Sunday, February 13, 2022

OSR: A Giant Revision (part 2)

Ideas and wording borrowed from here.  Find part 1 here.  Part 3 is here

Frost Giants:

Number Appearing: 1d4+1 (on land) or 3d6 (on the seas)
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca and Giantish
Treasure: Huge amounts of furs, frozen meat and weapons made of bone, stone or other materials.  Additionally, the areas around their lair are littered with bits of scrap metal, torn off and deposited in a careless scatter. 

They are the lonely wanderers of their race, divorced and isolated from all but their own kind.  They roam the snowy reaches of the world, the freezing shores and the ice-capped mountains where warmer folk fear too tread.  According to the Imperial Cult, Frost Giants were created from Tiamat's Bones, the Dragon-Goddess' hatred fracturing her skeleton into a million needle shards, each one warping into a tiny nugget of endless hunger and cold resentment. 

Frost Giants are huge and broad, larger than almost any other race of Giant.  Unlike their more appealing brethren, they are covered in slabs of bone armor, like the chitin of an insect's exoskeleton.  Their faces are human enough, barring the enormous fangs designed to crush and grind bone into powder.  Their armor is snow-white or pale yellow, which they adorn with body paint or drape the furs of huge beasts across their shoulders.  They wear clothing that signals status or that is required for social interaction.  Female Frost Giant's breasts and nipples are usually covered by their bony armor, but they still wear dresses and shawls when interacting with each other, or when fighting, strips of cloth tied around their chests if even that.  Some will wear armor when they go into battle, but just as many go into battle naked, trusting their natural armor to protect them. 

Unlike their kin, the Frost Giants live in a hostile and brutal land.  They can resist the cold as well as Fire Giants resist heat, but there are other dangers.  Starvation and disease are among them, but the most common danger to face the Frost Giants is the other creatures they live with.  Creatures in these cold reaches have a much harder time surviving and as such, find themselves pushed to the edge of destruction.  Seeing this, their patron Spirits and Gods have blessed them with innumerable advantages that make them terrible to face.  Most other Giants are the top of the food chain, barring certain super-predators, such as the Dragons and Sphinxes.  Frost Giants are not so fortunate.  A Frost Giant who stumbles can easily find himself the prey of one of the Frozen Land's other predators.

This drives the Frost Giants to form small, iron-clad groups that rely on each other for everything.  They are a fearful and martial people, fervently beseeching their long lost Gods, the spirits of the howling South and the Queen of Snow and Sleet for protection against the terrors that surround them.  They also strive for martial excellence, for it benefits them in a material way, allowing them to protect themselves better against the horrible predators of their native land.  It also helps them in their hunts against these creature, for often these creatures prove the only form of reliable sustenance for the Frost Giants.

When they aren't fighting the super-predators that share territory with them, the Frost Giants are exploring.  They are a nomadic people, living in enormous yurts made of thousands of furs stitched together and stretched over the bones of whales and other large creatures.  Many carry all their possessions on their backs, while others breed enormous wolves and use them to pull giant-sized sleds.  Some Frost Giants will even ride these sleds like chariots into battle, hurling javelins as long as two men or firing arrows the size of spears from equally massive bows.  And while such raids are rare, they are consummately deadly, for Frost Giants are one of the few types of Giants who will actively hunt and devour mortals. 

When they aren't roaming the frozen wastes, Frost Giants take to the seas, riding huge ships of frozen wood that could easily be mistaken for icebergs covered in dozens of masts and hundreds of sails.  These ships let them dominate the icy oceans of the world.  Even the Aquatic races, who dominate the warmer seas, do not interfere with the Frost Giants.  This is not just because their are few aquatic species in those cold waters, but also because Merfolk and others have difficulty fighting landborne species of a similar size.  They would be easy prey to the Frost Giants.  And since their ships are so huge and wrapped in so many layers of protective ice, sinking them and letting the Giants drown is simply not an option.  When your ship can be mistaken for an iceberg, you don't fear sinking, but being boarded.  Or melting.

Frost Giants who sail the seas often act as pirates, attacking other ships and reeling them in.  They will kidnap the crew and keep them as prisoners and eat most of the cargo, but their true goal is usually to take the ship itself, which is an invaluable source of timber for them.  Seaborne Frost Giants value wood far more than anything else, except for perhaps for furs.  They trade with their landborne cousins for both, though neither group is that friendly with each other.  Both regard the other as suspicious and foreign, the seaborne Frost Giants, often called 'Salt Giants' by sailors, regarding their landlocked cousins as savage primitives who refuse to change their ways.  The landborne Frost Giants regard their seaborne relatives as corrupted by non-Giant ideas along with the decadence of the Smallfolk and the Summer lands.

Despite their differences, both groups need the other too survive, and share many things in common.  Both regard Smallfolk as little more than beasts, though their treatment of them is very different.  On land, Smallfolk are to be extorted, their lives spared in exchange for enormous quantities of meat, cheese and other edible goods.  That is when they are not simply eaten.  On the seas, Frost Giants are much more cordial.  They will trade with mortals, though only when taking something is impossible or could threaten the Giants.  They will also recruit Smallfolk sailors to help them run their ships and assist in their pirate activities.  However, such mortals should be careful, as should the Giants become stuck at sea and provisions run low, the Smallfolk sailors will be downgraded to emergency rations.

Statblock Changes:

Damage Threshold: 12

Immune to Cold and Cold/Ice Damage.  Cold temperatures do not affect them either.

Ice Adornment: Should a Frost Giant take ice/frost/cold damage, the attack does no damage to them, but instead forms a layer of ice around their armor that gives them 2d6 temporary HP.  This HP must be expended before the Giant can start taking damage.  A Frost Giant can also soak itself in water and stand in a sufficiently cold area to gain this additional HP.

