Giantkin (5e Race)

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Design Note: When fleshing out your giantkin character it is recommended that you read through the 150-157 of the Monster Manual and page 18-33 of Volo's Guide to Monsters as they give great insights and details into all aspects of giant culture, history, and even language.

The result of mingled blood between other humanoids and the mighty races of giants, giantkin are as varied as their ancestors. Since the ancient, primordial days in the morning of the world, the children of Annam have had a mysterious allure to smaller mortals. Whether a clan of stone giants living in quiet proximity to dwarves, a solitary hill giant becoming a part of an orcish tribe, or royalty eventually securing the affection of a mysterious cloud giant, they mingle with their shorter relatives, and, sometimes, they leave traces behind.

The blood of giants can also remain dormant for generations, only emerging long after anyone would expect it. Streaks of giant ancestry are often found in great heroes, whose might is married to the other virtues of their kind.

Physical Description[edit]

Giantkin vary extremely widely in appearance, due both to the great biological diversity of giantkind and the sheer number of smaller races they might create children with. The descendant of a stone giant might have lanky limbs, greyish, hairless skin, and a stern, chiseled expression, while a being with a cloud giant ancestor might have pale skin, silvery hair, and long, fang-like canines. What they all have in common, however, is size. Giantkin could never be mistaken for normal members of their non-giant parent races, towering over normal specimens with advanced musculature and powerful frames.


Men often think of giants as a dying, fading race, but it is a fact that they are the heirs of an empire that once stood astride the whole world. Then, as now, many humanoids have found the mighty kind alluring. Orcs and savage humans might respect the mighty strength of a hill or frost giant, while poets and artists might draw the eye of a storm or cloud giant. For obvious biological reasons, interbreeding can be tricky, but magical means exist to ease the process.

In the high days of the giant empire, giantkin had an elevated place in society. Even today, giantkin who wish to do so may attempt to compete for ordning[1] ranks.

As an aside, the enmity between dragons and giants is deep and cruel. A dragon can always smell what a giantkin is, and from there, relations may sour, even between individuals of seemingly-compatible alignments or outlooks.


As varied as the creatures that spawn them, giantkin society varies tremendously depending on which parent raised them and, sometimes, how interactions have been between giants and their parents' other race.

Giantkin raised by giants often compete for ordning ranks. While their smaller size makes this difficult, they still stand head and shoulders above "debased" creatures like trolls[2], ettins[3], and ogres[4]. Naturally, this means that those raised by the harsh cultures of frost and fire giants have a rough time of it, while those raised by cloud, stone, and storm giants are often well-educated or well-trained. Still, even the crudest hill giant tribes recognize their kin as being part of the ordning, and giantkin in such cultures can attain a certain amount of respect as craftsmen in rare but necessary skills like leatherwork or carving.

Among humanoids, giantkin are seen as oddities, even in cultures that have had benevolent contact with giantkind. They stand far above their peers. As with half-orcs, some use this size advantage to become bullies and tyrants, while others learn the value of gentleness after tragedy strikes. All giantkin inherit their giant parent's affinity for flung missiles.

Occasionally, a giant bloodline can lie dormant for generations, only to emerge without warning in later years. Such "orphaned" giantkin frequently choose to become adventurers to learn more about their giant lineage.

Giantkin Names[edit]

Giantkin are usually named in the fashion of their non-giant parent races. A few instead choose to embrace their giant heritage and take up names in the style of their giant parent's race.

Giantkin Traits[edit]

As varied as the great colossi that spawned them, giantkin share one thing in common: Strength.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Age. Giantkin usually live longer and mature more slowly than is ordinary for their non-giant parent race. They generally live for about one and a half lifetimes as their non-giant parent race.
Alignment. Although more variable in alignment than full-blooded giants, most giantkin tend to have alignments similar to their parent races. If the giant and non-giant alignments are in sharp contrast to one another, the giantkin could be of any alignment.
Size. Giantkin of smaller races are bulkier and stockier than their kind normally are, though their size rarely rises above eight to nine feet. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Rock Hurler. You are considered proficient in the use of appropriately-sized rocks and boulders as ranged weapons. Such boulders typically weigh fifteen pounds and on a successful hit deal 1d10 + your Strength modifier in bludgeoning damage. You can throw these boulders 30 feet normally and 150 feet with disadvantage.
Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and Giant.
Subrace. Your giant ancestry is linked to one particular strain of giant. Choose one subrace from the following: hill, stone, frost, fire, cloud, or storm.

Hill Giantkin[edit]

Hill giantkin are, like their hill giant relatives, the most common kind of giantkin. They are a hearty breed. Whether in human or giant society, most quickly realize that they are often exploited, whether for their smaller size or perceived lack of intellect and most learn to turn this to their advantage.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Underestimated. You are proficient in the Deception skill.
Burly. When you successfully hit with a melee weapon, an unarmed strike, or a ranged weapon with the Thrown quality, you may choose to roll twice as many dice when determining how much weapon or unarmed strike damage you deal. You can't use this ability on a critical hit. Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you complete a short or a long rest.
Iron Stomach. You have advantage on saving throws against the poisoned condition, and you have resistance against poison damage.

