Sunday, March 17, 2024

Temple of 1000 Swords, a Tunnels and Trolls Session Report

At my LGS’s monthly RPG event yesterday I ran a one shot using a modified version of the 5th edition Tunnels and Trolls system, running the OSE adventure Temple of 1000 Swords.

The game has 6 players, none of whom had played T&T before, but who did have experience in RPGs in general. Of the pregens the only notable one was a dwarf warrior with 66 starting strength (the TARO rule in action!)

Session Recap

After being given a general premise and goal (Go find where all these goddamn rusted swords are coming from, and do something about it!) the party started right at the entrance of the dungeon.

The dwarf managed to instantly fall into the trap set up in the entry hallway, risking drowning were it not for the efforts of the others to pull him out. This caught the attention of the duck people in the next room who mocked the party, the dwarf challenged them to a duel and won it after the duck he was fighting conceded after a few rounds of being smacked around with a hammer.

Railing up the ducks to go fight their fishy enemies, the ducks thundered off towards the merfolk section of the dungeon, while the party looted and explored the place. They were attacked by some of the iron mongrels that seem to prowl the dungeon, defeating them and getting some diamonds out of their guts.

Further exploration eventually lead them to the forge where Piotr the knight was cursed to keep making swords. They ran into Gladio, the god of the temple who put a geas/curse upon them to kill 9 people in 9 days using swords, then fucked off cackling.

The party explored some more of the dungeon, eventually finding the Hierophant that Piotr killed, taking the knight’s magic spear out of him, resurrecting him, spearing him back down, resurrecting him again and eventually him being able to get his hands on the dwarf before he could shove the spear back in him, killing the dwarf in a single attack (the party was trying to flee, so the dwarf decided to run away rather than stay and fight).

At that the party simply ran away, explaining what they could to the town council. Despite their abject failure to solve the sword problem, they were allowed to perform the next 9 executions in order to lift their curse, but were then also promptly told to leave town and never come back.


I had two main goals with this. First was the obvious - I have not run a game in months, and wanted to do something about it. On that end I obviously succeeded, as the game did indeed happen.

The second goal was getting some actual experience running T&T for a group and seeing how it feels. The aesthetics of a system can and does matter to me, and I so far have been enjoying the one T&T offers. Combat was fast, though not as fast as I was hoping (turns out adding up a whole bunch of large numbers over and over isn’t actually significantly faster than just people rolling a bunch of d20s, though it is slightly so), but it still worked pretty well.

I like Saving Rolls as a unified mechanic and how well they can work for basically anything, I like the spellcasting and I like the absurdity of how powerful some starting characters can be compared to others.

Also, as a GM, adapting the monsters in the dungeon worked out quite easily. Slapping a Monster Rating that vaguely feels right (and it does seem like a lot of it is based on vibes and how difficult you feel the monster should be to challenge in combat) and then simply using the abilities it already has was very intuitive and fast.

The module itself worked fine, and its slightly goofy and absurd premise also fit the general goofy tone that T&T often has associated with it. I wouldn’t say the Temple of 1000 Swords is my favorite OSE module or something, but I think for a one-shot at an event it works quite well and offers plenty of things for people to poke at and mess around with.


  1. There are few things as fun as getting to play some RPG's after a hiatus. I've never looked at T&T before but things like the simplicity of the monster rating certainly has me intrigued!

    1. I am considering it more and more as the engine to use for my next campaign, exactly for those reasons. If that pans out, expect a lot more T&T on here in the future!