Cursed by the Sun: If a Fire Giant takes fire damage, even if it does not equal or exceed the Fire Giant's damage threshold, then until the Frost Giant's next turn, all creatures who successfully hit the Frost Giant may roll their damage rolls twice and take the higher result.  This stacks with any other ability that allows damage to be rerolled. 

Fear of Fire: Frost Giants will be hesitant to fight those who use fire as a weapon, especially if it is Witchflame conjured by Magi.  If a Frost Giant is confronted with a large amount of fire, the Giant(s) must make a morale check.  On a failed check, they will retreat.  They will only attack if they have a way to neutralize the flames.

by Irina Malets

Servants of the landborne Frost Giants:


1- Giant Hounds.  Closer to wolves that proper dogs, these semi-tame canines are massive wolves that serve at the behest of the Frost Giants, who use them to pull sleds and guard camps.  They fight like wolves, ganging up on larger animals and slowly wearing them down.  Then, when they have weakened their prey enough to bring it down, they rip open its' stomach and eat it alive from the inside out.
2- Snowheart Bulls.  Huge, blue-furred bulls with great horns that gleam like polished brass in sunlight.  Immune to the cold, these great beasts feed primarily on snow, and stampede at the sight of fire.  When they die, their corpses rapidly heat up, cooking themselves.  The Giants use them as livestock and terror weapons. 
3- Mammoths.  These hairy cousins of the Elephant lack any of the latter's gentleness or compassion, retaining only their loyalty.  Mammoths fill the role a dog would for a Human, that of a beloved pet and guardian.  Mammoths are ill-tempered and dangerous even to Frost Giants, but if properly cared for, a Frost Giant will find a zealous, nigh-unstoppable protector.   
4- Ghouls.  These creatures follow Frost Giants, even if the Giants would prefer they not be there.  There are always scraps left behind after they hunt, even if those 'scraps' are the survivors who ran away and the Giants didn't feel like following them.
5- Ravens.  These birds are hungry and so are the Giants.  There are many things Ravens would like to eat, but cannot.  They lead the Giants to food and the Giants kill it for them, then leave them the scraps.  Some Storm Priests learn how to communicate with Ravens and can speak to them, using them to gather intelligence or send messages.  Others feed the Ravens eyeballs in the hopes of hearing one of the bird's prophecies.  
6- Spirits of Winter.  Nameless evil spirits that despise the hot blood flowing through the veins of mortals, these spirits live to snuff flames and watch people freeze to death.  They serve the Giants because of bargains and because the Giants refuse to die, no matter how many Giant Bears the Spirits send after them.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  That being said, these Spirits still hate the fact that these Giants are still alive and would turn on them in a second, if they thought they could get away with it and such a thing would result in the Giants dying.    

Servants of the seaborne Frost/Salt Giants:


1- Smallfolk Sailors.  It takes a brave or a stupid man to work for Salt Giants, and these men are a combination of both.  Most are in it for the money or the loot, while others are criminals or pirates hiding from the authorities aboard the ice ships. 
2- Whales.  Whales are gluttonous and lazy, with few having the energy to catch larger fish or people, which they love to eat more than anything else.  The Giants offer them sacrifices and gifts so the whales will protect their ships and guide them to victims.  The navies of the Southern Kingdoms are continually troubled by whales because of the Giants.     
3- Polar Bears.  They can swim, they can run as fast as a horse and can track a drop of blood for leagues.  They're basically like ill-trained puppies to the Giants, who use them like war-dogs and house pets.   
4- Yagras.  Horrible bird-women with claws that slice flesh like paper and leave wounds that only heal on the righteous, these creatures flock around Salt Giant ships, serving the Giants in exchange for permission to torment captured slaves/provisions for their own sick amusement in a twisted parody of the search for justice. 
5- Leopard-Selkies.  Giant Seals that can drag a man down into the black depths and drown him, then feed on his corpse.  But they also possess the ability to take off their skins to reveal that underneath they look like normal humans, albeit ones that are 8 to 14 feet tall.  Small by Giant standards, but still.  Stealing their skins will prevent them from changing back and also offend them greatly. 
6- Salt Kelpies.  Larger than their cousins, they resemble Horses with horribly pathetic, sympathetic faces.  They make a sound very similar to a child's whine of pain and use it to draw victims in close.  When you get close, they will bite you with razor fangs and lap up your blood before it freezes on the ice.  They are powerful swimmers and can walk on water as if it was solid.

artist unknown

Frost Giant Storm Priests:

Controlling weather is a necessity when you live in a climate as brutal as that of the Frost Giants, and so they have adapted.  Their priestly class is composed of a mix of Magi and Shaman who make contracts with Spirits to gain the ability to influence the weather and keep their Clan and Tribe safe.  The Frost Giants do not differentiate between their priests who can naturally use magic, those who made pacts with spirits or those with no magical ability at all.  Almost all of them have at least some ability, regardless of how weak it is. 

Yet magical ability is not what gives weight to their words.  Storm Priests are trained in a variety of other tasks, including how to recognize medicinal plants and how to create natural supplements from animal by-products.  They are skilled at predicting the weather, even the ones without magical tools to aid them in this process.  But the most important duty they have is preserving the stories of their people.  They memorize large amounts of lore to communicate in the form of songs, chants, ballads and dirges to carry on the spirit of their honored ancestors.

