My Favorite Monsters is a showcase of some of the beautiful artwork Turbine has provided so that we have interesting things to kill.
You’ll never know this from playing DDO but “troglodyte” is a real word with a real meaning that is completely different from the way it is used in-game. It means “one who lives in caves”, or alternately, “someone so repulsively outdated they might as well live in a cave”. A caveman.
Not an attractive word.
The British Invasion of the sixties gave us the Troggs. “Look at us! We’re so counter-culture, we’re going to take an obscure pejorative and use it as our band name!” So now Trog meant someone British with an awkward haircut who knew three chords. And to be fair, one pretty influential song.
And then D&D happened. And troglodytes were among the many things that were changed/adapated/made up altogether for the new game. No longer cavemen, nor even British rockers, now troglodytes were reptillian humanoids that smelled really badly. Really, really badly, so badly that being near one would cause the unfortunate adventurer who failed his or her saving throw to convulse in nausea, unable to perform any other activity whatsoever.
Just look at the picture: the dude (dudette? how does one gender a troglodyte?) seems rather sheepish and embarrassed. Maybe “I’m sorry I smell so bad?” Or is it more likely “No that wasn’t me, the dog did it”?
They were always low-level opponents, the equivalent of CR2, but that smelly cloud of uselessness made them far more potent than their shy reptilian nature and two hit dice would indicate.
And so it went with Troglodytes throughout the D&D-derived-computer-game era. Smelly reptillians, savage spear throwers, unremarkable except for their ability to make one retch without pause whenever they were near.
Take Heroes of Might and Magic as a typical example. They even mixed it up a little bit, deciding that troglodytes had evolved in deep caves so extensively that they’d lost the use of their sight. Including the loss of any sort of eyes or face, vaguely reptilian walking nubs, good for little more than swarming opponents with superior numbers. Sad as it is to say this, the dude to the left there is actually upgraded, the base version is even nubbier.
But he still looks like he probably smells badly.
At last we come to DDO and the lovely DDO version. Like most DDO monsters, our version is closer to the original First Edition version in spirit but with the more polished look of modern D&D versions. The DDO troglodyte is clearly reptilian, but saucy, with well-defined upper body strength and a fierce expression.
And of course, that foul, foul stench. In DDO, when one is exposed to the stench (and assuming one fails their Fortitude saving throw), one is Slowed. And the Slows stack; one can end up barely moving at all.
Nausea doesn’t usually slow me, it stops me, so this seems like an odd choice. But think about it; there’s nothing particularly heroic about the sight of our Epic characters doubled over a waste bin with the dry heaves, or watching them empty their stomachs into the sewer.
This is fantasy
All heroic, all the time
Heroes don’t vomit
Slow is a better choice than Nauseous. It really is.
DDO Troglodytes are fierce opponents. The mainly Troglodyte quests Freshen the Air, The Troglodyte’s Get, and especially The Pit, are quite difficult when run at-level. Troglodytes are used as minibosses and even as the main boss in some lower level quests like Durk’s Got A Secret, Missing in Action, and The Sunken Sewer.
If your monitor was equipped with Smell-O-Vision,
you’d be retching right now. Or Slowed. Or both.
Look at the fierceness exuding from this Troglodyte warrior. Fierce! Ready to defend his lair with whatever weapons are at hand, including his (her? that gender thing again) natural body odors.
“Have at you, adventurers!” he shouts defiantly, “You may be well-armored, and well-equipped, and full of healing, but I … I smell badly! Really really badly! hah HAH, take THAT!”
Life as a troglodyte. I wonder, do they smell badly to each other? Is it some kind of pheromone? Should the troglodytes have evolved, not without eyes as in Might and Magic, but without noses?
Maybe this is why we there are no females?
🙂 😀 🙂