The Swamp Giant

From the Chronicles of Lord Blackstone:

CY 581,  day 23, The Hool Marshes

Now I understand why men fear these swamps. Even though our guide, a half-olve ranger who goes by the name of Hunter, who was quite adapt in navigating through such places, was caught off guard.

Two logs came crashing through the weeds and grass, breaking the silence of the swamp.

Hunter was struck by both and was dead before he fell into the muck.

Our assailants revealed themselves from behind trees and weeds: four large humanoid figures. More than ten feet tall by my recollection. Hulking, brutish things covered  with mud, moss, and filth.

We were so close! Just a couple of more days travel at most to Westkeep!

Heinrich, dwur soldier of the Lortmils and long-time companion-at-arms, let out a great battle cry and charged into them, battle-axe in hand.

Our wizard, Nicodemus of Dyvers, yelled that they were swamp giants. Foul brethren of the hill giant race. He then cast a spell and two of the giants fell to a ball of fire, charred beyond recognition.

Vandora, cleric of Pelor, stood by with her flail to protect Nicodemus’ flank.

From all around us, without warning, several trogs and crocodiles arose out of the swamp.

We were surrounded.

I brandished my sword and screamed in rage, “Attack!”

CY 581,  day 26, Westkeep

Despite their numbers, we vanquished our foes. The combined attack with the trogs and crocs did give us a run for our money, as it were.

We were VERY lucky to survive. Heinrich’s wounds (as my own) were festering almost immediately afterward with disease. “Another trait when one comes in contact with the marsh giants”, as Vandora said while administering to our wounds.

We take our leave of Westgate on the morrow and leave for Monmurg. From there, we set sail for Gradsul on the coast of Keoland.

Ah, how Heinrich despises the sea. We’ll not hear the end of it…

SWAMP GIANT

FREQUENCY: Uncommon

NO. APPEARING: 1-6

ARMOR CLASS: 4

MOVE: 12”

HIT DICE: 10

% IN LAIR: 40%

TREASURE TYPE: E

NO. OF ATTACKS: 1

DAMAGE/ATTACK: 3-18+2

SPECIAL ATTACKS: Hurling rocks/logs for 2-20 hit points; carry disease

SPECIAL DEFENCES: Immune to disease and poison; camouflage

MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard

INTELLIGENCE: Low to Average

ALIGNMENT: Chaotic evil

SIZE: L (13’ tall)

PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil

Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

Description: The swamp giant (AKA marsh giant or bog giant) is a species of giant that lives in the marshes, swamps, and bogs of the world. Their bodies are generally covered with dirt, mud, and patches of moss. This gives them a mottled skin color of green and brown. Any clothing is a hide of crocodile and/or other marsh creature.

Combat/Tactics: Since swamp giants live in an environment in which rocks are boulders are rather uncommon, they have become proficient in throwing logs of similar weight. As far as rock/log throwing ability and carrying capacity, swamp giants are equal to frost giants.

Also, due to the swamps and marshes they live in, swamp giants have become immune to parasitic disease and poison. Since they are immune to parasites, swamp giants are excellent carries of these creatures.  When in contact with swamp giants (i.e. melee combat), PCs have a base 5% the first round, plus 1% per round (cumulative) to contract a parasitic disease.

Because of their mottled skin color and appearance, swamp giants are excellent at camouflage and remaining hidden. In game terms, when actively hiding or lying in ambush, swamp giants have a 1 in 12 chance of being detected.

Habitat/Society: Due to the swampy, marsh environment they live in, swamp giants will usually have 1-4 crocodiles as pets/guard animals. Other animals they may use are giant frogs, toads, lizards, and spiders. Depending on the remoteness of the swamp, various dinosaurs or even hydras may be employed to use as guard animals as well. Black dragons and swamp giants will share lairs (or at least be close by) for mutual defense against a common enemy, such as humans, elves and other demi-humans.

Humanoid creatures that may be in league with swamp giants are troglodytes, goblins, aquatic trolls, and aquatic ogres. Lizard men will not associate with swamp giants.

Creatures swamp giants either avoid or attack are the catoblepas, basilisks, and shambling mounds (which they attack on sight).

Swamp giant society is tribal/clannish in nature and is usually led by the smartest and/or strongest. When 12 or more are found, swamp giants are led by a shaman of 5th through 7th level. They worship various evil deities, especially demons.

Swamp giants speak their own tongue, which is similar to hill giant. A PC who speaks hill giant will understand 50% of what a swamp giant says. Swamp giants may also may know ogre, troll, troglodyte, goblin, black dragon, and Common (20% chance of each).

Ecology: Swamp giants are apex predators. They will eat almost anything and everything, even carrion and may resort to cannibalism when times are tough.

1 comment on “The Swamp Giant”

  1. Brother Oscar

    DM Nick,

    I notice the swamp giant’s movement is 12″. Can you explain this? The first thing I thought of when you mentioned the swamp giant in your podcast was, “Yeah, but wouldn’t the big fellow sink into the muck?” I’m really intrigued with the monster (and kudos on the disease thing — wouldn’t have thought of that) but I do wonder about the practicality of this big lunk wading through the bayou. Does he have big, webbed, snowshoe (muck-shoe?) feet? Does he have a minor form of permanent levitation or fly spell that lets him skate across the fetid waste? I kind of like that idea! The thought of this guy Hans Brinker-ing across the marsh surface after my players in their dugout makes me giggle in a slightly unmanly fashion!

    Thanks! Love the show!

    Brother O (D&D since 1981)

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