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Decades ago, Danforth and Stackpole created a unique solitaire adventure for Tunnels & Trolls. We're back to make a great new version.
Decades ago, Danforth and Stackpole created a unique solitaire adventure for Tunnels & Trolls. We're back to make a great new version.
562 backers pledged $19,459 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$19,459

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Stretch Goal Achieved

We made our stretch goal of $15k, so the campaign will include a reprint of the long out of print Sewers Of Oblivion. We will create a pdf that will be included for everyone who backed at the pdf level and above. Plus the printed version of SOO can be added to your reward level at any level by just adding $8 to your pledge.

Further down this page, we explained addon rewards. Recopying here for everyone's convenience, and to answer the questions we are getting:

Optional Addon Rewards: We want to keep the pledge levels simple. But things would get complicated if (for example) you want the color edition to keep AND a copy of the black and white edition to play.

Choose your primary reward (pledge for Paragraph A, B, C etc), then choose what you want to add. You can order multiple copies of any given add-on, and they can be added to any pledge level.

When you pledge, add in the amounts listed to buy those add-ons. Keep a record for yourself what you have ordered. We will know the total value of your pledge but not which option(s) you selected. After the campaign closes, you will receive a survey. When you answer the survey, tell us what options you added to your pledge.

  • 8-image pack of Danforth art cards: $14
  • Black-and-white print edition of Elven Lords: $15
  • Sewers of Oblivion reprint: $8
  • Plain color edition (additional copies or added to the extra-special color edition): $45

Shipping:

We've had lots of questions about shipping. Please read the FAQ.

Return to GULL, the CITY OF TERRORS 

Back in 1990, writer Michael Stackpole and artist Liz Danforth put together a solo adventure book for the Tunnels & Trolls™ fantasy role-playing game, published by Flying Buffalo Inc. Called Elven Lords, the book brought players back to the city of Gull, popularly known as “the City of Terrors.” Facing cutthroat thieves, barbarians, smugglers and pirates, or the horrors infesting the elven tombs to the north, the solitary hero found all the adventure they could handle!

The solitaire game booklet came out as a signed limited edition of 1000 copies, never to be republished. That version of Elven Lords has been out of print for many years now, a prized and difficult-to-obtain item sought by collectors.

It is time we revisit this adventure.

Why? How? And why now?

We could not reprint the old edition, even though fans asked repeatedly. We said we wouldn’t, and we won’t. But Kickstarter's Make/100 project made for a real opportunity: we could create a new, enlarged prestige edition. Players would get the old content—everything they had missed out on before—with fresh new writing and art in a first-class edition.

As the original writer, Mike has agreed to write more adventures in the setting, looping them into the existing storyline. Liz brings fresh art to the project, with brand new images, little-known paintings, and her famous line work drawings colorized by collaborator-artist Steve Crompton and others. By making this book part of Kickstarter’s Make/100 projects, an expanded Elven Lords solitaire adventure with full-color interior art becomes possible.

A sample spread in the color edition (Pledge: Paragraph E)
A sample spread in the color edition (Pledge: Paragraph E)

This exceptional version of Elven Lords will be offered in a signed, limited edition of just 100 copies, never to be republished. In years to come, it too will become a prized and difficult-to-obtain collectors item.

No One Gets Left Out

Having a fun game to play is the core reason for wanting an adventure like this. A quality game is our top priority, and we intend to deliver that. (We hope to exceed your expectations, in fact.) So we understand that not everyone wants a collectors edition of “something for fun” just to put on a shelf.

Choose a format that suits your wallet and the way you want to play. In addition to the color edition, we will produce a matching print edition with no color, showcasing Danforth's iconic black and white art. The paintings will be redrawn into line art, as necessary, and every image in the color version will have its counterpart in the black and white edition. This unlimited version will not be signed or numbered, and it will be in print as long as demand exists.

A sample page of B&W edition (Pledge: Paragraph D)
A sample page of B&W edition (Pledge: Paragraph D)

For those who want the color illustrations but not as a physical, collectible book, we will make the full color edition available as a downloadable PDF for your computer, phone, tablet, or other electronic device. Playing electronically is seamless, with each Go To choice taking you straight to the paragraph that you should read next.

And when we say “no one gets left out?” We really mean it, even if you have never played Tunnels & Trolls before. You get everything you need to play right inside the book.

Tunnels & Trolls uses simple rules and mechanics, but we pared that down to the essential “mini-rules” so you can play immediately. Take yourself into the City of Terrors with the main T&T rulebook if you have it! But if you are new to the game, get your feet wet with this adventure and the mini-rules before you jump into the deep end. We even offer a couple of pre-created characters, so nothing slows you down.

Just add dice. (Regular six-siders are all you need.)

