Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Giants (Part 4): Frost Giant

And here is where Angerroth the Barbarian fell against the giant horde. His bones are under that boulder over there.

Elder Zilane of Istivin, Recounting the Giant Wars

Lore: War! What is it good for?!

A lot, according to these guys.

Frost giants are warriors to their cores. They live in the frozen peaks beyond civilization, where no crops can grow and no livestock can live. To live, they’ll hunt the other inhabitants of the mountains and eat them raw, as freshly killed prey is as hot as they like.

They march amidst the blizzard, blowing horns of war to declare their presence. When the storms pass, villages are left in ruin. Inns and taverns suffer the most, as the giants will raid their stocks. Smithies suffer similarly. Curiously, the homes of the rich are left mostly unscathed. Frost giants have little use for wealth, aside from gems that they use to trade with other tribes.

Brute force is the currency of the frost giants. One’s place in the ordning is decided by battle, not wealth or skill. They make no fine crafts or arts, electing to simply take it instead. War is the bread and butter of a frost giant tribe.

And… that’s it. These guys are all about war and violence. Their motivations are about as complex as a villain from a 1960s cartoon.

Still, you could write some fun stories out of this. Maybe another tribe could hire the players to handle a tricky trade that could easily end in a fight. Or perhaps they need to help a village ravaged by them by robbing the rich asshole that survived. With a little imagination, you could make something fun for your friends.

Compelling? Maybe. Maybe not. But at least fun.

Design: I’M BLUE, DABADEEDABADIE

How many music references can I make this article?

This is yet another simple but effective design. It gives you everything you need to know at a single glance. Although it could’ve used a bit more in the creativity department.

Firstly, the obvious: the blue. Sure, you could take the fur clothes and the long beard as clues of its frosty homeland. But let’s be honest: the blue skin is a dead giveaway.

Secondly, it doesn’t take a genius to spot that this dude is a warrior. Those are clothes meant for battle. You know, if the giant axe in his right hand didn’t give that away already.

While this is fine, I can’t help but see all the missed potential. Why not put some icicles in his beard? Or cover his axe in frost and snow? Why not have him holding a frozen boulder? Something, anything!

It ain’t bad. But it isn’t as fun as it could be.

Stats: We Will, We Will, Rock You!

The stats here are so boring that that was the only song reference I could come up with.

It’s incredibly simple. It can swing an axe twice or throw a rock at you. That’s it. There’s nothing else to it. Sure, it can hit like a truck! But it has nothing to challenge the players beyond numbers!

Unless you count being immune to cold as a challenge. Which I don’t.

Placement

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of this monster. The lore is only okay and the design is the same. Maybe it would’ve been fine if the stats were more interesting. But that was the most boring of them all. Overall, this was a fairly boring monster.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Frost 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. Fire Giant
  40. Animated Armor
  41. Banshee
  42. Basilisk
  43. Yochlol
  44. Bulette
  45. Cloaker
  46. Darkmantle
  47. Doppelganger
  48. Ghoul and Ghast
  49. Ettin
  50. Pit Fiend
  51. Erinyes
  52. Chain Devil
  53. Bearded Devil
  54. Barbed Devil
  55. Spined Devil
  56. Ice Devil
  57. Djinni
  58. Nalfeshnee
  59. Glabrezu
  60. Chasme
  61. Barlgura
  62. Horned Devil
  63. Balor
  64. Shadow Dragon
  65. Vrock
  66. Dretch
  67. Goristro
  68. Hezrou
  69. Manes
  70. Frost Giant <————————–
  71. Duergar
  72. Quasit
  73. Dryad
  74. Flumph
  75. Planetar
  76. Imp
  77. Flameskull
  78. Displacer Beast
  79. Carrion Crawler
  80. Rug of Smothering
  81. Bugbear Chief
  82. Bugbear
  83. Vine Blight
  84. Twig Blight
  85. Needle Blight
  86. Bullywug
  87. Ettercap
  88. Gas Spore
  89. Cockatrice
  90. Lemure
  91. Solar
  92. Deva
  93. Cyclops
  94. Centaur
  95. Ghost
  96. Fire Elemental
  97. Water Elemental
  98. Air Elemental
  99. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  100. Earth Elemental
  101. Galeb Duhr
  102. Flying Sword
  103. Crawling Claw
  104. Violet Fungus
  105. Shrieker
  106. Gargoyle

1 thought on “Giants (Part 4): Frost Giant”

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