And while many of the stories they tell are likely of no interest to anyone but the Giants and the Sages, here is one that the Frost Giants tell only to themselves.  When the World was new, a race of Gods walked on Earth.  They possessed power and glory beyond that of any other species, able to perform wonders.  They tamed the wild, devastated lands they found themselves in, and created smaller, weaker versions of themselves to serve them.  These included the White Wisps, the Burning Hearts, the Skillful Hands, the Laughing Souls and the Iron Skins.  The Iron Skins were the strongest and most loyal of these lesser Tribes, and so were entrusted with the protection of the Gods, marking them as special.  

But the White Wisps, who considered themselves the equals of the Gods, found this unpleasant.  The Wisps tried their best to prove they were the equals to the Gods, but all their attempts failed.  They even tried to create their own servitors, but could only make small, frail creatures that barely reached the knees of the Laughing Souls, the smallest of the other Tribes. 

And so, consumed by their pride and envy, the Wisps' noble hearts were poisoned by bitterness.  They plotted with the newborn Spirits that sprang from the minds of the tiny creatures they had made, promising them power should the Wisps' succeed.  The Spirits agreed and lent their strength to the Wisps.  Thus equipped, the Wisps rallied their children and revolted against the Gods.  They cast down the Gods, poisoning their source of power.  This destroyed the Gods.  

The White Wisps then declared themselves to be the new Gods and ordered the others to bow to them.  When the Iron Skins refused, the Wisps had their new allies curse the Iron Skins, stripping them of their divine beauty and making even mild heat burn their pale flesh.  This forced the Iron Skins to retreat to the coldest regions of the world, where the Wisps assumed they would die.  But they did not.  At first, many froze, but through the intervention of the Spirits and the Ghosts of their Honored Dead, the Iron Skins were changed.  Though they had become shadows of their former self, they could now endure in these frozen places. 

There they survive, and wait.  For the day that is coming, The Day of revenge.  For it is said that their Gods are not dead;  Ulatar, their God-King, survived the destruction of his brothers and sisters and waits, hiding in the darkness of a Giantess' womb, where the Sun's rays cannot find him.  And it is said that when the curse is broken, he will be born of a Giantess and will lead his people to take back what was stolen from them.  They will punish the usurpers and reclaim the world.  Then the Gods will return and the world will be given into their hands once more.  And the Frost Giants will be changed into new glorious forms, and become what they once were, and will be, again.

Statblock Changes:

Spellcasting: Frost Giants Storm Priests 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 1d4 spells, plus the spells Illusion and Shape Ice.

Chaos of the Frost Giant Storm Priest:
1- Sheets of smooth, glassy ice cover the ground in a 50' diameter circle, centered on the Caster.  All creatures moving across the ice must save or fall prone as they lose their footing.
2- All ice within 100' immediately melts, unleashing a flood of water that soaks everything nearby.
3- The Sun sees the Giant and becomes enraged, doing 1d4 fire damage to all Giants within 50' of the Caster, including the Caster.
4- A snow storm whips up around the Caster, dropping vision to 10' for all creatures within 100' of the Caster.  The snow storm lasts for 1d10 minutes, before vanishing like it never even existed.
5- Part of the Caster's armor cracks and falls off, reducing his damage threshold by 1d4.  This lasts for 1d10 minutes, then it returns to normal.
6- The Caster immediately transforms into a Sun Giant Warrior, his armor cracking off and his skin taking on a gold or metallic hue.  He loses his armor, reducing his Damage Threshold back to 10 and his immunity to cold damage.  Unless he is in a sufficiently warm spot, he will immediately begin freezing to death.

artist unknown

Frost Giant Ghoul:

The Frost Giants have a secret.  One they rarely discuss amongst themselves, but one that is always present in the backs of some of their minds.  There is rarely enough food.  Going hungry for them is actually a fairly common thing, especially when there are children or pregnant mothers who need the food more.  This is what leads the Giants to hunt such risky game- hunting a bear that is larger than they and covered in layer and layer of iron-hard muscles and blubbery fat, or giant centipedal creatures covered in blazing metal spines is extremely hazardous and can easily lead to at least one death.  Yet it is a necessity for otherwise the Tribe would starve. 

But there is a solution to this problem, one disgusting, yet obvious.  What of the dead?  They do not use their meat anymore, so to bury or abandon them would just be to leave them to other predators.  Some Frost Giants do practice sky burial, where they ritually mutilate a corpse and use the meat to lure prey, but they keep the bones as reminders of who the dead were.  Other tribes freeze their dead in solid blocks of ice, preserving their corpses for centuries without even the hint of decay.  Either of these practices can lead to the temptation to just take a  bite, or just to crack open one bone to drink the marrow within.  Then the temptation comes again, harder to resist.  Then again, and it's even harder to shake off.  Just one more bite, they promise themselves. 

Eventually, they get caught and expelled from the community.  If they're not killed by their fellows, most will go and hide their shame, hoping to take their own lives in the hopes of preserving some honor.  But others live in their shame, especially when they transform into something unliving.  For the Undead are well suited to surviving in the cold wastes.  The long nights give plenty of time to hunt and the cold doesn't touch those who know the chill of the grave.  And during the long summers where daylight is nearly omnipresent, the Ghouls spend their time digging enormous tunnels beneath the ice and snow so they can still try to hunt, or burying themselves beneath the ice and slipping into that Ghoulish state of hibernation and starvation.  The Giant Ghoul will remain there until he is roused by an approaching meal, after which he will spring and devour the source of hot meat. 

Like other Ghouls, many will try to rationalize their behavior.  Perhaps they will say that their way is better and even encourage others to join them in their cannibal feasts.  Or perhaps they will simply cry as they feed, tears spilling from dead eyes, cleaning the blood from around their mouths.

