Saturday, August 19, 2017


I have been making monsters and scenarios inspired by Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. You can see the most recent one HERE. I talk more about the source material HERE. The next entry is The Troll, the 7th story in the Penguin edition translated by John Minford. This one proved challenging because the monster is a shanxiao* (according to the translator notes) and I've seen many different descriptions of xiao depending on the source. We even include a type of xiao in Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate on page 380 of the rulebook. However I am going strictly by the translation and because descriptions of shanxiao vary so much I will take plenty of liberties to make it interesting for gaming. I encourage anyone with familiarity with the original Chinese version of Tales from a Chinese Studio to weigh in with suggestions for making a more authentic entry for the creature. I will also be using the term troll from the translation for convenience. 

Mountain Troll Spirits are large beastly creatures who appear with late night breezes and have have long three inch teeth hanging over their chins.  Mountain Trolls are 9 feet tall with misshapen heads that have patches of dark withered skin. Their flesh is hard like stone except for their fleshy patches (which are soft). They can travel freely on the wind before and after appearing.

Defenses: Hardiness 10 or 3 (patches), Evade 5 or 9 (patches), Parry 6 or 9 (patches), Stealth 7, Wits 2, Resolve 7

Key Skills: Bite: 3d10 (Open Damage 4d10), Arm Strike: 2d10 (Damage 5d10), Speed: 2d10, Muscle: 5d10, Detect: 4d10, Athletics: 2d10, Command: 2d10

Max Wounds: 12

Bite: The sharp teeth of these creatures inflict 4d10 Open Damage to targets.

Wind Travel: Mountain Trolls can vanish into the wind and let it carry them to their next destination. This requires an Athletics roll TN 7.

Fearful Rasp: A Mountain Trolls can afflict its enemies with dread by releasing a terrifying rasp. To do this roll Command (3d10) against Resolve of all within hearing distance. On a Success the target suffers a -1d10 Skill Penalty to any Combat Skill roll or Physical Skill roll for 1 round. On a Total Success the target suffers a -1d10 penalty for 2 rounds.

Stone Flesh: The skin of a Mountain Troll is like stone, giving them a Hardiness of 10. However their soft patches on their face are weak, like bruises on "an old melon rind". They can be penetrated more easily. Hitting the patches requires a TN 9 attack roll (see Defenses) but shifts the Hardiness to 3 (from 10) for the purposes of making a Damage Roll.

Beast Strength x3

*A type of mountain spirit 

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