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Trogs

Born cold and alone, Trogs have only themselves in this world. Their entire hierarchy is based around who can eat whom. If a Trog can reach adulthood, they have already consumed ten or more of their brethren. For this reason, their villages rarely rise beyond swamp dwellings, officials within the town constantly being replaced by those that consumed them. They have no concept of family, no fear of death, and only respect those that they can’t yet devour. It is said that no trog ever dies of old age.

Big Punch, Small Package

Trogs come in a few varieties, some slick and smooth and others hard and thorny. They all have a very similar stature and size though, standing no more than 4 feet tall and weighing around 100 pounds. From a distance, they appear to be little more than a mouth with arms and legs. Up close, this proves to be an accurate description. A trog’s mouth and throat seem to comprise about a quarter of their entire body. They can open this mouth to devour things even larger than their own body, which they enjoy doing very much. Their girth will expand greatly to encompass this new mass, but their stretching does have a limit. Their ability to consume is not their only talent. By the time a Trog reaches maturity they are already skilled in melee combat. Despite their small frame and light bones, they pack a shocking punch. A Trog is an awesome ally to have, provided you can keep them from trying to eat you or your friends. An endeavor that is much easier said than done.

Deliciously Simple

Trogs have a difficult time understanding the woes of other species. To them, there are no problems that can’t be solved by hitting or eating. What little art and technology comes from this species mirrors this mentality. Hammer marked idols, machines full of dozens of useless nails, and gilded dinner plates are some examples. If a Trog wants something, say a title or ancient relic, they will begin to kill and then eat whomever stands in their path. Trogs know they too will likely be eaten soon, so thinking about the ramifications of their actions is a somewhat alien concept. This has caused some political brushes with other kingdoms in the past but, due to their extremely short lives and prolific breeding, wars against the Trogs almost always just sputter away. Kingdoms find it difficult to war against a species who may not remember or even understand that they are at war. This does not mean that the Trog are stupid, just that they care little for the rules and boundaries that other species hold sacred. If a situation will put them or their comrades in mortal danger, they are wise enough to stay away from it. But they can be brash or cold, even to those they hold in high regard; respect they show by not attempting to eat then, even if they easily could. Death of others means little to a trog because life is cheap in their minds. Better to not waste time on the dead, consume them, distribute their belongings, and move on with life.

Conquest and Consumption

The social structure of Trogs is in a constant state of flux, making it very difficult for them to rise beyond small village status. Like most things, the trogs take what they want through force or consumption, and sometimes both. If there is a political position that a Trog desires, such as a village councilor, they will simply eat the current occupant and assume their role. This can seem ghastly to other species but is well ingrained and accepted in Trog society since birth. Trog adolescence is a daily struggle to eat or be eaten. It is simply the way of life for a Trog. There is no family structure for a Trog. Mates compete against, and eat, other Trogs in a show of superiority. The winners mate and then leave the eggs to grow into adults on their own. Spawn pools can be found in Trog villages and, though they are guarded fiercely, there is no concept of a mother or father. It is worth noting that no adult Trog will consume a tadpole unless starving. Not because they don’t want to, but because it is considered crass to eat something so far below your station. The Trog obsession with consuming does not stop at conquest, it is ingrained into nearly every facet of their society. Trog villages hold daily feasts where any Trog of any standing may come to eat food or compete against others and eat them instead. Village royalty, the largest of the Trogs, will often use this time to exert their mastery of their post. They will consume so much, engorging their bodies to be so large it would be nearly impossible for another Trog to swallow them. This craven consumption and disregard for their own bodily health is the true sign of a trog leader. By being so large, they force the respect of the other Trogs around them, as any competitors would be beaten without even raising an axe. Craftier Trog have discovered that this lurid body makes royalty slow, and competitors may not be able to eat them whole, but they can consume chunks of them quite easily. If a rival does not kill them, Trog royalty will often live short lives, dying from any number of complications caused by regularly filling themselves to literal bursting.

Trog Names

Trogs choose their own names but do not do so until they have reached maturity. Their names are brutish and simple, often incorporating deep croaks and vibrations other species can not accurately reproduce. There is no differentiation between male or female names and, in fact, finding any difference between the sexes at all is nearly impossible to the unskilled observer. Depending on their temperament, they may choose a series of clicks or burbles to be their name. Some take pleasure in other species’ inability to correctly pronounce it, while others are habitually angered by the mispronunciation. Unfortunately for other species, it’s difficult to know how the Trog will react to their name being mangled until it is too late.

Trog Names: Brak, Murica, Wruk, Ritt, Hurp, Bwahp

All Roads Lead To Hunger

Adventuring Trog are somewhat of an oddity. More often than not, a Trog that seems to be adventuring has simply gotten themselves lost and are trying to find a new place to call home. Others may adventure out in the world to experience the culinary delights beyond their meager homes. Some very odd Trog seek out gold and glory, but usually this too is somehow linked back to their insatiable desire to feast. In ancient tomes, there are legends of Trog warriors who sought out ways to improve their species’ lot in this world. They accomplished great things in their lives and brought temporary prosperity to their people. They are some of the only Trogs recorded in anything more than a species compendium. Even in these books of ancient valor, they still make mention of the Trog’s destructive hunger. Trogs do not keep their own recorded history and many new traditions are abandoned after just a few generations.

Other Species

Most species do not cast out trogs, but they are almost always regarded with caution. They know of the Trog’s short temperament and ability to eat people whole. Common folk will bend over backwards to give the trog what they want, hoping the amphibians will move on quickly. Strong adventurers or guards will usually stand up to a belligerent trog; wise adventurers or guards will know better than to turn their backs on the same trog. Their stout size, natural combat prowess, and general attitude will either earn them respect or ire, with very little feelings in between. Trogs care little for what others think; as long as they can fight and eat, then they will feel an emotion analogous to happiness.

