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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default smurfs but not the smurfs

    so i am working on a d&d world and i am trying to use smurfs. I know smurfs come from old Belgium stories but do to the popularity of the smurfs i am having trouble finding anything on these old story. could anyone help me with find these either by giving me a link or a search term. thanks
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    You might try Wikipedia. It has a decent amount of info.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Quote Originally Posted by Future Sword View Post
    You might try Wikipedia. It has a decent amount of info.
    the problem is that when you go looking for this all you get is the smurfs
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    JoshL's Avatar

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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    After a bit of digging, Peyo stated that the Smurfs were inspired by Nordic Troll folklore in general, not necessarily any specific stories. The same folklore roots as the fuzzy headed troll dolls you see. So digging through folklore collections with that in mind might help you find the sort of stories you're looking for!

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshL View Post
    After a bit of digging, Peyo stated that the Smurfs were inspired by Nordic Troll folklore in general, not necessarily any specific stories. The same folklore roots as the fuzzy headed troll dolls you see.
    I always wondered how the creators of those ridiculous little dolls went from things like this to those.

    Scandinavian trolls are not little brownies or imps, they are big, ugly, dangerous and dumb.
    Last edited by BWR; 2017-12-01 at 12:03 PM.

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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    That is a good question (and an awesome picture, by the way). And oddly those troll dolls were created around the same time (1959). I'm seeing some references where the word troll was sometimes used as a generic "magic folk to be avoided" rather than a specific creature type. Sort of like the wee folk or the good neighbors being a shorthand/euphemism for any manner of unknown fairy. But I'm not coming across anything (on my phone at work on my lunch break anyway) indicating them ever being helpful or friendly.

    I'm really curious about this now too, and will have to do some digging over the weekend!

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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    You know, I always thought deep gnomes (svirfneblin) were supposed to be the smurfs of d&d. They're small, blue, community spirited, constantly persecuted by evil monsters and 'svirf' sounds a lot like 'smurf' if you say it out loud.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    I always wondered how the creators of those ridiculous little dolls went from things like this to those.

    Scandinavian trolls are not little brownies or imps, they are big, ugly, dangerous and dumb.
    They are also human-sized, beautiful, cultured, rich, intelligent, and powerful magic users.

    EDIT: On the main subject, there are plenty of Scandinavian (and other as well, obviously) folklore about tiny folk living underground, frequently beneath human housing.
    Last edited by Waddacku; 2017-12-03 at 07:41 AM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddacku View Post
    [Trolls] are also human-sized, beautiful, cultured, rich, intelligent, and powerful magic users.
    Examples, please.
    I can't think of any. Rich,sure, but not beautiful, cultured or particularly intelligent. Granted, there is an issue with lack of hard definitions, but every story that comes to mind with the word 'troll' in it refers to the big, dumb, ugly type.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Examples, please.
    I can't think of any. Rich,sure, but not beautiful, cultured or particularly intelligent. Granted, there is an issue with lack of hard definitions, but every story that comes to mind with the word 'troll' in it refers to the big, dumb, ugly type.
    Equally as cultured and intelligent as humans, living in parallel societies doing pretty much exactly the same things. Mid-Swedish lore tends to have them difficult to distinguish from regular people and more characterized by magic than physical traits. Plenty of stories around about people dealing with them as if they were just some odd neighbors, too. A stranger-danger aspect is common.
    I don't know if there are any particular folk tales I can refer you to, particularly since I guess you are not familiar with Swedish, which is what most every collection I've come across is in. You have to differentiate between folk tales and folk beliefs, though. Monstrous trolls are much more common in the former, while the human-like ones are mainly part of the latter.

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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Funny story : the original name of the smurfs (schtroumpf) was made up spontaneously by Peyo for a completely unrelated reason. If you don't find anything about actual old folklore by googling it, it's normal.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddacku View Post
    Equally as cultured and intelligent as humans, living in parallel societies doing pretty much exactly the same things. Mid-Swedish lore tends to have them difficult to distinguish from regular people and more characterized by magic than physical traits. Plenty of stories around about people dealing with them as if they were just some odd neighbors, too. A stranger-danger aspect is common.
    I don't know if there are any particular folk tales I can refer you to, particularly since I guess you are not familiar with Swedish, which is what most every collection I've come across is in. You have to differentiate between folk tales and folk beliefs, though. Monstrous trolls are much more common in the former, while the human-like ones are mainly part of the latter.
    I can read Swedish well enough, if that's what you mean, and would very much like to be directed to stories. Could be a cultural difference, but I'm pretty sure there are little to no 'other folk' aspects to the trolls presented in Abjørnsen & Moe, just dumb monsters.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    I can read Swedish well enough, if that's what you mean, and would very much like to be directed to stories. Could be a cultural difference, but I'm pretty sure there are little to no 'other folk' aspects to the trolls presented in Abjørnsen & Moe, just dumb monsters.
    Ah! Well, in that case. To reiterate, I don't recall any specific folk tales on the theme, but https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll#...svensk_folktro and http://www.sprakochfolkminnen.se/om-...-folktron.html are some of the secondary sources I used to double check myself. Particularly the second one has some anecdotes of dealings with trolls people had actually heard from grandparents etc.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Norwegian Wikipedia covers the regional variations in lore as well, but I hadn't looked at it. Swedish Wiki suggests the Norwegian versions are more uniformly about dumb brutes, though.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: smurfs but not the smurfs

    thank you all of this info. i will use the lead and what you have given me. this will be very helpful.
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