A troll is a being in Nordic folklore, including Norse mythology. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated areas of rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings.
In later Scandinavian folklore, trolls became beings in their own right, where they live far from human habitation, are not Christianized, and are considered dangerous to human beings. Depending on the source, their appearance varies greatly; trolls may be ugly and slow-witted, or look and behave exactly like human beings, with no particularly grotesque characteristic about them.
Trolls are sometimes associated with particular landmarks in Scandinavian folklore, which at times may be explained as formed from a troll exposed to sunlight. Trolls are depicted in a variety of media in modern popular culture.
The Old Norse nouns troll and trǫll (variously meaning \"fiend, demon, werewolf, jötunn\") and Middle High German troll, trolle \"fiend\" (according to philologist Vladimir Orel likely borrowed from Old Norse) developed from Proto-Germanic neuter noun *trullan. The origin of the Proto-Germanic word is unknown. Additionally, the Old Norse verb trylla 'to enchant, to turn into a troll' and the Middle High German verb trüllen \"to flutter\" both developed from the Proto-Germanic verb *trulljanan, a derivative of *trullan.
In Norse mythology, troll, like thurs, is a term applied to jötnar and is mentioned throughout the Old Norse corpus. In Old Norse sources, trolls are said to dwell in isolated mountains, rocks, and caves, sometimes live together (usually as father-and-daughter or mother-and-son), and are rarely described as helpful or friendly. The Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál describes an encounter between an unnamed troll woman and the 9th-century skald Bragi Boddason. According to the section, Bragi was driving through \"a certain forest\" late one evening when a troll woman aggressively asked him who he was, in the process describing herself:
There is much confusion and overlap in the use of Old Norse terms jötunn, troll, þurs, and risi, which describe various beings. Lotte Motz theorized that these were originally four distinct classes of beings: lords of nature (jötunn), mythical magicians (troll), hostile monsters (þurs), and heroic and courtly beings (risi), the last class being the youngest addition. On the other hand, Ármann Jakobson is critical of Motz's interpretation and calls this theory \"unsupported by any convincing evidence\". Ármann highlights that the term is used to denote various beings, such as a jötunn or mountain-dweller, a witch, an abnormally strong or large or ugly person, an evil spirit, a ghost, a blámaðr, a magical boar, a heathen demi-god, a demon, a brunnmigi, or a berserker.
Lindow states that the etymology of the word \"troll\" remains uncertain, though he defines trolls in later Swedish folklore as \"nature beings\" and as \"all-purpose otherworldly being[s], equivalent, for example, to fairies in Anglo-Celtic traditions\". They \"therefore appear in various migratory legends where collective nature-beings are called for\". Lindow notes that trolls are sometimes swapped out for cats and \"little people\" in the folklore record.
A Scandinavian folk belief that lightning frightens away trolls and jötnar appears in numerous Scandinavian folktales, and may be a late reflection of the god Thor's role in fighting such beings. In connection, the lack of trolls and jötnar in modern Scandinavia is sometimes explained as a result of the \"accuracy and efficiency of the lightning strokes\". Additionally, the absence of trolls in regions of Scandinavia is described in folklore as being a \"consequence of the constant din of the church-bells\". This ringing caused the trolls to leave for other lands, although not without some resistance; numerous traditions relate how trolls destroyed a church under construction or hurled boulders and stones at completed churches. Large local stones are sometimes described as the product of a troll's toss. Additionally, into the 20th century, the origins of particular Scandinavian landmarks, such as particular stones, are ascribed to trolls who may, for example, have turned to stone upon exposure to sunlight.
Lindow compares the trolls of the Swedish folk tradition to Grendel, the supernatural mead hall invader in the Old English poem Beowulf, and notes that \"just as the poem Beowulf emphasizes not the harrying of Grendel but the cleansing of the hall of Beowulf, so the modern tales stress the moment when the trolls are driven off.\"
Smaller trolls are attested as living in burial mounds and in mountains in Scandinavian folk tradition. In Denmark, these creatures are recorded as troldfolk (\"troll-folk\"), bjergtrolde (\"mountain-trolls\"), or bjergfolk (\"mountain-folk\") and in Norway also as troldfolk (\"troll-folk\") and tusser. Trolls may be described as small, human-like beings or as tall as men depending on the region of origin of the story.
