Can a a troll be killed by death effects?


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I think it's pretty obvious that Finger of Death or Disintegrate would kill a troll, so yes, death attacks kill.

I THINK with CdG the damage wouldn't kill, but the failed save would.


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Why is it "obvious"?

What part of those effects bring an end to "cannot be killed while Regeneration is active"?

I would like to know how you arrived at your conclusion.


Well, in the case of disintegrate, there's nothing left to regenerate if you dust them.


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Well, except the dust...

Which is still part of a "not dead" troll, so could regenerate the rest of its body for that one speck. Theoretically.


Samasboy1 wrote:

Well, except the dust...

Which is still part of a "not dead" troll, so could regenerate the rest of its body for that one speck. Theoretically.

Me, I just interpret "can't be killed while..." as meaning "no amount of damage". Disintegration is pretty final, there's dust, but the dust is no longer magical troll meat, just dust.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It doesn't have to be magical troll meat. Regeneration is an extraordinary ability.


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Sure you could read it that way. IMO the words don't say that, and it seems an incredibly narrow way to read a very broad statement, but everyone sees the rules a little bit differently.

Same for the dust. The dust left from Disintegration is still made up of whatever was disintegrated. That's why Resurrection works, it is still made up of the creature killed. So the dust is still (totally non-magic) troll dust.

And if the troll can't be killed, and can regenerate body parts, that pile of dust can become a whole troll again.


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Samasboy1 wrote:

Well, except the dust...

Which is still part of a "not dead" troll, so could regenerate the rest of its body for that one speck. Theoretically.

Just add water, instatroll.


I guess that just seems like a probably-stronger-than-intended claim for regeneration. I would tend to conclude that attacks which are not doing hit point damage aren't subject to regeneration, and thus effectively count as "stopping" the regeneration with respect to whatever harm they do.


I WOULD like to make a somewhat helpful comment though, that even even a lot of the old dnd games, yes i know, not pathfinder, sue me, you COULD coup de grace a troll. In fact in temple of elemental evils, unless you easter egged excessive money or wasted all your caster feats on creation feats, that was the ONLY way to kill wild trolls before the second and lower floors of the temple.


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This has been tossed around a bit lately, but I think it bears repeating for this thread.

In the glossary, there's a line under Death Attacks:

Quote:
In case it matters, a dead character, no matter how he died, has hit points equal to or less than his negative Constitution score.

This seems to imply that a Troll hit with a death attack would be left at negCon hitpoints.

Which, at that point it would start regenerating, I guess.

*throws gasoline on the fire*


As far as I can see noone has really made a strong case for either interpretation. That goes for both RAW and RAI. Personally speaking I think this deserves a FAQ but untill then I shall be running regeneration the way I see it. :D


Yet another reason for me to switch back to 3.x regeneration... O.o


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Yet another reason for me to switch back to 3.x, period.


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Icyshadow wrote:
Yet another reason for me to switch back to 3.x, period.

Heh, I'm not that far gone. PF has its quirks but I do enjoy the majority of the mechanical changes better. I like the PF core and most of the PF spells, and I like the CMD system (though I'm tweaking it for more dynamic combats and to make size matter more like it did in 3.x, but removing size restrictions from the combat maneuvers, and tweaking grappling a bit).

There's a few things I keep importing back from 3.5 (such as now regeneration, and also the zombie/skeleton natural armor adjustments). I won't pretend to like all of the splat material, but I'm a big proponent of playing a d20 medley with a PF core.

Shadow Lodge

Bring this back up to show that its a question thats ben asked before months ago.

Sczarni

I use the Tarrasque version of regen in PF. The Tarrasque has Regen EX, and nothing suppresses it. It explains in the description what happens with death effects. Likewise, things with regen with suppressions work the same way (except they do it slower than 3 rounds). Unless you suppress the regen, the creature can't be killed. Roll a survival and build a fire. One HP of fire will do in most cases...


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maouse wrote:
I use the Tarrasque version of regen in PF. The Tarrasque has Regen EX, and nothing suppresses it. It explains in the description what happens with death effects. Likewise, things with regen with suppressions work the same way (except they do it slower than 3 rounds). Unless you suppress the regen, the creature can't be killed. Roll a survival and build a fire. One HP of fire will do in most cases...

The Tarrasque is also a special case, as it is an incredibly powerful monster and the spawn of a deity.

Shadow Lodge

So this thread has 33 faq flags from Nov 2013. How long does it take to get a faq answered?


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Jacob Saltband wrote:
So this thread has 33 faq flags from Nov 2013. How long does it take to get a faq answered?

