Sunday, 15 May 2011

A Fragmentary History of Trollworld review


All great fantasies have their origin story and Tunnels and Trolls is no exception. The rulebooks aren't exactly a goldmine for setting fluff but Ken St Andre has sought to rectify that with A Fragmentary History of Trollworld, a book spanning thousands of years in his campaign realm, Trollworld.

Readers may remember that Ken uploaded this brief history on his site for all to see for free, but released in as a print-on-demand (POD) publication shortly afterwards after a warm reception to the blog posts.

If you're a Tunnels and Trolls enthusiast like I am this is hands-down one of the best purchases you can make for the system. While it's a short tome, Ken sets out a rich history of the events and characters that shaped Trollworld that can easily be lifted into campaigns. Some of the best entries are the ones which talk about the kindred of Trollworld and it's clear that Ken wanted to put his own original spin on familiar races such as the Dwarves, who are actually all vegetarian, and the titular Trolls, who are the most ancient race and a lot more intelligent than in other fantasy universes.

While other fantasy worlds have their gods who created their races, Trollworld's gods are just very powerful wizards who came from other dimensions, bringing kindred along with them. When these mighty individuals went to war with each other they changed the ecology of the world, creating and eradicating races and changing the geography of the land.

Joe Calkin's cover art of who I believe is the Death Goddess is superb and David A. Ullery's line drawings throughout are wonderfully old school and evocative of good old-fashioned high fantasy.

This is a joy to read from cover to cover and in terms of campaign material for T&T you're not going to get much better than this.