Saturday, January 29, 2022

OSR: Immortal Robot Fire Dwarves

by Ben Weez
The Golem was the height of the Artificers' art, statues of stone or men of metal granted the ability to move and act, obedient to any command yet incredibly powerful.  The only Golems created these days are done with divine help and are extremely rare- all attempts to recreate the ancient magicks the Sorcerer-Kings of Ancient Days used have failed.  Still, that hasn't prevented the people of this current age from trying.

One of the most famous failures in this quest was the Azers. 

You see, as the Sages tell us, every mote of dust and bit of pond scum has a spiritual counter-part, or a soul.  Most of these souls are the spiritual equivalents of insects, plentiful and impossibly varied, but certainly not conscious.  And just like the animals, these spirits increase in size, power and intelligence until we reach the Elementals, Outsiders and more powerful beings.

Most artificers or Sages who attempt to create Constructs use these small, weak spirits or raw mana to create and power their constructs.  These spirits are easily controlled, possessing either no will of their own, or it being simple to bully such small creatures into obeying.  

However, these small spirits were incapable of animating something like a Golem.  So, the legendary Loxodon Magi Yonvi Great-Belly decided to try summoning larger spirits of fire from deep within the Earth and binding them to metal shells, in the hopes that these creatures would be powerful enough.  The crude metal bodies he prepared were mere test models, barely worth the pig iron they were made of.

To his surprise, his wards held and the spirits were successfully bound.  However, he had badly underestimated the intelligence of the spirits he summoned.  The spirits, having realized their predicament, almost immediately broke free of the Magi's control and proceeded to go their own way.

Since then, these spirits, otherwise known as the Azers,  have created their own civilization, one of worker-artisans and scholar-craftsmen.  Since Azers have no need to eat, drink or sleep and receive all the energy they need from the immense heat of the Earth's volcanic activity, they are free to labor endlessly in pursuit of their own goals. 

Azers are semi-immortal craftsmen and artisans.  Because of their nature as spirits of pure flame, they can mold metal with their bare hands, kneading it like bread dough.  AS such, their skill in forging and crafting is second to none, especially when it comes to metal-working.  Only the forges of Heaven and the greatest of the Giants can compete with the Azers' beautiful, yet highly functional designs.

Azers do not limit themselves to metal, however.  They are also known to work with precious metals, creating beautiful jewelry and other works of art; with stone, sculpting it into fantastical shapes on the surface or carving out elaborate structures in cliff-faces or in the depths of the earth.  They are known for building vast, beautiful cities under the Earth for themselves, carving canals to let lava flow through the streets.  When not laboring, Azers splash around in or luxuriate in the lava, gorging themselves on the wild mana of the planet. 

Number Appearing: 1 or 1d4+2
Alignment: Lawful Neutral or any Lawful
Languages: 1d20 languages, most archaic but you have a d10% chance per language of speaking at least one.
Treasure: Their shells are works of masterful craftsmanship, beautiful as art pieces and extremely valuable to other Azers.  Their workshops are also full of masterwork weapons, armor and other wonders that they consider worthless, but others would pay princely sums for.

by Jakub Politzer

HD 3 (spirit-body) / 3 (shell)
AR 4 [Metal Shell]
Atk Varies, see below
Mor 15
Saves 10 or less
Immune to Fire and Fire Damage
Immune to Lightning and Lightning Damage
Immune to Poison and Poison Damage
Resistant to Ice and Ice Damage

Living Fire: Azers are spirits of fire wrapped in steel.  They only need air and mana to continue functioning.  They do not need food or water.  They do not sleep.  They do not feel pain because of damage done to their bodies, only from taking damage to the soul, such as from a source that does psychic, necrotic or radiant damage. 

Heated Body: Azers, when inhabiting their shells, heat them to super-high temperatures.  Metal shells glow red-hot or ripple with heat, while stone bakes.  Azers set flammable items alight by touching them.  Additionally, anyone who gets within 5' of an Azer or touches one takes 1d6 fire damage.  Azers also do an additional +1d6 fire damage when they successfully hit a creature with a metal weapon.

Shell Body: The body you are speaking to is not the Azer, just a shell it uses to interact with the environment.  Azers are spirits of pure flame and creative drive.  An Azer can, as an action, exit its body in a burst of flame.  An Azer that does so becomes invisible and intangible (as a Ghost).  Azers can always detect each other, even if one is in spirit form.   

Fuel for the Flames: If an Azer is struck by a spell or ability that would do fire damage, the Azer is instead healed for an amout of HP equal to the damage the spell or ability would have dealt.        

Water Damage: Throwing at least a bucketful water on an Azer does 1d6 damage to it and immersing it in water does 3d6 damage a round.  Water or magical damage (see above) is the only way to kill an Azer- destroying their shells only inconveniences them. 

- Avoid fighting, it's an unnecessary distraction
- Rush in fearlessly
- Slap people in long robes or those who look flammable
- Grapple and tackle, use your 'Heated Body' to damage and apply pressure while you negotiate

To customize an Azer, roll on the table below:

What does this Azer's shell look like?


1- A statuesque man whose arms split into dozens of thin, flexible tentacles that each end in tiny, long-fingered hands.
2- A centaur-like creature, low and squat with the lower body of a lobster, six-legged with a powerful tail.  The upper body has hands for fine manipulation.
3- A humanoid torso with eight arms, four coming off the top and four out of the bottom.  Each one ends in a hand.  There are eyes scattered across the body and one on each of the palms.
4- A dog's body with tentacles coming out of the neck instead of a head, a single eye in the center of all the tentacles and a larger human-looking arm coming out of the rump like a scorpion's stinger.
5- A metal centipede that can fold up into a sphere of molten metal to fit through tight spaces.  The centipede has a long tongue made of coiled wire that splits into dozens of appendages for fine manipulation.
6- A mole made of metal with a star-burst like nose, each one tipped in a feeler and the head dotted in eye-slits.  Also has a second pair of arms attached to the back of the body, which are usually folded up. 

