Alternian Troll (5e Race)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: This race seems overpowered compared to similar first-party races, and would benefit from having less powerful traits. For example, Psionic Capabilities allows for cherry picking any spellcasting combination to compliment any build, Diverse Masters allows a spellcaster to gain heavy armor proficiency and is far to overarching in its benefits, damage vulnerability, Chucklevoodoos is overly wordy and makes little sense but its implied benefit serves little to no purpose in a campaign not built around this race and is questionable in a campaign that is(as in the next trait), Royal Blood is basically conditional invulnerability, Amphibious should really grant a set swimming speed not 40-120. Overall almost every trait has some sort of issue with it and this page will require more work from a mechanical perspective to better compare and integrate with the first party content. Consult the 5e Race Design Guide for help and consider checking out some of the comparable Featured Articles.


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Trolls[edit]

Trolls are an insectoid based creatures that are extremely hostile towards other races at first, but one can learn to like them.

Physical Description[edit]

Trolls are grey-skinned, black-haired humanoids, sometimes having overbites or fang-like canine teeth poking over their dark lips. The only color on their bodies are their eyes, which have bright yellow-orange sclera and pupils that are grey in childhood but filled 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 (Think candy corn.) All Trolls have pointed, elf-like ears, save for violet- and fuchsia-blood trolls who have fin-like ears instead. A troll's horns can vary in size, shape, and placement on their heads. Some have sharp tips and stand upright, some are rounded at the tip, or can 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. Aside from these oddities, they could pass or even be mistaken for elves.

Trolls have eleven different blood colors that affect everything from lifespan to aggression level. These eleven blood colors function as the foundation of their caste system. The colors can be roughly grouped into three groups of four:

  • Lowbloods (Burgundy, Bronze, Yellow)

Short-lived (rust-bloods might live as little as 30-40 years), common, and with a tendency towards natural psionic powers, they are generally weaker than higher blood castes (often seen as mere "fodder").

  • Midbloods (Olive, Jade, Teal, Cerulean)

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. They are often of the "middle class" variety that are neither really scorned nor liked.

  • Highbloods( Indigo, Purple, Violet, Fuchsia)

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 fuchsia-bloods, who are sea dwellers and considered the ruling royal castes. They potentially live for millions of sweeps; Her Imperial Condescension is of fuchsia-blood, and only a very few fuchsia sea-dwellers that are born every generation or two.

At one point, there was another caste, lime-bloods, but they have since been exterminated from the gene pool due to imperial euthanasia. The chances of a lime-blood ever existing again are so low, "impossible" is the kindest way of putting it.

Personality[edit]

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, to name a few areas in which they take interest. There is a lot of focus on becoming a cog in the giant conquering war machine that is the Alternian 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" as some would say. A rust-blood's friends could be murdered by a cobalt-blood, or culled by the Empire for all number of reasons. Being edgy, defensive, and quick to violence is a survival skill in this culture where anyone and everyone could be waiting to kill you for any number of reasons. Even if one survives to adulthood, they will be thrown into endless battle after battle in service of the Empire, and only one's nearest and dearest are the only ones to be trusted. Trolls that are peaceful and generally non-violent are definite oddities, and actual pacifists don't tend to last. Additionally, the blood of higher-caste trolls can cause an escalating degree of violence, impulsivivity, and instability, if left unchecked and uncontrolled. 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.

Lands[edit]

Alternia, the troll's home planet, is relatively Earth-like which makes it suitable for living. What makes Alternia harsh is their red sun and location in relation to it. It is a cruel, blistering red sun that harms trolls to the point of blinding them if they look at it. This makes Trolls a relatively nocturnal race while on Alternia. While the trolls sleep, their lusii tend to keep watch over them from dangers. A troll's "hive" (the Alternian equivalent to a house or home) is often situated based on their caste, and their size is limited by their caste. Lowbloods live in cramped hives in one singular building akin to apartments or small hives in dangerous areas, midbloods have a decent-sized Hives up in trees or may live in natural caves, noblebloods and highbloods live in extravagant manors away from the "lower castes" like on mountains or plateaus. Royalbloods live in exquisite palaces either above or below the seas, or even both above and below; they can have their homes designed to their wishes. When not on Alternia, trolls aren't impeded by sunlight of other planets they conquer. It helps in establishing The Condesce's rule among her additions to the Alternia Empire by leaving her soldiers to enforce her will while she's absent.