Racial Traits

Your trog character has several abilities they refined while fighting for their life against their siblings.

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength and Constitution score increase by 1.
  • Age: Trogs reach maturity within 3 months. Arcane biologists have determined that a Trog could live up to 300 years or more. The oldest recorded Trog lived to be 90 before dying a valiant death. There is not a single recorded instance of a Trog dying of old age.
  • Size. Trogs stand between 3 and 4 feet tall and weigh around 80 pounds. Royal Trogs can weigh over 150 pounds. Your size is small.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
  • Large Lungs: Trogs can hold their breath for 12 hours.
  • Animal Speech: Trogs can carry limited conversations with animals. Their temperament and inability to recreate sounds fluently means much is lost in translation. When speaking with an animal by using this ability, you have disadvantage on any checks related to speaking to or comprehending the animal.
  • Languages: You can speak common and Trog. Trog is a series of croaks and clicks that other species, lacking a deep throat and air sack, have trouble recreating. There is no written Trog language. Trogs do not naturally know how to read or write.
  • Born Brawler: You have proficiency with one simple or martial weapon of your choice.
  • Swallow: You can attempt to swallow a creature of one size larger than you or smaller. Make a grapple attack against the target, on a success, they are swallowed. If the creature is the same size as you or smaller, you may move and attack freely. If the creature is larger than you, your movement speed is reduced to zero though you can still attack. You regain your movement speed after a short rest spent digesting the creature or until you spit them out as a bonus action. Swallowed creatures are restrained and blinded. They can make an Athletics or Acrobatics check as an action to wriggle out of your maw at the start of their turn. While swallowed, they take 1d6 acid damage at the start of their turns, until they escape. If the creature dies, you can either spit them out (as a bonus action) or spend a short rest digesting them. You may only digest 1 creature before finishing a long rest. You cannot hold concentration on spells while you have a swallowed creature inside you.

Subraces

Trogs come in three major varieties: Spiny, Slimy, and Bony. Choose one of these subspecies for your character.

Spiny

Spiny trogs are dry and sharp. Their bodies have adapted to desert climates, needing almost no water to survive. The derive nearly all the moisture they need from the blood of their food. They are excellent hunters and feel their best under a scorching sun. Their skin is brown and covered in warts and small thorns, making them difficult food for anything except another spiny trog.

Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 1.

  • Horn Croak: If casting thunder based magics, the magic’s range is doubled. You also know the Wub Blast cantrip. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for it.
  • Swallow: If using the Swallow action, you can bite down as you swallow your opponent, dealing 1d6 + your Strength modifier piercing damage.

Slimy

Slimy Trogs have smooth and wet skin. The reside mostly in swamps, by rivers, and near the ocean. They can come in any color, though it is always a bright and vibrant one; which serves as a natural deterrent against predators. They are the smartest of the species, making small tools or trinkets to help them hunt for prey or gain an advantage over other Trogs. There have even been some artists to come from this subspecies, though they are very rare.

Slimy Trogs must stay hydrated, needing to drink at least 1 gallon of water daily. If they have any less than this, they suffer a level of exhaustion for every day they do not drink this much.

Ability Score Improvement: Your Intelligence score increases by 1.

Improvised Trinket: During a short rest, you can use discarded materials around you to create a small trinket that can aid someone in battle. The trinket can be used with a bonus action to add +1 to an attack roll, damage roll, or saving throw. You must choose the effect when you create the object. Once the object is used, it breaks, and you must find new parts to build another trinket. You may only create 3 trinkets before finishing a long rest.

When you reach 9th level, the trinket can be used twice before breaking. At 18th level the trinket can be used 3 times before breaking. The trinket is a small object, no larger than three inches. The exact specifics of the object are up to you. A set of springs that strengthen a bow’s power, a small battery that powers up a sword, or a few magnets on an axe that draw it towards a foe’s armor are some examples.

Swallow: When you swallow a creature, you can use a bonus action to release a numbing poison in your body, bathing the swallowed creature in it. They must succeed on a Constitution saving throw, DC 10, or have disadvantage on Acrobatics and Athletics checks for the next minute. Once you have used this ability, you must finish a long rest before you can use it again.

Bony

Bony trogs are outcasts among their own kind. Cursed from birth to never be fulfilled, in stomach or spirit. Long ago, the trogs came into contact with a time-travelling amphibian god hero. The god was so distraught at the ravenous trogs within this dimension that he laid this terrible curse upon them. Thankfully, the trogs reproduce so quickly they broke past the curse by sheer attrition. However, sometimes it comes back, infecting an entire group of tadpoles.

These trogs take on ashen colors and are horribly skinny. Their bones jut out from their bodies in grotesque ways. Bony trogs will never gain fat, as their food turns to ashes before they can finish digesting it. They often die of starvation before anything else can kill them.

Ability Score Improvement: Your Dexterity score increases by 1.

  • Starving: You must eat 5 pounds of food daily or suffer one level of exhaustion. All exhaustion gained in this way is erased if you can eat 15 pounds of food in one day. Magical Suffering: Your constant pain has opened your mind to several secrets of the universe. Choose two cantrips from the Sorcerer or Warlock table. You can cast these two spells as if you were a Warlock, even if you have no levels in that class. Additionally, these spells deal +1 damage.
  • Swallow: When you swallow a creature, or any other food, they become subject to the time curse in your body. For every minute that passes while swallowed, they age 1 year. If consumed in this way, they turn to ash after being digested for 1 hour.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Lasers & Liches: Tales from the Retroverse - Test Wave 3 Player's MTX Creator(s) Chris Lock, Lluis Abadias Copyright 2021