Hill giants are the weakest of the true giants. They are less smart, less strong and less charismatic than all other true giants. The only thing they’re better at is eating (if being better at eating means you can eat more of the stuff). Hill giants live to eat, it’s not just a necessity of life, they take great pleasure out of eating and will do so at absolutely every opportunity. This does mean that almost all hill giants are extraordinarily fat.
Hill giant information
|Life span||200 yrs|
Hill giant description
Hill giants are the shortest and the fattest of all true giants standing at around 16 feet and weighing about 4,500 pounds (though morbidly obese hill giants can manage to double that weight). They have tan coloured skin and are generally dirty and foul smelling creatures having little concept of personal hygiene. Generally, features considered attractive to most races (slim, muscular, straight teeth etc) are considered worthy of scorn and mockery by hill giants who care little for such things.
They generally wear furs and skins though these tended to be poorly stitched together. Because of their lack of hygiene, their clothes are often soaked with sweat and even blood and are rarely repaired when damaged meaning it’s not unusual to find hill giants wearing tattered, threadbare clothing.
Hill giant Stat Block
The following is the official stat block for a hill giant in D&D 5e.
- Huge giant, Chaotic Evil
- Armour Class: 13 (natural armour)
- Hit Points: 105 (10d12 + 40)
- Speed: 40ft
|21 (+5)||8 (-1)||19 (+4)||5 (-3)||9 (-1)||6 (-2)|
- Skills: Perception (+2)
- Senses: Passive Perception 12
- Languages: Giant
- Challenge: 5 (18,000 XP)
- Proficiency bonus: +3
Multiattack: The giant makes 2 greatclub attacks.
Greatclub: Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
Rock: Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
Place in the ordning
Like with other true giants, hill giants follow the hierarchical status known as the ordning. This is a measure of the seniority and capability of a giant within their social structure. All giants have different criteria by which the ordning is measured and for hill giants, it’s their ability to eat, a lot! The fattest and largest hill giant will always become their leader. It doesn’t matter how strong, clever or charismatic they are, if they’re the fattest, then they’re the greatest among hill giants with slimmer hill giants occupying a lowly position within the ordning.
Hill giant culture
While hill giants love to eat, they are definitely no connoisseurs of fine cuisine. In fact, they are the opposite. A hill giant does not care what goes into its mouth, it could be a rotting carcass, mouldy bread or some other revolting food, they do not care, they just want to sate their everlasting hunger. It’s not clear if their ability to stomach any food is due to a lack of a sense of smell or the fact that their hunger is so intense that they’ll tolerate anything to satisfy it, but nothing seems to stop them eating. Even on the rare occassion that food makes a hill giant sick, they will learn nothing from the experience and continue their disgusting eating habit.
Because of their revolting eating habits, hill giant dens are lairs of indescribable stench and squalor. Rotting carcasses line the floor and hill giants generally live within their own filth, seeing little point in making any attempt at maintaining acceptable hygiene standards. This behaviour tends to attract similarly minded creatures that feed off of such waste like oozes, ropers and carrion crawlers. The presence of such creatures is generally tolerated as they provide the little cleaning that a hill giant den might occasionally get. Though no attempt to domesticate such creatures is ever attempted.
Hill giants do like to amuse themselves, typically through the use of eating games. One such game is known as stuff-stuff and is essentially a competition in which hill giants attempt to stuff as many small humanoids (such as halflings, gnomes or dwarves) into their mouth at the same time. The winner is the one with the most creatures in their mouth.
The only time hill giants will not eat is sometimes before a raid. Known as mouths of Grolantor, some hill giants may be caged and starved before the raid in order to build them into a frenzied state so that they’ll attack with greater ferocity.
Hill giant religion
Grolantor is the god favoured by most hill giants. He is also the son least favoured by All-Father Annam. He was the weakest and least intelligent of his 6 brothers and though he was fairly strong, he rarely made good use of this ability instead, satisfying his great hunger by stealing the food from his siblings that they had hunted or playing tricks on them. This invariably got him into lots of trouble and led to many beatings, though he insisted he should be given the same level of honour as his brothers, this wasn’t a status he deserved or earned.
You can learn more about hill giants and other creatures of the D&D universe by buying a copy of Volo’s Guide to Monsters.