Friday, June 4, 2010

"Tunnels&Trolls Specialist Classes"

The title of this entry is in quotes because I am not talking much about specialist classes in general, but rather about the new T&T supplement from Postmortem Studios.

"Specialist Classes" is a 13 page pdf available from RPGnow.com, DrivethruRPG.com, etc. It is light on text, one page is the cover, one the publishing information, and the remaining pages have large illustrations and copious white space. It is however well worth the price of admission.

Included are 5 new specialist types, one each for the attributes of Strength, Intelligence, Constitution, Luck, and Speed. These are respectively the Brute, Tinker, Defender, Trickster, and Swashbuckler. Each has a different style and provides a nice expansion to character options. None of them seem to be so powerful or so weak that they will unbalance the game. With the partial exception of the Tinker all could be fit into almost any campaign background with little or no trouble.

The Brute, Defender, and Swashbuckler are the most combat oriented of the new types. Each takes a different approach, and along with the Ranger provide for fighting characters of many different styles. The "Warrior" remains the best overall Jack-of-all-Trades.

The Trickster has some very clever mechanics for using their Luck to influence the world around them. These are card-sharps, gamblers, but also confidence men and smooth talkers.

Tinkers are characters who rely on technology instead of magic. They are able construct gadgets that produce effects similar to spells. The Tinker is perhaps the most weakly developed. The weakness comes from the lack of rules for developing new constructs and devices. Several pages of clever examples are given and it should be easy to create new ones following their example, but a few guidelines would have been useful. Obviously Tinkers will be a poor fit in worlds with lower than a late medieval technology level. Not impossible though as the example of Archimedes demonstrates.

Overall this is a usefull addition to T&T games. I hope that we see more specialist types in future.

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