Homebrew Giant Elites

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
Hello all! This thread will be used for a project I've been working on to create more giant elite types for the game.

First, some background on why I believe we need more giant variants in the game. As you know, the 5e Monster Manual, while definitely giving a lot of background on giants in general and each of the main six subtypes in particular, only gave us stat blocks for the base version of all six types. This is understandable - there is only so much room in the MM and a lot of stuff that needed to go in there. So, when Storm King's Thunder and Volo's Guide to Monsters were announced (especially after it was revealed that giants would be covered in the latter), I assumed that we would have plenty of stat blocks for advanced giants and giant leaders in both of them. But, now that they have been published, the results were a little disappointing.

For SKT, it was pretty much a total failure (for new giant types - the adventure itself is a lot of fun) - despite being an adventure focused on giants, and having leaders of each type being primary antagonists/protagonists, there were no stat blocks at all for new giant variants, or even for important giant NPCs (which could be re-skinned as general giant elites if necessary). In fact, in the entire book, only four giants have a higher CR than the base type, a frost giant (Harshnag, an NPC ally, CR 9 mainly due to equipment) and three cloud giants (Zephyros, the NPC who can transport the party in his flying castle, CR 13 due to spells and equipment; Countess Sansuri, the main cloud giant antagonist, CR 11 due to spells; and Thullen, Sansuri's brother, CR 10 again due to spells). All the remaining giants in the book, even the leaders, don't have updated CRs, having for the most part just extra hit points and a couple of minor (often cosmetic) changes to differentiate them from the ordinary giants of their types. This is really surprising, and even disappointing, that an adventure dedicated to giants should have so few variants with higher CRs...

VGtM is, on the other hand, somewhat better, though still somewhat disappointing. It does have six new higher-CR giant variants, one for each giant subtype. And, for the most part, they are interesting and usable variants. However, they are all rather niche in tone, and none of them can really be considered "leader" types for each race (other than the frost giant everlasting one, which, as detailed in the book, would be a relatively rare occurrence). While the cloud, fire, and hill giant variants might be encountered (if somewhat rarely) in regular settlements, the stone and storm giant variants function outside of normal giant society and would likely be encountered on their own and not in the company of other giants. So, while VGtM does add some interesting giant variants, if you are looking for leaders (either for warbands or for settlements) or other "typical" elites in giant society, for the most part you are not going to find them...

So, as a result, I've started to work on a suite of twelve giant elite types to make a more well-rounded society for all the giant subtypes. There will be two for each subtype, except for hill giants (who have one) and frost giants (who have three). I'm also including a few variant blocks that can be added to either the base giant types or (for the most part) elites without changing the CR. A disclaimer: I am new to 5e monster creation (which is significantly more difficult than 3.x monster creation), so feel free to point out any errors or mistakes I've made, or to make suggestions for improvements. I also won't be posting all of them at once - I have the hill giant variants ready, and I'll post the others as I actually stat out the ideas I have for the rest.


Giants done so far:

Hill Giant Chief (CR 8)
Stone Giant Thane (CR 11)
Stone Giant Runecarver (CR 9)
Frost Giant Reaver (CR 10)
Frost Giant Jarl (CR 12)
Frost Giant Wrathbringer (CR 11)
Giant Skeleton (CR 4)
Giant Zombie (CR 5)
Fire Giant Pyromancer (CR 11)
Fire Giant Duke (CR 13) Revised (CR 14)
Cloud Giant Shaman (CR 12)
Cloud Giant Count (CR 14) Revised (CR 16)
Cloud Giant Oathguard (CR 13)
Storm Giant Omen-Reader (CR 15)
Fire Giant Forgemaster (CR 12)
Storm Giant Stalker (CR 15)


Coming Soon:
Storm Giant King
 
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Demetrios1453

Adventurer
First up is an advanced hill giant and a hill giant variant:



Hill Giant Chief



For hill giants, bigger is better. Each hill giant wants, above all things, to be the biggest and fattest hill giant there ever has been. Most hill giants, being little more than stupid brutes, simply eat what they can, when they can, and have no deeper strategy beyond that to achieve this goal. However, some hill giants, being stronger and (slightly) more intelligent than the rest, are able to wrest food away from their counterparts, either through guile or sheer strength. These hill giants quickly become the biggest in their tribes or settlements; and the other hill giants, equating mass with superiority, acknowledge them as their leaders. Once placed in a position of power, these hill giant chiefs rapidly become even larger (and, thus, even more revered) as they can now demand even more food from their subjects as a sort of tax.

