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Strictly speaking this is not a Delvers Tale, but it is partially about stories, and thus fits better here than in Atroll’s Entertainments.  This blog is a commercial in which I am going to try and get you to buy something from me.  If you’re not interested in even thinking about buying stuff from me, stop reading now.  Nobody is twisting your arm here.  (Grin).  (I mean, if I could send a giant troll to your house to twist  your arm and get you to buy my stuff, I totally would do it, but that’s not possible.)

The glowing demons just kept coming at the black-armored knights of Mandrikor.

Trollhalla Deals  #1

Trollhalla Deals is an occasional publication by me, Ken St. Andre, in which I try to find good homes for some of the material I have lying around the house.  This material should be of interest to anyone who feels that my writings are in any way worth reading or collecting, and probably not of much interest to anyone else.  It also contains some miscellaneous Tunnels & Trolls material by other people.  I am selling it to get some material to support Trollhalla activities (such as paying the artists for their work in Trollhalla Press publications), and to find good homes for the material among my friends.  No one is under any influence to buy anything here that you don’t really want.  This is the October 2011 edition of Trollhalla Deals.

 

Auction Items

Auction Rules:  Send your bid for any of the items listed below to me at: kenstandre@yahoo.com.  Payment is usually through paypal.com, but you may pay by check, money order, or cash.  I will estimate a cost for postage when I tell you that you won the item.  If anyone outbids you, I will tell you what the high bid is and give you a chance to beat it.  If you are high bidder, I will tell you.  Any competing bid must beat the previous high by at least $1, and I urge you all to work in integral multiples of $1—let’s not monkey around with bids like $3.42.

  1. 1.       The Amulet of the Salkti (T & T solo #20) designed by David Steven Moskowitz.  Front cover by Stephan Peregrine; interior illustrations by Michael Kucharski.  A Flying Buffalo Blade Production.  First Printing.  October 1984.  37 p.  condition: very good.  Starting bid: $5.
  2. 2.      The Sorcerer’s Scrolls issue 37.  A gaming fanzine produced by Tori Bergquist in 1991.  Tori is a member of Trollhalla where he goes by the name of Tyrrrannosaurrr.  There is some T & T material in the zine including this quote which seems kind of funny 20 years later.  “There has been some talk, most speculation, going on about the possibility of producing the mythical 6th Edition of T & T (A T & T: the right choice . . .)  It is my advice that all great fans of the game and devout die-hards (all nine of us) should write to Rick Loomis at Flying Buffalo, P.O. Box 1467, Scottsdale, AZ 85252.  Believe me, folks; T & T, as fun a system as it is, needs a good shot in the arm (or swift kick in the butt) to get it in step with modern times, and a 6th edition is the way to go.”  This issue also contain material by Trollhalla members Rrramberrrt and Kroommmp (Dan Lambert and Steve Crompton)  38 p.  illus.  Condition: excellent.  Starting bid: $5.
  3. 3.      Photocopy version of Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeon spiral bound in green cardboard endpapers.  Fiendishly designed by the justifiably infamous Ken St. Andre, Outstandingly illustrated by the artistically imaginative Liz Danforth, modestly produced by the humanitarian folks at Flying Buffalo, Inc.—A Cosmic Circle Production.  First edition.  Copyright January 1977.  The cover has a note in my handwriting: “Ken St. Andre—Corrected Copy”  However an examination of the interior fails to reveal any obvious corrections.  The pages are one-sided.  Liz’s illustrations are somewhat washed out—the heavy blacks didn’t come through at all.  Condition: Good.  Starting bid:  $5.
  4. 4.      Buffalo Castle.  2nd edition.  Designed by Rick Loomis from an idea by Steve McAllister; cover and illustrations by Liz Danforth.  Flying Buffalo, solitaire adventure #1 for Tunnels and Trolls.  13 p.  copyright 1982, 1976.  Condition:  Perfect.  Starting price: $5.
  5. 5.      Strength.  June 1998.  (This isn’t T & T at all.  It is the masters for a personal zine I was doing back in 1997 and 1998 for the Tarot amateur press association.  8 p.  It is based on an idea I’ve been espousing for the last 20 years called Found tarot (i.e. tarot images are pervasive within out culture and can be found in many different places).  It features an original short story called Arcane’s Journal: The Four of Coins by me.  The story went out to members of my Crossover Earth superhero writing group back in 1997 or so, but has not been seen elsewhere.  I am thinking of transcribing it and putting it on the web in one of my blogs—I hate to waste my creative impulses.  Condition: some corners are bent, but otherwise good.  Starting Price:  $5.
  6. 6.      Oracle, science fiction and fantasy anthology magazine, vol. 1, no. 1.  About 32 p.  c.1982.  This isn’t strictly T & T either, but there is a T & T connection or two.  This was a startup fantasy zine in 1982—a paying market that never made it as a continuing magazine.  I was honored to be part of the first issue along with: Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Daniel Gilbert, Eve Linkletter, Bruce Boston, Michael Stackpole, Terry L. Persun, and Dave Lillard.  My story was called “Mandrikor” and it is my favorite of all the swords and sorcery stories that I ever wrote.  Earlier this year in February, I adapted my Mandrikor story into a G.M. adventure for Tunnels and Trolls, and I ran it twice this year—the first time for Lezzirf and Trrrommm at DundraCon in February.  Stackpole’s story—The God of Thieves–is also fantasy and has a very T & T like feel to it.  One is a slightly faded news stand edition, and the illo from my story is on the back cover.  The other is a coffee-spotted free author’s copy and the illo from my story is on the front cover.  The interiors are identical, but one was splashed with coffee which I hurriedly wiped off.  Starting price: $3 for each one.  Specify which you are bidding for. 

