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Old 08-15-2016, 11:19 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2016
Default DF Adventure Hook: The Troll of Nolm

Somewhere in the heartlands of the province, there's a long, stone bridge across a wide, slow river. Many a traveler cross it each day, and many a traveler has been stopped along their way by the troll who lives beneath.

The troll's name is Herald, and he is the guardian of the sleepy town of Nolm--at least by day. Every night, he raises the drawbridge into Nolm, and catches some shut-eye in the guard tower adjacent.

Only recently, Herald has been terribly sleepy.

For the last several nights, Herald has been beset by some rare bird that calls loudly in the small hours of the morning, waking him from his slumber. Although a fearsome combatant, Herald is a poor shot with the occasional thrown rock, and the mysterious bird flies before he can find it.

When the adventurers walk the road to Nolm, they will find the bridge. When they find the bridge, they will find Herald, grumbling his best "Why are you visiting Nolm?". If the adventurers ask, he mentions the story of the mysterious bird, and says he'll pay the adventurers with "some treasures from his secret cache" if they scare it off and/or kill it.

What do you think?
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:26 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Default Re: DF Adventure Hook: The Troll of Nolm

The players in my last game - who asked how much they could sell the meat from some monkey-man horde ninjas they killed - would butcher the troll, root out his secret cache, and then sell the troll meat at market, too. And before you bring up the troll's toughness, the fighter in the party donned an amulet of fire resistance and soaked himself in alchemist's fire before charging a horde of orcs. He'd be more than happy to hug the troll to death.

Basically, expect delvers to immediately disrupt your plans with this one.

But for a normal non-DF game, I like it. It's very fairy tale-esque
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:48 AM   #3
Gold & Appel Inc
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: One Mile Up
Default Re: DF Adventure Hook: The Troll of Nolm

Originally Posted by Humabout View Post
But for a normal non-DF game, I like it. It's very fairy tale-esque
+1. This works better as a plot hook for a non-DF game where the PCs are clever children or something, either in a wainscot fantasy or open magic period setting.

For bonus fairy tale points, let them trap the bird and have it offer them (what? Of course it talks) an even better quest for even better rewards if they set it free.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:35 AM   #4
Sir Tifyable
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sheffield, England
Default Re: DF Adventure Hook: The Troll of Nolm

I disagree - if this is the first scenario in the campaign. If previous adventures have established that trolls are all evil monsters to be killed at will, then this turnabout will be wrong.

But if it's the first scenario, it warns players that this isn't some cookie-cutter "kill anyfing wot's not 'uman" gorefest. This troll is accepted and respected by the townsfolk as their guardian. If they kill it they are the monsters, and the townsfolk will put out a call for good adventurers to dispose of the newcomer bandits who murdered their gate-guard and stole his lawfully-earned possessions.

Those good adventurers may well include more Trolls, eager to avenge their friend and relative.

But if they take it at face value, talking to the troll then checking with the townsfolk that they see him as a valued gate-guard too, then all kinds of possibilities are open for the future of the campaign.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:47 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Harlem, New York
Default Re: DF Adventure Hook: The Troll of Nolm

Absolutely thumbs-up from me: fairy-tale or semi-Arthurian flavor extremely exciting. Agreed that if the GM should give the troll some tough stats and maybe a hellhound pet or some such, so it's a tough fight to get his cache if the PCs just go the murder-hobo route.

Thinking of possible embellishments... There could also be some room for moral ambiguity on the troll's part, depending on the setting: he may be a begrudging guardian caught by some troll-bond, or typically ravenous but has agreed not to eat most travellers in return for an occasional Nolmic maiden. And the bird could be either totally unconscious of what it's doing or deliberately waking the troll for its own divine (or nefarious) purposes.

Three cheers for Nolm trolls!
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adventure hook, dungeon fantasy, troll

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