When is a troll a troll?

From: gerakkag@wam.umd.edu
Date: Thu 22 Jan 1998 - 12:23:16 EET


Sergio wrote:
>What I don't catch is why a troll that lives with humans will be stripped
>of his trollishness. It can happen, but in an RPG that's the player's
fault
>most of the time.

Good question. I'm making an assumption here without having stated it:
When is a troll a troll? Tell you what -- I'll give my definition, you
give yours. More productive than going around in circles.

I think it's clear -- whether people like it or not -- that generic,
orthodox Elves and Dwarves have logical reasons why they stay at home and
don't adventure. They've been written up that way, and it seems most
people on GD like it that way.

Now trolls *are* the most playable of the three big ER, but IMO they're
still not as able as Johny Orlanth to drop their lives and galavant around
adventuring. They're all ancestor worshippers, and IMG a troll is really
an initiate only at his own family or clan's (blood or marriage) temple --
your priestess needs to know how you "connect" to KL by kinship, and a KL
priestess half-way around the world isn't going to know (unless you marry
someone who's kinship links she does know). Even hard-asses like Zorak
Zorani, hooman lovers like Argan Argarites or the freaky insect
worshippers keep this link -- you might worship a more powerful god, but
worshipping KL defines you as a troll. (Though IMO, ZZites are pushing
their luck with their blasphemous rituals).

So for me, trolls aren't defined so much by culture (while important) or
by biology (while obvious) as much as by their worship of Kyger Litor as
their ancestress. After all, Hoomans become trolls once it's "proven"
(through the cocoon ritual) that they're really good troll souls that got
shafted with a hooman body. So if you *stop* worshipping Gramma Litor you
lose much of your trollishness.

In fact, I advocate that trollish clans that stop worshipping her
completely will over time lose their darkness rune links and devolve into
men (just as trolls that lose their man-rune turn into weird beasties).
Perhaps some early attempts at troll-human cohabitation ended in such
ways.

If you want to stay a good troll, IMO you're home at least for the High
Holy Day. Having played many a troll, it's damn tough to meet this kind
of requirement if you adventure far from home with a bunch of humans, and
yeah, as a player I wasn't really thrilled (where's my damn POW
increase?!) But if you play niceamong the hoomies and resign yourself to
missing some ceremonies (I'll go home next year, I swear!), you can get
by. Trolls are the most man-like of the Elder Races, after all. If you
willingly *live* among humans for a long time, then (again, IMO) at some
point you push your luck too far, get a Grey Fury, and "lose" much of what
being a troll is all about.

In my book, adventuring Harrek-style hoomans (where you sever -- in some
cases, literally -- your ties to family, home, culture in favor of
adventuring) should be just about as rare as adventuring trolls, or
whatever. Things like the Seattle farming mafia make more sense to me than
traditional multi-racial dungeon bashes.

> I'm not asking for "more human-like" Elder Races, I'm asking for "less
> Alien(the movie)-like" Elder Races.
? Is it really that bad? I can honestly say I've never had my trolls pop
out of someone's chest.

Lamenting such GD stereotype threads as:
> - - That trolls are like head-bangers (remenber the discussion about
> troll music?)
<Straight face> Why yes, Sergio, I and all other posters to the 'Trolls:
Rap vs. Heavy Metal' thread intended completely to pigeonhole them as
human in music and mindset. Also to insist their technological base could
produce stratocasters and electrical amps as well. Sadly, however, as a
declining race their CD sales are nothing to speak of... that damn Lunar
techno-dance music is all anyone buys these days.

>(BTW, reservations are supposed to exist to help the reserved 'defend
>their culture and heritage'.)
At least in the US, reservations are where you move natives when you want
their land. I doubt it's much different anywhere else in the world. After
all, it's *much* easier to defend your culture and heritage on the
rock-strewn plains of North Dakota than in rich farming land your tribe h
worked for centuries.

Big scandal back home in AK, lately, about the fact that into the 50s and
60s the missionary schools (Trying to convert the natives from worshipping
- -- God forbid! -- Russian orthodoxy instead of good ol' fundementalist
Protestantism) used to beat children who spoke their native languages
at school. It "undermined authority."

Jamuz Frusetta

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