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Gen Con 50: Tunnels & Trolls

Tunnels & Trolls has a long history, being the second roleplaying game ever published (right behind D&D), Ken St. Andre created the game in in 1975 to be more accessible than its predecessor. The game is coming back as a digital gamebook system. Andrew took a look at the current build of the adventure gamebook and their system built by Meta Arcade at Gen Con.

The gamebook takes players on adventures through the Tunnels & Trolls world, allowing you to explore dungeons and fight monsters in a “choose your own adventure” style game, but the truly exciting thing is that Meta Arcade is opening up the base program for polayers to design their own adventures!


Using a system akin to Twine (an open-source story telling game tool), Tunnels & Trolls Adventures creator can easily map out your plot and publish directly to mobile and PC platforms for free.

Tunnels & Trolls app
An entire adventure chapter mapped out.

Creating a story is similar to writing index cards and laying them out in a time line. On each section you can write up a piece of the story and add decisions for the player to make, combats, items to find, sound effects, and more.

Adding elements to your story is as easy as clicking a button.

Meta Arcade wanted to make adding these elements simple so that you could focus less on the mechanics and more on your story. The system will have sounds and illustrations (by artists Liz Danforth, Josh Kirby and Peter Laird) for you to use in your own gamebooks or you’ll have the option to upload your own. Once your adventure is complete you’ll be able to submit it to Meta Arcade to share with the world. This looks like a really exciting tool for anyone who enjoys crafting their own stories.

Andrew: I think it’s a great idea. It’ll be a mechanism that let’s novice storytellers make something really interesting, and veterans will be able to run wild with it. I think it’s got a ton of potential

You can download Tunnels & Trolls Adventures here for iOS and Android. The  Adventure Creator will be out later this year for PC and mobile platforms.

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