Tunnels & Trolls (T&T) is a fantasy role-playing game (FRPG) written by Ken St. Andre in 1975 and released through Flying Buffalo Incorporated's (FBI) proprietor Rick Loomis. St. Andre attributes James "Bear" Peters, Stephen McCallister, Mark Anthony, and Greg Brown as being the first group players to play in T&T's first session "Gristlegrim". The name Tunnels & Trolls for this system of rules is credited to Rob Carver to help differentiate the game from the first published fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons in the previous year.
T&T is patterned after the D&D game in its structure and conventions. It uses the specific character "Types" (called "Classes" in D&D), Warriors, Wizards, and Rogues for the participants to develop player characters (PCs), to vicariously travel through a sword and sorcery setting(s) fighting monsters, overcoming traps and obstacles, and achieving riches and increased power. The increasing power is through magical artifacts and abilities, but more importantly through experience-based Levels. The system was easy enough to use that solitary adventures, called Solitaires, were the staple product for the game for many years to come.
The game system itself would continue to modify through five slightly different variations, more commonly known as Editions throughout the FRPG buying world throughout 75 until 80. T&T was known for its especially striking artwork, with Liz Danforth and Rob Carver, and the K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle preached by Ken St. Andre at various times. The systems simplicity and ease of play became its hallmark and overall distinction to other role-playing games that were arising around it at the time. Many critics of T&T have used the simple, Less-Than-Serious elements of the game as a point of dislike. Still proponents of T&T have kept the game in existence and talked about even to this date.
Sales from the 90s to the 2000 decade, were mostly limited to various releases of the game overseas or by unofficial providers. The rogue publishers created various "house rules" and even something referred to as the "mythical 6th Edition"
In 2005, the 7th Edition of Tunnels & Trolls was released by Fiery Dragon products under license from FBI. Since then a 7.5 Edition has been released, even incorporating elements of "unofficial" T&T producing companies, including Outlaw Press. The author of these editions has been St. Andre and he still speaks of a "chaotic 8th" edition.
- Tunnels & Trolls at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.