It can take a very long time -- the developers answer when answers are given, and that's done when they can fit it in around their actual jobs of writing books and the like.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
So this thread has 33 faq flags from Nov 2013. How long does it take to get a faq answered?

33 is nothing. Normally it takes 50+ to actually get a dev's answer, unless they mark it as something not worth their time.

Shadow Lodge

Dot.

Grand Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:

For FAQing:

Regeneration (Ex) A creature with this ability is difficult to kill. Creatures with regeneration heal damage at a fixed rate, as with fast healing, but they cannot die as long as their regeneration is still functioning (although creatures with regeneration still fall unconscious when their hit points are below 0). Certain attack forms, typically fire and acid, cause a creature's regeneration to stop functioning on the round following the attack. During this round, the creature does not heal any damage and can die normally. The creature's descriptive text describes the types of damage that cause the regeneration to cease functioning.

The above statement seems pretty all encompassing. Can a creature with regeneration be killed by an attack-form that doesn't deal hit point damage (such as disintegrate, a death effect, or energy drain) despite its regeneration ability?

Disintegrate deals HP damage, so if you don't negate the regeneration, it would not kill a troll. You could argue it's dust and it can't piece itself together, but a tarrasque can also be dusted and will regenerate since you can't disable its regeneration.

As for death effects, it really depends on the effect. An ability is a death effect if it's labeled as such in its description. Spells with [death] descriptor are also considered death effects, although there are no "save or die" spells in PRPG as such (barring when you fail your save and die from HP loss).

So, technically, you could drop a troll to -100, but he'll still regenerate unless you douse him with fire or acid. Energy drain and negative levels CAN kill a troll if those negative levels are equal to or exceed its total Hit Dice because they don't inflict HP damage.

Grand Lodge

Vod Canockers wrote:

I would say yes, but have no evidence.

BTW How do you kill a troll that is a 20 th level Cleric with the Earth and Fire Domains?

With a 2nd level spell: Aboleth's Lung


Drake Brimstone wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:

I would say yes, but have no evidence.

BTW How do you kill a troll that is a 20 th level Cleric with the Earth and Fire Domains?

With a 2nd level spell: Aboleth's Lung

Actually, this is what would happen if a troll failed it's save against that:

1. It holds it's breath for CON rounds.
2. It has to make saves until it fails.
3. When it fails, it falls unconscious and has 0 hp.
4. The next round, she drops to -1 hit points and is dying. Note that the damage from drowning is not healed by regen.
5. The round after that, she would die but since regeneration is in effect she can't die. She stays at -1 hp until the lake dries out or something else happens. If she leaves the water in some way, she'll start regenerating again and be healed.

That said, when it comes to a troll you could cast Polymorph Any Object to turn it into say a vase. As an object it loses it's con score and thus regen is inactivated. Then you just shatter the vase.
That doesn't work if the troll manages to get immunity to polymorph though.


Drake Brimstone wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:

I would say yes, but have no evidence.

BTW How do you kill a troll that is a 20 th level Cleric with the Earth and Fire Domains?

With a 2nd level spell: Aboleth's Lung

Actually, I recall reading somewhere that of a creature with regeneration gains immunity to the damage types that shut down is regeneration, it replaces regeneration with fast healing. Anyone know where I got that from? I'm blanking...


Drake Brimstone wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:

I would say yes, but have no evidence.

BTW How do you kill a troll that is a 20 th level Cleric with the Earth and Fire Domains?

With a 2nd level spell: Aboleth's Lung

That would work, along with similar methods.

PRD wrote:
Regeneration also does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation.


Joex The Pale wrote:
Drake Brimstone wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:

I would say yes, but have no evidence.

BTW How do you kill a troll that is a 20 th level Cleric with the Earth and Fire Domains?

With a 2nd level spell: Aboleth's Lung
Actually, I recall reading somewhere that of a creature with regeneration gains immunity to the damage types that shut down is regeneration, it replaces regeneration with fast healing. Anyone know where I got that from? I'm blanking...

As far as I know, it was something along the lines of a suggested houserule from some 3.5 sage advice or similar. If I remember correctly, it was never part of the written rules or errata or anything, and was only during 3.5. Pathfinder regeneration is a completely different beast from 3.5 regen, and there's no rule like that in pathfinder.

Vod Canockers wrote:
Drake Brimstone wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:

I would say yes, but have no evidence.

BTW How do you kill a troll that is a 20 th level Cleric with the Earth and Fire Domains?

With a 2nd level spell: Aboleth's Lung

That would work, along with similar methods.

PRD wrote:
Regeneration also does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation.