How does this Azer fight?


1- A steam-powered cannon that launches sharp metal disks the size of a man's hand.  The Azer can launch 1 every 1d4 rounds, each one doing 3d6 damage, save for half.  It can also blast jets of steam (15' range, 2d6 fire damage, save for half) once per round.
2- Can deploy a rotating saw blade (1d12 damage, requires attack roll) that ignores all non-metal armor including shields.  Also has a stinger that can stab a creature for (1d4 sharp + 1d6 fire) fire damage or fire 3 needles (1d4 sharp each, can target up to three creatures).
3- Fires a barbed grappling hook (1d8+2 sharp, requires attack roll, grapples automatically) to pull creatures toward it.  Has brass knuckles built into the hands of this shell (1d6+3 blunt + 1d6 fire) for close quarters work.
4- It wields a pair of glass blowguns that glass darts full of molten metal (1 damage + 1d6 fire damage a round until cooled with water or ice or scraped off as an action, save to dodge).  It also carries a net of barbed wire which it throws on people (requires attack roll, 1d4 sharp + grappled on a hit).  Fights with hit and run strategies.
5- A big hammer whose head resembles a cage.  On a hit, the hammer's head springs open and traps a limb, head, weapon inside, before snapping shut around it.  It can make 2 attacks that do 1d8+2 damage, and if the head swallows something 2 1d4+2 attacks, while the affected object or creature takes 1d6 fire damage a round. 
6- A masterwork sword (1d6+4).  It can attack twice a round and knows 3 martial maneuvers.  A master swordsman who fights primarily for entertainment.  Honorable, will not kill those who it judges to 'deserve life', but slays the wicked and dishonorable without mercy.  

Does this Azer possess any special powers?


1- 1/Day, it can throw a 3d6 fireball that hits a 30' diameter circle, save for half.
2- It can cast 'Heat Metal' as an at-will spell.
3- It can vomit a sludge of molten metal.  This does 2d6 damage to any creature hit, plus an additional 1d6 fire damage until it cools in 1d4+2 rounds or is cooled off with water or ice.  The metal also forms a physical barrier to anyone who gets close or tries to approach it. 
4- 1/Day, it can create 1d4 spheres of ball lightning that float around the battle, doing 1d8 damage to a random creature.  These spheres disappear once it damages a creature. 
5- 1/Day, the Azer can exit it's shell and attack as a pillar of living fire.  During this form it takes double damage from sources that deal water or cold damage, but can only be hurt by them and other things that could hurt a column of fire.  It can remain in this form for up to 1 minute or until it chooses to return to it's shell. 
6- 1/Day, it can teleport into another metal shell, leaving this current one empty and inanimate.   

Treasures of the Azer's Workshop:


1- 1d8 Masterwork weapons.  These weapons do +1 damage on a hit and are each worthy of royalty, as well as the prices royals would ordinarily pay. 
2- 1d4 suits of Masterwork armor.  Grant protection as fullplate +1, and extremely valuable as either armor or as art pieces.
3- The Flame of Ignikar (1d6+Atk damage), a golden sword with a crystal hilt.  The sword can 3/Day, absorb fire damage taken by the wearer and redirect it at another target besides the one it originated from.
4- The Cuirass of Fortitude, a masterwork chestplate that acts as a +1 armor piece and grants the user 3/Day the ability to gain advantage on any save against poison, disease or a harmful magical effect.  This ability can be used after seeing the initial d20 roll.
5- The Manual of Golems.  A huge metal book with pages of nickel and a cover of steel, studded with jewels.  Pressing the ruby in the center causes the book to transform into a 5 HD Golem under the control of the Book's last owner. 
6- A ring of twisted gold chains with an opal set in the center.  This ring can be used to Scry like a crystal ball. 
7- A pair of gold and glass wings that grant the user the ability to fly for up to 1 hour per day.  The user can also hover during that time.  The only problem is that the wings are extremely bright and flashy, reflecting light and casting rainbows whenever they are used. 
8- A pair of ruby slippers.  Tapping them together can teleport the user up to 100' as a free action.  This ability can be used 3/Day.
9- A rapid fire crossbow that shoots bolts that do 1d6+1 damage on a hit, but allows the user to fire more than one bolt by turning the crank.  This causes the attack to do +1 damage per bolt, up to a maximum of +5 (counting the first +1).  If the user rolls a damage result greater than or equal to 7, then he must spend an action reloading the crossbow before he uses it again.
10- A clay doll, dressed in a suit of metal clothing that resembles servant's livery, but made of gold and brass.  Pushing the tiny gem inlaid in the doll's forehead causes it to grow to the size of a Medium humanoid and perform any task a highly skilled human servant could perform.  After this task is complete, the doll returns to it's ordinary doll form.  The doll can be ordered to perform a task 3/Day.

artist unknown

Azers usually live together in collectives or more rarely, as individuals.  The only thing other creatures grant them is an audience or assistants, and so are not always necessary.  However, even they get lonely.  And few creatures besides other Azers can understand them.  Azers no do not reproduce in the traditional way- it is said that the amount of Azers has not changed since they were first accidentally created, though this is doubtful.

What is true is that Azers don't care about their bodies.  An Azer's body is just a shell, a tool that it uses.  In the early days, Azers housed themselves in crude shells of stone or metal.  But now it is common for an Azer to customize his shells, keeping one for speaking to clients, one for working, one for appearing before other Azers, etc.  Some Azers compete with each other to create the most elaborate shells, competing against each other in combination paegants/gladiatorial matches. 

