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Dungeon World – A Handful of Giants…

January 4, 2013

It looks like we’ll be playing our third session of Dungeon World this weekend, adventuring through that hoary old AD&D classic, G1 – Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. I’ll write up my thoughts on that when it happens, but for a bit of Friday fun I thought I’d offer up some of my Dungeon World conversions of some of the critters and opponents our intrepid heroes meet in Nosnra’s lair. Today I’ll focus on the giants – next time I’ll look at their minions and some of the other monsters in the caverns beneath…

In the stat blocks below, I’ve tried to focus very carefully on the Monster Moves, as that seems to be a key part of judging the difficulty of critters in Dungeon World. However, I deliberately haven’t mentioned a Move for their main method of attack – I’m assuming that GM Moves like Deal Damage are plenty enough to handle the occasions when hill giants bash heads with their enormous wooden clubs. You’ll also notice I’ve preserved the original alignments – I’m playing in the Judges Guild City State / Wilderlands of High Fantasy Campaign, so it’s made sense to stick to those, for critters at least…

Group, Huge, Intelligent, Organised

Great Club (d8+3) 14 HP 1 armour
Reach, Near, Far, Forceful 18′ tall N (NG, NE)
Special Quality: Rarely surprised
Instinct: Dominate everyone
Cloud giants have blue-white skin and silvery white or brass-coloured hair. They usually reside in crude castles built on mountain tops, surrounded by treasure: they have a particular love of jewellery. They often have spotted lions as guards, although cloud giants themselves have a keen sense of smell, and are rarely surprised. One in ten are very intelligent, and build castles on magical islands of cloud instead of mountain tops, and often have magical powers such as levitation.
Smell out prey (“Fee fi fo fum!”) Throw something
Catch missiles Be cunning or clever
Levitate self and treasure (clever giants only) Send spotted lions to attack


Group, Huge, Intelligent, Organised

Huge Sword (d8+3) 14 HP 2 armour
Reach, Near, Far, Forceful 12′ tall LE
Special Quality: Impervious to fire
Instinct: Rule tyrannically
Dwelling in castles or caverns, these huge broad-shouldered giants have coal-black skin and flaming red or orange hair, with deep red eyes and yellow-orange teeth. They look almost dwarf-like, if not for their huge stature; they wear armour of mail or dragon hide, and use huge swords.
Fire giants have a great affinity with fire, and are impervious to its effects, often using it to attack their foes. They often have hell hounds as pets and guards. They wear armour of mail or dragon-hide.
Send hell hounds to attack Throw something
Catch missiles Use fire to attack


Solitary, Huge, Intelligent, Organised

Enormous Spiked Maul (b(2d10)+7, +1 piercing) 20 HP 2 armour
Reach, Near, Far, Forceful, Messy 10 1/2′ tall CE
Instinct: Rule the clan!
Nosnra the hill giant chief is a huge hill giant, massively muscled and monstrously ugly even by hill giant standards, which his wife Esni dotes on him for. He wears a suit of shabby mail, and bears an enormous spiked maul.
React with cunning and cruelty Shake the earth
Throw something Catch missiles
Shout at underlings Send his cave bear to attack


Solitary, Huge, Intelligent, Organised

Huge Great Axe (d10+5) 20 HP 1 armour
Reach, Near, Far, Forceful 10 1/2′ tall CE
Instinct: Ruin everything
These are the elite warriors of Nosnra’s steading, his personal bodyguard and the leaders of his raids and defence parties. They’re even more savage and bestial than the other hill giants, topped off with a sneering boorishness which is often their downfall.
Bellow boorishly Shake the earth
Throw something Catch missiles
Act with sneering arrogance Send hill giants to attack


Group, Huge, Intelligent, Organised

Stone Club or Thrown Rock (d8+1) 10 HP 0 armour
Reach, Near, Far, Forceful 12′ tall N
Special Quality: Blend into rocky surroundings
Instinct: Hurl rocks playfully
Stone giants dwell in mountain caverns with their cave bear companions. They’re strangely playful at times — particularly at night — and will hurl rocks down from their mountains trying to knock travellers off bridges and precipitous roads, apparently more as a game than any murderous intent. They’re very striking, with greyish skin and dark, often bluish-grey hair, and silver-steel eyes, blending easily into their rocky homes. They typically use stone weapons.
Send cave bears to attack Hurl rocks
Fight playfully, especially at night Catch missiles


Using the Giants in Combat…
I’ve mentioned this before, but the biggest tactical points with these giants are their Reach and Forceful tags. I’ve been requiring PCs to make Defy Danger (DEX) Moves to even get close enough to land a melee attack on a giant, all the time risking physical injury; and, if they succeed, a 7-9 on a Hack & Slash Move means the giant pushes them back – and a hard move knocks them over, as well as damage done. So far these seem to have made the giants much more dangerous than their mere HP and weapon damage would suggest…

I hope you enjoy them! Let me know what you think…


ps: I lay no claim to originality or ownership of the critters above. They’re pure conversions, done by me, of critters invented by Gary Gygax himself for his awesome module G1 – Steading of the Hill Giant Chief! 🙂

One Comment leave one →
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