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D&D 3E
Trolls!! 
16th-Jul-2004 01:34 pm
Void
Can you kill a troll without using fire or acid?
Comments 
16th-Jul-2004 10:49 am (UTC)
You could use disintegrate or any other spell which causes instant death, or you could render it unconsciousand use a wish or miracle to keep it dead, a la the Tarrasque.

But honestly, how hard is it to render it unconscious with whatever weapons and spells you want and then fire up a torch and finish him off with that?
16th-Jul-2004 10:51 am (UTC)
The group I'm in seems to think it cant be done unless you have fire or acid, but I argue different. I tell them knock them down then light them up.
16th-Jul-2004 11:02 am (UTC)
Knock them down and light them up is certainly the best way.

If you can't talk your group into doing it that way, then the cheapest way would be to use a torch (for everybody who fights melee) as an improvised melee weapon. Buying up oil or alchemists fire or acid to throw at it is a bad way of going about it, since you could well run out and be stuck with a not-dead-yet troll.
16th-Jul-2004 11:10 am (UTC)
Anonymous
An eraser in the HP box could work...
16th-Jul-2004 11:10 am (UTC)
har har har...
16th-Jul-2004 11:18 am (UTC)
you could also type /ignore
16th-Jul-2004 11:11 am (UTC)
Deal enough subdual damage to knock it unconcious then coup de gra it by chopping its head off

no fire needed.

Its just harder to do it that way because of its healing/regen.

16th-Jul-2004 11:23 am (UTC)
That won't work. Trolls will regen even from decapitation. The death blow, if you're trying to kill it with physical damage, must be "real" damage, which means it must be a form of damage the troll cannot regenerate.

All the damage used to knock it out can be nonlethal, though.

Also, trolls can be slain through drowning or poison, since regeneration doesn't affect such forms of damage.
16th-Jul-2004 11:25 am (UTC)
woah, thats news to me.
I need to double check the entry in the MM then.
16th-Jul-2004 12:14 pm (UTC)
"If a Troll loses a limb or body part, the lost portion regrows in 3D6 minutes. The creature can reattach the severed member instantly by holding it to the stump"
16th-Jul-2004 12:20 pm (UTC)
Oh and the coup de grace only works with a fire or acid attack(p10 MM)
16th-Jul-2004 12:24 pm (UTC)
thanks for clarifying me. ;-D

16th-Jul-2004 12:26 pm (UTC)
I've only checked 3rd ed, 3.5 may differ.
17th-Jul-2004 02:55 pm (UTC)
It doesn't.
16th-Jul-2004 11:24 am (UTC)
Doesn't the largest chunk just grow a new head?

Lock them in a box until they die of old age, or suffocate them. Neither of these does damage.
16th-Jul-2004 11:37 am (UTC)
IIRC, you can kill them with a bag of holding, since there is no air inside, and they can suffocate.

I'm fairly sure there are quite a few other ways to kill trolls, but I'd have to ask our resident expert, and he's not around right now.
16th-Jul-2004 12:05 pm (UTC) - Yes
Death attacks.

coup-de-grace with fire or acid

suffocation

special anti-regeneration magic

accellerate it through time so it dies of old age.

poison (get its CON to 0, and it's dead.)


And, though you'd have to check the rules, I'd say the death-from-massive-damage rule should apply.
16th-Jul-2004 01:41 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
Only if the massive damage comes from fire or acid. Otherwise, it's nonlethal damage, and the death-from-massive-damage rule doesn't apply to nonlethal damage.
16th-Jul-2004 02:45 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
Only if the massive damage comes from fire or acid. Otherwise, it's nonlethal damage, and the death-from-massive-damage rule doesn't apply to nonlethal damage.

"It should, or a variant should be made."

I.e., if I set a petrified, gargantuan mountain on a troll, or drop a troll from fifty miles up in an outer plane, the troll should have at least a chance of dying.

