Water troll

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A water troll, T, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a type of troll that lacks the sheer physical power of the rock troll, but is still quite strong and capable of swimming. Like all trolls, water trolls can often revive from its corpse when killed.

A water troll has a weapon attack, a claw attack and a bite attack.


Water trolls are not randomly generated, though they are a valid form for normal polymorph. Water trolls are always created hostile.

Two water trolls are generated on the first map of Medusa's Island at level creation.

Water trolls have a 12 chance of being generated with a ranseur, partisan, glaive, or spetum, with an equal probability of each polearm.[1]


Despite dealing less damage than rock trolls, water trolls can still be quite dangerous: their attacks are still stronger than those of ice trolls, and at 14 speed they are faster than other trolls and unhasted, unburdened characters. They also have the highest MR score among trolls at 40, making magical attacks unreliable (but not necessarily ineffective). A water troll will often attack from within the water, remaining just out of reach if they generate with a polearm - this makes them difficult to lure onto land, so that their corpse can be dealt with once you manage to kill them.

Most of the same strategies for troll corpse disposal apply to water trolls, with the exception of throwing them into a pool of water: since water trolls can swim and breathe in water, their corpse will revive as normal. Feeding them to a carnivorous pet, using a tinning kit or stoning them are usually among the better disposal methods, since boxes and chests do not spawn often on Medusa's Island (where they primarily appear), and most other options require an impractical amount of travel while carrying a very heavy corpse. If all else fails, you can stuff a water troll corpse in a bag of holding, or else kill them repeatedly and hope that they fail to revive.


The water troll first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


A troll is a being that appears in Norse mythology and later Scandinavian folklore. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated areas of rock, mountains, or caves, living together in small family units, and were rarely helpful to human beings - the Old Norse nouns troll and trǫll are variously used to mean "fiend", "demon", "werewolf", and "jötunn". The trolls of NetHack are derived from Dungeons & Dragons, whose portrayal of them is partly inspired by Poul Anderson novel Three Hearts and Three Lions.

D&D trolls are typically nine feet tall on average, with rubbery green or gray hide, gaunt and deceptively-thin builds, and long arms that drag across the ground and dangle when running. A troll's hunched posture and uneven gait masks great physical strength and agility: they are fearless fighters that attack relentlessly with their claws and teeth, rarely using weapons, and have the ability to rapidly heal wounds and even animate disembodied parts of themselves, as well as a weakness to fire. Trolls hunt most other living creatures for prey and have no natural predators, though they respect groups that are known to wield fire - both fire and acid were the only ways of counteracting a troll's regenerative abilities.

The water troll in particular may be additionally based on the trolls of Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld stories, with the encyclopedia entry being an excerpt from The Colour of Magic. Discworld trolls draw the most heavily from Norse folklore, resembling a form of "living rock" composed of silicon with carbon, and survive on a diet of minerals - similarly, water trolls such as the one described in the excerpt are seemingly composed of water, and can appear in the shape of a human being much like some folkloric trolls.



In SLASH'EM, water trolls hit as a +2 weapon, and tame water trolls may turn traitor.


In dNetHack, water trolls can be randomly generated on the Water Temple level of the Chaos Temple Quest, where they make up 15 of the monsters generated there.


In EvilHack, deeper river levels generated in the Gnomish Mines may contain water trolls.

Encyclopedia entry

It wasn't that the troll was _horrifying_. Instead of the
rotting, betentacled monstrosity he had been expecting
Rincewind found himself looking at a rather squat but not
particularly ugly old man who would quite easily have passed
for normal on any city street, always provided that other
people on the street were used to seeing old men who were
apparently composed of water and very little else. It was as
if the ocean had decided to create life without going through
all that tedious business of evolution, and had simply formed
a part of itself into a biped and sent it walking squishily up
the beach. The troll was a pleasant translucent blue color.
As Rincewind stared a small shoal of silver fish flashed
across its chest.

[ The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett ]