Sunday, June 26, 2011

Playing Tunnels and Trolls with Ken St. Andre

I was going to talk about all the cool stuff that I got at Origins, but that has taken a backseat.  First off, Rob and I must have stored up some good mojo for the trip.  Somehow, without the use of a flying machine we made it to Columbus in 3.25 hours instead of 4.  Rob and I are still wondering how we did that since I wasn't speeding and I don't have a vehicle that could speed if I wanted to.  Parking.  BAM!  Up front.  This was too easy.  Walking through the giant convention center was interesting since signs were sparse, but we found our way without too many missteps.

People we got to meet and talk with for a bit:

Lou Zocchi of the famous Game Science Dice, sharp enough to be considered a concealed weapon.  What a blast he was.  I scored my first set of Game Science dice, 11 dice set that included the new Zocchi dice.  How could I not.  In addition he had these old dice from the Armory, Alignment Dice.  Even though I don't use alignment I will buy any dice that are weird and something I don't have.

Tom Tullis of Fat Dragon was helping at at the Troll Lord Games booth.  Rob gave him a copy of Blackmarsh and the Majestic Wilderlands.  Tom apparently is a big fan of S&W and thrilled to have get them.  I told him to stop clogging up the top ten slots on RPGNow.  Here is a guy who is doing this for a living.  Doesn't use a CAD program, does the math in his head and uses a ruler and pencil.  I like that a lot.

Steven Chenault of Troll Lord Games.  I didn't have a chance to talk to him too long, but the booth next to Troll Lord Games was a Free RPG Day booth and he spoke briefly how he liked that idea.  I agreed as I selected two free items.

Jim & Debbie of Dungeon Decks and Dragon Tomes.  Not sure what their last names are, but this couple definitely has a passion for the hobby.  I bought a Dungeon Deck from them and I really like the idea.  It's fun and I think can be a great tool for a thrown together game or assist in prepping for an adventure in an ongoing campaign.  They are going to release a couple of other decks at Gen Con.  I know the Camp Deck was one.  When characters camp this deck can assist in making it a memorable experience.  They were a pleasure to talk to.

Steve Johansson of Kenzer Company.  I heard Jolly Blackburn was there also, but did not get the chance to meet him.  Hackmaster released two new modules for their HackMaster Basic and they gave away a copy of their new Hacklopedia.  And were also taking pre orders.  He asked me if I wanted a order a copy and no one to be shy about speaking my mind, "I would love to, but when I put down $60+ for the book I want the PDF for free not to be charged an additional $20."  Well, little did I know if I pre ordered it at Origins I got the copy of the PDF right there for free.  Bam!  Sold!

Last, and definately not least is Ken St. Andre, Mr. Tunnels and Trolls himself sitting at the Flying Buffalo booth with Rick Loomis.  Flying Buffalo is one of those companies that still maintains that old school feel that we all talk about, but they have maintained over all these years.  I bought a bunch of T&T books which Ken graciously signed and added his own humor to.  I got the last copy Tavern by the Sea at Origins.  So as he is signing Ken says, "I've been trying to get a game of Tunnels and Trolls going, but can't get anyone to play."  I told him I would be right back.  I found Rob, told him of Ken's offer and the two of us hurried back to Ken to let him know to trolls were present and willing to be subjected to his adventure.

That's right I got to play Tunnels and Trolls with Ken St. Andre.  That was a lot of fun.  Getting to meet, play and be privy to a few secrets within T&T.  My character started out as a 171 pound human and exited the adventure a 8550 pound dwarf.  Ken declared my dwarf the heaviest in the world.  A moniker I will wear proudly.  Without a doubt an unexpected surprise and the best part of my convention experience.


  1. "Ken declared my dwarf the heaviest in the world. A moniker I will wear proudly. Without a doubt an unexpected surprise and the best part of my convention experience."

    That is so Awesome!

  2. Playing T&T with Ken St. Andre... damn, I am jealous! Sounds like it was a lot of fun.

  3. Sounds like an awesome time! I can't believe that Ken was having trouble getting players, though… who would pass that up?

  4. Damn, awesome is an understatement!

    I'd have been there in a heartbeat too ;)

  5. I am jealous as hell -- St. Andre is one of my heroes. Well done!

  6. I'm going to join the list of those so jealous of you and Rob.

    Sounds like you had a great time.

    - Neil.

  7. Definitely cool, and encouraging. I don't go to enough events these days. Need to fix that.

  8. Tim, that sounds like a heck of a lot of fun! After GENCON, I hope to up my convention attendance a bit. We'll see as it is a bit expensive to fly in from Italy ;).

  9. I barely got to see the hall as I had events every day in from the hours of 10AM to after 6PM, but I managed to at least get about 2 hours of walking about time in, and picked up my Arcanis RPG hardcover.