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Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > D&D Ideas — Giants and Giantkin
Hill Giant Capturing a sheep

D&D Ideas — Giants and Giantkin

Yeti Shenanigans in D&D 🐻‍❄️❄️: Your Frosty Fun Guide
🎲 Embracing the Unusual in D&D: Crafting Characters That Break the Mold 🐉

Welcome back to our weekly newsletter! This week, we wandered through the topic of “Giants and Giantkin” during our live chat. Join us every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on Nerdarchy’s YouTube channel as we discuss D&D, RPGs, gaming, life, and an array of other nerdy topics. Nerdarchy’s latest giant of a project is just around the corner. Stay tuned for “Zoo Mafia RPG” — Nerdarchy’s first original role-playing game, designed by nerds for nerds. It will be relaunching on Kickstarter soon!

Kickstarter Spotlight: Zoo Mafia Relaunch Coming Soon

Reflecting, Learning, and Moving Forward with Zoo Mafia RPG

Our Recent Kickstarter Journey

We recently wrapped up our Kickstarter campaign for the innovative “Zoo Mafia RPG,” a tabletop role-playing game set in a prohibition-era zoo, blending the gritty underworld of mobster life with the charm of animal characters. While the campaign didn’t reach its funding goal, we view this not as a setback, but as an invaluable learning experience.

The Game: A Unique Blend of Strategy and Whimsy

Zoo Mafia RPG stands out with its unique concept – players adopt the roles of cunning animals with mobster alter-egos, navigating the challenges of both the animal kingdom and the criminal underworld. Powered by the Apocalypse system, it emphasizes narrative-driven gameplay and player agency, offering a fresh and engaging experience in the TTRPG landscape.

Gratitude and Reflection

We extend our heartfelt thanks to nearly 200 backers who joined us on this journey. Your support and enthusiasm have been the pillars of this project. In the spirit of Zoo Mafia RPG, where characters gain experience through challenges, we too have learned and grown from this campaign.

Looking Ahead: A New Chapter

Encouraged by your support and feedback, we’re excited to announce a relaunch of the Kickstarter for Zoo Mafia RPG in early 2024. We’re revising our strategy with a lower funding target and a campaign that better aligns with your valuable insights.

Stay Connected

To stay updated and be a part of our relaunch journey, we invite you to sign up for our notification page. Here, you’ll receive all the latest news and exclusive details about the revamped campaign. [Join our notification list here]

Your Role in Our Story

Your support is the cornerstone of Zoo Mafia RPG’s future. As we prepare for the relaunch, we’re more dedicated than ever to delivering a game that resonates with your expectations and aspirations.

Thank You!

We’re grateful for your continued belief in our vision and are eager to embark on this next phase of our adventure together. Stay tuned for more updates as we grow and evolve with your support.

Get Notified When We Relaunch

🌟 Nerdarchy Channel Chronicles! 🌟

Adventurers, our ‘Channel Chronicles’ journey continues! Each week, we delve into the expansive world of our YouTube channel, spotlighting videos you might have missed. Sharpen your swords, prepare your spells, and join us as we uncover more from the chronicles of our shared adventures!🎲🐉

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Delving Dave’s Dungeon

Giants in the Shadows: Ten Adventure Starters to Conquer the Colossal

In the rich tapestry of Dungeons & Dragons, one can find many creatures, each with unique stories and challenges. Among these, giants stand tall—literally and figuratively—as imposing figures in fantasy adventures. From the menacing frost giants of the icy tundras to the enigmatic cloud giants who dwell among the clouds, giants have long captured the imaginations of both players and Dungeon Masters. We invite you to explore ten captivating adventure starter ideas around these colossal beings. Whether you seek thrilling battles, intricate puzzles, or negotiations with giants of various types, you’ll find inspiration here to craft epic tales that will leave a lasting mark on your D&D campaign. So, grab your dice and embark on a journey into the realm of giants, where danger, mystery, and epic quests await!

