The name 'Troll Hammer Press' was inspired by, and is an homage to, the three magic Trollhammers of Trollhalla, and was additionally inspired by the song Trollhammaren by Finntroll.

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Tunnels & Trolls written by Ken St. Andre, copyright © Flying Buffalo Inc. All hail the Trollgod and his Champions of Trollhalla!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

T&T 7.5 Creature Feature # 9

Creature Name: Tumbleweed
Monster Rating: 20 to 95
Ability Modifiers: n/a
Combat Dice: 3+10 to 10+47
Special Damage: Ennui - Anyone run down by a tumbleweed must make a CHR saving roll of a level equal to the weed's MR. Failure means the victim is stricken with spiritual desolation and must make another SR to summon up the will to take any action at all. The effect lasts a number of combat rounds equal to the weed's dice without adds (in other words between 3 and 10).
Special Abilities:Rapid regrowth - Every 12 damage a tumbleweed contributes to its side's total in a fight restores 1 point to the weed's MR.
Description: Tumbleweeds are rootless, leafless plants that grow outward from a central node in a sphere of light brown twigs and shoots. New-grown weeds are about the size of a man's head, but with time and enough food they can grow to the size of a wagon wheel or even larger. They proliferate in dry, flat desert areas where they can use the wind to move across unobstructed plains in search of victims. Born out of the very despair and bleakness of the landscape, their food is the vital energy of any independently mobile creature unlucky enough to wander into their territory. The damage they do in combat leaves no visible outward sign; victims killed by tumbleweeds look like they have simply lost the will to go on, lay down and died.

Concept by Deborah Rice, written by Mark Krawec, Copyright © 2010,

Next: This one just sucks!

Other P&P RPGs #1: Backswords & Bucklers

Backswords & Bucklers
Adventuring in Gloriana's Britain
Book One: Basic Rules
By Christopher Cale
Published by Tied To A Kite

Backswords & Bucklers is based upon the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Rules, but although born of the retro-clone genre, B&B evolves into its own game. This is Elizabethan Fantasy set in the Britain of Gloriana, quite different than your standard fantasy RPG filled with elves and dwarves and orcs.

Inspired by classic archetypes, the three character classes take a fresh, campaign specific flavor: Fighting Men, Scoundrels, and Wise Women/Cunning Men. Generally a low magic and no humanoid setting, with many throwbacks to that first of fantasy RPGs, including the six standard attributes, and a return to 1d6 damage for all weapons. Saving throws are class based, and each class has a single score to cover all possibilities, making the system easy to use.

The setting and flavor of the game is especially unique, with characters tavern trawling instead of dungeon delving. In essence, characters haunt their local tavern (the focal point of most games) in search of work, legitimate or otherwise. The different character types earn XP in different ways, specific to their archetypes, quite a nice touch for a scoundrel to earn XP by spending money! There are no monster lists, and it is encouraged that if monsters are used, they should be infrequent and quite terrifyingly evil, and supernatural in nature.

I think this setting shows a lot of potential for a good time role playing. I think adventures will be quite a challenge, both for the GM to write and the players to conquer. The book promises over half a dozen future supplements offering expanded rules, for those who want more than the basic all-in-one rules. The game being heavily inspired by Michael Moorcock's novel Gloriana, I found myself immediately going to Amazon and ordering a copy of the novel, which I have not yet read. I just may tackle writing an adventure for B&B after reading the novel.

Rounded off with a sample tavern, online resources, very nice character sheets, and a map of Old London, B&B stays rules lite, and complete in one book, my favorite type of game. Add the fact you can get a free pdf of it, and you can't go wrong.

ADDED 11/16: It occurs to me, Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane stories would also make for a rich alternate setting or source for adventure seeds for B&B. The period, as expressed by Howard, is correct, and Christopher's interpretation of the period fits the model pretty closely. Kane himself would be a Fighting Man archetype, his arms all found within B&Bs charts, and his monstrous foes are certainly terrifying and generally of a supernatural nature. Kane's world is generally low magic in terms of amount, but what magic does exist can be powerful. If you are into B&B, you MUST check out some of Howard's Solomon Kane stories, you will definitely find inspiration. If you are interested in a complete collection of the Kane tales, track down The Savage Tales Of Solomon Kane.

Check out the Tied to a Kite homepage:

or go right to Lulu and order your print or free pdf copy right now:

I look forward to checking out the future supplements for B&B. Hopefully they will continue the simple, rules lite approach.

Other P&P RPGs will cover current RPGs, generally small, independent releases, all-in-one rules sets, and freely available pdf copies. Do you have a rules set you would like to see discussed here? Submit a pdf copy to

Copyright © 2010, Paul Ingrassia

Thursday, November 4, 2010

T&T 7.5 Creature Feature # 8

Creature name: Flail Fiend
MR: 60
Combat Dice: 7d6+30
Special Damage: 5/Flail Fury: if monster rolls 5 6s in one roll he gets an extra hit with each of his two flails for 1d6, which acts like spite damage.
Special abilities: Trip: can trip up to two characters at a time knocking them on their back. Disarm: can remove up to two weapons at a time characters having to beat a SRlvl1 for dex to keep hold of their weapon.
Description: This is a tall lanky red skinned fiend, usually 7ft tall, and about 130 pounds, appearing as skin and bones. They are completely covered in mail armor (even their feet), except for their head, which is bald with two small curved horns coming out from their forehead. They have an evil toothy smile with a long, wide, pointy black beard.

Written by Arrdhann Trrelish, Copyright © 2010,

Next: Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'!
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