“ Mid the peaks where the storm is yelling “Tis lonely and empty and cold; But ‘tis merry where people are dwelling, In the beautiful dale’s green fold. And I think that when I was last here A princess wondrously fair, Soft gold in her head, went past here; She’d make a sweet morsel, I swear!”
The Old Mountain Troll Gustaf Froding
- +1 Persistence
- +1 Ability
- -1 Mobility
- -1 Awareness
- Dwarf: “Trolls are dangerous. They hide within their twisted bridges to so no one can discover their plans.”
- Elf: “Trolls are wasteful. They spend far too much energy settling scores and building networks doomed to implode.”
- Giant: “Trolls are misguided. They don’t see that their methods will ultimately undermine the goals they work to achieve.”
- Gnome: “Trolls are confusing. They steal our plans without any idea how to use them… What are they up to?”
- Goblin: “Trolls are brutal. We get the same thing done without the bloodshed and heartache. All it takes is some prudent planning.”
- Halfling: “Trolls are grumpy! They never like to explore, or play… what else is there to do all day?”
- Human: “Trolls are short-sighted. Trolls are willing to trade short-term influence for long term dominion… what a shame.”
- Orc: “Trolls have potential. We don’t understand what the bridge building is all about, but they can certainly be effective individuals when they put their minds to it.”
- Troll: “Trolls are the best. We get things done and keep things in order. We would tell you if you needed anything else. “
Trolls are sly and sinuous creatures who have both the power and grace to effectively navigate conflict. Their powers of regeneration and wickedly sharp claws make them quite formidable opponents. They also have sharp intellectual prowess. The troll combines the fury of orcs with the careful planning of dwarves… truly a dangerous combination.
Predators and planners, trolls use their intellect to exploit weakness and build powerful, elaborate structures (social and otherwise.) This talent enables trolls to quickly build effective teams, that are all highly “motivated” to succeed. However, the methods trolls use for “inspiration” tend to require a lot of fresh talent, due to team member burnout.
Trolls are effective contributors to many organizations. They can affect change in the company while still abiding by operational constraints. Trolls are not bothered by inequitable situations, either. They know there is always a way to achieve their ends; all they have to do is apply the right pressure.
Trolls are used to constant adversity. Instead of trying to protect themselves from it as the dwarves do, they rush headlong into battle. This confidence is due to the troll’s unusual ability to regenerate injuries and regrow limbs lost in battle. This ability to bounce back from confrontation and injury makes them fierce and lethal combatants.
2. Rending claws
In addition to their amazing defensive skills, trolls have excellent offensive weaponry in the form of razor-sharp claws. They prefer to shred and dismember their opponents rather than simply defeat them; trolls knows this is an effective deterrent to others that might want to resist their plans.
3. Blood in the water
Trolls have a keen sense of smell which allows them to gain valuable insight about their opponents. Trolls can sense anger, fear, and doubt and use it to gain the upper hand. They use this leverage to compel people to do their will or to gain an advantage in combat.
4. Billy goat nets
Although trolls are fierce warriors, they constantly keep an eye on the long-term impact of their actions. The Troll’s fierce nature is often hidden under the bridges they build (i.e. long term plans and calculations.) This allows them to patiently lie in wait until the ideal situation presents itself. Beware all traveling billy goats!
5. Cobblestone Bridge
Trolls enjoy building lasting structures to accomplish their goals. They are able to pull together very different materials and shapes and unite them in a common cause. The troll is not beyond using force to get the pieces to fit together, however. Few can withstand the troll’s ferocity and endurance when he is determined to change things.
1. Family Orders- hierarchy
Trolls organize themselves into hierarchies with clearly defined benefits for each tier. They know that good bridges have wide pillars which support important towers. Trolls are determined work their way up established power structures or create them where none existed before.
2. The Black Hand
Trolls like to leverage the weak spots they have identified in others. They construct networks of people who will submit to the troll’s wishes because they want to avoid broken bones and cracked skulls. It goes without saying that these networks see a lot of “staff” turnover due to early “retirement.”
3. Hit List
Trolls are ever aware of slights (disrespect) and debts (favors) in their interactions, and never pass up an opportunity to settle a score. They spend a great deal of resources in time and/or money to “get even.” Trolls view this as a long term investment that will preserve the strength of their brand and strike fear into their competition over time. It is wise to always keep a clean slate with a troll.
Not only do trolls maintain a network of underlings, they also associate with other influential and powerful individuals. Trolls form elaborate networks which monopolize opportunities and have huge influence over major decisions. This means that while trolls are effective individual combatants, they will rarely show up alone to a fight. The concept of a “fair fight” is lost on a troll.
As trolls become more influential in their respective communities, it becomes harder and harder to engage them in direct combat. The troll’s fierce application of coercion techniques keeps many layers of scapegoats or “fall-guys” between himself and potential threats.
1. The Boss
Trolls are extremely strong-willed and combative individuals. Their focus and strategic skills can make fast and effective change within organizations, as long they are kept in check. Partner trolls with paladins/barbarians if you want to make fast changes, or partner them with dwarves and giants if you want substantive and long-term changes. Isolate sensitive characters from trolls so they don’t distract them and pull them into their own plans of progress.
2. Bridge Scour
To deal with well-entrenched trolls, it may be necessary to get them out from under their bridges before one can successfully confront them. Remove the troll’s key supporters to make your appeals effectively heard. Be aware that such tactics often require a lot of time and money.
If there isn’t time or money to disassemble the troll network, managers may attempt entrapment. Despite the elaborate plans and infrastructure trolls surround themselves with, their motives are usually quite transparent. You may be able to lure a troll out of their protective surroundings if you can find the right bait. This is a much less expensive way of dealing with a stubborn troll, but it is much harder to pull off.
A final strategy for dealing with trolls and troll organizations is direct combat. This means all out war with all levels of the “family.” This is the preferred strategy of martial classes and often of trolls themselves. This is an excellent strategy for strong-willed managers, because they often have more resources to bring to bear on the situation.
5. Retained Counsel
Trolls are masters at manipulating the rules toward their own ends. Make sure that you have clearly documented offences when confronting a troll. In a business context, this means having clearly-identified standard operating procedures (SOP) that cover work practices, disciplinary actions, and benefits-related concerns that are presided over by a sharp HR team. Trolls respect such measures and will comply, as long as they are being closely watched.