  1. The Stolen Relic: A clan of hill giants has stolen a powerful artifact from a nearby village. The artifact is said to have the power to control the weather. The adventurers must track down the giants, recover the relic, and prevent them from wreaking havoc with the weather.
    • The artifact is known as the “Stormheart Amulet,” it’s sought after by various factions for its weather-manipulating powers.
    • The adventurers must gather clues from the village, including eyewitness accounts and local legends, to pinpoint the hill giants’ hideout.
    • The hill giants, led by a crafty shaman, use the amulet to cause floods and droughts as they please. The party must confront the shaman to retrieve the amulet.
  2. The Frost Giant’s Riddle: A frost giant oracle has been abducting travelers and posing them with riddles. Those who fail are frozen solid. The adventurers must decipher the riddles and confront the giant in its icy lair to end the abductions.
    • The frost giant oracle protects an ancient library filled with forgotten knowledge about a cataclysmic event.
    • The oracle’s riddles are related to history and prophecy. The adventurers may need help from scholars or sages to decipher them.
    • Upon reaching the oracle’s lair, the party discovers that it is not a malevolent being but a guardian tasked with preventing the misuse of the library’s secrets.
  3. The Cloud Giant’s Floating Castle: A cloud giant’s castle has mysteriously appeared in the sky above a major city, causing panic among the inhabitants. The party must find a way to enter the floating castle and discover the giant’s motives before it rains destruction upon the city below.
    • The cloud giant is not hostile but is instead an eccentric collector of rare and unusual items. The floating castle is filled with fantastical wonders.
    • To gain entry, the adventurers can offer to retrieve a unique item from a dangerous location in exchange for a visit to the castle.
    • Once inside, the party can negotiate with the cloud giant or become involved in a quest to recover another stolen item.
  4. The Stone Giant’s Quarry: A group of stone giants is terrorizing a small mining town by taking over their quarry and demanding tributes of precious gems. The adventurers must drive the giants away and uncover the reason behind their sudden aggression.
    • The stone giants were driven to desperation due to a shortage of their primary food source, precious gems. Investigating the gem shortage can reveal their plight.
    • The party can resolve the issue through diplomacy by helping the town find alternative resources or negotiating a fair trade agreement with the giants.
    • Uncovering a rival group manipulating the giants behind the scenes adds a layer of intrigue.
  5. The Storm Giant’s Prophecy: A storm giant seer has foretold a catastrophic event that will threaten the entire realm. The party must seek an audience with the reclusive giant and unravel the cryptic prophecy to prevent the disaster from coming to pass.
    • The storm giant’s prophecy involves the awakening of a dormant, world-threatening elemental force that the party must prevent.
    • The party must gather clues from various sources, including ancient texts and prophetic visions, to decipher the true meaning of the prophecy.
    • The storm giant can provide vital information and aid in the quest, but they are guarded and wary of outsiders.
  6. The Giant King’s Tournament: A renowned hill giant chief has organized a fighting tournament and invited warriors from across the land to participate. The party can enter the competition to gain favor with the chief or investigate rumors of foul play behind the scenes.
    • The tournament includes a variety of challenges, from physical combat to puzzle-solving and riddle contests.
    • The party can enter to compete, but they must also investigate rumors of cheating and sabotage, potentially exposing a rival faction’s involvement.
    • Winning the tournament could earn them the chief’s trust and reveal valuable information about a looming threat.
  7. The Feywild Intrusion: A rift to the Feywild has opened in the territory of a reclusive forest giant tribe. The adventurers must negotiate with the giants to seal the rift while dealing with mischievous, fey creatures who have crossed over.
    • The rift to the Feywild is caused by a mischievous archfey who enjoys causing chaos in the giant’s territory.
    • The party must negotiate with the forest giants while dealing with tricks and illusions created by fey creatures from the rift.
    • Resolving the situation may involve a quest into the Feywild to confront the archfey and close the rift permanently.
  8. The Giant’s Lost Child: A young giant from a friendly cloud giant tribe has gone missing in the treacherous peaks of a mountain range. The party is tasked with finding and safely returning the giant child, navigating both natural and supernatural dangers along the way.
    • The young cloud giant is stranded on a treacherous mountain peak, surrounded by hostile creatures and facing exposure to the elements.
    • The party must navigate harsh terrain, including avalanches and frigid conditions, to reach the giant and ensure its safe return.
    • Once rescued, the grateful cloud giants may offer valuable assistance or information in return.
  9. The Elemental Giant War: Four rival giants, each aligned with a different elemental power (fire, water, earth, and air), are locked in a destructive conflict. The adventurers must mediate a peace accord or choose a side in the elemental giant war, potentially gaining powerful allies or enemies.
    • Each elemental giant faction has unique strengths and weaknesses, and the party’s choice of allegiance can lead to different quests and consequences.
    • The party must engage in diplomacy, sabotage, or battles to help their chosen faction achieve its goals or broker peace among the giants.
    • The elemental giants’ conflict may be linked to a planar imbalance threatening the entire world, adding urgency to the situation.
  10. The Stone Giant Art Heist: A group of stone giants has stolen a priceless piece of artwork from a wealthy collector’s mansion. The adventurers are hired to retrieve the stolen masterpiece but must navigate a maze-like cave system where the giants have hidden their ill-gotten treasures.
    • The stolen artwork is a magical tapestry that holds a hidden secret or map to a long-lost treasure.
    • The party must navigate the cave system, overcoming challenges set by the stone giants, including clever traps and illusions.
    • Uncovering the true motive behind the art heist can lead to further adventures involving rival art collectors, secret societies, or ancient curses.

