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IN SEARCH OF THE TROLLSLAYER - A Heroic-Level Adventure for Basic Roleplaying

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in-search-of-trollslayer.jpgIn Search of the Trollslayer is classic beer-and-pretzel dungeon-crawl filled with monsters, traps, and treasure! Your players will need to use their brawn as well as their wits to survive this dungeon. It is designed for 3-6 characters of Heroic Campaign power level. Other power levels may be used with some adjustment to encounters and obstacles. It is also suggested that the players create their characters using the total hit point option, as this will allow for a much more dynamic and exciting adventure. It is recommended that the party include at least one Wizard or Sorcerer, as there are several obstacles that will require their arcane skills to get past. This scenario is set in a dank and dismal swamp but could be placed in any campaign world with a few minor modifications.

Three hundred years ago a brave human hero named Sir Tolwar was slain while leading an epic charge during the height of the Troll Wars. The body of the knight was never found but, because of his bravery, the tide of the war turned and Sir Tolwar became revered as a Saint. A brotherhood was formed that honored the knight, and they erected a shrine on the very site of the battlefield where Sir Tolwar was slain. They called themselves the Brotherhood of the Lance in reference to the weapon Sir Tolwar wielded on that fateful day — a golden spear called Kerok, the Trollslayer.

Word of the shrine spread. Pilgrims thronged to this holy place, where to behold the spear of the saint could cure disease, heal the sick, or bestow courage for those going forth into battle. At first The Brotherhood accepted only donations for the upkeep of the shrine. But soon greed began to take root within their ranks. They began to charge great sums of money to look upon Kerok, causing those who truly needed the help of the saint to be turned away. The Brotherhood began to purchase farmland surrounding the shrine, demanding the serfs that worked it to pay exorbitant rents. As the years passed the Brotherhood of the Lance became nothing more than a cruel landlord.

The greed and selfishness of the brotherhood angered the gods. They summoned a mighty cataclysm which shook the earth and flooded the Order’s holdings, creating the Dread Swamp. The monks themselves were transformed into hideous creatures haunting the catacombs of the shrine. Now the shrine is all but forgotten; a ruin rotting in the middle of the Dread Swamp. But legend has it that Kerok the Trollslayer, the lance of Sir Tolwar, remains hidden within the walls of the forgotten shrine, waiting to be claimed by any adventurer willing to retrieve it.

By Troy Wilhelmson. 48 pages. Published by Chaosium May 2009.

Edited by Trifletraxor

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It looks like Chaosium is taking Trollslayer and moving it to a shelf book. This is the first time they've upgraded a book, right? Have they done this before?

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It looks like Chaosium is taking Trollslayer and moving it to a shelf book. This is the first time they've upgraded a book, right? Have they done this before?

I think that was the plan all along - the monograph release format was solely as a means of getting early copies for Origins and Tentacles.

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It looks like Chaosium is taking Trollslayer and moving it to a shelf book. This is the first time they've upgraded a book, right? Have they done this before?

I believe Jason's correct - Trollslayer was always intended as a full release IIRC: the monograph edition was simply to get hard copy available for the cons.

Secrets of Morocco, for Call of Cthulhu is the first full release book that had previously been released as a monograph (Secrets of Kenya was originally proposed as a monograph but Chaosium chose to upgrade it to full release before publication if I remember correctly). Cthulhu Invictus will be the second monograph to be upgraded to a full commercial release.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton

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I haven't played it, but I've read it and I think it would be a lot of fun. It hits the old-school highlights: good backstory that can be plopped into any campaign; a dungeon with a few surprises, and a good mix of combat, puzzles, and traps/obstacles. :)

If I had a group, I'd run it. :ohwell:

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New review added in the review section:

In Search of the Trollslayer, written by Troy Wilhelmson, is the first full supplement for Basic Roleplaying published by Chaosium. The subtitle is A Heroic-Level Adventure for Basic Roleplaying, but an experienced group of normally designed characters will do well if you want to use your existing characters, or you can use the pregenerated characters in the back of the book. The scenario could easily be ported to any existing fantasy setting with little work needed, if you're not just playing it as a one-off. You should be able to complete it in one long or two short sessions.

The text at the back of the book promises us a classic beer-and-pretzel dungeon-crawl filled with monsters, traps and treasures. And that it delivers! It's pretty straight-forward hack'n'slash. Each room in the dungeon is given a good description for you to read to the players, which I like. There's also several pieces of art depicting rooms, enemies or items which also is a big plus. Looks like a fun scenario to game through. A well made "classic" dungeon crawl, but a bit simple which lead to some subtraction in score.

Final verdict - 4 beetles. b1.gifb1.gifb1.gifb1.gifb2.gifb2.gif

SGL.

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It was nice to see this right on the front stand of my FLGS today. I really wanted to buy it but it was £10 for 48 pages. 48 pages of big text and lots of white spacing. I can't speak to the content but in the end, much though I'm glad to see some exposure, I wasn't willing to spend that much money on what looks like a pretty small piece of work. It also looked very dowdy right next to various shiny, new books.

I'll have to check out the pdf price at Chaosium which is also a shame as I would like to be able to support the FLGS for making the effort to get it.

