Brutish and nomadic, hill giants wander their upland homes in search of food and treasure. They are selfish, rapacious raiders and only seek battle against the little people when they believe they’ll win.
The hill giant’s roving nature make them relatively common foes for adventurers travelling through hilly borderland regions. A single giant can be a real threat for even a mid-level party and an entire tribe on the move is a terrifying sight.
Use the tables below, to add depth and flavour to the hill giants encountered by the PCs.
A standard hill giant appears thusly:
This hunched but muscular brutish giant wears filthy furs and torn clothes.
To the basic description above, apply one of the entries below:
- Balding with a single, bushy eyebrow, this giant’s face is fixed in a perpetual snarl.
- A simplistic tattoo—perhaps of an eagle—decorates the giant’s forehead. The tattoo is so bad, though, in truth it is hard to determine exactly what it really depicts.
- The smell of sweat and other noxious stenches precedes this giant by a good ten feet.
- This giant wears a crudely made wolfskin cloak that isn’t really long enough. If the party includes any wolf or dog companions, the giant goes for the animal in preference to other targets.
- Completely bald, this giant has a full beard and impressive sideburns.
- This giant’s clothes smell of smoke, and other less wholesome things.
- Missing an eye, this giant wears a furry eyepatch. She has an impressive head of elaborately braided hair.
- A berserk, this giant prefers to battle in the nude, to better terrify his enemies. He spends the first round of combat screaming insults at his enemies…and stripping.
- Massively fat, and swathed in layers of animal fur, this giant waddles into combat.
- Something of a tribal champion, this giant wears the bleached skull of a some kind of large draconic creature (a wyvern) as a helmet.
In battle, some hill giants fight differently to their brethren:
- Particularly stupid—even for a hill giant—this giant gets so excited he throws his club at an enemy, disarming himself. If he can’t retrieve his club, he wrestles the weakest-looking enemy.
- This giant shouts and screams terrible, but colourful, threats before charging into battle in an attempt to intimidate his foes.
- A bully, this giant goes for the smallest available target.
- This giant is scared of dwarves, and avoids fighting them if at all possible.
- A keen “slinger” this giant prefers to hang back from battle and throw stuff—anything—at his enemies. He targets spellcasters and archers.
- Shortsighted, this giant gets very close to her enemies before rolling stones at her target as if she was playing marbles.
- Terrified by fire, this giant flees battle if an enemy demonstrates command over magical fire.
- This giant has just captured a live goat he plans to eat later. With his hands full, and without any stones, he uses it as a missile weapon.
- This giant has a comically high-pitched voice, and uses it—badly—to inspire his comrades in battle.
- Fearsome and violent even for a giant, this warrior loves to bite his enemies. He savages any unconscious or helpless opponent.
Trinkets & Treasures
Sometimes, hill giants carry small trinkets or treasures in their bags. Roll on the table below, if you determine the creature has an item of treasure or interest:
- A mangled sheep’s corpse fills this giant’s bag.
- This giant wears a wyvern’s skull as a helmet (see #10 in Appearance). He has wedged a pair of large onyxs into its eye sockets. Each is worth 150 gp.
- This giant’s cloak, is cut from the fur of a single gigantic mountain lion. Its head comprises the cloak’s hood. Such a large and impressive example—if cleaned—is worth 50 gp.
- A haunch of badly burnt meat fills this giant’s pouch along with some small (for the giant) shiny stones he thought were pretty.
- A necklace of fangs—from wolves, bears and so on—hangs around the giant’s neck on a leather thong. Many of the teeth are worn and yellowed with age.
- The giant keeps a bent longsword in its bag to use as a knife. The sword itself is ruined, but tentacle etchings on its pommel are picked out with wound silver wire. The pommel is worth 50 gp.
- Something of a thinker among her fellows, this giant keeps a bloodstained, faded and weather-worn book in her bag. It seems to be an ancient treatise on the surrounding hills and depicts several (now ruined) fortresses unknown to the PCs.
- This giant uses a backpack sized for a human as a pouch. It contains 50 ft. of rope, a flask of brandy (which the giant hasn’t found) and a thick winter blanket.
- This giant is unlucky. His bag has a hole in it, and his treasures have been falling out for weeks. All that remains are 3 gp caught in a fold, a small boulder and a battered and empty bone scroll case.
- This giant’s (oversized) bag is actually a mimic that had recently attached itself to the giant…
For more treasures to find in a giant’s bag, check out 10 Things to Find in a Giant’s Sack.
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