Monster Analysis: Stone Giants (Icozrin Steelworks)

Thanks to @HighScoreKid for this art piece!

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-59 Perspective

  • Armor Class ≦ 19 (suggested 17)

  • Speed 40 ft

  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 14

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 126, 187

    • Giant 1: 91 damage taken

    • Giant 2: 3 damage taken

    • Soorna: 46 damage taken, temporarily turned into an orca by Jester

Stone giants are typically of average intelligence, and are usually content to remain within the solitude of their clan provided they are left undisturbed. As such, it’s generally a little easier to negotiate with them than say, a hill giant or an ettin, who tend to be more aggressive and more interested in eating whatever crosses their path than talking. That said, a stone giant will defend their land with as much cunning and tenacity they can muster, making the rare instances they make a grab for territory more than a minor nuisance for those affected.

This skirmish was a prime example of potentially avoidable combat. Though the Nein didn’t know a lot about stone giants going into the Steelworks, they had heard enough from Professor Waccoh and the Steelworks employees to know that it was incredibly unusual for them to have left their mountain home and taken up residence in a place designed for neither residence nor giants. The Nein attempted to sneak up to learn about the encampment, only to catch a wary stone giant’s eye, who naturally made to protect their makeshift home. At that point, they could have all run away, but that would have gotten them no closer to an answer to why the giants were there nor to a way of getting the giants out of the camp permanently.

With combat initiated, the Nein could have gone in metaphorical guns blazing, but they opted to continue their strategy of learning about the giants and the Steelworks before striking. Beau and Yasha got within range, and Fjord attempted to diffuse the situation by charming the two less wise of the three giants. Equally mistrustful of the small people attempting to break into her stronghold, Soorna fired back with a Hold Person of her own. From there, damage dealing combat was initiated by Nott as the Nein showed their might against the outnumbered stone giants. Once Jester cast Polymorph and turned Soorna the Landspeaker into a whale, the remaining real danger was taken care of. Fjord and Caduceus were able to talk the two Charmed giants down and convince Soorna that the Mighty Nein wanted to help.

The Nein perhaps should consider themselves fortunate that they worked themselves into a position of negotiation. While they certainly could have finished these three without asking questions, the addition of five more combat-hardened stone giants back from the hunt shortly after the first encounter would have proved troublesome. Instead, their slightly less than uneasy alliance gave them an opportunity to investigate the root of the problem.