 

Store Items

The following items are T & T things that I have that I would like to pass on to other homes, but do not believe them to be worthy of auction.  Many of them are Outlaw Press items produced by James Shipman during the years in which he was a member in good standing of Trollhalla.  These items have a fixed price.  Take it or leave it.  20% of the money raised by selling these items will be donated to Grumlahk’s Transplant Fund.

  1. 1.       Troll Quest, a T & T Monsters! Monsters! Solo, by James L. Shipman and Jack Spencer Jr.; edited by Brian Penn & Jack Spencer, Jr.  (originally developed by Alan LaVergne.)  Muse help by Thomas K. Loney.  Etc.  22 p.  The art looks like clip art, but is skillfully inserted.  <No copyrights, no trademarks 1st edition, May 1st, 2001>  Condition Excellent.  Price:  $5.
  2. 2.      The Hobbit Hole Magazine #6. (4 copies).  42 p.  profusely illus.  This T & T zine was produced in May 2006 and contains material by several Trollhalla members including: Andy Holmes (The Ice Cavern of Isahill—mini solo dungeon) and Mike Hill (The Dungeon of the Rat) and Tom Loney and Christina Lea (Kopfwerks).  Condition: Excellent.  Price:  $5.
  3. 3.      The Hobbit Hole Magazine #13 (1 copy).  March 2008.  88 p.  Color covers.  Profusely illus.  Contains material by Trollhalla members Rob Lotze, Ken St. Andre, Dalton Calford, Andy Holmes, Tim Labor, Mike Hill, Jon Hancock, Jeff Freels, Gynn Stella.  This is very high quality work, probably some of the best that Outlaw Press ever did, but there is reason to believe Jim was already using appropriated artwork.  Price: $10.
  4. 4.      Tunnels and Trolls Free RPG Day Handout 2007.  (Many copies).  Features a short version of the T & T rules.  A reprint of Goblin Lake, the first mini-solo by Ken St. Andre designed for a goblin protagonist with the original interior illos by Liz Danforth.  A great original Goblin Lake painted front cover by Simon Tranter. (Ramsen Triton of Trollhalla).  Condition: Like new.  No.  not free from me any longer, although I will give one to anyone who pays the Trollhalla Troll tax for 2011.  Price:  $3.
  5. 5.      Strange Destinies; written by Ken St. Andre, Covers by David Schumacher and Jarek Gach; interior illustrations by Jeff Freels; edited by Mari Volmar.  Outlaw Press, c2007.  24 p.  This solo dungeon never should have been included with the 7.5 version of the T & T rules—it is much too difficult for beginners.  The intro says it is “written for warriors only: big warriors.  Rock Trolls, Ogres, and Balrukhs are the recommended kindreds.”  Condition: Like New.  Price:  $10.
  6. 6.      The Hobbit Hole Magazine #16.  (1 copy).  July 2009.  Color covers.  Profusely illus.  Contains material by Trollhalla members Brian Penn, Andy Holmes, Robert Lotze, Ken St. Andre, Tom Loney, Andy Holmes, Dan Hembree, David Crowell, Mari Volmar, and Jeff Freels with additional material by other people.  This is a very high quality production, but may contain appropriated artwork.  Condition:  Like new.  Price:  $10.
  7. 7.      The DewDrop Inn; (many copies) imagined and written by Ken St. Andre; illustrated and tweaked by David Ullery; with a sexy succubus by Katje Romanov; interior covers by Robin Stacey.  Trollhalla Press, copyright August 2011.  72 p.  Conditon: New.  Price:  $12.
______________________________________________
If this method of redistributing stuff from my collection to yours works at all, there will probably be a Trollhalla Deals #2 in a couple of weeks.  If it flops, this page will probably be deleted from the internet forever.  Today is September 30, 2011.  The auction part of this page is definitely out of date by October 7, 2011.  The store part may be valid after that date, but definitely query me first before sending any money.  I can be reached at kenstandre@yahoo.com, and I don’t care who knows it.  
–Ken St. Andre
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The Trollgod talks about the Way Things Are Meant to Be