Society[edit]

After The Summoner's Rebellion, all adult trolls have been banned from Alternia by The Condensce, leaving the young grubs to be raised by the natural wildlife of Alternia. Separated into castes by blood, Trolls are raised by a lusus of their own blood color, beginning a coexistence between a troll and their custodial lusus. As the troll ages, they must begin to help their custodian in any way the lusi needs and in return, the lusi protects their troll from the dangers of the day as well as providing their troll with what they want and need to fit into the Alternian war machine. However, during their time on Alternia, they are encouraged to do what they can to improve their abilities and get ahead of other trolls, from simple pranks to outright murder in the name of weeding out the weak. Once they come of age, trolls are immediately conscripted into the Alternian military based on their blood and the skills they've developed; often yellow-bloods are used as living batteries for their empire's intergalactic armadas as Helmsmen, teal-bloods can take up civil positions like as a Legislacerator, purple-bloods may become fearsome Subjuggalators, as examples. If they cannot be of help to the engine, they are killed without question.

Religion[edit]

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 a part of swearing for most trolls. Due to their need to focus on survival, many trolls do not even have burial rituals or practices. However, there are a few gods that are acknowledged; mostly, they're horrible eldritch monstrosities 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 sea-dweller is more likely to take them seriously, though, as is any troll who happens to be unfortunate enough to encounter them. The only one any troll takes time to actually care about is Gl'bgolyb, referred to as "The Rift's Carbuncle," "Emissary to the Horrorterrors," or in quieter circles, "Speaker of the Vast Glub." Cared for by fuchsia-bloods, this creature holds sway over all trolls because of her voice. If it's raised above a whisper, trolls would start dying with the psychically susceptible lower castes being first. The louder her voice, the higher the caste climbs. If the horrorterror raised her voice to a shout, every troll on the planet (other than fuchsia-bloods) would perish. Worst of all, if she were to ever get "really upset", she might release "The Vast Glub", a psychic shockwave that would exterminate every single troll in the galaxy, again except for all fuschia-bloods. This is why trolls of lower castes follow both Her Imperial Condescension and The Heiress, obeying any and all their commands without question.

Another more prominent religion is the one surrounding the Mother Grub, who is in many ways like a queen bee to the entire troll race. Her only purpose is reproduction, and she does it well, producing eggs in excess of what's needed to maintain the population-- much like an 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 of jade-blood, and there is, perhaps, no other living creature any troll would treat with more reverence; she is the 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 promised land. This is mostly practiced by purple-bloods, which gave way to the fearsome Subjuggalators that most purple-bloods join. Most trolls, including the extremely rare purple-bloods that don't worship the religion see this as weird, but don't really say anything for fear of the wrath that they can deliver.

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.

One such figure is The Sufferer, or The Signless, depending on if a Troll cares about his story. 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 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 matron, who abandoned her duties to the Mother Grub to raise The Sufferer. The Disciple, his lover who recorded his words and his story for future generations. The Psiioniic, a yellow-blood slave he freed and who respected and admired The Signless for granting him freedom. The Sufferer's sermons eventually drew the wrath of The Condesce down upon him a leading to his violent and painful public execution, but not before releasing The Vast Expletive. The Dolorosa was captured sold into slavery where she was eventually killed by Orphaner Dualscar, and The Psionic taken and enslaved as a living magical battery to power the Empress' personal flagship, The Battleship Condescension. Only The Disciple escaped due to E%ecutor Darkleer's refusal, where she lived as a hermit for the rest of her life, painting the story of her saintly lover on the walls of her caves and tending to The Sufferer's Righteous Leggings.

The final cult of note is one that worships The Handmaiden, a mystical and mythical troll of untold powers who appears as an implacable destructive force at points throughout history, stirring up trouble and shaping Alternia's history to what it is today. To the few who actually revere her sometimes wish for her help to destroy their enemies.

Trolls don't seem to care for the most part, but there's a theory in some circles that The Handmaiden is being guided by an outside force...

Troll Names[edit]

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. Both their first and last names are always six letters long. Sometimes the names they choose, or are given, tend to have some sort of symbolism attached to them. Troll names are rarely separated by gender, and thus most names are unisex.

