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5E Firbolg charactera

Warpiglet

Adventurer
I had no interest in Firbolgs as characters until I did.

anyway looking at a nature or war cleric possibly.

I am curious to hear about others’ Firbolgs. I had been thinking about a variant human cleric for some time and somehow looked at Firbolgs.

my only misgiving is their appearance in some art.

are they blue? Gray? Are they covered in fur?

I cannot find good info related to appearance
 

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Hoffmand

Explorer
I had no interest in Firbolgs as characters until I did.

anyway looking at a nature or war cleric possibly.

I am curious to hear about others’ Firbolgs. I had been thinking about a variant human cleric for some time and somehow looked at Firbolgs.

my only misgiving is their appearance in some art.

are they blue? Gray? Are they covered in fur?

I cannot find good info related to appearance
I would look at pre 5E art for firbolgs. I hate what 5E has done to them. I know nothing about what 4E has done to them. But I really liked them in earlier d&d. Mainly as NPC’s or monsters. They were very cool and badass. And much taller in general.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I had no interest in Firbolgs as characters until I did.

anyway looking at a nature or war cleric possibly.

I am curious to hear about others’ Firbolgs. I had been thinking about a variant human cleric for some time and somehow looked at Firbolgs.

my only misgiving is their appearance in some art.

are they blue? Gray? Are they covered in fur?

I cannot find good info related to appearance
The art in Volo's is roughly consistent with prior depictions, IIRC. Kinda gray-sh blue with purplish-reddish highlights, reddish-purple hair.

I had a firbolg druid for a while in one of my campaigns, and she was a good deal of fun (the player was a blast but had to bow out due to scheduling). I have ideas percolating in my head for a couple of others (Light Cleric, Ancient Oath Paladin) but I have way more character ideas than I'll ever have the opportunity to play at this point. I also somewhat altered the lore for them for my world, but that's not super-relevant.
 

Hoffmand

Explorer
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Here are a few photos I liked from earlier editions. They were taller in previous editons. But could alter their size for periods of time. And they were slightly magic resistant. And could Not physically lie, one of the novels had a firbolgs through great will force out a lie and it was so strenuous and obvious it was ridiculous and not worth the effort. But
 

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jgsugden

Hero
5E Firbolgs and prior Firbolgs are so different that I would not consider the same race. There is artwork to guide what a Firbolg might look like in most campaigns, but as there is no set description, you might play around with it quite a bit. I have a Firbolg PC waiting in the wings that I've decided would be either an albino or someone that has undergone argyria intentionally to change their skin to bluish/silver..
 

Warpiglet

Adventurer
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Here are a few photos I liked from earlier editions. They were taller in previous editons. But could alter their size for periods of time. And they were slightly magic resistant. And could Not physically lie, one of the novels had a firbolgs through great will force out a lie and it was so strenuous and obvious it was ridiculous and not worth the effort. But
5E Firbolgs and prior Firbolgs are so different that I would not consider the same race. There is artwork to guide what a Firbolg might look like in most campaigns, but as there is no set description, you might play around with it quite a bit. I have a Firbolg PC waiting in the wings that I've decided would be either an albino or someone that has undergone argyria intentionally to change their skin to bluish/silver..
i think the truth is that they have changed greatly and though the lore is new and fine, I feel funny about the new look
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
They look more like wood giants now than the Firbolg. I cant stand the new ''cow-person'' look they gave the 5e Firbolg, even worse, every depiction of them by fans is the same Firbold, with a different costume or appearing gender. Not that the old look for them was that good neither, but at least its not an anime mix of The Laughing Cow and Legolas!

I would have gone with a smaller version of this:
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or a larger version of Trudvang's dwarf (with the ape-ish posture and tatoos)
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
When I do a google search for Firbolg images, I see a fair amount of variation in the art people have worked up for their firbolg PCs.
I'm not sure, I've looked again, and it really seems to me its always a blue/grey ish dude with a goatee or short beard, red-to-dark brown hair, large floppy ears and bovine nose.

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There's a little more variety with the female presenting models.

Then again I'm also against the idea that dwarves MUST have a beard and all elves MUST be skinny.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The droopy pointy goat ears don't do anything for me. There's nothing wrong making alterations to the picture in the book though. I prefer the bigger beards in the older art, but the more fae look in the newer art. Make it what you want I guess. I'm not getting hung up on the art.
 

I would look at pre 5E art for firbolgs. I hate what 5E has done to them. I know nothing about what 4E has done to them. But I really liked them in earlier d&d. Mainly as NPC’s or monsters. They were very cool and badass. And much taller in general.
They used to be about 10 ft tall and were the most powerful of the giantkin (the non-"true" giants). Now they're... something else. That's why in my game I've changed the PC race to be half-firbolg, allowing me to use the real firbolg as the DM.
 

