Monster Analysis: Zombie Stone Giant

  • First Appearance: 28 The Sun Tree
  • Encounter Appearance: 32 Against the Tide of Bone
  • Armor Class: 8 (standard Zombie AC)
  • Speed 40 ft
  • Average/Max HP: 126, 187 (Stone Giant)
  • 300 taken by Giant 1; 44+Mace of Disruption HDYWTDT by Pike
  • 266 taken by Giant 2; 38 by Vax (saved Con), 22 HDYWTDT by Vex

There are many fun things about zombies. The first is that the MM actually gives the DM advice on how to turn any monster into a zombie. Sure, we generally think of zombies as common humanoids, but here we see a great example of a standard MM entry being granted (probably unwillingly, to be fair) the abilities of a zombie. That means that the health and basic attacks of the Stone Giants remain (boulder toss, club multiattack), even if their self-preservation has left (8 AC, man).

Equally as mindless and single-purpose as the skeletons, what zombies lack in the strategy they may have had as living creatures, they make up for in necromantic constitution. As we saw for the second giant, zombies can make a Con save when their HP is brought to 0, bringing them to 1 on a success. This is bypassed entirely in the case of radiant damage (woo Pike) or a critical hit.

As we alluded earlier, it’s likely that the undead giants reported directly to Lady Briarwood as victims of her Finger of Death. These mean that they follow orders equally well as the skeletons, following the literal interpretation of their instructions. Their presence is actually a bit more formidable than that of the skeletons (as the death tally shows), and more than one of them are certainly problematic. Individually, though, versus the might of the war cleric and high-damage dealing adventurers, they are mostly another spell slot drain. Their defeat signaled another oppressive force removed from the people of Whitestone, granting a boost to morale and a city backing the heroic (and vengeful) machinations of Vox Machina.