The Mad Troll

By Godmaker
Monthly Adventures
Level: ?

The us hope the publisher name is just poetic license, and not a threat to publish monthly …

In a small village of Lightwood there was a disaster. In the forest nearby a troll has settled. The PCs got to the village by accident, wishing to shorten the way. The villagers turn to PCs for help. This adventure seems like a simple monster slaying, but soon it turns into a detective story where the characters have to figure out why and who is behind The Mad Troll.

This 31 page digest adventure is a railroad plot. More boring than painful, at least for the players. For the DM it is drudgery. Enjoy your game of the majestic wonder of the imagination. 

Ok, gird your fucking loins. Here we go. Marky got with Sharon, who got Charese. Oh, wait, no. I mean … There’s this little demon. He figures out that in a temple under a village is an artifact that powers up demons. But demons can’t retrieve it. So, he hires a thief from the big city to steal it for him. But, the thief wants a lot of money. So he finds a troll and charms him in to attacking caravans, to get the money he needs to pay the thief. That convoluted piece of shit story is out background. As far as the adventure … The headman explains that a troll is attacking caravans in the nearby forest. He tells the party to go to the inn to stay the night. The innkeeper tells the party to go to the blacksmith for weapons and armor, and the party gets hired by a merchant in the inn to go get his papers from a wagon that the troll attacked. At the wagon the trolls attacks. This is a plot adventure so we get the advice of “Also, make sure that the PCs do not kill the troll in this episode, giving it a chance to escape in case of danger.” Perfection personified! The party has no control over the adventure. Perfect. Just what I wanted this morning. It’s a plot adventure, I know. It just amazes me that, in 2023, people still think that this railroad shit is ok. I mean, the entire adventure is a railroad, but, specifically, the escaping villain thing? What the fuck man?

Ok, party flees from the troll. In town the priest advises the party to seek out the witch in the woods; maybe she can help. Nevermind using logic here. Priests and witches have always gotten along. At the witch she charges 5gp for some powder to cure the trolls madness. Back in town, the party is arrested. The headmaster accuses them of stealing the towns gold from his house while they were away. The party is stripped of shit, tied up, and forced to investigate. Somehow they convince the headman that it wasn’t them. Then the thief, in disguise, tells the party he knows where the trolls cave is. There they kill the troll and/or demon. Adventure over.

It’s a plot adventure. Plot adventures suck ass. I’m sure there’s a good one somewhere; the exception to the rule. But this one isn’t it. Make sure the troll escapes. The party is arrested. All of this garbage for the same of the plot. Fuck you man, fuck you. The smith has Battle Acid in his shop. I guess that’s fantasy shit. 

The entire thing is in long paragraph form with absolutely no formatting beyond a paragraph break here and there. It’s a fucking nightmare to find anything. And the locations get described, then the people, then the plot. I’m sure this is for the dm’s benefit, but fuck me if its not a pain in the ass. Triple flipping between the plot, the location, and the NPC to figure out what is going on somewhere. 

There’s exactly one interesting line of description in the entire 31 pages: “On the ground near the front of the wagon is a stinking puddle of blood with a swarm of flies circling over it – all that remains of the horse.” That’s it. Nothing else is ever described well. Or, actually, described at all in most cases. It’s just page after page of text that describes text and backstory and is padded out to hell and bacl with no actual impact on the adventure. 

The thif from the big city? He keeps his horse, in the inns barn, saddled at all times. I suggest killing any NPC you meet who does that. It will simplify your life, as an adventurer, greatly.

This is Pay What You Want at DriveThru with a suggested price of $0. That’s too much to sell the precious moments of your life for. Maybe watch the grass grow instead. Or stare up at the stars. Or stare up at starlink. All far, far better uses of your time than this.

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7 Responses to The Mad Troll

  1. Sevenbastard says:

    “The thif from the big city? He keeps his horse, in the inns barn, saddled at all times. I suggest killing any NPC you meet who does that,”

    Yeah agreed, that’s mean as hell for his horse.

    But even if you don’t go full murder hobo everytime you get a wiff of foreshadowing, speak with animal is a low level spell and this is suspicious enough. Plus every one in towns going to be talking about that cruel duck from the city that abuses his animals.

    You know that horse hates the fuck out of the thief and will rat his ass out for a handful of oats. Adventure done.

    • Corathon says:

      That’d be a brilliant course of action on the part of the players. It’d work in my game, but I wouldn’t use an adventure like this one, so…

  2. Anonymous says:

    In this low peasantly style of play, using common sense or even convinient spells is just as offensive as “murderhobo” play. Obey the Railroad! Even losing to a monster isnt allowed.

    • Artem the Centaur Conqueror says:

      This sort of “gameplay” is very characteristic of the so-called Russian Old School that flourished until the end of the noughties (see my comment at the bottom).

      Unapologetic storygaming, mudcore settings based on a medieval Europe as understood by morons, unkillable DM’s pet NPCs, and, of course, the Plot Must Flow. All of it with a sense of smug superiority over those dumb Yanks with their stupid dungeon crawling…

      • Prince says:

        Sounds like 1990s gaming found its niche.

      • The Ensanguinated Fangs of Voluptuous Drelzna says:

        @Artem: “the Plot Must Flow” is an excellent navigated response to this abysmal module design – perhaps a new tag for Bryce with or without a replacement for “Plot”?

  3. Artem the Centaur Conqueror says:

    Holy fucking fuck, I recognize this!

    It is a “system-neutral” Russian module from like 15 or even 20 years ago. I remember it from a now-defunct RPG forum where it was circulated.

    Apparently, someone thought that now was the right day and age to bring it to the wider Anglo public.

    It was unreadable mudcore railroady cringe in the original, and sure as hell it is so in translation.

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