Comparing Giant Sizes

Russ Morrissey

Comments

dave2008

Hero
How do those compare to the Titans e.g. Prometheus etc.; or are they the same thing?
The titans where a separate group. The gods overthrew the titans and then imprisoned them. Gaia, upset by this unleashed the giants to punish the gods. They are separate entities (different names, stories, etc.) but seem very similar in scale / form at least. The giants were sometimes described as having scaled legs or snakes for legs, which is very similar to the monster / titan Typhon and they are sometimes confused with each other (even by ancient greeks). Also, in some stories the gigantes are man sized. That is the beauty of real myth, the stories are all over the place!
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
And yet combat between such a giant and a human fighter comes down to just standing next to each other in their squares on the battle mat and swinging their swords at one another and blocking and parrying each others blow,
I use theater of the mind exclusively. In my experience, it not only results in a faster player-response-time, but combat becomes much more descriptive and dynamic.

The PCs aren’t just standing next to the Huge-Gargantuan monsters such as a Giant.

They’re spring-boarding off the giant’s knees to stab them in the chest (like Percy Jackson did to Polybotes in the Son of Neptune), while the Giant is reaching out to grab at the Lore Bard who is giving inspiration via singing Thunderstruck by AC/DC, to provide just one example.
 

Mirtek

Explorer
I use theater of the mind exclusively. In my experience, it not only results in a faster player-response-time, but combat becomes much more descriptive and dynamic.

The PCs aren’t just standing next to the Huge-Gargantuan monsters such as a Giant.

They’re spring-boarding off the giant’s knees to stab them in the chest (like Percy Jackson did to Polybotes in the Son of Neptune), while the Giant is reaching out to grab at the Lore Bard who is giving inspiration via singing Thunderstruck by AC/DC, to provide just one example.
The problem with that is that it reduces all giants to dumb lumbering brutes who just don't know how to fight. Yet they are supposed to have highly sophisticated cultures. So where are their martial arts traditions, there fencing masters, etc.? That might work against brutish hill giants, but it would be a disgrace to clout or storm giants.

Those idiots swinging at the empty air all the time while the nimble human makes a fool out of them darting in and out scoring small hit after small hit.

Sad truth is that physical combat does not work between opponents that so greatly apart on size, unless one of them is a complete idiot.

That might go for a individiual giant, but for every single frost giant warrior in the whole glacial rift of the frost giant jarl? including the jarl himself?

At least the human fighter, most skilled swordmaster of the realm must be such a fool himself, given how his fights against kobolds and goblins must be narrated to make any sense.

PS: How lovely it was that 4e allowed the tiny pixie barbarian with 24 Str to outclass the goliath fighter with 20 Str at every level ;)
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
The problem with that is that it reduces all giants to dumb lumbering brutes who just don't know how to fight.

Those idiots swinging at the empty air all the time while the nimble human makes a fool out of them darting in and out scoring small hit after small hit.
Um, how is it dumb for the Giant prioritize going after the Lore Bard, when said bard is the PC with the lightest armor (and therefore easiest to hit), has the lowest hit points (and therefore is the easiest to kill), and is using his inspiration each turn to help his allies fight better?
 

Mirtek

Explorer
Um, how is it dumb for the Giant prioritize going after the Lore Bard, when said bard is the PC with the lightest armor (and therefore easiest to hit), has the lowest hit points (and therefore is the easiest to kill), and is using his inspiration each turn to help his allies fight better?
Because eventually the giant has to fight the fighter. And there is no way to narrate that without either the giant missing all the time of the fighter parrying or blocking the giants attack.

Also the giant is dumb even in this example, if he let the fighter get in a mortal blow while reaching for the bard. Sure, maybe a rank and file conscript, but eventually the party is supposed to fight giants that know what they are doing.

Also there is no armor as far as the giant is concernend. There is no difference between full plate or leather or simply a bathrobe for a human when it comes to being hit by a stormgiant-sized weapon swung by a storm giant. You can not take such a hit. Period.

And then there's the point where the party is supposed to fight multiple of them at once, as they're just the standard-guard in the giant king's castle while giving them no more thought than fighting a bunch of human guards in the human king's castle.
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
Because eventually the giant has to fight the fighter. And there is no way to narrate that without either the giant missing all the time of the fighter parrying or blocking the giants attack.

Also the giant is dumb even in this example, if he let the fighter get in a mortal blow while reaching for the bard. Sure, maybe a rank and file conscript, but eventually the party is supposed to fight giants that know what they are doing.

Also there is no armor as far as the giant is concernend. There is no difference between full plate or leather or simply a bathrobe for a human when it comes to being hit by a stormgiant-sized weapon swung by a storm giant. You can not take such a hit. Period.

And then there's the point where the party is supposed to fight multiple of them at once, as they're just the standard-guard in the giant king's castle while giving them no more thought than fighting a bunch of human guards in the human king's castle.
Reality has little say in my campaigns. PCs can and do take multiple hits from a Giant and survive.

EDIT
I play D&D to turn my brain “off” and to have fun. Not think about how fighting a Giant would play out in real life.
 
