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Giant sizes, how have they changed?


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Since D&D 5E giants are back to the 2E sizes ( Hill 16', Stone & Fire 18', Frost 21'),  perhaps Reaper can dust off the enormous classic looking giants and get them in white plastic for Bones KS III.

02579: Blorg, Hill Giant - 02599: Frorigh, Frost Giant - 02647: Gunther, Fire Giant

This was in the "Bones We'd Like to See" thread. I didn't want to derail, so here's a new thread.

 

How have giants changed over the years in D&D and other games? Why were they changed? Do the changes make certain minis obsolete, assuming one is strict about base size and scale?

 

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds

Ahh.  I hadn't considered the 1980s great demons-and-devils-purge-big-satanism-scare as a factor in the giants being scaled up in 2E.   The history of backroom politics is so illuminating sometimes.

I have to admit that I haven't really paid much attention to the height and weight listed for individual giants from 3.x on. I think probably because most of my players came from 1st and 2nd Edition,

 

Since D&D 5E giants are back to the 2E sizes ( Hill 16', Stone & Fire 18', Frost 21'),  perhaps Reaper can dust off the enormous classic looking giants and get them in white plastic for Bones KS III.

02579: Blorg, Hill Giant - 02599: Frorigh, Frost Giant - 02647: Gunther, Fire Giant

This was in the "Bones We'd Like to See" thread. I didn't want to derail, so here's a new thread.

 

How have giants changed over the years in D&D and other games? Why were they changed? Do the changes make certain minis obsolete, assuming one is strict about base size and scale?

 

Inquiring minds want to know.

 

 

Yes always in need of more giants

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Well, the sizes for most of the 2E giants are huge which is 12' + to 25' except for the wood, verbeeg and firbolg which are large, and the storm which is gargantuan. So for game purposes I suppose that it would be ok as long as they were based correctly, but I don't play 5E so I'm not sure about their rules. I actually like the 3E change to the fire giant, since they have always been listed as being built like dwarves. I never did understand Reaper's take on the frost giant though, except Frorigh and Frulla, but hey maybe frost giants in their world had dwarfism.

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I have to admit that I haven't really paid much attention to the height and weight listed for individual giants from 3.x on. I think probably because most of my players came from 1st and 2nd Edition, and we already had a firm idea of what they looked-like in our minds. So i just snatched up minis that fit the concept of the giant in question; did he need a club, a spear, a sword, and was he the right race of giant? Then I was happy.

 

I've also always kept a wide open mind when it comes to scale for giants. I find my players don't generally notice the difference between one mini that is greatly larger than their PCs and another, unless it is HUGELY larger. They seem more preoccupied with whatever weapon the giant is carrying. The more dangerous-looking, the more impressed they are.

 

For me an issue comes up only in the opposite direction, where something is supposed to be a giant - and impressive - but the mini is just not that much bigger than the PCs.

 

So, for me at least, scale creep may have muddied the waters when it comes to giants, but not in a way that has been really detrimental to my games. I did have a longterm player who did sometimes comment when, say, a new ogre mini appeared more "true-giant" sized than the old Ral Parthas, because he was afraid that the difference in minis would be reflected in-game, but what we settled on was to just understand it was all about base size. Unless a rule stated otherwise, in 3.x, base size generally determined reach, so as long as the giant had the right base size, he was happy. So that's still generally the standard I go by, as we play Pathfinder, and it remains relevant.

 

We don't use a grid when we play Pathfinder, we measure. And sometimes we just eyeball the bases. So having the right base size is the most important thing for us.

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Let's see, I'll just list the ones from the edition I play (AD&D 1e): 

  • Ogre (if one considers Ogres as part of the Giant family): L (9'+ tall)
  • Verbeeg: L (8 1/2' - 10' tall)
  • Firbolg: L (10 1/2' tall)
  • Hill Giant: L (10 1/2' tall)
  • Stone Giant: L (12' tall)
  • Fire Giant: L (12' tall)
  • Formorian: L (13 1/2' tall)
  • Mountain Giant: L (14' tall)
  • Frost Giant: L (15' tall)
  • Cloud GIant: L (18'tall)
  • Fog Giant: L (18' tall)
  • Titan (if one considers Titans as part of the Giant family): L (18'+ tall)
  • Storm Giant: L (21' tall)
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I'm with dsmiles on this one. I always remember the main D&D giant types being in 3 foot steps. Storm (21), Cloud (18), Frost (15), Fire & Stone (12), Hill (10). Ok so the Hill is a bit off the 3 foot pattern. Anyways! More giants would be nice. Especially some more female giants. Has anybody ever made a female Hill Giant?

