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Against the Giants

Against the Giants (module code G1-2-3) is an adventure module for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, published by TSR in 1981. It combines the contents of three earlier modules: G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King. The "G" in the module code represents the first letter in the word "giant.

The 1981 version was produced for use with the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. To recognize the 25th anniversary of TSR, an updated version, Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff, was released in 1999. Also in 1999, Wizards of the Coast published Against the Giants, a novelization of the adventure by Ru Emerson.

The original three modules play as a classic dungeon crawl, against giants under an external influence. The focus is on hill giants, frost giants and fire giants, three of the original evil giant types used in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.

The original "G" series modules formed the lead-in to an overall campaign set in the World of Greyhawk that then continued on an odyssey into the Underdark. These adventures included the "Drow" series of modules, D1 - Descent into the Depths of the Earth, D2 - Shrine of the Kuo-Toa, and D3 - Vault of the Drow. (D1 and D2 were later compiled into a single adventure, D1-2 - Descent into the Depths of the Earth). The campaign finally culminated with module Q1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits.

Publication history

The three original modules were written by Gary Gygax and were the first modules printed by TSR in 1978. Gary Gygax wrote them to take a break from writing rules in between writing the original Monster Manual and Player's Handbook. At 8 pages, G1 & G2 were also the shortest. The original G3 was 16 pages in length. The combined module G1-2-3 at 32 pages (with a double cardboard cover) is equivalent in size with many of the other modules published in the early 1980s. The module G1-2-3 was revised and reprinted in the 128 page supermodule GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders in 1986 along with the D and Q series modules. In 1999, the three modules were reprinted by Wizards of the Coast in honor of D&D's 25th anniversary.

Reception

The reaction of the G-Series was very positive, with issue 9 of White Dwarf magazine giving it a 9/10, though they did comment that that adventure was much tougher than adventures published at that time . The re-released G module series was very positively reviewed in issue 35 of White Dwarf magazine, receiving 10 out of 10.

In addition when combined as a single adventure with the rest of GDQ series, this module was voted the single greatest adventure of all time by Dungeon magazine in 2004, on the 30th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons game.

Modules

G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (ISBN 0-935696-08-3) is the first module in the Dungeons & Dragons G series of modules. It was published by TSR in 1978 and written by Gary Gygax. Its cover features a drawing by David C. Sutherland III of a Hill Giant fighting a party of adventurers.Synopsis The module begins by explaining the back story to the players: giants of different types have been raiding the lands of the humans. This has angered the human rulers, causing them to hire a group of adventurers (the PCs) to "punish the miscreant giants." The player's party must defeat the giants, or have their own heads placed on the chopping block. The human nobles equip the party with weapons and horses, along with a guide and map of the exact location of the hill giants. The players are informed that the hill giants are led by Nosnra, a hill giant chieftan who is sly and loves to ambush. Also, that there is an unknown force behind the banding together of the different giant groups. They are to keep any spoils that they find, but return at once if they determine what "sinister hand" is behind the alliance.

The bulk of the module consists of two parts: the upper level of the hill giants lair, and a dungeon level beneath it. In the upper level there are halls, barracks, and common rooms. These rooms house Chief Nosnra and other hill giants, ogres, and servants.

The dungeon level consists of slave quarters, torture chambers, and caverns. These house troglodytes, bugbears, and carrion crawlers. The bulk of the treasure is to be found by completely searching the dungeons. The Chief's treasure room contains a map of the glacial rift from the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, and a magic chain that can automatically transport the party there.

G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl

Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl is the second module in the Dungeons & Dragons G series of modules. It was published by TSR in 1978 and written by Gary Gygax. Its cover features a drawing by David A. Trampier of two frost giants fighting a party of adventurers.

The "Night Below" Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures set, was released in July 2007, featuring a large rare Frost Giant Jarl miniature inspired by this module.Synopsis This module starts in one of two ways. If the players are continuing on after finishing Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, they were transported there by the magic chain. They will know that they are searching for some force behind the giant alliance. If the players are starting with Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, then they have been hired by nobles to destroy the frost giants. Either way, a safe, hidden cave is easily found for a base of operations.