Mecheon

Adventurer
I never really cared for the older Firbolgs until 4E happened and gave them that whole Wild Hunt angle which, well, is dropped at the moment but will hopefully come back in something else.

The "They're slightly smaller giants" angle never caught me though from previous editions. I like their niche of nature-themed large lads with a bit of ogier and I love they're full in on the fey theming, but until 4E happened they were just a type of creature I ignored.
 

jgsugden

Hero
I'm not sure, I've looked again, and it really seems to me its always a blue/grey ish dude with a goatee or short beard, red-to-dark brown hair, large floppy ears and bovine nose.

View attachment 122365View attachment 122366View attachment 122367View attachment 122368View attachment 122369View attachment 122370

There's a little more variety with the female presenting models.

Then again I'm also against the idea that dwarves MUST have a beard and all elves MUST be skinny.
I'd say the below show a lot more variety - much more varied than dwarves, elves and halflings. If I were to tell a story about each, they'd be very different characters - which means they have visualizations that evoke differences.
firbolg wizard.jpg
blue firbolg lady.jpg
forest firbolg.jpg
green firbolg lady.jpg
old firbolg.jpg
purple firbolg man.jpg
purple firbolg.jpg
green firbolg.jpg
naughty firbolg.jpg
barbarian firbolg.jpg
girl firbolg.jpg


In the end, they're as different as you want to make them.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The forest Firbolg and the Old Firbolg off that list are the ones that I find match my mind's eye. I recall being very taken with the idea of Firbolg when I first read about them, whenever that was. I know the interest was very much driven by the art on the page, but I'll be buggered if I can remember which piece of art it was. Other than that the old school Ral-Partha Firbolg figure was also a big influence.

Firbolg fig.jpg


That dude was one of the coolest Partha figs of his generation.
 

jgsugden

Hero
Again, beyond the name, I do not really think 5E firbolgs have much in common with prior editions. I think of them as a new entry. I had stated up firbolgs based upon prior edition materials for 5E and still use them as special giants.
 

Tonguez

Hero
Firbolgs in previous editions resembled Humans

it would seem to me that 5e decided to swap them with Voadkyn but then gave them an entirely weird fluff (well weirder than Voadkyn being giant wood elves with big heads)

do Voadkyn show up in 5e?
 
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I don't think Voadkyn made it past 1E from memory
They made it to 2nd edition, in the Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium if I remember correctly. And then were, as far as I know, never heard of again.

And the firbolg with particularly bovine features are the Exandria/Wildmount variant - it's even mentioned in tbe book how they are more bovine in appearance than most firbolgs.

Also, I believe there is room for both old and new versions under a big firbolg tent. If drow and sea elves can both be "elves", then both old and new firbolgs can be firbolgs. They're just from different ethnic groups and look accordingly different.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
For me, I never cared about the old Firbolg, so the more Fey Firbolg is great. It's also closer, IMO, to the Irish Firbolg.

In my Eberron, Firbolgs are reclusive librarians who build their villages in secret places in the deep wilderness, and are closely related to Goliaths. I have a married pair of Firbolg Bards in my current Eberron campaign. One looks like a more jacked version of the VOlo's guide firbolg in a kilt, while the other is very short for a firbolg and looks like a cute fey goat-girl, complete with smallish curling horns. Her mom is a master artificer who is currently working in a scriptorium at the Korranberg Library, as part of a partnership with House Sivis.

The kilt-firbolg has a greatsword whose ancient magic seems to be dead, and he seeks the secrets to bring the magic back, and the pair quest to find a new home to start a new clan, as she doesn't fit in with her clan, and his clan is scattered to the winds after a somewhat violent "land acquisition" by House Vadalis of their ancient grove in the Eldeen Reaches.

As for appearance, let your imagination run wild.
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Tonguez

Hero
For me, I never cared about the old Firbolg, so the more Fey Firbolg is great. It's also closer, IMO, to the Irish Firbolg.
Not really, the Fir Bolg were really the most ‘normal‘ of the early settlers of Ireland, they were warrior tribes who established 5 Kingdoms around the Hill of Tara, and had generally a settled agrarian life until they had to fight off the more monstrous Fomorians and then the more fey like Tuatha du Danan (sp?).

Its the Tuatha who are the fey touched, not the Fir Bolg.

Nonetheless :
In my Eberron, Firbolgs are reclusive librarians who build their villages in secret places in the deep wilderness, and are closely related to Goliaths...
Thats a nice use of the race, but it is ironic given that Fir Bolg were described by Irish chronicles as “talkative, guileful” and “promoters of discord” rather than reclusive librarians.

Nonetheless I do like the backstory and use you have for your race in your game :)
 

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