Again, no. Regeneration does not restore hit points lost, so it would be stuck at -1 unless it heals in some other way, but it still can't die as long as regeneration is active. Regeneration grants two related benefits:

1. Restoring hit points.
2. Preventing you from dying.

Regen does not provide benefit 1 if the damage is from starvation etc, but there's nothing in the rules negating benefit 2 from working against those things.

So it's stuck unconscious and dying forever, but is not dead. If the conditions change it can start living again, without anything like Resurrection.


This thread seems to have generated two focus areas:
1 – can a troll die if it starves, suffocates etc
2 – do death effects kill a troll and specifically does disintegrate kill a troll.

My take on the first one, is that a troll that starves, suffocates etc doesn’t die but instead becomes inert. This is similar to the microorganisms and plant seeds that can survive entombed in ice or other hostile environments for millennia before sparking into life. An inert troll stops taking damage from the environmental effect once it has become inert (unless the environmental effect would damage inanimate objects) but also does not heal. The inert troll cannot spontaneously start breathing or consume food and water to reverse the effect by itself. A cure spell or a successful heal check could be sufficient to bring the troll back from an inert state at which point it could start to heal the damage.

An inert troll is still susceptible to fire and acid (and I would stretch the term acid to include alkalines, dissolving enzymes etc). As it is completely inert it can be easily killed by being eaten either by animals or even insects (digestive acids killing the troll) or it could be consumed more slowly by molds, fungi and other plants (various enzymes dissolving the troll as a food source) or even bacteria. It could even be slowly dissolved over millennia by contact with a non-pH neutral soil or acid rain.

What about if an inert troll was hacked to pieces, would the pieces regenerate? I would say no, each piece is still inert. If a piece was brought back from an inert state then it would start to regenerate. I view the regenerating cells as having their own life energy and in the inert state there is not enough energy to regenerate.

To the second question, does a death effect kill a troll? To me it depends on whether the death effect scatters the parts of the troll, drains the energy out of the troll’s cells or consumes the troll’s cells. In the first case it could regenerate, in the second it becomes inert and in the third it is killed. In the specific case of disintegrate, the spell’s description suggests that a trace of fine dust is all that remains. This suggests that the cells are consumed and I would rule that the troll is killed. If the troll wasn’t killed outright then I would allow it to regenerate as if the disintegrated parts had been severed rather as there is no cauterising effect associated with disintegrate, which there would be with fire or acid.

Shadow Lodge

80 replies and I'm the first person to mention Motorhead?
Lemmy could teach a PF Troll a thing or two about staying alive.

I love it when we stumble upon a troll in our Kingmaker campaign. It's always entertaining to see how much steel and fire they draw out of the party.

"Troooooll!" <slice, slice, slice, KABOOM!>

Shadow Lodge

Necromancy at its best.

Dark Archive

Just CDG it and take the head with you, before it starts regenerating


If something kills a troll outright, then it's dead. Unlike living trolls, dead trolls don't have regeneration.


sigh

But if it's regeneration is still active, it "cannot die" in the first place, so it was never dead, so its regeneration is still active.

Its a vicious circle.

People who think "cannot die" refers only to hp damage won't be convinced.

People who think "cannot die" means "cannot die from anything while regen is active" won't be convinced.


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This argument keeps reminding me of a Robot Chicken segment concerning werewolves and silver bullets. NSFW

I repeat: NSFW! But OK for frat parties.

RAW vs RAI indeed.


Samasboy1 wrote:

sigh

But if it's regeneration is still active, it "cannot die" in the first place, so it was never dead, so its regeneration is still active.

Its a vicious circle.

I don't agree. Regeneration does not grant immunity to death. Let's look at this in an order of operations fashion.

Example 1:
1. The troll takes 900 points of damage. It's not immune to the damage.
2. Its hit points are now - 827.
3. We try to determine if it's dead. Normally, it would be well into dead territory. However, thanks to regeneration, it can't die.
Therefore,
4. It is alive.

Exmaple 2:
1. The troll is struck by a death spell and fails its save. It's not immune and suffers the effects of the spell.
2. The spell turns its state of being to dead.
3. We try to determine whether or not it's dead. Normally, it could not be killed, thanks to regeneration, but since it's dead, regeneration is not active.

There are other ways to read the situation, but I think that's the most staightforward. The troll is not immmune to death spells, and the death spell shuts down its regeneration (and everything else).

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:

For FAQing:

Regeneration (Ex) A creature with this ability is difficult to kill. Creatures with regeneration heal damage at a fixed rate, as with fast healing, but they cannot die as long as their regeneration is still functioning (although creatures with regeneration still fall unconscious when their hit points are below 0). Certain attack forms, typically fire and acid, cause a creature's regeneration to stop functioning on the round following the attack. During this round, the creature does not heal any damage and can die normally. The creature's descriptive text describes the types of damage that cause the regeneration to cease functioning.

