Troll Lands by Guy Shalev evaluation

 Troll Lands by Guy Shalev

RPG Challenge Score Sheet

Review Scoring by Tad K

Best Incorporation of Images

A total of 6 images were used. The first ones had no explanation, being the actual images to represent the trolls. A small note would have been nice, I knew that is what they were based on conversations with the author. In knowing that they really add to the idea of the trolls as elements of the land.The other images used were a couple of maps, with colorations and lines added to them. They are used to illustrate game concepts, without illustrating actual game play, as maps are not overtly used in the game. This did lend a nice flavor to their use.Not sure where the other images are from the original set, I do not locate them in the game document. 

Most Playable

 The setup part is a touch confusing. The reason for the Troll Dice are not made explicit, do I use the Troll Dice combination to make the People dice, or they a separate stack of the same quantities in color. That could be clarified a bit more.How we get the People dice (normal dice) is not clear.Traits and Deeds, while I get that you get a total of 5 (basic setup of 5 Troll Dice) I would like to know more why I want this right at that part of the rules.Why do I use the Liars Dice game, when does it come into play?The Creating Situation has a nice example, I could use more. The strength, even with the guidelines, seems a bit arbitrary, especially in the duration. Perhaps a little more explanation of that section would be nice.A bit more explanation of the Deeds and Rituals, why we write them down, how to follow them for following seasons would be nice as well.  

Best Overall

This is the most subjective portion of the evaluation. The images used in the game are excellent; they do tell what the game is about. Sure a cover of some kind would be nice. But this is not the production model of the game, and so it is not needed to grab my attention to pick it up, read the back blurb and buy it. My overall opinion is very favorable; it is a great idea for a neat board game. A sample board layout would have cinched it for me. I do not find it to be a role playing game in the traditional sense, it is a narrative story game styled game, and as such lends its self to a more board game, competitive feel. This is not really what I want in a RPG (Role Playing Game) since the players are more the Tribes vice actual individual characters. But that is more personal bias. On the basis of the game, it is playable in its current format. Some table discussion how and when the deeds and rituals come into play might need to occur. As well as when the guise of Story Teller shifts and to who, but those are pretty minor quibbles. I ranked it a 6 in incorporation since it does not fit into any single niche, but it does take elements from board games, dice games, and round robin style storytelling. The overall opinion shows how much I like the entire concept, and it would be easy to port this idea of Trolls and Lands to a stock Traditional RPG as a theme or history and be able to explore it more.

Published in: on March 5, 2007 at 6:24 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks Tad 🙂

    To note, the image next to Flora, of the pine-tree Troll, it’s not in Dave’s image set, but I just couldn’t pass it up.

  2. I loved that image and thought it fit in perfectly myself. I did not go back and review which images were where, instead I just counted and there were not a total of 10. Nor did I use all 10 in mine either which I freely admit

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