Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
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Tunnels & Trolls 7th Edition Commentary

Tunnels & Trolls 7th Edition Commentary

I have been told there is no official FAQ for T&T 7; what follows is a compilation of the questions that I personally have, in addition to various comments on the rules born of more than 30 years of doing this kind of thing (and a certain amount of just being a wiseass…).

Page 8: Comment: TARO doesn’t do much for me; it just isn’t significant enough. TARO only comes up twice in every nine characters, and when it does come up, it only has about a one in three chance of producing a value of 18+. What is the goal here? If it is to create extraordinary characters, something a bit more potent (Exploding sixes?) would be in order; if it was to prevent “turkey” characters (a more noble goal, to my mind), something like “Exploding ones (ones roll over and add; it doesn’t produce much in the way of extra high values, but it DOES get rid of the really low ones)” would have been a good approach.

Page 9: Comment: The “Realism” digression under the “Citizen” heading answers the question of “Why don’t humans get anything special?” quite nicely. There are lots of humans in Trollworld. That doesn’t mean that they make very good adventurers.

Page 11: Question: Is “Roguery” available to other characters who choose to take it? In light of the comment under the FAQ on page 120, it would seem that the answer is, “No,” but it doesn’t say that anywhere.

Page 11: Comment: I would be strongly inclined to restrict Magic and Marksmanship as “saving throws to which Roguery does NOT apply.” Roguery would still be cool and uber-powerful, just not quite AS uber-powerful.

Page 18: Comment: I have doubts about the inclusion of the Paragon class in this book. Paragons characters come up less than one time in 2000, and that seems a strange use of most of a page when space was so limited. Not that there is anything wrong with the Paragon concept, particularly. Maybe the qualification should be dropped to “eleven or better” instead of “12 or better”; that would make the odds somewhat better than one in 250, which is more in line with the v.5 Warrior Wizard (those extra two characteristics play hob with the probability curve).

Page 20: Discrepancy: The character on the sample sheet has a dead average characteristic total of 86, but in the text description, SPD is given as 16, not 6 (which gives the character a significantly above average total of 96).

Page 25: Comment: The height and weight modifiers make me a little crazy. A four foot tall dwarf who weighs 350 pounds if grossly obese(WT value should be ONE, which makes dwarves appropriately stocky for their height); a three foot tall hobb who weighs 170 is even MORE obese (WT value, allowing for some stoutness, should be 0.2); an 18 inch tall leprechaun who weighs more than 50 pounds would seem to have been cast from the densest material known to man (WT should be about 0.02, and THAT would be chunky), and fairies, as stated, have a density of nearly five times the densest material known to man (weight should be 0.002, and THAT makes them twice as heavy by volume as normal creatures). (As an aside, it might be reasonable to simply state that faeries have a STR of ONE, period, end of argument. That is being REALLY generous, and harks back to the days when creatures with no hands had a fixed DEX of 3…)

Page 25: Comment: While we are at it, why “Hobb”? I know that there were good reasons to stop using “hobbit”, but “Halfling” has been established as public domain since TSR’s first run in with the Tolkien estate, back in the mid-70s. “Hobb” makes me think of hobgoblins, which I don’t think is the goal, here…

Pages 26 & 27: Comment: The Rare Kindred table REALLY needs an accompanying list of descriptions, even if they are only one sentence each. I have been a gamer, a fantasist, and a folklorist for more than 30 years, and *I* have no idea what an “Urook” or and “Urookin” is. (Are they orcs? Orcs are public domain…)

Page 28: Comment: The Height and Weight table is a discussion unto itself. Suffice it for the nonce that it makes me REALLY unhappy.

Page 33: Discrepancy: The rule for improving Talents (“treated like attributes”) on this page would seem to contradict the more detailed rules for Talent improvement on page 39. Which rule is correct? (I assume 39…)

Page 38: Question: Does a character that begins the game at second level (for whatever reason) get a second Talent off the bat? It makes sense, but an explicit statement would be good.

Page 38: Comment: The line, “But wait—Luck is a level attribute for warriors!” implies the level saving throw bonus only applies to level attributes. I understand you have already addressed this as an error. I understand that you have also made statements to the fact that the “only if you would have otherwise failed the saving roll” restriction is an unnecessary complication, and I whole-heartedly agree.

Pages 43 to 64: Comment: Given the level of detail that isn’t provided elsewhere, there are AT LEAST twice as many pages dedicated to equipment as can really be justified.

Page 80: Question: A warrior takes on a monster, kills it, and he gets AP for the Monster Rating. A wizard or Rogue takes on the same monster and kills it with magic, and he gets AP for the spell casting saving roll, and for the WIZ expended, AND for the Monster Rating. Is that right? (I don’t really have a problem with it, it just seems to favor spell casters.)

