The name 'Troll Hammer Press' was inspired by, and is an homage to, the three magic Trollhammers of Trollhalla, and was additionally inspired by the song Trollhammaren by Finntroll.

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Tunnels & Trolls written by Ken St. Andre, copyright © Flying Buffalo Inc. All hail the Trollgod and his Champions of Trollhalla!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

T&T Supplement: TrollsZine #4

After a seeming eternity of waiting, TrollsZine #4 has finally arrived! The verdict? WELL worth the wait! Following are a few of my humble thoughts about the contents of this issue.

Truckloads of cheese and biscuits to the editors, past and present: Dan Prentice, Scott Grant, and Dan Hembree. Thanks for all the hard work guys! I'm looking forward to #5 and beyond.

The artwork was exciting and provided by over a dozen talented T&T artists, including TWO full color pieces by the amazing Liz Danforth, and a bunch of work by two of my personal favorites, Jeff Freels and David Ullery. All under a great cover by Chad Thorsen (I love it). 'Nuff said!

Each piece of writing had a certain amount of value and appeal for me.

The Delverton piece, by Lee Reynoldson, continues to deliver the quality of its preceding entries in earlier issues with a general store that can certainly provide some fun. Good adventure hooks here.

Tori Bergquist’s Thalindar Vokaryane is an interesting character, indeed, with a colorful background and an ultraviolent future in the making. It is amazing how just a few paragraphs of rich background detail can add so much to a character. Well done!

I enjoyed Al McDougall’s Survival Kit very much, but then, I enjoyed it when I picked it up at RPGNow a while ago as well. This version differs in style and layout, and is one table short, which makes sense since the RPGNow version is still for sale (last I checked, anyhow). This is a cool little cheat sheet, essential for new players just learning the rules, and handy for old timers who don't feel like flipping pages looking for tables.

When I first saw the Horses article by Justin T. Williams, I groaned through my teeth and thought 'How many pages of rules? For horses?' I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. While I don't think it is critical for my general style of play, it is absolutely great if you happen to have a character whose horse is almost like an extension of him, or a game in which horses play an essential role. The rules are easily integrated into a game, and as the author reminds us, just strip down the info to what makes sense for your own style of play. It could be fun to role-play a cavalry unit with these rules. Great job!

I haven't played Mike Eidson’s Down Time solo yet. I just might run Warrax through this one; he has been in a sort of limbo since he won ten combats in the Arena of Khazan a couple of years back. Mike’s solo about off-time between delves sounds like just the ticket to get Warrax back into the game. Of course, we’ll have to see if he survives.

Zachary and Joshua Ullery treat us to the mouthwatering Unlucky Unicorn menu which certainly gave me a few chuckles. I’ll start with an order of Nymph Nuggets, followed by Hobbit Hash, with a Bloody Mary (Type O Negative, of course) to wash it all down. Mmmm. Oh, and a Brownie Brownie, gotta have one of them!

Cristina Lea’s fiction could easily be turned into an exciting wilderness/urban adventure. Some really great ideas here, but I don’t want to go into any detail and spoil the story for those who haven’t read it yet.

The How to Write a Solo Article by Simon Rafe was interesting, however the overall process seems complex to me. Everyone has a different writing style, and I enjoy pieces describing a writer's process. I need to go back and re-read the earlier articles, then read this one again. I look forward to future installments.

My two favorite pieces were Patrice Geille’s Mass Combat, and The Wild Woods GM Adventure by Russ Westbrook and Scott Grant.

There is so much I could write about Mass Combat, it is a topic I enjoy, and as any of you regular readers know, I am particularly fond of running skirmish setups. I have been thinking of using T&T rules for a few skirmishes to see how they would work, and this article articulates many of the thoughts that have been bubbling in my brain. Strange, I've been playing T&T for over 25 years and I never set up minis and skirmished with the rules. Funny, T&T is probably the only game that I have played with any regularity that I've never used minis or counters with. But that's going to change, soon. Yep, this article was right up my alley.

There's a pretty good chance that Wild Wood is going to be that stomping ground where I bring T&T and skirmishing together on my solo table for the first time. This scenario is so ripe with ideas it's ready to bust open! It brings together two of my other favorites: goblins and fairies. I have a bunch of Heroquest goblin figures, and the T&T7.5 counters will do just nicely to keep track of where the tiny little fairies are.

OK, and now the best part of all this? TROLLSZINE IS FREE!?!?! All this T&T goodness by an assortment of incredibly creative people, FREE.



I could really go postal with this one, but, in all seriousness, swing by Dan Hembree's great blog: for a very important message.

When you're done there, go to and get your FREE copy. Oh, and don't forget to nab issues # 1, 2, and 3 as well. Guess what? They're FREE, too.

So that's it! My brief reflections on TrollsZine #4. A great issue, filled to brimming with talented writers and artists.


(Sorry. Just got a few more in me, then I'll be over it, really. Maybe.)

Copyright © 2012, Paul Ingrassia

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