This is an elaboration/ modification of the material presented in the SRD.
Trolls are an ancient race, though no gods take plausible credit for their creation. They are brusque, boisterous, and reckless. They live, after all, in a world where little can keep them down for long. Even their twin banes, fire and acid, are no more deadly to them than they are to other mortal races.
Because of their well-known weaknesses and their rapid regeneration, trolls are a favorite subject for arcane experimentation. Troll experiments have been the demise of many a mad wizard’s lab (as they wreak incredible havoc when they escape – and most eventually do escape). Through the centuries, a few interesting discoveries have come to light from this research.
The above information is common knowledge. Additional details may be available with a Knowledge (nature) check.
Knowledge (nature) check:
- Trolls rapidly regenerate damage from any source except fire or acid. Torches make passable weapons in a pinch.
- Trolls can re-attach limbs cut off in combat – unless the wound was caused by or cauterized with fire or acid.
- They are a reckless, belligerent lot, making neither good leaders nor subjects. What they lack in intelligence they make up for in sheer bloody-mindedness.
- Though they definitely prefer raw meat (the fresher the better), trolls will eat almost anything vaguely edible, even rotting food, battlefield corpses, or blood-soaked earth.
- Trolls seem to be born speaking a smattering of Giantish.
- Trolls are known to hunt for amusement, and they hunt increasingly challenging prey as they mature. Eventually, this means hunting humanoids.
- Most trolls cannot be bothered to learn any skills or languages. The few who try to better themselves often become fearsome hunters (of humanoids).
- Trolls seem either to be indifferent to suffering, or to enjoy it. They shrug off starvation, dismemberment, and mutilation. Even dangerous wounds from fire and acid, which cause them visible discomfort, are rarely enough to dissuade them from their goals. Any barrier designed to keep trolls at bay long-term must be strong enough to destroy them utterly, or eventually one will break through.
- Trolls can be found in any environment. Several subtypes have been reported, including aquatic and fiendish. Aquatic trolls are dangerous because of the rarity of acid and fire beneath the waves, and fiendish trolls are all the more menacing because a fiend’s damage resistance and resistance to fire make these trolls far, far tougher to kill.
- Trolls are profoundly amoral. They may serve, but they do not respect. They generally take what they want when it suits them, or die trying. Occasionally they will flee from insurmountable odds, though they will just as often throw themselves into certain death with apparent glee.
- There are male and female trolls, but there are no reliable reports of trolls breeding. Young trolls are occasionally found, often alone. Trolls do not appear to care for their young any more than they care for other adults.
- While they appear to have no patron gods, some trolls pay homage to gods of the hunt, or luck, or even fire.
- Sadism seems to be a near-universal trollish trait. Masochism is not far behind. Trolls have been known to devour their own limbs to escape imprisonment, and they have been seen to chop off body parts in ceremonial offerings.
- Though they generally disdain cooked food, some trolls brew poison or potions, and a few have been seen to add their own flesh or blood to such a cauldron.
- Obscure texts are rumored to speak of Troll Lords, who once ruled over their simpler kin.
- Trolls in long-term captivity have been observed carving their own flesh with idle amusement. They sometimes subject themselves to serious injury for no apparent reason beyond boredom and curiosity.
- Juvenile trolls seem to mature at a variable rate, depending on the abundance of food. Field reports suggest that most trolls reach adulthood in less than three years.
- Legends tell of at least one ancient empire trained trollish warriors to let loose on the field of battle. Viridistan may have once tried this, to spectacular (and mutually disastrous) effect.
- Trolls seem to have no interest in non-physical puzzles. They ignore almost all art, even representations of carnage and brutality.
- Though the legendary Troll Lords are all but lost to time, Karakhan sages claim that a kingdom of their kind remains on the far southeast corner of the continent. In this kingdom, trolls have chased out all other humanoids, even giants.
- Their incredible regenerative abilities can keep trolls spry for at least a millennium, though they generally fall to violence within a few decades of birth.
- Trolls have perfect pitch, and can hear sounds beyond the range common among humanoids.