[HR] Deadlier Giants

Flipping through old Dragon magazines, one of the articles that caught my eye was from Dragon #109, titled “Giant-sized weapons.” The author, Stephen Martin, noted that in 1e AD&D, giant creatures all did the same amount of damage, regardless of weapon, while human-size creatures did varying damage depending on weapon. I like this idea, and felt like it would make a good adaptation, particularly for those PCs who have ogre minions or have somehow taken over a giant tribe.

This uses the terminology from the Damage section of the core rulebook, with the tiny/small/medium/large breakdown of weapon sizes. Because of their larger size, giant-sized missile weapons also have greater range; each type of giant has a Missile Range addition listed below. Add that to the Short Range and then multiply appropriately (double to get Medium Range and triple or quadruple for Long Range). If the Missile Range modifier would more than double Short Range, then just double Short Range (i.e. a Dart can have no more than 30’ Short Range, even if the Missile Range is +50’).

Each giant is also given a suggested damage bonus to all weapon damage rolls. This will make the larger giants VERY lethal, so consider it carefully before using it.

One note: Fire giants use smaller weapons than Frost giants because of height differences, but the heavier Fire giants hit harder, thus they have a larger damage bonus.

Ogre (+3):
Tiny: 1d6
Small: 2d4
Medium: 1d12
Large: 2d6+1
Missile Range: +20’

Hill Giant (+7):
Tiny: 2d3
Small: 1d10
Medium: 3d4
Large: 2d8
Missile Range: +30’

Ettin (+7), Stone Giant (+8), Fire Giant (+10):
Tiny: 2d4
Small: 2d6
Medium: 2d8
Large: 2d10
Missile Range: +40’

Frost Giant (+9):
Tiny: 1d10
Small: 2d6+1
Medium: 2d10
Large: 2d12
Missile Range: +50’

Cloud Giant (+11):
Tiny: 3d4
Small: 3d6
Medium: 3d8
Large: 3d10
Missile Range: +60’

Storm Giant (+12):
Tiny: 2d8
Small: 5d4
Medium: 3d10
Large: 4d8
Missile Range: +60’

As an example, a Storm Giant with a longbow would have range bands of 130/260/390 and inflict 5d4 damage on a successful hit. In melee, with a two-handed sword, the same giant would deal 4d8+12 damage on a hit. Meanwhile, an ogre with a spear wielded two-handed would do 1d12+3 damage, and could throw the spear 40/80/120 feet for 1d12 damage.

A human-sized character could wield some of these weapons. They treat an ogre tiny weapon as a small weapon. An ogre small weapon or hill giant tiny weapon is treated as a medium weapon. An ogre medium, hill giant small, or ettin/stone/fire giant tiny weapon is treated as a large weapon. Attacks with any of these will incur a -2 penalty to attack throws. An ogre large weapon, hill giant medium, or ettin/stone/fire giant small weapon can be wielded two-handed with an additional -2 penalty to attack throws (total -4 penalty). No training will reduce these penalties, and Fighting Style cannot be used with giant-sized weapons, as the balance is off for a human-sized user. No larger weapons can be wielded by a human-sized character. Giant-sized ranged weapons do not get range bonuses when wielded by human-sized characters, as they do not have the necessary leverage or size to gain the advantages of a giant wielder.