Some Kickstarter Loot - Tunnels & Trolls and The Dracula Dossier

Hey look more stuff to distract me! I came home today  to a pair of packages, one with the new Tunnels & Trolls Deluxe Edition and one with The Dracula Dossier, a campaign for Night's Black Agents.

My experience with Tunnels & Trolls is fairly limited - I've played a few one-off games way back in middle and high school. It's a game that looks a lot like D&D, with a series of stats that are generated by 3d6. It has a small number of classes - warriors, wizards, and rogues are the big three. Warriors and wizards are pretty self-explanatory. Rogues are anyone else - they can learn to use magic, they can fight decently well. There's also the warrior-wizard, a class really difficult to qualify for (but one I saw a lot of now that I think of it...). The Deluxe Edition is expanded from this baseline with more difficult-to-qualify for classes. Unlike classic D&D stats go up over time - they go up a lot. Since wizards used to expend strength to cast spells, you might find a high-level wizard with a strength of 50. This is something that always bugged me a bit about the game - and later versions of the game including the Deluxe Edition added a wizardry stat. Combat is a bit different from most games - you roll a ton of d6 based on all of the characters on a side and divide damage to the other side.

The book is a thick hardcover (there is also a softcover version). It is mainly black and white with some color sections. I would stop short of calling it a beautiful book but it is absolutely a nicely done professional book. I'm not certain what Tunnels & Trolls fans think of the book. I've heard some displeasure on how experience is handled in the game -- in this version characters bump up their stats and their highest stat counts as experience, such that a stat of 20 or higher makes you second level. There's also a bunch of additional classes and an optional skill system.

The Dracula Dossier is a supplement that there's a decent chance I'll try out at some time. Me being a part-time grad student for the next three years or so a well developed campaign all set for me using a light rules system has a lot of appeal. Plus I love the espionage genre detailed in Night's Black Agents, especially the "stale beer" subgenre as seen in works like The Spy Who Came In From the Cold. Add to it being based on one of my favorite novels, Dracula, and this is really calling to me.

I've not devoured the PDFs I've received for The Dracula Dossier yet so my familiarity with it is pretty basic at this point. The idea is that Dracula is actually a redacted after-action report. The book Dracula Unredacted is a modified version of the novel Dracula with annotations throughout it, new and changed core text etc. Flipping through it I can see how it could be used as an inspiration for a number of games.

Another game I'm looking forward to is Pelgrane Press' Timewatch. Like Night's Black Agents, Timewatch uses the Gumshoe engine. This time the characters are time travelers and assumed to be part of the Timewatch, dedicated to protecting the timeline from threats like intelligent time-traveling dinosaurs. It also has campaign frames to modify the game, making it pulpier, making it more like Doctor Who, focus more on alternate Earths, etc. The newest version of the book has recently been distributed to backers, so while pretty badly delayed it is moving along.


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