Tunnels & Trolls & me…

Posted: December 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

Fellowship Pic rules
For my entire career as an artist and creator, I have been connected to Tunnels & Trolls in one way or another.  I remember collating T&T box sets and spiral binding solos when I first started working for Flying Buffalo back in 1980.  By 1981, I was pasting up and doing touch-up art on solitaire adventures like DeathTrap Equalizer and Naked Doom. And I did a lot of work on Sorcerer’s Apprentice Magazine. But I was not a game designer or the art director back then. Certainly my brush with T&T is nothing like Ken St Andre’s or Liz Danforth’s. They define T&T visually and in the rules themselves. (They ARE T&T.)  Bear Peters was there at the very beginning with Ken, and Rick Loomis brought the game into the industry, selling it to stores and distributors. (and to overseas publishers.)  Back then I did logos, paste-up, some maps, an illo or two and occasionally threw in an idea they liked. (Mike Stackpole was a major source of ideas and writing back then – it should be noted.)

Header_Fellows_dTT

Time passed, and T&T was kept alive by the fans, while Ken and Rick both continued to write and support the game over the years. It was never huge, but it was always there with a devoted following. Over that time, I did mainstream advertising design, art directed magazines and continued doing Grimtooth books. But even with all that going on I put together three T&T solos for Flying Buffalo (#22 – 24). In 2005 I redid the look of the 5.5th ed. T&T rulebook cover and put in a few corrections and some ads.

3 steve solos1

Three solos I did the interior illustrations and layout for in the early 1990s.

Then one day (about 2011) the stars aligned and Rick, Liz, Ken Bear and I ended up at TrollCon, talking about the idea of putting out a new edition of T&T. My main contribution then was the name – Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, the idea being that this wasn’t an entirely new version of the game so many loved, but a deluxe version with all the bells and whistles. Having the five of us all together working on T&T was a bit like getting a classic rock band back together (like Fleetwood Mac) to try to recapture the magic of their group efforts. And our reunion worked wonderfully. The great reaction to dT&T worldwide is testament to that.

T&T Rules Steve

Right now as we speak, New T&T adventures are being published in Japan, France and in the US. Two companies are currently translating T&T into Spanish and Portuguese.  In the US, we have just announced the 1st new GM adventure in over 20 years. AND MetaArcade is announcing its latest release in the world-wide phenomenon that is the Tunnels & Trolls Adventures App.

MetaArcade Header 12-2017

Over the last five years I have blogged and posted about dT&T and its advances, new products and tried to let the fans know what we were all up to. I got to scan, digitally paint and restore of lot of the original T&T solos for MetaArcade, so I was involved with them from the very beginning. Last week it became my great honor to be asked by MetaArcade to create blogs and promote the T&T App for them. I think I’m lucky in that I have a great historical perspective on where T&T has been, and I’ll be able to draw upon those earlier experiences to to better tout T&T today – in whatever version or even language it might take.

I hope I’ll be able to be an ambassador to new and old fans alike and help spread the word about the game, its community and its potential. I also want to be able to help anyone who has questions or suggestions about the App, so they can better enjoy it.  If you haven’t tried the T&T Adventures App, you should. Even if you’ve never played a role-playing game in your life, you’ll find it fun.  You get to be the main character in the story and you decide what happens as you read it.  If you can read and you have a smartphone, you can play it.

So if you want to check the T&T App out, just go to MetaArcades main page.
You can find my next T&T Adventures Blog Here.
My regular dT&T Blog is here. That covers the whole T&T spectrum.
OK that’s about it for now – hope you enjoyed my journey down memory lane. Let me know what your T&T memories are. Where and when did you first hear about T&T?  What was it that made you a fan? Let’s hear your story. And look for me at Gencon and maybe even Origins next year…

GenCon 2017

 

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Comments
  1. Wynn Mercere says:

    You are one of the gaming greats, and don’t you forget it!

  2. SSCrompton says:

    You are most kind Wynn!

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