Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin

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Created On 29 August 2002
Last Updated On 29 August 2002
Copyright © 2002 Simon E. Phipp

These were originally devised by Derak the Dark Troll in our extended campaign, before I joined. However, they can be used by any Troll adventurer and I would recommend them as essential trollish equipment.

Derak[1] had become fed up at having to continually ask for Divine Intervention in order to knit himself together after falling victim to another set of traps. He sat down and tried to think of a way to stop himself falling into these traps. He thought of increasing his skill level, but he could always fail and the trap designers always had the advantage if they were skilled enough[2]. He thought of HeroQuesting for some magical method of trap detection, but these could always fail. He thought of many different solutions, but none were elegant or practical. Finally, he thought of the strengths that trolls had and the answer came to him. He formed the cadre of Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin and never looked back.

First, he lined up all his trollkin [3] in order of height and chose the group that were most similar in height. Then he had two sets of cuirboilli armour made for two trollkin. These suits of armour were quite well made and were designed so that they would fit most of the trollkin. Their best point was the fact that they had been emblazoned with the logo "Derak's Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin" in Darktongue [4]. Finally, he chose two trollkin from his band and made them the founder members of this elite cadre. He fed them well and treated them as he would any other value trollkin. They served him without question, after all they were the elite amongst Derak's trollkin and were allowed to go adventuring with him and his companions. In fact, they often boasted that they were Derak's Companions. This gave them high status among the other trollkin. They were not given any special training, but were expected to be able to use a sling if called upon.

When Derak came to an area that he suspected had traps, he would send one of the Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin to walk on ahead, normally about ten feet in front of Derak. This meant that when the trollkin set of the trap, it would affect the trollkin and not hurt Derak. Since the party was behind the trollkin, they could try and spot the trap with the obvious advantage of not themselves setting of the trap. This was seen as a good thing all round. If the trollkin survived the trap then Derak healed him and set him of again. If the trollkin died, Derak would pick him up and carry him with him, using the other Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin as a backup. After all, experience told him that most trap designers did not put more than a few traps in any area and the party should spot most of those, so it would be rare to set off more than a couple of traps in any adventure. Also, he knew that trollkin flesh was an excellent way of supplementing rations, so the fallen trollkin would continue to be of assistance. On return to Grubfarm, Derak would have the cuirboilli armour repaired and would ask for two more Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin, "I don't care how good they are, they have to fit this armour" he would cry.

So there you are, Derak's idea of the Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin was to make two poor, defenceless trollkin walk in front of him to set off the traps themselves. After all, they were expendable and he wasn't. It was such a simple, elegant and obvious idea that it was immediately accepted as something a troll would do.

If you want to use this as a normal part of troll tactics, then feel free. I feel that every troll should have a pair of Elite Trap-Finding Trollkin [5].


1. Actually Stuart was fed up of having to DI all the while, especially as some GMs went overboard on traps. This came from his fevered imagination, not Derak's.

2. We used the idea of "Anti-Parry" for traps, so that someone with 150% Set Traps would give a -50% to anyone's Spot Traps skill. We also came up with the idea that someone who made an especially good trap (special or critical) would require a similar roll to spot the trap. This made some traps very difficult to find.

3. He owned Grubfarm, having taken it in an earlier scenario, and kept a large number of trollkin there.

4. Actually, Derak had them made plain as he didn't want to spend any more money than he had to, but I liked the idea of an emblem for this elite cadre.

5. In fact, I think that these were the best idea that Stuart had for Derak.