Monster Analysis: Zombie Trolls

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  • First Appearance: 110 The Climb Within
  • Armor Class 16 or 17
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Darkvision 60 ft
  • Immune to poison damage and poisoned status
  • Undead Fortitude (Zombie trait)
  • Regeneration (Troll trait)
  • Troll 1: 244 total damage taken, 40 finishing blow (fire) by Scanlan
    • 142 damage before knocked unconscious
  • Troll 2: 193 total damage taken, 40 finishing blow (fire) by Scanlan
    • 153 damage before knocked unconscious
  • Troll 3: 81 damage taken, 12 HDYWTDT (radiant) by Pike

After dealing with collapsing veins, guerilla elementals, a trapped tomb of a mummified king, and twisted one-eyed magical creatures, Vox Machina found themselves in the ancient (and empty) vaults of Thomara. Further inspection revealed that there was trivially little treasure left to claim, and a small crew of decidedly not small zombie trolls waiting for them, their violent necromantic energy mingling with their twisted and equally violent nature in past life.

The trolls each had three attacks: two slashing attacks with its claws, and a third to bite. Victims of the bite attack required a Constitution saving throw or fall victim to an unknown effect that Vox Machina completely avoided.

To add a hint of frustration, the combined constitutional abilities of both the troll and the zombie, joined together into a single, resource-expensive bundle. Fire or acid can be used to seal a troll’s wounds before they can be regenerated (which, when left unchecked, can bring them back from 0 HP). Zombies brought to zero must succeed on a constitution save in order to stay standing at 1 HP, though this can be bypassed by dealing radiant damage.

Most unfortunate were the limited abilities VM had to deal the necessary damage types. The burning spells both came in the forms of fireballs (spent from items rather than spell slots), Pike’s final radiant blow to shut down the last troll’s undead defenses came at the expense of a 1st level Guiding Bolt. Pike also spent her last Channel Divinity to briefly chase two of the trolls off in a panic, severely limiting her ability to control undead hordes further in the party’s journey up the titan. And the attritious march toward Vecna and Thar Amphala continues....