Alternian Troll (3.5e Race)
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Trolls are heavily shaped by the caste-based and spartan-like warrior culture they are raised in. That culture is highly varied-- where one troll might fixate on war games, treasure-gathering, piracy, and becoming the most brutal pirate queen to ever sail the seas, another might take up an interest in Troll law and legislature, while yet another might decide that his calling is to raise war mounts, or build war machines, or become a scholar of historical battle and generals, or become a caretaker for the freshly-hatched next generation of warriors, or....
There is a lot of focus on becoming a cog in the giant conquering war machine that is the Troll Empire, but there are places for a lot of very different cogs, and most trolls can find something that suits them. This doesn't stop a lot of trolls from being very bitter, however: if they even want to be part of the machine, the competition is cutthroat (often literally), the lower caste lowlifes are tromped upon by the upper caste slimeballs, one's friends could be murdered by enemies or culled by the Empire for all number of reasons, or...
Being edgy, defensive, and quick to violence is a survival skill in a culture where anyone and everyone could be waiting to kill one for any number of reasons, and where, even if one survives to adulthood, one will be thrown into endless battle after battle in service of the Empire, and only one's nearest and dearest are likely to be trusted. Trolls that are peaceful and generally non-violent are definite oddities, and actual pacifists are all but unknown.
Many trolls venture out into the wider world, for a variety of reasons. Some leave for only a while, seeking glory and power in adventuring, killing monsters, and gathering vast hordes of treasure, to return to the Empire when they feel they've proven and improved themselves; other flee to places where they are less likely to be culled indiscriminately for being of low caste or otherwise expendable to the Empire. Some go looking for dragons to take on in hand-to-hand combat because it has a lower mortality rate than being in the army.
Trolls are grey-skinned, black-haired, generally sharp-toothed humanoids, frequently with overbites or fang-like canine teeth poking over their dark lips. The only color on their bodies are their eyes, which have bright orange sclera and pupils that are grey in childhood but fill with the color of their blood as they mature, and their horns, which come in a wide array of shapes and shade from deep red at their roots to bright golden-orange tips.
Most trolls' horns have sharp tips and stand upright, though some are rounded at the tip, or curl in spirals, or project outwards over their shoulders; the larger and sharper the horns, the more imposing a troll appears, in general, and horns usually grow over the course of a lifetime-- an extremely long-lived troll could have horns nearly as tall as the rest of them.
Of important note is that trolls have about twelve blood colors, and corresponding social castes, and their physical & mental capabilities tend to correspond to those colors. The colors can be roughly grouped into three groups of four:
- Lowbloods (Rust (Dark Red), Brown, Yellow, and Lime (Yellow-green))
- Short-lived (rustbloods might live as little as thirty or forty years), common, and with a tendency towards natural psionic powers; correspondingly, they are generally weaker than higher blood castes. Limebloods have mostly been exterminated from the gene pool due to imperial euthanasia.
- Midbloods (Olive Green, Jade Green, Teal, and Cerulean Blue)
- Longer-lived, from a few centuries at the bottom end to a couple thousand years at the top. Psionic powers are less common, and somewhat less likely to effect trolls in the central castes, though they are hardly immune.
- Highbloods & Seadwellers (True Blue, Purple, Violet, Tyrian (or Magenta))
- Highblooded trolls are highly resistant to psionic attack, very strong, can live for several thousand years, and are very rare. Even more uncommon are the violet and tyrian-red seadwellers, which are considered the ruling, royal caste; Her Imperial Condescension is of Tyrian blood, and only one or two tyrian seadwellers are born every generation or two.
- Seadwellers are super freaking overpowered. Like wow. Like, a tyrian child can pull a freaking whale through the depths of the ocean without any apparent trouble, and jump several hundred feet from a swimming start. Wow! Seriously? That is so freaking overpowered. Canon, you are silly.
Extremely hostile towards other races at first, but can learn to like them.
While the Troll race as a whole tends towards the violent and temperamental, their individual beliefs and temperaments vary widely, and are heavily influenced by their individual upbringings, experiences, and interests (which are just as wide and varied as their personalities). A good-hearted nature is not unusual, even if Troll society tries to discourage it and emphasize a chaotic every-Troll-for-themselves bloodbath to reward the "strong" (brutal) and cull the "weak" (relatively kind).
This cultural discouragement of kindness means that Good trolls will probably either do their best to not appear good, taking on gruff personalities or loudly proclaiming their ruthlessness, or draw back to the edges of troll society where they are less likely to be targeted for being too nice.
On the other hand, extremely evil trolls are unlikely to be able to maintain a social circle that doesn't hate their guts, and may also draw fire for being too indiscriminately brutal, so most trolls will fall along neutral lines, by their own race's standards, out for themselves and their friends and maybe a little power to keep them from getting killed by anyone else.
In essence, Troll society encourages Always Chaotic Evil, but actual Trolls rarely end up that way because of diverse upbringing and personalities, and Actually Chaotic Evil trolls may succeed for a time, but will probably be eventually brought low by other trolls considering them too great a threat to live.