Azers are patient creatures, working on the time-span of ageless beings.  An Azer will work on a project until it is perfect, or at least, as close to perfect as possible.  If this requires scrapping the project multiple times and starting over, so be it.  It can take weeks or months for an Azer to finish a single sword, and even longer for elaborate projects. 

It is said that millennia ago, maybe even all the way back to the Age of the Gods, when the great legends were first written and man lived in communion with his divine care-takers, the first of the Efreet contacted the Azers just several decades after they had first achieved their independence and asked them to build a city for them- the most beautiful city in the world.  The Azers accepted the contract and began building the city.  To this day, they are still building the city, having completed roughly half of it.  Despite the fact that some Efreeti launch raids against the Azers and try to enslave them, the work on the City continues, with Azer work-crews traveling in military formations into the City.  The work has been slowed down even more by the fact that Azers occasionally have to interrupt their work to fight, which has been a perpetual source of annoyance to them.  

The only time Azers ever hurry is when they are working on a deadline.  Azers are often hired by other, wealthier creatures to help them with a project or to build something for the client. Azers do charge for their services, but prefer to be paid in whatever raw materials they need for some other, future project.  However, they are known to accept gold or jewels, as they can use those to bargain with non-Azers or to hire workers to help them with parts of a project that involve flammable materials, such as wood or cloth.   

Azers can also be summoned like other spirits, though they are closer to Elementals than other spirits.  A shell must be provided for the Azer to inhabit once it arrives.  When it does, the Azer will negotiate with the summoner and if an agreement can be reached, the Azer will labor on behalf of that person, building whatever that creature desires.  Azers do not care about the morality of one who hires them, to an Azer, a contract is a contract.  And like most Spirits, once an Azer swears to do something, it will abide by that oath, no matter what.  "Azer's Oath" is an expression that means something is guaranteed and can also be used as an oath to express frustration or anger, comparable to "Good grief" in this context.

Finally, a note on their morality.  Azers do not abide by ethical systems, or at least, not one you're likely familiar with.  To an Azer, creation is good and destruction is bad, though it is sometimes necessary.  The squabbles of mortals and their debates are largely inconsequential in their eyes.  Azers do not really see individuals, but only collectives.  Only immortal creatures such as other Spirits are acknowledged on an individual level, other creatures are thought of as single entities with many small components, like living clocks or ant colonies, albeit ones much more sophisticated than anything else.  As such, if one mortal dies, it can be inconvenient, but is not necessarily a problem in the eyes of the Azer.      

Azer Plot Hooks:


1- An Azer wants to create an ice sculpture, but the ice keeps melting under it's steel fingers.  If you find some way for it to sculpt ice, it will reward you.
2- An Azer has been hired by a cult to build some kind of horrible weapon.  Prevent the Azer from completing the work by any means necessary. 
3- An Azer has decided to test it's latest body by transforming it into a Construct and releasing it on the countryside, in the hopes that something will come and destroy it, thus providing valuable data.  Destroy the machine before it does anymore damage and find out where these killer automatons are coming from.
4- An Azer has become interested in working with livestock, so it has started kidnapping mortals and trying to selectively breed them.  Go rescue them.  Also, not all the mortals are actually as upset about this as they should be. 
5- An Azer is building a device powered by Arcane energy, but it has not the necessary experience.  The only person who could help it is a Magi in the neighboring kingdom, who is also on the run from the Law and that nation's God.  Go find him and escort him to the Azer, without getting caught. 
6- Millennia ago, a group of Azers constructed a giant clock that is said to determine the time left for the world.  When the clock stops, that will trigger the End of the Age and a massive catastrophe that will usher in a new Age.  Since that time, a religion has grown up around the clock.  The High Priest has just contacted you with a dire request- find an Azer to repair the Clock, as it is breaking down and is dangerously close to stopping. 
7- The party have recovered all the pieces of an ancient artifact that was split into numerous pieces.  They now need to find an Azer and convince it to reforge the artifact out of these shattered pieces. 
8- The player's enemy wields an incredible magical weapon that makes them nigh-unbeatable.  But rumors say that the weapon has a specific weakness, known only by the smith who originally created it.  Unfortunately, that smith, an Azer, is never allowed out of the sight of the player's enemy or is imprisoned at the bottom of a horrible dungeon. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

OSR: A Giant Revision (part 1)

This post is a revision of my original post on Giants.  It borrows some ideas, but this is the new and definitive lore, or until I think of something better. Part 2 is here.  Part 3 is here.

by W nan

Horrible monsters, massive creatures born from the womb of the world, Giants are lumbering brutes that terrorize civilization.  The Giant is a monster feared as much as the Dragon, if not more so.  For while a Dragon is difficult to slay and can live for centuries, they are reclusive and solitary.  Giants, on the other hand, almost always dwell in groups.  While a Dragon might colonize a vast stretch of territory and transform it into a Desolation, another name for the sovereign territory of a Dragon, marked in the same font as the Kingdoms of Man, their impact is limited as there is still only one Dragon.  Giants, by contrast, put down roots when they settle.  They build homes, have children and set their servants to rearranging the area as they see fit.  

Giants have their own languages and culture, though much of it is hidden from the eyes of mortals.  They worship and practice secret rites far from the little folk.  You will likely never see it, but they live just like us.  They have families and children, villages and towns.  They farm and build, laugh and weep just as we do.  And though Giant Tribes vary from place to place and by variety, the one thing they have in common is that they hate us.

Base Giant Statblock:

Damage Threshold 10
AR none
Atk Giant Weapon (-4, 2d10) or Thrown Object (3d6, save for half)
Mor 13
Saves 15 (7) or less

Damage Threshold: Unless an attack does damage that equals or exceeds a Giant's Threshold, ignore it as if it did no damage.  If it does, the Giant loses 1 SHP.  It has SHP equal to it's Damage Threshold.  When it has 0 SHP, it dies.

