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Shoulders of Giants: Instant Stronghold

Shoulders of Giants: Instant Stronghold

Looking to whip up a quick, giant-filled fortress and stock it with something neat? Need a good place to hide your macguffin until your heroes are ready to go get it? Did you spice up your world map with a line like “Here there be giants” and now you need to back that up?

Throw together a unique stronghold with these one-roll tables to keep PCs occupied as they take on monsters four times their size!

Just grab one die of each size (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20), roll them all at once. Use the results on the appropriate charts to create a stronghold all your own. You can also use the entries as idea springboards for your own creations.

d4Stronghold Size
1A giant’s hovel. Roll 1d4 to determine how many rooms the residents have to work with. You determine room size (but typically each room is four or five times as large as the resident giant).
2Average for a country giant, small for an organized clan. Roll 1d6 + 1 to determine the number of rooms in the stronghold.
3Comfortable for smaller giants and those in smaller communes. Roll 1d10 + 2 to determine the number of rooms in the stronghold.
4Expansive. The envy of giants everywhere else. Roll 1d12 + 3 and 1d4 + 1 to determine the number of smaller rooms and larger communal spaces, respectively.
d6Regional Complications
1The giants demand tribute from everyone around.
2The giants like to “borrow” cattle and other livestock. 
3Resident giants means giant beasts. What do they feed their pets to make them so big?
4Giant wars. It seems every other season, at least two clans go to war. Those caught in the crossfire have it the worst.
5Raiding. A straightforward and predictable nuisance. 
6Giant yodeling frequently shatters glass windows, undermines foundations, frightens livestock, and causes rockslides.
d8Stronghold Occupants
1Fiery, ill-tempered giantkin.
2The lesser cousins of giants: trolls, ettins, and ogres.
3The cave-dwellers of the giant world.
4Spooky giants that play with magic, the void, and extraplanar esoterica.
5Giants that make their livings on waterways or reside deep within the sea’s embrace.
6Frigid giantkin with cold shoulders and harsh manners to offer.
7The forest-dwellers of the giant world.
8Giants who wander wastelands, lord over badlands, and stride amid desert dunes.
d10Stronghold Location
1Mountainside caves. 
2Deep beneath the surface. 
3Up in the clouds. 
4Nestled in the hills. 
5On the coast, either in grotto caves or within massive, hollow shells. 
6In someone else’s stronghold. 
7Amid the bones of even more giant ancestors. 
8A village overtaken in war. 
9An extraplanar residence.
10Beneath the boughs of colossal trees. 
d12Unique Treasure
1A hoard of gold and gilded weapons. They’re as bad as dragons, these giants.
2Sheep that grow golden fleece or geese that lay platinum eggs.
3Fruit that grants incredibly strength to whomever eats it. Guarded jealously.
4The secret recipes of the gods, held in solemn oath for ages unending.
5Wondrous ore, from which the giants craft impenetrable armor, fortifications, and the sharpest weapons and tools. The giants barter this ore, but only at the highest of prices.
6The souls of the dead, contained in phylacteries crafted from the finger-bones of their fallen.
7Beans that contain the power to keep you awake against all odds. Used for beverages hot and cold. Craved by gnomes.
8The magical weapon prophesied to slay the dark lord or the fearsome mountain drake. A must-have for any heroic aspirant.
9An arcane or divine secret, held with cult-like devotion.
10An oasis font, from which everlasting youth flows.
11A community that thrives not by might, but by togetherness and inclusion. Guarded most heavily because it is so precious.
12The most terrible of creatures, caged beneath chain, lock, and key. But does the cruel thing’s very influence corrupt the giants and the surrounding area?
d20Unique Feature
1Everything here is a shade of green, and the giants are frequently, inexplicably sick.
2The giants here are related to the region’s local ruler.
3There is a comprehensive library within.
4Fortifications are twice as resilient as can be expected.
5The whole stronghold, and its inhabitants, is an illusion.
6All of the denizens are albino.
7A rainbow shines from the center of the stronghold every seventh day at dawn.
8Smaller folk live in harmony with the giants, exchanging goods and services for protection with goodwill.
9The giants specialize in training one or two different kinds of giant beast, using them as familiars, beasts of burden, transportation, or implements of war.
10A black market is hosted here every full moon. Because of the giants’ demeanor, it is the only venue that can be trusted.
11Giants here are especially superstitious and observe The Old Ways of doing things.
12A complex network of air tubes and messenger ways connect all the areas of the stronghold.
13All the doors are sentient and enjoy riddles or jokes.
14This stronghold produces a prized trade good found nowhere else in the world.
15Giants here practice self-study and reflection, walking the paths of monks and ascetics.
16These giants are dedicated warmongers, riling up other residents of the area to fight among themselves.
17The stronghold is still new in its founding. Construction is everywhere.
18The area is haunted, but the giants don’t mind.
19The immediate region is populated by aberrant beasts and ferocious monstrosities, making it nigh impossible to access to the stronghold unless you are a giant or are with one.
20The weather in the area is always agitated.

Find giants and other big threats in the latest Kobold Press monster book, Tome of Beasts 3.
You can also pre-order a remastered edition of our fine work, Tome of Beasts 1 (2023 edition) now!

about Sebastian Rombach

We can neither confirm nor deny that Sebastian is actually three raccoons in a trenchcoat. His freelance contributions can be found in Tome of Beasts 2, Tome of Heroes, and more. You can roll dice with him at https://startplaying.games/gm/dontbreakthedm or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @dontbreakthedm.

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