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Monster Vault Preview: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . cloud giant!

Monster Vault Preview: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . cloud giant!

The Tales of the Valiant roleplaying game is out! But we’ve got time for one more—not really a preview, but a post-view maybe?—of the Monster Vault. On sale now!


As the creators of the Creature Codex and the Tome of Beasts series, we wanted to give the same love and care for the earliest 5E monsters that we gave to our other monsters. To accomplish that, we noted a few key points we wanted for each monster:

  • Clear Identity. For each creature, we worked to answer, “What makes this creature special? How is it thematically different from other creatures of its type, terrain, or niche?”
  • Unique Features. In clarifying identity, we set ourselves up for better creating unique features. We worked to answer, “What mechanics make this creature different from other creatures? How can we fold its identity into its game mechanics?”
  • Streamlined Statistics. The most obvious change to monsters in Monster Vault comes in our streamlining of the stat block, making a monster’s statistics and features easier to parse at-a-glance. The stat block presented here should give you an idea of some of the changes we made. Compare them to the creature you’ve been using from other source!

Today’s example creature is the cloud giant, a flying giant that lives on mountaintops and among the clouds.

In clarifying the identity of giants, we wanted to hammer in each of the themes introduced with the core giants. For the cloud giant, we honed in on the cloud-shaping and cloud-manipulating aspect. Not only does their lore describe castles built in the clouds, but their mechanics support it. They can create cloud cover, cause clouds to become solid, and push unwanted visitors off their cloud palaces with a burst of wind. We hope these changes make combat with the cloud giant more interesting and memorable, encouraging PCs to think tactically about how they approach and face such a foe.

Could Giant

This towering giant has skin the blue-gray of a stormy sky and hair floating around its head like clouds bathed in a sunrise. It gazes at the world beneath it with fierce eyes.

High Above All. Cloud giants are above other creatures, figuratively and literally, lairing in mighty castles on mountain peaks or on floating cloud islands drifting over the land. They consider themselves superior to most creatures, including other giants, except perhaps storm giants. Some lean into this sense of superiority and use their innate might to subjugate others, ruling all land visible from the tops of their mountain homes. Others keep themselves apart from those bound to trod the land, seeing earthly concerns as beneath their notice and turning their gaze to the heavens and the concerns of flying creatures.

Cloud Shapers. Cloud giants have an innate connection to clouds and can walk across clouds as earthly creatures walk across the land. They can gather and form clouds into a variety of shapes, often creating whole cities from cloud stuff. Earthly visitors to cloud giant cities must be careful, though. Not all such places are protected by magic that would allow an earthly visitor to walk the clouds as easily as the giants.

Cloud Giant                  CR 9

Huge Giant
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 175
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft.
Perception 17               Stealth 10
Vulnerable Giant Attributes
Resistant cold | Giant Attributes
Senses
Languages Giant

STRDEXCONINT WISCHA
+8+0+10+1+7+8

Cloudsight. The cloud giant can see through areas obscured by clouds, fog, smoke, and steam without penalty.

Giant Attributes. The cloud giant is resistant to the stunned condition, and it is vulnerable to the prone condition.

Heightened Smell. The cloud giant’s Perception is 22 when perceiving by smell.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The cloud giant makes three Cloud-Coated Mace attacks, or it makes two Wind Burst attacks.

Cloud-Coated Mace. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d6 + 8) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) cold damage.

Wind Burst. Ranged Spell Attack: +8 to hit, range 150 ft., one target. Hit: 31 (5d10 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 16 STR save or be pushed up to 10 feet away from the cloud giant and knocked prone.

BONUS ACTIONS

Cloud Cover. The cloud giant creates a 20-foot cube of clouds centered on a point it can see within 60 feet of it. The cube spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. The cloud lasts for 1 minute, until the cloud giant dies, or until the cloud giant uses this bonus action again.

Condense. The cloud giant causes a 20-foot-radius sphere of cloud, fog, smoke, or steam centered on a point it can see within 60 feet of it to become as thick as mud, making the area difficult terrain for creatures moving through it. A creature that starts its turn in the hardened cloud must succeed on a DC 15 STR save or be restrained until the start of its next turn. The cloud remains condensed for 1 minute, until the cloud giant dies, or until the cloud giant uses this bonus action again.

REACTIONS

Cirrus Deflection. The cloud giant creates a bit of hardened cloud between it and an attacker, increasing the giant’s AC by 4. To do so, it must be able to see the attacker.

The Tales of the Valiant Monster Vault is here! Over 400 classic monsters from 5E history (and some surprises)!
Get your copy in PDF here!

6 thoughts on “Monster Vault Preview: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . cloud giant!”

  1. there are good ideas; however, I just don’t like these new ability scores… STR +8. okay, guess two shadows can beat up a cloud giant with a few good rolls, decreasing its STR below zero. Or shadows don’t reduce STR score by D6, only by 1 maybe? Or don’t reduce STR at all? What happens when a creatures score drops below zero? Die? I guess not (looking at you STR -1 spellcasters, or -1 CHA warriors). I guess nobody cares about the thrill of ability score reductions, exhaustion (is it on a scale of 1 to 10 instead of the 1 to 6 levels to make it more “EZ”?). What about encumbrance and how much weight can a creature lift? I mean, I guess the answer is “who cares” again soo… everything is alright with this game :)

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