Page 83: Comment: The use of the word “kremm” intrigues me. At this point in time, I would have thought that “mana” had become sufficiently generic that it was the default term for magical energy.

Page 85: Question: There is nothing under “Casting Cost” (or anywhere else) about casting spells above your character level. Is this right?

Page 87: Comment: In the discussion of breaking down Kremm Resistance, it seems to me that the effect of high level and focusing devices should be mentioned. A level one TTYF cast by a third (or higher) level wizard using a focus only costs the WIZARD 1 kremm point, but the SPELL still costs SIX, and that is what is subtracted from the target. Or have I misinterpreted the situation?

Page 87: Comment: Still on the matter of Kremm Resistance, it seems to me that kremm resistance should only apply to spells that directly effect the object, like TTYF and HTP. Spells like Call Flame and Call Water create a normal substance and throw it; the damage is done by ordinary chemistry and/or physics.

Page 90: Comment: Call Flame and Call Water both seem a bit pricey compared to TTYF. Even if the “Call” spells aren’t effected by Kremm resistance, they should probably only cost 6, given that they aren’t as basically powerful as TTYF (though, admittedly, you can’t light a cigar or fill a bathtub with TTYF…).

Page 94: Comment: Teacher: Rogues can’t learn spells this way? Then how do they learn spells? The Guild won’t teach them, and player Wizards CAN’T teach them… Rogues need to be able to memorize a spell with a saving roll, as well. (Though a saving throw penalty might be appropriate, relative to Wizards…)

Page 95: Comment: Who’s There? seems to have an awfully short duration. To use it to get a good night’s sleep, it must be cast at level 4. And at that, it is only good if you only expect ONE type of interloper. A four hour duration and a general area effect (anything over a pound that crosses the circle) would seem to make more sense.

Page 95: Comment: Will-o-Wisp also seems too short, too dim, and too expensive for a minor utility spell, particularly when compared to Cat Eyes. At a cost of one, with a duration of one hour, and the equivalent of lantern light, I can see it being used fairly often. As it is, not so much. (A standard to consider: Can you see a Rogue EVER bothering to learn this spell?)

Page 96: Comment: Ding-a-Ling: Same comments as for “Who’s There?”

Page 98: Comment: Spirit Mastery: Combine this spell with Rock-a-Bye (to make touching easier), and you have an army builder. I know these are carryovers from 5E, and I am not really objecting, I am just intrigued by the variation, from game to game, in how difficult it is to perform mind-rape. I think this spell takes the prize; it is the cheapest, easiest enslavement spell that I know of.

Page 99: Comment: Unlucky Bees: I have seen a fair amount of commentary to the extent that this spell is way too powerful, and I don’t agree. Yes, it does make it possible for new characters to buy a large number of combat adds. The downside, of course, is that it makes having a high Luck, regardless of source, potentially fatal. And woe unto the character who uses a Luck multiplier…

Page 100: Comment: Blasting Power: This spell seems to be woefully underpowered compared to TTYF, at least until the Wizard is REALLY powerful, and maybe even then.

Page 101: Comment: Fire at Will: See the comment on Blasting Power.

Page 102: Comment: Why is the “luggage limit” for Fly Me based on the character’s WEIGHT? Wouldn’t it make more sense to be based on something more relevant to magic, like “ten (or twenty, or thirty) pounds per INT (or WIZ) point? Obviously a character can’t carry more than he can hold onto, but it should be able to combine this spell with Upsidaisy to let a Fairy carry a Centaur.

Page 102: Freeze Please: See comments on Blasting Power, above.

Page 105: Comment: Upsidaisy would seem to make more sense if the “luggage limit” were based on something other than character weight. Why should a Centaur be any better at tossing stuff WITH HIS MIND than a Fairy?

Pages 110, 113, and 114: Comment: Comparing Imafrawg, Yerafrawg, Smaller is Smarter, and Bigger is Better, I just can’t see the “no change in mass” restrictions on the Frawg spells. Limiting the mass change to a factor of 3, or a die roll, would make sense. But I can’t see the outright ban.

Page 111: Comment: Zombie Zonk: Given how easy it is to enslave living beings with the Spirit Mastery spell, I can’t see any reason why this spell shouldn’t be permanent.

Page 113: Comment: Mortal Source: I have no idea why this spell is level NINE. It should be level one or two at the most. If more restrictions are needed on magic items, they really should be on the Patterns of Fate spell rather than making this one such a high level. Maybe Patterns of Fate should include the requirement that a wizard must have the necessary INT and DEX to use an imbedded spell?

Page 117: Comment: Omniflex: This spell is usually mentioned in conjunction with Unlucky Bees as being broken. Given that it takes about a million Aps to cast this spell, that seems a small quibble. On the other hand… I would feel happier if this spell only affected STR, DEX, CON, and SPD. It would seem to me that it is much easier to rearrange the body than the soul…

Done, for now, at least.
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