May 26, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Race -- Troll (Wormy)

I've always been a huge fan of artist Dave Trampier, and loved his comic strip Wormy, which ran in Dragon magazine from 1977 to 1988. Wormy had a great story and depicted a fascinating world, the realm of Mascentia. While it was the standard generic-fantasy D&D world, the strip told stories from the point-of-view of the monsters -- sentient, intelligent creatures with drives just  like humans, who had to deal with the occasional overzealous "adventurers" who invaded their homes, slaughtered their families and made off with their hard-earned belongings. When 5E D&D was still in playtest, one of the first races I homebrewed was the trolls; most of the protagonists of Wormy were trolls, after all.

Contrary to the perception of humans, elves, dwarves, and their kin, trolls are an old and civilized race. Naturally hardy and capable of legendary feats of regeneration, they are relatively numerous in the wilderlands of the realm of Mascentia. Most have adopted lives of leisure and industry, working only as hard as they need to in order to sustain their recreations, for they have many. Generally peaceable amongst their own monstrous kind, they quickly become defensive when faced with humans and their kin. For the trolls have a long memory and their history has shown them that these creatures do not consider them people.

Hardy and Cruel

All trolls share the ability to regenerate from wounds. As a result, trolls generally live to a ripe old age before their regenerative powers begin to fade. Combine this with the fact that troll flesh is mildly poisonous to eat, and you have a race that shows extreme survivability even in hostile environments. Trolls do not bear young, instead growing from severed parts of other trolls; hence trolls do not display the protectiveness of the young shown by other races. On the flip side their regeneration causes them to have a dispassionate view of the extreme violence that characterizes life among the monsters, since even a dismembered troll will eventually become whole once again.

A Wide Variety

Trolls vary in size with their subrace. The most humanoid are the mudtrolls and woodtrolls, who generally display slightly more than the range of human heights, from slightly under 5 feet to slightly under 7 feet in height, and with a weight range of 100 to 250 pounds. Mosstrolls are tall and heavily built, usually from 6 to over 7 feet tall and from 200 to 350 pounds in weight; they are universally stout. Hilltrolls are the largest subrace, ranging from 7 feet to well over 8 feet tall, and massing 300 to 450 or more pounds of muscle.
       Mudtrolls are hairless and have light green scaly skin shading to yellow on the belly, with pointed ears and a serrated ridge running down the spine. Woodtrolls have fur ranging from pale yellow to deep brown, with rounded ears and thick, bushy eyebrows. Mosstrolls have bright greenish hairless skin which pales on the belly, with pale circular dermal deposits. Hilltrolls are usually gray to grayish-brown hide with thick dermal deposits, a horn on the bridge of the nose, and a ridge of sharp horns running down the spine.

A Life of Leisure

Long-lived due to their healing powers, they busy themselves with recreational pursuits ranging from mock-battles and war-games to snooker and cards. More often responding to setbacks with amusement rather than excitement and aggression, they are nevertheless capable of rage and fury when their homes are invaded and their hard-earned treasures stolen.


Trolls take their own names as soon as they can insist on them. Nicknames are common, although overuse of disliked nicknames will usually lead to violence.
       Names: Amos, Barny, Boon, Catfish, Charly, Dudly, Frank, Grumble, Harold, John, Jordon, Larry, Merl, Pete, Ralph, Rock, Silas, Slim, Squirr'l, Stew.
       Nicknames: Barnstormer, Deadeye, Shaggy Dan.

Troll Traits

As a troll, you have the following racial traits.

       Ability Score Adjustment: Your Constitution score increases by 2.

       Alignment: Trolls are usually neutral, with evil tendencies. More settled and sedentary trolls are typically lawful, while those who enjoy a solitary life in the wilderness are usually chaotic.
       Size: Trolls have a slightly broader range of sizes than humans, and hilltrolls and mosstrolls can grow to a relatively great size. Nevertheless, all trolls fall into the Medium size category.
       Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
       Subrace: Choose a subrace. Four subraces are described here: hilltrolls, mosstrolls, mudtrolls, and woodtrolls.
       Regeneration: At the start of your turn, you regain a number of hit points equal to your proficiency bonus. When you take acid or fire damage, your regeneration doesn’t function for the next 10 minutes. You die only if you start your turn with 0 hit points and do not regenerate.
       Mascentian trolls use the “Loathsome Limbs” variant in the sidebar on page 291 of the Monster Manual.
       Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant, which has its own runic script. The Giant alphabet is also used (with minor variations) for the Dwarf, Gnome, Goblin, and Orc languages. Troll literature includes many works on pastimes and in-depth analyses of various recreational pursuits.
       Many trolls also speak the languages of their friends (such as goblins and orcs) and their enemies (including humans and elves). Some also learn Draconic, the ancient tongue of the dragons.


The largest variety of troll, hilltrolls tend to be white- or lavender-skinned with bumps and protrusions along their spine, forehead, and nose.
       Ability Score Adjustment: Your Strength score increases by 1.


Mosstrolls have green bumpy skin. They tend towards heavyset, stocky bodily frames.
       Ability Score Adjustment: Your Charisma score increases by 1.


Also known as swamp trolls, mudtrolls have blue skin with pale bumps. The stronger the troll, the more bumps appear on his skin.
       Ability Score Adjustment: Your Wisdom score increases by 1.


Also known as woolly trolls because of their shaggy hides, woodtrolls generally appear to have a yellow to orange complexion. They most resemble goblins.
       Ability Score Adjustment: Your Dexterity score increases by 1.

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