The Return of Tunnels & Trolls

The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.

-Tom Cargill, The Ninety-Ninety Rule

While I know the pain of that in software development, I think it applies to most artistic endeavors as well… certainly any project with multiple people working together.

Back in March I did a run down of the Kickstarter projects I have supported over the years.  Not a huge list.  But one of the common threads on the list was projects running late.  Some of them were a little late… Defense Grid 2 missed their mark by a mere month, or almost no time at all in software development… while others were wandering onto the scene a year or so after being promised, such as Project Eternity and Planetary Annihilation.

But the champ for lateness looked to be Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls.  Promised “conservatively” in August of 2013, it was still off in the distance when I did that post.

But last night I received a note that the book was finally off to the printer.  So I still don’t have what I pitched in for yet.  But I did get a PDF copy of the rule book.

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls

Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls

It is nice that I have the PDF.  I can look through it, see the updates and what art was carried over from older editions and what is new to this edition.  But it isn’t very satisfying.  RPG rules are meant to be in a physical book form so you can easily flip between pages or find a table in the back quickly, something no electronic book format has ever been able to come close to duplicating.  It is a physical thing, where you can just feel in your finger tips if you have gone back far enough through the pages.

But at least I know the creative work is done and there is just a printer in Arizona and some delivery time between me and the live physical copy.

The next item on the Kickstarter list I expect to see is A History of the Great Empires of EVE Online, which was due in May and which is alleged to be close to done, though we didn’t get an update in June and here it is July already.

Addendum: And this just in, “We spent all week correcting minor typos (and adding page 31). Please get the updated version now. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

8 thoughts on “The Return of Tunnels & Trolls

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @tsuhelm – My mildly stained, 1980 5th edition is on my bookshelf between Paranoia and the Forgotten Realms Atlas.

    @mikeazariah – We used to just say “TTYF!”


  2. carson63000

    I’ll be honest with you, I played Tunnels & Trolls when I was a kid, and I thought it was the worst set of RPG rules ever committed to paper. I guess if their sense of humour clicked with you, that was something. But man, as a game, it was bad.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Carson63000 – I will say that when I first played it, it all seemed a little too cute, a little too self-aware, and a little too simple. So I get you on that. But I came to appreciate it later after delving into the heavy rules of the AD&D books. T&T was primarily meant to be lighter on the rules in order to make more room for role play. You could ditch a lot of the lore and make any campaign you wanted. We did some Dave Hargrave stuff as T&T at one point. There was always a lot less rule lawyering when when played T&T, which in the long term made things more fun… but I was also well past being a kid at that point.


  4. SSCrompton

    The deluxe t and t rules have been printed and the books are being mailed out. 200 copies were shipped out to KS backers yesterday. ..


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SSCrompton – Yeah, I just saw update #88 this morning announcing that they had begun actually shipping books to people. It only took them two years longer than they estimated, or five times their initial “pessimistic” time line. Early updates said they thought they would be done by July 2013, but put August as the end date to give themselves a bit of extra room to work. Such is the way creative endeavors go.


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