Giant Weapon: If the Giant is fighting with a weapon that is sized for Giants or other large creatures, they get -4 to all Attack rolls against any creature smaller than Large.  On a hit, however, they do not subtract this penalty from the damage rolled.  Giants also have weapons used for fighting smaller creatures, but these do not do as much damage.

Thrown Object: As an action, a Giant can throw something large and heavy at a creature.  That creature and any adjacent creatures take 3d6 damage, with a DEX save to take half damage.  Creatures with 16 or more DEX on a successful save take no damage and half on a failed save.

- March in and target the most important looking human
- Crush your enemies with overwhelming force
- Be arrogant and overconfident

 by Adrien Smith

Hill Giants:

Number Appearing: 1d6+1
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca and Giantish
Treasure: Tools and weapons from people they have eaten are piled up carelessly in corners of their hovels.  Along with those, you will find huge garments made of fine fabrics and obscene qualities of extremely high-quality food and drink. 

According to the Imperial Cult, when the world was destroyed in the Great Deluge, their God Marzan slew the Dragon-Mother and used her body to repair the world, creating the land out of her corpse and mixing her blood with tears to create the seas.  But as he did this, some of the Dragon-Mother's energy remained in her body.  Without her to control that energy, it leaked out of her in random ways.  This is part of the explanation for earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as for other natural disasters.  Most people don't know about the Elementals, you see.

One of those random ways that her power leaks out is in the creation of the Giants.  Some of her remaining life-force will spill out and give life to the stones, creating the Giants.  These creatures, though intelligent, embody the primeval desires left in the bones of the Dragon-Mother.  This is part of the explanation for why Hill Giants are always so hungry.

They aren't as tall as other Giants, but tend to be twice as wide.  They tend toward fatness, most being broad and stout.  Their blubber ripples as they waddle along, hiding their piggy ears and wide mouths that flap open at the slightest opportunity.

Hill Giants are indolent, lazy creatures.  They live in crude shelters and lean-tos or in burrows dug in soft earth, something that is easy to build and maintain.  They wear crude garments made of smaller hides stitched together to form ugly, misshapen patterns.  They rarely make their own tools and only do so begrudgingly.  They avoid any task they find unpleasant or difficult unless there is no other option.  The only thing Hill Giants will work for is their own pleasures.  Hill Giants love sensual pleasures, soft fabrics, good alcohol, delicious food; they will work to obtain these things and spend most of their time trying to obtain or cultivate them.  They will live in holes in the ground and sleep on the dirt while drinking rare wines and wearing fine, soft velvets.   

Hill Giants won't farm, but they will grow grapes to make wine.  They would prefer to steal casks of it from a little folk's cellar, however.  They won't hunt, but they will raise livestock to eventually cook and eat.  Again however, this is unpleasant and they would prefer to raid and steal a head of cattle to roast on skewers rather then raise their herd.  For this reason, Hill Giants are known to oppress and enslave mortals.  The Hill Giant may make some sort of offer to the mortals, exchanging some service in exchange for food, but they prefer crude threats.  If the villagers refuse or resist, the Giants can just eat them too.  For this reason, Hill Giants are often nomadic, wandering from place to place, impoverishing those they meet along the way.

Little folk who fall into the hands of the Hill Giants will find themselves doing all the things the Hill Giants would prefer not to: growing the crops, brewing the alcohol, tending the livestock, making the clothes, etc.  These tasks will usually be overseen by little folk collaborators who follow the Hill Giants and serve them in exchange for the coin of the plundered people- which the Hill Giants hold in contempt.  These mortals handle most of the oppressing and do things that the Giants cannot do.  The Hill Giants protect them in exchange, though if one or two of them goes missing, the collaborators will be expected to handle it themselves.  The Giants utilize such mortals, but they don't like them, holding in vague contempt. 

Yet for all their laziness, their is one task the Hill Giants won't force others to do.  That one task a Hill Giant will not pawn off is cooking.  Hill Giants love to cook- they consider it an art form and work their very best to make the finest cuisine.  Hill Giant food is extremely good, creating feelings of ecstasy in those not used to it.  Their dishes are so good some collaborators serve not for coin but for crumbs of their borderline-magical cooking.  Yet despite the immaculate quality of their dishes, Hill Giants are not as picky as one might imagine.  Should they be hungry enough, they will eat anything that is even remotely edible, from people to treebark.  If they have nothing else, they will also do other strange things, such as eating moss or sucking on rocks.       

Statblock Changes:

Blubber: Hill Giants are covered in thick layers of fat.  They take -4 damage from all sources that deal bludgeoning damage and -2 from all sources that could not easily penetrate the protective padding under their skin.  Only weapons capable of deep penetration, such as a spear or polearm, can bypass this damage penalty. 

Endless Hunger: Hill Giants are always hungry and obsessed with food.  If given the chance to eat something, they must make a Morale check.  If they fail it, they will try to consume what they desire, disregarding all other factors.  Only something truly catastrophic, such as a raging Dragon could dissuade them from this fact.

