Technical/ Mechanical
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Comments: 10
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Condition: Normal
ID: 1784


November 25, 2005, 1:57 am

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Trollish Measurements


Hathalfar holds the writhing troll down with his gloved fist and sword. The beast squirms at the touch of metal. “How far is Kolm?” he demands for the third time. “I said! A long way away,” replies the troll.

Trolls have difficulty counting because they’re so thick, so their system of measurement might be less easy to follow…

Trollish measurement:
Despite their inability to quantify distance, trolls are nevertheless very good at judging it. Their small minds cannot cope with the metaphor of describing lengths with numbers. They simply have a good intuitive grasp.
# “Near” corresponds to ~ 20m
# “Not far” corresponds to ~ 1km
# “A fair way” corresponds to ~ 5km
# “Quite far” corresponds to ~ 10km
# “A good walk” corresponds to ~ 30km
# “A long way away” corresponds to ~ 100km
# “As far as the eye can see” varies with visibility

So a city that’s about 150km away would be described as being “A long way away and then a good walk after that” which isn’t too useful till you know how trolls think about distance…

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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted RuthieA
November 29, 2005, 22:50
Funny. Simple, but funny :-)
Voted Zylithan
November 30, 2005, 12:21
This gives trolls lots of credit for understanding distances well, but it's well written and light to read. It also points out the fact that often npcs can't give info (not just that they wont). bravo.
Michael Jotne Slayer
June 15, 2006, 6:26
I like this, simple but good. Not only does it function as a Trollish measuremennt post. But it sets of all kinds of other ideas and images.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
June 15, 2006, 6:27
Only voted
Voted MoonHunter
July 16, 2006, 14:29
People will ask, "MH, why did you HoH this one?"

So let me explain. It is little quirky elements like that that help a place or species alive in the players' minds. They don't take much work (once you have the basic idea) and it can add much to your game.

Think about some of the good fantasy novels you have read. Didn't they have quirky details (like knights being called Ser, Clerics using musical metaphors and being called Dancers, and Little Folk measuring time in "meals", fighters measuring time in beats (which could be heart beats...)? These are the things that caught your interest in the novel, even though you might not of been aware of them originally. They add depth and color to the setting, enriching the story. Eventually they "click" in your head and you realize that they are interesting and important.

Now you don't have to put the total depth of background that an author puts into a novel into your game. No, you need more. Unlike the author who only needs to work on areas important to their story, you have minimal control over your story... thus need to be prepared for all the odd zigging and zagging of the characters. So yes, you will concentrate on things that are important to your PCs (and your projected storyline), but some other details "on tap" might be handy.

That is what this site is for. So you can have someone else do the "little bits of chrome" for you... and you can grab what you need.
Voted Mourngrymn
July 17, 2006, 15:07
That was a long winded explanation there Moon... I like it... but what about time?
July 30, 2006, 13:12
Write up some. Arth has its own time system (that strangely enough dovetails with my game system....). But odd times are easy enough.
Voted Pariah
July 28, 2006, 23:08
I luuve it. It is so simple that it's confusing. I must start giving ALL directions that aren't incredibly importent using this.

Me: "My house is a fair way down 100. On the right, you can't miss it"
Other Person: "O.o How far did you say again?"
Voted Murometz
July 28, 2006, 23:30
yep, this is fun!
Voted valadaar
October 15, 2006, 20:05
This is great!
I cook like this.
"How much salt?"
"How long to cook?"
"Till it's done."

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Hooper McFin's Two Shot Portal

       By: dudeington

Now, this ol' ramblin fellow tends to walk his talk a bit too far down the train sometimes.. So I'll be brief in my recantin' of how it was my Tavern "came to bein'" on the multiverse as a weave of it's own spell.. And how I'm even alive to tell the story!

You see it's simple really, trust me.. that's my specialty, keepin it elementary. And you can trust this old Bard.

Anyway, this one night these wizards get a ramblin' on about the temporal exististance of space and time and how it could be manifested in a weave of super dimensional space. whereupon the folded space would give rise to an infinite number of entrances and exits to one or many spaces. Now, seein' how my talkin' sometimes get's locked into the way us folks used to talk back in the ol' west. These wizards didn't know I was a master of the word. and I had heard everything they said. They were also a bit over the wagon, while I was steerin' the show.

So that's how it came to pass, I struck a bargain with the wizards. They come to me in the morning and conjure up their idea into reality and I'd pledge them my life, my existance.. in essence my soul. but in a much nicer sense of the word. So they came by in the morning a half remembering our talks the prior evenin'. And I recanted their words verbatum, and that's how it came to be. The spell was complete that afternoon. My tavern would be the super dimensional cube that would exist in this weave of space and time, folks could come and go as they please, knowin in mind some of the rules and limitations set forth.

A few of 'em as follows.

No feller can be causin a ruckus inside any of my fine establishments, as always rule number one god damnit.

n' second the portal works kinda tricky. When ya outside ya cast the spell and lend your will to luck a bit and regardless the doors to the bar will appear, the windows a luminescent amber.. you can hear the chattee but ya can't see in. And the catch is the door might be locked, in which case you chalk it up to lady luck and go walk off and try again in an hour. Now most times the door pops right open and from the outside you always come in the front door, immediately greeted by myself or one of our many fine patrons of Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.

Now when ya cast the spell from inside the Tavern, another catch comes up. The back door is mainly a secret for the non-initiated staff and the regulars but for sake of the prose let's assume we all know there's a secret door in the back with a portal there. Now when you go on through this one, you got two scenario's you oughta be aware of. One is ya pop outside relative to the same spot you came out. The other is, you walk back on into this one or another of our many Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.

so it's a clever quantum railroad I got my tavern and my people's caught on. But, Hey the show's sure as always goin. ohhh' rutin tootin skidoodle -

** And that's it.. that's the only notes I found on the spell, apparently out there somewhere is a Tavern caught on the mighty ebb and flow of the multiverse. Well. at least I can put to rest my torment as to the condition now referred to as "Hooper McFin's Teleportation Paranoia".

Dr. Clarke T. Mulligan - Professional researcher of Time & Space.

Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse

Ideas  ( System ) | June 21, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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