Friday, February 11, 2011

Simple Weapons and Armor Chart

In my previous post on the evolution of arms, armor, and equipment in Tunnels and Trolls, I mentioned the simple Weapons and Armor lists from the 1st and 4th editions of the T&T rules. While I like all of the weapon choices available in T&T, something about this chart appeals to me. In some instances too many choices can be a bad thing. If you want to run a quick game or introduce new players to T&T, a simple list is better. It can get overwhelming when trying to pick a weapon sometimes. If you want your character to have a one-handed axe, in the 7.5 edition rules you have five to choose from; for a one-handed sword there are 24 options between those with long or short blades. The free abridged T&T rules do provide a short weapon and armor list which is also the one presented in the Corgi edition T&T solo adventures, but these lists still use the more specific weapon types from the 5th edition.

So I decided to put together my own simplified weapons and armor lists for use with the 5th and 7th edition rules. The lists are compatible with either, as long as you only use the lists and you don't have players using both the simple weapons presented here and regular weapon choices.

Those of you familiar with Moldvay or Mentzer D&D will recognize many of the weapon types. I thought the broad categories presented in those rules were pretty good and provide an excellent toolkit with plenty of options while still keeping it simple.

When creating the various attributes (dice, adds, cost, weight) and requirements (strength and dexterity needed) of each weapon and type of armor, I primarily consulted the 7.5 edition rules, but I also looked to the 5th edition rules to see where changes had occurred. Where broad categories included many different weapons on the standard T&T lists, I chose average values. The best examples are the 'sword', 'polearm', and 'hand axe' weapon types. Some weapon types did have only one T&T equivalent weapon such as the club, spear, and warhammer. In these situations, however, I did not use the exact values from the rulebooks but instead altered them so that they fit into the ranges of the other generalized weapons. At the minimum I changed the weight and cost of the weapons.

I also included armor and shield, with only five full suits and three basic shield types. These are also based upon items in the 7.5 rules, but all have been modified in some way (at a minimum cost and weight). I changed the costs pretty substantially for suits of armor, making heavier armor more and more expensive. My suit of full plate, for example, costs 1000 gold whereas the 7th edition full plate only costs 460 gold. The three shield types, small, medium, and large, make for a nice simple progression of defense, cost, and weight. I did lower the weights of shield significantly from the T&T rules, because I've always found them to be too high.

So without further ado, here is my Simple Weapons and Armor Chart for Tunnels and Trolls 5th and 7th editions (click to enlarge):


  1. Awesome stuff! I totally agree on the costs of armor, but I'd scale back the Hits rating a bit. 18 Hits for Plate is a lot!

    A hint, though. Try saving the picture in a format with lossless compression. That will make it look a lot better. I'd suggest png instead of jpg.