In Norwegian tradition, similar tales may be told about the larger trolls and the Huldrefolk (\"hidden-folk\"), yet a distinction is made between the two. The use of the word trow in Orkney and Shetland, to mean beings which are very like the Huldrefolk in Norway, may suggest a common origin for the terms. The word troll may have been used by pagan Norse settlers in Orkney and Shetland as a collective term for supernatural beings who should be respected and avoided rather than worshipped. Troll could later have become specialized as a description of the larger, more menacing Jötunn-kind whereas Huldrefolk may have developed as the term for smaller trolls.
Troll, a Norwegian research station in Antarctica, is so named because of the rugged mountains which stand around that place like trolls. It includes a ground station which tracks satellites in polar orbit.
Trolls have appeared in many works of modern fiction, most often, in the fantasy genre, with classic examples being the portrayal of trolls in works such as in Tolkien's Middle-earth or the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.
The online troll is related to the trolls of legend and fiction, supernatural creatures that live in caves or other underground places. In such stories, trolls are monsters that are unfriendly to humans and sometimes kidnap them. The online sense of troll likens such people to monsters lurking and waiting for the chance to harass others.
Regeneration. The troll regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the troll takes acid or fire damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the troll's next turn. The troll dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn't regenerate.
Additionally, and this may be more opinion than anything, I would think that trolls are known for their ability to regenerate. It's basically their defining feature, is it not I don't see how people would know that they hunt by scent or attack with bites/claws without knowing that. I would swap the DC5 and DC15 items.
Yep... I thought about that when I originally posted. Suppose I'm an old fart and been playing the game since the blue box in 1980 - 1st, 2nd, 3rd - trolls had 3, not five. In 5th edition there's not much of a description which has been a bit of an annoyance in my opinion. I thought it might be beneficial to add the 3rd edition description for folks. I figure the 5th edition illustrator saw a troll under the bridge and ran away, therefore their depiction is a bit \"off\" in their interpretation of a troll. The model is by Wizkids and their new line of plastic models - they are fantastic by the way and relatively inexpensive at $4.99 for a large creature or two medium creatures. For more information on the model and my complete paintjob see my miniature painting blog.
Now, the thing I've been toying with in my games is that I think the knowledge should be progressively more difficult based upon something. Earlier editions had a frequency scale such as common, uncommon, rare, very rare, and mythical. You could adjust the DC accordingly. I've been using Challenge with the idea that the higher the challenge rating the less frequent the monster and not as much knowledge would be around (or correct knowledge). So the troll being a Challenge of 5, the DC's should actually be...
I like that you systematized it. But you should consider in game implications of requiring a DC 30 check for how a troll is killed. If players kept meta-knowledge out of the game they'd almost assuredly be unable to ever kill a troll. It also doesn't make any sense whatsoever for immersion reasons. If there was 1 thing people know is that they're brutal savage killer monsters, if there is a second thing it is that they regenerate, and the third is that fire stops that regeneration. Those ARE what the troll legends speak of. That should be their common myths. Locking that info behind trained and high level scholar's knowledge is weird and doesn't make sense in-game. Like, only a handful of wizards and history fanatics know how to kill them Why not the people who would actually encounter them Rangers, druids, barbarians maybe fighters. Those are the people who would have actual practical first hand experience fighting them. But they wouldn't know how to deal with them or even that they have regeneration
I would argue that it's more interesting when they don't know or that the legends and mythologies are slightly incorrect. There's a reason why we DM's have tried to keep the Monster Manual out of the player's hands for almost 50 years - or build homebrew monsters - or tweak monsters just a bit to throw in a surprise. It's more of an adventure when the troll pops back up and the players have to figure out what puts it down for good. Players are more excited when they learn their character's damage doubled because of a vulnerability and likewise intrigued when it's halved because of a resistance and as a DM I give them a picture of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of their attack. They write notes in their notepad and reference back to those notes when encountering the creature again. I want pre-knowledge earned to be difficult and an exciting die roll - of course a d20 roll would know all. 59ce067264