Apr 072014

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 It means “one who lives in caves”, or alternately, “someone so repulsively outdated they might as well live in a cave”.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.

Troglodyte from the First Edition Monster ManualAnd 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.

Heroes of Might and Magic TroglodyteAnd 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?

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  7 Responses to “My Favorite Monsters: Troglodyte”

Comments (7)
  1. Trogs are definitely interesting creatures. But there is at least a few female trogs. Freshen the Air, The Pit, and the Trogolodyte’s Get all have eggs to squash and something had to lay them :). And don’t forget that the end boss in Freshen in the Air is a matriarch. And Don’t forget the acid-scar trogs in Acid Wit..they are tough at level!!

    As for their stench, I just think they are just acclimated to it. But I could see it being pheromone related.

  2. Want some fun? Run “The Pit” at L4. Yes, it can be done.

    • Want even more fun? Run it solo* at L4 (and yes, it can STILL be done).

      *In this case, “solo” means you can bring ONE (and only one contract) L4 hireling. No pets. Mainly to operate the valves, but you are allowed to have them use their other abilities.

    • Ok, you have my interest. πŸ™‚ I’ve wanted to go in with Guildy to test the limits of “elite”. Keep in mind I want conquest and optionals. Is lvl 4 possible with that damn upper-level trog name? Forget which room ….Maybe next heroic tr for Luedwig I’ll try 6. Lol

      • You mean the optionals in furnace rooms 2 and 3? Hmmm…I don’t recall if I did them or not – I want to say “yes”, but it’s been so long…

        OK, checking my screenshots, YES! All optionals were completed with my first-life L4 arty – (heroic) normal.

        I tried (heroic) hard, but my cleric hireling just did not have the SP for healing. And this was also before (I think) the new EN pass. Not that that matters too much – can’t get an awful lot of ENs at L4 anyway…

        I am going to try (heroic) hard again at L4…someday. I did do a (heroic) hard run with an L5 barbarian, but that was before I knew you could run it at L4.

        • Cool. Ty for info-bits. I def think we’ll set a lvl-6 elite attempt then step down to get completion but it will depend on what life I decide to fall into. Now to convince the guildy that pain is good.

  3. Actually, the trog stench is a poison, not nausea. Only two things in the game cause true nausea (where an enemy can move but not attack or use spells): Stinking Cloud and the Dark Monk finishing move Pain Touch. It shuts up a mage or stops a rampaging melee VERY nicely as I noted in recent blog posts. Poison neutralization gets rid of the stench, thankfully.

What do you think?

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