From the Back Cover
What is Tunnels and Trolls?
Tunnels and Trolls is a fantasy role-playing game.
All right, then, what's a fantasy role-playing game?
Ah, there's the crux of it. A fantasy role-playing game is one in which the players (sometimes one, often several) can assume the personas and personalities of imaginary beings - not always human - who are thus given lives and adventures of their own, directed by game players.
In the course of the game, characters (the imaginary ones) are presented with circumstances created in outline by a Game Master. The fulfilment of that outline depends upon a verbal give-and-take between the Game Matser and the players as they explore the world presented, taking actions to cope with situations in which they find themselves.
The Game Master is a real person who has taken the time to create scenarios in which his or her friends can play. The players may be using medieval knights, space-faring aliens or a cowpuncher from the old west.
Tunnels & Troll is desinged primarily as a fantasy role-playing game set in a somewhat medieval alternative-universe, in the tradition of the hero tales of Greece and Rome, the Norse sagas and the Eddas, childhood fairy tales, and in the more modern traditions of the heroic fantasy of JRR Tolkien and Robert E. Howard.
The fundamental framework for adventuring in Tunnels & Trolls is the concept of an underground tunnel complex wherein dangeorus traps and deadly monsters guard undreamed-of treasures, where magic and high sorcery meet sword and shield, in alliance or as violent opponents. Those who survive to regain the surface may be considered "winners" - until the next time they venture into the depths, risking their all for glory, gold and adventure.
The rules to play Tunnels & Trolls are complete with the booklet in your hands. You need never purchase anything else, and you will have the entire game avaiable to you. On the other hand there are numerous back-up services - among them, solitaire dungeon adventures, miniatures, and a magazine dedicated primarily to T&T - but these are meant to augment the game. Here is all you need.
We hope you enjoy the game.