Pygmy Troll

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Essentially got bored, looked through the MM, and noticed that War Trolls were bred to be what they are. So I figured why not make a race of trolls that are the "failures" of that breeding program? I'm trying to err on the side of caution; I know the racial power is strong, even if you shouldn't be using it every encounter, so I only gave them one other solid racial ability. I'm still worried it's a bit OP, though. The fluff is pretty generic, and I haven't even decided whether to use it in my home campaign, so that's about as important to me as mountain goats are to lantern fish.

Pygmy Troll

Hardy survivalists, making their own place in the world.

Racial Traits

Average Height: 6'1"-6'7"
Average Weight: 250-320 lbs.
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Ability Scores: Constitution +2; Strength or Wisdom +2
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal
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Languages: Common, Giant
Skill Bonus(es): Athletics +2, Endurance +2

Troll Healing
Pygmy Troll Racial Power
All trolls are notoriously hard to put down for the count, even though you're smaller than most.
Encounter ✦ Healing
Minor Action
Personal
Requirement: You must be bloodied to use this power.
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, you gain regeneration 2 while you are bloodied. If you begin your turn with 0 or fewer hit points, you may choose to end the regeneration. When you end the regeneration in this manner, you spend a healing surge to regain hit points equal to your healing surge value plus the regeneration value.
Level 11: Regeneration 4.
Level 21: Regeneration 6.
Special: If you have taken fire or acid damage (other than ongoing damage) since the start of your last turn, the regeneration does not function at the start of your next turn.


Troll Resilience: You gain a +5 racial bonus to saves versus effects that cause or include ongoing damage.

Quickness of the Hunted:If you chose to increase your Strength with the racial ability score bonus, you gain a +1 racial bonus to your Reflex defense.


The shorter cousins to the war trolls, pygmy trolls are far less vicious than their kin. With more cause to value their hides, the pygmy trolls have taken up an unusual habit: civilization. Owing much of their survival to an unnamed hero, the pygmy trolls are generally content to raise their animals in peace, but increased trade with other races has made them curious about the outside world.

Play a pygmy troll if you want...

    To be tough, powerful, and intuitive.
    To be a lynchpin in a budding civilization.
    To be a member of a race favoring the Barbarian, Invoker, and Warden classes.



Physical Qualities:

Pygmy trolls are tall compared to most other humanoids, and they tend to be very heavy for their height, and typically have very muscular builds. They have a mottled green and yellow skin and very dark hair, and eyes that range from dark blues or greens to bright yellows and warm browns. Their large noses very hook sharply downward, and their teeth are very sharp.

Pygmy trolls favor simple clothing of leather or fur, and they also appreciate a good wide-brimmed hat or cloak to avoid spooking passersby. When traveling, they often adopt belts with leather pouches attached as well as a walking stick, the latter an affectation to put other travelers at ease.

Playing a Pygmy Troll:

When the War Trolls were bred for cunning and viciousness by reckless warlords, not every pairing furthered the goals they sought. Some trolls were smaller, born with metabolisms that kept their growth and recuperative powers stunted. These seemingly utter failures had no place in the armies being raised, and the order was given to purge them. Though many were killed, enough of these pygmy trolls fled into the hinterlands to attempt survival on their own.

Their luck was scarcely better in the wild, where their unreliable regeneration made many humanoids and beasts too dangerous to prey upon. Their hunting marches were rarely effective, and a good number were lost before they began using weapons. Mimicking the humanoids who had driven them off, they made primitive spears, javelins, and clubs. They stayed close together, still fearing the dangers of the march, though their hunting parties were forced to range further and further afield as game became more wary of the troll villages.

Then chance finally seemed to favor the trolls when a hunting party came upon a large bear. As it roared at them and reared, two arrows to the throat brought the beast down, and a ranger climbed down from a tree. The trolls poised to flee, but she put down her weapon and gestured them over. The trolls knew little of language, but both sides were patient. The trolls had been nearing a settlement that the bear had been terrorizing. The illness of the bear made it inedible, but the ranger brought the trolls to the settlement. After many confused and fearful looks from both sides, the ranger accompanied the trolls back to their village with several cattle, goats, and some grain. In the month that followed, the trolls learned the basics of animal husbandry. While they have yet to excel at it, what they have learned has spread like wildfire among their villages, and they've begun tentative bartering with nearby settlements, exchanging labor for animals and goods that they haven't learned to make for themselves.


