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by Jamie Baty

CM6, DMR2 53
Huge Giant
Hit Dice: 25d8+175 (287 hp)
Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armour Class: 22 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +12 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +18/+39
Attack: Greatsword +30 melee (4d6 +15)
Full Attack: Greatsword +30/+25/+20 melee (4d6 +15) or 2 slam +29 melee (1d8 +6)
Space/Reach: 15 ft. /15 ft.
Special Attacks: Burning metal, improved grab, levitate metal
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 20/adamantine, low-light vision, resistance to fire, spell immunity, spell-like abilities
Saves: Fort +21, Ref +10, Will +12
Abilities: Str 37, Dex 15, Con 24, Int 17, Wis 18, Cha 15
Skills: Appraise +18, Bluff +7, Climb +23, Concentration +17, Craft (weaponsmith) +23, Diplomacy +7, Gather Information +7, Heal +11, Hide -6, Intimidate +12, Jump +18, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Listen +14, Sense Motive +9, Spot +14, Survival +11
Feats: Awesome Blow, Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (Greatsword),Power Attack, Self-Sufficient, Skill Focus (Craft-armour or Craft-weaponsmith),Weapon Focus(Greatsword), Weapon Specialisation (Greatsword)
Environment: Any mountains, underground
Organisation: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 24
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: by character class
Level Adjustment: -

The giant that appears before you is 25ft tall with iron-looking skin. It looks very strong. Adorning the walls of the cavern are magnificently crafted weapons.

Hephaestons spend their time and energy forging weapons in the highest mountains or deepest caverns of Mystara. These solitary giants have resilient, dark skins of flexible iron. Males often sport very bushy beards. Both sexes are well-muscled, particularly in the upper body, and dress in comfortable garments that will not interfere with their beloved work at the forges. The giants each carry a huge, iron weapon (usually a sword or axe) at all times.

Hephaestons shun other intelligent beings and do not look fondly on intruders. It sometimes proves possible, however, to convince a hephaeston to create human-sized weapons of steel or iron. The creatures remain always on the lookout for large quantities of iron ore and might be persuaded to trade information or weapons for such ore.

Hephaestons also collect metals (including coins) and weapons of all types. They particularly like weapons of especially fine construction. Weapons created by hephaestons are particularly durable (+2 to hardness), sharp (+2 bonus to damage), and beautifully worked. They command three to five times the market value for normal weapons of their type.

Hephaestons despise their giant cousins' propensity to throw rocks- Hephaestons fight with their great weapons as a matter of pride. While not evil, they do not like strangers or intruders, and they are very dangerous foes when angered. They are proficient with all weapons (including exotics) but they favour swords and axes.

Burning Metal (Ex): A hephaeston may instantly heat one iron or steel object (up to 70 Ibs.) within 100ft to red-hot for ld4+1 rounds. Contact with such an object inflicts 2d6 points of damage per round (though a successful fortitude saving throw vs. DC24 (Cha based) halves the damage.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a hephaeston must hit with a slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If the grapple is successful, the hephaeston maintains a hold on the creature and can inflict slam damage automatically each round. The hephaeston may throw a held medium-size or smaller victim to the ground for 5d6 damage (Reflex save vs DC24 (Dex based) for half damage).

Levitate Metal (Sp): A hephaeston may levitate iron or steel objects (as a levitate spell that allows 40 feet per round with no need to concentrate, in a range up to 120 feet)

Damage Reduction (Su): A hephaeston has damage reduction 20/adamantine.

Resistance to Fire (Ex): A hephaeston has fire resistance of 30/-

Spell Immunity (Ex): A hephaeston is immune to 1st and 2nd level spells, and any mind-affecting spells (such as charm, hold, or any illusion).

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): 1/day: Wall of Iron

Hephaestons spend much of their time alone forging weapons, each seek to perfect the art of the weaponsmith. These giants sometimes spend months, and even years, crafting and recrafting a single weapon, until it reaches their exacting standards.

Regardless of whether a hephaeston makes its home atop a high mountain peak or in a deep cavern, its isolated lair always contains a forge. Puffs of smoke from the giant's forge or ringing sounds of the creature at work are often the only clues of its residency.

Hephaestons' diets consist primarily of game animals, such as deer and boar, and various plants. They also must consume at least 50 Ibs of iron a month to maintain their strangely formed bodies.

Once or twice over the course of a hephaeston's long life (500+ years), a male of the species successfully creates an item of surpassing workmanship and beauty. The giant then goes in search of a female of its kind. When they find each other, the two giants go through an elaborate courtship ritual in which the male presents the creation to the female who, if pleased with the item, forges a gift for the male in return. The two may stay together up to a year, during which time they fashion a child from the purest iron, each adding several drops of liquid iron from their own skin to instil life into their child. The new hephaeston stays with one parent long enough to learn the arts of the forge, then heads off on its own.

Hephaestons as Characters
Large numbers of hephaestons take levels in the wizard and cleric classes, which enables them to create great magic weapons.
Clerics may choose two of the following domains: Craft, Creation, Metal, Trade or Wealth.