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D&D 5E How do you like my Cave Trolls (& Other Monsters) ?

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I am prepping an adventure with a ton of trolls (so many, in fact, that I am changing it from "all trolls" to trolls supported by ogres and some goblins), but to further change things up I wanted to introduce a couple of different trolls. I already did a "Giant Two-Headed Troll" (basically an ettin-troll mash-up) but I got a cool mini labeled "cave troll" and made up this stat block based on it. I am not sure about the CR (I don't really use CR except as a guide of how many XP to award - I eyeball difficulty). I was also planning to give it sunlight sensitivity since it emerged from The World Below, but forgot to add it to this version.

cave-troll-clr.jpg


Thoughts welcome.

Edit to add: I clearly imagine it with a rocky hide (thus the high natural AC and why I tweaked the loathsome limbs numbers to be slightly harder)
 

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Headbutt doesn't make sense to me. A reaction on the creatures turn in response to them attacking a target? Other creatures have an additional attack when they succeed with basic attacks, and I don't think this is how they do it is it? Or is the purpose of writing it this way mean that if they get a head butt they can not then do a stony back? I get the feeling you understand how you want this to work and it will be fine for you, but its confusing/hard for others to comprehend.

Quick grow... Does it matter? Do you use vorpal weapons in your campaign or detailed HP damage? RAW I don't see this mattering. What about some sort of healing surge (second wind) 3/day? The fluff to the surge could be to regrow a limb. (But why the head, that is... different).
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I am prepping an adventure with a ton of trolls (so many, in fact, that I am changing it from "all trolls" to trolls supported by ogres and some goblins), but to further change things up I wanted to introduce a couple of different trolls. I already did a "Giant Two-Headed Troll" (basically an ettin-troll mash-up) but I got a cool mini labeled "cave troll" and made up this stat block based on it. I am not sure about the CR (I don't really use CR except as a guide of how many XP to award - I eyeball difficulty). I was also planning to give it sunlight sensitivity since it emerged from The World Below, but forgot to add it to this version.

View attachment 149863

Thoughts welcome.

Edit to add: I clearly imagine it with a rocky hide (thus the high natural AC and why I tweaked the loathsome limbs numbers to be slightly harder)
(caveat: I'm still very new to 5e monster design, so apply salt as needed)

Given how you've narrated Headbutt, it might make more sense as a bonus action. It would be a trait, reading something like:

"Headbutt. When the cave troll successfully hits the same target with two claw attacks, it can make a headbutt attack against that target as a bonus action. It may smash its forehead...."

(I only mention this because I've been looking a lot at the Lion statblock last day or two; and you've framed this attack similarly to how a lion's Pounce trait works, as a follow-up to a successful normal attack.)
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Headbutt doesn't make sense to me. A reaction on the creatures turn in response to them attacking a target? Other creatures have an additional attack when they succeed with basic attacks, and I don't think this is how they do it is it? Or is the purpose of writing it this way mean that if they get a head butt they can not then do a stony back? I get the feeling you understand how you want this to work and it will be fine for you, but its confusing/hard for others to comprehend.

I see it as a version of the rending damage some claw/claw creatures could do in older editions. If they hit with both claws they do additional damage. I see it as the troll grabbing the target with its two successful claw attacks and then slamming its forehead into the target's head as it lets go.

And yeah, it is not that smart - so I imagine it does whichever it can first - so if you happen to do fire damage to it earlier in the round it uses stony back, but then can't do the headbutt and vice versa.

Quick grow... Does it matter? Do you use vorpal weapons in your campaign or detailed HP damage? RAW I don't see this mattering. What about some sort of healing surge (second wind) 3/day? The fluff to the surge could be to regrow a limb. (But why the head, that is... different).

I am using the loathsome limbs variant for trolls - so their limbs do come off.

I want these things to be weird - like the PCs chop off the head, cheer and a moment later a baby troll head pops out of the wound covered in goo and starts growing!
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
(caveat: I'm still very new to 5e monster design, so apply salt as needed)

Given how you've narrated Headbutt, it might make more sense as a bonus action. It would be a trait, reading something like:

"Headbutt. When the cave troll successfully hits the same target with two claw attacks, it can make a headbutt attack against that target as a bonus action. It may smash its forehead...."

(I only mention this because I've been looking a lot at the Lion statblock last day or two; and you've framed this attack similarly to how a lion's Pounce trait works, as a follow-up to a successful normal attack.)

Hmmm, that might be better. I gotta think about it. :unsure: Thanks! 🙏
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
Looks like "Quick Grow Limbs" goes with the "Loathsome Limbs" variant. May as well put them together, or at least put a note to explain that it's a second part of the optional variant.
 

Make sure there are geologic vents all over the place that emit flammable gasses, and some kind of mold/slime that clones itself when struck with acid. PCs will have to be very, very careful with their tactics.
 

Headbutt is listed under actions, but it is a bonus action. Either put it together with claws, or list it under traits as per usual 5e (or do bonus actions have their own section now a days?).
 

dave2008

Legend
(caveat: I'm still very new to 5e monster design, so apply salt as needed)

Given how you've narrated Headbutt, it might make more sense as a bonus action. It would be a trait, reading something like:

"Headbutt. When the cave troll successfully hits the same target with two claw attacks, it can make a headbutt attack against that target as a bonus action. It may smash its forehead...."

(I only mention this because I've been looking a lot at the Lion statblock last day or two; and you've framed this attack similarly to how a lion's Pounce trait works, as a follow-up to a successful normal attack.)
Is was my recommendation as well. I also like it as a bonus action as now the troll as to decide to regenerate a limb or use headbutt
 



el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Maybe I'll transform this thread into one where I just post the stat blocks of the monsters I am prepping.

Wyckwax the Goblin is an example of a monster that is not meant to be physical threat to the PCs (he is CR 1/2 they are Level 6) but an interesting NPC to potentially negotiate with who is the boss of several monsters (2 dozen more goblins, a handful of ogres, and a troll) that could be a real threat. He is leading a splinter group away from the rule of Eydral the Troll Chieftess, so the party letting him and those loyal to him get away (or maybe even join the fight!) could make the fighting easier - but then again, he may show up later even more of a threat.

Note: there is a mistake in the stat block below - he should have 4d6 HD.
Wyckwax.jpg
 

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