Artist unknown

Servants of the Hill Giants:

Hill Giants keep coteries of mortal servants with them to aid in their oppression, spying and other activities where having a Smallfolk around is a useful thing.  To see what servants the Hill Giant brought along, roll on the table below:


1- Bandits.  A group of ruthless men who serve the Giant, collecting tolls and spying on their enemies.  One or more of their group is hiding in the village as a spy.  Their leader is a charismatic former soldier.  He's having them follow the Giant because the Giants protect them from bounty-hunters and lawmen by their mere presence. 
2- Goblins.  Goblins will worship anything, so when the Hill Giants stomped by their caves and ate the Tiger that had been preying on them, their Boss decided the Giants could be a useful tool.  He now styles himself as the Prophet of the Hungry Gods, who the Goblins serve and offer sacrifices too.
3- Kobolds.  The Kobolds have a vendetta against a nearby Dragon and want the Giant's help to exact it.  The Kobold's Chieftain is close to convincing the Hill Giants to move against the Dragons and abandon their current foolish quest.
4- Ogres.  Ogres revere all Giants, but they are most comfortable with Hill Giants, who act as pseudo-parents but also do not demand much from the Ogre and let them continue their lifestyle of eating, sleeping and doing nothing to improve their situation in life.
5- Ghouls.  Perhaps they originally started as a group of Bandits, but the Giants left them nothing but scraps.  Driven by starvation or sadism, they began to feed on mortal flesh in order to survive.  Soon they found that they did it because they enjoyed the taste.  This group is 50% Half-Ghouls and 50% regular Ghouls.  The former act during the day while the latter hide from the Sun and only come out at night.  They are left by a gruesome Death-poet who murders and soliloquizes in equal amounts. 
6- Vampires.  They were mortals once, but after one of their member became a Vampire, the others were infected with the disease or driven away.  Most of the Vampires are newborn, so they lack most of a Vampire's powers, but also their weaknesses.  They perform profane rites and sexual rituals in honor of the Giants, but this is mostly a pretext to do depraved, salacious acts.  They are led by an Elder Vampire who does not participate, having lost his sex drive, but encourages and coddles his 'children'.  The lesser Vampires revere him far more than the Giants, who are simply a useful way to keep themselves safe.

by Chris Rahn

Hill Giant Shaman:

Hill Giants usually group together in family groups, with one being the parent and others being the children.  In other cases, a group of brothers and sisters may travel together, or a Hill Giant may travel with a spouse.  However, such couples are rare, as Hill Giants are famously and shamelessly debauched, engaging in intercourse with each other like rutting beasts, with no consideration of who can see.  They consider monogamy an inconvenience and do not practice it.  Pairings between them are the exception and are more often because of friendship, rather then love.  A male and female Hill Giant who travel together are likely doing it because they find the other convenient, but do not particularly care for the other in a romantic way.  Even if they do, both will usually cheat on the other constantly. 

When Hill Giants travel in larger groups with no common bonds of affection, they are led by the strongest among them, in a crude hierarchy of 'might makes right'.  Often times, those Hill Giants have some measure of magical ability rise to the top, to lead such bands.  In other cases, the Shaman will be a valued member of the group and their advice will be consulted.

Statblock Changes:

Spellcasting: Hill Giant Shamans have Mana Dice equal to their Damage Thresholds.  Their dice burn out on a 5 or 6 and a roll of doubles or triples triggers a roll on the Chaos table below. Hill Giants know 1d4 spells, plus the spells Enchant Food and Stone to Flesh.

Chaos of the Hill Giant Shaman:

1- The Shaman begins sweating bacon grease for the next minute.  He is extremely flammable for the duration, taking +1 fire damage per die for the same duration.  After a minute, any grease and fire disappears, leaving only the scent of breakfast behind.
2- The Shaman sneezes and a full continental breakfast appears, including sausage, honeycakes, fruit and a skin full of freshly squeezed juice.  It tastes great. 
3- The Shaman is suddenly covered in a suit of rock candy plate mail.  This suit grants 1d20 temporary HP, but takes double damage from bludgeoning damage.  If reduced to 0 HP, it shatters, littering the battlefield with razor chunks of candy. 
4- All the rocks within 100' of the Shaman turn into meat.  Any petrified creatures are restored to their original form.
5- Clouds cover the sky for 1 square mile around the Shaman and begin raining 1d6 [1= Noodles and tomato sauce; 2= Pork products such as ham and sausage with a sprinkle of mustard; 3= Goat cheese and freshly baked bread; 4= Honeycakes and syrup; 5= Whole roasted chickens, turkeys and other edible birds- all creatures should save or take 1d6 bludgeoning damage; 6= Scoops of ice cream complete with hot fudge and cherries.]  
6- The Shaman immediately transforms into a Hill Giant Maw.

from Pathfinder: Giantslayer

Hill Giant Maw:

But while a Hill Giant Shaman can be very useful, they usually have one other important duty.  For while all Hill Giants love to eat, some are afflicted with a type of madness that causes them to compulsively eat everything around them, their hunger growing until it becomes their sole reason for being, obliterating all other thoughts.  This madness can strike a Hill Giant at any point, though it is most common during feasts.  Hill Giant Maws steadily go crazy, their cravings becoming stronger and stronger until they disappear into the abyss of madness and primordial hunger.  A Maw can be anything from slightly mad to a feral beast with no thought beyond chasing down and consuming prey. 

Maws will strip the countryside bare, their appetites bottomless, eating until they are full then collapsing into a deep sleep, only to wake up and do it all again.  If no other easier option presents itself, they will kill and cannibalize other Giants.  For this reason, Hill Giant Maws are hunted down and destroyed by other Hill Giants, especially by their Shamans, who know that nothing good will come from allowing such creatures to continue to live except further misery for all involved.

Statblock Changes:

Compulsive Eaters: Hill Giant Maws will eat anything in front of them, no matter how unappetizing.  If their addled minds can identify it as edible, it will be consumed. 

Biting Teeth: Hill Giant Maws gain a bonus bite attack that does 1d12 damage, with a -2 penalty to Attack when trying to bite anything smaller than a Large creature. 

