Serving the Evil Overlord

You know, I’m older than dirt, but I’m still a kid.  That’s why a map like this still delights me.

Where the Evil Overlord keeps his monsters . . .

Where the Evil Overlord keeps his monsters . . .

This is the latest mini-solo that I’ve written. I did it for TexiCon and a special event they were having. Apparently 1500 were printed, and planned as a giveaway for a convention. It’s a very basic adventure. It has tunnels. It has a troll. Also an ogre, lots of goblins, a gakk, a glikk, and cave spiders. And you can go fishing. :)

You definitely get to be a legendary hero in this adventure. Are you up to it?

Now you know what a trollhammer looks like.

Now you know what a trollhammer looks like.

Considering my obsession with the great Fungus Forest, maybe I should have called this game Mushrooms and Monsters instead.

(Note: if you are not a member of Trollhalla, but would like to get a copy of this game, email me, and we’ll work something out. You’re not gonna find it in your local game store.)


Trollworld Fairies

Trollworld fairies are not Disney fairies. People have this image of fairies being like bugs, but they are considerably larger, more like mice or rats. The T & T rulebook says they are 1/10 the height of men and 1/200 the weight. Actually, using the square cube law of animal size and weight they should be about 1/100 the weight of a man, which puts them from 5 to 8 inches tall and between 1 and 3 pounds for most of them.

The other thing is that fairies aren’t tiny humans with wings.  They have six limbs–two arms, two legs, two wings. What animal do we know that has six limbs? Right! Insects! Fairies are actually a form of insect, and that means they have exoskeletons.

(I’m not the only person to think that fairies might be bugs. If you search insect fairies images on Google  you’ll find quite a lot of art depicting fairies as insects. I’m not showing any of it, because I don’t have the rights to grab that art.)

So, if fairies are insects, why do they look so much like humans? Actually, they look more like tiny elves with wings, which has led to the speculation that fairies are actually elven children, or perhaps a larval form of elves. They aren’t, but they are associated with elves and entered Trollworld along with elves in the distant past.  The truth is that fairies are to elves what dogs are to men–pets and servant beasts. The elves (who are weird anyway) have bred their fairy servant-pets over tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands–who knows how long they were at it before they came to Trollworld?) of years to resemble elves.  Selective breeding and elven magic have done the rest.

The multipliers given for fairies in earlier editions of T & T are incorrect.  This is what they should be for an adult male fairy.  STR 1/4 CON 1/4 DEX 3/2 SPD 1, INT 3/4 WIZ 1 LK 3/2 CHR 2  HT 1/10 WT 1/100.  Female fairies are actually tougher and stronger than the males, but not enough to change the multipliers. To create a female, roll up a normal male first, and then add 1 to its STR, CON, LK, and DEX.

Fairies generally live in swarms, like bees. They have a queen for each hive. Any female fairy can lay eggs, but the queen generally produces the best offspring. She is always their greatest wizard. Should a greater wizard arise, the better magic-user would displace the lesser and assume the queenhood.  Fairies have three sexes–sort of–males, females, and drones.  Female fairies may be quite beautiful. Males and drones are often quite grotesque.

There are wild fairies and tame fairies.  Wild fairies live on their own, usually in forests, but any relatively abundant habitat will serve. They are often savage and dangerous, carnivorous and blood-drinking. Wild fairies are considered extremely dangerous and are hunted to extinction whenever they get too close to civilization. Tame fairies live in close association with either elves or men. They generally speak the Common Tongue of Humans or Elvish, although they don’t usually have large vocabularies.  Tame fairies sometimes join adventuring groups. They have been known to wear clothing although they do not need it.

Fairies are either rogues or wizards, as they all have the ability to work magic. They could be considered a class of specialist as some of their magic seems to be instinctive, including many illusion and flight spells.  Tame fairies often wear clothing and wield miniature weapons created for them by men and elves. They can also make do with weapons fashioned from natural materials such as thorns and bones. Over time they have learned to make many different poisons and dusts from the plants and animals of their environments.  Fairy weapons are always poisoned for greater effect.

Fairies follow the example of elves and men, and like to domesticate and live in association with other creatures. Fairies and bees get along just fine. They also do well with smaller snakes, toads, frogs, and bats, and are often seen in company with them.

The elves say that there are as many different types and tribes of fairies as there are types and tribes of men.  With an average lifespan of ten years or less, fairies evolve rapidly into whatever form is best for their current environment. The different types are distinguished by coloration, grotesqueries, and culture.

Players who wish to have fairy characters may do pretty much as they wish with their characters, but they should remember that they are not tiny humans with wings. They are meat-eating, blood-drinking insects who resemble tiny humans with wings.


Meanwhile . . . Somewhere South of Zkaria

I had some fun today.  Got together with the Man Called Bear and Steve Crompton (krooomp of Trollhalla) and designed a GM adventure for the Trollworld section of the Deluxe T & T rules.  I’m not going to tell you about the adventure, but I did get permission to post Steve’s sketch of the area map, which covers the region between the city of Zkaria and the Fire Dungeon of Z’tpozz. For  your viewing pleasure, here it is, and feel free to set some of your adventures in the area.  I will tell you that this part of Zorr is like the Lost World, there are many different survivals of the original Trollworld rock-based lifeforms abundant here including the great lizard-like yotts and obsidian spiders.



I must say that as a fantasy cartographer, I find it a lot of fun and very satisfying to go from the continental scale to the local scale and start to really put a lot of detail into the maps for the adventures. Even more fun when I have a real artist to turn my ideas into something that actually looks pretty decent.