Protection Through Bulk. Being able to demand or seize food from other hill giants means that a typical hill giant chief quickly grows to immense size. This hinders their ability to move around, as well as making their actions slow and ponderous. However, what they lose in speed and dexterity due to their obesity, they make up in sheer bulk - the immense rolls of fat make it difficult for the weapons of their foes to cause any real harm to vital areas. Swords might draw blood and clubs may bruise a hill giant chief, but these will do little more than enrage the creature. Only by slowly wearing the hill giant chief down through blood loss from these superficial wounds, as well as the periodic lucky shot that actually cuts through the fat to hit something vital, can the giant be truly hurt.

Demanding Tyrants. A hill giant chief typically sits on a crude "throne" (usually a re-purposed item such as a wagon or conveniently-shaped stone dragged from some building or ruin) in its dwelling in the center of a hill giant settlement, surrounded by filth and refuse. Its leadership usually consists of no more than demands for more food to feed its ever-growing hunger. Should such an order be refused, or out of sheer boredom or malice, or simply to make an example of one of its subjects, the hill giant chief is able to bring the full weight of its bulk to bear when dealing a blow with its greatclub. The offending object of such a massive blow is often knocked senseless to the ground, where it is either summarily dispatched, or dragged away as an object lesson to others.


Hill Giant Chief
Huge giant (hill giant), chaotic evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 172 (15d12 + 75)
Speed 20 ft.

STR 23 (+5 ) DEX 8 (-1) CON 21 (+5) INT 7 (-2) WIS 9 (-1) CHA 6 (-2)

Skills Perception +2
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages
Giant
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)


Actions

Multiattack.
The hill giant chief makes two greatclub attacks

Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Huge or smaller, it must succeed on a DC 17 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. Any greatclub attacks against a prone target do an additional 13 (3d8) points of bludgeoning damage.

Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 5) bludgeoning damage.




Variant: Hill Giant Priest of Grolantor

A select few hill giants, both ordinary and chiefs, having particularly excelled in their gluttonous endeavors, have pleased the hill giant deity Grolantor and have been blessed with divine spell use. The few that do gain such powers never grow exceptionally powerful in them, for two reasons. First, hill giants are not naturally disposed towards such matters; and, secondly, any hill giant that actually reaches the ability to cast 3rd level divine spells gains access to a giant-sized create food and water and rapidly eats itself to death. This, as any hill giant will tell you, nodding sagely, is the way all of them would want to go.

A Hill Giant Priest of Grolantor uses the same statistics as a regular hill giant or hill giant chief, with the following modifications:

It has a Wisdom score of 11 (+0), a Perception skill of +3, and a passive Perception of 13. It also gains the Spellcasting feature as below.


Spellcasting. The hill giant is a 4th-level spellcaster that uses Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 11, +3 to hit with spell attacks). The hill giant has the following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): light, sacred flame, thaumaturgy
1st Level (4 slots): command, purify food and drink
2nd Level (3 slots): hold person, protection from poison



Stone giants are next, featuring the Stone Giant Runecarver and Stone Giant Thane.
 
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Demetrios1453

Adventurer
The Stone Giant Thane is ready, but still fleshing out my ideas for the Runecarver...