Some question has come up about what I might have meant when I say the GM is
God. It’s a common principle in all role-playing, so let’s talk about it a
bit.

Some GMs like a free form game. They set up a situation and let the
players do whatever they can with it. I’m like that most of the time.

Other GMs have a story that needs to be told. The characters become
actors in that one story, and have very little freedom. Certain things have to
be done or the story doesn’t get told.

In the first case you don’t have
to mess with the rules much at all. The only thing that can trip you up is the
unspoken/unwritten rules. If the player misses a saving roll and dies, let him.
If he takes on a monster that’s way too tough for him and dies, too bad. The
players have a responsibility to make good decisions and have a good game.

In the second case the story is paramount. If a player gets himself
killed, and the story needs that character, then the god GM can fudge the
results. What should have been a killing blow to the head turns into a glancing
blow that only knocks the character down. Unconscious and left for dead, the
character lies there and takes no harm while the fight moves on. This is good
storytelling. It can make for a great game. It ignores the fact that the GM
threw the game rules out the window in this one case. A skillful GM would never
even let the players know what he had done. After all, it is the GM who narrates
the action, and if he narrated a knockout instead of a kill, then that’s what
happened. That is what I mean when I say the GM is God.

Another
example–could happen in my kind of game. The party is dying, down to its last
few hit points and surrounded by Uruks. You know that the way the dice are
rolling, they will die on the next combat turn. So, suddenly the GM says, “You
hear a loud whistling noise. The Uruks look startled. They turn and run for
their lives, completely ignoring the party. Some of them even drop their
weapons. The party looks around in astonishment. What the heck was that? They
may never find out, but they are alive, and not dead. The game can continue. Did
I break any rules there? No. But the GM played God and saved everyone. The game
continues, with the players wondering what saved them. It may even turn into a
plot hook for later.

The GM has a responsibility to his players–he’s
not there to either pamper or torture them. He’s there to provide a good, fun,
challenging game. Show off the game world. Display your GM creativity. Make
people laugh! Believe me, it takes godlike powers to do all that, so . . . the
GM is God.

T & T can be played mechanically, obeying every “rule”,
but such a game has no “heart”. I want you all to invest your own creativity in
play and in game/world design. Trollworld is my world. You’re welcome to play
there, but you don’t have to. Other worlds may work a bit differently–voila!
House Rules!

You will forgive me if I spend most of my time and effort
working on my own world. When I go play on Beanworld, or Glorantha, or Middle
Earth, it’s different, and I play by the local rules. You should, too, and if
you don’t care for the local rules, don’t bitch about it. Just don’t go back.
I’m a big believer in voting with your feet. The object is to enjoy your gaming,
not to make others unhappy.

