Wednesday, January 30, 2013

dT&T Update: $75K and $85K Goals Smashed!

If you have been keeping up with the dT&T Kickstarter page you'll know just how well the campaign is going. The $75,000 goal (once considered a long-shot) was achieved last week and new $85,000 and $100,000 goals and incentives were announced. These incentives were decided upon after a survey of current supporters was conducted. Well, the $85K goal has been reached so there is even more for supporters to enjoy once this project is complete. What has been added with these two milestones?

$75,000 Milestone Achieved!

A pdf reprint of Ken St. Andre's first solitaire adventure, Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeon to every backer.

A second 8-page tip-in of color art, at least half of which will be new, previously unseen art.

An 11x17 poster with the colorized art from the City of Terrors cover to everyone who has ordered Bjorni's Map of Trollworld.

$85,000 Milestone Achieved!

A reissue of the Dungeon of the Bear GM adventure (all three levels) provided as a free pdf to everyone at the $14 level and above with a printed version as a $6 add on.

A GM Screen as a free pdf to everyone at the $14 level and above, plus a full color printed version printed on thick sturdy cardstock (25.5 x 11 inches) as a $5 add-on.

A limited number of the old, long forgotten easel binder provided that a $20 add on.

A wooden box as an add on (price TBD).

That's a lot of new stuff. I'm happy to see GM adventures being included as well as the classic solos.

Better yet, a set new stretch goal has already been announced for $100,000. I think that we can do it.

$100,000 Milestone

A compendium of the solo and GM adventures from Sorcerer's Apprentice (I'm really excited about this one), plus the Circle of Ice mini solo, all improved and edited for dT&T, provided as a pdf for every backer at $10 or above, plus as an inexpensive add-on paperback version.

Rick will give a free deck of cards (see )to everyone at the $10 or above level.

Two temporary color tattoo's will be produced and sent to everyone at the $10 or above level (this one has some interesting added value).

A special Liz Danforth and Steve Crompton screensaver will be produced and given free to all backers.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Liz Danforth Gives a Preview of the dT&T Cover

Liz Danforth has posted a sneak peak at one of the characters to be featured in the cover of the new Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls rulebook on her blog, Danforth. The featured character is a female rogue carrying a bow. The sketch evokes much of what I imagine the T&T world to be and I'm excited to see the final piece. In her blog, Liz discusses how she pulls ideas from the world around her for her characters, a little on the history of the cover that she did for the 7th edition rules, a some hints at the cover to come.

If you have not checked out the Kickstarter campaign for dT&T please do so. It has already reached over $73,000 and so is almost to the $75,000 stretch goals. There are still 12 days to go so I have little doubt that goal will be met. The only question is, what new stretch goals await?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

dT&T $60,000 Milestone Reached!

The $60,000 milestone has been achieved and surpassed! With this milestone all backers will receive a pdf copy of the newly revised solo adventure Buffalo Castle and a pdf of a reprinted copy of City of Terrors with the original cover. As an added bonus, anyone who has pledged and purchased a hardback copy of the dT&T rule book will receive a printed copy of the revised Buffalo Castle. Sounds great to me. As of now the campaign has over $63,500 pledged by 947 backers and is well on it's way toward the $75,000 milestone with still 18 days to go in it's 33 day campaign. So if you still have not done so, go to the dT&T Kickstarter page and see what they have to offer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rogues Level Bonus

I wanted to clarify the bonus I give to Rogues as they advance through levels that I mentioned in my last post on my house rules for Level and Attribute Advancement.

In the 7.5 edition of T&T, Warriors and Wizards gain new abilities as they increase in level. Warriors get bonus combat adds equal to their level while Wizards get to cast lower level spells at a reduced WIZ cost equal to (Wizard Level - Spell Level). Rogues get no such bonus. I found this not to my liking, so I added a house rule for 7.5 to give Rogues a bonus when they increase in level.

The bonus is focused on the big strength of Rogues in 7.5, the Roguery talent. All Rogues start with Roguery as their beginning talent. Roguery is based in the highest attribute out of Intelligence, Luck, and Charisma. To this attribute you add the result of a roll on 1D6 as with other talents. The Roguery talent may be used in lieu of INT, LK, or CHR when a Saving Roll is required on any of those three attributes. I've discussed the power of the Roguery talent previously. Since Roguery is the distinguishing feature of Rogues in 7.5, this is what I decided to base their level bonus up (warriors have combat ability and wizards have spell casting).

