Trolls are a staple of fantasy adventures, often used when the player characters have advanced to the point where goblins, orcs, and even bugbears pose little threat to the adventurers. Trolls are poised right at the boundary between goblinoids and giants. While technically classified as giants, they are unquestionably the smallest of such creatures yet, standing some nine feet, tall they easily tower over even the greatest of bugbears. Furthermore, the troll's distinctive regenerative abilities make them memorable foes and a much greater challenge than a mere 9-foot goblin.
Trolls are often first encountered singly or in pairs, often as powerful, brutish strong-arms for a group of the lesser goblinoids. Games Masters often throw a troll into the mix to toughen up an encounter with a band of orcs or hobgoblins, with little thought as to the reasons for such a relationship between the species. However, as will become evident as we explore troll culture, such mixed-race encounters are not only plausible but also even quite commonplace.
The knowledge that follows has been compiled over the ages by those adventurers and scholars lucky enough to have encountered trolls and live to tell the tale. Games Masters will learn many behind-the-scenes details about troll culture enabling them to make memorable encounters with this race for their players, while the players themselves may learn a fact or two that could possibly save the lives of their characters.