Race Characteristics: Broad, stout, secretive, curious, clever, wild.

Male Names: Abjorn, Anki, Bramr, Eyvindr, Gegnir, Hakor, Ivarr, Sindri, Yngvarr

Female Names: Botey, Dagny, Esja, Gjaflaug, Jodis, Luta, Nauma, Ranka, Svana

(Credit for the names goes to www.VikingAnswerLady.com. I love using Old Norse for Giant-language names.)

Pygmy Troll Adventurers

Jodis is a pygmy troll ranger following in the footsteps of that nameless hero to her people. She wields her bow in defense of settlements along the edge of civilization. She revels in the challenge to win acceptance for herself and her people by going up against danger time and again on behalf of those who fear her. Always taking no more payment than food, shelter, or what equipment she can't make for herself, she hopes someday that people will tell tales of her to their children.   

Bramr is a pygmy troll barbarian seeking vengeance on the war trolls who so casually accepted the order to exterminate their pygmy cousins. Rather than attacking them indiscriminately, he takes special care to allow them a chance to apologize for their ancestors. Should they refuse, they feel the full force of his rage and cunning as he unveils his arsenal of magic and alchemical weapons specially chosen to put trolls down permanently.

Yngvarr is a pygmy troll cleric of Erathis trying to prevent his people from backsliding into barbarism. Many villages find that some of their elders become ghouls upon death from the years of lean hunting, and when Yngvarr's grandfather rose as one, he vowed to put them down and prevent that horror from plaguing his people. He travels to teach them useful sciences, laws, and traditions, and makes a habit of hunting the undead.

Pygmy Troll Feats

Acquired Immunity
Pygmy Troll Racial Feat
Tier: Heroic
Description: The first time you make an Endurance check against a disease and do not improve, you gain a +2 bonus to Endurance checks against that disease.
In addition, if you are still alive once you have reached the Final Stage of a disease, you continue to make daily Endurance checks to attempt to recover on your own.

Vigorous Regeneration
Pygmy Troll Racial Feat
Tier: Heroic
Prerequisite: Troll healing racial power, Constitution 17
Description: The regeneration from your troll healing is now equal to your Constitution modifier. This increases to your Con modifier + 2 at level 11, and to your Con modifier + 4 at level 21.

Regenerative Evolution
Pygmy Troll Racial Feat
Tier: Paragon
Prerequisite: 11th level, troll healing racial power
Description: The regeneration from your troll healing power is no longer affected by fire or acid damage.
That's actually really well balanced, and the best troll race I've seen so far.
Vigorous Regeneration becomes really disgusting at Epic when combined with Rapid Regeneration (CON mod+ CON mod+ 10). Removing the +2 and +4 bonus to for the feat will still make it worth taking.  

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

The Con mod isn't a bonus from the feat, it becomes the new value. It's Con/Con+2/Con+4, not 2+Con/4+Con+2/6+Con+4. That's why it requires a Con 17, so that you can't take it until it will actually increase your regeneration. It would only be 2xCon+4 with Rapid Regeneration. I should probably try to word that better.
Ability Scores: Constitution +2; Strength or Wisdom +2

This racial ability score bonus setup you have here runs into one of the little problems that has come with all races having flexible ability score bonuses, and that is the problem of defenses. Recall that it used to be the norm that races with both of their racial ability score bonuses going towards ability scores that would normally go towards the same defense (Eladrin DEX / INT both go towards Reflex, Goliath STR / CON both go towards Fortitude, etc.) got a racial defense bonus in order to compensate for their otherwise being behind on defenses compared to other races. This was a good practice, and there's no reason why it can't still be introduced to races with flexible ability score bonuses in order to keep one option from generally outshining the other. To that end, I recommend that you add a conditional racial feature that grants either a Reflex or a Will defense bonus to characters of this race that decide to select the STR bonus as opposed to the WIS bonus.

