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Midgard Monday: Trollkin Lineage and Heritage of Midgard

Midgard Monday: Trollkin Lineage and Heritage of Midgard

It’s Midgard Monday! Each week, we visit a corner of the wide world of Midgard. Look for standalone content you can drop into your campaign—whether it’s in Midgard or your own homebrew. Find new inspiration each Midgard Monday!

As we continue our tour of Midgard lineages for Tales of the Valiant RPG (on sale now!), we visit a lesser known people of the setting, trollkin. This installment of the series also includes a heritage and a background that trollkin characters (or any character!) might use.

In 2024, we are trying out some new things for Midgard Mondays! For the past few weeks, our articles focused on running Midgard campaigns. In the weeks coming up, we’ll focus on Midgard monsters. Let us know in the comments and on social media what you think of the new ideas!


In ancient times, ogres, trolls, and fey would sometimes take humans as mates. The children of these unlikely unions are known as trollkin, lanky and brutish humanoids who bear the otherworldly (and sometimes monstrous) traits of their inhuman ancestors.

Trollkin skin tones range from green to brown, giving them a superficial similarity to orcs and hobgoblins. What sets them apart is how their inhuman ancestry manifests. Some bear their ancestry across their entire body, limbs elongated with talon-tipped fingers and toes. Others are more subtle, such as uniquely shaped facial features or a strange texture on the skin.

As a result of their ancestry and appearance, trollkin are often met with skepticism and sometimes fear. This reputation leads trollkin to form close-knit communities, preferring isolation from larger civilization. In the wilds outside of urban life, trollkin live in tribes, hunting and raiding to survive. These trollkin often venerate their ancestors with tattoos. Some even brand their flesh to show their dedication, since only fire or acid can scar their bodies.

In Midgard, trollkin gather in Trollheim within crude halls, adopting the customs of the Northlands. These tribes establish themselves as ruthless marauders and mercenaries who conduct raids on the Northland’s isolated farmsteads. Trollkin raiding parties mar the Northlands as they attempt to secure land and resources to make a home for themselves and their kin in defiance of their neighbors.


Your trollkin character has certain hereditary traits dictated by their lineage.

Age. Trollkin reach adulthood by the age of 15, living up to 60 years.

Size. Your size is Medium. Trollkin have a wide range of physicality depending on their inhuman ancestors. Typically, trollkin stand well over 6 feet tall and are sturdier than humans, weighing around 200 pounds.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Natural Weapons. You have large fangs, stout hooves, or sharp claws instead of fingernails and toenails, that serves as a natural weapon. Work with your GM to determine what type of natural weapon you possess and decide whether it does bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. You can use your natural weapon to make unarmed strikes. When you hit with it, you deal 1d4 + STR or DEX modifier damage (choose which during character creation) of your chosen type, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed attack.

Inhuman Regeneration. You take advantage of the regenerative power in your blood to quickly recover from wounds. As a bonus action, you can expend a number of hit dice equal to your PB to regain hit points as if you finished a short rest. You may do this once until you finish a long rest. If you take acid or fire damage, you lose access to this ability until you finish a short or long rest.

Natural Adaptation. You manifest different traits depending on your inhuman ancestor. Select one of the following at character creation.

                Ogre. Your body is powerfully built and imposing. You have advantage on ability checks and saving throws made to initiate and escape grapples.

                Troll. You are about as large as Medium size gets, but not quite Large. You have the Giant attribute of resistant to the stunned condition.

                Fey. Your features are beguiling and strange. When you make an ability check that uses CHA, you may roll a d6 and add it to the total. Once you use this feature, you must complete a short or long rest before doing so again.

Tribe Keeper Heritage

Characters of this heritage have been raised in isolated, close-knit communities. To a tribe keeper, the people in their tribe are the most important people in their lives. The bonds you have with your people are adamantine.

Because these tribes are often found far removed from civilization, your people rely wholly on each other to survive and thrive. Tribe keepers take pride in protecting their members, and they are suspicious of strangers and outsiders. Learning who to welcome and who to shun is just as important to the safety of your tribe as the food you gather. Trust is not something your people give to newcomers lightly, but it is a powerful thing once given.