Stone Giant Thane

Stone giant society places great value on both artistry and athletics. So when the thane (leader), of a settlement dies or retires, a great competition featuring both of these aspects takes place to determine his or her successor. Although the exact traditions vary from settlement to settlement, they all generally consist of a series of competitions to test both the bodies and the minds of the candidates. Over the course of several weeks, the competitors may on one day run a long-distance race or spar in a great wrestling contest, and on the next day may work on a great artistic masterpiece (usually some sort of sculpture, although painting and even music is not unheard of). At the end of the event, a group of respected citizens judge who has performed best in both sides of the competition and determine the winner. That individual goes alone into the local shrine to the stone giant god Skoraeus Stonebones to meditate. During that time, he or she melds into the stone, and, if found worthy, receives the blessing of the deity to become the new thane.
One with the Stone
Having gained the approval of Skoraeus Stonebones, new thanes return changed from their meditation within the rock. Their bodies become even more hard and dense than that of a typical stone giant, and many exhibit seams of a strange pinkish crystal (see below) running through their rocky bodies. They gain the ability to meld into the stone while meditating (or, as they call it, becoming "one with the stone"), gaining the senses and ability to move through solid rock as if they were a creature of elemental earth. They are even able to move through stone when outside of this meditative state, although they can only do so in short bursts, and they find the exertion of doing so very tiring.
Crystalline Weapons
While one with the stone, stone giant thanes gain access to seams of a mystical pinkish crystal. This mineral superficially looks like rose quartz, but is much more resilient and exhibits unusual powers beyond that of any ordinary stone. Stone giant thanes craft the crystal into many items, many mundane, but most notably, they shape some of the largest crystals into wondrous greatclubs. The merest tap of one of these greatclubs results in a pure, sustained note, like a huge tuning fork. A more substantial blow, however, can create destructive resonances within the crystal, causing more damage than a hit from a similar weapon made from more ordinary materials. Stone giant thanes can even bring their weapons down in great crashing blows to the floor, creating thunderous vibrations that can adversely affect anyone nearby. Obviously, such weapons would be highly prized and coveted by others; however, they appear to be mystically linked to their owners - once one of these greatclubs leaves the possession of a stone giant thane, it rapidly becomes more brittle, and within a day it will be reduced to little more than a fine pink crystalline dust. The loss of a crystalline greatclub is seen as a terrible omen by the stone giant populace, with many seeing such an calamitous event as a sign of disfavor from Skoraeus Stonebones. Many stone giant thanes retire or are eased out their office after such a loss (that is, if they survived the event that precipitated the disaster), although a few do manage to retain their power. If a stone giant thane does manage to continue as leader, and still maintain the favor of Skoraeus, they can spend a day in meditation and work to create a new greatclub.
Wise Leaders
Stone giant thanes are renowned as fonts of wisdom and knowledge, not only by members of their own race, but also among other types of giants and even among non-giants as well. Not only are they innately wise, but the powers granted to them by Skoraeus Stonebones allow them to see what would otherwise be hidden or out of view. Many are consulted as oracles or seers, but anyone who approaches them seeking answers to their questions should be aware that they rarely give of their otherworldly wisdom freely (and stone giant thanes, like all of their kind, are innately distrustful of those who come from the "realm of dreams", so they may refuse such requests altogether). They will often ask for something in return, ranging from the simple exchange of knowledge or artistry unknown to them, to more difficult demands involving the gathering or rescuing of information from some dangerous location. This can cause conflict with their neighbors if said "dangerous location" is the local lord's castle or a temple's library; stone giants would have few qualms about theft or even murder to achieve such goals, since it would be happening in what they consider to be a dream.



Stone Giant Thane
Huge giant (stone giant), neutral

Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 187 (15d12 + 90)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 23 (+6) DEX 15 (+2) CON 22 (+6) INT 10 (+0) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 9 (-1)

Saving Throws Dex +6, Con +10, Wis +8
Skills Athletics +13, Perception +8
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages Giant, Terran
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)


Earth Glide. The giant can burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone. While doing so, the giant doesn't disturb the material it moves through. The giant does not need to breathe while doing so, and gains a burrow speed of 30 feet and tremorsense of 60 feet while under this effect. The giant can use this ability for up to one hour if it has spent the previous hour in uninterrupted meditation (any stressful activity, such as combat, would bring this version of the effect to an end, requiring a new hour of meditation); outside of this meditative state, the giant can use the ability for up to two consecutive rounds, recharging after a short or long rest. If the effect ends while the giant is still encased in stone, the giant is safely ejected into the nearest unoccupied space.


Spellcasting. The giant is a 7th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 16, +8 to hit with spell attacks). It has the following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): guidance, light, resistance, sacred flame
1st level (4 slots): command, cure wounds, guiding bolt, identify, sanctuary, shield of faith
2nd level (3 slots): augury, hold person, lesser restoration, silence, suggestion
3rd level (3 slots): dispel magic, glyph of warding, nondetection, spirit guardians, speak with dead
4th level (1 slot): arcane eye, confusion, stone shape


Stone Camouflage. The giant has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in rocky terrain.


Actions

Multiattack. The giant makes two crystalline greatclub attacks

Crystalline Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage plus 14 (4d6) thunder damage.

Rock Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 17 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Resonating Smash (Recharge 5-6) The giant strikes the ground with its crystalline greatclub, causing it and the ground to ring in a destructive resonant vibration. Each creature other than the giant within 20 feet of the impact must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw, taking 35 (10d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


Reactions

Rock Catching. If a rock or similar object is hurled at the giant, the giant can, with a successful DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, catch the missile and take no bludgeoning damage from it.