Possible Names: Lokinu Vrayiz, Sefova Kaerth, Zecari Ciopke

Troll Traits[edit]

Tough insectoids made for establishing long-lasting empires.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1
Age. Age varies greatly based on blood caste, but the typical age of maturation is around 8 sweeps, translating roughly to 18 years.
Alignment. Trolls tend to have a Lawful alignment, but it is not uncommon for higher bloods to be Chaotic.
Size. Similar to humans; Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Superior Darkvision. Your darkvision has a radius of 120 feet.
Athletic Build. You have proficiency with the Athletics skill.
Troll Resilience. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 HP instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Languages. You know Common and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. Pick one from: Lowbloods, Midbloods, Noblebloods, Highbloods, or Royalbloods.

Lowbloods (Burgundy, Bronze, Yellow)[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence or Wisdom score increases by 1.
Psionic Capabilities. Lowbloods gain one 1st level spell of your choice from any spell list. You can cast this spell once with this trait and regain the ability when you finish a Long Rest. You may use either Wisdom, or Intelligence for your Spellcasting Ability for this spell.
Low Blood. You have a Vulnerability to psychic damage and have disadvantage on saving throws against being charmed.

Midbloods (Olive, Jade, Teal, Cerulean)[edit]

Ability Score Increase. One other ability score increases by 1.
Diverse Masters. You gain proficiency in any two areas. This includes skills, a specific weapon, or a type of tool/vehicle.

Noblebloods (Indigo)[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Higher Blood. You have Resistance to psychic damage, and have advantage against being charmed.

Highbloods (Purple)[edit]

Higher Blood. You have Resistance to psychic damage, and have advantage against being charmed.
Chucklevoodoos. As an action, you can exude an aura of anger and dread in a 30 foot sphere centered around you, with a duration of one hour. Creatures in that area must make a Wisdom saving Throw DC 8 + your Charisma modifier against being Frightened. In addition, you have advantage on Intimidation checks on affected trolls. They can repeat this save at the end of each of their turns. If they succeed on the saving throw, they are no longer Frightened by this effect and cannot be affected by this for another 24 hours.

Royalbloods (Violet, Fuchsia)[edit]

Amphibious. You can breathe in water as well as air, and your Swim Speed equals 20 feet multiplied by your proficiency bonus.
Royal Blood. You have Resistance to psychic damage and have advantage against being charmed.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Table: Troll Random Height and Weight
Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
5′ 4″ +2d8 65 lb. × (2d4+1) lb.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a troll character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use the table in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics. Trolls tend to be rather selfish, worrying about only themselves. It is not uncommon for a troll to only have two or three people they truly care about. Their selfish nature causes them to drift towards the alignments of lawful evil or of chaotic neutral. It is rare for good-aligned trolls to be raised, and they try to mask the fact they are kindhearted from others.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I speak with a strange accent or in a strange way, referred to as a quirk.
2 I assume that everyone has their own secret plans that may or may not conflict with mine.
3 I only respect Trolls of my blood caste and higher.
4 I fall in and out of quadrants easily.
5 I am easily pushed to prove how great I am.
6 I enjoy partaking in the occasional taboo activity, such as eating hallucinogens.
7 I have a story for every situation, all experiences from the brooding caverns or from growing up.
8 I enjoy crafting my own goods, I dislike buying pre-made goods.
d6 Ideal
1 Hemospectrum. Those above me are better than me, and those below me are inferior. (Lawful)
2 Strength. You are only as important as you are strong. If you are weaker, you deserve to be overthrown. (Chaotic)
3 Myself. All that matters is me, and it doesn't matter who has to suffer so that I come out on top. (Evil)
4 Aspiration. I am determined to make something of myself (Any)
5 People. I am loyal to my friends, not to any ideals, and everyone else can take a trip to hell for all I care. (Neutral)
6 Might. The strongest are meant to rule. (Evil)
d6 Bond
1 I pissed off the wrong Troll and I must work to ensure we never again cross paths.
2 A powerful person killed someone I loved. Someday soon, I will have my revenge.
3 Something important was taken from me, and I aim to steal it back.
4 Someone I loved died because of a mistake I made. That will never happen again.
5 I will do anything to prove myself superior to my hated rival.
6 My companions are the most important things in my life, even when they are far away from me.
d6 Flaw
1 I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
2 I am inflexible in my thinking.
3 Once I pick a goal, I become obsessed with it to the detriment of everything else in my life.
4 I am suspicious of strangers and expect the worst of them.
5 I can't resist a pretty face.
6 I have a "tell" that gives away when I am lying.
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