It’s all about Duality–Twoness. It took two guys, Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax to create Dungeons and Dragons. See any twos there? I see two of them. It’s not just Dungeons. It’s not just Dragons. My game, which also has its dual elements (Tunnels and Trolls) was the second role-playing game to come out. My other favorite rpg is Runequest. Two elements–runes and quests. 🙂 (Okay, I’m kinda reaching there), but when I think of Runequest I think of two guys again. Greg Stafford and Steve Perrin.
Once you get into a role-playing game duality is very important. The universe is built on the double standard. Man/Woman. Positive/Negative. Creation/Destruction. (You ever notice how the creative principle is usually male–Brahma. The destructive principle is usually female–Kali. Even though it is women who actually give birth. In Greek mythology Zeus is always going around creating new demigods–lusty old Zeus! Hera is always trying to kill off those sons and daughters of Zeus. Odin, the male god rules the bright realm of Valhalla–the place all of us Norsemen really want to wind up in. Hela, the female goddess rules the cold and barren realm of Hell–the place we don’t want to go when we die.–I could continue this line of thought for a long time, but I’ll leave it to you readers to find more example or even more fun contrasting examples. There are always at least two ways of looking at things.)
Getting back to important twos in Tunnels and Trolls, we have the Good Kindreds (from whom you should be creating most of your player characters), and the Monster Kindreds, who are actually more fun to play. Unlike some other game systems that use the duality of Order and Chaos, or Good and Evil, Tunnels and Trolls doesn’t use those much. Evil is just a point of view. So is good. Another important two-ness in T & T is magic-user and non-magic-user. Some people have the ability. Some just plain don’t.
Another important duality is Simple/Complex. We all know that life itself and the universe in general is highly complex. But you know what? Your life will be better (as opposed to worse) if you can Keep It Simple, Sam!
Another important thing in Tunnels & Trolls is using 2D6 to make saving rolls. You roll 2D6 (doubles add and roll again–DARO) and add that number to the base attribute or Talent being tested, then compare it to a target number you were trying to reach–such as 20 for a Level One Saving Roll. If you equal or surpass the target number, you made the saving roll–hooray! Good things will happen, or at least bad things won’t happen. If you go under your desired target–yikes, you’re in trouble! Saving rolls alway use two six-siders.
Come back tomorrow! And I’ll see if I can find any important threes in Tunnels and Trolls, and maybe rpg in general.