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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spirit Combat for Tunnels & Trolls

Spirit Combat "T&T style"
By Tom Kopf Loney

Every spirit, fiend or ghost, has a SPOOK rating. This is the MR of that being. Player-Characters encountering them must combine their Wizardry, Charisma and Luck stats to develop their own SPOOK rating. Both sides then roll 2d (remembering DARO) plus their SPOOK rating, and then compare the results. The higher result wins. The lower result is then subtracted from the higher, and the losing side subtracts that many points from the SPOOK rating. At "zero" points the spirit is dissipated, or the body is open to possession by the spirit that it is battling.

To expand on this bodily possession, the inhabiting spirit must distribute its remaining SPOOK rating into all eight of the physical attributes of the possessed, which become the controlled body’s ratings. The SPOOK rating may be distributed unevenly among the attributes. For each turn that the body is inhabited, the spirit spends a WIZ point, and once the WIZ rating is diminished to zero, the possession ends.

The physical being recovers the stats that make up the SPOOK rating "1" point per every ten minutes that the body is engaged in Spirit Combat or "in possession" of the attacking spirit. The Player of said Character is considered unconscious, meaning inactive, during the recovery. Once the Character's SPOOK is recovered, the Character can then engage in Spirit Combat to reclaim his body.

The spirit's SPOOK rating recovers 1 point per day. On a side note, maybe related or not, a spirit, almost every spirit, can only travel 1 mile per day. The one thing the dead know is that it is better to be alive.

Wango D' Strangle

This ghostly apparition isn't just a ghostly apparition. These are the ghosts of a select few serial killers that were smart enough to find enough sorcery or influenced by a greater dark force to attain a half-life in the physical world after their deaths. They like to haunt the graveyards in which they were buried or are captured by necromancers that use them as guards.

Wangos D' Strangles, Wangos for short, can engage in Spirit Combat and then throw in a mix of brute physical force. In game play, this means that the Player must decide whether his Character will prepare for a mental attack or a physical attack. The wrong choice leaves the stricken vulnerable to the complete attack without reprise. Wangos must exert a lot of energy towards the physical attacks, so tend to use Spirit Combat most often. When a Wango goes to "physical" combat, it spends 5 points of its SPOOK rating to put all of the remaining points and 2d into a melee roll. If the opponent(s) is defending, armor and his Combat Adds are applicable.

{Editor’s Note: I’m VERY excited about this piece. I have been considering options for ghostly combat, and I like this one. Tom hit it on the head, and kept it true to the simple, elegant style of T&T.}

Artwork free for use clipart from


  1. Good stuff! The simplicity of TnT's abstract combat system works well here, and I could have used it in my 1978 Runequest campaign to make Spirit Combat soooo much easier. I rather hope this goes into Deluxe TnT.

  2. Given the WIZ expenditure of the spirit and the attribute recovery of the player, this has a great deal of potential for players as spirits (or at least one in the group), NPC's as normal living characters.

    Any thoughts on making possession become more secure rather than breaking down? I'm also thinking that characters who expel spirits (or have them exorcised) should stand a 50/50 chance of being more resistant to possession, or more susceptible given the experience.

    [Stopping now before this becomes a 10,000 word proposition of very non-T&T niggling details]