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<   No. 4170   2020-01-17   >

Comic #4170

1 Lambert: Your turn, Draak. T.
1 Draak: Troll.
2 Kyros: Did you know trolls turn to stone when hit by sunlight?
3 Kyros: And they’re so stupid that you can trick them into arguing and forgetting about the sunrise?
4 Lambert: No believable creature is so stupid it literally forgets about a thing that instantly kills it. Sounds like an old hobbit’s tale to me.

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Having played Dungeons & Dragons well before I ever read The Hobbit, I never really bought into that whole "trolls turn to stone when exposed to sunlight" schtick that Tolkien used. He borrowed it from Scandinavian folklore, while Gary Gygax instead based his D&D trolls on a monster from Poul Anderson's fantasy novel Three Hearts and Three Lions, which depicted them as tall, thin humanoids with rubbery skin and the ability to regenerate from wounds.

Gygax certainly listed Tolkien's work as an influence on the creation of Dungeons & Dragons in the game's bibliography, but why he chose Anderson's depiction of trolls over Tolkien's is a mystery. Maybe he just thought they sounded cooler. Or less stupid.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
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