Go forth and do great things!”


Once upon a time, 18 was the best number you could roll on 3D6 when creating a Dungeons and Dragons or Tunnels and Trolls character.  Triple sixes, the Venus throw in ancient Roman dice gambling–it’s the epitome of a perfect die roll.  Now T & T uses the TARO rule–six, six, six or 18 is a really good roll and the start of an incredible Specialist character.  So, 18 is for Specialist in T & T 7.5.

18 is for really tall, or really heavy under 5th edition rules–7 feet 2 inches or 350 pounds.

level 18 requires 4 million adventure points under 5th edition rules.

18 is the STR necessary to use the infamous Beak of a Crow weapon–the warhammer especially made for cracking open armored helmets.

18 is a great age to be–still a teenager, graduating high school, entering college.  I wish I was 18.

If you have any notable 18s to add, please put them in the comments below.  Today is May 23, and the blogging challenge is fading now.  Still, I will flog this dying blog as long as I can.

–end


17 is for Morning Star.

My apologies, brave ones–as the d numbers get bigger, it gets harder and harder to add anything significant about T & T.  I’m really just continuing this because of the challenge I set myself.

17 is for Trollworld basketball player.  When rolling 3D6 for a human character’s height, a 17 generates a height of 6 feet 11 inches tall.  It generates a weight of 310 pounds.  And that’s all pure power-packed barbarian muscle.

17 is the Strength required to bend an extra-heavy bow (one with a draw weight of over 100 pounds.  17 is also the Strength required to wield a heavy mace or a morningstar.

It seems to me that 17 was a magic number in 1st edition Dungeons and Dragons, being the number of character levels possible.  In my naivete circa 1975, I thought 17 was as high as levels needed to go in role-playing games.  Thus, my ultimate magic spells in 1st edition T & T were 17th level, and they were Summoning, Banishing, and Deluxe Staff.  The Deluxe Staff spell is kind of special: the text reads: This is a spell you can’t do, folks.  You may buy deluxe staves from the (Wizards) Guild (5000 gold pieces), but they are actually made by a small, very secretive clan of wizards who like their privacy.  There is no such thing as “deluxe staff material” for weapons or armor.  Considering that the deluxe staff is described as absolutely indestructible, that’s a good thing.

If you know any other good 17s for Tunnels and Trolls, feel free to list them in the comments below. I’m a day late on these blogs already, but I’ll catch up some time.  (ha! and if you believe that, I have some swamp land I’d like to show you.)

–end


Liz Danforth's picture of a goblin in goblin Lake has always been the way I visualized these little 2D6 monsters.

Sixteen is a good number for Goblins–they like to run in packs, and 16 is a good monster rating for them, too.  A monster rating of 16 gets the goblin 2D6 + 8 combat adds–average combat roll around 15.  Almost any first level T & T fighter can beat a single goblin in a fight, but 16 of them at a time might be a bit much.  Time for strategy, tactics, and a quick retreat if you meet 16 Goblins at one time.

In 5th edition, Level 16 magic is for anti-magic spells and Exorcism.

16 is the Dexterity required to use heavy bows in combat effectively.  It is also the Strength needed for a hand and a half sword–sometimes called a bastard sword.  They called it that because they hated what it, not because they couldn’t find its father.

Sixteen is also for sweet 16–a very good age to start role-playing.

If you have some sweet 16s to add about Tunnels and Trolls, please put them in the comments below, and come back tomorrow to see if I have anything for 17 in Tunnels and Trolls.

–end


The Troll's treasure hoard.

Fifteen is for the Troll’s Hoard in Trollstone Caverns.  TC is the short GM adventure that I wrote for 5th edition T & T.  While much of the text in 5th edition actually came from Liz Danforth, the Trollstone Caverns is all mine.  The map has 18 key locations, but location 15 is the deepest point, and the spot where any adventurers are most likely to get good loot.

