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All the World's a Stage
No one can tell you exactly how to roleplay anything, so take below as a helping hand and a guide - not a rulebook.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Names
- 3 Class Guide
- 4 Speech
- 5 Culture
- 6 Combat
- 7 Character Templates
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 External links
So, ya want ta' be a troll, mon? Trolls are an interesting and underplayed race with rich tribal and shamanistic roots. Keep in mind that most trolls that people encounter over the course of their adventuring tend to be rather violent and bloodthirsty, so do not be surprised if someone in roleplay treats you with suspicion and distrust. Also, while most trolls have a distinct accent, you can vary its usage play with it. Limiting its use, using it more, or even explaining how the accent has cultural significance, or is an adaption to having huge tusks jutting out of your mouth, can add a little bit of a personal touch to your character. However, while the Trolls are based on Haitian and Jamaican cultures, do not use stereotypes to an extreme degree or you may come across as racist and offensive (e.g., running around yelling about hemp and passing the dutchie might get you into some trouble). This is true with essentially any race with certain behaviors and features based on a real world culture (Dwarves and Scotland, Draenei and Russia, etc.).
Troll names tend to fall into two categories: culture-based and feature-based. Culture-based (i.e., names that come from the Troll language and linguistic patterns) are by far the most common; often these types of names are compound words, and have an apostrophe dividing them into two halves, representing the two Trollish words that construct it. Feature-based (i.e., names that come from characteristics or achievements) still exist, but not nearly as frequently; this may be explained by Orcish influence, as Orcish surnames are often feature-based names (e.g., Bloodeye, Blacksword, etc.) In general, Trolls do not carry surnames; however, as in any culture, there are occasionally exceptions to tradition.
Male Names: Zalazare, Jin'zul, Sinshin, Zunshen, Mez'tulo
Female Names: Jinza, Beni'bara, Tazli, Zen'jabi
Important Note: Remember not to end your name with jin, as it implies that you're the leader of a tribe.
Warrior Trolls in general tend to be very violent and brutal. While the Darkspear have become more civil on the whole, they still retain much of their ruthlessness in battle. The warriors are violent, vicious and strong. Keep in mind that they do not usually carry positions of great power in the tribe, and would likely be an average tribesman who decided to train in heavy combat to defend his people, or perhaps work has a mercenary.
Rogue Rogues are cunning and intelligent. Because of their need for mobility and stealth, they do not wear heavy armor, instead preferring leather. Light weaponry, such as daggers, short swords, and hand axes, is also preferred by Troll rogues, who rely on subtlety and speed over brute force. Troll rogues will rarely show mercy to their prey, and tend to be more on the sadistic side. They are distrusted and are often rejects of society, while at the same time are undeniably feared and respected.
Hunter Like the rogue, hunters also rely on being agile and clever. Troll tribes have a reputation for the aptitude of their hunters, and the Darkspear are no different; their accuracy is impressive and deadly. Troll hunters could be headhunters, trackers, scouts or common hunters.
Shaman Shamans are powerful keystones in Troll society. Trolls revere the mystical Loa -- their version of gods -- and Shamans manifest their worship through elemental magic and the voodoo arts. As a shaman, you could be a Witch Doctor, a Hexer or a Shadow Hunter. Shamans are often looked to for spiritual guidance, though more in a mystical or prophetic sense, than a moral compass like a Priest or Cardinal of the Light.
Priest Priests are similar to Shamans in their grasp of spiritual matters, and their worship of the Loa. However, instead of focusing on the elements of nature, Troll priests focus on the balance of the dual powers of light and shadow, good and evil.
Mage Being a society that honors the elements and energies and spirits of Azeroth, Trolls will occasionally delve into the Arcane, using it to harness those elements and energies for their use. Unlike Shamans and Priests, Troll mages may not be as spiritually reverent of the elements, and instead are less grounded, and prone to selfish and brutal use of magic. An interesting caveat to Trolls harnessing the arcane is that they have occasional uncontrollable rages, and have trouble controlling their power while in such a state.
Death Knight Trolls are capable of extreme cruelty, and so are Death Knights. There are Trolls of all walks who work in the service of the Lich King. They are usually mistrusted the way Warlocks are: the Loa, divinities of the trolls, should be the only ones able to have domain over the dead. It is highly likely that you will be extremely ostracized for your undead status, at least until you prove yourself to the tribe as a valued protector and not a threat.
