Tunnel Goons with Flavor

Sam W

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Here’s a fantasy campaign starter pack and character ideas for Tunnel Goons.


Magic comes in two forms: spellbooks and innate power. Spellbooks take up an inventory slot, can be cast at will, but fill a inventory slot with a Fatigue. Fatigue cannot be removed without a full night’s rest in a safe spot (when you would regain health). Spellbooks can hold up to 3 spells, but writing a spell in a book is something only a trained magical scribe can do. You might have to pay a wizard, or do him a favor, to consolidate spellbooks you have.

Innate magic requires no spellbook and does not produce Fatigue, but needs either special components or has a recharge condition. Special components for spells are often rare materials or objects, usually natural. A recharge condition replenishes magical energy in the spellcaster by drawing out power from natural sources. Recharge conditions are often ritualistic or even dangerous. You may have to expose yourself to bitter cold, or face imminent death and survive. Being a spellcaster is not an easy lifestyle.

Note that innate spellcasting is a spell-specific skill. There is no such thing as ‘being a spellcaster,’ but there is ‘innately casting fireball.’ Most goons, with enough training and determination, can learn a spell.

Spells are powerful enough to ‘just happen.’ No roll needed. If a goon is under pressure, consider a +erudite roll to read the spellbook, or calmly call upon the stored power to cast a spell. Use a flat roll result for any damage, should that be necessary (a result of 10 sounds a-ok to me).

Innate spellcasting is usually taught from a wizard or some other comprehensive source of magical knowledge. Having a teacher is the best way to learn, several large volumes are necessary if you wanted to do it yourself.

Spell List:

Magic Items

Cairn Magic Item (‘Relic’) List:


For starting goons, the TG SRD equipment is appropriate. They should get more interesting items the longer they adventure. You should pick around for gear that fits your world, but I think the Cairn equipment list works well.

Setting & Adventures

The art for Tunnel Goons always struck me as something cute for kids, but of course the sophistication and tone of what you play is up to you. It’s just a system, after all.

But I like some child-like whimsy in my world. If you wanted to populate a world like this, I suggest the following adventures:

For a darker fantasy feel, here’s some suggestions:

Feel free to organize these into a hexcrawl or run separately as one-shots.