AGE Bestiary: Giants is the latest pdf release for the AGE system from Green Ronin. It is a short pdf at only 6 pages of content, but it only costs $1.99.
The first section of the pdf offers some very brief background material and game master advice. The background material really feels too brief to be useful, but the game master advice is a little better even though it is still pretty brief. For the most part, I feel like this section could have been much better if it were tied to a specific setting rather than trying to be generic.
The second section presents three monsters. The three monsters are the lesser giant, greater giant, and cyclops. The generic giants are relatively simple brute monsters with high Constitution and Strength scores, good armor, and high damage attacks. The most interesting part of their stats are two powers, Big and Stand Still So I Can Smash You, that together differentiate the giants from other monsters. Big tweaks the costs of some stunts to help a giant feel big and lumbering, and Stand Still So I Can Smash You makes it harder for giants to hit targets smaller than themselves. The cyclops is similar to the lesser giant with a few slightly different stats and a Divine Favor stunt that can provide it with a lasting boon.
The third section offers two templates for modifying existing monsters. The first can be used on the giants presented in the previous section to give them elemental powers similar to those possessed by fire, frost, stone, and storm giants in Dungeons & Dragons. Since fire and frost giants are my favorite giant varieties from D&D, I was pretty happy to see this section. The template has 3 levels (elite, heroic, and epic) with each adding more powers. I particularly like the spell stunts added in the higher levels. The other template can be used to make giant-sized version of non-giant monsters. For example, it could be used to create a giant’s hunting dogs. It also come in 3 levels with each offering the same Big power possessed by the giants.
The final section of the pdf offers a couple of extras for giant-themed games. The first is a half-giant character background. The half-giant looks like it would make a terrifying warrior since it offers multiple boosts to Strength and Constitution as well as allowing two-handed weapons to be used in a single hand. The second extra is a set of abilities for giant-slaying weapons.
If you’re a fan of the AGE system, then I think AGE Bestiary: Giants is a great use of a couple of dollars. I’m not sure how well giants fit in the Dragon Age setting, but the book should let you cover all of the common D&D giant types if you want to run D&D-inspired fantasy with the AGE system.
(this review was originally published at http://glimmsworkshop.com/2013/08/27/age-bestiary-giants/)