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DWChancellor

Kobold Enthusiast
Reality has little say in my campaigns. PCs can and do take multiple hits from a Giant and survive.
Let's be clear about what 5E is: high level characters act like Legolas in Return of the King. It is the "so good" fighting style. This is why a fighter genuinely can dance around the ankles of a giant and accomplish something. It is why the monk can dance around fight a company of archers. It is why a wizard can fight a prepared lich in its lair.

It is cool, it is fun, and it has nothing at all to do with "real and gritty." If you want real and gritty, you bring an army with siege weapons against giants. And still probably lose.
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
Let's be clear about what 5E is: high level characters act like Legolas in Return of the King. It is the "so good" fighting style. This is why a fighter genuinely can dance around the ankles of a giant and accomplish something. It is why the monk can dance around fight a company of archers. It is why a wizard can fight a prepared lich in its lair.

It is cool, it is fun, and it has nothing at all to do with "real and gritty."
Exactly! This right here is why I love DMing 5e.

Now tell that to Mirtek...
 

dnd4vr

Hero
It's interesting since we are currently playing the Against the Giants adventure (loved it in 1E!) and this was a graphic we used showing our characters against the different giants we're facing.

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The half-orc with the the bow drawn is our most lethal character (fighter/rogue). With his assassinate feature, he can kill a hill giant by himself in a single round. Scary when you think of the size difference...
 

thealmightyn

Villager
If you try to table-up some of the epic sized suggestions here, you'd have the recent Baldurs Gate "miniature" statue versus normal sized miniatures. Makes the oliphants from LOTR puny in comparison.
The only idea I have around the LOTR oliphants is what was depicted in the movie, whether that was accurate to the books or not, and those oliphants would be roughly the size of the Walking Statue of Waterdeep miniature in terms of scale.

Seriously. I'm looking at my statue right now and screen captures from the movies. Pretty much the same height give or take a few feet.
 

thealmightyn

Villager
I imagine that Stone and Storm might be pleased by these comparisons to a degreebut I don’t envy you when the Fire and Cloud’s hear what you compared them to!!
To be fair, fire giants of the past several editions have essentially been designed as proportionately similar to dwarves, and it matches the defined culture of them being obsessed with the forge, living in nature's forges, as it were.
 

thealmightyn

Villager
Um, how is it dumb for the Giant prioritize going after the Lore Bard, when said bard is the PC with the lightest armor (and therefore easiest to hit), has the lowest hit points (and therefore is the easiest to kill), and is using his inspiration each turn to help his allies fight better?
I would say that the giant may be overly smart in some ways if he knows what the bard is actually doing.

In any case, I would never have my party face off against a single giant... unless it was one of these: https://live.staticflickr.com/8336/8130679977_d8d165bd34_b.jpg
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
I found the size of 3e giants disappointing, so I noticed and was happy with the 5e versions right away. (Note, the scale silhouettes in the MM do show fire giants with dwarf proportions).

Actually, I'm very much into visualizing creatures, and I tend to place a human sized figure to scale with monsters so I can see how they look. I tend to be irritated when designers make sloppy dimensions by just throwing out numbers and not actually depicting it visually (for themselves at least). But if you really want to mess up something to set me off, mess up dragons. It's the stuff with tails people tend to massively screw up. The 3e Draconomicon actually did a really good job with it's dimensions on not overestimating the impact of a tail on actual size of a creature. If you are ever describing the size of some sort of dragon or quadruped, always go nose to base of tail, not tip of tail. People (and particularly people just making up these numbers) seem incapable of understanding just how small a dragon (or similar) that is 20' to tip of tail is. A large horse is bigger.

I also like to give visuals to players when they first encounter this sort of thing.
 
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Hatmatter

Explorer
I look at those sizes, and think of the usual depictions seen for Jack and the Beanstalk - in which Jack is lucky if he comes up to the giant's knee, and rather often only comes up to the giant's ankle. That mythic referent leaves me needing giants that are 3 to 4 times the height of a man, as seen in these images, not two to three times man-sized, which is what you seem to prefer..
That's how I look at it also. I like mythic creatures of vast proportion that seem to match some folktales, mythology, and legends. Some myths have their giants even larger, with certain mountains being identified as the sleeping -- or even dead -- body of a giant. Particularly for cloud giants and storm giants, I like the huge scale b/c being remote and vast works with living in the sky. I like how in Tokien's The Two Towers, the characters never even see the giants who are throwing boulders, they are so remote. Also, the larger scale seems to work well within D&D mythology where the giants have a mutual enmity with dragons...it presents them as more of a threat to dragons.

Nevertheless, to each his or her own and, as Celebrim mentioned, size is among the easiest adjustments to make. In the end, the size of monsters and what creatures are in a game world are going to be decisions that the Dungeon Master will make. I could note that just as Thanos and Hulk exhibit one scale used in Marvel, Galactus, Giant Man, and the Celestial that had the skull that became Nowhere exhibit other scales. In the end, I think the question amounts to little more than individual preference.
 

dave2008

Hero
The only idea I have around the LOTR oliphants is what was depicted in the movie, whether that was accurate to the books or not, and those oliphants would be roughly the size of the Walking Statue of Waterdeep miniature in terms of scale.
In the books they are basically elephants. Which, historically, where pretty devastating themselves when trained for war.
 

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