Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Giants (Finale): Storm Giant

Last giant! Let’s do this!

Lore: Solitary Sages

Storm giants are surprisingly calm and benevolent. They are more sage than warrior. Unless they are provoked, they are quite friendly. But when they are angered, their fury could bring disaster for thousands of lives.

They live far from civilization, either high above the clouds or deep beneath the sea. Atop mountains, within coral castles, they aren’t picky. They’ll build their fortress wherever suits them.

Once, the empires of giants had much glory to their names. Storm giants still remember these days and seek to restore them. They don’t compete for a higher place in the ordning. Instead, they spend their time secluded, living in meditation and gazing up at the stars.

These giants have a unique ability of prophecy. With this power, they can learn unknown secrets, foretell the rise and fall of kings, and so much more. Yet the storm giants never interfere, for they believe it to be pointless. Although they may be willing to share what they learn, provided those who wish for the secrets are respectful enough not to warrant destruction.

It is rare for storm giants to communicate with one another. Often, they’ll only do so to share and compare what they’ve learned in visions. Only those storm giants who parent a child stay together, and only until the child has matured.

Some cultures worship storm giants as gods for their might and their vision. But these cultures have no sway on the governing of these creatures. Only their own conscience can sway them. As such, a storm giant could become a mighty defender or a terrible destroyer.

This is some pretty solid lore that you can do a lot with. Perhaps the players could visit a storm giant to gain a cryptic warning of some future tragedy they need to prevent. Or they could come across a wild storm giant who has chosen to destroy those around it in its fury. Or they could attend one for a meeting with another, during which they learn something new to aide them on their main quest. There are possibilities abound here!

Could you make one your main villain? Eh… maybe? If you stretch the lore a bit, then sure. But these guys definitely fit the ‘side boss’ or ‘quest NPC’ roles better.

Design: Fathers of Storms

Now this is what I’m talking about!

“Talk trash on my bird friends and I’ll shove this
lightning bolt right up your ass!”

This is a truly intimidating design. The storm clouds, the lightning, that majestic beard, the Viking-like armor and the giant sword, it’s amazing! You can tell that this is a monster that is not to be fucked with!

But at the same time, you can see the more sagely side of it that was described in the lore. It’s beard gives him the look of an old philosopher, with how long and well-kept it is, as well as that of a warrior. His expression is more contemplative than it is hostile. You can tell that this guy, when he’s not wearing armor, enjoys laying down for a good think.

It’s abilities are given some hinting at as well. In one hand, it holds its mighty greatsword. Meanwhile, the fingers of his other hand are curled around a bolt of lighting as if it were a javeline to be thrown. Which, of course, it is. You don’t even need to really read the stats segment; all you’ve got to do is look at this artwork.

It’s about as creative and interesting as you can get for a giant. It lacks the intrigue of other monsters, like the Beholder, but it’s still one of the better giant designs. It doesn’t bore me to tears just by looking at it, so I’d say that’s a win.

Stats: FEEL MY THUNDER!!!

Finally, a giant with something more interesting than rock throwing or catching. Haven’t had one of those since the cloud giants.

Storm giants are easily the most beefy of the lot. Their AC is only the third highest, behind the stone giants (second) and fire giants (first). However, their HP is higher than any other giant. When put together with their resistance to cold and their immunity to lightning and thunder, you get the beefiest giant of the entire lot.

Not to mention that they can be anywhere, thanks to their Amphibious ability. So you can put one in the middle of the ocean, in the mountains, wherever the hell you want!

Action wise, they do have the same moves as the other giants. They can swing a big deadly greatsword twice or they could hurl a rock at you. But these guys also have Lightning Strike, which… does exactly what you’d expect. Basically, you’ll be fighting a big angry Zeus.

Or Jupiter, if you prefer that. For some reason. Weirdo.

But wait! There’s more! These guys also have magic! Not much, granted. And most of it is more for practicality than combat. But they still have it!

At will: detect magic, feather fall, levitate, light
3/day each: control weather, water breathing

Good for a boss fight? Maybe not. But it could be good for an NPC! If you feel like giving your players a massive buddy to make the campaign easy for them.

Not to say that you can’t make an interesting boss fight out of them. It wouldn’t be as intense and memorable as it would against the monsters higher up on this list, but it would still be a decently fun one. These are the mightiest of the giants, after all. Therefor, they’d pose the mightiest threat of them all.

Placement

This monster is on the higher end of the giants. It has pretty interesting lore, a cool design, and decent enough stats. All in all, it’s a solid, if somewhat forgettable, entry in the Monster Manual.

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

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