Friday, July 28, 2017

Moon Giant

It’s a miracle my interest in D&D survived my first play session—in one of those classic situations that can only happen in fourth or fifth grade, my DM refused to give me any guidance on equipping my character, leaving me to face, if I recall correctly, Cerberus and Zeus armed only with a club.  I was not pleased to be handed a d4 and told I had picked the worst weapon in the game.

But said awful DM was in my Cub Scout troop, and on one of our first campouts he brought Dragonlance Adventures.  I still remember sitting in his tent skimming page after page until I came to the chart about tracking the phases of the moon for your magic-user.  That kind of detail was totally my jam—so much so that I almost forgave him the club incident.  Almost.

So needless to say, I dig Bestiary 5’s moon giant.  (In fact, if anything I wish its waxing and waning lunar auras were dependent on the phases of the moon, because I’m weird like that.)  I like the idea of notions like a bad moon rising having consequences in how an encounter plays out.  I like the little touches of theming that went into the stats (control water tucked in among the spell-like abilities for divination and communication was a nice touch).  And who doesn’t love an ability like Impact Crater, which is both evocative in itself and has an actual effect on the terrain?  All in all, a nice marriage of flavor and abilities for an unusual giant type.

While attempting to decipher the glyphs of an ancient stone calendar, adventurers inadvertently wake the magic in the rocks.  This opens a secret door to a cavern complex they can explore…but it also summons three moon giant cults to conclave.  When the adventurers return to the surface, the moon giants demand that they participate in the giantmoot—they put out the call, after all.  If the adventurers are perceived to be shirking their duties, the giants attack.

The moon giants of Imar originated on the moon.  They are the descendants of explorers who became trapped on Imar, their gate magic inexplicably failing them on the return trip.  For the most part they have accepted their lot, but recently a lunar dragon’s tales of some vague calamity befalling the moon giants’ ancestral capital has had the tribes clamoring for some method—any method—to return home.  This has led to otherwise peaceable moon giant clans suddenly consorting with shantaks, witchwyrds, and worse.

Moon giants on worlds with more than one moon tend to physically favor one particular satellite—for instance, an individual giants’ skin may be more of a bluish or reddish cast to reflect the terrain of the particular moon he was born under.  These giants still feel the pull of all the moons, however.  Often this makes them more gifted in oracular powers than ordinary moon giants, but also far more likely to fall sway to the influence of a bad moon and other dire astrological combinations.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 122

I now own Dragonlance Adventures.  (I bought it earlier this year.)  I should write a “Books of Magic” installment about it sometime.

Also, I think my Cub Scout DM did let me have a dire wolf puppy, so he wasn’t all bad.

It’s Tuesday night's radio show!  I used Belle and Sebastian's "Mayfly" as a springboard for a two hours of shimmery twee pop and other delights.  Plus new music, Jagwar Ma and Cymbals Eat Guitars, and 10 years of Tegan and Sara's The Con.  Stream or download it now till Monday, 07/31/17, at midnight.

1 comment:

  1. There is a precedent for fighting Cerberus armed only with a club.