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1KM1KT Retro RPG Find: Tunnel Quest

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Here is another interesting game I discovered yesterday on my first visit to the 1km1kt web site in several months. Tunnel Quest is a short (14 page) and simple fantasy RPG that has a very retro feel to it. It was designed by Paul Elliot (of Zenobia fame) and further developed by Mike Hill, who says this of the game:

The system favours a quick and easy style of play with limited bookkeeping for the GM - a single dice roll for combat determines whether the character hits or gets hit - no rolling for the GM!

NPCs can be described with a single number or detailed with unique abilities - examples are of both styles are included in the text.

This is a low-power low-fantasy game which uses small numbers and only 2 six-sided dice. Paul originally conceived the game to appeal to his young children but my players range from 21 to 48.
Here is a sample of the rules:
The Basics

When the result of a character’s action is in doubt, the Game Master (GM) asks for a dice roll to determine the outcome. The player rolls 2-dice and must get equal to or greater than the Difficulty umber. In a fight the Target Number is the Rating of the Foe. Most tasks can be rated in this way (climb portcullis might be 6). A Difficulty Number of 8 would be a typical challenge; 10 or more would be difficult and 13 or more would be formidable for starting characters, at any rate.

In many circumstances, the character may possess a Skill applicable to the situation; in which case, the player may add the Skill level to the dice roll. The character’s Experience Level is usually added to the roll but only if the GM feels the task warrants it, given the character’s calling.

Example: Yuon the Barbarian is hunting small game with a bow and arrow. Yuon has Archery at +1 and the GM allows his player to add the character’s Level (+2, for a total of +3), as the activity seems like the sort of thing Barbarians get up to. Later, Yuon attempts to use his Repair Skill (+2) to fix the hem on Maid Morron’s court gown. Yuon does not get to add his Level in this particularly un-Barbarian-like activity!
From reading the rules, I really like this little game. It's not quite as simple as Dungeon Squad, but it has a lot more for the GM and players to work with.

Download a free copy of Tunnel Quest.

2 comments:
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Badelaire said...
August 26, 2008 at 9:25 AM  

Interesting website. I wonder how this page compares to John H. Kim's Free RPGs website, which has always been my go-to place for free games on the 'net. I'm going to have to dig some more and take a closer look.

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Randall said...
August 28, 2008 at 6:27 PM  

It's a different focus. Most of the games hosted at the 1km1kt site are short, focused, and often somewhat experimental whereas the games linked to on John's site seem generally mosre complete and traditional to me.

Between the two sites, however, there are a lot of free RPGs. Some of them strike me as better than many commercial efforts. Zenobia, for example.

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