Fifteen is a number widely used in the weapons tables of the 5th edition.  Medium self bows and medium longbows both require a DEX of 15 to use them.  I took 2 semesters of archery a million years ago when I was in college.  It’s harder than it looks.  Really light bows don’t have much penetrating power.  Heavier weapons that take more strength to draw tend to wobble.  Modern bowmen all want to be sharpshooters–too much of the Robin Hood legend, I think.  Ancient and medieveal bowmen didn’t worry so much about shooting straight.  They were grouped in companies, and they laid down barrages of arrow fire by making high arcing shots.  The bow was the artillery of its time.

15 is also the number of weapon adds that all the early forms of pistols get in combat.  If your character gets shot with a gunne in T & T, he/she is gonna get hurt, and hurt pretty bad.

Yes, there are guns in Tunnels & Trolls. They are rare, but deadly.

There is one 15th level spell in 5th edition T & T.  Air, Earth, Fire, and Water allows the caster to conjure an elemental to use as a servant for 5 game turns.  Its monster rating will equal the total of the caster’s attributes times two.  That will usually generate a humongously powerful servant.  300 years later in 7th edition T & T, this spell has been lost.

If you can think of any other fine fifteens used in Tunnels and Trolls, please list them in the comments below, and come back tomorrow to see what I can do with sweet Sixteen.

–end


Oz, the god wizard of the land of Oz. Being a god can be a lot of work.

Fourteen is for fortnight–a term never once used in Tunnels and Trolls.

Fourteenth-level Spells and Beyond: Spells of 14th level and higher are not sold by the Wizards Guild in the Empire of Khazan.  There are rumors that they can be learned from the Nagas, but they are generally considered to be god-level magic and should be distributed only at the discretion of the GM.

Which leads me to talk for a little bit about god-level wizards.  Originally, there were no gods postulated for Tunnels and Trolls.  The game developed in a religious vacuum.  As far as I know, no human society yet has ever existed without the idea of gods.  The gods might be benevolent, malevolent, or indifferent, but there were always gods.  On some basic level, people need to believe in powers greater than themselves.  They need explanations for such questions as “why is there lightning?”

Well, we all know the answer to why questions.  The answer is because.  There is lighting because Zeus is throwing thunderbolts at things on Earth.  Or if not Zeus, then Thor.  How can they be powerful enough to hurl lighting?  They can do it because they are gods.

On Earth we made up gods to explain the unexplainable.  In Trollworld, there are people–wizards–who can do unexplainable things.  They can fly.  They can cast lightning bolts.  They can disappear and reappear in different places.  These people are wizards–magic users.

And some wizards are clearly more powerful than others.  Some wizards like Gristlegrim or Loopo the mad mage are so powerful that they have created whole new races/kindreds to be their people.  Gristlegrim literally made the Dwarves of Trollwold.  He carved them from stone and brought them to life.  Loopo made the uruks.  He warped and twisted the basic nature of elves into a vile parody.  Yet, elves and uruks can mate–Lerotra’hh, the Death Goddess of Khazan, is one such example of what happens when such a mating takes place.

Wizards who have learned to transcend any imaginable limits of power are known as god-wizards.  They can do anything.  They use the natural kremm energy of Trollworld itself to get their effects.  The only ones who can oppose them are other god-wizards.

You should have noticed that I’ve avoided giving these so-called god-wizards any other supreme titles.  None are known as all-wise, all-loving, all-evil.  That is because they are not supreme gods–not even real gods.  They are just beings of such power that they might as well be considered to be gods.  Some of them even think of themselves as gods.

They aren’t gods.  There are no true gods on Trollworld.  There are, however, a lot of god-wizards.

That’s all 7th edition theology, or lack of it.  There is a 14th level of spells in 5th edition T & T, though it only has one spell.  Force Shield is the 14th level spell in the old days.  A force shield is a wall of colored light that cannot be penetrated by any lower-level magic or weapons.  The wizard can shape and move the Force Shield as he wishes.

Fourteen is used frequently in the weapons tables as STR or DEX requirements for various hard to manage weapons.