Druid Trolls have long been rumored to have been studying druidism, though without solid proof until recent times, when druidic Trolls residing hidden on the Echo Isles aided Vol'jin and the Darkspear in defeating the evil Zalazane and retaking their island home. Unlike many of their Trollish counterparts, they tend to be more peaceable and attuned with nature and their environment. They care for the planet, and in becoming druids, have forged a stronger friendship with the Tauren, who have generally regarded Trolls with distrust.
Warlock In joining the Horde, the Darkspear tribe agreed to make certain accommodations: do not practice cannibalism or dark voodoo, and do not dabble in [Fel] magic. These guidelines have been in place for quite some time, but diplomatic strain between the Darkspear and the new Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, has caused the trolls to be more lax about upholding them; they agreed to these rules because of what Thrall did for them, but Garrosh is a different story. Therefore, Troll Warlocks have been cropping up as of recently.
Troll speech patterns are loosely based on the Caribbean Jamaican dialect of English, especially in the generous use of the friendly address "mon", dropping the "g" from the "ing" suffix, the substitution of "d" for the vocalized "th", and "t" for the voiceless "th". Here are some basic, general examples of how to employ this accent in dialogue:
- Them: Dem
- They: Dey
- That: Dat
- There: Der
- With: Wit'
- You: Ya
- Myself: Meself/Third Person
- Watching: Watchin'
- Example: Zulzanie says: What Zulzanie thinks is dat dis be a foolish venture. Der too many; only a pure fool would attack dem now. Zulzanie be thinkin' wit' his brain and not his heart. Live to fight another day, eh?
- How ya doin' mon?
- Hey mon.
- I be seein' ya mon.
- See ya later.
- Be careful
- Ya be watchin' out now mon.
- Tread lightly mon.
- Response to an insult
- Blood elf: Ya not be mockin' us, ya magic addicted toad.
- Undead: Ya come back when ya don't smell like me raptor's leavin's.
- Orc: Ya people saved us, but don' be thinkin' I won't give ya a beating.
- Tauren: Ya best be watchin' out; I like meself a good split of roast for me dinner.
- Goblin: I be hearin' voices, but it be comin' too low down to be seein'.
Trolls worship the Loa, their version of deities. The Loa are beings of the elements, nature, and spiritual concepts like death. Some have physical manifestations, while others do not. Different Troll tribes worship different Loa than others; they are not standard across all Trollkind. For instance, one Loa that many Darkspear trolls worship is Bwonsamdi, representative of Death; the Darkspear also tend to focus on the Loa worshipped by the Gurubashi trolls of ancient times, from which their tribe descended. Ancestral worship also comes into play on occasion, but is less of a focus than the Loa themselves.
Due to their pact with Thrall to enter the Horde, the Darkspear trolls have eschewed much of the voodoo practices they used to employ, including humanoid sacrifice and cannibalism. They had also shied away from looking to Fel magic for power; however, with Thrall gone (albeit temporarily) and their general distaste for Garrosh Hellscream as Warchief, those restrictions seem to have loosened somewhat, and Warlocks have started appearing amongst the Darkspear's numbers.
Trolls have tended to care very little for honor in battle, preferring to win by ferocity, guile, and wholesale cruelty. However, again, the Darkspear's entry into the Horde has modified their behavior and tactics in this regard. Now, a Horde troll will tend to mold their actions dependent upon what race with whom they are keeping current company. If an Orc or a Tauren is with them, then honorable tactics tend to be employed. If in the company of Sin'dorei or Forsaken, then they have a bit more play in regards to doing what they wish to enemies (though, granted, Blood Elves and Forsaken are not generally looked upon favorably by the average Troll, so spending time solely with them is likely to be rare.)
Sexism and Racism
There is no sexism; Troll women and men are regarded equal when it comes to being a shaman, a great warrior, an effective rogue, or what-have-you. Racism, however, is more prevalent. Trolls tend to be highly xenophobic. They never trust anyone first, unless they show extreme kindness or understanding. They usually congregate in groups, tending to be with others of their own kind who understand them better.