Great Jaws: If a Hill Giant bites a creature, it can automatically grapple that creature.  On the Hill Giant's next turn, if the grappled creature is at least 2 size categories smaller than the Giant, the Giant may swallow the creature.  The creature may make a STR or DEX check in contest with the Giant's in order to escape.  If it fails, the creature is swallowed whole.  Creatures who are swallowed are blinded, deafened and restrained.  They take 1d6 CON damage a round as they began suffocating and 2d6 acid damage as they begin dissolving.  If this CON damage reduces them to 0, they black out.  Creatures can only make attacks with Quick weapons, unless they are Small, in which case they may also attack with Balanced weapons.  If a Hill Giant Maw takes damage equal to half it's Damage Threshold or greater, it must save or vomit up the swallowed creature.

Plot Hooks:


1- A Tribe of Hill Giants have enslaved a town and are forcing the people there to supply them with food and drink.  Those who refuse are eaten.  The townspeople are being eaten out of house and home.  There are already shortages and starvation is imminent.  Drive the Giants off please and they will pay you.  But be careful, not only are there Giants to deal with, but also their mortal servants.  Some are obvious, but some of the towns-people are secretly working with the taskmasters in exchange for more food and special privileges.
2- A merchant was expecting a herd of cattle to arrive soon, but it never came.  Track it down and bring it back to him.  When you follow the trail, you will find the cowherds waylaid by Hill Giants, who have taken the entire herd and are slowly eating them.
3- A group of Goblins once tasted a pie made by a Hill Giant and ever since then, they've been obsessed with tasting it again.  Distract the Hill Giant long enough for them to steal one of the pies and they will give you a reward.  This reward will depend on what you can bargain for, for as Folk the Goblins might try to trick you into accepting their offer of half a ton of dung concealed inside colorful boxes, but if you negotiate well you could extract a real boon from them.
4- The mayor of a small town has asked you to investigate why, as all the people sent didn't come back.  The answer turns out to be because of a crude dam build by a Tribe of Hill Giants, who wanted a lake to soak in but were too lazy to go to one of the nearby lakes, or found them unsuitable.  Try and break the dam without provoking their wrath and/or drowning.
5- A Magi wants a magic item that a Hill Giant's servant carries, but he fears the Giants.  He needs your help to distract the Giants.  He has a plan to do so, involving a very large meat pie. 
6- The Lady Tezika, Imperial Goddess of Parties, among other things, has discovered a group of Hill Giants that have stripped a wide area of land bare to create their perfect lunch.  This disgusts the Lady, who feels this is disrespectful to mortals and to her.  She orders you to challenge the Giants to a cooking contest and humiliate them.  And if they die, then that would just be icing on the cake. 
7- A Hill Giant Shaman has a plan to enact a bizarre magical ritual.  No one knows what he's doing, but all agree he needs to be stopped.  Find out what he is doing and foil his ritual.
8- The nearby forest has grown wild and strange, with enormous plants and insects becoming common.  Investigate what's going on and why.  The truth is that this is a Hill Giant Shaman increasing the size of plants, in an attempt to grow larger berries for tea and cakes.  The ritual has gotten out of hand, however, and needs to be stopped before it destroys everything. 
9- Miners in a nearby cave have noticed that the walls of the cave have started turning into slabs of raw meat.  This is attracting carnivores and local predators and has trapped a group of miners in the cave.  Rescue them.  If you take too long, a Family of Hill Giants will show up to harvest the meat and eat anything else they can catch.          
10- A group of Hill Giants were having a feast, but then one transformed into a Maw and went on a rampage, scattering the Giants.  Now the Giant's wealth is currently scattered across their picnic site.  You could make a good deal of money if you acquired some of it, but that would require sneaking past the Maw.  And don't take too long, else the Giants will recover their courage and go after the Maw themselves.

by Jim Nelson

Fire Giants:

Number Appearing: 2d6+2
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca and Giantish
Treasure: Fine, if Giant-sized weapons and armor, along with trophies and war-booty taken from defeated enemies, slaves and tools for summoning or controlling various types of creatures.

Fire Giants are the shortest of the Giants, but not as broad as most of their kind.  They move with an eerie grace for creatures so large, flowing across the landscape even as they smash through forests and trample fortresses.  They are not universally red-skinned, but have skin in hues ranging from charcoal to burnished gold, though most are some shade of red.  They are almost all dark of hair and eye, though some of the most fearsome Hill Giant generals have had white hair or eyes of unusual color, such as beaten gold, bright blue or liquid silver.

To adorn themselves, they tattoo their skin with swirling designs, each one intertwined with ritual marks and Giantish glyphs.  Too anyone who has the knowledge, you can read a Fire Giant's entire life on their hide.  The warriors wear armor as well, beautiful pieces inlaid with jewels and flowing, graceful lines.  For all their cruelty, none can deny the artistry of their smiths.

Fire Giant society is defined by too things, a rigid adherence to the ancient hierarchy, or at least what they assume is an accurate representation of that hierarchy, and contempt toward the Smallfolk.  The hierarchy in their society involves the warriors on top and all others arranged in a descending pyramid beneath, ordered according to the Giant's martial sensibilities.  Blacksmiths are second beneath the warriors, followed by other types of artisans, then farmers and fishermen.  Merchants and Nobles are near the bottom, unless those Nobles fight, in which case they are considered warriors.  This can't always save a Noble however, though it will easily save a common soldier.  

Fire Giants distrust Nobles for their rebellious nature and hold merchants in contempt, for merchants produce nothing of value.  The lowest are the Priests, who are regarded as fools.  No one in their society would ever become a priest, so when a Fire Giant conquers a land, the Priests are punished and lowered to the status of their priests.  Fire Giant Priests are all slaves, regularly and ritually humiliated in acts of vengeance by proxy against the hateful Gods. 

