Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Giants (Part 2): Cloud Giant

You know, when I think of giants, I think of tall dudes in a loincloth that that smashes shit. Which is the complete opposite of what I got.

Oh well. There are another five of these damn things. That’s five chances to be disappointed.

I might be a little too pessimistic.

Lore: Gamblers of the Clouds

Cloud giants, as the name might suggest, live high above the world. They are spread to the wind, living all across the world in different families. In times of need, these clans gather together to face whatever threat faces them. Although the process is slow goings.

They are attuned to the air itself, capable of turning into clouds or mist. They can even control storms almost as well as their cousins, the storm giants. They make their homes in castles built atop the mountains or clouds made solid by their magic. These domains are the last bastion of their fallen empire.

Although storm giants outrank them, the storm giants rarely interact with others of their kind. As such, many of the cloud giants see themselves as the highest on the ordning of giants. They’ll order lesser giants to seek out wealth or treasure for them.

They themselves will remain atop their homes, tending to gardens. So bountiful are these gardens that countless stories have been told about them (Jack and the Beanstalk confirmed canon in D&D world). They’ll keep griffons, perytons, and even wyverns as their pets, just as men keep owls and eagles for themselves.

Menmor the Trickster, the most clever and devious of the giant gods, is the patron of the cloud giants. They mimic their god in many ways, mainly through silver tongues and intellect.

A cloud giant’s place in the ordning is decided via wealth it wears upon itself. Value, however, is not as important to them as extravagance. Even the cheapest of treasures may grant prestige if they are appealing to the eye.

They do not fight over these treasures. Instead, they’ll gamble for them. Even the wealth of a king can be taken, so long as the one gambling for it rolls well in their unique games.

This lore is super interesting! It’s perfect for building non-combat oriented encounters! Maybe the players need to play a cloud giant in a game for an important item! Or maybe they could ally with one family and go to unite some more against a common threat, like a dragon! With a little creativity, you can create some super fun plots with these giants!

Design: Big Fancy Man

I love everything about this but the face.

Why does he look like a dopey
vampire?

I like it, though. It holds an erect, dignified posture and wears elegant, ornate clothes. It’s impossible to confuse this thing for a mindless savage. This guy may be a giant, but he’s dignified.

You can’t mistake it for weak, either. Those toned arms and massive feet (never underestimate how painful a good ol’ fashioned kick can be) undoubtedly mark it as dangerous. He’s a rich boy that knows exactly how to protect his wealth.

But… well, again: it’s simple. Too simple. It doesn’t leave me with much to talk about beyond what we just covered. It’s like the designers shrugged and said “Eh, just make a big dude in nice clothes and we’ll call ‘im a giant. What’re we doin’ for lunch?”

When are we gonna get another bizarre freak of a monster? Come on, give me something to cut my teeth on!

Stats: Aang, But Big

Huh. These are surprisingly simplistic.

Stat wise, these guys aren’t that impressive. Their AC is more than manageable, though their HP sits at a nice even 200. They have no resistances or immunities, though it makes up for it with Keen Smell, which gives it advantage on perception checks related to smell. So… you’d better not stink when you’re trying to sneak up on one.

It’s got a small list of spells to use, too. They are:

At will: detect magic, fog cloud, light
3/day each: feather fall, fly, misty step, telekinesis
1/day each: control weather, gaseous form

The rest is fairly simple. It has a Morningstar and it can throw rocks. It can use the former twice. Their damage numbers are high, but not absolutely monstrous. If it runs out of magic, it can mess you up. But it’s definitely relying on that over weapons.

If it does come to combat (which it probably will, I’ve never played with a party that wasn’t thirsty for blood), then it can put up a pretty decent fight.

Or you could throw five of them at your players at once. Just to scare the fuck out of ’em.

Placement

These guys are pretty good. Their lore and stats are just okay, the stats slightly above average. But it’s more than helped by its fantastic lore.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Cloud Giant on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Bronze Dragons
  14. Brass Dragons
  15. Copper Dragons
  16. Gold Dragons
  17. Chuul
  18. Chimera
  19. Death Knight
  20. Fomorian
  21. Bone Devil
  22. Dracolich
  23. Faerie Dragon
  24. Ankheg
  25. Empyrean
  26. Efreeti
  27. Dao
  28. Cloud Giant <—————————
  29. Drow (all four of ’em)
  30. Shadow Demon
  31. Marilith
  32. Drider
  33. Aarackockra
  34. Azer
  35. Demilich
  36. Spectator
  37. Marid
  38. Cambion
  39. Animated Armor
  40. Banshee
  41. Basilisk
  42. Yochlol
  43. Bulette
  44. Cloaker
  45. Darkmantle
  46. Doppelganger
  47. Ghoul and Ghast
  48. Ettin
  49. Pit Fiend
  50. Erinyes
  51. Chain Devil
  52. Bearded Devil
  53. Barbed Devil
  54. Spined Devil
  55. Ice Devil
  56. Djinni
  57. Nalfeshnee
  58. Glabrezu
  59. Chasme
  60. Barlgura
  61. Horned Devil
  62. Balor
  63. Shadow Dragon
  64. Vrock
  65. Dretch
  66. Goristro
  67. Hezrou
  68. Manes
  69. Duergar
  70. Quasit
  71. Dryad
  72. Flumph
  73. Planetar
  74. Imp
  75. Flameskull
  76. Displacer Beast
  77. Carrion Crawler
  78. Rug of Smothering
  79. Bugbear Chief
  80. Bugbear
  81. Vine Blight
  82. Twig Blight
  83. Needle Blight
  84. Bullywug
  85. Ettercap
  86. Gas Spore
  87. Cockatrice
  88. Lemure
  89. Solar
  90. Deva
  91. Cyclops
  92. Centaur
  93. Ghost
  94. Fire Elemental
  95. Water Elemental
  96. Air Elemental
  97. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  98. Earth Elemental
  99. Galeb Duhr
  100. Flying Sword
  101. Crawling Claw
  102. Violet Fungus
  103. Shrieker
  104. Gargoyle

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