Many Tauren distrust Trolls for their history of delving into dark spirituality, like cannibalism and voodoo. However, relations have lightened between the Trolls and Tauren due to their newfound druidic connection. Forsaken always seem to regard trolls with a mixture of contempt and respect: contempt, being former humans and elves, and thus a history of war against the trolls, but respect for their ruthlessness and merciless nature in battle. Blood Elves merely tolerate the Trolls, but generally regard them as vile and uncouth; in return, the Trolls have a distaste for the Sin'dorei as vain and arrogant. Trolls treat Goblins with respect, but don't like nor dislike them strongly either way. Goblins do not discriminate against Trolls at all; a Troll's coin is as good as anyone else's. They hate the Alliance races deeply, in vengeance for their ancestral lands being torn out from under them by many of these peoples.
As for the Orcs, if it wasn't for the Warchief Thrall, the Darkspear would have been wiped out; no other race has allied with the Trolls as completely as the Orcs. Orc and Troll warriors fought and died together, first against the Murlocs and the Sea Witch when they first forged their kinship, and then against the Alliance, Burning Legion, and Scourge. However, this relationship has been put on more tenuous ground by the appointing of Garrosh Hellscream as Warchief, with which Vol'jin has expressed extreme disapproval.
Trolls don't tend to fight fairly, and they feel little to no remorse. They prefer using strength and savagery to overpower their enemies, as opposed to intricate battle plans or political subterfuge.
While Orcs go for big, Trolls go for simplicity. Hand axes, staves, spears, daggers, and short swords tend to be favored. In ranged combat, they prefer bows over guns.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Sometimes you need to be heartless to get the job done. Why not sell your skills? Go after enemies; take up the offers from wanted posters. Suggested Class: Warrior or Rogue.
Join the vast armies of the Horde and fight the accursed Alliance, the vile Burning Legion, and the disgusting Scourge. Take up arms with your brethren in the Horde, especially the brutish Orcs. Remember: your cruelty can be an asset against insidious forces like the Burning Legion and Scourge. Suggested Class: Any.
Delve into the darkest dungeons and most dangerous places in Azeroth, to sate your curiosity and to find a big payoff. You would go into Blackrock Spire for the treasure only and care little about what you would kill while in there. Suggested Class: Any.
Many Trolls fight savagely, letting their wounds and their rage overtake their every sense. They care only for surviving or destroying any or all enemies, using the power of ferocity that Trolls have thrived on for thousands of years. These cold hearted brutes only care about battle. They rush in without any regard for their safety, relying on brute strength and speed to succeed in combat. Many Trolls have tasted berserking in some form, but the true masters are the ones who go toe to toe with the enemy rather than attack from afar. Some berserkers have control of their fierce emotions during berserking, becoming more dangerous and focused on the slaughter than a lesser-trained berserker. Suggested Classes : Warrior, Enhancement Shaman, Death Knight
These trolls use fire magic, or carefully crafted Goblin bombs and rockets to lay waste to an Alliance outpost or troop of fighters. Troll Batriders are trained as scouts, but many have vials of volatile oils that explode and burn buildings and people. Their rather cruel obsession has been seen over and over in arcane and fire mages, burning their enemies with unstable arcane energy or magical flame, cackling as their opponents burn. Suggested Classes : Fire/Arcane Mage, Elemental/Enhancement Shaman, Survival Hunter, Destruction Warlock and any class with Goblin Engineering.
These crafty trolls lead their people with tales of the ancient past, or their own stories of battle or spirituality. Many have begun to train with druidism, and have a deeper understanding with the land and life. Casting away their savagery to reach more mindful goals, they seek more knowledge and learn from their own mistakes. Many young Shamans and Druids believe the path of their people is not war but rather living with the land. Suggested Classes: Druid, Shaman, Priest, Protection Warrior.
These sinister trolls care only to best their opponent with humiliation and taunting, leading them into a blind rage, while laughing at their opponents' sluggish attacks. They strike from the shadows, and revel in torment. They further their own goals and keep their secrets to the grave. All they care about is power and how to achieve it. Suggested Classes : Arms Warrior, Rogue, Shadow Priest, Death Knight.
Despite seeming to be one of the most simple cultures in Azeroth, and not major players in the general political wheeling and dealing, Trolls are an extremely intriguing and rich race. This article does not delve into much Troll history, but is more of a bird's eye view of their attitudes, tendencies, and features; if you wish to know more about their fascinating past, or more detail about particular aspects of Trollish life, culture, and spirituality, please visit the links section.