10 Minor Events to Occur in a Hill Giant Steading

A hill giant steading is a living, breathing dynamic dungeon. Its inhabitants—orc slaves, hill giants and their pets—all move about the place going about their business.

By Bradley K. McDevitt

PCs exploring a steading are bound to experience minor events during their adventure. Roll on the table below, to determine what minor event occurs. (Wily PCs can use many of these to their advantage).

  1. The sound of deep voices and laughter, coming from some unexplored part of the steading, fills the air. It seems a celebration is in progress.
  2. The party encounter an orc slave carrying several large bloody wolf pelts. The orc is distracted and does not notice the PCs, unless they are making a tremendous amount of noise. If given the chance, he drops the pelts and flees shouting.
  3. A deep rumbling snore emanates from around the corner. Investigations reveal a hill giant slumped against the wall asleep clutching an empty wine flask in one massive hand. He is almost impossible to wake.
  4. The smell of burning meat and smoke wafts through the air.
  5. Cold water drips down from the poorly constructed ceiling, onto a PC’s head.
  6. Several smoky, burning torches provide flickering light here. As the PCs enter the area, one of the torches gutters out; long shadows fill one corner.
  7. The howling of wolves, quickly followed by deep, guttural shouts break the relative silence. The wolves howl, and the giants shout, for a minute before the hubbub subsides.
  8. An orc slave, Rel, staggers into the party. Recently beaten by his master, he is disorientated and taken completely by surprise. Rel hates his master and burns for revenge. If the PCs treat him kindly, and offer to help him escape, Rel tells them much about the steading (although he does not know about any hidden chambers and the like).
  9. A loud banging, followed by the sounds of fighting reach the PCs’ ears. Shouts and roars continue for a short while before subsiding. (Several giants were playing a crude gambling game and one was caught cheating). Later, the PCs may discover the site of the impromptu game in a hallway. (See #13 in 20 Pieces of Hill Giant Steading Dressing).
  10. A sudden blast of cold wind buffets the steading. the wind whines through the many cracks in the steading’s walls creating an eerie whistling sound.

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This article appears in 20 Things #14: Hill Giant Steading.

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