Sunday, August 03, 2008

1983 Interview With Ken St. Andre

Stumbled across this awesome interview, available on the Fiendish Board Games site.

On T&T's silly spell names:

**** 'em If they can't take a joke! I still feel that the T&T spell names are as good or better than any others on the market. They are descriptive and amusing. There is a rationale for them being slightly silly. And besides, they are a game mechanism, like saving rolls, not an integral part of the T&T world.

On the future of roleplaying (as of 1983):

Nothing ever dies out. There are still blacksmiths for gods' sake, and people who wear armour and knock each other off horses with sticks. People are still playing the same crude board games they had in ancient Egypt (*JH ..and calling them Kensington and charging a fortune for them.) No, FRP won't die. But the golden age is already past. It will become less and less important, The true future of the art is in computers, and the true money also. Which is why Flying Buffalo has been trying hard for the last 4 years to get Coleco to come out with the computer version of T&T. Role playing games may be increasing in popularity and viability in England, but they are over the hill here.

On the possibility of a T&T Monster Manual:

Monsters! I think the Fiend Factory in White Dwarf is absolutely ridiculous! I'm against Monster Manuals! Bestiaries, yes, manuals, no! I'm enthralled and delighted when someone makes up a new monster and springs it on me in a game. I only encountered purple death hippos once, but it was great!

On trolls turning to stone when struck by sunlight:

Some do, some don't, At any rate, it isn't a permanent change. Trolls regenerate, so by the next night they would overcome the damage of being turned to stone and would gain mobility again. However, all my trolls tend to avoid direct sunlight, using a large parasol if necessary to go about by daylight.

On the lack of religion & clerics in T&T:

There has been a good deal of criticism of the lack of organised religion in the T&T rules, but I happen to believe that the world would be a lot better off without most of its organised religions, and that's the kind of place I wanted for my fantasy adventuring.

On whether you should design your own RPG:

Yes. The main pleasure of FRP is that of creation - creating a character, creating a world, creating a game system - it's all the same high. If you can create a better game system, more power to you! On the other hand, everyone should have at least one copy of Tunnels & Trolls, if only to give you an example of how it's done (or a bad example if you are a D&D person)! And no one should be afraid to try someone else's system. You may get some ideas!


Ron said...

Thanks for a re-up of this classic interview, Ed. I have that in an old issue of something 'er other, around the house in my gaming shelf.

Ken St. Andre's vision always made more sense to me by a tad, compared to the D&D one.

I really wish I could get some interest in the T&T thing going with my bunch. Maybe someday you and I can do a "play-by-post" or something of that one.

Hell, we should just play by ourselves, if nothing else!

Ed H said...

you know, I keep telling myself I'm going to write up a T&T dungeon, and ideas pop around my head, but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. :(

Fun at the Library said...

Hey, guys, there's plenty of action, gaming, and new adventure writing at and Outlaw Press. T & T isn't dead. C'mon over!
--Ken St. Andre