Again, the bulk of this module consists of two areas. An upper area consisting of caves and rift floor, and a lower area consisting of naturally formed caverns. In the upper area there are ice caves, barracks, and a dome of ice. These are inhabited by yeti, frost giants, ogres, and winter wolves. The dome of ice houses a remorhaz.

In the lower area there are caverns that house the servants, serve as a prison, and contain the Jarl and emissaries who have come to meet with him. The main inhabitants are frost giants and ogres. The prison contains an attractive storm giantess. There are also polar bears; pets of the Jarl. After defeating the Jarl, the adventurers have a chance to pull an iron lever which will transport them near to Snurre's hall from Hall of the Fire Giant King.

G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King

Hall of the Fire Giant King is the third module in the Dungeons & Dragons G series of modules. It was published by TSR in 1978 and written by Gary Gygax. Its cover features a drawing by David C. Sutherland III of two fire giants and an ettin fighting a party of adventurers. Interior art was provided by David A. Trampier. Hall of the Fire Giant King marked the first time that drow made a statistical appearance in a D&D accessory, although the 1977 edition of the Monster Manual mentioned them by name.Synopsis If it is played as a continuation of the first two modules, the players know that they searching for the force behind the giant's alliance, or else they have been hired by nobles to destroy the fire giants. This module is twice as long as the previous two: sixteen pages instead of eight. Instead of two levels, this module contains three.

The giants live in a hot, smoky barrens made of rock; again, the party is able to find a safe location for forays against the giants. The three levels of King Snurre Iron Belly's hall are made of obsidian rocks and natural caverns. The first (top) level includes the queen's rooms, barracks, and kennels. Creatures encountered here include fire giants, gnolls, and in the kennels, hell hounds.

The second level is also made of obsidian rocks and natural caverns. It houses chambers of spiritual interest to the fire giants. There is a hall that houses the dead fire giant kings, and rooms for worship. There are also rooms that contain drow clerics. This is where the party learns that the drow are behind the giant alliance, led by Eclavdra, a high level drow fighter/cleric.

The third level consists of natural caverns and contains a great treasure guarded by a red dragon. There are also more fire giants and drow. If the DM wishes, there is a tunnel that leads deep into the earth; to the home of the drow. This allows the adventure to be continued in D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth.

G1-2-3 Against the Giants

Against the Giants combines the three modules G1, G2 and G3 into one module. It was published by TSR in 1981 and written by Gary Gygax. Its cover features a painting of three giants: a fire giant, a hill giant, and a frost giant, along with a dire wolf attacking a village (see above).

Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff

Released in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of TSR, Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff provided a set of adventuring materials that expanded on the original three modules. The full text of G1, G2, and G3, were included, along with details of eighteen new adventure sites in Geoff, linked together as an integrated campaign. The new material in the 96-page book was written by Sean K. Reynolds.

Reception

Against the Giants is one of the most famous Dungeons & Dragons modules. The writer of "Lunchtime Campaign Against the Giants" (WotC) considers it a "classic. John Semlak of canonfire.com believes the GDQ1-7 supermodule that contains Against the Giants is a "must-have", but also criticised the giants section as being "hack-and-slash" where role playing is not always necessary.

Pre-generated characters

Against the Giants includes the following pre-generated player characters: Beek Gwenders of Croodle, Cloyer Bulse the Magsman, Faffle Dwe'o-mercraeft, Flerd Trantle, Fonkin Hoddypeak, Frush O'Suggil, Gleep Wurp the Eyebiter, Redmod Dumple, and Roaky Swerked. Some of these characters later appeared as NPCs in other adventures.

Adaptations

Against the Giants was made into novel of the same name by Ru Emerson for the Greyhawk Classics series.

At least twice parts of the series have been made into modules for the PC game Neverwinter Nights. Steading of the Hill Giants was one such module cited as "One of the best examples of how NOT to do a conversion of a Dungeons and Dragons' classic." Against The Giants (G1 and G2) is described as "infinitely better ... but it still lacked a real story."

References

Further reading

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