Head in the clouds
What are cloud giants?
Cloud giants are large even by the standards of most giants. While few live in the clouds (at least not anymore), they do typically live in high areas such as mountaintops, often above the cloud line itself. Some ancient cloud giants do retain ownership of cloud castles, structures built literally from the clouds themselves. The knowledge of how to build such structures has been lost though some believers of ancient rumours suspect the knowledge to be found in some hidden library somewhere.
Cloud giant stats
The following is the official stat block for a cloud giant in D&D 5e as published in the SRD and Monster Manual.
- Huge giant, Neutral
- Armour Class: 14 (Natural)
- Hit Points: 200 (16d12 + 96)
- Speed: 40ft
|27 (+8)||10 (+0)||22 (+6)||12 (+1)||16 (+3)||16 (+3)|
- Saving Throws: Con (+10), Wis (+7), Cha (+7)
- Skills: Insight (+7) Perception (+7)
- Senses: Passive Perception 17
- Languages: Common, Giant
- Challenge: 9 (5,000 XP)
- Proficiency bonus: +4
Keen Smell: The giant has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
Innate Spellcasting: The giant’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: detect magic, fog cloud, light
3/day each: feather fall, fly, misty step, telekinesis
1/day each: control weather, gaseous form
Multiattack: The giant makes two morningstar attacks.
Morningstar: Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d8 + 8) piercing damage.
Rock: Ranged Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 30 (4d10 + 8) bludgeoning damage.
Cloud giant tactics
Playing as a cloud giant
Cloud giants are ostentatious beings. They place value on the amassing of wealth over most other things. This means that they can turn to unsavoury methods of acquiring wealth such as imposing high tributes on those within their lands.
A cloud giant will often show off their wealth, particularly in the presence of other cloud giants, as doing so can elevate their position in the ordning. As you play as a cloud giant, find ways to let others know the extent of your wealth (and exaggerate generously too). You’ll also want to guard your wealth ferociously.
Players might choose to face a cloud giant to steal some of their wealth or acquire an important item. They might also seek to lessen the tribute imposed upon the people of a cloud giant’s lands.
If fighting as a cloud giant, I’d recommend some of the following tactics:
- Ranged attacks are better: Cloud giants do more damage at range so try to use your rock attack as much as you can.
- Use minions: Cloud giants typically live on their own or in small groups. They do however, like to keep pets to do their bidding. Typically, these are flying creatures like wyverns due to where they live. Use these to help control the battlefield and keep characters occupied while the cloud giant girls rocks.
- Use verticality: not only do cloud giants live in lofty locations, they are also practically immune to the negative effects of falling due to spells like feather fall and fly. Add to this the fact they have flying minions and you can cause some real problems for players by making falling a threat. With a high strength as well, consider using a grapple to drag characters off a ledge. As a huge character, this shouldn’t impede a cloud giants movement either. Be careful you don’t end up too much of a scumbag though, maybe keep your heights low enough it doesn’t result in instant death.
- Control weather: Prior to combat, you can create problems for players with a little spell called control weather. It’s no good once combat starts, but create devastating environmental effects for players by creating a blizzard as they cross a rickety rope bridge or sidle along the edge of a mountain ledge.
Fighting a cloud giant
If you end up facing a cloud giant, I’d suggest using some of the following tactics:
- Get tanks in close: as capable as they are in melee combat, cloud giants do more damage at range by throwing rocks. Get tanks in close to soak up the damage and avoid your Spellcasters from getting squashed.
- Get ready for a fall: Be prepared for the fact the cloud giant will be fighting you up high and you may take a big fall. Come prepared with spells like feather fall, levitate or fly to compensate. Be wary of it grapples you too, it might be about to drag you off a ledge. Plus with its huge size, it’s movement won’t be impeded.
- Use saving throws wisely: Cloud giants are proficient in all the most common spell saving throws (constitution, wisdom and charisma) so avoid these saving throws if possible. Dexterity saving throws are a great option though and the rarely seen intelligence saving throws so use these if you can. You may want to stick to spell attacks though anyway as cloud giants only have 14AC.
About cloud giants
|Life span||400 yrs|
Like other giants, cloud giants trace their lineage back to Annam the All-Father. They stand about 24 feet tall and weigh 11,500 pounds making them some of the largest even among other giants. Cloud giants typically have attractive and well-defined faces with skin that is milky white or sky blue. They typically wear fine clothes that demonstrate their wealth. When wearing protective gear, they rarely wear armour and instead, prefer magical protection.
Cloud giants rarely show their real faces in public, instead, they tend to wear masks as Memnor (the chief deity of cloud giants) does. These masks are usually fancy, adorned with precious gems and metals. They will often have a variety of masks to express different moods that they might be feeling at a given time. Of course, having so many ornate masks comes at a cost and only the richest of cloud giants can afford the myriad masks required to express a full range of emotions.
Cloud giants tend not to live in large groups or settlements; they prefer to remain more discreet and out of the way of others. Instead, they tend to live in small family groups. Typically, this includes a mating pair, their children if they have any and possibly some close relatives. It’s not that cloud giants are fearful of any particular foe, but the treasure they would amass together would likely attract an endless stream of adventurers and dragons that cloud giants would prefer to avoid the hassle of, similar to how humans might sweep clean their floor to avoid the annoyance of a rat infestation.
While living in relative isolation, cloud giants are aware of, and know their nearest cloud giant neighbours, even if the distance between them is hundreds of miles away. If there is a problem, they are quickly able to mobilise together if there’s a necessity to assemble.
Many cloud giants do like to take on pets such as wyverns, griffons or owls. Typically, they choose beasts of the sky due to where they live.
Place in the ordning
The ordning is the method by which giants determine their social status. Cloud giants retain elevated status among other giant types, but within cloud giant society, their order in the ordning is dependant primarily based on the wealth they display (hidden wealth does not count). Often, this is shown-off ostentatiously within their homes with gold-leaf framed windows, pearl encrusted tapestries or many other extravagant displays of wealth.
Gift giving is another way that cloud giants demonstrate their wealth. While cloud giants do not gain some great feeling of fulfillment by gift-giving, doing so publicly demonstrates the extent of their wealth. Typically though, they will attempt to do so by giving the impression of a valuable and wonderful gift that actually, is less valuable than assumed. This usually works as the receiver of the gift is unlikely to “out” the gift giver as this would undermine the presumed wealth and status in which they are regarded as well.
Wealth is often gained by demanding tribute from those dwelling in the lands over which the cloud giants claim ownership. They feel justified in doing so based on their superior impression of themselves and the fact that they provide greater safety by their mere presence. Other creatures such as dragons will generally steer clear of a cloud giant’s land. Of course, the cloud giants tend to see the logic of this arrangement more than their subjects. Typically, this tribute takes the form of livestock and crops, though cloud giants are renowned for growing stunning gardens of huge plants as avid gardeners themselves.
Cloud giants will also amass wealth through gambling with one another. This is more than a mere pass-time or form of entertainment, rather, it is viewed as a bloodless feud between different families with each cloud giant taking great offense at any loss with family lines holding grudges for generations with the intention of besting another family in their game of choice.