16th-Jul-2004 03:00 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
Well, sure, if you're in a position to drop a mountain on someone. :-)

I'm a big believer in the notion that logic should (almost) always trump rules, so if you can really do something like that, where there's a chance of the troll just being completely obliterated, than yes, I agree that the troll might be killed.

That said, the circumstances under which that would be possible are so rare as to, IMO, not require any sort of change in the rules. Just a DM capable of saying "All right, common sense dictates that X happens."
16th-Jul-2004 03:10 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
While I agree with common sense being a necessary check on the absurdities of rules, it's just plain bad rule design to force the GM to adjudicate such obvious holes.

We're not talking about "what could the One Ring really do" here or "does a 1 hp wound hurt a 20th level fighter." We're discussing a special ability that doesn't have a proper cap attributed to it--How small does a mountain have to be to kill a troll? How high up do I have to dimension door that rat fink before he splats and doesn't get up again?

For the record, IMO a simple rule like "damage to a regenerating creature who is rendered unconcious through non-lethal damage counts as lethal damage" would do it. Makes the ability still hard to beat, while still letting a dozen 10th level dwarves with axes tear a troll into a fine geen paste that won't grow back.
16th-Jul-2004 03:35 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
I don't think it's fair to call that bad rule design, though, because it's not necessarily an obvious hole. It's only "obvious" if come at the troll from a different initial theory than the game designers did. Observe:

Theory: Trolls can only be killed by physical damage if it's dealt with fire or acid.

Result: No other physical damage can permanently keep the troll down.

There doesn't need to be a cap on regeneration, because it perfectly fits the bill of what the designers wanted. Only if one disagrees with what the designers wanted--if one believes that enough physical damage of other sorts should kill the troll--does the "hole" appear.

Now, that may very well be a reasonable approach to take. I'm certainly not claiming the designers are flawless, by any stretch of the imagination. My point, though, is that it's not bad design to create a rules system that fails to account for something, if the original design theory was intended to omit that particular something.
16th-Jul-2004 06:46 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
I don't think it's fair to call that bad rule design, though, because it's not necessarily an obvious hole. It's only "obvious" if come at the troll from a different initial theory than the game designers did. Observe:

Theory: Trolls


Stop.

D&D 3rd edition was not designed on a monster-by-monster, ability-by-ability basis. It was designed on a templated, methodical basis. Regeneration isn't a troll-only ability, it's an ability that's rather widespread throughout the compendium. And aside from the vulnerability, it always works the same.

It is bad game design, because the designers either made trolls the predominate giantoid race and failed to account for that, or they made them (and every other creature with Regeneration) much more powerful than they intended to.

Of course, it's not exactly a unique instance of game design. The whole monster manual is rife with atrocious design if you want to use their creatures in any manner other than as one-shot adversaries. (Which, given the thirty-year history of expansion and customization for D&D, was inevitable). It's actually rather annoying that the 2nd edition monsters had MORE deapth to them than most 3rd edition monsters.
16th-Jul-2004 07:51 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
I was using the trolls as an example. Believe me, I'm perfectly well aware that the monsters were created on a methodical basis. I've created enough monsters for various D20 companies to be familiar with the process.

I don't believe they did make the regenerating monsters more tough than they meant to. They made them exactly as tough as they meant to--which is, very difficult to kill without the proper knowledge. The fact that the system allows very few ways around those specific requirements is, IMO, not a bad thing at all. There should be monsters that require more effort to kill than just hacking away at them.

Again, if you feel regeneration is too tough as is, that's certainly a valid viewpoint to come from. But let's not pretend it's a flaw in the system, when it's simply a difference of opinion between how tough you feel a regenerating critter should be, versus how tough the designers felt it should be.
16th-Jul-2004 09:13 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
There should be monsters that require more effort to kill than just hacking away at them.

But monsters that are impossible to kill without the right key? And not undead or cursed or especially supernatural creations, but rather living, breathing, reproducing giants?

