A troll is a person who posts inflammatory comments in an attempt to start a fight on the internet.
As most species of mythological troll can only be totally defeated through the use of fire or acid, many internet users assume this will be true of the internet troll. However, the internet troll is a Min-Maxing Powergaming Wanker, and always has some combination of templates and one-level PrC dips to make it immune to Flaming attacks, or worse still is able to feed off them and increase its Trolling ability. This is the reason 3 trolls seem to pop back up and start three more worthless RAGE threads for every one that is defeated by logic or sage, neither of which are listed as doing fire or acid damage in the DMG or PHB.
Rating a troll
Trolls are to be given a rating on a scale of 1 to 10, based on how subtle they are in their trolling, whether or not it's an amusing troll, and the general quality of their post. This type of contentless post can also be a troll.
"Hey gaiz, 4e lolololol" merits a 0/10.
There are no other examples of a 10/10 at this time, as trolls are usually physical and/or mental children who aren't intelligent enough to post quality material. Having said that, some theorize that 10/10 trolls are only rarely identified because their victims never actually realize they're being trolled, since the trolling is RAGEworthy and artful enough to merit 10s, and the victims are thus distracted by other concerns such as removing their own lower jaws and bludgeoning themselves to death with them.
/tg/ rating system
An alternative rating system has been suggested for /tg/ in which one adds or subtracts points based on the success of the troll. While trolling is mostly a subjective experience, users are encouraged to try to objectively rate based on cleverness and creativity of the troll post in question. In general, zero points are to be awarded for common and obvious things that fail to induce responses or anger. This usually indicates laziness and lack of cunning. The majority of troll posts on the internet would probably be rated a zero. Examples would be:
- Posting copypasta designed to induce rage. We've all seen it.
- Posting an image of text instead of an actual relevant image.
If the troll post is good enough to earn some points, points should then be deducted for things that make the troll more obvious, or which indicate they're completely clueless about what they're supposed to be doing. Deductions are for particularly uncreative or stupid people attempting to troll. Indicators of this are things like:
- Using a name or tripcode.
- Using an avatar in combination with a name or tripcode, forcing a personality.
- Bad grammar or spelling, especially common grammatical errors like misuse of "your" and "you're," "its" and "it's", or the use of incorrect phrases like "should of."
- Obvious lack of knowledge on the subject he/she is trolling.
- Anything indicating the troll is under the age of a majority of the site's posters.
- Spamming the same thing over and over again.
Points are awarded on the rare occasion that a post elicits a true emotional response from not only the judge, but most of the board as well. Some things that are awarded points are posted repeatedly, but as long as they continue to make fa/tg/uys sputter and froth through rolls of quiverfat, they should still warrant at least a point. The material is either generating rage on its own or the troll is a creative and astute one. Again, trolls warranting any points at all are exceedingly rare, and can sometimes go undetected for long periods of time. Examples of this are:
- Posting furry art. As often as it's done, it should be worth no points, but it never fails to create a thread that always reaches maximum post count.
- Posting furry art that you drew for /tg/ containing /tg/ characters. This can sometimes even make a mod rage and order a ban. Always guaranteed to reach autosage if it doesn't get deleted first.
- Making a long, seemingly knowledgeable and well-written post with a few factual or fluff errors intentionally slipped in. Most people won't notice them but a few fa/tg/uys are guaranteed to see it and write long, rage-filled posts on how the poster is WRONG WRONG WRONG. Bonus points are awarded if other people who don't see the errors quote the post somewhere, believing it all to be accurate.
Judges may write up a brief report on why the troll post received the score it did.
How Not to be Trolled
Seriously, that's it. That's literally all it takes. However boundlessly noble and correct your reasoning may be for posting in an obvious troll thread, IT STILL FEEDS THE TROLL. The response you've prepared is undoubtedly quite witty, thorough, and undeniably right, but please, for the love of God, don't post it. Not even with sage; sage posts do not count against the bump limit or the image limit, and will inevitably be answered by the troll. Remember they're called "trolls" after a type of bait fishing, so if you don't take the bait, they have no power. Also remember Alfred's story in the The Dark Knight about the caravan raider who was stealing precious stones and then throwing them away: "So why steal them?" Bruce Wayne asks. "Well, because he thought it was good sport," Alfred explains. "Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn." Maybe a bit melodramatic for our purposes, but that's the basic principle a troll acts upon.
While it is possible to countertroll (not only refuting the troll but saying something to upset them instead) don't. In addition to becoming the very monster you're fighting, this takes a lot of skill, personal knowledge of the troll and a degree of malice to pull off and could have far-reaching consequences. Many people who troll and aren't sadistic people have serious issues and are easily upset. Whether or not you believe the Bible, not for nothing does it say "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Proverbs 18:21 (people have killed themselves over cyberbullying, which can just involve mean messages).