(Note: if you're wondering why there are so many cleric spells prepared, clerics of Skoraeus Stonebones gain access to the Knowledge Domain. I added the spells for the domain, but nothing else, as the thane's other abilities would more than make up for that).
 
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dave2008

Legend
Thank you again for sharing, a few comments on the Stone Giant Thane;

His damage is low for a CR 11 monster. I would suggest either increasing his strength or making Resonating Smash do more damage or both. Though I guess spirit guardians might make up the difference, I prefer to have the spells be an extra level of system mastery

EDIT: Giving him 3 attacks w/ multiattack would work too.
 
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Demetrios1453

Adventurer
Thank you again for sharing, a few comments on the Stone Giant Thane;

His damage is low for a CR 11 monster. I would suggest either increasing his strength or making Resonating Smash do more damage or both. Though I guess spirit guardians might make up the difference, I prefer to have the spells be an extra level of system mastery

EDIT: Giving him 3 attacks w/ multiattack would work too.
The damage is a bit low for the CR since other stats are high for the CR. This would look to be an issue for giants on general and stone giants in particular - giants in general since their strength gives them very high attack bonuses which pull up their offensive CR; stone giants in particular since their high AC pulls up their defensive CR which then pulls up their overall CR. I didn't adjust the attack bonus - it moved up by one simply due to the proficiency bonus increase due to the new CR. And while I did adjust the AC up by one, it seems a reasonable choice due the creature involved. So the overall damage had to be left holding the bag. I'd rather not up the damage since doing so will quickly raise the overall CR, and I would like to keep the variants within 4 CRs of the base type (and I still have to fit in four further, more powerful, giant leader types)

Granted, it may not do an excessive amount of damage, but it will score hits a lot and will be a defensive pain to fight, especially when the Earth Glide and cleric spells are factored in.

As I said though, I'm still new at 5e monster creation, so perhaps I got my math wrong in determining the CR...

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app
 
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dave2008

Legend
The damage is a bit low for the CR since other stats are high for the CR. This would look to be an issue for giants on general and stone giants in particular - giants in general since their strength gives them very high attack bonuses which pull up their offensive CR; stone giants in particular since their high AC pulls up their defensive CR which then pulls up their overall CR. I didn't adjust the attack bonus - it moved up by one simply due to the proficiency bonus increase due to the new CR. And while I did adjust the AC up by one, it seems a reasonable choice due the creature involved. So the overall damage had to be left holding the bag. I'd rather not up the damage since doing so will quickly raise the overall CR, and I would like to keep the variants within 4 CRs of the base type (and I still have to fit in four further, more powerful, giant leader types)

Granted, it may not do an excessive amount of damage, but it will score hits a lot and will be a defensive pain to fight, especially when the Earth Glide and cleric spells are factored in.

As I said though, I'm still new at 5e monster creation, so perhaps I got my math wrong in determining the CR...

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app
To be honest I hadn't checked the defensive CR when I posted, but I did factor in the higher to hit bonus and it was still low damage. Here is a more indepth check:

Defensive CR: effective HP = 202 = CR 9; AC of 18-16 = 2/2 = +1 to defensive CR = Defensive CR 10

Offensive CR: DPR = (RD1), smash = 27*2 = 54; (RD2), multiattack = 23*2 = 46; (RD3), multiattack = 23*2 = 46; total DPR = 146/3 = 48 DPR = CR 7 ;; attack bonus 10-6=4/2 = +2 to offensive CR = CR 9

Total CR 10+9 = 19/2 = CR 8.5

So as designed a CR 8 or 9 would be justified, I would probably bump it up to 9 because of the spells though none of them really effect the CR.

Now if you really want a CR 11 you could up the HP or AC (to get to defensive CR 11) and still up the damage by 10 to 15. Personally I would up HP to 180-184 and up the damage the DPR to 54 by increase smash damage to 36 (8d8).

Just my 2 cents

EDIT: if the giant cast spirit guardians before the combat that could in theory get you closer (though it is no benefit to cast during combat), but you could till up the damage by 5+ per round.
 
