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Item - Gamesmen of Kasar and Mistywood


Series: Tunnels and Trolls
Contains: Gamesmen of Kasar (Solitaire Adventure)
Mistywood (Solitaire Adventure)
Translated Into: I Signori del Gioco di Kasar / Il bosco delle nebbie (Italian)
Illustrator: Kirby, Josh
Date: 1986
ISBN: 0552128279 / 9780552128278
Length: 127 pages
castiglione's Thoughts: Some interesting points about the British editions of these T & T solitaires:

1) Rick Loomis is incorrectly credited as being the creator of Tunnels & Trolls; Ken St. Andre was actually the mad genius who begat T & T (although he did get a lot of help from the friends with which he played his creation with) - Rick Loomis was the game's PUBLISHER.

2) The British versions of these solitaires include a brief synopsis of the rules so one doesn't really need the rules or boxed set to play them. From a marketing standpoint, this is a very good idea as it: a) increases the potential audience for the adventures beyond people who actually own the rules and b) may provide "advertising" for the full-blown game.

3) The names of several spells have been changed in the British rules - according to the Flying Buffalo webpage, this was because the British publisher felt some of the whimsical spell names for which T & T is notorious were off-putting; however, the publisher was rather "inconsistent" in deciding which spell names he thought were "silly" - "Poor Baby" and "Oh-there-it-is" are now "Restoration" and "Revelation..." however, "Take That You Fiend" and "Healing Feeling" have kept their original names.

Gamesmen of Kasar has an "evening" mechanism designed to "tailor" the adventure to one's character. This is nothing new - various solitaire adventures have included some form of an "evening" mechanism, the most common being to make the level of required saving rolls the same level as that of the player's character, i.e. if you are a 1st level character, you must make a 1st level saving roll, if you are a 3rd level character, you must make a 3rd level saving roll, etc.

The mechanism used in Gamesmen is a bit different - the level of the saving roll is the appropriate attribute divided by 10 and rounded DOWN. This is all very well but closer inspection reveals this mechanism to be horribly broken - for any character whose attributes are 20 or over, any saving roll becomes trivial! If you are playing with 1st or 2nd level characters, this shouldn't be a problem but it does belie the statement that Gamesmen of Kasar is designed to accomodate all levels of characters. In lieu of the mechanism given in Gamesmen, I would suggest the mechanism given in Beyond the Wall of Tears which is of the same vein but more "balanced:"

For attributes whose values are 19 or less, divide the attribute by 10 (rounded down) to get the level of saving roll required. For attributes from 20-35, the divisor is 8. For attributes from 36-57, the divisor is 6 and for attributes 58 and higher, the divisor is 5.

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