The Creative Team

Liz Danforth began illustrating for Flying Buffalo in 1976. She went on to write, edit, and oversee publication of the popular Fifth Edition of T&T, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice magazine, as well as launching the Citybooks and Grimtooth’s Traps series on her watch. For decades, she produced art for most major tabletop game publishers, including GDW (Traveller, Dark Conspiracy), FASA (Shadowrun, Battletech, Earthdawn), Iron Crown (Middle Earth Role-Playing), and for TSR’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Her paintings appear in collectible card games like Magic the Gathering, L5R, and Lord of the Rings; and she has produced interior maps and illustrations for numerous novels and anthologies. She was lead developer and co-designer of the Deluxe edition of Tunnels & Trolls (2015) and continues to create new art for game publishers, for her Patreon supporters (www.patreon.com/LizDanforth), and for private clients alike.

Michael Stackpole’s early writing career began when he joined Flying Buffalo in 1977, shortly after publication of the original City of Terrors solitaire adventure. He went on to write many other solitaires for Tunnels & Trolls, and he created the T&T spinoff role-playing game Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes among many other projects. He later moved on to write Battletech novels for FASA and Dark Conspiracy novels for GDW. He graduated to the big time with tie-in novels for Star Wars and, more recently, for World of Warcraft. He continues to write standalone works, including the popular DragonCrown War series, and to speak, teach, and advocate for games. Read more about Mike on his official website.

Rais and Marek, well-known residents of Gull
Rais and Marek, well-known residents of Gull

After a colorful and varied career creating comics, novels, and other publications, Steve Crompton returns as Flying Buffalo’s art director and graphic designer for this project. He will also be the primary colorist for Danforth’s line art. Ken St Andre, the creator of Tunnels & Trolls, will ensure the game mechanics and stat conversions in the new Elven Lords are up to date with the current edition of the rules. Rick Loomis, president of Flying Buffalo, will be responsible for production and distribution of the final project. Rick has run and fulfilled five successful Kickstarters, and his experience will ensure this one is handled efficiently and effectively.

Examples of Danforth's art cards (Pledge: Paragraph C)
Examples of Danforth's art cards (Pledge: Paragraph C)

Bring on the Game!

You say you don’t quite understand how a “solitaire adventure” works? Let me help.

First you read a paragraph that describes the situation your alter-ego character is in. It is all about YOU: you see this, you hear that, that person is in front of you.

Then You-the-Reader are offered choices. Depending on what decision you make, you are sent to read a different paragraph, and there you find out what happens next.

Try it out!

You left the city in pursuit of a rumor: you have heard that deep in the woods outside Gull hides a shop of rare and wonderful things. Walking into the woods, you glimpse movement in the undergrowth: a strange humanoid with tall ears and a hairy brown hide. With a dangerous twinkle in its eye, it winks at you, then disappears into the mists between a circle of standing stones. Of course you follow!

The mist parts to reveal an enclosed grove surrounded with shaped, living wood shelves filled with books and curiosites. You found it! This magical shop is full of books, illuminated scrolls, art, broadsheets, cards, and more!

The mysterious creature you followed watches from the shadows, and in the middle of the glade stands an elderly elf with a bookish air. "My shop is open to anyone who finds it, but they must be a person of discernment and vision. You fit that description, adventurer!

“You can choose from anything on display here. What will you select?”

  • You feel reluctant to commit yourself—and then you glimpse your name sparkling faintly above a small colorful card. To take the card, go to Paragraph A. (Just over there on the pledge list!)
  • An ethereal and insubstantial scroll dances in midair like something alive. If you reach for it, go to Paragraph B.
  • A lovely painting stands half-hidden behind a green velvet cloak.You pull it aside to get a closer look at the art. Go to Paragraph C.
  • The grove is full of warmth and color, but what catches your eye is a slim volume decorated with graceful lines in purest black and white. Go to Paragraph D.
  • In the heart of the grove is the most beautiful, colorful book of all. A sunbeam breaks through the canopy, illuminating the tome in a golden spotlight. To make this book yours, go to Paragraph E.

Perhaps you decide not to buy anything, and return from whence you came. But memories of the magical grove are so distracting that street thieves surprise you! The local guards chase them off but the wily ruffians raise doubts about who was really to blame for starting the fracas. You spend a day in Gull’s dungeons until things get straightened out, wondering wistfully if you can ever return to the grove.

You can! Go to the first paragraph above and choose again. Otherwise, just carry on with your life with nothing but sad memories of a magical opportunity lost…

Don't miss this opportunity!

Optional Add-on Rewards

We want to keep the pledge levels simple. But things would get complicated if (for example) you want the color edition to keep AND a copy of the black and white edition to play.

Choose your primary reward (pledge for Paragraph A, B, C etc), then choose what you want to add. You can order multiple copies of any given add-on, and they can be added to any pledge level.

When you pledge, add in the amounts listed to buy those add-ons. Keep a record for yourself what you have ordered. We will know the total value of your pledge but not which option(s) you selected. After the campaign closes, you will receive a survey. When you answer the survey, tell us what options you added to your pledge.