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Demetrios1453

Adventurer
To be honest I hadn't checked the defensive CR when I posted, but I did factor in the higher to hit bonus and it was still low damage. Here is a more indepth check:

Defensive CR: effective HP = 202 = CR 9; AC of 18-16 = 2/2 = +1 to defensive CR = Defensive CR 10

Offensive CR: DPR = (RD1), smash = 27*2 = 54; (RD2), multiattack = 23*2 = 46; (RD3), multiattack = 23*2 = 46; total DPR = 146/3 = 48 DPR = CR 7 ;; attack bonus 10-6=4/2 = +2 to offensive CR = CR 9

Total CR 10+9 = 19/2 = CR 8.5

So as designed a CR 8 or 9 would be justified, I would probably bump it up to 9 because of the spells though none of them really effect the CR.

Now if you really want a CR 11 you could up the HP or AC (to get to defensive CR 11) and still up the damage by 10 to 15. Personally I would up HP to 180-184 and up the damage the DPR to 54 by increase smash damage to 36 (8d8).

Just my 2 cents

EDIT: if the giant cast spirit guardians before the combat that could in theory get you closer (though it is no benefit to cast during combat), but you could till up the damage by 5+ per round.
So wait, the attack bonus isn't +10? +6 for Strength and +4 from proficiency bonus? That's where I was afraid I was tripping up since the DMG is vague on what exactly entails the "attack bonus" as it pertains to CR...

+10 attack bonus was the equivalent to CR 17 I believe - I don't have my DMG on me - so CR 17 - CR 7 = a 10 CR difference which divided by 2 = 5. CR 7 + 5 = CR 12 offensive, assuming I'm not totally misreading what the DMG says...

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app
 
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dave2008

Legend
So wait, the attack bonus isn't +10? +6 for Strength and +4 from proficiency bonus? That's where I was afraid I was tripping up since the DMG is vague on what exactly entails the "attack bonus" as it pertains to CR...

+10 attack bonus was the equivalent to CR 17 I believe - I don't have my DMG on me - so CR 17 - CR 7 = a 10 CR difference which divided by 2 = 5. CR 7 + 5 = CR 12 offensive, assuming I'm not totally misreading what the DMG says...

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app
The attack bonus is +10, you have that correct. However, this is how the affects the CR:

Offensive CR:
1) Calculate DPR: in this case DPR of 48 equates to a CR of 7; which has an expectyed attack bonus of +6
2) Determine expected attack bonus based on DPR CR (7); which in this case is +6
3) Calculate the effect of a different attack bonus on the Offensive CR. For every 2 difference in attack bonus adjust the CR by 1. So we take the giants actual attack bonus of 10 and subtract the expected bonus of 6 given a a result of 4, then divide this by 2, resulting in an adjustment of +2 to the CR
4) Adjust the DPR CR (7) with the attack bonus adjustment (+2), resulting in an offensive CR of: 7 + 2 = CR 9

In other words:
You look at the DPR column first ( CR 7), and then adjust that CR by the difference in the bonus (+10, actual, - +6, expected) divided by 2 (round down).

You do not subtract the attack bonus CRs from each other as you did, you subtract the actual bonus (DMG pg 274=275):
"Now look at the attack bonus suggested for the monster challenge rating. If your monster's attack bonus is at least two points higher or lower than that number (referring to the attack bonus suggested), adjust the challenge rating suggested by its damage output up or down by 1 for every 2 points of difference."

*bold underline for emphasis and italics added by me

I hope that helps: FYI, I made the same mistake at first too, I even had a spreadsheet made that calculated CR they way you thought before I realized my mistake
 

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
The attack bonus is +10, you have that correct. However, this is how the affects the CR:

Offensive CR:
1) Calculate DPR: in this case DPR of 48 equates to a CR of 7; which has an expectyed attack bonus of +6
2) Determine expected attack bonus based on DPR CR (7); which in this case is +6
3) Calculate the effect of a different attack bonus on the Offensive CR. For every 2 difference in attack bonus adjust the CR by 1. So we take the giants actual attack bonus of 10 and subtract the expected bonus of 6 given a a result of 4, then divide this by 2, resulting in an adjustment of +2 to the CR
4) Adjust the DPR CR (7) with the attack bonus adjustment (+2), resulting in an offensive CR of: 7 + 2 = CR 9

In other words:
You look at the DPR column first ( CR 7), and then adjust that CR by the difference in the bonus (+10, actual, - +6, expected) divided by 2 (round down).

You do not subtract the attack bonus CRs from each other as you did, you subtract the actual bonus (DMG pg 274=275):
"Now look at the attack bonus suggested for the monster challenge rating. If your monster's attack bonus is at least two points higher or lower than that number (referring to the attack bonus suggested), adjust the challenge rating suggested by its damage output up or down by 1 for every 2 points of difference."

