Giant, Desert

  AD&D D&D
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Any Desert Desert
FREQUENCY: Uncommon Rare
DIET: Omnivore  
INTELLIGENCE: Very (11 - 12) 11+
TREASURE: E x 2 + 5,000 gp + 30% 1D3 special E x 2 + 5,000 gp
ALIGNMENT: Neutral Evil  
NO. APPEARING: 2 (1D4)  
SAVE AS: F (level = HD)  
MOVEMENT: 12' 120' (40')
HIT DICE: 12* to 20*  
THAC0: 12-13 HD: 9  
  14-15 HD: 8  
  16 + HD: 7  
NO. OF ATTACKS 1 (scimitar)  
SPECIAL DEFENSES: 5% resist fire-based attacks  
SIZE: H (12 to 18')  
MORALE: Elite (13) 8
XP VALUE: 9 HD: 900 + 12/HP 9: 1,400
  10 HD: 1,350 + 14/HP 10: 1,750
  11 or 12 HD: 2,000 + 16/HP 11: 1,900
  13 or 14 HD: 2,750 + 18/HP 12: 2,125
  15 or 16 HD: 3,650 + 20/HP 13: 2,500
  17 or 18 HD: 4,550 + 25/HP 14: 2,700
  19 or 20 HD: 6,100 + 30/HP 15: 2,950
    16: 3,150
    17: 3,475
    18: 3,800
    19: 4,175
    20: 4,500

Appearance: Desert giants are greedy, malicious bandits who inhabitant castles in remote desert oases. Unless it is a shady desert, they are dark- skinned due to the sun. They normally have brown eyes and black hair. They wear white robes because of the heat, but wear a lot of jewellery underneath or when indoors. A scimitar and several daggers are often strapped to their belts. The females are rarely encountered outside of their castles, they stay inside, wearing veils instead of weapons (but may have hidden ones.) This monster is inspired by the tale "Cododad and his Brothers" from The One- thousand and One Nights.

Combat: Desert giants primarily fight on giant horseback with scimitars. They charge their enemy and try to cut them down. If unsuccessful they ride away a little and try again. They don't like to fight on foot, but will do so if the situation warrants it. Desert giants can hurl boulders (ranges 60/130/200) and they also throw daggers (thrice the specified range for the appropriate level of weapon mastery.) Sometimes they do this when charging, but often they do it when they are on foot before they are within melee range of their opponents. They sometimes assassinate people, if they can sneak up on them that is.

Habitat/Society: Desert giants strongly believe in the caste system but usually there aren't enough of them around to fill more than two or three castes, except in the rare desert giant cities. Their religion says that males should rule, and they almost always do. The females are often indoctrinated into their religion (as well as the males,) and are glad to have the males do all the dangerous work for them, but if they disagree with their religion, the males try to suppress, and even kill them. They have up to 7th level shamans (clerics) and 6th level wokans (magic-users), some have thieving abilities, and at the DM's option, there can be desert giant mystics (which would be more frequent than shamans.)

A desert giant castle is anything from an Arabian to Indian one, but not European. It also has some palace features, and domes, spires, and geometrical designs. There are a several bedrooms, one for the castle's lord and his wife, one or two for their children, and three or four for guests. In each of these is a large bed and various furniture. There is a dining hall, underneath which is a huge dungeon (as in castle, not RPG). There are grates in the room where they can see prisoners below and hear their cries, for amusement. They have stables for giant horses, as well as for stolen ones, and camels. They often don't have many giant ones unless they are rich or can cast spells to supplement the little equine food there is in the desert. They have storerooms for their own food as well, and they like lots of spices. Treasure and goods are strewn all over their rooms, robbed from merchants or taken from adventurers, whom are locked in the dungeon below.

Desert giants wake very early in the morning, sleep during the heat of the day, and get up again in the evening before going to bed after dark. The males randomly raid merchant caravans and animal herds, and the stronger ones occasionally raid towns in groups. They get most of their resources in these ways, but also necessities from other large monsters. The women and children do a little bit of cooking and sewing after they get up, but since they steal most of what they get, or buy it with stolen treasure, they don't have too much work to do.

Ecology: Desert giants occasionally hunt in the area they live in. They extract water from cacti but try to conserve them. They enjoy eating cows and oxen, so could be considered infidel barbarians by the smaller humanoid civilizations in the area. They are prejudiced and wary of most other races, although they will trade with races they cannot prey upon, if they have to. A complete epidermis of a desert giant can be used to make a potion of fire resistance.

Variants: The rare city-dwelling desert giant is the main "variant," all that's really different is their lair and lifestyle, they share the same culture.