Saturday, October 30, 2010

Any Tunnels & Trolls lovers out there to answer a question or two?

I found a copy of Tunnels & Trolls online for about a buck... but it seems to be an imported English version from Corgi books. It has a red cover with a slight variation of the 5th edition cover featuring a troll getting blasted by TTYF. It was printed in 1986. My question is this: does it differ significantly fro T&T 5?

My other question is: are T&T 5.5 and 7/7.5 significantly better or improved over 5th edition?

I ask out of pure curiosity, of course... if I wanted to play T&T, I'd just rock the free clone, Lances & Labyrinths, which I printed out last summer. As anyone who reads this blog knows, however, I am often overcome by a strange sort of biliophilia, especially where gaming books are concerned.

Thanks in advance.


  1. Any edition, Corgi or otherwise, issued between 1979 and the mid-2000s should have only minor changes (some different spell names, different art, different authorial voice, but essentially the same rules). That is definitely a good deal, although I believe those are digest/paperback sized. If you decide you like it, I'd invest in a US 5th or 5.5.

    5.5 reprints the 5th edition as originally printed, with the exception of a section of previously optional rules - such as the commonly used "spite damage" house rule - at the end. If you're just getting into the game, it may actually be a better value than 5th, as you can play it either as "5th as written" or using the additional rules. My only warning is that the cover isn't quite as sturdy as most printings of 5th.

    Anything after 5.5 is a different game. 7.5 adds new classes, non-Danforth art, a "Talents" mechanic that's actually pretty good, a non-Strength "Magic" stat, a controversial (and I think clunky and unnecessary) "magic resistance" mechanic, and other complications and additions that I don't like. It's a decent game, but I think it lacks the character and elegance of T&T 5th, which is my favorite edition. (I get roughly the same vibe from 7.5 as I got from AD&D 2e, frankly.)

    The Corgi purchase sounds like a great way to get your feet wet. 5.5 is also a good buy, as it presents 5th in toto along with additions you may find useful. I consider 7.5 a waste of money (I had it in .pdf format and deleted it, I think, without bothering to back it up).

    Other people may hold entirely different opinions. As you may have guessed, I believe (perhaps predictably) that the game reached its apex in 1979.

  2. I just spent numerous posts reviewing 7.5 on my blog.

    Scott pretty much nailed the edition differences, as the main difference between 5 / 5.5 is the addition of spite damage.

    A buck for any edition is a bargain ;)

    My only Corgi T&T stuff is from the oversized paperback modules line. Corgi changed many of the "silly" spell names in those.

    I happen to like both 5+ and 7+ editions and it's all 98% compatible.

  3. You beat me to it, Erik. I was going to say, Tenkar is your man!"