If you can think of any notable uses of 14 in T & T, please add them in the comments below.  And come back tomorrow to see if there is anything good to be said about the number 15.

end


Hey, wow, it’s Friday the 13th!  I haven’t seen one of those in a long time.  On this day associated with bad luck I’ve had one really bad leg cramp at 3 in the morning–I’ll be limping for the rest of the week, and I’ve experienced a bit of lethargy, but that’s all.  However, your bad luck is just beginning.  Read on!

You could be born again in Tunnels and Trolls buy you might come out looking like this.

Thirteen is the highest level of spells available from the Wizards Guild in Trollworld.  There is only one spell, and it is the Born Again spell.  The fifth edition featured two level 13 spells: Invisible Fiend and Wizard Speech.  Ot the three, I’d say Wizard Speech is the most useful–it is a universal translator for the wizard.  The Born Again spell has to be cast in advance, and it allows the character to re-materialize in a younger form when he dies.  Only high level wizards capable  of spending 208 WIZ at a shot can cast it.

Tunnels and Trolls never had the endless reincarnations so prominent in D & D.  Dead is pretty much dead in Tunnels & Trolls unless the G.M. wants to bring your character back to life.  Yes, characters come back sometimes as zombies or vampires, but you can’t just haul the body to the nearest temple and come back to life.  The gods could do that for characters, but mostly they don’t, so be careful when you’re playing.  Dead is dead in T & T.

Dead is usually dead in Tunnels and Trolls. Try not to die.

One of my favorite swords is the falchion–a kind of wide-bladed sabre with a heavy slashing head that bends backwards a bit towards the swordsman.  It requires a DEX of 13 to use it effectively.  So does the black-eagle blade and the fish spine sword.  All of these weapons do more damage than the standard broadsword, but the falchion is the best of them.

As warrior maids go, she could use better armor, but she has a real nice sword.

If you know any good 13s that I’ve missed for T & T, please list them in the comments below, and come back tomorrow to see if I can do anything with the number 14.

end


Twelve is the number of difference.  For example: the pages aren’t numbered in the 5th edition, but if there was a page 12, it would have the information on equipping your characters on it.  In 7th edition, page 12 is a description of Warriors.

12A is the random treasure table in Buffalo Castle.  Oddly enough, it only has 6 treasures in it.

12 is the best number you can roll on 2D6, especially when trying to make a saving roll.  Doubles add and roll over.

IN T & T 5.5 we offered the Mike Stackpole system of skills for T & T.  IQ 12 was what you needed to get the First Aid skill.  I don’t know if Mike ever used his Intelligence based system of skills in a T & T game.  I’m sure he used it a lot in Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes.  And we used it in the computer game Wasteland.

In 5th edition it took 280,000 adventure points to reach 12th level.

Section 2.12 describes the various character kindreds in the 5th edtion.

12 is the number that you had to roll for every attribute to gain a warrior-wizard in the 5th edition.  Back in the day, we calculated what the odds were against rolling 6 12s or better on 3D6 in sequence.  A quick calculation shows there are only 9 combinations of 3D6 that total 12 or higher.  9/36 reduces to 1/4.  That means the odds of fairly rolling a warrior wizard 1/4 to the 6th power or 1 in 4096 or 4095 to 1 against it happening.  We love long odds in Tunnels and Trolls.  The odds come down a little if you use the TARO rule to get additional rolls for the triples: one one one, two two two, and three three three.  In the beginning we didn’thave a TARO rule.

Elric of Melnibone was a warrior-wizard, though it could be argued that his STR was normally way less than 12.

If you can think of some good 12s in Tunnels and Trolls, please add them into the comments below, and come back tomorrow when I talk about lucky number 13.

end


Ten is for money! Ten is the number of Gold!

There’s no getting around it.  I’m just going to have to do 2 days at a time to catch up.

D10 is for the super simple money system in Trollworld.  Basically, there are 10 copper pieces to the silver piece and 10 silver pieces to the gold piece.  10 gold pieces weigh a pound  Now if coins had anything like their real value in today’s world, it would lood more like this: 9 copper pieces to the silver piece and 41 silver pieces to the gold piece.  But the rule for Tunnels & T rolls is KI.S.S. and the ten to 1 ratio is nice and simple.  Besides, nobody ever uses anything but gold pieces in these frp games anyway.  It’s an inflationary world for sure.