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Picked up the pdf on a monograph binge and I have to give it two big fat thumbs up. I'm not a big fan of the dungeon crawl and have been all snooty about only running games with lots of plot, characterisation and angst. This product is light on all three and takes me back to the good old days of kicking down the door, getting plugged full of green slime or crossbow bolts 'cause I knew i still had a potion of healing in my back pocket and the hot little cleric had a resurrection scroll stuffed in her decolletage. Well done. Can't wait to run it. Keep em coming.:thumb:

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I picked this adventure up and I really liked it. Chaosium always has really good adventures especially the Stormbringer ones. In any case, with the release of Classic Fantasy will In Search of the Trollslayer be undated to fit into the Classic Fantasy format? I would be willing to pay extra for any updates. Thanks.

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In Search of the Trollslayer, written by Troy Wilhelmson, is the first full supplement for Basic Roleplaying published by Chaosium. The subtitle is A Heroic-Level Adventure for Basic Roleplaying, but an experienced group of normally designed characters will do well if you want to use your existing characters, or you can use the pregenerated characters in the back of the book. The scenario could easily be ported to any existing fantasy setting with little work needed, if you're not just playing it as a one-off. You should be able to complete it in one long or two short sessions.

The text at the back of the book promises us a classic beer-and-pretzel dungeon-crawl filled with monsters, traps and treasures. And that it delivers! It's pretty straight-forward hack'n'slash. Each room in the dungeon is given a good description for you to read to the players, which I like. There's also several pieces of art depicting rooms, enemies or items which also is a big plus. Looks like a fun scenario to game through. A well made "classic" dungeon crawl, but a bit simple which lead to some subtraction in score.

Final verdict: 4 beetles. :b1::b1::b1::b1::b2::b2:

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In Search of the Troll Slayer bills itself as a beer & pretzels dungeon dive filled with monsters, traps, and, of course, a dungeon. How well does it live up to its claim? Well. Very well. If you're looking for a Basic Roleplaying (BRP) fantasy dungeon crawl, look no further. This 48 page module supplies at least one, if not two, sessions of roleplaying fun. It also claims to be first in a series, but I don't know if there will be subsequent modules or not. Troll Slayer is completely self-contained. Game Masters can add plot hooks very easily with the material provided, but nothing essential is omitted for inclusion in a later book.

Since this is an adventure, I'll try to avoid spoilers in case some players stumble upon this review.

I like to think that I've grown as a role player since my earliest days with the hobby. Now I'm into motivation, plot development, narrative structure, all that stuff. Back in the 80s, I wanted to pick up a sword, kill things, and take the loot. Troll Slayer reminded me of why it's sometimes fun, and even cathartic to run around with a mace and smack trolls around.

The adventurers are in search of the Troll Slayer, a legendary spear said to forged by the gods. Several options are provided to get the players involved, as are six pre-generated characters playing to all the fantasy stereotypes. There's a dwarven fighter, an elven magic user, and elven hunter, and some humans. The scenario, however, isn't tied to those characters. If you want to take your own PCs into the dungeon, several different plot hooks are included to get them roped into the hunt for the spear. The setting makes few references to the outside world, so it's easy for Game Masters to drop this dungeon into their own world without upsetting things. There are no references to complex political agendas or powerful nations that a GM will have to try to shoehorn into his world.

The story is driven forward by the players' interactions with the dungeons and the denizens within. There isn't that much room for branching. Kick open a door, kill something, repeat. And in this scenario, that methodology is executed flawlessly. There's even a riddle for the adventures to tackle.

There are two maps provided, one for the dungeon and one for the swamp surrounding the dungeon. Both maps use a square = 5 feet scale and are very clear and easy to use. Some of the antagonists, and there are many, are new creatures. An appendix includes information and stats for the four new creatures introduced, Shellbacks, Cave Kraken, Harpies, and Living Statues. Three of the four new creatures are self-explanatory. Shellbacks, however, are something new. They�re anthropomorphic tortoises that rule the dungeon with an iron claw. The rest of the monsters in the dungeon, such as ghouls, spirits, and a rather nasty demon are from the BRP corebook, but their stats are repeated in Troll Slayer for ease of reference.

The book itself is available in both PDF and print format. It has a very clean, uncluttered layout and typos are kept to a minimum. Nothing really glaring jumped out at me. The artwork is a different story. It's phenomenal, especially the shellback on page 12 and the demon on page 33.

When I ran my group through this module, we had five players and randomly distributed the pre-generated characters around the table. We got lucky in that the extra character was a warrior. The thief character and magic-using character possess skills that are almost necessary to the successful completion of the adventure, especially the magic-user. The book (and website copy) tells you up front that a magic-user is a necessity so I don't see this requirement as a flaw. It's not as though you can get of the way through the module, reach an area where a sorcerer would be handy and complain that you weren't told beforehand.

My group completed the dungeon in a pair of three hour sessions. There is no clear-cut narrative break to take advantage of, so once they cleared a room we just called it quits for the evening. We then resumed our journey during our next session. The players didn't find the dungeon impossible, but it was a challenge and they had to fight for every inch of territory. I didn't scale back on the monsters or the traps when I ran it. There were no deaths, but there were several very tense moments where players wondered whether or not their characters would pull through.

When the scenario was over and the Troll Slayer safely in the party's hands, the players all commented on how much fun they had running and slashing their way through the dungeon. I take that as a sign that Chaosium has a winner on their hands.

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Does anyone know of a playthrough blog for this adventure? I just purchased it and am planning on running it for a group of friends who have never played an RPG before (save for one player). Failing that, what were the biggest challenges for your players? For the DM? What were highlights during play?

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