Steading of the Hill Giant Chieftain

Part one of a four-part re-imagining of Against the Giants is up, written by Chris Perkins no less. I have been a huge fan of Perkins ever since he started doing the Penny Arcade podcasts, and his Dungeon Master Experience column has been invaluable in writing my own loose, sandbox campaign.

I never read or even played Against the Giants (or for that matter, Revenge of the Giants), but I am guessing that the plot is basically the same: groups of various giant types have been ruining the shit of people on a fairly large scale, and it is up to the characters to deal with them (actually to be fair, in the adventure it mentions that your group isn't the first to try and tackle the problem). Fortunately the giants follow general RPG logic and the nearest settlement also features the lowest level fare.

Since the adventure revolves around breaking into a hill giant's steading, it is location based and features ten "combat encounters" (well, eleven but it is also intended to be able to dealt with via social role-playing), which is not a big deal when you take a step back and realize just how big the steading is. The monster load out is pretty diverse, yet still makes sense in context: of course there are giants, but they also have ogres, bugbears, umber hulks, and a couple other giants holing up with them for various reasons (diplomats from other clans and a fire giant that is making weapons for them).

Even so it is not a massive, drawn out slug-fest and there are quite a few things about this adventure that I really dig, such as being able to negotiate with the big-bad if you find the proper leverage, little details such as the random junk table and a specific mention of a giant's crossbow breaking if it is used as a melee weapon too many times, being able to sneak past encounters using Bluff and/or Stealth checks, and barrel-, pot-, and cauldron-hurling hill giant cooks.

A good start so far. A much better reason to break out all the Large minis than Revenge of the Giants, and I am looking forward to seeing the rest (even if I never get to run them).

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