Statblock Changes:

Undead: Ghouls are Undead.  Undead do not feel pain or get tired.  They are immune to poison and disease.  They do not need to eat, sleep or breathe.  Any spell that says "Undead" in its title or description is talking about something like this.

Sunlight Vulnerability: Frost Giant Ghouls take 1d20 radiant damage for every round they spend in sunlight.

Already Dead: Unless decapitated, cut to pieces, burnt to ashes by sunlight or reduced to zero HP by a magical attack or weapon, the Frost Giant Ghoul has an 12-in-20 chance of their body knitting itself back together and recovering from the damage they took.

Great Hunger: Ghouls must continually consume meat to maintain their personalities.  If a Ghoul has eaten within the last 3 days, it maintains its full intelligence.  If it hasn't eaten in a week, it is still intelligent, but is noticeably less smart, less patient and less cautious.  If a Ghoul hasn't eaten in a month, it is feral, and acts like a rabid animal.  If it hasn't eaten in longer than a month, it slumps into a coma and does not move.  Should any creature come within arm's reach, the Ghoul will spring up and try to devour the creature.  Otherwise, the Ghoul will do nothing.

Cursed Touch: Frost Giant Ghouls cause any creature they get their hands on to take 1d6 STR damage.  If a creature's STR falls below the number of items it has, it becomes overencumbered.  Overencumbered creatures have disadvantage on all checks made to run or move quickly or with agility, and automatically act last in initiative.  Creatures reduced to 0 STR cannot carry anything but their own bodies and subtract their STR modifier from the damage they would ordinarily do on a successful attack.

artist unknown

Frost Giant Plot Hooks:  


1- A group of Ghouls is harassing a clan of Dwarves, trying to steal the bodies of the honored dead.  Go drive them off.  What the Dwarves don't know is that these Ghouls have attached themselves to an approaching Frost Giant warband, which will be upon you and the Dwarves soon.
2- A group of Frost Giants are attacking a Bealar city, as their Dam-City has created an ideal fishing ground which the Frost Giants plan to claim for themselves.  The Bealars don't want this but have no real plan of how to stop the Frost Giants from slaughtering and/or eating them.
3- The Caribusa Herd's Elders have heard rumors of a magical sword wreathed in witchflame and feel this would be an ideal deterrant for dissuading Frost Giants from attacking the Herd while they are migrating across the snowy plains.  They want you to accompany a party of their warriors to go retrieve it.  The warriors are along to provide extra muscle and ensure you don't try to take the sword for yourself. 
4- A Wolfman Pack was attacked by Frost Giants, and most of the non-Warriors were kidnapped.  The rest are dead and scattered.  The First Fang, the Pack's leader, has a large cache of frozen whale meat that he wishes to use to bribe the Frost Giants into letting the captives go.  He needs you to go negotiate with the Frost Giants for their release, while he re-assembles his broken Pack.
5- A Wolfman Pack and a Dwarf Clan are engaged in a series of escalating disputes that is threatening to boil over into a war, or at least a blood-feud.  One of the Shamans of the Pack has hired you to de-escalate tension, as he has received a dire prophecy that foretells the demise of his pack if this dispute is not ended peacefully.  The doom foretold will come in the form of the Frost Giants, who are coming into the area and will devour any mortals not destroyed in the feud/battle that is sure to come at this rate.
6- A Batling's cave town has been broken open by a Frost Giant Storm Priest and their giant insect livestock is flying out, only to freeze to death shortly after.  They want your help distracting/getting rid of the Giants so they can save what's left of their livestock before it's too late.    
7- Ships are disappearing up and down the ghost in an area where Merfolk and piracy is not common.  A certain captain is stirring up trouble and is spinning tales of a ghost ship, with an Undead Captain out for revenge.  He's looking for a crew to go out and face the ghost.  Secretly, the disappearing ships are because of an ice ship of Salt Giants and the captain actually works for the Salt Giants as a spy. 
8- A Salt Giant ship has gotten stuck in the ice, and is currently immobile.  It's also full of loot.  Your client, a master thief, wants you to ride across the ice with him and help him sneak in so you can rob the place and make off with as much treasure as you can hold.
9- A distraught mother is asking for someone to help her hunt down "The unicorn" that took her child.  She says her daughter had been telling her stories about a unicorn she had been playing with, but the mother assumed it was just her daughter's imagination, as she had never heard of unicorns living this far north.  She's right, the creature that actually took her daughter is a Kelpie, and the Kelpie took her back to it's den on a Salt Giant ship.  Follow it and rescue the girl, before the Kelpie, or the Giants, eat her. 
10- An obviously shady guy hires you to join his "legitimate crew".  He's almost certainly a pirate, and you're correct.  The only catch is that he's a pirate who works for the Salt Giants. You've been shanghaied!  Now you have to play nice with the other Smallfolk, lest the Giants employ their creative punishments.  And god forbid the winds fail, or you really won't like what happens next.  Here's a hint: it involves you and the other Smallfolk becoming lunch.

from here

Iron Giants:

Number Appearing: 1d4+2
Alignment: Lawful Neutral or Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca and Giantish
Treasure: Delicate machinery, artifice equipment and blueprints, Jujus in a variety of stages of completion, potions, advanced weapons and other useful devices.

The Imperial Cult teaches that the Giants were formed out of the pieces of the dismembered body of the Dragon-Goddess, but this is not a belief shared by all religions.  In the South, there is a different story that is believed to have originated from the Vulkari, though it is repeated in various forms among the Dwarves and Wolfmen.  This story is called 'The Doom of the Giants'. 

