The King Of Dragon Pass
Treasure: Q (D)
Climb: 16, Intimidate: 6
Claw Attack: PEN 8, DMG LW/LW/MW/HW
Bite Attack: PEN 10, DMG LW/MW/HW/IN
Trolls are horrid carnivores found in all climes, from arctic wastelands to tropical jungles. Most creatures avoid these beasts, since trolls know no fear and attack unceasingly when hungry. Their frame appears thin and frail, but trolls possess surprising strength. Their arms and legs are long and ungainly. The legs end in great three-toed feet, the arms in wide, powerful hands with sharpened claws. The trolls’ rubbery hide is colored a moss green, mottled green and gray, or putrid gray. A writhing hairlike mass grows out of their skulls and is usually greenish black or iron gray in color. Their dull, sunken black eyes possess 90-foot infravision. Females are easily distinguished from males; they are both larger and more powerful than their male counterparts.
Trolls walk upright but hunched forward with sagging shoulders. The trolls’ gait is uneven and, when running, the arms dangle free and drag along the ground. For all this seeming awkwardness, trolls are very agile. They are masterful climbers and can scale even sheer cliffs. Trolls have a poor hearing, but their sense of smell is superior.
Trolls have no language of their own, using “trollspeak”, a guttural mishmash of common, giant, goblin, orc, and hobgoblin. Trollspeak is highly transient and trolls from one area are only 25% likely to be able to communicate with trolls from another.
Trolls attack with two clawed hands and their bite, and they can attack at multiple opponents. Trolls regenerate at an amazing rate. Starting three rounds after first blood, the creatures recovers 1 LW per round until healed. Trolls reduced to IN or KI fall to the ground, incapacitated but not slain. Incapacitated trolls continue to regenerate and stand up to fight in 2 rounds.
When using an edged weapon, it is possible to sever the thin limbs of a troll (a natural 24 with an edged weapon is needed). Severed limbs continue to fight after separation from the body (hands squeeze, heads bite if stepped on, etc.). Attacks by severed limbs are at normal chances to hit. Separated limbs fight for the remainder of the battle, then scuttle back and rebind with the body once the battle is over. Limbs unable to reach the body to die within 24 hours, but this is of little consequence since trolls regenerate lost body parts (including the head) within a week. If a troll is dismembered and scattered, the largest surviving piece regenerates. The others die within one day if they cannot rejoin that piece. Only fire and acid cause permanent damage to trolls. These forms of attack destroy its regenerative ability. A troll reduced to IN or KI and immersed in acid or burned with fire is killed.
Trolls have no fear of death, and launch themselves into combat, flailing wildly at their opponents and biting whoever comes closest. They occasionally (25%) throw stones before closing with their victims. Thrown stones have a maximum range of 20 yards, weigh 10 to 20 pounds, and inflict LW/MW/MW/MW damage. If confronted by a large natural or magical fire, trolls try to find some way around the flames. Trolls combine a ravenous appetite with limited intelligence, so they are frequently distracted and break off pursuit 50% of the time to pick up food dropped by fleeing prey.
Habitat/Society: Trolls can survive in all climes, but prefer dense forests and subterranean locales, since bright sunlight hurts their eyes; trolls suffer no combat penalties because of this. They usually make their lairs in caves, using great boulders to block the entrances. Inside a troll cave are a number of rough nests made of straw and grass, plus scattered bones and treasure from victims. If there are no caves in an area, trolls dig themselves a trollhole and cover its opening with twigs and leaves. Trollholes are usually built near trees and are 90% undetectable. Anyone who steps on a trollhole is 75% likely to fall through the leafy door and tumble into the den below.
Trolls live in small packs of 3 to 12 trolls led by a dominant female who acts as shaman/chieftain. She casts priest spells; spheres typically include Charm, Divination, Sun (Darkness only), and Weather. Leadership is only retained by combat, so fights for pack control are frequent. Often trolls rend each other limb from limb, but these battles are never fatal. Still, it is the custom of trolls to toss the loser’s head a great distance from the fight scene, and frequently losers must sit and stew for a week until their new head grows in.
The pack chieftain’s duties are few. She leads the trolls on nightly forages, loping along, sniffing the air for prey. If a scent is found, the trolls charge, racing to get there first, and letting out a great cry once prey is spotted. In return for being the hunt leader, the shaman gets her choice of mates in the pack. Females give birth to a single troll about once every five years.
Trolls have ravenous appetites, devouring everything from simple grubs to bears and humans. Their lairs are often located near human settlements or along well traveled roads, but not too near, for even trolls respect organized resistance by fire-bearing humans. Wandering trolls, in search of a new lair, travel by night and sleep by day. Ravenous from walking, these packs, on occasion, attack and devour entire humanoid villages.
Ecology: Trolls prey on all but the most powerful of creatures. They respect and fear dragons, but they hate giants of good alignment and wage war with them frequently. The troll’s green blood is used to manufacture both poison antidotes and healing potions. The blood from one troll, worth 400 gp, can make three such potions.