The party must navigate the cave system, overcoming challenges set by the stone giants, including clever traps and illusions.

Uncovering the true motive behind the art heist can lead to further adventures involving rival art collectors, secret societies, or ancient curses.

Feel free to customize and expand upon these adventure ideas to fit the specific needs and themes of your D&D campaign. Giants can be formidable adversaries or potential allies, adding depth and variety to your game world.


From Ted’s Head

Giants & Giantkin – Unveiling New Lore in D&D Worlds

Giants, those towering behemoths of the D&D universe, have always intrigued me as a game designer. Questions about their history, impact on the world, and relationship with their lesser kin have long piqued my curiosity. Let us explore fresh lore ideas that could add depth and excitement to your D&D campaign.

The Mystery of Giant-Built Stone Buildings:

Imagine giants with ages of their own, standing over 10 feet tall. It begs the question: did they once construct colossal stone edifices designed for their grandeur? And if so, where have these imposing structures gone? Could they have been quarried to create more human-scaled buildings? The thought is tempting and opens up intriguing possibilities for your D&D world.

Giant-kin and Their Primitive Lairs:

In contrast, giant-kin, such as ogres and trolls, seem far less civilized than their giant brethren. They inhabit natural formations like caves or makeshift shelters built from whatever they can scavenge. But what connects these savage creatures to true giants? Let’s explore some options for new lore that could enrich your campaign.

The Ordning Hierarchy:

True giants follow the Ordning, a social ranking system that dictates their place in giant society. Ogres and other giant-kin occupy the lowest rung on this hierarchical ladder. Even the lumbering Hill Giants, considered the weakest of the true giants, maintain their rank within the Ordning. Perhaps ogres were once Hill Giants who defied the Ordning, leading to their expulsion and transformation into the brutish creatures we know today. Their ignorance of their ancestors’ transgressions fuels their anger and perpetual hunger.

The Curious Case of Trolls:

Now, let’s take a bold leap in our interpretation of trolls. Their most renowned trait is their remarkable regenerative abilities, nullified by fire. What if trolls were once fire giants, cursed so their greatest strength became their greatest vulnerability? Reduced in size and weakened, they evolved to adapt to their newfound fragility. These mutated beings strive to overcome their weakness, forever barred from the Ordning’s embrace.

The Enigmatic Formorians:

Formorians have a compelling origin story, but it remains unclear whether they constitute a separate giant race or a tribe of an established giant lineage. Let’s introduce an enticing twist to the lore. Picture a time when forest giants existed—an elusive race showcasing the beauty of the fey, their hearts generally inclined towards goodness yet entwined with chaotic nature. Are there Formorians who retain this ancient knowledge, yearning to reclaim their lost legacy? Or have some forest giants managed to escape the curse by turning against their kin?

As a D&D game designer, these imaginative lore concepts can breathe new life into your campaign. Explore the mysteries of giants and their kin, unveil the secrets of the Ordning, and let the origin of trolls and Formorians captivate your players’ imaginations. Your world is yours to shape and expand upon, and with these fresh ideas, you’ll create a D&D experience that leaves adventurers thirsting for more.

Nerdarchy staff

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