Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Next T&T Campaign

As some of you might remember, I finished up my "playtest" campaign of 7th edition Tunnels & Trolls last winter. Using some stringent Kindred selection rules, I had taken four, sometimes five, sometimes two, players' characters from 1st to 14th level from September 2005 up to March 2011. A lot of the duration of the campaign was because of Peryton and my convention play elsewhere, and still a lot of it was due to the difficulties of getting adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s to the tabletop for a role-playing session. But now the question is, "what's next?"

Well, I haven't been in too much of a hurry to restart to begin with. I am running T&T at a few conventions, always a good fantasy fix, and have a fairly stable storyline with T&T with recurring characters through BASHCon in Toledo. I am also busy writing T&T scenarios in the Elder Tunnels periodical and elsewhere. I also am working on my Spacers(TM) sci-fi affliction. But I do feel the need to get another "not for profit (pizza and beer moneys)" T&T campaign going. And I prefer the physical tabletop to the on-line conference call, I've discovered over the last couple of years.

So where do I start? What are my fixations, like what creatures and environments will proliferate the session? Am I going to have Lovecraftian horrors? Is the Nordic mythology angle something that I am dying to translate into role-playing terms? Heck is it going to beer and pretzels with puns about Gary Gygax and Britney Spears? I'm still sorting that out, but here's a couple of the inklings I have going on in mind.

I want to explore a bit beyond the 14th level, but not base the whole campaign there. I think I'll have the characters start at around 5th or 6th level. I feel that will have the players and I start from a point of expertise and competency and our first sit-downs won't be about the youthful hero, or heroine, discovering himself and the world around him. This is especially important as I think that the most of the players in the new campaign are going to be from the old campaign. But starting anew will have the players more open-minded about a change here and there that I will be making from last time. Aside from conventional changes, the players will still have to work within the outlined T&T rules before we start exploring the free-form of Beyond 14th Level T&T role-playing (I feel there should be an echo there). Also if I started out with the PCs from last campaign right at 14th level, certain players (especially one nicknamed Lumberjack) would forget to do anything but be a munchkin.

I intend on filling up the "spaces" that I discovered in the first campaign, namely the "Higher" level challenges. By this I mean various things. I intend of finding a comfortable way of finding creatures that can deal with say a Death Spell #9 or Hellbomb Burst, with detail enough to make them translatable to other GMs that might one day run the scenario that I craft. I also want to fill some of the space that over designers and solo authors have avoided over the past decades. D&D has its planes of hells and major demons and devils, I am hoping to show a rather unique T&T high level arena that players twenty years from now will allude to just as the forty year-olds refer to the "Cacodaemon," "Orcus" and the "66th plane of Limbo" do now and expect everyone to know what they are talking about.

So yeah, this campaign is going to be ambitious. But not anymore ambitious than getting together a group of friends to role-play while they live their lives for longer than a couple months. It might as well be worth it.

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