*bold underline for emphasis and italics added by me

I hope that helps: FYI, I made the same mistake at first too, I even had a spreadsheet made that calculated CR they way you thought before I realized my mistake
After I had posted my last post I realized that might have been the error I was making. The wording in the DMG is a bit obtuse, but now the whole process does make a lot more sense as it seemed AC and attack bonus were causing everything to be a lot more swingy than it needed to be. It also looks like the correct process will be a heck of a lot simpler and intuitive.

Thanks for the help, and I'll get to correcting what I've posted so far!

Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app
 

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
OK, I've edited both the Hill Giant Chief and Stone Giant Thane based on how to actually calculate CRs correctly. Dave2008's suggestions and pointers cleared up a lot of what was confusing for me in 5e monster creation/upgrading, and has smoothed out the process significantly for me - as long as I'm now getting it right of course! :D

The hill giant chief should now have a defensive CR of 7 (172 HP = CR 7, AC of 15 is the expected AC for that CR so no adjustment) and an offensive CR of 9 (51 points of expected damage per round = CR 8, attack bonus of +9 is two higher than the expected attack bonus of +7, which would adjust the CR up by 1 to CR 9), averaging to an overall CR of 8.

The stone giant thane should now have a defensive, offensive, and overall CR of 11. Defensively it would be: 187 hit points * 1.25 for resistance = 233 effective hit points = CR 11; AC 18 is only one above the expected AC of 17, so does not adjust the defensive CR, meaning the final defensive CR is 11. Offensively it would be: 72 damage (1st round - resonating smash) + 64 (2nd round - greatclub attack) + 64 (3rd round - greatclub attack) = 200 total damage for 3 rounds = 66 average damage per round = CR 10; attack bonus of +10 is three higher than the expected attack bonus of +7, which would adjust the offensive CR up by one to CR 11. And of course the average of 11 and 11 is 11 :D

Hopefully they are correct this time - if Dave2008 or anyone wants to check my math I would be most appreciative! And then I can get to work on the other planned variants afterwards...
 
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dave2008

Legend
OK, I've edited both the Hill Giant Chief and Stone Giant Thane based on how to actually calculate CRs correctly. Dave2008's suggestions and pointers cleared up a lot of what was confusing for me in 5e monster creation/upgrading, and has smoothed out the process significantly for me - as long as I'm now getting it right of course! :D

The hill giant chief should now have a defensive CR of 7 (172 HP = CR 7, AC of 15 is the expected AC for that CR so no adjustment) and an offensive CR of 9 (51 points of expected damage per round = CR 8, attack bonus of +9 is two higher than the expected attack bonus of +7, which would adjust the CR up by 1 to CR 9), averaging to an overall CR of 8.

The stone giant thane should now have a defensive, offensive, and overall CR of 11. Defensively it would be: 187 hit points * 1.25 for resistance = 233 effective hit points = CR 11; AC 18 is only one above the expected AC of 17, so does not adjust the defensive CR, meaning the final defensive CR is 11. Offensively it would be: 72 damage (1st round - resonating smash) + 64 (2nd round - greatclub attack) + 64 (3rd round - greatclub attack) = 200 total damage for 3 rounds = 66 average damage per round = CR 10; attack bonus of +10 is three higher than the expected attack bonus of +7, which would adjust the offensive CR up by one to CR 11. And of course the average of 11 and 11 is 11 :D

Hopefully they are correct this time - if Dave2008 or anyone wants to check my math I would be most appreciative! And then I can get to work on the other planned variants afterwards...
They look good to me - thank you for the updates. I've wanted to updated paragon level monsters (10-19), but I've been to focused with my Epic updates to get to these. I look forward to future installments. Thank you again for posting these, I really feel we need some giant leaders.
 

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
Here is the second of my two stone giant variants, the arcane magic using Stone Giant Runecarver.


Stone Giant Runecarver

Since the days of Ostoria, the most potent form of giant magic has been rune magic. Although all types of giants practice this type of magic, stone giants in particular excel at it. And no practitioners of rune magic are more expert than the stone giant runecarvers. Indeed, many, including even some of their own kind, think that the runecarvers might take their studies a bit too far.
Spell Security
Few things strike more fear into the hearts of wizards than the thought of losing their spellbooks. Stone giant runecarvers, on the other hand, never have to worry about such a disaster befalling them. Instead of scribing their spells into an spellbook, runeecarvers instead place the mystic writings on their own bodies. These are no mere inkings or tattoos, however; the giants instead carve the runes directly into their own stony flesh, forming bewildering patterns and ornate calligraphy on the canvas of their own body. Most practitioners of magic would think this practice extreme, but stone giant runecarvers would respond that it's impossible to lose a spellbook when it's your own body.
Mystic Runes
While most of the runes on the bodies of stone giant runecarvers are simply records of the spells they have learned, others are more unique. Some runecarvers carve special mystical runes that, when activated, cause a one-time effect. Many of these act just the same as a spell scroll; most runecarvers use these as back-ups for spells they already have prepared, but on rare occasions they may instead contain other spells entirely. Other mystic runes contain more esoteric effects, often altering nearby earth and stone at the giant's command. Finally, all stone giant runecarvers gain mastery of a special mystic rune which causes the ground itself to rise up and fight their foes with fists of stone. While the runecarver would need to painstakingly re-carve a typical one-time use mystical rune after it has been activated, the earthen fists rune remains intact after use, although it does take some time for it to regain power after it has been expended.
Distant but Loyal Spellcasters
Stone giant runecarvers are respected, although a bit feared, by stone giant society in general. Most stone giants admire their pursuit of knowledge as well as the artistry of their runes. Many, however, are less enamored of the fact the runecarvers use their own bodies to do so. So, while not outright shunning them, typical stone giants do tend to be a bit distant emotionally and socially with the runecarvers in their settlements. The runecarvers typically don't mind this too much - it allows them the pursue their studies in relative peace. Should their settlements be threatened, however, the runecarvers will unhesitatingly leap to its defense, using their powers to assist in driving off any foes. Given time to prepare for a threat, stone giant runecarvers will often bolster the settlement's defenses by placing glyphs of warding in strategic locations, moving earth and stone to create defensive positions, and by conjuring earth elementals to add their strength to the local military forces.



Stone Giant Runecarver
Huge giant (stone giant), neutral

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 149 (14d12 + 70)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 23 (+6) DEX 15 (+2) CON 20 (+5) INT 18 (+4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 7 (-2)

Saving Throws Dex +6, Con +9, Wis +5
Skills Athletics +13, Perception +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Giant, Terran
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)


Spellcasting. The giant is a 12th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 16, +8 to hit with spell attacks). It has the following wizard spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): acid splash, fire bolt, light, prestidigitation, ray of frost
1st level (4 slots): color spray, magic missile, thunderwave
2nd level (3 slots): Melf's acid arrow, shatter, web
3rd level (3 slots): fireball, glyph of warding, stinking cloud
4th level (3 slots): ice storm, stone shape
5th level (2 slots): cone of cold, conjure elemental, passwall
6th level (1 slot): flesh to stone, move earth


Stone Camouflage. The giant has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in rocky terrain.


Actions

Stone Quarterstaff Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage, or 19 (3d8 +6) bludgeoning damage if used two-handed.

Rock Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 17 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Earthen Fists (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). The giant chooses a location within 20 feet, causing earthen fists to spring from the ground and pummel any targets in the area. Each creature other than the giant within 20 feet of the target must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 36 (8d8) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Mystic Runes The giant possesses several mystic runes carved into its own body. The giant may activate one by running its hand over the rune, creating a one-time effect. After the effect has been activated, the rune magically fades from the giant's body. A typical stone giant runecarver has 1d4 such runes carved into its flesh, chosen from the list below:

Mystic Rune effects (choose or roll 1d6):

1. Rune is equivalent to a 1st level spell scroll
2. Rune is equivalent to a 2nd level spell scroll
3. Rune is equivalent to a 3rd level spell scroll
4. Rune is equivalent to a 4th level spell scroll
5. Rune, when activated, causes a 20 foot radius area of ground centered within 30 feet of the giant to become difficult terrain. Typical effects are to turn the ground into mud or a stone slurry, or to make the ground extraordinarily rough and uneven.
6. Rune, when activated, causes a minor earthquake in a 30 foot radius, centered on a point within 30 feet of the giant. Any creature other than the giant within that area must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.


Reactions

Rock Catching. If a rock or similar object is hurled at the giant, the giant can, with a successful DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, catch the missile and take no bludgeoning damage from it.



