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Started by dunlaing, February 02, 2005, 07:03:17 PM

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I might be running Trollbabe tonight for three players (well, four if you count me). We finished up an adventure last session (the Trollbabes scared off the Troll shaman who was trying to steal a teenage boy's destiny and then talked the boy into not leaping off of a cliff), so I'll give everyone the option of where they're headed and whether to raise the Scale...

So do I really have to think up 6 sets of Stakes? In case they split up I'll need one Stake for each of them and I won't know until they show up whether anyone wants to increase the Scale, so I'll need seperate Stakes in each possible Scale, right?

Right now, my impression is that they're going to stick together for the most part and raise the Scale. I sure would appreciate people posting ideas for individual scale stakes though in case I'm wrong on both counts...

Ron Edwards


I think you're making the issue harder than it is.

1. Three trollbabes = maximum of three scenarios. That would mean a maximum of three separate Stakes. Don't know where you got the six from, unless ...

2. If one person raises the Stakes, then the Stakes are raised to that level for all of play, for everyone. Perhaps that's where you got the six, from recognizing that you'd have to make three scenarios, and think about the Stakes at the current level and the next one up.

However, that is not difficult at all. It's still really just coming up with three scenarios.

3. Scenario creation in Trollbabe is often very easy. Here's an example:

"A human girl has been raised by trolls and thinks she's a troll. She is effectively the apprentice shaman for a small group of fairly elderly trolls who live far away from humans. They rely on her, unskilled as she is, as the real shaman is very very sick."

"A human warrior has ventured into the mountains and forests to kill himself a troll, and he has happened upon this area."

"The Stakes (beginning-level version): [pick any character]" OR "The Stakes: the troll tribe."

Please note that the Stakes is never phrased like, "To save the troll tribe," or anything like that.

Come up with names for the girl, for the warrior, the old shaman, and a list of troll and human names that are currently unattached to anyone.

There! Now you have a scenario which can be played with no further preparation (trust me on that), and which can be 'ported to anywhere on the map which is relatively isolated.

Note that the Stakes are easy: beginning level is any character you choose to name, and from there on up, just expand the scope from around that character. It's especially easy in this case because there's only one small group anyway. If there were, say, a human village nearby, then you'd choose which small group of people would represent the next Stakes-level up.

Anyway, I suggest having a whole bagful of scenarios phrased very much like the above, some of them good for densely-populated cities, some good for wilderness, some good for temporarily-isolated groups (e.g. ships), and so on. The point is that this preparation will serve you almost indefinitely, as you'll just pick whichever suits your fancy after a player announces his character's destination for this adventure. The Scale of the trollbabe's impact can always be increased, no matter what.



Hi Dunlaing,

We found in our ongoing game that it was best to have the players announce Scale and Adventure Location at the end of each session.  That way, the GM has all little time to prepare.  (I think this is actually in the rules.)

Left with the possibility of up to three separate adventures at two possible levels, you can either sketch six possible situations - or make an exception this week and ask the players not to upgrade.  So you end of with only 3 possibilities.  Explain that you need to limit your prep possiblities this week, but they'll get a chance to choose scale and location for the next game at the end of this session.
- Alan

A Writer's Blog:


I did end up having to run last night.  As of a few minutes before the session, we were going to play Over The Edge (we're alternating sessions) being run by someone else, but then someone called to say he couldn't make it.

I ended up using a variation on one of the things Ron posted. The Trollbabes were going to Foggy Bottom (which we had previously established was a human city) to visit the library, so I flipped the Troll group thing around. Now, a group of Librarians have lost their Wizard (they need a Wizard to control the magical books in the library). Unfortunately, they can't find a new Wizard, so they're stuck with a 4 year old Troll girl who has a knack for Trollish magic.

Things worked out pretty well. I've been taking notes of most things that the players say with a Sharpie. Seeing things written in thick black lines almost makes them seem like Universalis tenets to me, and I use it later. By running with what the players were saying, we ended up with a cult of humans who worship a stick puppet, we found out that one of the Trollbabes is thought to be the spawn of the stick puppet's greatest enemy, that there is a powerful, nasty spirit under the waves that sleeps fitfully, that the 4 year old Troll girl was bought and is afraid of being sold, and many more interesting stories that just built themselves out of nothing.

Ron Edwards

Jaw dropping.

Stick ... puppet?

That is just fantastic. I'm hugging you. Y'know, not that there's anything wrong with that.


joshua neff

I particularly like "one of the Trollbabes is thought to be the spawn of the stick puppet's greatest enemy"--that's got to be one of the best phrases I've ever read.

Sounds like a great session.

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes


thanks! You're making me blush.

It was pretty fun.

Bret Gillan

Judd's threads made me buy Sorcerer.

This thread has made me buy Trollbabe. :)

Sounds like a great game.