Thursday, December 13, 2018

Trolls (per request)

A species of mutant humanoid whose origin has puzzled scholars for a millennia. While often confused as a form of giant, ogre or corrupted demi-being, trolls have no biological link to any of these. Because of the troll’s regenerative ability, post-mortem examinations of the monster are extremely difficult, requiring a complex method of magical stasis and tools. As such, troll studies lag far behind research into other monsters.

The noted theoretical magician Albertus Magnus of the 13th century posited that these creatures were hylomorphic in construction, compounded of human-like material and wooden matter. He believed that the presence of trolls in virtually every part of the old world confirmed that their origin most likely dates from the Hyborean Age, some 40 to 60 thousand years ago. The troll’s regenerative properties are related to an unnatural magical growth related to the troll’s fibrous tissue. It is believed that some trolls are lived as long as six to seven thousand years. It is not known if or how trolls breed. It has been suggested that the hylomorphic transformation of wood and flesh occurs spontaneously.

The myth that trolls "turn to stone" when confronted by the sun seems to have arisen from the last century's wide-scale efforts to eradicate trolls from civilized Europe. The description is metaphorical, in that trolls caught outside during the day would remain as still as a stone as they waited for patrols to pass them by. This was imagined as the reason why efforts to kill every last troll seemed to leave survivors, regardless of the effort taken. There is plenty of evidence that trolls are destructive during daylight hours.

Despite their size, trolls are emaciated creatures with little flesh on their bones, so that in build they are approximately half as robust as a human. They stand on the toes and balls of their feet, so that they are lithe and quick when they attack. Their hide is very tough, colored a moss green and is typically marked throughout with patches of dull brown. An oily substance supporates from knobby boils on the troll's body. A thin, straggling patch of hair drapes from the troll's head; as trolls age past four or five hundred years, this begins to turn grey.


In addition to possessing infravision, trolls possess a strength of 18/60, allowing them +2 to hit and +3 damage. Trolls may occasionally use clubs as weapons, causing 2-7 damage on a hit (5-10 with strength) in place of a claw attack; if so, the troll will continue to attack three times due to its unusual balance (with claw, weapon and bite).

Most dangerous, however, is the creature's ability to regenerate. This is done at a rate of 3 hp per round and requires no effort or rest. To render a troll motionless, the creature must be reduced to -4 hit points ... and even though "dead," the troll will still revive if regeneration restores it to -3 hit points or more. More damage may be heaped upon the troll, but the body cannot be reduced to less than -10 points with normal weapons. To end the troll's regeneration ability, the troll must be burnt or reduced with acid ... however, a lit flask of oil will only burn for three rounds, whereas vials of acid will cause only 2-8 damage each (potentially reducing the troll deep into the negatives, but the creature's regeneration will eventually restore the creature). The only sure way is to immerse the troll in acid or to create a sustained fire that will burn continuously until the troll is reduced completely to ash, a period of about an hour (a troll burns much like dense, damp wood).

If dismembered, each part of the troll will continue to move and attack, though ineffectually unless approached and causing only 1-3 damage if not part of the body. However, the parts will seek one another to rebuild the troll, eventually creating enough of the troll's shape to begin fighting effectively again. A leg or a hand may regrow an entire troll ... though for reasons that are not clear, multiple trolls will not arise from the body parts of one troll; rather, the essence of the original troll seems to inhabit a favored part, which will call other parts to it or, if forced, abandon the other parts to recreate itself. These abandoned parts will become inert and will not form into a troll.

See Bestiary


Fuzzy Skinner said...

I like how you've integrated historical figures into your fantasy world's history, as well as how you've added bits of lore and "fluff" that are still relevant to gameplay - such as the whole "turn to stone" explanation. Nicely done.

Pandred said...

Love me some Trolls.

A+ as always.