These Priests are robed in rags when they are not naked, clad only in jewels and the tattoos on their skin marking them as accursed.  They are spat on and insulted, mocked and rebuked.  They are forced to dance in the streets and humiliate themselves as ones who have no honor.  When they are not doing this, they are ordered to perform silly and pointless rituals, such as stacking goats in a pyramid or running laps around a conquered city while flogging themselves. 

This is because, according to them, the Giant's Gods abandoned them when Marzan the Usurper, the One who Stole the World, attacked their Gods when his armies darkened the sky and broke the ancient pact between God and Man, destroying the First World and casting it into uncertainty.  The Giant's Gods were unwilling to fight back against this and so fled, leaving their children to face the storm alone.  For this, the Fire Giants despise their Gods and claim that should they ever return, they will climb into Heaven to slay them and feed on their bones.  It is the dream of every Fire Giant King to have sufficient strength to invade Heaven and butcher the Usurper's Gods, who are despised as much as their former deities.

So far, none have had the strength.  But that hasn't prevent them from trying.  In the meantime, the Fire Giants have spent their time making life hard for the Smallfolk.  If revenge against the Usurper's Gods is currently impossible, revenge against the subjects and worshipers of those Gods is not.  For this reason, Fire Giants travel in warbands to try and conquer mortals, burning their cities and enslaving them.  Those who swear fealty and spit on their former Gods will have a place in the new order, but the rest will be enslaved, punished or simply crushed and fed to the red beast War.

Statblock Changes:

Fire Giants are immune to fire and fire damage.  High temperatures do not affect them either.

Boiling Blood: A Fire Giant's blood is the same temperature as boiling water.  If a creature injures one in melee combat, that creature must save or take 1d8 Fire damage as they are splashed with boiling blood.                   

Uncontrollable Rage: Fire Giants are constantly seething with a low level of anger.  If ever enraged, they must save.  On a failed save, they fly into a murderous rage and become fixated on destroying whatever angered them.  They keep raging until whatever angered them is dead or they can't see it anymore or they fall unconscious or die. 

- Fight as unit
- Target the largest group or greatest threat
- Be a glory-hound

artist unknown

Servants of the Fire Giants:


1- Slave-Soldiers.  Mortals who swore allegiance, they are marked with tattoos indicating their ranks and position as those who have sworn to obey.  Slaves in their society can be honored, but the word of a Smallfolk is never considered above a Giant.  They are considered as beasts, if sophisticated ones that can exhibit loyalty and other honorable traits.  The commanders of the Slave-Soldiers will be ruthless Giants assisted by Smallfolk zealots or those who are merely pretending to be true believers.     
2- Skeletons and Zombies.  Undead have many uses- they never need food, sleep or get scared.  They make ideal cannon fodder and can even be used where living soldiers would balk or be rendered useless.  Fire Giant War-Wizards will reanimate large numbers of Smallfolk corpses to use as part of Undead divisions, which are swaddled in dark cloth during the day or sealed in boxes to keep the sunlight from burning them.  Despite the obvious utility of it, no Fire Giant will ever reanimate a Giant corpse, as this is an abomination in their eyes.  Necromancers who dare to do such a thing are hunted as blasphemers.
3- Bound Demons.  Fire Giants will summon Demons and foul spirits to serve them, negotiating strict contracts or using powerful magicks to compel the obedience of such extraplanar beings.  The Demons usually resent this and even those who negotiated their contracts often chafe under the Fire Giant's iron law.  They will usually rebel in subtle ways and try to squirm out of their agreements as much as possible, but rarely take overt action against their superiors/captors.  
4- Gargoyles.  Gargoyles are ideal servants, especially when created through the use of Magic.  Some Fire Giant War-Wizards have learned the secret of creating them and the warbands fortunate enough to employ such scholars use the Gargoyles as scouts, aerial calvary and skirmishers.   
5- Hags.  Hags are highly intelligent and crafty.  They are adept at sucking up to greater powers and few are stronger than the Giants.  So Hags will often attach themselves to a warband of Fire Giants, acting as a spy, assassin or scout for the warband, going where they cannot and keeping an eye on their Smallfolk subordinates for them.  This often works extremely well, and many an unfortunate Fire Giant Sargent has come to the mistaken belief that the Hag is actually loyal to their group.  This rarely ends well for them.
6- Gralei.  The Gralei venerate strength, believing that those who possess great ability, power or talent are those who deserve to rule.  For this reason they greater admire Fire Giants and seek to serve them.  Coupled with the Gralei's mutual desire to avenge themselves upon the people of the Usurper, the Fire Giants find willing and ready allies in these savage birdfolk.

Fire Giant War-Wizards:

Fire Giants despise Priests, but they venerate Magi and Wizards, for they claim that such people have achieved everything they have through their own efforts, not because it was given them by a cruel and distant being, but because they struggled.  Wizards among the Fire Giants are honored and given high places, even if they are Smallfolk.  Fire Giants use their War-Wizards as living artillery, devastating fixed defenses and supporting their brethren with incredible wards and defenses. 

No one knows why Giant Magi are so much more powerful than Magi of other races.  Most Sages think it has to do with their size, but the Giants disagree.  They say it is because they have a natural connection to the Spiritual World, enabling them to cast without the need for spiritual intermediaries such as familiars or spirit pacts, while mortal Magi must scrape and struggle to achieve what they can do with ease.  It is their inheritance, further proof that they are the race destined to rule over the world. 

Statblock Changes:   

Spellcasting: Fire Giant War-Wizards have Mana Dice equal to their Damage Thresholds.  Their dice burn out on a 5 or 6 and a roll of doubles or triples triggers a roll on the Chaos table below.  Fire Giant War-Wizards know 1d3 spells, plus the spells Blade Barrier, Blood Bullets and Scrying.

