Back to Tunnels & Trolls, and the first of the official solo adventures, Rick Loomis' Buffalo Castle. This was not among the Corgi reissues, but there was a copy in the bundle of solos I picked up in a second-hand shop at the start of the nineties. I've only attempted it once before now, and at that time I must have had an unusually low tolerance for weirdness, as I pretty much lost interest when I got to something overly implausible (possibly an indoor prairie).
This adventure is for first level fighters only. The character I roll up is far from promising, but as there are no species restrictions, I decide to make him a Dwarf rather than a human, thereby gaining bonuses to Strength and Constitution (and a penalty to Charisma, but I can live with that).
Strength: 12 (was an abysmal 6)
Luck: 14 (about my only decent roll this time round)
Constitution: 20 (was an average 10)
Charisma: 8 (was a respectable 12)
And 120 gold pieces to spend on equipment. I'll take advantage of the special offer on basic adventuring gear in the intro, and add a taper axe, leather armour and a buckler.
The first few T&T solos lack a premise beyond 'go to dangerous place, kill stuff, avoid traps, grab loot'. So, for some random reason I find myself outside a castle with three doors leading into it, and I go through one of them. Down a short corridor is a room where a bored-looking Troll sits on a treasure chest. Memories of the multiplayer dungeon in the basic rulebook remind me that talking to Trolls can be beneficial, so I give it a try, but Charisma is one of the factors that determine the Troll's reaction, and he attacks.
There's a note at the start of the adventure which points out that it was not designed for play with the 5th edition rules, and if those are the ones the reader is using (which they are), the monsters should all be made a little tougher in the interests of a balanced game. If I do this, there is no way my character can survive the fight. If I ignore it, there is no way my character can harm the Troll, but my armour will preserve me from whatever damage the Troll inflicts - as long as I roll nothing but sixes for myself, and nothing but ones for the Troll.
No, it wasn't very likely, was it? Another shamefully rapid demise.