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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
This page is about the player species. For the monster, see Troll (monster).
If you were looking for monstrous trolls in general, see List of trolls.
Trolls are monstrous creatures with powerful claws. They have thick, knobbly skins of any colour from putrid green to mucky brown, which are covered in patches of thick fur.

They are incredibly strong, and have a lightning-fast metabolism - requiring a great deal of food to survive, but regenerating rapidly from even the most terrible wounds. However, they are hopeless at spellcasting and learn most skills very slowly.

Innate Abilities

Trolls have a base Strength of 15, Intelligence of 4 and Dexterity of 5 (before Background modifiers) and one less base magic point than normal.

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

Starting Skills and Equipment

Trolls start with the skills and equipment listed for their background, with these exceptions:

Difficulty of Play


Despite terrible aptitudes in many skills, Trolls are a very easy species. They have extremely high health and regenerate quickly, and they excel in Unarmed Combat. Specifically, Trolls enjoy +6 damage (and extra +2 to hit) in unarmed melee combat (from the Claws 3 mutation). Thanks to their large size, Trolls can also throw large rocks. With very high damage, even at low (or no) skill in Throwing, large rocks are easily the most damaging thrown weapons in the game. Trolls' have a very fast metabolism, but their Gourmand intrinsic allows them to eat everything, at any time. Assuming you stick to eating corpses whenever possible, you can generally stay at full or above for the majority of the game and still have more than enough rations to survive some of the optional corpse-less branches, should you choose to do them.

While they have a huge health pool, Trolls do tend to have a harder time than most species when it comes to getting good AC and EV. Trolls can only wear hats and cloaks in their peripheral armour slots, and can only wear robes, animal skins, troll leather armour, and the various dragon armours on their torso.

Trolls' large size gives a small, direct malus to evasion, which is also hindered by their low dexterity and, to a lesser extent, by their poor dodging aptitude. Nonetheless, it may be necessary to train Dodging on Trolls if one is having trouble attaining decent AC. Just expect higher experience investments to reach good levels of EV. Putting one's stat up points into dexterity every three levels is recommended, unless you are actively relying on casting spells —- and not just planning to cast spells at some point down the line -— in which case going for either dexterity or intelligence would be wise.

Trolls are too large to use bucklers, but Trolls are still extremely lethal in unarmed combat, even when wielding a shield, and the added damage mitigation from shields is generally worth it on Trolls using their claws.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting -2 Armour -2 Spellcasting -5
Short Blades -2 Dodging -2 Conjurations -3
Long Blades -2 Stealth -5 Hexes -4
Axes -2 Shields -2 Charms -4
Maces & Flails -1 Summonings -3
Polearms -2 Necromancy -2
Staves -2 Translocations -3
Unarmed Combat 0 Transmutation -3
Fire Magic -3
Throwing -1 Ice Magic -3 Invocations -1
Slings -4 Air Magic -4 Evocations -3
Bows -4 Earth Magic -1
Crossbows -4 Poison Magic -3 Experience -1


  • First, a quick note: Trolls should not use unarmed combat against hydras, as your claws will count as non-flaming, bladed weapons against them. Large rocks, powerful attack wands, god abilities, or simply retreating are all good ways for UC Trolls to deal with hydras.
  • As for skill development strategy, Trolls' intelligence and magic aptitudes are some of the worst in the game. This doesn't rule out magic, however; it simply means that Trolls will require a higher investment of experience compared to (almost) any other species. However, many level 1 and level 2 spells, such as Swiftness, Apportation, Blink, Summon Butterflies, and the like, provide a lot of return for their skill investment. Confusing Touch is particularly useful to Trolls, since they will nearly always be fighting unarmed. Even higher level spells are often worth the investment on Trolls, after you have gotten your offense and basic defenses up to snuff; again, bad aptitudes mean that it just takes more experience and a bit more time.
  • Also, trolls should not be afraid to run from fights, as their regeneration will help them get back in the green while pillar dancing.


God choice tends to be a major factor in rounding out one's character, and Trolls are no exception. A few recommendations are below; note that this list is by no means comprehensive or exhaustive.

  • Okawaru's Heroism is cheap in piety cost (so use it liberally), comes online extremely fast, and the temporary +5 to skill level is a greater boon to Unarmed Combat than to other melee. Finesse uses more piety and can't be spammed, but it more or less doubles your melee damage output when active. One should not hang too much hope on Okawaru's random gifts, but at least any gift is guaranteed to be something that you can use (though this does not by any means guarantee it will be something you will want to wear).
  • Trog's abilities require no skill training to activate, and provide berserk, magic resistance, even greater health regeneration, and very strong summons.
  • Elyvilon offers excellent panic buttons and the ability to pacify most dangerous opponents with smite targeting.
  • Jiyva can be a powerful and interesting god choice for Trolls, as for many other characters. Early altars are very rare, but if you see one, consider giving Jiyva a spin. However, if you cannot access Jiyva in the early dungeon, passing up on any god choices until late Lair will dramatically hurt your chances to win the game.
  • Ashenzari provides sizable boosts to your skills through cursed equipment. Scry is a powerful ability, and the other passive bonuses one enjoys from worshiping Ashenzari are nice. For unarmed trolls, the lack of a weapon to curse may make it harder to gain piety, however, especially in early game.
  • Kikubaaqudgha guarantees an easy means to branch out into Necromancy, a spell school that gives a lot of utility and power within a single skill. Additionally, the Receive Corpses ability can help Trolls manage their hunger in the lategame areas like Pan and Hell with few corpse-leaving enemies.
  • Ru can be a tempting choice for trolls. By sacrificing skills that you were unlikely to train anyway, you gain access to powerful and useful abilities while your aura of power makes enemies less threatening. Gather the hydras and death yaks together and reveal the annihilating truth to them! Lair has never been easier.


  • Prior to 0.17, only races with innate claws mutation had extra +2 to hit bonus. That bonus now applies to anyone with the mutation.
  • Prior to 0.16, trolls started with the Saprovore 2 mutation.
Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianHalflingTrollGhoul
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnCentaurSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreDeep DwarfGnoll
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidBarachiMummy