Monday, January 14, 2013

Why I'm in for Hardbacks on the Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls Kickstarter

I backed the Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls Kickstarter at the hardback level shortly after it got started. Not because I really need another RPG book set roaming around. Though the idea of a hardcover of good ol' T&T just seemed like a cool idea, and backing this project, which brings the original crew back together, also just seemed like a lot of fun.

T&T was something that I didn't take to originally. When I first came across it, it was being played by a group of Loonies who played up the silliness element of the game, and troweled on plenty of their own zany as well. I was a bit of a "serious" roleplayer at the time. Later, however, I came across it again and got to see the system work. It was very elegant, and seemed to be a working version of a very minimalist system I'd been trying to build myself. My system had two stats, Strength and Agility, the idea being build a system that was intentionally too minimal, then expand it by degrees until it worked. It had no hit points, no mana, everything came out of the two stats.

T&T was a more fleshed out version. At the time I came across it the second time, Strength determined spellcasting ability. Hit points and spellcasting power both came from stats. In-game skill checks were done against the statistics.

Of course, I was better prepared by other RPGs, too. Between my first and second exposures I'd played Traveller and Runequest, and the first version of Basic Roleplaying as well. But even though I saw more of the beauty of T&T, and picked up a copy of the rules current at that time (4e, I think), I was a bit of a Runequest chauvinist at the time since I was learning to whack people with sticks in the Society for Creative Anachronism by the authors of Runequest and their immediate gaming circle.

But the ideas stuck. I picked up another rulebook a few years later (5e at this point), and played some solo games during a dry spell. I even discovered that I had a T&T module among a group of Runequest modules a friend gave me when they shut down their gaming shop (I was the only person they knew who played RQ!) Dargon's Dungeon. So I ran myself through that.

Both T&T and Traveller are great solo games, they got me through some dry spells of no local gaming group.

Back to the Point
So, now we're looking at a new version of T&T. I'm excited. I'm hoping to talk my current local face to face gaming group into giving T&T a go later on this year (we're playing my Traveller campaign right now and a Pathfinder campaign.) One thing about T&T is that it's simple enough we might be able to get someone else to be the GM (outside our usual small, small circle of GMs). The GM overhead of T&T is the lowest of any game I've ever seen. Unless you count the Microgames of Melee and Wizard as RPGs. ;)

And, of course, the RPG written by my friend Barry Langdon-Lassagne and myself, RoonVenture, where we suggest taking a road map and relabelling the cities with a theme-appropriate name (just one, repeated over and over to save trouble.) But practically nobody plays that.

Go Ahead, Throw Your Bit In
So get in on the fun, and make a pledge on Kickstarter. Has your gaming group gotten bogged down by complex mechanics? Nobody has time to level a character between games? Nobody will run a game after being slammed by the Book of Nine Swords? Give T&T a spin.

It's simple, fast, and is built for running classic dungeon crawls. You can even have no designated GM, just play modules as a group solo adventure. Or generate adventures randomly. But better is to go back to the old days of adventure creation, just slamming together a Monster Apartment Complex and having at it. Heck, you might even slip in a plot by accident.

I'm in for hardbacks, just because I like hardback game books. They hold up well, are handy at games (you can use them as writing-boards, frex), and make a better threat than a rolled-up softback when someone's dinking with your character. ;)

And they don't get lost in a box as easily.

Already Funded
The project has already reached its basic funding goal and is into stretch goals now. So you know you're not going to get the "project not funded" disappointment. At this time, they're close to getting the second stretch goal (at $60K).

Kicktraq is interesting to watch for the project, too. They show it coming in at some ridiculous figure (today) that's coming more in line with reality each day (in accordance with how the projections/trending are calculated, I don't want to imply there's any unrealism or error on the part of Kicktraq here--they do a great job, but people really go overboard about the numbers that come out of the formulas sometimes.)

Now, I can't wait to see if we get either a stretch goal or new project sometime in the future for Monsters! Monsters!.

Update 17 Jan 2013:
They've made the $60K goal! That means I'll get a print version of Castle Buffalo! At $75K there's another module and more art. Woot!

Also: They've had their mid-stretch dip, and numbers of backers and dollars per day has come back up again. No ideal if it will last, but I have to think that having the hardback deal sweetened (and the deal overall) is helping some people decide to back the project or increase their pledge.

One thing that helped me is the fact that I'll have at least one more check in the bank before the money gets drawn. ;)

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