Troll Healing
Pygmy Troll Racial Power
All trolls are notoriously hard to put down for the count, even though you're smaller than most.
Encounter ✦ Healing
No Action
Personal
Trigger: You begin your turn with 0 or fewer hit points.
Effect: You spend a healing surge and gain regeneration 2 until the end of the encounter.
Level 11: Regeneration 4.
Level 21: Regeneration 6.
Special: If you have taken fire or acid damage since the start of your last turn, the regeneration does not function at the start of your next turn.

Racial encounter powers that are triggered when a character dies or is dying do look good are paper and are fine in theory, but they just don't pan out in practice. Remember, the purpose of a racial encounter power is for characters to have something to do that is attributable to their race in most if not all encounters. I've personally experimented with a mechanically similar racial power for one of my own homebrew races, and I can tell you that this racial power won't be able to fulfill that purpose because characters just don't go under all that often. On a very bad day, a character might go under twice or so, but on most days, a character won't go under at all.

My recommendation here would be to create a new racial encounter power with an effect that can be applicable during a greater number of encounter. As part of the power's effect, you could then add a "Special" line or something specifying that, in the event that the character does fall under 0 HP, the power can allow the character to spend a healing surge (either instead of or in addition to its typical effects) and can be used as no action instead of whatever action it was.

Troll Resilience: You gain a +5 racial bonus to saves versus ongoing damage.

This is a common mistake, one so common that the designers themselves have even made it on a couple of occasions, but characters do not make saving throws versus ongoing damage. Characters make saving throws against effects that cause or include ongoing damage.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I added a bonus to the Reflex defense, as recommended. I also rewrote the racial power, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. It's still very strong, starting when you become bloodied, but now you sacrifice your regeneration to spend the healing surge. It fits a little better with the fluff as well. And I fixed the wording for the save bonus.  I really appreciate the feedback.
And now the regen is too strong. You'll get to trigger it most every encounter, and it heals tough PCs up extremely quickly. With it a pygmy-troll with 17 CON will never have to spend more than 1 surge per fight. I suggest making the regen only function while bloodied.

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

Good point. I misremembered how the Longtooth Shifting power worked, and the regeneration was based on that. Should be fixed now.
Quickness of the Hunted: You gain a +1 racial bonus to your Reflex defense.

You seem to have misunderstood my suggestions. I was not suggesting that you simply add in a racial defense bonus; that does not solve the problem that I described. Instead, what I was suggesting is that you add in a conditional defense bonus that is only gained if a character selects a specific ability score bonus. In other words, this feature should look like this:
Quickness of the Hunted: If you selected to gain a racial bonus to STR instead of WIS, then you gain a +1 racial bonus to your Reflex defense.

This equalizes the options such that, no matter which ability score is selected, the race effectively grants the same amount of defense. Simply adding a racial defense bonus the way that you did does not; it still leaves WIS the superior option.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Ahh, I had misread. I blame the Illuminati. It's always their fault. Fixed now.
Great job so far, looking pretty good. One thought on Troll Resilience though: I'd specifically exclude fire and acid ongoing damage. I'd also add Acquired Immunity as a racial feature.

While I understand the troll's regeneration is a hallmark feature, I don't think the other feats are really needed. I'd perhaps just allow Troll Healing to stack with other regeneration effects. There are already several powers that grant CON regeneration, and allowing for a regen CON*2 may be a bit OP, especially for the con classes that can readily get DR or THPs (BMs, BRVs and Hellocks).

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Fair point about the ongoing damage. I personally prefer AI as a feat, but I'm not sure it would actually cause any problems being a racial featue either.

Allowing the racial power to stack with other regeneration can be equally problematic, I think, for those classes who do not focus on Con. An epic character with Con 14 could take Rapid Regeneration with Regenerative Evolution and increase *all* of his regeneration powers by 8 while bloodied (10 if you count the increase from RR for the first regeneration power). Since Pygmy Trolls get a bonus to Con, this would include every character who does not specifically dump Con. That's flat-out too good. The other feats aren't really necessary, but that's usually one of my design goals: if a specific addition is necessary, the addition is too good or the base is too bad. They're nice for builds that want them, but not required for anything, so I rather count that as a success.
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