Life In Plastic: Stone Giants (Dungeons & Dragons)

 

Giants have been a part of Dungeons & Dragons since the very beginning. This isn’t anything special, any fantasy mishmash needs Big People(tm). D&D has, however, thrown in multiple varieties of giant from the beginning. Although the number of variants is different in each edition (the longer an edition lasts, the more random stuff gets piled on), the core six types are Hill Giants (classic big cavemen giants), Fire Giants (ash-dark skin, fire-orange hair, proportioned like Dwarves, do a lot of forging), Frost Giants (gigantic blue Vikings), Stone Giants (skinny, but made of rock), Cloud Giants (extremely large, pale skin, live in the clouds), and Storm Giants (basically Zeus).

Stone Giants are pretty much exactly what they sound like.  Stone… Giants. Well, sort of.  Stone Giants look like they’re made of stone, but they are not – they’re just gray and angular.  Exactly how angular varies from picture to picture, with Stone Giants varying from “gray people” to “a bunch of polygons.”  They are usually characterized as shy and reclusive, living deep within the mountains or caves, and sculpting beautiful art out of stone.  They also look like cavemen – wearing animal skins, and wielding primitive clubs.  That last part bothers me.  Stone Giants have been given a complex, shamanistic society, but they wield like, tapered tree branches or stalagmites.  Have people even seen what war clubs look like in real life?  if these guys make art, then do so!

Stone Giants only got a minor makeover in 5th Edition.  They went up a size category from Large to Huge, and greater emphasis was put on their aesthetic nature, with a twist – Some Giants now view the surface world as a dream, and there is the distinct possibility that they may view this “dream world” as being without consequences.  It’s an interesting way to make antagonistic Stone Giants, though a little odd in practice.  There have been a lot of Stone Giant miniatures made, and their designs are never consistent.  Their heights vary tremendously, to the point of absurdity – like, Warwick Davis Meets Wilt Chamberlain absurd.  The designers also can’t decide how rocky and angular they look, even within the same system.  But regardless, they do look cool, and Pathfinder keeps them pretty much identical to their D&D appearances (even in miniature inconsistency).  Anyway, let’s take a look at how Stone Giants have changed through the editions, and then get into the figures!

 

The 1st Edition Stone Giant has a big nose and a bear on his shoulder. Yep, that’s about it.

 

2nd Edition added “color” (gray), and made him look oddly sinister. It’s hard to buy the idea that Stone Giants are neutral, peaceful individuals.

 

3rd Edition is surprisingly scant on Stone Giant art, and here seems to have turned them into fake Romans. This is especially odd, as it doesn’t match the minis.

 

4th Edition has some good art design for regular Stone Giants, and of course they decided to add a Stone titan – who never got a mini made, or anything like that. That female is pretty spiky, too.

 

Meanwhile, 5th Edition has gone full Caveman with Stone Giants. Note the crude club, despite the increased emphasis on their stonecarved artwork. I am not going to let this go. So uh, let’s look at the minis!

 

2005’s Angelfire set gave us a basic Stone Giant. You’ll note that he looks like he’s made of rock, even though they actually aren’t.

 

Unhallowed in 2007 gave us the Stone Giant Runecarver, who is also a 3rd Edition Stone Giant. He looks absolutely nothing like the previous one, and is well over head and shoulders taller. Seriously, they don’t look like they’re the same species This is one of my favorites of the Stone Giant figures, though.

 

2010’s Lords of Madness set gave us a 4th Edition Stone Giant, who bears like no resemblance to the previous two. Instead of looking like stone or flesh, he looks like stone-encrusted flesh!

 

And now it’s time for Pathfinder! 2012’s Rise of the Runelords set gave us three – THREE Stone Giants! And they aren’t consistent! This one, the regular Stone Giant, is smaller than the D&D figures, and is very angular, looking as stylized as a mid-’00s Genndy Tartakovsky cartoon.

 

The Stone Giant Champion is much less angular and stylized than his brother. I like the stone-throwing pose, and the illusion of height that the rock he stand on gives him. But yeah, so far no two Stone giants have been alike!

 

And finally, from the same set, Mokmurian is a unique Stone Giant who has been possessed by Runelord Karzoug. The ornate clothing makes sense, but… well, he’s even less angular than the Stone Giant Champion, and he is completely out of scale! Mokmurian is short. Tiny. The smallest Stone Giant mini in either D&D or Pathfinder miniatures, and when you put him next to two other figures from the same set, it’s even more obvious!

 

2014’s The Lost Coast set gives us Conna the Wise, a unique character from the same adventure as Mokmurian. Okay, let’s deconstruct this. Firstly, it’s impossible to tell that she’s female without already knowing. That’s fine, Stone Giants are often a little androgynous. But she’s also about twice Mokmurian’s height, which just shows how horribly out of scale he is. Her appearance is once again strangely different from the other Stone Giants, too – it’s kind of a weird trend, isn’t it? But hey, she’s wearing the 1st Edition bear. At least after this, we’re back to D&D Stone Giants again!

 

Tyranny of Dragons in 2014 gave us the Stone Giant Elder, and he’s friggin’ HUGE. Just like that first 5th Edition Frost Giant, he’s on a Large base despite his species being moved up a size category. Strangely, they seem to have reflected that in the height – he’s pretty much even with the Huge-sized Stone Giants to be found later on. He also looks exactly like the 5th Edition art, for what it’s worth.

 

2016’s Storm King’s Thunder set gave us a new generic Stone Giant. She’s female, properly Huge-Sized, and strikes that balance between angular features and no-stoniness. She is still a little generic and caveman-y, but a good figure. Now, 5e’s minis have generally done the following for Giant miniatures: Standard male and female (with weapon variants), and one or two Elite figures. There is no weapon variant for this Stone Giant, nor is there a male option in another set… YET. They’ll probably o it next time they do Huge minis, let’s be honest. But what about the Elite?

 

The Stone Giant Dreamwalker is an elite listed in Volo’s Guide. Basically, it’s a Stone Giant who takes the “surface world is a dream” to extremes, and runs around happily smashing everything because “it’s not real, lol!” That sort of weird wheel-thing on the shoulder represents how they can turn objects and people to stone with a touch, and sometimes use them as body art. Here she is with a spear, and… not looking like a Stone Giant at all. That’s just weird.

 

The variant carries a flag, and… I dunno, folks. Every Stone Giant looks different, but the Dreamwalker doesn’t even have the right color. It’s more like a Fetus Giant. This is just strange.

 

When you compare heights of the Large-sized D&D miniatures, it’s like looking at a staircase. Even without that outlier Elder on the right, the other three simply do not match.

 

And to be honest, neither do the Pathfinder giants. They are more uniform, but still don’t match, especially with shrimpy Mokmurian there.

 

Seriously, he’s like a child compared to a character from the same adventure.

 

Meanwhile, that Elder really is the same size as both Huge-sized 5th Edition miniatures.

 

But hey, it’s not like their sizes are consistent, anyway!

 

And as you can see, one of the old-school ones is fairly close to the Huge version!

 

It is true that when large-sized Giants are skinny, they don’t look as big compared to humans. But that is pretty tall – Robert Wadlow tall.

 

And the bigger ones are even more obviously giants!

 

But yeah, these D&D guys aren’t the same height at all.

 

Well, there you go! Stone Giant miniatures are hilariously inconsistent, to the point where two figures in the same set look different! But they have a kind of charm to them, as odd as their wildly varying heights and looks can be.

 

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