Detritus the troll (Pratchett's Discworld watch) with crossbow

Sergeant Detritus

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


Detritus is one of the lead characters from the City Watch series of fantasy novels, by Sir Terry Pratchett . These are in turn part of his greater Discworld series. Most City Watch action occurs in the unruly city of Ankh-Morpork .

The Discworld stories are highly regarded for their witty writing style, incisive satire, and charismatic characters. Their differences from more traditional fantasy stories such as Tolkien’s contributed to their great popularity.

For context, we recommend first reading the Ankh-Morpork city watch article.



  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Ruby (wife).
  • Group Affiliation: Ankh-Morpork Watch.
  • Base Of Operations: Pseudopolis Yard, Ankh-Morpork.
  • Height: 8’6” Weight: 2000 lbs.
  • Eyes: ? Hair: None (but has some decorative lichen).
  • Note: His exact size is hard to determine, as there doesn’t appear to be anything definite in the text, and the pictures tend to vary. So I’ve guessed.

Powers & Abilities

As a troll, Detritus is animate rock. He’s extremely strong and durable, even compared to other trolls, although he’s by no means the largest.

As with most trolls, his intelligence is limited in lowland climes. But this can be countered by a helmet built for him by Cuddy (which he only wears occasionally, possibly for fear of it being damaged).

Detritus wears the Watch breastplate to identify him as a Watchman. However he doesn’t bother with their weapons, which would probably get broken. If serious trouble is in the offing he’ll take out his Piecemaker.

Technically a 2000 lb siege crossbow, it’s meant to be mounted on a vehicle. While it originally fired a single large bolt, it’s been modified to fire a few dozen bolts at a time, with such force that they splinter apart shortly after leaving the bow, often igniting. Anyone caught directly in its path generally becomes a red mist.



(A general history of his time with the Watch can be found in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch entry.)

Detritus formerly was a splatter (similar to a bouncer, but more forceful) at the Mended Drum. He then got a job in the Holy Wood pictures industry as a thug for C.M.O.T. Dibbler. There he met and fell in love with Ruby, who encouraged him to get a better job.

Men at Arms

When the Watch began recruiting minorities, Detritus was among the first to volunteer. Less than happy at being partnered with the dwarf, Cuddy, Detritus overcame his prejudice as they were forced to work together to survive on the troubled streets.

After chasing the killer into a freezing warehouse the pair were trapped, and Detritus’ intellect was increased to genius level. He threw Cuddy out a high window, and the dwarf managed to get Detritus out before the cold overcame him.

Cuddy then built Detritus a helmet that cooled his brain to allow him to think faster. The dwarf was murdered soon after by the killer they’d been hunting, leaving Detritus shaken by the loss.

Feet of Clay

A sergeant by this point, Detritus was in charge of training new watchmen in the broad aspects of being a watchman. Drills included how to march, and not pee yourself when a troll shouts in your face.

The Fifth Elephant

Travelling to Uberwald with Vimes’ retinue, Detritus caused a stir in the traditional dwarf community. But after saving the Low King’s life he gained a kind of welcome. From the Low King, at least.

Thud !

By this point he and Ruby are married, but haven’t been able to have kids. After pulling young troll Brick out of trouble, Detritus kind of adopts him, and forces him to join the Watch.


As a troll, Detritus is a very large statue that moves and shouts a lot. His exact size is unclear, and depictions vary. But he can fit comfortably in most human buildings, albeit sometimes having to hunch.


At Ankh-Morpork temperature Detritus can be a bit slow. Once he gets an idea in his head he can be reluctant to let it go. He’s a loyal and conscientious officer. His inbred dislike of dwarfs has been overcome in favour of a copper’s general disdain for all civilians, dwarf and troll alike.

He’s fallen comfortably into the role of drill sergeant, training the new recruits mainly by shouting at them until they do it properly or run away from the city.


Detritus (in extreme cold): “Of course ! Superconductivity !”
Cuddy: “Wha‘ ?”
Detritus: “You know ? Brain of impure silicon. Problem of heat dissipation. Daytime temperature too hot, processing speed slows down, weather gets hotter, brain stops completely, trolls turn to stone until nightfall, ie, colder temperature, however, lowertemperatureenough, brainoperatesfaster.”

Detritus: “Swore ’em in, sir. Used troll oath.”
Flint: “He said he’d kick our goohuloog heads in if we didn’t join up and do what we’re told, sir.”
Detritus: “Very old troll oath. Very famous, very traditional.”

“You listen up good right now ! You in the watch, boy ! It a job with opportunity ! I only been doin’ it ten minutes and already I get promoted ! Also got education and training for a good job in Civilian Street ! This your club with nail in it. You will eat it. You will sleep on it ! When Detritus say jump, you say… what colour !”

Detritus: “Corporal Carrot says there’s some good buried somewhere in everyone.”
Vimes: “And what’s your job, Detritus ?”
Detritus: “Engineer in charge of deep mining operations, sah !”

Detritus: “Dis der Riot Act and you’ve all got to read it, right ? Pass it round.”
Protestor: “What if we don’t read it ?”
Detritus: “You got to read it. It legal.”
Protestor: “And then what happens ?”
Detritus: “Den I shoot you.”
Protestor: “That’s not allowed ! You’ve got to shout ’Stop ! Armed watchman !‘ first.”
Detritus: “Sure, dat suits me. It harder to hit runnin’ targets.”

“Boys, if dere was a PhD in bein’ fick, youse wouldn’t be able to find a pencil.”

Detritus: “Oh boy, oh boy, oh…” (hesitates)
Vimes: “-boy.”
Detritus: “-boy ! You are makin’ friends like nobody’s business today !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Sergeant Detritus

Dex: 04 Str: 09 Bod: 09 Motivation: Uphold the Good
Int: 02 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Watchman/former bouncer
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 011 HP: 020

Density Increase: 02, Growth: 02, Molecular Chameleon: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Density Increase and Growth are Always On and already Factored In (-1).
  • Molecular Chameleon only does stone (-1), and is Always On and already Factored In (-1).

Charisma (Intimidation): 05, Detective (Police Procedure): 02, Martial Artist: 05, Weaponry (Piecemaker): 05

Police Credentials (Sergeant In the Watch, Low).

Watch (High).

Strange Appearance, Misc. Drawback (Superconductivity, see below).


  • GUARD ARMOUR [BODY 04, Skin Armor: 01, Limitation: Partial Coverage (-1CS Trick Shot to bypass)].
  • Piecemaker – siege crossbow [BODY 04, STR 07 to use, Projectile weapon: 12, Ammo: 01, R#03, Drawback: Long reload time].
  • Cooling Helmet [BODY 05, Temperature Control (Range of Touch, only to Subtract Heat): 04].


Trolls think better at cooler temperatures. Their natural climate is high in the mountains, but most live lower down these days, resulting in a generally low level of intellect.

For every two APs the temperature rises above the average (0 AP in Ankh-Morpork) his INT and WIL drop by an AP. Conversely, for every AP it drops below the average his INT and WIL rise by an AP.

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Discworld Novels by Terry Pratchett.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet and some cold weather.

Writeup completed on the 1st of September, 2014.