Varies greatly. Never bright or sunny.
Religion is a somewhat complicated, non-centralized aspect of troll life; actual worship of a god or gods is uncommon, and "god" as a concept is, for the most part, watered down to part of swearing for most trolls.
However, there are a few gods that are acknowledged; mostly, they're horrible eldritch from beyond the edges of comprehension, beings that are treated with respect but not worship, and treated as gods in a less theological way than in a "oh yeah those things could murder us all by grinding their many rows of incomprehensible teeth and making our heads explode" way. These creatures are of little interest to everyday trolls, except as a vague threat that's out there somewhere; the occasional scholar or rare seadweller is more likely to take them seriously, though, as is any troll who happens to be unfortunate enough to encounter them.
The most prominent and least-ridiculed religion is the one surrounding the Mother Grub, who is in some ways like a queen bee to the entire Troll race. Her only purpose is reproduction, and she does it damn well, producing eggs in excess of what's needed to maintain the population-- much like any insect that lays thousands of eggs at a time, but only expects a few handfuls to live long enough to do anything of note. She is attended upon in the Brooding Caverns, mostly by trolls in the Jade bloodecaste, and there is, perhaps, no other living creature any troll would treat with more reverence; she is mother to them all, after all, and without her they would not exist.
There is at least one cult that worships clowns, believing in Messianic bards that will someday come and lead all their followers to a miraculous promise land, but they're considered kind of weird, even by troll standards.
Other cults that have some prominence in Troll culture tend to center around historical figures that have risen to almost mythic regard, as leaders, rebels, or forces of destruction. First and central of these is the enormously powerful and gleefully vicious Empress, Her Imperial Condescension, who has as much power over her subjects as any god, and has lived longer than any other troll. She is a figure of beauty and savagery, and whether a troll loves or hates her, not one is neutral or ignorant of how much power her whims have over all trolls in her power.
Another mythic figure is the Sufferer, a pacifist and martyr who stirred the lower castes with his visions of a society where blood color had no place, and instead of being killed, the disadvantaged and weak would be cared for, for the benefit of all. He was of mutant blood, in a hue that didn't have a caste or symbol, and was basically Troll Jesus, with a party of beloved Apostles:
- The Dolorosa, the mourning mater, who abandoned her duties to the Mother Grub to raise the Sufferer.
- The Disciple, his first and his lover, who recorded his words and his story for future generations.
- The Psionic, a low-blooded slave he freed and who basically just hung around for a while being a cool dude.
The Sufferer's sermons eventually drew the wrath of the Empire down upon his head, leading to his violent and painful public execution. The Dolorosa was sold to slavery, and the Psionic taken as a living magical battery to power the Empress' machines; only the Disciple escaped, to live as a hermit for the rest of her life, painting the story of her saintly lover on the walls of her caves.
The final cult of note is one that worships the Demoness, a mystical and mythical troll of untold magical powers, who appears as an implacable destructive force at points throughout history. She is super freaking scary, so of course there are trolls who think she is the bee's knees and pray to her to destroy whatever they don't like.
Common, Trollian( Alternian Troll ). Can learn others very quickly, 2 languages/1 int modifier
Given temporary names at birth. Once they survive the brooding caverns, they can choose to keep or discard their name, coming up with one of their own.
- +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma. Trolls are drawn to fights, often suited for hand to hand combat. Some exceptions and variations exist.
- Humanoid( Troll )
- Medium. No bonuses or pentalties due to size.
- Alternian Troll base land speed is 30 feet.
- Enrage(Ex.) All trolls are capable of going into a blood frenzy when at or below half health. Frenzy gives a +2 to attack rolls, weapon dmg rolls, and attack bonus at the cost of -2 AC.
- Unbreakable will(Ex.) All trolls are completely and utterly bull headed and therefore resilient to physical attacks. This gives them a +2 to fort saves.
- Rust to Gold blooded trolls can learn advanced to lesser psionics, respectively. Player can choose what these psionics control to DM's discretion. Note that low blood psionics can only control physical aspects, whereas Cobalt or Purple have mental psionics. If they choose to, they get -2 Strength and +2 to Intelligence. Jade bloods can learn Vampirism, allowing them to drink blood of enemies or allies up to 5 times a day for 1d4 health. Cobalt and Purple bloods can learn command with a +1 and +2 modifier respectively on said ability. Fuschia bloods regain 1/2(1d6) health/day(minimum 1 health)
- Automatic Languages: Common, Trollian. Bonus Languages: Any.
- Favored Class: Fighter, Brawler, Tank.
- Level Adjustment: 1
|6 solar sweeps( 13 human years )||+1d6 +2 solar sweeps||+1d8 +2 solar sweeps||+1d10 +2 solar sweeps|
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|28 solar sweeps||58 solar sweeps||88 solar sweeps||+1000 solar sweeps|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||5' 9"||+1d8||70 lb.||× (1d4+1) lb.|
|Female||5' 4"||+1d8||60 lb.||× (1d4+1) lb.|