSPE) but still no actual playing.

I love the combat for T&T, being simultaneous and the fact it sticks with d6s (though rolling a d20 was always fun). Not sure if rolling mountains of dice would be all that fun. Yahtzee numbers are fine, but anything beyond that is stretching it.

I find the terminology and calculating formula in T&T confusing because of playing D&D. For instance the Saving Roll in T&T which is not really a saving roll at all.

Tough call really. I think if I had someone teaching me T&T would be better, but looking at it as written D&D is easier for me to grok.
 

MDarcy

Gamer for life
Validated User
Convention games, pick-up games, or an informal campaign: Tunnels & Trolls in a heartbeat.

Long term campaign: Classic D&D traditionally but I've given thought to trying to run a Tunnels & Trolls campaign based on mixed 5 and 7.x edition.

Why? T&T is easier to pick-up and just feels more light hearted. T&T wizards actually can do things from the get go and I love the SR system (I've tried to adopt it to D&D more than once).

The problem with T&T in long campaigns is the stat increase nature of experience. I think using talents and having their values separate once began and buy them up as well as stats but much cheaper would address that some.
 

nedjer

Registered User
Validated User
D&D 'adds' to or goes beyond T&T. T&T doesn't add to D&D in any way that I'm aware of. Though it's years and versions ago since I played it.
 

E.T.Smith

A Most Sincere Poseur
Validated User
T&T, hands down. I've had good fun with both OD&D and B/XD&D, but its hard not to argue that T&T does the same thing with more ease and style. Despite all the accurate assessments of various flavors of old-school D&D being such a breeze to run in comparison to latter editions, viewed on their own they're all pretty clunky systems with a lot of eccentricities borne of the wargaming hobby. T&T, in contrast, reads and plays like what it is, an attempt to rewrite D&D to make sense to people without that specific background.
 

Lars Dangly

Registered User
Validated User
Careful here; T&T can deliver some unwelcome surprises if you don't have experience playing it. It's combat system naturally leads to unbalanced fights and stalemates, and the monsters are all much-of-a-sameness. D&D has some dorky elements to its task resolution system, but it is a well oiled machine that doesn't lead to too many head-scratching outcomes. Actually, if you bolt a rational, simple way of dealing with thief skills onto red-book D&D, you have a pretty great game.
 

Old Geezer

Active member
Banned
Having read both OD&D and T&T edition 1 when they were new (and this question is only valid for first editions of both games, after all)...

T&T is TOO tongue in cheek for my taste. One of my group bought it, we all read it, but we saw nothing that D&D wasn't already doing for us, and the endless attempts at bad jokes grated after a time.

Plus things like the "six types of daggers all almost but not quite the same" nature of the weapons charts annoyed us.
 

Lars Dangly

Registered User
Validated User
I will say this in favor of T&T: in addition to its goofy vibe, it is easier to figure out how you should use the rules to resolve events other than combat. D&D's system of saving throws doesn't really get it done in this regard.

The major thing in favor of D&D is that even the simplest, most boiled down versions of it are very complete games. Big spell lists; lots of monsters; gobs of items; wide range of character types and abilities.
 

Mark Mohrfield

Registered User
Validated User
Careful here; T&T can deliver some unwelcome surprises if you don't have experience playing it.
Pretty much true of any role-playing game, really.


The major thing in favor of D&D is that even the simplest, most boiled down versions of it are very complete games. Big spell lists; lots of monsters; gobs of items; wide range of character types and abilities.
I'd argue that the original basic box (this one) is incompete.
 
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