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When I spoke to Brent (the webmaster here at TWR) this morning, I told him I was going to try and find a blog to review which was entirely unrelated to the election. At the time, I didnít fancy my chances, but astoundingly, this first one on the list, Trolhel has not mentioned George Bush once. Or anything else relating to the real world for that matter.
You see, this is a Dungeons and Dragons blog. They are describing their game as they go along. Now whilst my youth (and a lot of my adult life) has been misspent in numerous different ways, I have never played a game of D&D. However, I used to be involved in similar things as a child - we used to have fantasy game books over here in the UK, Iíve read quite a few Terry Pratchett books and I have even got the Lord of the Rings DVD Special Edition Box set. So what the hell, I ploughed in to the site to see what I could gain from it.
This is a ďmodblogĒ blog, which are strange creatures at the best of times. The archives are arranged by single entry in date order, with a little snippet to read on the archives page, or click to just read the whole thing. It is quite a dark and gloomy blog with a picture tiled across the background of ermÖ a cherub or something. Who knows, maybe itís a dwarf. There is a sidebar with a helpful introductory thing, a chat box and some external links. Nothing fancy but I guess it does the job.
So on to the content. I found it quite hard to get in to the whole thing really. Whilst I am all for blogs which have a purpose (especially ones that move beyond ďI hate/love BushĒ at the present time), nevertheless this blog is not that great for anyone who isnít actually involved with the game. You see the point is that this is a resource for those playing- they can keep up to speed with the gameplay, characters, decisions made, etc. I found a few postings which were links to other sites- cool T Shirts and the like, which opened the blog up a bit, but mostly it is a long list of descriptions about fantasy stuff. Elves, rings, dwarves, trolls, dungeons, etc etc. Whilst the entries are very detailed in terms of the surroundings and characteristics of people, I found it very difficult to get a sense of narrative, of where people started, what the point was of their journey and of where they hope to end up. Maybe I just didnít read enough or maybe they donít even know themselves, but I am afraid I just got bored after a while.
This is one of those blogs which is very difficult to score. For those involved with the game or have played similar D & D games of their own, this may be worth exploring in depth. As for me, I canít see that Iíll come back again- I just couldnít engage with the storyline enough. Back to my DVD Box Sets I guess.
Trolhel opens to a black page made even darker if such a thing is possible by the indistinct gray/brown graphic in the header.
The print is a pale red, but fairly readable. Our author describes this site thusly:
"This blog chronicles adventures in our Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition epic - level campaign. Basically, I write it down as we play the game (The adventure is actually much further than what is posted)."
I found that this blog was created in July of 2004, but could only find entries from September, October and November.
The entries are detailed character development sketches that for a non-user are rather uninteresting and disjointed. Okay, here are these characters, but what is going on with them? There are not many comments, so it's hard to catch a thread and figure out what is going on here. There are MOD terms I am not familiar with such as an: Entropic Shield and a Hornung's Baneful Deflector, etc, which make this blog pretty much gibberish to me.
In the sidebar there are a lot of links to things of interest to the DD player, along with some detritus like, recent visit lists. There are the usual Links to friendís blogs and what not. Pretty typical stuff.
This is a very specialized blog that would only be of interest to the players of the game and unless I got lost in some spell ridden zone, did not find that much content.
If you are a DD player, you might want to take a look. Otherwise steer clear.
2 reviewers gave Trolhel an average rating of 2.8750
Site Category: Personal
Reader Rating: 2.1731 based on 13 votes
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