Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Mutant Trolls: d100 Mutations

Mutant Trolls
Trolls in my setting originally come from an area that was transformed into an irradiated wasteland. The combination of high background radiation and the trolls' regenerative healing powers have created a slightly smaller but significantly more dangerous species that can rapidly mutate. Now they have spread out across the continent through underground cave networks and adapted to each new environment in turn. They are kept well away from the great cities, and as a whole still fear the light of the sun. You'll see them on all of my terrain-based random encounter tables with a note about any automatic mutations they may have.
The 2nd Edition AD&D Monstrous Compendium Annual Vol. 4 is probably my least favorite of the series, but it contains an entry called “Troll Mutate” (pg. 84) that always seemed just shy of great. Mutating trolls are way more fun than regular trolls. Why even use regular trolls? Sadly, not only is the mutation table in the book merely a 1d12, it only has TEN? entries.
Whut?  We have Jon Pickens to thank for this.

I have expanded that weak list to one hundred entries, specific to these mutant trolls, but potentially useful as a general Biological Mutation table. The trolls in the MCA4 at half size were too small, I've made them one quarter smaller than normal (i.e. 6 HD in 5e). Also, I prefer the mutations to begin after twenty HP are regained, and that they are created fully formed and functional. It's also more fun to fight a monster that mutates during the course of a battle and the MCA4 trolls don't really achieve that the way they're written.
Beyond the ability of normal trolls severed body parts to keep moving and attacking, mutant trolls possess another power. If multiple trolls are reduced to zero HP (without using fire or acid) in the same area and allowed to regenerate, they may fuse together into a huge Troll Abomination, adding their HD together and increasing their combined strength and attacks.
You can use the table as a single d100 or two separate d50 lists. The first fifty contains all the “no effect”, low effect, and negative effect results (among some good ones), while the second fifty are all good rolls except for 00. Rolling for the first mutation with d50 and each subsequent one with d100 works. Some of the entries have a second, greater effect to use if duplicates are rolled.
You can randomize mutation placement, particularly if the obvious location gets crowded, by using a “body die” or rolling 1d12: 1 Full Body, 2 Head, 3 Stomach, 4 Chest, 5 Left Arm, 6 Left Hand, 7 Left Leg, 8 Left Foot, 9 Right Arm, 10 Right Hand, 11 Right Leg, 12 Right Foot.

Mutant Troll Mutation Table
01 Suction Cup Fingers – scale sheer surfaces with ease, may be able to climb upside down.
02 Extra Fingers – no effect.
03 Extra Thumbs – no effect.
04 Longer Claws – slight increase to claw attack damage.
05 Extra Knuckles - no effect.
06 Extra Hands – slight increase to claw attack or damage.
07 Extra Arm Joint – extended claw attack reach.
08 Disease Vector – ten percent of bite, claw, or any other physical attacks transmit a randomly chosen debilitating disease (1d4). Double chance of transmission if rerolled.
  1 Nausea
  2 Weakness
  3 Boils
  4 Death
09 Extra Leg – increase to movement rate.
10 Extra Leg Joint – slight increase to movement rate.
11 Tentacle – additional grapple attack.
12 Suction Cup Toes – scale sheer surfaces with ease, may be able to climb upside down.
13 Horn Clubbed Tail – tail tipped with a mace-like knot of horn.
14 Extra Liver – additional external liver, no effect.
15 Prehensile Tail – dexterous tail able to grapple and manipulate objects.
16 Scaled Skin – armor class increases somewhat.
17 Chitinous Plating – armor class increases significantly.
18 Stinging Nematocysts – body covered in venomous cells that cause wracking pains.
19 Extra Bladder – additional external bladder, no effect.
20 Sticky Blood – highly adhesive ichor, weapons may stick in wounds, difficult to grapple.
21 Acidic Blood – oxygen activated acidic ichor.
22 Greasy Blood – slippery ichor may grease surfaces, difficult to grapple.
23 Stinking Musk – may spray nauseating oil from specialized glands once every three rounds. Spray once per round if rerolled.
24 Extra Teeth – slight increase to bite attack damage.
25 Extra Heart – additional external heart, no effect.
26 Madness – erratic behaviors, takes actions as if confused, attacking trolls and non-trolls alike.
27 Black Ink Spit – may spew blinding ink once every three rounds. Spew once per round if rerolled.
28 Bat Ears – highly developed hearing, enhances perception, more difficult to surprise.
29 Poison Immunity – immune to normal poisons, half effect from magical poisons.
30 Pincer – an appendage ends in a crab-like pincer.
31 Quills – substantial portion of body covered with hollow spines or quills, deals additional grapple damage and has a chance to harm melee attackers.
32 Telescopic Neck – extended bite attack reach.
33 Exaggerated Spinal Ridge – resists decapitation.
34 Heightened Immune System – immune to normal diseases, half effect from magical diseases.
35 Digging Claws – heavy fused fingernails that can tunnel through earth at half movement. Tunnel at full movement if rerolled.
36 Segmented Antennae – able to “taste” trace compounds in the air.
37 Vestigial Wings – no effect.
38 Additional Nostrils – enhances perception, harder to surprise.
"Nearly all troll mutates have additional eyes and a
third limb."  0/2, I wonder if this is Brian Despain's
fault, or whoever gave him the description?
39 Enlarged Eyes – natural infravision extends by fifty percent. Extends by one hundred percent if rerolled.
40 Albinism – lack of pigment results in white skin run through with green and black veins, minor issues with vision and hearing, hyper-sensitive to light to the point of damage.
41 Choking Smoke – when burned with fire or acid, oily black nausea inducing smoke is created in great volume.
42 Enlarged Mouth & Stomach – swallows creatures one size smaller on a critical hit.
43 Dorsal Fin – slight increase to swimming speed.
44 Tail Fin – slight increase to swimming speed.
45 Hand & Foot Webbing – slight increase to swimming speed.
46 Eyestalks – enhances perception, harder to surprise.
47 Extra Eyes – additional 1d3 eyes, enhances perception, harder to surprise.
48 Current Sense – able to detect the electromagnetic fields produced by living tissue, enhances perception, harder to surprise.
49 Semi-permeable Skin – amphibious.
50 Gill Slits – amphibious.
51 Sonic Shriek – deafens and damages those within earshot once every three rounds. May shriek once per round if rerolled.
52 Summoning Shriek – tone that can carry for miles, drawing more mutant trolls and potentially other interested creatures.
53 Extrudeable Tongue – frog or chameleon-like tongue, may use it to drag a target closer and bite once every three rounds.
54 Hypnotic Gaze – may attempt to paralyze a target meeting and maintaining its gaze.
55 Wizard Eyes – able to see invisible creatures, through illusions, and true forms.
56 Bone Blades – sharp protrusions of bone from the joints, additional slashing attack.
57 Extra Head – additional bite attack and higher intelligence, +2.
58 Stinger Tail – tail tipped with a venomous scorpion stinger adds a randomly chosen poison effect (1d4).
  1 Nauseating
  2 Paralytic
  3 Necrotic
  4 Deadly
59 Straight Horns – antelope-like horns, may use a charge attack.
60 Antlers – elk-like antlers, may use a charge attack.
