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I'm building an ecology that revolves around an infinite food source being eaten by Trolls, who then make more Trolls, which they then kick out of the cave because they don't fit around the food source.

So outside of the cave, the main source of food is basically Trolls. (Either the corpses of starved ones, or just the young ones milling about). But some of the other predators in the area cannot do Fire or Acid damage, but are clever enough to knock one down and hunt in groups big enough that they can eat an unconscious Troll in one sitting.

Is there any lore available (either in ecology articles, or D&D stories, or something) on what happens if you eat the whole thing without killing it? Will it just die at some point, or will it regrow in one (or more) of the stomachs it's in?

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    \$\begingroup\$ See Grom the Paunch (from a different universe) for potential inspiration. \$\endgroup\$ – Angew Dec 30 '17 at 12:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ For a moment, I thought this came from cooking.stackexchange.com. \$\endgroup\$ – IllidanS4 Dec 30 '17 at 23:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I recall the Forgotten Realms setting in (I think) 3rd edition had troll jerky, which was essentially an infinitely reusable quantity of edible jerky made out of troll flesh. \$\endgroup\$ – zibadawa timmy Dec 31 '17 at 9:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @IllidanS4 When mentioning other StackExchange sites you can use shorthand notation like [cooking.se] which will render like this Seasoned Advice. (In case you didn't know) \$\endgroup\$ – kasperd Dec 31 '17 at 9:58
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Usually — and across multiple editions — creatures large enough to swallow other creatures whole deal acid damage to those swallowed victims. For example, Dire Shark in 3.5E or Giant Frog in 5E, or Behir in both of those editions (3.5E, 5E).

Since, as you note, this prevents regeneration (again, across editions), I think this solves your problem, at least for creatures with similar biology. Its easy to extrapolate from this that, in general, being in a stomach does acid damage, even if it's on a smaller scale for creatures who have to chew their food first.

For weird elemental or aberrant monsters with some other kind of digestion, I think it'll depend on the specifics of how exactly that biology works and the mechanics of troll regeneration in the edition you are using — and on your world.

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Creatures with regeneration still have the rule that "severed parts die if they are not reattached". Any piece of a troll that is small enough to be swallowed should be counted as severed.

Also, all creatures have acid in their stomachs; this acid should be sufficient to prevent regeneration.

You've asked for general lore about eating trolls, so this may interest you: most roguelike games have a hunger mechanic, and "eating whole monsters" is the primary way to stay well-fed. In most such games, eating a whole monster might cause you to absorb some of its properties -- for example, in ADOM, eating a troll might grant you some of its regenerative power.

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    \$\begingroup\$ General D&D lore, so I'm downvoting. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 31 '17 at 21:35

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