Adventuring Tactics Masterclass: Giants.

DanMcS

Explorer
AuraSeer said:
If more than a few are encountered, use Wall spells to split one or two off from the rest, and take them down before their fellows can rejoin them.

Oh, lord, this is effective. Played Halls of the Fire Giant King at the Ohio gameday. We set up a wall of force across most of the main hall, which trapped the king and kept him from escaping, prevented most of them from attacking us while we took on their front line, stopped all those nasty boulder tosses, and funnelled the second line into walking through a narrow gap betwixt force wall and the real wall, where they nicely lined up for a cone of cold. It was swell.

Side note: mirror image was handy dandy there too, several giants had readied boulders against spellcasters, and they took out some of my mirror images before I put up the wall of force, but didn't hit me. After that, the battle was practically over.

Heck, though, the wall tactic is probably valid against most any large group of enemies you might face.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Someone

Adventurer
Ridley's Cohort said:


Giant Will and Reflex saves are poor. Besides the obvious choices (e.g. Confusion), Slow and Grease are surprisingly effective against giants.

That´s particulary true. We had a good laugh once with an athach, a Grease spell and a summoned fiendish dire weasel. Target the giant´s weapon with the Grease spell; it´ll lose most of it´s punch and will draw lots of AoO if it tries to recover it or fight unarmed.
 

nikolai

First Post
Spell choice...

Here's a question.

Is it worth using direct damage spells (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Cone of Cold etc.) on giants? Or is it better to stick with things like Grease, Glitterdust and other save-or-be-weakened spells. Also, which are the best creature to summon against them.

Any ideas on good feat choices for if you want to make a giant killer.

nikolai.
 

AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
Direct damage is usually not the best tactic against giants, because they tend to have high HP for their CR. A single damage spell will probably not kill any of them, which means the giant group is still able to attack you at full power.

For instance, say you're fighting a gang of hill giants. If you throw a Cone of Cold, it probably won't do 102 hp, so even those who fail their saves will still be standing. Their combat effectiveness has not been diminished, so they'll commence pounding on you and your allies.

If you instead use a hampering spell, like Slow or Grease or Wall of Force, you diminish the number of giants who can immediately harm your party. That means you'll take less damage on this round. It also lets your allies concentrate on one or a few giants, and put them out of the fight quickly. That in turn means there are fewer enemies to attack you in later turns.

Direct damage is best against "mage-type" enemies with a lot of special abilities, because they have few hp for their CR. Giants are "fighter-type" enemies; they're good at taking damage, but have few defenses against nondamaging effects.
 

shilsen

Adventurer
nikolai said:
Any ideas on good feat choices for if you want to make a giant killer.

Depends on the type of character, since most classes could make effective giant killers.

Melee combatant - Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack are very useful, to attack and move so as to avoid full attacks. For a PC who wants to stand toe-to-toe with the giant (yikes!), AC-oriented feats like Expertise help (esp. good on a dwarf or a gnome).

Ranged combatant - Rapid Shot (Point Blank Shot, as a prerequisite). Far Shot and Precise Shot might be handy too.

Spellcaster - Spell Focus (Enchantment) and (Transmutation).
 

Sir Whiskers

First Post
Just to take the other side:

Giants should use overrun to knock down the front line fighters. Any PC's tripped by the overrun attack will have to use a move-equivalent action just to stand, taking away their own full-attack action. If the front line fighters choose to avoid the overrun, the giants simply continue forward to attack the spellcasters and archers. If an overrun is not possible, they should use trip attacks to keep the fighters from getting away, using full-attack actions the following round.

In the same vein, giants should not be afraid to take AoO's while moving past the fighters to get at the weaker party members. Force those spellcasters to cast defensively.

If it's a large group of giants, a few should ready an action to throw boulders at any PC attempting to cast a spell - if just one hits, the spell's probably lost.

As for giants' weak will saves, if no cleric is available to cast buffing spells, GM's should consider giving a few giants a level or two of barbarian. A raging giant gains +4 STR, +4 CON and +2 Will saves all for a measly -2 AC.
___________________________

Taking into consideration the giants' tactics, it seems to me the posters who've suggested splitting up the opponents are on the right track. Limit the number of giants that the party fights at any one time, restrict their movement, use spells that allow the party to dictate engagement range (expeditious retreat, levitate, fly), and use enchantment spells to disable individual opponents.
 

Geoff Watson

First Post
Re: Spell choice...

nikolai said:
Here's a question.

Is it worth using direct damage spells (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Cone of Cold etc.) on giants? Or is it better to stick with things like Grease, Glitterdust and other save-or-be-weakened spells. Also, which are the best creature to summon against them.

nikolai.

Depends on the Giant.
Giants have bad reflex saves, so an area spell could do a lot of damage if there are enough giants to be affected.
Fire Giants and Frost Giants are vulnerable to Cold or Fire, so a couple of Fireballs can make short work of a bunch of Frost Giants.

Geoff.
 

AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
Re: Re: Spell choice...

Geoff Watson said:

Giants have bad reflex saves, so an area spell could do a lot of damage if there are enough giants to be affected.
That's not the point. Sure, if you catch 20 hill giants in the area of one Maximized Fireball you have potentially done 1200 total damage, and that sounds impressive. But not one of those giants will actually go down, and they'll remain at full combat effectiveness. If they're within charge range, you might not get a chance for another spell.

Frost and Fire giants are an exception, since their hp are effectively halved when dealing with their opposing element. That changes the whole tactical situation.
 

Someone

Adventurer
Re: Spell choice...

nikolai said:
Also, which are the best creature to summon against them.


As I said before, the dire weasel (Summon monster III) is an excelent choice if the giant is already dazzled, stunned or blinded. The critter drains 2d4 Con points if it manages to hit and live for 1 round. Note that, since Giants have lots of hit dice, the con draining will mean lots of hit points less.
 

Gaiden

Explorer
Classes:

Gnome Giant Killer (Dragon)
Foe Hunter (MotW)
Ranger

Feats:

Spring Attack
Hamstring
Close Quarters Combat
Clever Wrestling
Pebble Under the Foot
Knockdown
Expertise
Superior Expertise
Deflect Arrow
Snatch Arrow
Damage Reduction Increase

Weapons:

Reach Weapons
Disarming Weapons
BIG weapons

Abilities:

Poison
spells w/Will or Reflex saves
Walls
mind blast
entangling effects
stoneskin
damage reduction
 


AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Upcoming Releases

Top