The very word “giant” evokes fear and admiration. In fact, the creatures known as giants practically invented new definitions for the word, in response to their incredible size. Giants are titan-like beings born of the world in some manner. They are raw forces given some manner of thought. One giant alone is an engine of destruction, capable of razing several lands in its wake. To some giants, we are merely insignificant insects that act as an obstacle to our goals. They have no inherent malice towards us, we’re just annoying to them. The Church of the Cosmic Colossal preaches these values, proclaiming that Giants are Cosmic Entities that are far superior to other Material Plane creatures.
To some researchers, they are the first beings who emerged from a lifeless world of nothingness and chaos. Some even say that they sculpted the world as we know it today. To some, they’re early creations of the Gods that were in time rejected in favor of the smaller folk. Perhaps they were once humans who embraced incredible energies of the planes, thus being transformed into massive beings of power. Like many theories surrounding various creatures, they’re not totally conclusive or have too much evidence to support their truths. All that is known is that each giant holds their own origin stories and epic tales. Lest you be a fool, never challenge them on their mythologies.
Author’s Note: GIANTS! I figured I’d write at least one tie-in to Storm King’s Thunder while the module was still relevant. Since I’m not as into it as I was with Curse of Strahd, this post won’t likely be expanded into a theme of any sort. No matter, I wanted to convert some classic giants to D&D 5e and this was my excuse to do so! In fact, many of these come from some of my favorite settings. In addition, I converted a giant that was made for a 3E campaign eons ago. Enjoy.
Foul giants who made pacts with sinister undead in the negative energy plane, these giants are driven to consume souls and enhance their already unnatural life span. Far more dangerous and intelligent than their shadowy cousins, these giants earn their name as a force of death. Their honed senses make them among the ultimate killers, skilled in tracking and hunting as well.
Huge giant, any evil
Armor Class. 18 (enchanted armor)
Hit Points 246 (17d12+136)
Speed 50 ft.
STR 28 (+9), DEX 14 (+2), CON 26 (+8), INT 12 (+1), WIS 20 (+5), CHA 13 (+1)
Saving Throws. Dex +7, Int +6
Skills. Intimidation +11, Medicine +10, Perception +10, Survival +10
Damage Immunities. necrotic, poison, bludgeoning/piercing/slashing from non-magical weapons
Damage Vulnerabilities. radiant
Condition Immunities. enchantment/charmed, frightened, poisoned
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages. Common, Giant
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)
Death Sight. The giant can see in magical darkness. In addition, it may roll a medicine check to determine how injured or close to death an enemy is.
Innate Spellcasting. The giant’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. The Spell DC is 18:
At-Will: inflict wounds, speak with dead, thunderous smite
3/day each: animate dead, vampiric touch
1/day each: create undead, harm
Light Weakness. While in bright light, the giant has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Soul Stealing. When a creature within 30 ft. of the Death Giant drops to 0, the target must immediately make a Constitution saving throw (DC 18). Failure results in that target dying and their soul being eaten by the giant. Upon the soul being consumed, the giant regains 16 (3d10) hit points. Its soul is added to the wave of souls that float around the death giant. This creature cannot be revived until the giant that had killed it is also slain.
Multiattack. The giant makes two Giant Cleaver attacks.
Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, ranged 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 46 (6d12+7) bludgeoning damage.
Giant Cleaver. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (3d8+7) slashing damage.
Inflict Massive Wounding (1/day). Melee Spell Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 65 (10d10+10) necrotic damage.
Keening. (Recharge 5 or 6). The giant conjures waves of tormented souls around it. All creatures within 100 ft., not immune to fear effects, must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 18). If the result is a failure, the creature must use any movement it can to leave the 100 ft. area or until you succeed the saving throw. If it cannot, it will be stuck under the effects of fear.
Chill of Death. When hit with an attack from up to 30 ft. away, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 18.) Failure results in taking 13 (3d8) cold damage. Success results in half damage.
Forest Giants see themselves as guardians of nature, to an almost self-righteous extent. They consider themselves relatives of earth-based giants. These giants have a green skin tone and darker green colored hair. They’re more active during the day time than other parts of the day and favor an herbivorous diet if they can help it. They’re typically calm towards outsiders, as long as they respect the nature around them. However, they’re quite quick to provoke. Some become outwardly malicious if remotely offended.
Huge giant, any non-lawful or non-chaotic alignment.
