Trolls in Midgard

Trolls in 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!

Trolls are one of the most prolific monsters to plague Midgard. While most common in the Northlands (particularly in Trollheim and Jotunheim), trolls lurk in the depths of forests, lie in lightless caves, and patrol the mountains in voracious packs.

Tome of Beasts 3 introduces several monsters found in the Midgard setting, including several new varieties of troll. Each troll below includes which of the books they belong to as well as an adventure hook.

Breakwater Troll

Until recently, breakwater trolls were virtually unknown in Midgard, their appearance limited to isolated regions along the coast. In the past few years, however, the number of breakwater trolls has seen a marked increase in the Middle Sea. The trolls no longer seem bound to a single stretch of coastline, but wander as they see fit, harrying the shipping lanes from Triolo to Friula.

Unbeknownst to the sea captains and merchants of the Seven Cities, the appearance of these breakwater trolls can be directly attributed to priests of Seggotan, who captured more than a dozen greater scrags (see Creature Codex) and attempted to transform them into more manageable forms in the wake of the Battle of Seggotan’s Tears.

They succeeded, at least partially, but found the trolls more difficult to control than they expected. Now the monsters are as much a threat to Mharoti vessels as to ships from elsewhere.

Adventure Hook

Something is organizing the breakwater trolls in Ghostlight Reef into gangs and sending them out to disrupt the local pearl industry. The PCs are hired by a group of pearl farmers to clear out the breakwater trolls and find out who or what is controlling them.

Gutter Troll

According to legends, the first gutter troll was spawned when a troll took a bite out of the Toad King (see Tome of Beasts 2) and was slain before regenerating into its new form. Since then, gutter trolls have slowly spread in number, though who or what the original gutter troll mated with to produce more offspring is unknown.

Gutter trolls might find homes in the sewers or canals of larger cities that have them. A few large settlements, particularly those that are lawless or unruly, have a small population of gutter trolls living beneath.

The most prominent group of gutter trolls in Midgard live in the city of Maillon where they have entered a strange arrangement with the alchemists, trading their psychoactive sweat for fresh meat.

These trolls live in a cordoned-off section of the Fellmire close to the city and are less evil and more intelligent than their brethren elsewhere. Indeed, at least one powerful wizard-alchemist keeps gutter trolls as bodyguards or pets, putting collars on them as one would a guard dog.

Adventure Hook

A “tamed” gutter troll turns feral and rampages through the streets of Maillon before disappearing into the Fellmire. The owner of the gutter troll asks the PCs to get his beloved pet back before it is killed by Maillon’s authorities.

The matter is complicated by the fact that the gutter troll consumed an entire barrel of alchemical reagents before it ran off and sprouted moth-like wings (giving it a 40-foot fly speed… and any other tricks you might want to give it).

Rattleback Troll

Savage trolls that roam the badlands and deserts of southern Midgard, rattleback trolls are native to the Red Wastes of Ishadia, the deep canyons and desolate peaks of the Dominion of the Wind Lords, the arid highlands north of Aksaba, and the barren Gidigida Hills in Western Gizmiri.

While most rattleback trolls lead solitary lives, a few have found themselves in the armies of the Mharoti. Placed in units with other giants, they are used primarily as shock troopers because of their limited intelligence and regenerative abilities.

Rattleback troll venom is effective at preventing the regeneration trait of trolls not immune to poison, including regular trolls. As such, rattleback troll poison is sometimes harvested for use by adventurers when combating other types of trolls.

Tribespeople from the Sarklan Desert also collect the skin of rattleback trolls to sell to musicians in Siwal. Musicians stretch the troll skin over a wooden frame to create a unique musical instrument popular throughout the Southlands.

Rattleback Troll Poison (Injury)

Cost per Dose: 150 gp

This yellow, viscous poison has a pungent, acrid odor. A creature subjected to this poison takes 7 (2d6) poison damage and must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. While poisoned this way, the target cannot regain hp. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Adventure Hook

A wealthy dwarven merchant from Wolfheim approaches the PCs and hires them to collect rattleback troll venom for sale back in the Northlands. For full potency, the poison can only be collected while the rattleback troll is still alive. This forces the PCs to produce an inventive method to milk the creature’s venom.

Tumor Troll

Tumor trolls are piteous, dangerous trolls found almost exclusively in the Wasted West, particularly around the dread walkers, Roggsothof and Anax Apogeion.

The first tumor trolls were normal trolls exposed to poisonous magical radiation emitted by one of the many dangerous vril artifacts used during the Mage Wars. They have gradually increased in number, despite their destructive tendencies.

Sometimes tumor trolls venture into the settled lands surrounding the Wastes such as Verrayne or the Magocracy of Allain, but most are killed off before they can do too much damage.

Adventure Hooks

The dust goblin tribe known as the Maimed Ones have adopted a tumor troll they’ve named Zugguak as their mascot. They frequently unleash Zugguak on prisoners they take, both as a form of entertainment and to keep the troll under control.

Recently, Levagus the Mottled (NE Necromancer, see Creature Codex), a sinister mage from the Academies Arcana, posted a bounty to capture a live tumor troll for study. Anyone who knows Levagus believe that his intentions for capturing a tumor troll may not be entirely harmless. Some might hire a group of heroes to oppose him.

The Midgard Worldbook is an acclaimed campaign setting with a decade of support from Kobold Press.
Want a more focused start? Try the Zobeck Clockwork City Collector’s Edition! This detailed sourcebook includes ready-to-run adventures within the Clockwork City itself!

about Phillip Larwood

Phillip has been writing for Kobold Press and other companies for many years. From multiple articles in the early days of Kobold Quarterly magazine to recent books like Tome of Beasts 2 and Vault of Magic, Phillip is never more satisfied than when he sees his name in print. Something that he points out to his family and friends over and over and over again.

6 thoughts on “Trolls in Midgard”

  1. I had a great time reading TOB3! Coral Drake is definitely my top pick among all the monsters :) On another note, I recently relocated to Sweden from Germany and discovered that the term “troll” is one of the Swedish swear words so it’s better to avoid using it here :D

  2. Really enjoyed this deep dive into trolls in Midgard! The way their lore and characteristics are woven into the narrative is as intriguing as solving an intricate real IQ test. It’s a testament to the rich, imaginative world-building in fantasy settings. Great read!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Kobold Courier and Earn Loot!

Stay informed with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox weekly. Join now and receive a PDF copy of Caverns of the Spore Lord

Join The Kobold Courier


Be like Swolbold. Stay up to date with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top