(I looked up metal prices this morning.  Copper sells for about $4 per ounce, silver goes at about $37 per ounce and gold is at a whopping $1510 per ounce.)

Back when I was writing Stormbringer for the Chaosium, I wanted to introduce a more realitic and more chaotic monetary system into that game.  I was going to base things on the chaotic number 8.  There would be 8 copper per silver and 64 silver per gold, but they made me drop it back to base 10 again just to keep the money conversions easy to manage.

I have postulated that Trollworld is a very metal-rich planet.  Thus, I have gold pieces serving as the equivalent of dollars.  So, 5 gold pieces for a meal is not unreasonable if you look at it that way.  In retrospect, I should have adopted the silver standard from the beginning.  If gold had been incredibly hard to get in T & T, it would have made the game a bit more realistic, and the money would have had a different standard from D & D.  These are the kind of things one learns over time.  On page 42 of the 7th edition rules I mention that silver pieces are the more commonly used coin.  Having a gold piece would be like having a $10 bill.  (In reality it should be like having a $50 bill.)

Soft ankle-high boots (i.e. tennis shoes) cost 10 silver pieces in Khazan.  A rabbit fur loin-cloth costs 10 silvers; a wolf-fur loin-cloth costs 10 gold pieces.  Little did Conan know that he was walking around in pocket money most of the time.  I wonder if he ever had to sell his loincloth to pay for his next meal.  Thee are lots of other things that cost 10 silver pieces in the 7th edition rules.

Ten is also a convenient range for throwing things.  Ten feet is hard enough.  Ten yards is about maximum and is so listed as the range for throwing daggers like the bich’wa, the butterfly knife, the common dirk, and the hungamunga among others.

D10 is also for Tenth Level.  Tenth level has always seemed like the dividing point between mid-level characters and challenges and high-level characters and challenges.  In 7th edition T & T, a character has to be pretty darn tough to be tenth level.  One of her significant attributes has to be in the range of 100 to 109.  A L10SR is 65 – ATT.

Ten is for 10th level spells–my favorite being the Hellbomb Burst.  It has a WIZ cost of 100 (10 times 10), and a range of 100 feet (10 times 10) and the damage it does is equal to 10 times the combined INT and DEX of the caster.  That is going to be a humongous number for anyone with the WIZ to actually cast such a spell.  It could easily take out dragons.

Ten is also for D10–the ten-sided die.  We don’t really use D10 for anything in T & T, although it can be handy to have a few of them around.  Back in the fifth edition, there is a Languages table based on D100, which is easilly simulated with 2D10, but that table has fallen out of 7th edition.

Ten is also for 10-foot pole–standard dungeon delving equipment back in the 5th edition days.  Back when we drew all our dungeon maps on graph paper, it was very convenient to have each little square segment be 10 feet by 10 feet.  The lead member of the party would carry a 10-foot pole for testing the next sector in the passageway for traps.

It's hard to find a good picture of a 10-foot pole.

Actually, the number ten comes up in Tunnels and Trolls quite a lot.  I’ve been thinking that maybe I should skip the Chaotic 8th edition and the Nihilistic 9th edition of T & T and go straight to the Terrific Tenth editon of T & T, but darn it, 2010 has already come and gone.

Actually ten comes up a lot in Tunnels and Trolls.  If you can think of some good tens that I’ve missed, please post them in the comments below.

Onward to 11!

Eleven is for the 11-foot pole.  It costs 11 gold pieces and is for all those situations where you wouldn’t touch something with a 10-foot pole.  Yeah, I know, old joke.

11 if for 11th level spells.  I could not imagine 11 of them, and settled for 4.

11 is a prime number.  If you include Height, Weight, and Combat Adds as important numbers to describe your player characters, then there are 11 attributes to keep track of.

And that’s about it.  11 isn’t used much in Tunnels and Trolls, or anywhere else that I’ve ever seen.

If you can think of some elevens in T & T, or any frp game, please post them in the comments.  I’ll send a prize to the eleventh poster.

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