Armor Class. 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 229 (17d12+119)
Speed 40 ft.
STR 25 (+7), DEX 10 (+0), CON 22 (+6), INT 10 (+0), WIS 20 (+5), CHA 14 (+2)
Saving Throws. Int +4, Cha +6
Skills. Nature +8, Perception +8
Damage Immunities. acid
Damage Weaknesses. fire
Senses passive Perception 16
Languages. Common, Giant
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
Innate Spellcasting. The giant’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. The Spell DC is 17:
At-Will: ensnaring strike, entangle, speak with animals, speak with plants, spike growth
3/day each: conjure woodland beings, heat metal, polymorph
1/day each: conjure fey, hold monster, tree stride
Multiattack. The giant makes two Great Tree Club attacks.
Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, ranged 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 34 (6d8+7) bludgeoning damage.
Great Tree Club. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d8+7) bludgeoning damage.
Born from realms of light and life, the radiant giant is a bit of an anomaly. This giant emits a harsh light to ward off foes, as well as shelter living beings against the darkness. This protector giant’s features are masked under its near blinding light.
Huge giant, neutral good
Armor Class. 16 (enchanted chainmail armor)
Hit Points 250 (20d12+120)
Speed 40 ft.
STR 27 (+8), DEX 13 (+1), CON 22 (+6), INT 10 (+0), WIS 19 (+4), CHA 16 (+3)
Saving Throws. Dex+3, Int +4
Skills. Medicine +9, Perception +9
Damage Immunities. radiant
Damage Resistances. fire
Senses passive Perception 19
Languages. Common, Giant
Challenge 12 (5,900 XP)
Incredible Light. The giant shines a light that stretches up to 60 ft. away from it. However, creatures that reach with 10 ft. of it must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 16) or become blinded for 1 minute. They may make the save again at the end of their turn.
Innate Spellcasting. The giant’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. The Spell DC is 16:
At-Will: aid, cure wounds, protection from good and evil, sanctuary
3/day each: beacon of hope, lesser restoration, mass cure wounds, remove curse
1/day each: death ward, greater restoration, heal
Multiattack. The giant makes two Pike Staff attacks.
Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, ranged 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 34 (6d10+7) bludgeoning damage.
Pike Staff. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d10+7) piercing damage.
Blinding Response. When a creature is attempting to attack the giant within 100 ft. of it, it may use a reaction to force that attack to have disadvantage.
The dreaded Shadow Giant is one lost in legend and nightmare. As far as the most apt archivists and even giants can tell you, the shadow giants were once a conglomerate of giant races. After long campaigns against each other and a variety of “lesser” creatures, age had worn down their civilizations and forces alike. In desperation, they plead to forces beyond the planes to aid them. Eventually, something responded to their calls and offered them immortality… at a price. These giants were taken to the Plane of Shadows, where their physical essence was torn apart and replaced with a magical power known as shadowstuff. While not truly undead, these giants were no longer fully alive either. They look grey and blurry, rendering their facial features hard to distinguish. From what can be seen, their expression remains consistently dour.
Huge giant, neutral evil
Armor Class. 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 210 (16d12+112)
Speed 40 ft.; 40 ft. hover (up to 10 ft. off the ground)
STR 27 (+8), DEX 12 (+1), CON 24 (+7), INT 11 (+0), WIS 16 (+3), CHA 15 (+2)
Saving Throws. Dex +5, Con +11, Cha +6
Skills. Perception +6, Stealth +9
Damage Immunities. poison
Condition Immunities. poisoned
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages. Common, Giant
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)
Innate Spellcasting. The giant’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. The Spell DC is 15:
At-Will: blur, darkness, invisibility
3/day each: misty step, greater invisibility
Shadow Jumping. If there is a shadow within 40 ft. of the giant, it may jump to it using its movement. If the giant doesn’t have the movement to reach said shadow, it cannot teleport. Doing such does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Shadow’s Blessing. The giant can see in magical darkness. In addition, when casting Darkness, the spell stretches over the giant’s head, rather than reaching 10 ft. high.
Sunlight Weakness. While in sunlight, the giant has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Multiattack. The giant makes two Shadow Slam attacks.
Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, ranged 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d10+8) bludgeoning damage plus 5 (1d10) necrotic damage.
Shadow Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d8+8) necrotic damage. Also, the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d6. The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. If a non-evil humanoid dies from this attack, a new shadow rises from the corpse 1d4 hours later.