Tunnels & Trolls, the second modern RPG system ever published, has at last entered the digital age, thanks to Seattle indie video game developer MetaArcade and they are currently showing off the T&T digital remastering at Gen Con, the annual gaming convention in Indianapolis, IN.
According to the official press release, “MetaArcade’s digital Tunnels & Trolls prototype marks the first step towards players enjoying the game’s classic adventures, and ultimately creating and publishing their own using the game’s rules system on the MetaArcade Adventures Platform. The platform will support development for iOS, Android, PC and Mac.”
Announced in June this year, the MetaArcade Adventure Platform is “the first in a series of self-publishing platforms designed by the company to mitigate barriers often encountered by writers, artists, and game developers seeking to publish their works.” In short, the Platform “will enable users to play, create and self-publish adventure games featuring narrative-driven mechanics.” The Platform is scheduled for release sometime later this year.
With its deep emphasis on entertainment and literary storytelling, T&T was an easy choice to be the Platform’s first title. MetaArcade Founder & CEO David Reid stated that it’s “a legendary game with a vast world of adventures, and a flexible, scalable rules engine capable of realizing the most ambitious narratives the community can envision.”
T&T was designed and written by Ken St. Andre, and published by Flying Buffalo in 1975. After reading a friend’s copy of the Dungeons & Dragons rulebook, Andre felt the rules were too complicated, so he wrote his own set of RPG rules. While similar to D&D (classes, races, stats), T&T was a less serious and simpler system than D&D. T&T used only 6-sided dice, had a points-based magic system, and combat wasn’t so influenced by wargames, as D&D was.
T&T is also known for having introduced and established the solo adventure, T&T encounter modules written for a single person to play through, without the need for a game master. The Fighting Fantasy adventure book series borrowed this concept heavily, also to great success.
In early 2013, a Kickstarter campaign was launched and successfully funded to bring about Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. The same developer team for the original T&T returned to give this new version a massive update on rules, and detailed much more of Trollworld, the world created by St. Andre where he based T&T adventures in.
What kind of adventure would you design for a single player campaign? Give us some ideas in the comment section below.
Header image / art credit: Steven S. Crompton