Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tunnels and Trolls Review (2E) from 1975

From Mark's post earlier referring to a post on the 'Trollbridge' site, I was in a round about way directed to a PDF copy of the 'Space Gamer' Magazine from 1975. Issue #3 featured a review of the then new edition of T&T (2E) and featured some comparisons between T&T and D&D.

Here is the link to the site that is hosting the PDF version of this magazine:

Below is a screenshot I pulled from it on page 16. I am sure for many of you, this is nothing new. But, it was new to me and thought it would be cool to post.

©1975, Metagaming, Space Gamer #3, page 16-17
A few notable remarks from the review:
  1. A reference to D&D as being 'professionally done, with 3 booklets and a box, and it costs a small fortune. (I guess a fanzine/magazine costing $1 was probably not considered cheap either. I think comic books were still in the 25-35 cent range at that time.)
  2. A note regarding the artwork. The Danforth cover and some of Carver's work was good, but other portions of Carver's interior art was "ridiculous" and "droll". (It was a player in my T&T game back in December at a game day that mentioned he chose D&D over T&T way back when because of the artwork.)
  3. T&T was far less complex than D&D and its number crunching statistical game play, "drawing more on the imagination of the player rather than the genius of the DM. (The author was actually very positive in these remarks, almost lamenting.)
  4. The tone of the rule book where the author, referred to simply as 'St Andre', is actually conversing with the reader and trying to explain how this or that should/could work. (He also mentions that these explanations are 'not always perfectly clear'. Heck, that is still the case these days as well.)
Someone mentioned on one of the forums I visited today that is more than anything an interesting look at how the gaming world was 38 years ago. I agree with that. This was the beginning times of the RPG. T&T and D&D were the trailblazers for the systems and games that we play today. As much as I love D&D, I have been more and more enamored with T&T as I get more experience with it.

In the end, our goal is to tell a story. Learning which 'system' fits for what you are trying to do is the challenge.

1 comment:

  1. The post brought back some interesting memories. I too dismissed T&T for D&D because of the artwork. Kind of weird since I really enjoy Danforth's & Carver's work today.