Trolls are a class of monster in NetHack. They are notable because the corpses of dead trolls will revive (as do the endgame Riders). For that reason, trolls are one of the more annoying monsters. Trolls can also make good use out of polearms - the range they can hit things with a polearm in hand is equal to that of a character whose skill level in polearms is Skilled. They have an 50% chance of being generated with either a ranseur, partisan, glaive, or spetum[1].

The troll, T, is also the least powerful monster of this class. Other types of troll include ice trolls, rock trolls, water trolls, and Olog-hai.

Strategy for troll removal[edit | edit source]

Generally speaking, for well armed characters, the problem with trolls is not so much to kill them, as to get rid of them without having them auto-revive. There are a large number of ways to kill a troll permanently, many of which fall into the general category of putting the corpse inside something:

  • Eat the corpse. This is a readily available option as long as nothing nearby requires your immediate response and the character is not satiated, but the troll can revive while being eaten. Well, I know that the troll won't revive in your character's stomach.
  • Let a pet eat the corpse. This has the advantage that it will disappear as soon as the pet starts to eat, though not everyone has a carnivorous pet.
  • Tin the corpse. Easiest option for those with a tinning kit.
  • Lock the corpse in a container. Useful for trolls generated in throne rooms, though they may revive while being carried to their destination.
  • Leave the level while it is still dead, and come back much later.
  • Stone the living troll with a cockatrice corpse. If there is a live cockatrice nearby, conflict can also (sometimes) induce the cockatrice to stone the troll.
  • Polymorph the corpse.
  • Throw the corpse into lava or water and it will drown as soon as it revives (the latter option won't work if it's a water troll!)
  • Sacrifice the corpse.
  • Just keep killing the troll, and eventually it will fail to revive (approximately a 25% chance each time you kill it).
  • Polymorph the troll and kill the creature. Make sure you're prepared in case the troll polymorphs to something like a master lich.
  • Find or dig a pit, place the corpse in, and push in a boulder to bury it. Water can also be used in the place of a pit with a 90% chance (if the troll in question is a water troll).
  • Lure the troll to the Rogue level, where monsters don't leave corpses, and kill it there.
  • Disintegrate the troll by standing between it and a black dragon, or just polymorph into a black dragon and administer a disintegration ray at it.
  • Put the corpse in a cursed bag of holding and repeatedly #loot the bag until it disappears.
  • Completely fill the level with monsters so that the troll has nowhere to revive.

Trolls as pets[edit | edit source]

While not as strong as some other tamable creatures, higher level trolls are still reasonably strong, can make use of some weapons, and can auto-revive when killed (even though they do not always revive tame, the chance is small for them to revive hostile as long as you do not abuse them or kill them yourself accidentally). While they are not exactly so powerful that they're worth going out of your way to tame, a tame troll is still worth considering keeping. 

Messages[edit | edit source]

If the troll revives and you can see it, you will receive the message "The [troll type] rises from the dead!" As a special case, if the troll revives while you are eating it, the message changes to "The bite covered [troll type] rises from the dead!". The "bite covered" part is not referred to again, for example in subsequent attack or death messages.

Individual information[edit | edit source]

Troll[edit | edit source]

The weakest monster in the Troll monster class. It has no special abilities beyond auto revivification, and is often generated in throne rooms.

Ice Troll[edit | edit source]

Ice trolls are immune to ice, and part of its attacks are cold-attributed and therefore preventable with Cold Resistance. It hits slightly harder than regular Trolls if its cold attack isn't resisted. They have a slightly lower AC and some MR.

Rock Troll[edit | edit source]

Rock trolls are basically more powerful versions of your standard everyday Trolls. They hit slightly harder than Trolls and Ice Trolls, but have no remarkable attributes otherwise outside auto revivification. They have lower AC than Ice Trolls, but no MR.

Water Troll[edit | edit source]

Water trolls have higher MR than other trolls, but its AC is only on par with regular Trolls. They don't hit as hard as Rock Trolls, but they can swim, so dumping their corpse in water isn't effective at getting rid of them.

Olog-hai[edit | edit source]

Olog-hai are the most powerful type of trolls, having lower AC than all other trolls (no MR, though), and hit as hard as Rock Trolls. They have no special attributes beyond auto revivification.

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