As the legend goes, the Giants were once a race possessing great wisdom and power.  They were the first to build great monuments, the first to discover how to smelt metals, the first to master the mysteries of the Heavens and the Earth.  But they grew arrogant, seeking what was denied the mortal races.  They sought to challenge the God's dominion and for that, they were punished severely.  The Giant's current wretched state is said to be the result of divine punishment. 

You're unlikely to ever meet one, but the Iron Giants would tell you a similar story.  Once they were artisans and builder, working stone and metal to create wonders.  Their civilization was a marvel of culture and learning, their glittering cities towering into the sky.  In those days, few had to work, so the ancestors of the Giants only worked to create things of beauty that would enrich the lives of others.  

Then came the Doom, and their civilization burned.  Their glorious monuments were ground to rubble and their cities were smashed, leaving the tribes scattered and impoverished.  The loss of life from the Doom cannot be counted or known, but the Iron Giants speculate that upwards of 50% of all Giants on the face of the Earth died.  The rest were left as beggars amidst the ruins, left to watch their works disappear into the mists of time. 

And so the tribes were scattered, each seeking out a new path.  One Tribe, the artisan-workers and maintainers of the great works, they were a simply, gentle folk who did not use weapons.  They were left adrift in the land, without protectors, without hope, finding themselves easy prey for the monsters that surged out of the Seas and the Wilderness to feed on the carcass of their empire.  And so they fled into the only place they could think to go, the shelters that had been hewn of the rock in the mountains.  Once they had been simple caves, sheltering primitive giants against the storm that swallowed the world.  When they left those caves, the Giants had found a world washed clean, one bereft of life.  And so their empire had risen, growing in the fertile earth like stalks of golden wheat.

Now these caves found new purpose, sheltering this remnant of a remnant, those who had no strength to call their own.  But it soon became apparent that these caves would not be suitable.  They were too exposed, too narrow.  There wasn't enough food, nor was there enough space.  So the Giant remnant turned their skills at craftsmanship towards survival.  They build devices to allow them to dig deeper into the earth for shelter, digging tunnels and expanding caves to fit their great bulk.  The gardeners among them went from growing flowers and arranging grasses to trying to discover how to cultivate mushrooms and craft artificial lights that could fool plants into growing far below the Earth.

Other innovations followed as the Giants went further underground.  They built for themselves prosthetics of steel to augment their weak bodies (by the standards of Giants) and to allow them to do things that others of their kind could not do.  And so, they survived.  In time, they became so comfortable under ground that the thought of leaving never occurred to them.  The surface was an obsession of their ancestors, who spoke of endless blue skies and the great lights of the Heavens, but the current generation has no desire to ever go back.  Down here, in their black palaces, they are kings. 

Statblock Changes:

Damage Threshold: 7

Augmentation: Iron Giants have modified their bodies with artifice, giving themselves new limbs, weapons and tools built into their bodies.  To see how this Iron Giant modified itself, roll on the table below until you have results that add up to at least '5'.

1- Echolocators.  The Giant has stone bulbs on it's chest that allow it to echolocate, like a bat or dolphin.  The sounds produced by these devices allow the Giant to move through pitch darkness.  Certain creatures, such as Batlings and Wolfmen, can hear these sounds.  Most cannot, however.
2- Tentacles.  The Giant has 1d6+1 tentacles sprouting from it's body.  These automatically try to grapple any creature that gets within 10' of the Giant, forcing a STR check each round a creature is that close to the Giant. 
3- Deployable Shield.  The Giant can deploy a massive shield that it can use to stop all attacks coming from one direction that do not equal or exceed a Damage Threshold of 15.  The Shield can also be used to block tunnels or as an improvised wall/barricade. 
4- Retractable Spines.  The Giant can, as a free action, deploy quills from all over it's body.  These quills cause any creature within 5' to have to save or be skewered when first deployed, taking 1d6 damage and being impaled on the spines.  Creatures who get within 5' must also succeed on a DEX check or take damage from these potruding spines. 
5- Electrified Skin.  The Giant has a thin layer of metal buried in it's skin, with a constant flow of electricity passing through it.  Any creature that hits a Giant with a metal weapon takes 1d8 lightning damage and must save or be knocked prone.  This damage is also transmitted on a 'miss' by the Attacker.  The Giant is also immune to lightning damage. 
6- Aura Emitters.  The Giant can, as an action, activate a magical aura around it.  This aura allows the Giant to 1d4 [1= Automatically heal all creatures within 30' of it for up to 1d8 FS per round for 2d6 rounds; 2= Automatically damage all creatures within 30', causing them to take 1d6 lightning damage; 3= Allows the Giant to manipulate metal objects within 30' by thought alone; 4= Causes stone within 30' of the Giant to take on the consistency of thick oatmeal, causing creatures to sink into it like quicksand.  The Giant is immune to this effect.]  
7- Crystal Eye.  The Giant has replaced on it's eyes with a construct of crystal, allowing it to 1d4 [1= Scry on creatures as per a Crystal Ball; 2= Read the thoughts of creatures that fail a COG check; 3= See invisible things, as well as the presence of immaterial beings hiding in the Shallows, such as Ghosts or Spirits; 4= Allow it to Charm those who fail a COG save, doing 1d6 COG damage to those who fail their save when the Giant activates this ability.] 
8- Gas Mask.  The Giant has a metal contraption strapped to it's face, which makes it immune to gasses in the atmosphere and airborne poison.  The Giant has a 50% of also carrying some kind of gaseous or airborne weapon.
9- Size Adjuster.  The Giant can alter it's size, increasing or decreasing it by 1 size category as an action.  For each size category it goes down, it gains +1 to it's Damage Threshold but has it's damage dice go down by 1 size.  From 2d10, to 2d8 to 2d6 and so on.  
10- Detachable Hands.  The Giant can cause one of it's hands to fall off and move independently.  This hand is about the size of a wolfhound and can 1dX [1= Feel vibrations in the ground; 2= Climb on walls and ceilings; 3= Has artificial eyes installed in it; 3= Can be reeled back by the wire attaching it to the Giant's stump at a moment's notice; 4= Can levitate up to 30' off the ground.] 

Juju Weapons: Iron Giants wield weapons created through artifice.  To see what kind of weapons this one wields, roll once the table below:

1- Spirit Cannon.  Fires a blinding blast of scouring energy that burns flesh and bone to ash in seconds.  Does 3d6 damage, save for half, and can only fire every 1d4 rounds. 
2- Disintegrator.  Fires a needle-thin laser that if it strikes a creature, forces a CON save.  On a failed save, the creature's physical form is atomized.  On a successful save, the creature takes 2d6 radiant damage.
3- Sneetches.  The Giant deploys 1d4+1 tiny metal drones that swarm the nearest living creature not marked as one of the Giant's allies.  The targeted creatures must save.  The Sneetches then try to burrow into these creatures and explode.  These creatures must save.  On a failed save, the creature takes 1d8 CON damage.  Reducing a creature's CON to 0 forces it to roll on the Horrible Wounds table as if it took 2d10 damage.  On a successful save, the creature takes 1d8 damage.  The creature has advantage on it's save if it is wearing metal armor.  Each Iron Giant armed with Sneetches only carries a small number, 2d6 in this case.  They can also choose to deploy a smaller number than 1d4+1, should they choose.     
4- Sealed Disc.  The Giant carries a metal disc that can levitate and obeys the Giant's mental commands.  As an action, the Giant can send the disc to attack a creature.  The disc attacks with an attack bonus of +4 and does 1d8+4 damage on a hit, but a DEX save can be made in place of an attack roll.  A successful DEX save causes a creature to take no damage, but a failure means taking full damage.  Additionally, most discs have magical seals applied to them.  This one 1dX [1= Will home in on a target, making multiple attempts to hit it on a miss unless recalled; 2= Sets creatures near it on fire, unless you passed your save with a margin of at least '5' you take 1d6 fire damage and are set on fire; 3= The disc, if it strikes a solid object, will ricochet and randomly strike on creature other than it's owner; 4= The disc smashes through solid objects, reducing AR by 1d4 on a successful hit.] 
5- Blunderbuss.  The Giant has a massive cannon that fires a wall of shrapnel made of tiny fragments of bone, stone and metal.  This does 1d12 damage at close damage, 1d10 damage at Medium range and 1d8 at long range.  Use Firearm rules.  The Blunderbuss must be reloaded and takes 1d4 rounds to reload. 
6- Flamer.  The Giant has a flamethrower strapped to it's body which does 2d6 fire damage, save for half, to any creature in a 50' line.  Creatures who fail their save are also set on fire and take 1d6 fire damage a round until they take an action to put out the flames. 
7- Cyclone Gauntlet.  The Giant can blast a massive blast of air that hurls creatures and objects about like leaves in a gale.  The gauntlet does 2d6 bludgeoning damage, save for half, and blasts all creatures back 1d10*10'.  Creatures with STR 18 or higher can resist being moved on a successful save.   
8- Ghost Knives.  The Giant can hurl a long sliver of spiritual energy that ignores non-magical armor and substances, allowing it to pass through stone and metal with ease.  These knives do 1d8 radiant damage on a hit.   
9- Flesh-Hate Bombs.  The Giant can hurl a device that explodes, causing all creatures within 15' of it to save.  Creatures who fail their save take 2d6 acid damage as the device creates a cloud of acidic fog that surrounds it for 15'  All creatures within also take 1d6 acid damage for every round within the cloud.  This acid dissolves non-magical armor and all organic material.   
10- Needle Crossbow.  The Giant carries a crossbow that allows it to fire crystalline darts that do 1d8 damage on a hit.  On a miss, the creatures within 10' of the Defending creature must save or take 1d6 sharp damage as the crystalline bolt explodes in a shower of razor shards. 

When Iron Giants are not using their Juju weapons, they use normal Giant weapons, suitable for fighting either other Giants or Smallfolk.

Servants of the Iron Giants:


1- Eloi.  Indolent and lazy creatures, they resemble humans but far less intelligent.  They caper with joy for their masters, acting as both pet and food source.  The Eloi bred for food and Eloi bred for companionship are different, though these differences are usually lost on outsiders. 
2- Morlocks.  Shaggy haired creatures descended from humans, selectively bred for night-vision, hardiness and climbing ability.  Tend to the Eloi and serve as research assistants.  Also help the Giants repair their devices.  Unlike the Eloi, they are as smart as humans, and so if they escape or left behind they can survive in the Veins.  As such, often near Iron Giant cities or settlements you will find rogue Morlocks, running shadow-societies that feed on the scraps left behind by their betters.   
3- Scuttlers.  Small constructs that resemble shiny-shelled beetles made of metal, these drones come in a variety of sizes and are used to repair devices, scout out small spaces and help expand tunnels.  When attacked they fight in a swarm and can disassemble metal with ease. 
4- Hunter-Killers.  Constructs that resemble squids.  Can fly and levitate, slipping through narrow spaces with ease.  They can fire nets and sticky substances from ports in their heads and have sharp hooks on their tentacles.  Yet despite their fearsome appearances, they usually are deployed to recapture runaway Morlocks or slaves captured in raids on the surface or on other Veins settlements. 
5- Oozes.  Oozes are extremely useful underground and the Iron Giants deploy them in great numbers and a huge variety.  Some are acidic and are used to expand or dig tunnels, while others are used to capture runaways, made of non-acidic slime that can can transfer oxygen better than air while still others sneak into houses and choke the unfortunate enemies of the Iron Giants, then leave once the target is dead, without so much as a clue about how the creature died.  
6- Infiltrators.  A Morlock, slave or Eloi that has been modified through artifice.  These creatures look perfectly ordinary on the outsides, but have artificial structures embedded in their bodies.  At the command of their distant master, these Infiltrators will suddenly drop their innocous facades, deploy their hidden weapons and carve their master's enemies into ground beef.

