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Giant, Death

by David Melik

Please also see the corresponding information file which goes with these information on new giants.

New Creature - Giant, Death*

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Any land, caverns, ruins
FREQUENCY: Very rare
DIET: Carnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Very to High(11 - 13) 12
TREASURE: A x 4 + 10,000 gp 10% 1D2 special A x 4 + 10,000 gp
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SAVE AS: F (level = HD)
MOVEMENT: 12' 120' (40')
HIT DICE: 15** to 25**
THAC0: 15 HD: 9
16+: 6
NO. OF ATTACKS 2 (weapon)
SPECIAL DEFENCES: 5 % resist necromancy
SIZE: G (30 to 50')
MORALE: Fanatic (18) 11
XP VALUE: 15 or 16 HD: 7,750 + 20/HP 15: 3,750
17 or 18 HD: 9,650 + 25/HP 16: 4,050
19 or 20 HD: 12,800 + 30/HP 17: 4,300
21 to 24 HD: 15,800 + 35/HP 18: 5,350
25 HD: 18,800 + 35/HP 19: 5,975
20: 6,500
21: 7,000
22: 7,500
23: 8,000
24: 8,500
25: 9,250

Appearance: Death giants, marauding murderers who live for death, randomly bring doom to communities when they feel the urge to kill. They are among the rarest, most feared of all giants. Actually some of them don't live at all. Some of them are undead. They have pallid skin, red eyes, and are dressed in rags and black iron and leather armour. They are fearsome and look already dead, like white zombie (error intended).

Combat: Death giants can only be hit by magical weapons. There is one flaw to this ability. "Weapon" is the key, they can be hit with any mundane item as long as it was not made as a weapon. A death giant with 25 HD has the power to cause fear once per turn, in a 60' radius, as per wand of fear.

Death giants enjoy using many different weapons, and like to slay people in new ways. They seek new ways to kill and hurt, that is their "life." They could be found using practically every weapon, torture implements, magic item, and tactic in the book, and more. Death giants are tricky opponents in battle, rarely using conventional means, changing their tactics from one round to the next. They often quaff potions, read scrolls, zap rods, staves and wands, douse their weapons in poison, throw various things mundane and magical (including boulders ranges 150/300/450), not to mention setting up traps and ambushes, etc..

If a fighter in the party thinks he's hot stuff, and has weapon mastery, just wait until he meets a death giant, he may think of a new definition of "fighter" if he survives. The DM should use their imagination and play these monsters to their fullest, and if the players play their characters wisely and escape, they should feel surprised and harrowed.

Habitat/Society: Death giant society is brutally totalitarian, with everyone competing for power or submitting to those stronger than them. "The one with the most powerful magic item" rules, and those who don't do as they say or look funny to them, die horribly. Their dictators normally don't kill their followers for stupid reasons though. Their societal structure contributes to their rarity.

Death Giant Shamans and wokans are almost as common as human clerics and wizards, and some have thieving abilities. They can both reach 25th level.

Death Giants inhabit ruins and caverns, preferring places of evil and darkness. Around their lairs are often strewn or impaled corpses and skeletons, and bones are piled about the entranceways. They each have separate rooms, locked if possible, and they like to sleep on the cold stone floor. The dictator often inhabits a secret room, and sometimes has loyal guards with him. In a large area they store carcasses of various dead creatures to eat, even eating them after months at a time, relishing the mouldy and rotted flesh, and crunching on their bones. In here is also found alcoholic drinks made from bodily fluids of creatures they have killed. They hoard valuables and use them to buy new magic and weapons from those who will sell them to them. There are sometimes one or more rooms containing sorted magic items, with cursed ones purposely mixed in. They also have whatever rooms they deem necessary for the creation of new instruments of death. There may be a temple to an infernal god, especially one whom they call Zingfro, a wizards laboratory and library.

During the night, the death giants journey out to ravage and plunder the land. They discreetly take the lesser-travelled paths. They strike hard, enjoy the fight, steal fast, and are gone. They want to keep their lairs hidden for they know they have the hatred of most sentient beings. When they have really razed up an area they move on. They war without end, and have no remorse and no repent, "another day another death" is their motto. They eat at various times when they want and when food is accessible. They return to their lairs in the early morning to celebrate their slaying, and drink their disgusting liquors. At the end of the night sometimes they research how to become undead.

Ecology: Death giants decimate the environment surrounding them. They kill anything that moves for the fun of it, and eat it. They can stomach pretty much anything. The mere presence of death giants in an area doesn't seem to go well with nature. Of course, this doesn't make druids and the like very happy.

They hate and kill every race except fellow evil creatures that will trade with them. If they won't, they might as well kill them too. A heart of a death giant can be used to brew a deadly poison.

Variants: Another goal of death giants is to become undead. They seek this information with a passion. Up to a quarter of encountered death giants are undead. Most of them are lesser ones, animated by ones that manage to achieve intelligent, spell-casting undead status. They have the powers and abilities of the undead type they are, and 5 more hit dice than they had in life. Only rarely do they achieve the status of lich. These are what they often become depending on their hit dice: 20 or 21 HD: Skeleton or Zombie, 22 or 23 HD: Wight or Wraith, 24 or 25: Elder Ghoul or Mummy, 26 to 29: Grey Philosopher or Nosferatu Vampire, 30: Lich. Also, there are rumours of powerful death giants creating strange, new, terrible monsters called High Wyrds out of the corpses of forest giants.