Tunnel Quest v3.5

This is a home-brew game that’s seen about 3 years worth of play-testing (on and off). It’s a generic ‘vanilla’ fantasy game; I know there are a lot of these around but please bear with me.

The design is loosely based on a game by Paul Elliott (Mithras in the RPG.net forums) called Dragons (and used with his permission).

Broadly speaking, it’s class based in that your starting point in the game is defined by the character’s class and certain tasks are easier or more appropriate for certain classes but it isn’t a black and white distinction, your warrior character can cast spells if you insist but that will ‘dilute’ his ability to kick butt in combat.

The game uses a standard 2-dice ‘roll-equal-or-over’ mechanic but keeps the modifiers to a minimum so there are very few numbers to juggle.

The system is ‘pass or fail’ with a slight difference in that if the PC’s roll fails, the opponent necessarily succeeds. So one dice roll determines the outcome of each combat round.

The upshot of this is that the referee never has to roll any dice. The game plays out on the strength of the players’ rolls. Not only does this give the ref. time to focus his or her attention elsewhere but makes the game quite convenient for play-by-board outings.

The magic system is quite strategic with magic-users having access to ‘magic points’ of differing colours. A spell can be countered if you can match it point-for-point and colour-for-colour so throwing an extra point into your spell makes it more difficult to counter.

Creatures are defined with a single attribute (like the Tunnels & Trolls Monster Rating) but special abilities are activated on specific dice roll results to keep the players guessing.

A sample dungeon adventure is included and if you haven’t guessed already the game is a tribute to old-school games in general and T&T in particular.


4 Responses to “Tunnel Quest v3.5”

  1. Dantresh Says:

    interesting,will give it a try ;)

  2. Robert Kurcina Says:

    I just read the rules for TunnelQuest today; very good. Clean. Elegant.

    I think it gets the raw concepts from Tunnels & Trolls and Risus and combines them into a neat package. One of the key mechanics that I like is how it leverages the concept of the Savings Throw for everything. This puts the story-telling upon the GM and the engages the player at every test. The Foe Rating (FR) with the +/- circumstantial modifiers it is also very modern. The magic system is functional and powerful enough to extend.

    A couple of ideas already erupt from my head. One of the two dice should be red and used in triggers. I’m thinking the system also is solid enough to make it more generic so that it can extend into other genres. I’d like to see one for Pulp Sci-fi!

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  4. Michiel Says:

    Hi. I really like this game. It’s just simple, clean and yet has nifty mechanics for damage to armor.

    I was just wondering could there be a small mistake in the ‘great weapon’, in the inventory list it says +1 damage. Whereas in combat it says +2 damage.

    A question, how does the wizard hold its own in combat. Does she use the wizardspell throw to determine if she gets hit, or is a standard combat roll requered?
    Do you have recomendations towards distance and speed?

    Thanks, this system is so elegant!