I’m getting a late start on the D7 blog today because I spent most of the day at the LepreCon science fiction convention in Tempe. I played a lot of Shadowfist, and ran a short demo game of Tunnels and Trolls. I also visited 3 comic book stores today for Free Comic Book Day. Two of the stores were great: Samurai Comics and All About Books and Comics–the third was kind of a wasted trip, but it was late in the day, and the best stuff was already taken. I will blog about that separately in Atroll’s Entertainment.
Seven is for Seventh edition Tunnels and Trolls. That is the current form of the game. Seventh edition came out in 2005 when Fiery Dragon offered to do a 30th anniversary memorial edition of my game. When I got involved, the newest version of T & T became a really large project. It gave me a chance to make some important changes in the rules–the most important being how character levels worked. In all previous editions of T & T, and of other rpgs that I know about, character levels were based on experience points. The character compiled X points and went up a level. In all previous versions of T & T, getting a new level allowed the player to choose some arbitrary addition of points to an attribute. Everything could be improved, but the rewards varied with the attribute. Easiest to improve was Luck. Hardest was Intelligence. It took a complicated table, and a long list of levels to figure it all out. 7th edition is a lot simpler. Levels don’t depend on enormous numbers of experience points any more. They depend on the numerical attributes of the characters. There is now a pure relationship between how talented the characters are and what level they are considered to be.
(Technically, the current edition is 7.5. I tightened up the 7th edition rules, and reduced the number of adventure points needed to increase an attribute by 1 point. It’s fairly easy to increase an attribute by 1 point in low-power games of T & T now. That is actually a lot of fun for new players, and gives them an immediate payoff for successful action. It works very well.)
Seventh edition did something neat that I don’t believe has ever been done before in gaming. Liz Danforth, cover artist of 5th edition, painted a new picture showing what happened to the characters on the 5th edition cover on the following combat round. They seem to be winning on the 5th editon cover. They are getting whupped by the trolls on the 7th edition. On yeah, T & T is definitely a monster friendly game.
Back in the early editions of T & T, seven had another important function. Rogues could only progress up to 7th level. After 7th level, the Rogue character had to choose to be either a Warrior or a Wizard if he/she wanted to go on to 8th level. It was an arbitrary rule based on my early perception that rogues never actually turned into super characters in literature or the movies. Around 5th edition I realized that was kind of a silly restriction, and either I dropped it, or Liz Danforth dropped it. Anyway, that restriction on the character levels of Rogues vanished.
There’s not much to say about 7 in Tunnels and Trolls. I could mention some things that are not sevens. There are not 7 days in a week. Seven is not a lucky number. There is no 7th heaven. The world does not have 7 seas.
If you can think of any important sevens in T & T, please leave them in a comment. Members of Trollhalla who leave comments will get 777 extra tvp.