My House Rule is:

Rogues gain a bonus to their Roguery Talent equal to their current level.

Therefore, you add your Rogue's current level number (even if it is 1) to your Roguery talent (not the Saving Roll). So a 1st level Rogue will have a Roguery Talent equal to the highest of INT, LK, or CHR + 1D6 + 1. The Roguery talent will increase by 1 for each new level gained in addition to any increases in the base attribute. Rogues still get to add their level number to their Saving Roll on 2D6 as with any Saving Roll on any attribute or talent by any character type.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Level and Attribute Advancement Revisited

I like the idea of having level advancement and increasing attributes separate. Neither 5th nor 7/7.5 editions of T&T really satisfied me in this regard so I developed my own system combining the methods for character levels and improving attributes established in these edition. Of course this system does have some drawbacks in the bookkeeping requirements.

Recently a new discussion at the Trollbridge related to this topic was started by Kwll where he proposed basing character level not on the value of any one attribute as in 7/7.5 edition, but simply on the number of times the character has improved any attributes.

In thinking about this system I realized that there is a simpler approach to my own system which still combines elements of 5th and 7.5 edition and requires much less bookkeeping.

Individual attributes are increased using the 10x current attribute system of the 7.5 edition. Keep track of how many APs are spent to increase your attributes (don't worry about how those APs were earned as in my previous system). Once this number reaches the number of APs specified in 5th edition for each level (1000 AP = 2nd level; 3000 AP = 3rd level; 7000 AP = 4th level; etc) you gain a level. The caveat would be that these APs would have to be spent to count, not just be sitting in the "bank." So you just need to keep track of two numbers, the number of AP gained and number of AP spent.

Increasing attributes has obvious advantages of increasing your character's general abilities, strength, dexterity, intelligence, luck, etc., which are not necessarily related to the character's profession but will improve your character's chances of defeating opponents, making it past traps, and basically surviving. I do prefer this method of increasing attributes over that of 5th edition where only one or two attributes are increased with each new level. It gives players much more flexibility in crafting their characters over time. It certainly gives them a lot more options than raising their Luck by 4 once they reach second level. It also makes attributes and levels distinct, each offering something different because they are different.

When your character gains a level, he/she gains the new level bonuses according to type: level # bonus warrior adds, decreased spell cost for wizards, and level # bonus to Roguery talent for rogues (Note: this is a house rule of my own since rogues have no specific level bonus in 7.5) as well as general bonuses for all types: level # saving roll bonus and one new talent.

This system still separates attribute values and character levels since the value of your attributes does not matter as long as you have earned and spent the requisite number of adventure points. This is important because if you start off with a lot of bad attribute rolls when you create a character, you don't have to wait until you finally raise one of them to 20 to increase your abilities as a warrior, rogue, or wizard. You simply need to earn and spend 1000 adventure points, just like that other character that started with a Luck of 18. It also has the advantage of eliminating the chance of characters starting at 2nd level or higher at their creation, like every Dwarf on the planet.

I plan on play testing this new system in my next T&T play-by-post game to see how it works and if players find it worthwhile. As always, I welcome any comments or suggestions.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Take That You Fiend!

A recent post at The Delving Dwarf discussed the effectiveness of different offensive magic spells in T&T. Specifically Jerri compared the 7th edition spells Call Flame, Blasting Power, Fire at Will, and Take That You Fiend (TTYF). In his analysis, Jerry showed that TTYF was far superior in terms of damage potential, range, and cost to any of these other three spells; so much so that no Wizard would bother with these spells when TTYF was available. To correct this imbalance Jerry made some nice suggestions to alter the other three spells so that they were more appealing alternatives.

While I like these ideas, I think that reconsidering the effectiveness of TTYF is a simpler approach; change just one spell rather than several.

As Jerry showed, TTYF is a first level spell that packs a major punch. For a mere 6 WIZ or STR a Wizard, Rogue, or Warrior-Wizard can deliver hits equal to his/her IQ 100 feet away every time. This attack cannot miss, the hits bypass all armor, and they take effect whether or not the caster's side wins a combat turn. That's quite a spell for every first level Wizard to know right out of the Guild. Get three or four spell casters in your party that know TTYF and you can blast through just about anything. I find it hard to imagine why a Wizard in an adventuring party wouldn't teach TTYF to any Rogues at the first opportunity.