Iron Giant Mechizar:

The Iron Giants sought to use their super-science and knowledge of sorcery to save themselves and build a new home for themselves underground, but some quickly realized the true possibilities such augmentations actually offered.  These Iron Giants sought not only to survive, but to thrive.  They transformed themselves into beasts of metal, with little organic remaining in their bodies.  These Mechizars, as they began calling themselves, busied themselves with the perfection of steel, rejecting the flaws and frailty of flesh, as they would put it.  This enabled them to become far more powerful than their fellows, as their studies quickly revealed new and more potent weapons and technology. 

Rather then share these with their brethren however, the Mechizars kept their riches for themselves, considering their brethren too unenlightened to use such tools responsibly.  The Mechizars also felt that they, the wise and mighty, were perfectly within their rights to deny outsiders access to their secret knowledge.  So they concealed their secrets, which led to a rift opening up between them and more common Iron Giants, who felt that the Mechizars were strange with their secret rites and bizarre customs. 

Yet the groups differed in other ways.  While the Iron Giants were content to remain below ground forever, the Mechizars strongly disagreed.  They claim that the Iron Giants were pushed underground not circumstance, but by providence.  Their old selves were weak and frail, which is why they were shriven.  They wasted their time on things like art and entertainment, when they should have been perfecting themselves.  This time in the Veins, it is a penance and a punishment. 

Hope is not lost, however.  For the Veins is also the Giant's stone womb.  The Iron Giants are being molded into something new and terrible, a process the Mechizars are the avant garde for.  When the process is finished, the Iron Giants will emerge from their stone cocoon and bring fire and sword to those who drove their ancestors underground.  They will scour the world clean and remake it in their image.  It will be a new world, a better one.  Rational, orderly and peaceful.  And the Mechizars know this with certainty because they are going to built that world.  

Statblock Changes:

Roll twice on the Augmentation and once Juju Weapons table, then once on the table below:

1- Deploy-able Energy Screen.  The Mechizar can project a series of screens around itself that are made of certain types of elemental energy.  These screens cause damage based on that type to anyone who touches them and absorb damage of the same time.  They also give the Giant 3d6 temporary HP.  These screens can be pierced by striking them with the opposite type of elemental energy.  For example, fire screens can be countered with ice damage, lightning screens can be disrupted with water or earth, etc.  The Mechizar has the ability to form screens of 3 elements, and can switch between them as an action on it's turn.  Roll for those 3 elements here: 1d6 [1= Fire; 2= Ice; 3= Lightning; 4= Acid; 5= Radiant; 6= Psychic.]
2- Portal Projector.  The Mechizar can create portals leading to any place it has been or any place it can see.  It can also create multiple portals that link to each other.  These portals can stay open for as long the Mechizar concentrates on them.  If not concentrated on, they disappear after 1 minute.
3- Annihilation Ray.  The Mechizar has the ability to fire a blinding beam of energy that obliterates everything in it's path.  The beam does 3d6 fire and 3d6 radiant damage to everything in a 50' line, save for half.  The Mechizar can only fire this beam once every 1d6 rounds.
4- Gravity Orb.  The Mechizar can alter gravity around itself, creating bubbles of zero gravity, inverting or altering the gravity of other creatures if they fail a save, or greatly increasing the gravity in an area to crush creatures or pin them to the ground.  
5- Hard Light Creator.  The Mechizar can create constructs out of light, hardening them with psychic energy so they become solid.  The Mechizar can use this to create levitating platforms, stairs and other stationary objects, but it can also use them more offensively.  The Mechizar can create 1d6+1 1 HD Hard light constructs to fight for it.  These constructs are perfectly loyal and can only be damaged by things that could disrupt their physical forms.  Many forms of damage, such as radiant, psychic, necrotic and poison would be useless against them. 
6- Tezzerret Coil.  The Mechizar can fire blasts of lightning from it's hands, doing 2d6 damage, save for half, to any creature it targets.  Additionally, the Mechizar can surround itself with an aura of lighting.  This means that any creature that enters within 30' of the Mechizar takes 1d6 lightning damage if they are carrying any form of metal.

Stone Giant Crawler:

You haven't experienced true darkness, not within the domain of the Sun.  This is a pale shade, a malnourished second cousin.  True dark that is not disturbed by slivers of light from the sun and moon and stars does not exist on the surface.  It dwells far below, in the depths of the Earth.  Furthermore, this darkness has a power all it's own.  Those exposed to it find themselves changing, slowly, inexorably.  And the changes for an individual are only less dramatic than those that happen to a people.  Sun and sky-loving people come to hate open spaces where they can't feel the stone pressing in on them and shrink away from even the smallest amount of light. 

This happened to the Iron Giants, though they wouldn't recognize it if they were told this.  Their ancestors would be disgusted at the grotesqueries they've become, but they are long dead.  The Iron Giants slowly changed, becoming people that craved the stability of stone and metal.  Airy things like wind and clouds now unnerve them.  Only the soft, dank breath of their caves comforts them.  The world beyond is alien.  There are plans by some to one day return to see what has become of the surface, but they are tentative at best.  The Giants much prefer to send their Morlocks up alone to scrounge for supplies or retrieve some resource that is difficult to obtain in the Veins.  The Mechizars do plan to go up to the surface, but that is a long time off.  Besides, Mechizars are strange and unlike most Iron Giants. 

