If you are a fan of tabletop games, there's a good chance you have heard of Dungeons & Dragons. Released in 1974, the highly influential fantasy TTRPG has become synonymous with the hobby; a fact that continues to this very day. But in 1975, another fantasy TTRPG released on store shelves: Tunnels & Trolls. Now, almost fifty years later, Rebellion Unplugged has acquired this TTRPG, and plans on bringing it back to gaming tables.
The Return of Tunnels & Trolls
Released by Flying Buffalo, Tunnels & Trolls was sold as a player-friendly alternative to D&D. It still held many fantasy trappings, swords, dwarves, dragons, magic, etc., but it encouraged roleplaying through more streamlined mechanics. For example, the game exclusively used d6s for all skill rolls, and the magic system was points-based. It was also a design pioneer, being the first TTRPG to feature rules for solo play.
Now, according to an official press release from Rebellion Unplugged, they have officially acquired Flying Buffalo, and with it the rights to Tunnels & Trolls. They state that the entire back-catalog of the studio's work, which includes all previous Tunnels & Trolls books as well as Citybook, Grimtooth, Merchant Spies, and Private Eyes, will be available for purchase online in PDF format. Furthermore, they have announced a new edition of Tunnels & Trolls, providing even more alternatives to tabletop players around the world.
Duncan Molloy, head of Rebellion Unplugged, accompanied the press release with a statement.
Tunnels & Trolls is an unrecognized trailblazer in the games industry. The team at Flying Buffalo responded to an entirely new medium by focusing on how roleplaying could be more approachable, more accessible, and more fun. So much of the modern era of roleplaying from old-school hacks to streamlined systems, to solo play, can directly trace its roots directly back to this series. We’re very excited to channel that spirit in bringing Tunnels & Trolls into the modern era.
This revival of Tunnels & Trolls will be the first major TTRPG project by Rebellion Unplugged. The studio's prior work includes the Sniper Elite Board Game, a revival of the Judge Dredd Board Game, and the Adventure Presents series.