Stone Giantkin[edit]

The stone giantkin experience can be drastically different, depending on circumstance. Those sired by wanderers in the Dreaming World above are likely to never know their giant parent, or perhaps even to understand what they are until they come of age. Others, usually the product of relationships with other mountain-dwelling or underground races, such as dwarves, drow, or svirfneblin, are seen as yet another facet of the tribe, to contribute what they can.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Projectile Catcher. If you or an adjacent ally are the target of a ranged weapon attack, you may use your reaction to attempt to intercept it. Make a Dexterity saving throw, with a DC equal to 8 + the attacking creature's attack bonus. If you succeed, you catch or deflect the projectile, which deals no damage.
Stone Cunning. You are proficient with stonecarver's tools.
Stiff Skin. You gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class.
Rocky Blending. You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide while in rocky, uneven terrain, such as the interior of a cavern or the side of a cliff. This ability does not allow you to hide in areas of manufactured stone, such as castles, unless they are in a state of extreme disrepair.

Frost Giantkin[edit]

The world is harsh, and harsh too is the life of a frost giantkin. Those lucky enough to be the product of casual relationships with wandering loners or to be abandoned as foundlings among the smallfolk may find that their immense size and natural heartiness imparts certain advantages, but those born among their giant counterparts are seen as "runts" who must struggle simply to keep pace. They are often given the task of tending to the tribe's tamed beasts. Even frost giantkin who abandon their giant heritage to live among smallfolk may find that they've been left with an insatiable need to prove themselves.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Heart of Ice. Being naturally adapt to extreme cold, you are resistant to cold damage.
Mountain Born. You’re acclimated to high altitude, including elevations above 20,000 feet, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
Beast Tamer. You are considered proficient in the Animal Handling skill.
Long Stride. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.

Fire Giantkin[edit]

Fire giantkin are more likely to be the result of long-term coupling or projects than wild dalliances. Despite their comparatively small size, they are still recognized as being above other humanoids in fire giant society, and their giant parent is responsible for ensuring they learn smithcraft, the proper use of armor, and basic military tactics.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Fire Forged. Being naturally adapted to extreme heat, you have resistance to fire damage.
War Born. You have proficiency in light armor and medium armor. If you would gain proficiency in medium armor, you may instead gain proficiency in heavy armor. In addition you are proficient in smiths tools.
Practiced Tactics. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to recall military tactics, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.

Cloud Giantkin[edit]

Cloud giantkin, mirroring the ideological split that divides their race, generally have either happy, stable upbringings among functional families or difficult childhoods full of fear and mistrust, both of their cruel, mercurial giant parent and of the other humans that know them primarily as that giant's spawn. Nonetheless, all cloud giantkin have some of the sky-magic of their parents within them, and many feel restlessly drawn to lives as gamblers, adventurers, debate-prone scholars, and other avenues in which they might exercise cleverness to overcome risk.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Skyblood Magic. You know the light cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the fog cloud spell once and need to finish a long rest before you can cast it again. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the misty step spell once and need to finish a long rest before you can cast it again. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Keen Nose. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell, and you can attempt to smell out hidden creatures rather than using your other senses.
Gambler. You are proficient in the Insight skill.

Storm Giantkin[edit]

As rare as the race that creates them, storm giantkin are often the result of some prophecy or vision on the part of the great giants. Others are the result of smallfolk, smitten with the mysterious colossi, managing to win their affection through some great deed. Nonetheless, storm giants are almost always loving, if distant parents and they genuinely seek to prepare their children for whatever destinies they see ahead of them.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Amphibious. You can breathe both air and water.
Storm Resistance. You have resistance to lightning and thunder damage.
Bolt of Fury. You may use your action to call upon the tempest in your blood and hurl a bolt of lightning at a single creature you can see within 120 feet. It must make a Dexterity saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus, taking 2d8 lightning damage, your choice, upon a failed save, or half as much damage upon a successful save. This damage increases to 4d8 at 6th level, 6d8 at 11th level, and 8d8 at 16th level. Once you use this power, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a giantkin character, you can use the following table of personality traits to help flesh out your character. Use these table in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I dislike having to stoop, and consequently often hit my head on ceilings. I don't mind that this makes others think I'm clumsier than I am; they find it charming, and being underestimated has its advantages.
2 One of my ancestors had a reputation as a great giant-slayer. The emergence of my giant blood has raised certain questions about exactly how true those old stories were.
3 When I was young, using my great strength carelessly almost led to killing someone or destroying something I loved. Since then, I have learned tremendous control and precision.
4 My great appetite often leads to jokes about my giant ancestor being part-troll. Something in my blood boils at the very suggestion, though I've managed to keep it bottled up... so far.
5 I grew up in a very close relationship with both my families, giant and humanoid. It was a... unique experience, but it gives me a supremely broad, non-judgemental perspective.
6 The giant streak in my blood is tremendously powerful, so much so that I act more like my giant parent than anything resembling the other race that spawned me. I adventure for the glory of rising as high as something like me can in the ordning.
7 My natural advantages have entitled me to be master over other humanoids. Why shouldn't the physically-superior specimen do what they wish with the inferior? That's just how nature works.
8 My relationship with my giant parent was a terribly, deeply unhappy one, so much so that I've devoted my life to preventing the expansion of giant influence and tyranny.


  1. p.150 Monster Manual
  2. p.292 Monster Manual
  3. p.133 Monster Manual
  4. p.238 Monster Manual

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