Thursday, July 16, 2015

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls: a review

Here is my take on Deluxe T&T. I've read it. I've made notes. Here's my answers to questions I feel that need to be answered follow below.

Is it T&T?
This one is the most important to me.
Yes it is. How else could it be anything else? It is written by Ken St Andre, Liz Danforth, and Bear Peters; it's included Brian Penn. The first three are the Brahmin of the game and Penn has worked hard for over two decade to work with them. I may have disagreements with how each of them does the math work for this or that, but understanding how two six-sided dice work will not be one of them. 

How does it read?
Not well.
While there is a lot of look at and absorb, it is not well organized. The effects of the added rules were done in other games a couple of decades before at least.

Was it worth the wait?
No, sadly.
Two years ago I would've been totally wowed by the work here. As an oft-cited fan of the game, I've had to spend over two years defending why I bother to run any version of this game at events when the ultimate edition was coming out possibly at any given time. I've spent another eighteen months defending the producers' lack of creative impulse as not being unprofessional and indulgent. For about a year, I started flipping off the producers for speaking us like children and while they came up with more and more excuses for us to wait for this project. It just got old, then older, and then rather boring.
What I've read since last weekend does not justify this long waiting period.

Will I play this game? 
Sure I'll play it. When I am not running other games and somebody can convince me to come and be a player-character in his game, I'll do so. I hope these current rules as written will help me achieve the joy that older role-players, they were like 16 when I was 12, had when recounting "doing T&T" to me a novice gamer. I hope other people see the game as I saw it when I was twelve years-old as well.

Notes 1
Notes 2
Notes 3
Notes 4
Notes 5


  1. "I started flipping off the producers for speaking us like children and while they came up with more and more excuses for us to wait for this project. It just got old, then older, and then rather boring."


  2. Not sure to what extent this applies (and to whom), but this has been running through my head since the PDF arrived:

    1. What exactly are you saying David?

    2. That's it, for here, now, as it communicates some of the issues I've been thinking about regarding the effects of nostalgia on the product and to what extent DT&T is a Renaissance or a swan song, and how its success should be judged.

      What do I think of the product? It's very close to what my expectations were when the Kickstarter began, a competent product that was very, very late. Liz did not disappoint me: my desert island gaming reading would probably be the Sorcerer's Apprentice issues of which she was an editor.

    3. David, the schisms in the T&T cliques were written long before you asked Steve Crompton about the game being inclusive. I wasn't a part of it, until the mailbox landed on me.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I've actually backed this game before, then well after, and before you bothered, Mr Bergquist. We are both talking about about people that we've met.
      I really am not a game industry insider. I don't have the loyalties you do, which is rich coming from "mister call off" as I heard in AZ in o7.

      I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't think you have something to lecture me about. I bothered to support T&T when you lost interest about ten years ago. Of course that was when one person in particular, the one who makes this all popular, was the driving force.

    2. Tom, I don't know you very well, but I do feel you have a lot of anger here and I feel bad for stepping in, i had no intention of fighting. I wish you well, and just want to say that sometimes stuff like this is better to let go and move on so it doesn't gnaw at you. My interests in T&T have never subsided, even when I was disturbed and honestly frightened by Shipman's actions to the point where I was afraid to publish new T&T content for fear he would rip it off (the prime motivator for why I stopped at one point). No, I am most certainly not as in to T&T as you are, at least not in this century, but you need a frame of perspective for this. The FB crew has done a good job of delivering a product that is very much the "last" T&T most likely. I get that you don't like it, but just find it concerning that the reason for the dislike is much deeper then mere product issues. So I'll bow out, and just suggest that you should channel your effort into more positive energy elsewhere.

    3. Hmmm on the last sentence I don't mean to suggest "don't be critical" of a product, but I mean to really ask yourself why you are investing so heavily in something that you have such personal conflict with.

    4. And last comment on Arizona 2007: would love to have gone. Absolutely, but I had real life commitments, career and family related that were too important and demanding at that time. I haven't actually made it to anything other than a local convention since 1991ish, and haven't made any conventions at all since my son was born.

    5. Did you notice that I deleted your ramblings on when and how to back a KickStarter project? Nicholas, your officious tone and unwanted advice about anybody's backing behavior is annoying,
      Your problems with Shipman aside, everyone that speaks with authority at T&T is speaking like we're one foot in the grave. It is kind of convincing when so many ppl feel that this project was a money grab, and the product itself is really nothing great.
      And be fair, no one can blame Shippy for any of this.