The above statement seems pretty all encompassing. Can a creature with regeneration be killed by an attack-form that doesn't deal hit point damage (such as disintegrate, a death effect, or energy drain) despite its regeneration ability?

Has there been a FAQ ruling on this yet?


No FAQ yet. Hopefully it is soon since Mark just told a poster to FAQ this.

Dark Archive

Yes, quite interested in this. Recently encountered a few trollhounds, my comrade stunned them with his magic and I proceeded to coup de grace them. I was quite interested to see if there bodies would recover from the lose of their heads, but alas another ally doused them in acid and I was never able to resolve this curiosity.


Any news on this? Apparently, it has 96 votes, but I don't see anywhere if this has been answered or not.


Nah, guess Paizo too scared to make a FAQ because whathever group they side with, the other will probably burn their office.

Depending on how you interpretate the rules and the descriptions, you may chose what happens and what does not happen.

For example, many people agree that trolls do not die from drowning because RAW... but also, if you take eveything that is officially written as canon, the troll ecology states starving and drowning them are actually great methods to kill trolls (so, no more Trolls-under-bridges... how nice of them to grant players the needed measures to permanently kill them just a few metres away...); that would mean Regen is stopped as part of the starving, sufocating or drowning proccess (based on environmental rules, I'd rule regen stops when they fail the CON roll); and that also might apply to other "save or die" effects

In the end, until Paizo FAQ's it already (about time), it's left at GM's choice.


I could have sworn I'd read about trolls dying from drowning in some bit of lore.


I am interested in a ruling on this part:

Regeneration wrote:
Regenerating creatures can regrow lost portions of their bodies and can reattach severed limbs or body parts if they are brought together within 1 hour of severing. Severed parts that are not reattached wither and die normally.

Read in isolation it sounds like if you cut a regenerating creature in half and prevent them from rejoining within the hour both halves will wither and die. I expect most tables would rule that the marginally larger piece would keep on regenerating, but I don't see where it says that in the rules other than as an exception written in the description on trolls.


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Well which piece are you cutting off?

Man, this thread regents like a troll, that's for sure. Several comebacks over several years.


Well, the "unkillable troll" rules interpretation is required for the unkillable character concept. So.....


@blahpers

It is from a flavor text in a certain adventure path:

Quote:


Although the trolls recovered quickly from the ogre attacks, several of them perished when the ogres hit on the idea of throwing trolls over the edge of the dam once they were beaten unconscious in battle, drowning the trolls before they regenerated back to consciousness.


In the hell's rebel's adventure path, the book clearly states (and suggests) a method of killing an enemy with regeneration at early levels by drowning them in a nearby stream. I suppose it's not a direct quote from a rule book but it was certainly published by Paizo as a suggested strategy of dealing with regeneration.


Boomerang Nebula wrote:

I am interested in a ruling on this part:

Regeneration wrote:
Regenerating creatures can regrow lost portions of their bodies and can reattach severed limbs or body parts if they are brought together within 1 hour of severing. Severed parts that are not reattached wither and die normally.
Read in isolation it sounds like if you cut a regenerating creature in half and prevent them from rejoining within the hour both halves will wither and die. I expect most tables would rule that the marginally larger piece would keep on regenerating, but I don't see where it says that in the rules other than as an exception written in the description on trolls.

When you cut a troll in half, the troll's soul remains in one half (this half is now the troll, and it can regenerate), and the other half is a severed part that will wither and die if not reattached.

And no, this isn't clear from reading the Bestiary, but it appears to be how things work in Golarion lore.


blahpers wrote:
I could have sworn I'd read about trolls dying from drowning in some bit of lore.

Apart from lore, it's written straight on their official ecology.

Trolls

Quote:
A troll who doesn't get enough to eat over the course of a few days loses its regeneration and becomes vulnerable, though a single adequate meal will bring it back into fighting trim, and starvation itself is a common cause of death for trolls. Drowning a troll is also effective. The two most common ways to negate a troll's regeneration...

Now, to translate that into gameplay, checking the environmental rules for starvation, thirst, suffocation, drowning... all of them share the common fact that you must make CON checks at specific intervals. I'd say regeneration stops when that check is finally failed, and doesn't resume until the troll "fixes" the issue (for starvation, ecology states Troll has to eat, so for thirst it would be drink something, and for suffocation and drowning would be to breathe fresh air).

Whether this only works only for trolls or other creatures is left at GM's choice. But I'd say that if a creature has to breathe, or feed, or drink... then the associated environmental effect would also apply tho the creature.


"Regeneration also does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation," was surely intended to mean that they cannot bring back from the dead creatures who died of those things.

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