  • 8-image pack of Danforth art cards: $14
  • Black-and-white print edition of Elven Lords: $15
  • Sewers of Oblivion reprint: $8
  • Plain color edition (additional copies or added to the extra-special color edition): $45

Shipping

Shipping is always a problem in Kickstarter. How much it costs us depends upon where you live. There are many ways to account for this, but this is how we'll do it:If you live in the USA, Kickstarter will add $5 to your pledge. If you live anywhere else, Kickstarter will add $20 to your pledge which will cover the cost to ship to Canada and Europe.

HOWEVER:If you live outside the US, Canada, or Europe, $20 shipping will NOT cover our expense. For backers outside the US, Canada, or Europe, when we are ready to ship I will calculate the actual cost and ask you to pay the difference. If you feel that difference is too much to pay, then Flying Buffalo will refund your pledge and cancel your order.

We make it easy for you to pay these extra shipping costs via PayPal or by credit card. We are sorry we have to do this, but it is the only way for us to make the items available worldwide but not lose our shirts paying postage. As an example: for our Deluxe T&T Kickstarter, 25% of our backers were from outside the USA, and shipments to Japan or New Zealand often cost as much as $80 for a $50 book.

A Last Word

We hope Elven Lords brings you memorable adventures with beautiful art and production values. Please support only authorized Tunnels & Trolls™ creators and sellers! The wonderful (and honest!) fan websites and professional businesses who qualify for that description will be listed on the official Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls website. Accept no substitutes!

Where to find us on the web:
Michael Stackpole, writer
Official website
Liz Danforth, artist
Official website
Patreon
Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls
Latest news about T&T
Authorized T&T fan and professional sites
Rick Loomis, Flying Buffalo Inc.
Company website
Steve Crompton, graphics
His website

Websites for the creative team can also be found by clicking on the "See full bio" button.

Risks and challenges

The Elven Lords Kickstarter is to be published by Rick Loomis of Flying Buffalo Inc. Rick has been in the game industry full time since 1972, and Flying Buffalo has published hundreds of products. Rick has handled five very successful Kickstarters, including production of Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls with this team.

Each one of the creative team (Danforth, Stackpole, Crompton, and St Andre) have each been professionally creating art, games, modules, adventures, novels, short fiction, and articles continually since the mid-1970s. We have the experience and proven track record to put this project together and do a first-class job.

Much of the material planned for Elven Lords already exists. Ten completed drawings and paintings are ready to be worked into the narrative, along with pre-existing sketches. This will give Danforth a headstart on whatever entirely new images are required to illustrate what Stackpole writes.

Half the writing already exists: the original hard-to-acquire Elven Lords edition. Stackpole will write new material, and backup writers on the team are on deck to fill in, if needed. (We don't expect it will be necessary, because Mike is awesome! But that's why it is just a backup plan.)

That said, none of us are as young as we once were. Accidents or medical issues could interfere (as they have in the past). Or we might suffer computer crashes, printer mishaps, shipping failures, political upheaval, malicious gremlins, or we might even get distracted by the arrival of a really good computer game or a new puppy (awwww!). But this project is fundamentally smaller than previous publications handled by this team, and we are going into it with a lot of prep work already completed.

We hope everyone reads the information on Shipping carefully. We are trying to be as fair and transparent as possible while covering our costs for postage on packages sent around the world.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    Paragraph A: Card, Updates, & Our Thanks

    You get updates and behind-the-curtain discussions of the project. We will list you as a supporter in the book. You will also receive a commemorative card through the mail that features Danforth’s art celebrating the return of Elven Lords.

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    3 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Paragraph B: PDF Version

    You get a PDF of the color version of this limited edition book plus the rewards listed in the previous tier.

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    232 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Paragraph S: The SOO Reprint

    This reward brings you the print edition of the reprinted Sewers of Oblivion. In addition, you receive the rewards listed in the previous tiers (the commemorative message, the PDF, and you will be listed as a supporter).

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    10 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Paragraph C: Cards for Art Lovers

    Eight large art cards (heavy-weight postcards 5"x7”) with full-color plates of artwork from Elven Lords on the front side, blank on the back, plus the rewards listed for previous tiers.

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    8 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Paragraph D: Black & White Print Edition

    This reward brings you the print edition of Elven Lords with black and white interior art. In addition, you receive the commemorative message, the PDF, and be listed as a supporter. Size: 8.5” x 11”, 48 pages or more.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    136 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Paragraph K: Kickstarter Color Edition

    This full-color print edition of Elven Lords is limited to a print run sufficient to meet the demands of this campaign plus 10% more. You get the commemorative message, the PDF, and will be listed as a supporter. Size: 8.5" x 11", 56 pages or more.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    70 backers
    $
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Paragraph E: Full Color Print Edition

    This full-color print edition of Elven Lords is limited to 100 copies in specialty binding, signed and numbered by Liz Danforth and Michael Stackpole. In addition, you get the commemorative message, the PDF, and be listed as a supporter. Size: 8.5" x 11", 48 pages or more.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (21 days)