It took about a year and a half to get here, and I'm not sure the work was worth the wait. I'm not a big fan of waiting. I want the next one to come out a lot quicker. I'll drive ten miles to avoid waiting ten minutes in line, but . . . I am certainly happy to see TrollZine 4 available at last! TrollZine is an e-zine full of contents for players and fans of Tunnels and Trolls. For the most part, the contents come from the fertile minds of the international T & T fanclub TROLLHALLA which can be found at http://trollhalla.com. (Trollhalla the internet fan group came long before Trollhalla the board game.) However, outsiders may also contribute--it is open to all who wish to participate. The members of the Trollbridge group are also strongly represented in these pages. TrollZine 4 is 60 pages long, and contains fiction, a solo adventure, adventure hooks for Game Masters, rules extensions, an article about mass combat in T & T, an article about horsemanship, art ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. The zine has enough in it to keep the dedicated gamer busy for days, maybe weeks. And like any commercial magazine TrollZine has a few ads in it--just to let the reader know what new products are available. Interestingly enough, I had nothing to do with the creation of this ezine--well, I put an ad in it for a forthcoming production of mne, tut that isn't real content. TrollZine can stand on its own merits. I liked it all, but of course I liked different parts of it better than others. My absolute favorite is Michael Eidson's solo adventure DOWN TIME--the adventure that answers the question what does the player character do between adventures? Mike's solo is as good or better than anything available for T & T solo players, and the illustrations by David Ullery are superb. A close second for me was Patrice Geille's article about how to handle mass combats in T & T. He's talking about armies--not just a big melee between a dozen characters and a bunch of monsters. T & T has always been known for its "buckets of dice" approach to combat, and you would think that mass combat would exacerbate the problem. Well, maybe . . . And I really enjoyed the Two Magicians cartoon also by Mr. Ullery. And there is so much more.
And you can't beat the price--FREE. The contributors to TrollZine don't let the zine be free because it isn't any good. They do it because they love role-playing and they want to offer gifts to other roleplayers--passing it forward, so to speak. Now, I'm biased. Tunnels and Trolls is my game, and these contributors are my friends and fans, but I think I can still be pretty objective here. Parts of TrollZine 4 are better than other parts--that's true of every large creative endeavor. On the whole, it is very good. I prefer to praise the excellent, rather than knock the not-quite-so-good. YMMV. I rate TZ4 a good pickup for roleplayers in general--even players of That Other Game, and an excellent acquisition for Tunnels & Trolls players of all ages. And if you just enjoy fantasy art, you're going to get both chuckles and appreciation out of it. 5 stars!