Tremble in fear!

If you’re anything like me, you love the the idea of massive, orcish armies, trampling down village after village until they finally reach Whateverthenameburg, the citadel the heroes must defend at all cost. It’s epic, it’s awesome and the players love handing it to an army of orcs.

I GM’ed a game for D&D 4th edition, where a city was about to be butchered by such an army, and to make sure it wouldn’t just be a million encounters versus various compositions of orcs from the Monster Manual, I decided to let the orcs have some heavy duty artillery; a Siege Troll.

Trolls regenerate, right? They can only be killed by fire and acid, right? Perfect! I designed the troll with this in mind; bred for sieges, huge as an elephant and twice as deadly. And since it couldn’t easily be killed, it was flung over the city walls by catapult to cause mayhem and destruction.

It went on a killing spree inside the walls, stopping only to crush houses and other kinds of architectural nonsense. Of course, the heroes did not find this especially beneficial to their cause, so they went down to kill it. They barely succeeded and everyone looked at each other with that “holy crap” expression players get, when at least two character at a time has single digit HP scores during more than half the encounter. It was glorious.

The best part about this encounter was describing how the orcs pulled the big loaf in chains, with a over-sized bucket on its head, and placing it in the catapult. When I made the “pull lever”-motion, one of my players looked at me with a noticeable expression of surprise, silently whispering those sweet words; “holy crap”.

The monster was fairly complex, because, well, it was D&D. I decided to convert it to Dungeon World, because it is the best boss encounter I ever played, and I often looked back on it, thinking that this was one thing that worked.

Without further ado, behold the terrible Siege Troll!

Siege Troll
Solitary, Huge, Forceful

Big Meaty Fists (d10 + 5 damage)
24 HP, 0 Armor

Close, Reach

Special Qualities: Regeneration, Weakness to Fire & Acid.

This troll species was bred a long time ago by a wizard who was as mad as he was ambitious. Bred for size, strength and resilience, but certainly not intelligence and beauty, the Siege Troll was given it’s name due to a peculiar tactic in siege warfare, where they were flung inside the walls by catapult so that they may break down the gates of a fortress from the inside.

When their creator died, they were taken in by the various orc warchiefs, who were able to hold them in line. Now they cause wanton destruction wherever they are let loose. Where defeating a troll is an admirable feat, killing a Siege Troll is the stuff of legends. Instinct: To destroy.

  • Unleash chaos and destruction
  • Throw something or someone
  • Fly into a frenzy
  • Eat townsfolk alive

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3 responses to “Tremble in fear!”

  1. Nifelhein says :

    Fantastic, this is the kind of gem we get when we put fiction ahead of the system, something that can be done in every game, for sure, but thrives in a game like Dungeon World.

    • Undreren says :

      Thank you for the kind words 🙂 The beauty of DW is that making a monster is only as hard to do as it is to describe the monster. As a GM, this is something I greatly enjoy 🙂

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