Chaos of the Fire Giant War-Wizard:

1- For 1 square mile around the War-Wizard, clouds fill the sky.  It then begins raining blood.  Anyone with open wounds must save or become infected with a compulsion to fly into a homicidal rage whenever they are injured.
2- The War-Wizard is struck by a lightning bolt that does 1d10*10 lightning damage.  If the War-Wizard survives, he curses the Gods and dares them to try again.  There is a 1-in-6 chance they take him up on the offer.
3- Earthquakes ripple out from the War-Wizard, toppling buildings in a square mile.  All creatures must save to stay on their feet- quadrupel creatures or people on all fours have advantage. These earthquakes last for 1 minute. 
4- A chasm tears itself upon in front of the War-Wizard and blue flames gush from the fissure.  These flames are Hellfire, consuming mana and destroying non-immortal souls, doing 1d20 necrotic damage to anyone who touches them.  Anyone who falls into the chasm while the flames are burning is teleported directly to Sheol.  The flames burn for 1 minute, then disappear, leaving an ordinary fissure in the ground that leads to an ordinary pit. 
5- All dead bodies within 100' of the War-Wizard reanimate and begin screaming, if such a thing is possible.  There is a 50% chance they take the War-Wizard and an equal chance they run away, attacking anything that tries to stop them from fleeing. 
6- The War-Wizard immediately transforms into a Fire Giant Berserker.

New Spells:

Blood Bullets
R: 30'        T: up to [dice] creatures    D: 1 action

You take [dice] damage as blood flows from your wounds and forms spherical projectiles that hang in the air.  You can fire these projectiles at up to [dice] creatures.  This requires an Attack roll of 1d20+1d6+[dice].  Enemies who are hit take 1d6+[dice] bludgeoning damage and [dice] fire damage.   

Lava Armor
R: touch    T: creature            D: 2[dice] rounds

One creature you touch is covered in rock armor that rapidly heats up, turning molten around them.  This gives them [sum] temporary HP for the duration, but causes them to take 6-[dice] fire damage a round.  The armor lasts for the duration or until the temporary HP is expended, after which it crumbles and falls off the creature it is attached to.  The caster can also end the spell early, causing the armor to break and fall off.

If cast with 3 or more [dice], the armor becomes so hot that any creature who touch it with a metal weapon, their metal armor or bare skin take [dice] fire damage.    

Fire Giant Berserker:

Fire Giants all possess an innate and barely controllable rage that is constantly bubbling beneath the surface.  When angered, sometimes they lose control and throw temper tantrums that can level whole towns.  But usually, this rage can be managed and controlled.  Fire Giants practice mortification and meditation to try and control their rage, only venting it when appropriate. But sometimes it just becomes too much.  In the heat of the moment, or when severely injured, a Fire Giant can lose control and his rage can consume him.  This obliterates higher functions, leaving an empty shell only capable of violence and killing. 

Fire Giant Berserkers charge into battle with no tactical consideration or greater plan.  They can recognize friend from foe, usually, but have trouble telling friendly from unfriendly Smallfolk.  They fight fearlessly, not feeling pain or bothering to think past the next sweep of their axe.  They kill and kill and kill until they are dead or the enemy is defeated.  When not in combat, Fire Giant Berserkers are basically useless.  They have the mind of an extremely young child, acting like enormous babies.

They need to be lead by the hand, told to eat and go the bathroom, then put to bed early and comforted.  Great care is taken to not anger them, lest they demolish half the camp before they can be restrained.  A larger warband might keep one around as a terror weapon, but most of the time the Berserkers are just liabilities. 

Their Sargent will usually put something into their wine to make them go to sleep forever.  It's better this way.

Statblock Changes:

Exploding Capillaries: When angry, the Fire Giant sprays blood from his pores.  Every round a creature comes within 30' of the Giant or ends his turn in that same area, he must save.  On a failed save, that creature takes 1d6 fire damage from the spray of boiling blood.

Too Angry to Die: Should a Fire Giant Berserker be reduced to 0 HP, there is a 50% chance that instead of dying he regains 1 SHP and stays alive.     

Fire Giant Plot Hooks:  


1- A group of Fire Giants are attacking a City.  The City is going to fall unless heroic action is taken right now. 
2- A Fire Giant is upset that a Smallfolk Wizard from among the Slaves has been elevated over him and some of his brethren.  Kill this Wizard for him and he will reward you. 
3- A Fire Giant Berserker is sitting peacefully on a hill, picking flowers.  He wandered here, away from his keepers.  Lead him away without angering him, or he will go on a rampage that will devastate everything nearby.
4- A spy was caught yesterday, with a Fire Giant slave-tattoo concealed on his navel.  His fellows have fled the city.  Stop the other spies before they get back to their masters, or the Giants will know how vulnerable we are to attack.
5- One of the local Baron's ancestors gained his noble title by slaying a Giant in single combat and taking the Giant's sword and head as a trophy.  The Fire Giants have come to retrieve the sword and correct this error.  Escort the Baron and his family to safety.  If the Giants find them, or you, the best you can hope for is being enslaved. 
6- A group of Gargoyles are harassing a settlement, weakening it for an eventual invasion.  The leaders of said town want you to go to the Fire Giants and try to find out how they are controlling the Gargoyles.  If you can figure out how, they can buy themselves enough time to try and prepare the eventual Giant invasion.
7- A Hag is secretly manipulating the leadership of a City, planning to betray it into the hands of her masters, a Fire Giant Sargent.  The players do not know this, they just know that something fishy is going on and someone keeps trying to assassinate the pro-war leaders of the City. 
8- A Demon starts sending a member of the party dreams, encouraging them to come help him.  The Demon may pretend to be an Angel while doing this.  It wants the party to free them from it's contract, but if the Fire Giants are willing to offer more, it will stay, but only after playing both sides off each other.