Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Cave Troll

Sometimes called a "bridge troll," or a "rock ogre," or even, oddly enough, a "goblin." These creatures can be as tall as a leprechaun when very young to about as tall as three adult humans standing on the lower ones shoulders, in case you don't have your T&T to DnDHead Translator application up and running on your smart phone JerryTel. Though their skin is a thick leathery hide that acts as three points of armor, it is indeed flesh not mineral like say the better known Rock Trolls of Trollworld.

The Delvers encountering these trolls, in their caves or say under bridges, where the creatures like to dwell when unable to find a suitable cave, should not underestimate their strength.
The size of this sort of troll depends as much on its environs as its maturation-- as with most of the troll family this reflects the amazing adaptability of any species called a "troll." One as small as a leprechaun can be as aged, capable and as strong as a giant-sized cave troll depending on where it lives.

These trolls like to shun daylight, as their eyes are best suited for low-light levels. They have nearly magical hearing, which is akin to a bat's hearing and can navigate in complete darkness, or especially in the case of bright sunlight, with their eyes shut. Like all trolls they do not like to be copied and pasted from on-line free sources to be republished at a cost in print magazines. This keen hearing also keeps them away from large gathers of other creatures, unless it is to shut the rowdy noise makers up. The antagonism can go both ways, towns near suspected cave troll habitats often use bells or horns to make them feel unwelcome and warned.

Most often cave trolls have no use for treasure or craftsmanship of anything. They have a base outlook, that is only made worse by a hunger that requires as many liftings of food as their strength score is each day. Though distinctly carnivorous and rather ill-tempered in general, these trolls can be social to those that they cannot overcome immediately. Often they will demand tolls at bridges that they lay claim to so that they can buy cattle (or sheep, or goats, or pigs, or orphans...etc...etc) instead of stealing them to get along with their neighbors.

The heroes encountering a cave troll should be able to withstand four dice plus 15 points worth of damage to begin with, if the creature is young. If older, well the GM can adjust the Monster Rating to where he needs. There have been cave trolls that have been worshiped as dark and horrible gods, that only God-Wizards have been able to defeat. There have been tales of cave trolls with spell-like abilities, though these seem to vary from individual to individual and definitely not a proven norm.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Loping To the Attack (follow up)

I am surprised at the level of response that I received to the "Lope Troll" earlier. Thanks for the emails and praise folks really. Thought I'd take the time to answer one question that has come up multiple (three and half times) in different emails. So Tisi, Matt, Geoffry and Daelga (there are T&T players and troll fans in Portugal?), here goes nothing.

To paraphrase the question, "Does a single player or the whole party have to be able to withstand fifteen six-sided dice plus seventy added points?"

My answer, "Yes."

I thought I covered this sort of thing earlier, but here let me go into more depth. As in real life, sometimes a task can be handled by a single person, other times it has to handled by a team, or at least a group within proximity to the situation.

Now a single high level PC can indeed around the on average 112 points that the Lope Troll can dish out, maybe even from an Ambush style of attack. A Warrior-Wizard, err Paragon with a lot of armor and high Cn might be on a god-quest or something, the Lope Troll will make an interesting encounter, maybe even a whole side story, in that saga.

And in T&T, the Player-Character group can absorb damage from combat, though not the Spite damage, as the players see fit. So a group of say four near beginning level delvers might be able to handle the beastie as well. Well, thinking about it, make that five adventurers, because the single PC ambushed more than likely will be dead before he knows it, and his player will have thrown her Mountain Dew can at me and stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and key my car by the next round. Hey, death happens in sword and sorcery RPG campaigns. If I don't get the players used to early on, it'll more than likely get ugly later on in the campaign when I, as the GM, kill 7th or even 10th level heroes. To me it's about the narrative not the personal "daydream fulfillment."

As usual, I digress, I suppose my real point here, is that this question strikes me as being posed from people unfamiliar with an open-ended and not balanced rules matrix like T&T. But I am flattered to get such attention, and hope you all will become fans of my favorite RPG game.

As for questions like "What's the MR?," "Do Lope Trolls eat leprechauns?" or "Are you being surreal with mentions of periodicals?," I can only answer with... (not responding).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Lope Troll

The Lope Troll- Often called the "brush troll," or "the gully troll" or "the wombat;" the nicknames depend on the area where they are from. "Brush" and "gully" trolls tend to be around temperate to torrid climates while "wombats" tend to be places south of the equator.

This humanoid is two-lengths tall (9-10 feet) when full grown. As trolls go it is a very short species. But that does not make it any sort of a push-over as monstrous sorts go. The loper is named for its habit to dip down to all fours when charging at prey or fleeing from stronger foes. The lope troll does not like to be copied and pasted from the web where they are available for free to be printed up in a magazine for sale. They have a slow-acting camouflage ability that takes days for them to blend, somewhat, into the foliage around them.

Monster Rating: PCs should be able to handle monsters that can deliver 15 dice plus 70 points worth of damage.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Trolls Upon Trolls

I can't exactly explain why, but I am a troll fan versus being a dragon groupie. Part of it has to do with being a T&T versus D&D and its hype, I mean I could keep myself entertained with Solo dungeons for an entire Summer without a gamer-laden group of friends. But there was more than that going on. Trolls are human, well human-like, or just humanoid. It just makes them that much more interesting. You see, the fantasy in front or you, an imaginary character, expressed as tallied numbers on a shet of paper, are suddenly Face-to-Face with the ugliest aspect of a person that you never wanted to encounter. No Expressionism-laden "dinosauric" conjuring of the injustices of the world; just the heaviness of brutality and coldness bearing down on your small, tiny really, figure.

Trolls just rock. So this month, November, I think I'll illustrate, verbally, what I picture trolls as. Now I know that I am only riding the crest of rocking movie Troll Hunter, but for some reason, I think this film deserves as much attention as it can get. AND I was into trolls well before this movie, and what seems to be sudden Norwegian marketing of trolls and trolldom (TROLL MANIA) came about. But at the same time, I just don't think that Norway is actually cool enough for my trolls.

My trolls actually come from Ken St Andre's philosophy of "troll making." I don't have the text in front of me here, but I am pretty sure that trolls tend to be adaptive, when they aren't actually elemental. And I have more than a few realms for them to be from. Enjoy.