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Version 0.30: 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 regenerate 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


Troll is a simple, generally easy, species to play. With great HP, fast regeneration, high strength, and powerful Claws, Trolls are great at being Unarmed Combat bruisers. With terrible aptitudes in most other skills, they aren't good at much else. As one of the two species big enough for large rocks, Throwing is a viable secondary skill.

Trolls are one of the strongest species in the early game, due to the Claws and high HP. But, as the game progresses, their low AC (unable to wear most body armour) and EV (large size, poor aptitude) can become a big issue. So, despite having +30% HP, Trolls can feel flimsy by the mid game. Shields are recommended to mitigate this.

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
Dodging -2
Maces & Flails -1 Shields -1 Conjurations -3
Axes -2 Stealth -5 Hexes -4
Polearms -2 Summonings -3
Staves -2 Invocations -1 Necromancy -2
Unarmed Combat 0 Evocations -3 Translocations -3
Throwing -1 Shapeshifting -1 Alchemy -3
Fire Magic -3
Short Blades -2 Ice Magic -3
Long Blades -2 Air Magic -4
Ranged Weapons -4 Experience -1 Earth Magic -1


Beyond Unarmed Combat, Trolls have a couple of options:

  • Their Maces & Flails is at -1 aptitude, and Trolls are one of a few species that can wield giant clubs. Unarmed is generally more practical, since Claws are stronger early game, and it allows use of shield. But weapon use isn't out of the question, namely if you find an amazing artefact.
  • Throwing, as mentioned, is a great support skill. Even at 0 skill, large rocks can pack a punch (but are very slow to throw).
  • With poor intelligence and magical aptitudes, their casting isn't great. However, it doesn't mean it's impossible. Low-level support spells like Blink, Swiftness, and Mephitic Cloud can prove to be useful, especially if you're stuck in light armour.
  • Like with other species, Evocations can be a great resource. Trolls don't get any special bonus, but they don't get much of a penalty, either.

Trolls should not use Unarmed Combat against hydras - claws count as edged weapons, so they will cut and re-grow their heads. Viable options include large rocks, potion of lignification (which meld claws), Ice Form, powerful attack wands, or god abilities. Simply retreating can also work.

Due to their large size, Trolls get a penalty to EV and the Dodging skill. Poor dexterity doesn't help. Nonetheless, it may be necessary to train Dodging to shore up your defenses.

God Choice

Religion 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 obtained quickly, and the +5 skill levels help Unarmed Combat the most. Armour gifts are guaranteed to fit your large body, which helps in finding a heavy body armour.
  • Trog's abilities require no skill training to activate, and provide berserk, willpower, even greater health regeneration, and very strong summons.
  • Ignis provides an even stronger 'guarantee' in the early game, but fizzles out at a time where a lack of armour starts to become noticeable.
  • Elyvilon offers strong 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.
  • 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 0.30, large species, including Trolls, could wield shields more easily, received slightly less SH from kite shields, and moved slowly in shallow water.
  • Prior to 0.29, Trolls had a -2 Shields aptitude. This was buffed due to the nerf to large-size shield wearing in 0.28.
  • Prior to 0.28, Trolls had +1 HP/turn regeneration.
  • Prior to 0.27, Trolls had Shaggy Fur 1 and two levels of Tough Skin (for net 2 AC), but Regeneration only gave +0.4 HP/turn.
  • Prior to the removal of the hunger system in 0.26, trolls had an innate gourmand intrinsic, which helped offset their incredibly fast metabolism (+3 from Fast Metabolism 3, as well as an additional +3 for being a troll). They started with an extra ration to compensate.
  • Prior to 0.17, only races with innate Claws mutation had the 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 OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianTrollDeep ElfArmataurGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganGhoulTenguOniBarachi
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidMummy