By Matthew Leopin
The Dreaded Troll
In the early days of Dungeons &Dragons the most dreaded of monsters at early levels was the Troll. The troll was unpleasant, obnoxious, and often solitary, but most of all, it regenerated. And it was the first that we encountered (or set up) that regenerated. No matter how many times you hit it, damaged it, cut off limbs, and even thought you killed it, it would always slowly and ominously regenerate hit points, reattach limbs, rise up and attack again. It would eventually injure and abuse your party to the point of retreat or even death.
Trust me, when new and veteran players encountered a troll, they were scared and often at a loss, trying to figure out how to permanently vanquish it. For even when you sever the body parts of a troll, the severed limbs, and head, would continue to fight and claw its way back to its owner’s torso, only to reattach themselves and regenerate. Eventually, through happenstance or a DM’s sympathetic nudge, the players would learn that fire damaged a troll permanently and although still extremely dreadful, players didn’t feel as if certain death was nigh when they encountered a solitary troll.…