61 Chromatophores – color changing cells allow near perfect camouflage.
62 Extra Arm – additional claw attack.
63 Spiral Horns – ram-like horns, may use a charge attack.
64 Proboscis – blood-sucking facial appendage latches on and drains continuously.
Scaled up spinnerets pointing at you.
65 Insectile Wings – functional veined wings allow flight at three quarters movement speed. Fly at one hundred and fifty percent movement speed if rerolled.
66 Spinnerets – silk-spinning organs, may ensnare a target once every three rounds. May ensnare once per round if rerolled.
67 Bioluminescent Organ – bulbous glowing organ, may use it to create a blinding flash attack once every five rounds.
68 Venomous Fangs – bite attack adds a randomly chosen poison effect (1d4).
  1 Nauseating
  2 Paralytic
  3 Necrotic
  4 Deadly
69 Chiropteran Wings – functional membranous wings allow flight at three quarters movement speed. Fly at one hundred and fifty percent movement speed if rerolled.
70 Solar Protection – unaffected by ultraviolet radiation, half damage from light attacks. Immune to light attacks if rerolled.
71 Extra Mouth – allows an additional bite attack.
72 Conductive Skin – half damage from electrical attacks. Immune to electrical attacks if rerolled.
73 Cold Resistant Fats – half damage from cold attacks. Immune to cold attacks if rerolled.
74 Acid Resistant Waxes – half damage from acidic attacks.
75 Fire Resistant Mucous – half damage from fiery attacks, cannot be set alight.
76 Mitochondrial Burst – may forego regeneration for a short period to act as if hasted twice daily.
77 Adrenal Rage – may auto-mutilate and enter a berserk frenzy twice daily.
78 Feathered Wings – functional feathery wings allow flight at three quarters movement speed. Fly at one hundred and fifty percent movement speed if rerolled.
79 Acidic Spit – may spew burning acid once every three rounds. May spew once per round if rerolled.
80 Sharper Wit – higher intelligence, +4. Gets 1d3 wizard spellcasting levels if rerolled.
81 Focused Mind – higher wisdom, +4. Gets 1d3 cleric spellcasting levels if rerolled.
82 Telekinetic – may forego bite to employ a crushing attack or manipulate an object up to intelligence x10 feet away.
83 Telepathic – able to communicate with or read the thoughts of intelligent beings up to intelligence x10 feet away.
Suriname Toad.  This picture is so good I'm tempted to make
trolls look pretty much the same.
84 Magnetically Repulsive – repels iron-based weapons and objects with magnetic bones.
85 Troll Spawn Carrier – covered with tiny parasitic troll-lets inside individual breeding pouches, they can be transferred to a target with a claw attack and behave like rot grubs.
86 Parasitic Cancers – covered with tumorous growths, the disease is transferable to targets with a bite, claw, or any physical attack, and begins to slowly transform the host into a troll.
87 Detachable Appendages – may drop an arm, leg, tail, etc. at will.
88 Dense Flesh – weight is doubled, half damage from slashing and piercing attacks.
89 Rubbery Body – skeleton becomes cartilaginous, able to squeeze through tight spaces, half damage from falling and crushing attacks.
90 Radioactive – causes withering effects on close contact with non-trolls. May create a radioactive burst once every three rounds if rerolled.
91 Rapid Mutation Cycling – reroll this mutation every three rounds.
92 Antimagic Organ – visible crystalline structure cancels half of nearby magics.
93 Double in Size – doubles evenly in size, adjust strength and constitution accordingly.
94 Triple in Size – triples evenly in size, adjust strength and constitution accordingly.
95 Regeneration Factor Doubles – recovers twice as many HP per round.
96 Regeneration Factor Triples – recovers three times as many HP per round.
97 Mentally Dominates Other Trolls – able to psychically control other trolls up to intelligence x10 feet away.
98 Physically Absorbs Other Trolls – able to undergo fusion with other trolls on contact.
99 Evolutionary Leap – progress further on the path of the Über Troll, +2 to all abilities.
00 Collapse into Green Slime – troll's body loses cohesion and decomposes into a like amount of green slime.

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In case you are interested in the MCA4 Troll Mutate entry in its fully wonky glory.  The poor little things don't seem to mutate meaningfully unless you beat on them then run off and do something else for a day.  Which in my experience is not how players deal with trolls.  The queen troll thing is fine, if played, but I prefer sexless trolls that reproduce through hormone triggered fits of intra-species violence: limbs are severed and rather than reconnecting are compelled to grow into troll-lets.  But I also like trolls as cancer, trolls as virus, and the above parasitic troll spawn (Suriname Toad lifecycle) thing.

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