Truly great need must arise for a tribe keeper to leave their home, but even on the road away from their family, they never feel far from their tribe. Most tribe keepers will carry tokens or gifts from their tribe as a reminder of their home and that they will always have a place to return.

In Midgard, tribe keepers are often found among the residents of the Rothenian Plains. They can also be found among the nomadic tribes in the wastes around Nuria Natal and Ishadia, as well as among the trollkin and skraelings eking out an existence in the fierce Northlands tundra.

Defend Your Own. When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 10 feet of you, you can use your reaction to move up to 5 feet toward the attacking creature. If you end your movement adjacent to the attacking creature, you impose disadvantage on the attack roll. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

Wary Nature. You have proficiency in the Insight skill. Whenever you make an Insight check to determine whether a creature is trustworthy, you can treat any d20 die roll of a 7 or lower as though you rolled an 8.

Languages. You know Common and one additional language of your choice. Typical tribe keeper heritage characters choose a language native to their tribe.

Venerator Background

Before you became an adventurer, you trained to honor those who came before, whether they be ancestors, guardian spirits, or honored champions. You have spent time recounting the deeds and wisdom of those you venerate.

Perhaps you were a later scion of an important family line, an apprentice to a shaman or spirit-talker, or a central figure to your people, reminding them of what they aspire to. In any case, you model yourself after someone or something tremendous.

In Midgard, venerators can be found in any culture that holds those who came before in high regard. The dwarves of the Ironcrags value their clan second only to the canton in which they live, honoring the dwarves who came before. They can also be found among the lesser noble houses dotting the Grand Duchy of Dornig, each with ancestral names and legacies to uphold.

Skill Proficiencies: Choose two fromHistory, Insight, Performance, or Religion.

Additional Proficiencies: Learn one additional language of your choice and gain proficiency with artist tools or a musical instrument.

Equipment: a book of tales or legends, a set of common clothes, a tool you are proficient with, a relic from an era or individual you venerate, and a pouch containing 10 gp.


You’ve had special training combined with some natural ability to make you an outstanding venerator. Choose a talent from this list to represent your experience: Comrade, Ritualist, and Scrutinous.

Adventuring Motivation

Venerators only leave their communities with good reason. Perhaps some calamity befell your people, and you want to restore them. Or maybe you have an evangelical bent, going into the world to tell others about how great the person or concept you venerate really is.


1Adventuring is all I have left after a terrible misunderstanding.
2Adventuring is how I honor my object of veneration. They went adventuring, and so must I.
3Adventuring allows me to expand my horizons.
4The fast way to raise money to restore a shrine or erect a remembrance is through adventuring.
5 Adventuring gives me new people to tell about the object of my veneration.
6 When I return victorious from adventure, that glory will transfer to my object of veneration.
7 The next step in guidance form my object of veneration is on the adventuring path.
8 Can anything equal my object of veneration? Only adventuring in the world will still the doubts.

Get into Midgard with the Midgard Worldbook! This acclaimed campaign setting is rich and deep, with a decade of support from Kobold Press.

Want a more focused start? Try the Zobeck Clockwork City Collector’s Edition! This detailed sourcebook
gives players plenty of room to run, and includes adventures within the Clockwork City itself!

about Evan Noone

Evan Noone is an independent TTRPG writer and designer. Whether his storytelling prowess is a gift from his infernal patron, The Imp, or he is the fiend itself remains to be seen. You can explore his collection of TTRPG supplements on DMs Guild or follow him on twitter @impgames_.

4 thoughts on “Midgard Monday: Trollkin Lineage and Heritage of Midgard”

  1. Cassiopeia Nebula

    good article! i like how versatile the trollkin are. they’d certainly make absolutely *killer* monks. would attacking with their natural weapons also count as unarmed attacks?

  2. Alexander Best

    I think you could make the Natural Weapons a d6 like other Lineages but other them that i love it! also love to see new backgrounds.

    if you check here for suggestions id love to see KP’s take on A Slime Lineage or a gearforged Lineage

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