But as Jerry said, the power of TTYF makes the use of other offensive magic unnecessary. The third level spell Blasting Power costs 9 WIZ and has a range of only 70 feet; it does damage in dice equal to the casters level plus the casters personal adds (a 4th level Wizard with 12 adds does 4D6+12 damage). The spell can be powered up to do double the dice in damage from the previous level; for example increasing Blasting Power to a 4th level spell costs 18 WIZ and deals 8D6+12, to a 5th level spell costs 27 WIZ and deals 16D6+12. These higher level spells have a potential for high damage, but you could also roll a handful of 1s. That's a big risk for so many points of WIZ. But magic should be risky, shouldn't it; should the outcome be assured?

My suggested house rule for Take That You Fiend! is to treat the casters INT as a MR to determine the number of dice and adds the spell gets. So if you have an INT of 18, your TTYF deals 2D+9 in damage rather than a straight 18 hits. You could deliver a whopping 21 hits or a mere 11 hits. This introduces a bit of randomness to the effect of the spell that I find appealing and which fits in with the damage of other offensive spells. As a Wizard's or Rogue's INT increases, he/she will be able do more damage, but not to the extreme of the typical TTYF. This change should not only make other combat spells more appealing but also add some extra flavor to the old Take That You Fiend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DT&T Kickstarter News and Stretch Goals

As you can see to the right, the Kickstarter campaign for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls is approaching 200% of it's goal. As a result of this success, there have been some new developments.

First, someone pledged $2000 and purchased Ken's personal copy of the T&T 1st edition rules. As a result, everyone who purchases a soft or hard cover copy of the DT&T book will receive a copy of the 1st edition rules. This is fantastic news. My hope is that this edition is offered as a PDF by Flying Buffalo at their RPGnow store even after the Kickstarter campaign has ended.

There have also been three stretch goals, or milestones, released. Here are the descriptions of the milestones from the Kickstarter page:

$50,000 Milestone

Ken will write a solo adventure specifically for the 1st edition, and we will send a PDF of that adventure to all our backers.

Ken will include new spells in the spellbook that he has been dreaming up for the last couple days, and he will write a new section of the rulebook about using miniatures with T&T.

We will include in the Deluxe T&T rulebook an 8-page tip-in of color plates. This will be in all the rulebooks. It will include the old cover from the City of Terrors solitaire.

Rick will recreate the famous "Official T&T Pencil - 1/2 Die Weapon When Sharpened". We will include one of these for everyone who has pledged $20 or more.

$60,000 Milestone

We will reprint the City of Terrors solitaire adventure by Michael Stackpole, with the original cover (mentioned above) and we will send a PDF of this book to all our supporters.

We will reprint a new, updated version of Rick's Buffalo Castle solitaire, the very first solitaire adventure published for any role-playing game, and provide a PDF to all our supporters.

$75,000 Milestone

We will include a second 8-page tip-in of color art, at least half of which will be new, previously unseen art.

We will include an 11x17 poster with the art from the City of Terrors cover to everyone who has ordered Bjorni's Map of Trollworld (we'll mail them together).

We will reprint Ken's first solitaire adventure, Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeon, and include a PDF of it to every backer.

That's a lot of great added material for each milestone. If the campaign makes it to the $75,000 milestone, more are promised. So if you have not supported DT&T yet, do so. Even if you just pledge $28 for the softcover copy, you'll get the majority of these bonuses. You're going to get a lot for your money.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Has Funded!!!

That right. The Kickstarter campaign launched on January 3 for DT&T has exceeded it's $26,000 goal by January 5. I'm not sure exactly how much time it took to fund, but that is pretty impressive. Look for some really cool stretch goals being released soon.

Deluxe Tunnel and Trolls lives!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter is Live!!!

The Kickstarter campaign for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls is now live! They have already raised over $7500 with 115 backers. There are a lot of great packages that include PDF, softcover, and hardcover editions of the new rulebook plus lots of great options such as maps, dice, magnets, coins, custom artwork, and more. Check it out at the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter page!

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls: More Updates

More great information on Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls has been released in the last few days:

1. Ken St. Andre has posted the first in a series of entries on behind-the-scenes activity in the development process of DT&T. Ken has promised a new post every Monday and to answer questions that are asked. This first post covers some of the reasons behind the new edition.

2. Steve Crompton has posted a sneak-peak of the new detailed map of Trollworld.

3. Finally, the Kickstarter project has been submitted and will be going live soon! Special rewards are promised for early pledges as well as limited availability reward levels.

Read about it all at the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls website!