However, these are not the only options.  There are also those with no intention of ever returning to the surface, or even ability to do so.  Some Iron Giants did not fare as well as their brethren.  Some of the vaults lacked available equipment or resources, while others were plagued by disease and infighting.  Some were cracked open by tectonic activity, while others were broken into by other tunneling races.  Many of those Giants died, but some survived. 

Clinging to life in whatever way they could, they adopted a much more primitive lifestyle, hunting and fishing in the black depths of the Earth.  Without the aid of their technology, these Giants shifted and changed.  They grew gaunt and pale, their bone gaining a disturbing elasticity to allow them to slip through small spaces that would never be able to accommodate ordinary Giants.  Their eyes grew huge and sensitive, able to spot a lit cigarette from half a mile away.  In other cases, they lost their eyes entirely, but gained highly sensitive whiskers that allowed them sense minute vibrations and the movement of air.  These Stone Giants, or Crawlers, as they became known to the Iron Giants became highly proficient tunnelers and hunters, in many cases becoming the apex predator of their part of the Veins. 

These Stone Giants are not unintelligent, though most only live in small family groups only tentatively connected to a greater tribe.  They've lost almost all cultural knowledge, with only echoes of their original glory shining through.  They claim to have come from a world above, a great mossy catacomb with blue walls, where a glowing beetle larger than a Giant crawled across the roof, illuminating everything.  This land was rich and beautiful, and those who hunt and provide for their families as well as performing the appropriate rites will be welcomed back into this cavern after death.

The Iron Giants consider the Stone Giants embarrassments and subhuman savages, and exterminate them when they can.  The Stone Giants recognize this and avoid their cousins, who they believe are Devils sent to torment them in this life, to test them. 

Statblock Changes:

Sensitivity to Light: Stone Giants are extremely sensitive to light.  If exposed to a bright source of light, they must save or be blinded.

Rubbery Bones: Stone Giants have rubbery flesh and bones that allow them to slip through tiny spaces that a Giant has no right fitting through.  They can fit through any space a Medium creature could walk through, albeit much slower.

artist unknown

Iron Giant Plot Hooks:


1- A series of disappearances in a mountain community has spooked the authorities.  They have sent you to go investigate and see what is causing this.  As you are investigating, you find an escapee, a man who tells you how he escaped from the Hounds of the Iron Horrors that live under the mountains.  He won't be happy about it, but he can lead you back to where the other captives are being held.  Go and rescue them, if you can.
2- A strange group of metal monsters have been kidnapping miners from the depths of a silver mine and now they are refusing to work.  Go and find out where these monsters are coming from and what is going on generally.  Secretly, the miners broke into the mines and a group of Hunter-Killer constructs have entered to capture the "runaways". 
3- The local officials are very concerned about a series of sinkholes that have been opening, on a regular schedule in a single, curving line.  The projected path of the sinkholes will, if not stopped, pass under the city and do immense damage to the city and it's walls, opening the city to attack.  Please find out why this is happening and why.  Secretly, this is because of an Iron Giant operation to mine rare materials using explosives.     
4- While exploring the Veins of the Earth, the party happens upon a group of Eloi frolicking in the semi-darkness of a patch of glowing fungi.  The Morlocks who are guarding the Eloi offer the party a job.  Something has been sneaking in to the Eloi's grazing ground and eating them, but no Morlock has survived to see it.  They want the party to disguise themselves as Eloi and hide among the herd, to try and find out what is preying on them.  If the party does, they will find out it is a Stone Giant.
5- Strange monsters are coming out of the underground, attacking a Batling settlement.  The strangers are brutal savages who need to be sent back.  You're needed to stall and rally a defense so the Batlings have time to arrange a counter-attack.  But if you investigate, you will find that these strangers are from the Veins and have been displaced by an encroaching group of Iron Giants, who are hot on their heels with an army of Morlocks and metal men.
6- The party receives a mysterious invitation from an unknown party to come to a remote location and hunt a giant beast.  But when they get there and kill it, they find out that the beast is actually a Construct disguised as a living creature.  Then an Iron Giant Mechizar will come out and capture them.  He has been using adventurers to test his constructs and since the party slayed his, that means they need work.  He plans on creating a new one and having them fight that one.  If they kill that one, he will repeat the experiment until they die.  They should escape. 
7- In the Veins, an Iron Giant child captures a person and is convinced that the person is 'broken', as it doesn't act like an Eloi.  It's much too smart.  The party will need to convince the child to hand over the person without hurting him.  But be careful, for if the child is threatened, her automated protector constructs will activate and slaughter everything nearby that even vaguely looks like a threat.      
8- An artificer wants you to investigate why you his rival is making so many amazing discoveries, despite the fact that he is obviously superior.  If you investigate, you will find his rival is selling information on the surface to an Iron Giant Mechizar, in exchange for tidbits of ancient lore. 
9- A group of Stone Giants have suddenly come up onto the surface and are running around terrorizing people.  Since fighting them has so far proved useless, the local ruler has hired you to race to the capital and retrieve a scholar who knows Ancient Giantish and return before the Giant's trash what's left of the ruler's domain.
10- The party, while in the Veins, find the corpse of an ancient, still-living God.  They also find a group of Iron Giant Mechizars trying to revive this God by repairing it's body with artifice.  The party must find a way to stop them from awakening their deity, or it could mean the fulfillment of ancient prophecy and a beginning of a world-shattering war.

artist unknown

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