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The Trouble With Trolls

On the weekend my D&D group encountered 4E trolls for the first time, and it was an ugly experience. At first glance I was impressed with how Wizards adapted the classic troll regeneration to 4E - taking fire damage would "shut off" a troll's regeneration until the end of its next turn. Made sense.

However, we ran into some interesting problems during the fight. First of all, it was absurdly easy for the party to shut off a troll's regeneration, and this was without an actual fire-using character (monk, barbarian, sorcerer, swordmage, fighter, cleric). A simple low-level alchemist's fire did the job, with 100% success rate. Since even the cheapest alchemist's fire still does fire damage on a miss, the person using it didn't even have to hit the troll, just chuck it around and lightly singe it.

Ironically, this made the troll minions (Troll Runts, level 12 minions) almost impossible to kill, since minions take no damage on a miss. They dropped the minions to 0 hp dozens of times, but kept missing with the measly +4 bonus to hit from the alchemist's fires. Eventually they just ignored the runts (which is hard to do when they were dealing 10 dmg per hit) and took down all the "real" trolls, at which point I had the minions flee - a clumsy solution at best.

For a party without a fire-user, alchemist's fires really are the only solution to trolls. But using/relying on them makes regular trolls a joke, and minion trolls virtually invincible. Neither feels right.


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