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I'm with dsmiles on this one. I always remember the main D&D giant types being in 3 foot steps. Storm (21), Cloud (18), Frost (15), Fire & Stone (12), Hill (10). Ok so the Hill is a bit off the 3 foot pattern. Anyways! More giants would be nice. Especially some more female giants. Has anybody ever made a female Hill Giant?

 

I always used Frulla Krung (02622) with different paint jobs. Only recently has anyone addressed the idea of female giants at ALL.

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I'm with dsmiles on this one. I always remember the main D&D giant types being in 3 foot steps. Storm (21), Cloud (18), Frost (15), Fire & Stone (12), Hill (10). Ok so the Hill is a bit off the 3 foot pattern. Anyways! More giants would be nice. Especially some more female giants. Has anybody ever made a female Hill Giant?

 

I always used Frulla Krung (02622) with different paint jobs. Only recently has anyone addressed the idea of female giants at ALL.

 

I wonder why it took so long. The all male races generally produced by mini makers is really annoying. There's no shortage of "elf chicks". It's like if it's not an anorexic blonde sculptures generally just don't know what to do. But I'm starting to rant. ^_^

 

Back on topic. Having really gigantic giant minis just isn't practical. In my world setting I just have the all giants types (which are just different ethnicities of the same species) stand roughly twice the height a human (and halflings stand at half the height of a human). So the Reaper giants are pretty much perfect for that scale.

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Can't remember which supplement it was, but D&D introduced a bizarre scenario involving some rather atypical fire giant women.

I can't say they'd ever make the cover of Vanity Fair, but they did look better than your usual "ogres painted black," or "giant black dwarves."

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In Pathfinder, Storm and Cloud giants are a 60mm base, all the rest are 40mm base, which seems short to me considering enlarge person puts you up to a 40mm base..

 

Pathfinder and 3.5 both had the same trope of 25mm being "medium," 40mm being "large", and either 60 or 75mm being "Huge" with other critters varying here and there.  To them, the base size and getting reach was important.

 

I'd have to doublecheck on 3.5 and pathfinder giant heights, but the bases are something I am fairly confident about.

 

Also, Monkeysloth:  That is a big giant.  Wow. 

 

And Ral Partha (Ironwind) have a female giant.  It's one of the few early ones I can recall.

Edited by Darkmeer
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I'm with dsmiles on this one. I always remember the main D&D giant types being in 3 foot steps. Storm (21), Cloud (18), Frost (15), Fire & Stone (12), Hill (10). Ok so the Hill is a bit off the 3 foot pattern. Anyways! More giants would be nice. Especially some more female giants. Has anybody ever made a female Hill Giant?

 

 

I always used Frulla Krung (02622) with different paint jobs. Only recently has anyone addressed the idea of female giants at ALL.

We had quite a debate around here, shortly after Yephima was introduced maybe a year ago-ish, about female giants and what they could look like and do. Female hill giants were brought up back then, too, as I recall.

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In Pathfinder, Storm and Cloud giants are a 60mm base, all the rest are 40mm base, which seems short to me considering enlarge person puts you up to a 40mm base..

 

?

 

In Pathfinder, base sizes are mostly not specified. To the extent that they are, the sizes are "fits in a cube X squares on a side" and the default square size is 25mm/1".

 

Are you referring to the sizes of the pawns in the various Bestiary boxes?

 

Anyway, for Pathfinder (all heights are for males, females, where different, are "slightly shorter and lighter"):

 

Cloud Giant: Huge, 18' tall, 5000#

Fire Giant: Large, 12-16' tall, 7000#

Frost Giant: Large, 15' tall, 2800#

Hill Giant: Large, 10' tall, 1100#

Stone Giant: Large, 12' tall, 1500#

Storm Giant: Huge, 21' tall, 12000#

Cyclops: Large, 9' tall, 600#

Ogre: Large, 10' tall, 650#

 

Marsh Giant: Large, No height or weight specified

Rune Giant: Gargantuan, 40' tall, 25000#

Taiga Giant: Huge, 20' tall, 10000#

Wood Giant: Large, 14' Tall, 1200#

 

Ash Giant: Large, 10' tall, 1200#

Cave Giant: Large, 10', 1000#

Desert Giant: Large, 15', 2000#

Jungle Giant: Huge, 17', 4000#

 

Cliff Giant: Large, 14', 1300#

Ocean Giant: Huge, 22', 15000#

River Giant: Large, 10', 900#

Slag Giant: Large, 14', 3000#

 

For me, I wouldn't obsolete a figure if the size changed. It would become a different type, or just get placed on a base of the appropriate size if that seemed necessary. (I will often use "sabot" bases -- removable, attached with magnets -- if I need a figure on a different sized base). But I consider minis to be pretty counters having no special effect on the play of the game other than coolness.

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