I'm not pretending it's a flaw in the system. I'm calling it a flaw in the system. Regeneration isn't "too tough." It's incomplete.

17th-Jul-2004 11:05 am (UTC) - Re: Yes
I see no problem with having monsters that require a "specific key" to kill. First, fire's not that hard to come by, and second, if you're dealing with a creature with a more obscure form of regeneraiton, well, maybe the party is forced to retreate and go research or otherwise learn about the monster they were facing. I find that sort of thing adds to the game, if done right.

And I see no problem with trolls being among the regenerating creatures, as opposed to limiting the ability to the undead or cursed beings. We've already got giants (and other "living, breathing, reproducing" creatures) in the game with innate magic (storm giants can cast innate spells, fire giants are immune to fire, etc.), so regeneration isn't a stretch. To say nothing of the fact that there's precedent for relatively "non-magical" creatures in myth having the ability to regenerate (such as the hydra).

As I said, it all goes back to intent. If one disagrees with the creators' intent--which you obviously do--then sure, there's a problem with regeneration. But the ability, as it seems to be intended, is neither flawed nor incomplete.

Clearly, you and I are coming from two very different standpoints on what the regeneration is/should be. Since we've reached the point of arguing opinions as opposed to facts, I'm not sure we're going to accomplish anything else by keeping this going.
16th-Jul-2004 07:24 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes
I agree with this, reminds me of the System Shock save from 2nd ed. the logic behind death-from-massive-damage is not just the sheer number of HP reduced, but the shock to the victim's nervous system, etc. from having taken so much damage in a single instant. Basically the thing has a heart attack and dies. Regeneration doesn't fix that.
16th-Jul-2004 03:23 pm (UTC)
Due to the newer rules (3rd edition and later), you can indeed kill a troll by bringing its actual HP total down to -10. Once you deplete subdual damage everything is actual damage.

Just look at regeneration in the DMG or the Monster Manual.
16th-Jul-2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
Actually, regeneration is an exception to that rule, though it certainly wouldn't be a bad house rule to implement.

Note that it specifically says, under regeneration, that the coup de grace cannot be of an attack that automatically converts to nonlethal damage.
17th-Jul-2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
According to page 10 of the Monster Manual (and the 3.5 edition agrees):

"A regenerating creature that has been rendered unconscious through subdual damage can be killed with a coup de grace (see Helpless Defenders, page 133 in the Player's Handbook). The attack cannot be of a type that automatically converts to subdual damage."

I think this is where I am becoming confused. The coup de grace attack has to have fire or acid in this case. However...

"Attack forms that don't deal hit point damage (for example most poisons and disintigration) ignore regeneration. Regeneration also does not recover hit points ost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation."

So pummel them into unconsciousness and drown them.
17th-Jul-2004 02:43 pm (UTC)
Yep, drowning would work. :-)
17th-Jul-2004 02:44 pm (UTC)
Or stuff your underwear in their mouths and close their noses. :P
16th-Jul-2004 04:43 pm (UTC)
Subdual doesn't bring the HPs down though, so you wouldn't be bringing it's HPs down to -10 ever, and there's theoretically no upper limit to the subdual from what I can tell....hmmm maybe one doesn't need to kill it, just leave it in a regenerating puddle forever:)
16th-Jul-2004 04:45 pm (UTC)
Looks like the best way would be beat the damn thing unconscious, then dump it on a bonfire.
16th-Jul-2004 04:57 pm (UTC)
Eat them, then let your stomach acids go to work.
17th-Jul-2004 02:57 am (UTC)
works great in nethack, but... stomach acid is still acid and he was looking for other methods... :)
17th-Jul-2004 03:43 am (UTC)
Good point, well made.
17th-Jul-2004 02:59 pm (UTC)
Well, your group can always just on save or die spells that deal no damage. The trick to optional methods of slaying a regenerating creature is stay away from the obvioius damage-dealing routes and instead stick to a way that can kill a creature through an avenue apart from damage (ie. suffocation, power word, kill).
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