If you simply ignore the troll, report as many of his/her posts as you have the patience for, and hide the thread, the troll will either starve or be swept up by one of the local janitors (who, unlike the mods, have been known to show up occasionally). The other option is to stay off the internet entirely, but since you're on here, I'm guessing that'd be like chopping every other toe and finger off.
The last and most desperate option is to simply exterminate EVERYTHING, then do the same to the leftovers and then again even when there is nothing left, not even the matter of it, not even the ATOMS! NOTHING! PURGE IT ALL!!!!
Oh, you wanted to know about these, eh?
Trolls originated in European mythology, with the iconic forms hailing from Scandinavian myths, though similar creatures like Oni or even Bigfoot exist in other cultures. Other than that, it's really hard to pin down what a "troll" officially is. Often they're big dumb brutes who turn to stone in sun light; one of the most well-known examples of these in fantasy literature would be the three trolls in Tolkien's The Hobbit. Norse myths go further and say these trolls are descended from or otherwise related to giants, or Jötnar. Other times, they are portrayed as smaller, social beings that can turn invisible and hoard gold and treasure, a bit like dwarves. They're usually portrayed as fairly ugly, but not always; female trolls being surprisingly gorgeous, if inhuman isn't unheard of - for example, the Scandinavian Huldra is technically a female troll, but looks more like a nymph with a fox's or cow's tail, and/or a back that is either covered in bark or "hollow like a rotting tree", who just so happens to be as strong as ten men and very interested in securing a human husband.
In fantasy gaming, trolls are typically the next step up from or equivalent to ogres in the scale of "monstrous humanoids". Generally regarded as being giant-kin, due to the giant/troll/ogre overlap in European folklore, trolls are usually portrayed as being incredible dim-witted but savage, strong and tough. They may also have one or two innate magical abilities to further differentiate them from ogres, with the most iconic of these being the ability to regenerate, thanks to the influence of Dungeons & Dragons.
The D&D Troll (and, by extension, the Pathfinder Troll) is a lesser giant-offshoot race who are somewhere between ogres and hill giants in size, but not quite as stupid as either. However, they are still utterly savage due to an intense hunger, a side-effect of their powerful regenerative abilities. Nullified only by acid or fire, trollish regeneration has risen and fallen in terms of raw power over the edition - back in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, for example, they literally could not die unless you burned the corpse with fire or chemicals, although certain "bodily destructive" spells like Disintegrate or Petrify could usually kill them as well, if your DM agreed.
D&D trolls were also highly mutable, with many different varieties arising as a result of dwelling place (the Scrags are amphibious trolls who need to be immersed in water to regenerate) or a result of hybridization with other giants (two-headed trolls descending from troll/ettin crossbreeding). Between the sheer variety of trolls, plus the addition of templates in 3.5, fighting them could be just as frustrating as fighting slimes as you tried to figure out what you were battling (for example, is it a Rock Troll, who only dies to Acid or Sonic Attacks? Or a Fire Troll, who only dies to Cold and Acid?) and how to kill it. In fact, with the right templates, a killer DM style gamesmaster could build a troll you could only kill if you strangled or drowned it.
Before you ask why D&D trolls regenerate, apparently, it's because they were inspired by Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions, where regenerating trolls are an enemy defeated at one point.
In Shadowrun, trolls are essentially the game's equivalent to ogres, being a relative of the orc metahuman strain who grows even larger and more powerful, with pronounced bony growths, mostly in the form of long, curling, ram-like horns sprouting from the skull. Like orcs, they serve as a stand-in for real-world racial minorities in many ways.
In Warhammer Fantasy, trolls are one of the races allied with the Orcs & Goblins army, being one of the few creatures even stupider and more brutal than the greenskins. These ogre-like Chaos-touched humanoids are mindless predators, who'll eat just about anything courtesy of hyper-corrosive stomach juices. This meant that not only could they regenerate and appear in mutant varieties for more killing power (rock trolls that were magic resistant due to turning to living stone as a result of eating too much rock, for example), but they could also wipe out whole regiments of heavily armored foes by puking on them.
Patent trolls are real-world extortionists that shake down people for 'infringing' their criminally vague, broad, and utterly useless patents (unless you count having a patent that that can be used for shaking someone down, and only for shaking someone down, as useful).  See Games Workshop
- Female Space Marines
- 50 Copper and Ludi'drizz't
- Forbidden Temple of the Great Falls
- "Troll" a poem by Shane Koyczan
There is no better troll bait than Female Space Marines.