Coming soon - we go up to the next giant race in the Ordning: frost giants. We'll be starting with the Frost Giant Reaver. Also, I'm going to add two further creatures beyond my originally planned three in the frost giant section as an additional bonus... :)
 
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dave2008

Legend
Another great edition. Quick question, have you seen the giants in Volo's Guide to Monsters? Just curious since there are some higher CR versions of the giants in there as well.
 

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
Another great edition. Quick question, have you seen the giants in Volo's Guide to Monsters? Just curious since there are some higher CR versions of the giants in there as well.
Yep, mentioned in my first post - that they were OK, and for the most part perfectly usable, but generally not "typical" giants you would see in a giant settlement. Of the six in that book, I really only see the fire giant dreadnought as a reasonably normal part of fire giant society; the others would be pretty rare or outright outcasts. That, combined with SKT's lack of new elite variant giants, is what made me start on this project.
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
Yep, mentioned in my first post - that they were OK, and for the most part perfectly usable, but generally not "typical" giants you would see in a giant settlement.
Slightly off topic but based on the lore they developed for some of the volo's Giants, I'd say that somebody was watching too much Attack on Titan.

The Mouth of Grolantor is a baseline Titan.
The Dreamwalker's Petrifying Touch/Absorption ability is very similar to one of the Female Titan's powers.
The Everlasting One is basically the Rogue Titan (but uglier, possessing potentially multiple heads, and thoroughly evil).
The Dreadnought IS the Armored Titan. With two Shields.
 
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dave2008

Legend
Yep, mentioned in my first post - that they were OK, and for the most part perfectly usable, but generally not "typical" giants you would see in a giant settlement. Of the six in that book, I really only see the fire giant dreadnought as a reasonably normal part of fire giant society; the others would be pretty rare or outright outcasts. That, combined with SKT's lack of new elite variant giants, is what made me start on this project.
Sorry, I didn't remember that. Got point about the Volo's giants not be normal members of their respective cultures. The fluff very much suggest this, though the stat blocks could mostly be used without the fluff. The frost giant may be an exception.
 

PaleMage

Explorer
Following the example of Demetrios, after many unsuccesful tests, I finally created my version of the hill giant's elite warrior. Its intended purpose is to disencourage parties to go forth beyond him, to secure areas where visitors or scavengers are not welcome.

Hill Giant Champion
Highly skilled in two-handed weapons, hill giant champions consider their maul as a companion, never leaving it unwielded. Devoted to exercise in combat between every meals, hill giant champions developed two powerful abilities they never miss to adopt in combats.

Clever Combatant. Brute force is only one of the keys of success for them. A decent amount of dexterity turned these creatures into deadly killing machines; every time they hit with a blow, not only the target is forced a Strenght save to avoid falling prone, but their opponents are at risk of being hit a second time with a bonus attack they take using the advantage they gained, exposing their opponent to an incredible amount of damage dealt.

Opportunity Blow. Approaching an hill giant champion is all but safe; due to their weapon great reach, these creatures can try to hit - and thus stop coming forth - an opponent they consider too dangerous to stand too close to them. The same fate is reserved to opponents trying to stand up while being yet into their reach after being hit, and found themselves prone, by a previous attack.

Following is the stat block.

Hill Giant Champion
Huge giant (hill), chaotic evil
Armor Class 18 (plate armor)
Hit Points 262 (21d12 + 126)
Speed 30 ft.

STR
23 (+6) DEX 13 (+1) CON 23 (+6) INT 11 (+0) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 6 (-2)

Saving Throws
Str +11, Dex +6, Con +11
Skills Athletics +11, Acrobatics +6, Perception +5
Senses passive Perception 15
Languages Giant, Common
Challenge 14 (11500 XP)

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The Hill Giant Champion makes 3 huge maul attacks, or 2 rock throwing attacks.

Huge Maul. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 27 (6d6+6) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Huge or smaller, it must succeed on a DC 19 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Clever Combatant. As a bonus action, after a creature failed a saving throw against a melee attack and falled prone, the hill giant champion can deal extra damage with an additional blow.

Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10+6) bludgeoning damage.

REACTIONS

Opportunity Blow. As a reaction, when a creature stand up or enters into the reach of the hill giant champion, he can try an opportunity attack to the target with his huge maul.



To better honor the work of Demetrios and Dave, I started a parallel project to gather and provide useful tools for everyone needing the stat blocks in every possibile formats. You can see it at my blog here.
 

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