The Genius Guide to Gruesome Giants (PFRPG) PDF

5.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

Our Price: $3.99

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

The Genius Guide to Gruesome Giants presents new templates, feats, and alternative class feature options to add to any giant. All of these gruesome templates are designed to play into a specific fearsome idea and provide an extra dose of horror for encounters with giants, such as a massive foes wrapped in rotting limbs, or insane walking vivisections sharing glimpses of alien worlds.

Create creatures that have more wrong with them than “just” being bigger-than-normal humanoids, gruesome giants have uncanny appearances, smells, and sounds that make them more frightening even to veteran character.

Author: The Four Horsemen
Cover Artist: Jacob E. Blackmon
Page Count: 23

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at


See Also:

Average product rating:

5.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

An review


This mini bestiary clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

Giants aren't subtle. They don't lend themselves well to horror and so far, the undead templates released as "Gruesome" hit exactly that spot - so what is this about? Well essentially, it's a book to spice up giants and make them as "OMG -GIANTS!!! RUN!!!!" as possible. This is achieved via templates, though we also receive sample statblocks for giants to drop in as written into a given campaign, so let's go down through it, shall we? First of all: Shock ratings are back and part of the templates

First of the templates would be the collector -these guys wear armors of severed body parts (!!!) and will bash foes to mush with torn off limbs from their adversaries - or, they'll just throw them at you! Grisly imagery, for sure and at CR +2 a nice template...but it does have one weakness - it has no way of actually severing body parts. I mean, how nasty would it have been to have a giant pluck limbs off a character and then bludgeon the puny smallfolk to death?

Contorted giants (at CR+1) may squeeze into small spaces and may suddenly increase their reach with a mechanically cool and imagery-wise iconic ability.

If you're halfway fluent in Gaelic mythology, the Fomorian Giants (CR+2) need no explanation - if not, well, they come with a nice curse-aura that twists those nearby. The CR+2 Forgotten are the first template herein that truly blew my socks off - essentially, they shift in dimensions, gaining a massive miss chance and actually may forget the giants. Yeah...that WILL make for damn creepy narratives! Even before the ability to reach through the folds of space into the innards of enemies.

More visceral, the CR+2 maneater template may shatter bones with each attack (now we're talking!), may grow by eating humanoids and may grapple multiple foes, should they so choose. Weird regarding the growth ability - it specifies "Once per month", but also that a maneater can only benefit once from it - so which is it? Does the growth revert?

Masochist (CR+1) creatures may pierce their flesh (great kuthonite template) and thus disarm weapons that deal damage to them. They also receive bonuses when below 3/4 maximum Hp, though that calculation feels even more foreign than the 1/2 Hp/bloodied design seen in other publications - not a fan, but purely on an aesthetic level.

Reaping Giants at CR +2 receive a plethora of nasty universal monster qualities that make them nigh-impossible to surprise and also impose negative levels on foes. At CR+2, Undying giants become magi of their HD with spell mastery applied to the spells (!!!) and terrible forgotten lore. Unstoppable giants, on the other hand, receive deadly smashes that count as adamantine and particularly painful charges.

Now before I go on to the supplemental material herein, let me mention one crucial component I *LOVE* herein that I have so far failed to mention - each of the templates comes with one or more weaknesses clever players can exploit - whether it be the ancient oaths undying giants have sworn, the compulsion to charge foes, susceptibility to [good] spells - each template has a cool way for smart players to even the playing field.

If you've followed my reviews for any period of time, you'll know I'm a huge fan of horror mechanics - I.e. "If you fight without an idea/plan, you'll probably die." This extends to how I handle my fantasy campaigns as well - exploiting weaknesses, researching etc. - that makes a triumph of so much sweeter and rewards players for their brains as opposed to luck/brawns. Two thumbs up -I wished all (or many!) monsters had options like this!

Now a total of 20 feats, mostly for large foes with insane strength scores, provide better options for awesome blow (crit foes, potentially smash them to the ground), add smash damage to overruns - i.e. these feats allow you to amp up the damage output of these guys quite nastily. It takes some time to get by how far, but oh boy, if you do it right...ouch!

Finally, a wizard and ranger archetype as well as a sorceror bloodline complete the options - the wizard may trip foes with spells and increase CL, the ranger increases his/her prowess by harvesting the essences of the slain and the sorceror bloodline is solid, but nothing I haven't seen before. When compared to the imaginative templates, this crunch feels less inspired.


Editing and formatting are very good - there are next to no significant glitches herein. Layout adheres to RGG's printer-friendly two-column standard and each sample giant gets a cool full color original piece of artwork by Jacob Blackmon. Kudos! The pdf comes bookmarked and hyperlinked for your convenience.

The Four Horsemen (here: Steven T. Helt, Dan Dillon and Steven Rowe) deliver a cool pdf here - the giants themselves are nice builds, the templates cool - that being said, like in most collective designs, we have a discrepancy in design choices here, one less pronounced in the pdf than in other books, but it is still here - some of the giants are downright genius (Undying and Forgotten come to mind), while e.g. the masochist or the harvester template feel less inspired. Over all, the average quality is still exceedingly high and the inclusion of weaknesses makes these templates so much cooler.

The feats are also damn nasty food for a DM, but food that should be kept out of the hands of players - I can make VERY nasty builds with these and it is evident that they are intended as monster feats, so beware there. The additional options provided as archetypes and bloodline felt a bit like an addendum to me - compared to the monsters and templates and feats, rather uninspired, but your mileage may vary.

Now this may sound a tad more critical than it ought to - this mini-bestiary WILL amp up your giants and make them proper forces to be reckoned with. As such, the pdf does its job well, exceedingly well even. And, in parts, it is downright GENIUS and made me cackle with glee. As such, I can recommend it rather highly at a final rating of 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform - for a full 5 and seal of approval, some of the mechanics felt a bit too conservative OR wonky for me, but that does in no way make the pdf less of a good buy and is mostly cosmetic.

Endzeitgeist out.

This guide is a great way to spice up any giant encounter and or adventure.


The majority of this guide details numerous giant templates complete with sample creatures built off a standard giant. Each template has a detailed description with special abilities, feats, and weaknesses as well as suggested other uses for the template in question. This would let a GM short on time to use any of the nine templates “right out of the box”.

The guide also includes twenty giant feats as well as several alternate class features that allows for even more customization for a Big Bad End Guy.

I will point out that while this is a great GM resource the enterprising group may want to even create giant Player Characters with the new feats and features.

On the technical side, the layout is very logical with good use of bookmarks. You can pretty much find anything you want with a few clicks. There is even working url linked text to D20pfsrd that helps with any non-cannon feats or abilities you might not be up on. For a long time 2nd edition player, this comes in quite handy.

Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with this latest offering from The Four Horsemen and Rogue Genius Games.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Now available!

Thanks, Liz!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

We are thrilled to present this book. You get a lot of value, and giants really need the help.

One commitment the Four Horsemen make is that we'll always add additional, free content if a book does well. So if you want to see giant archetypes, encounters, and more, get your copy and let us know what you think. We'll gladly talk about the book here or on our Facebook page (

Let us know what you think, and of course tell us what kind of extra content you'd like to see!

I love encounter design, so I'm a huge fan of expanded options that can shift the focus of an encounter into interesting directions. One of my favorite things in Gruesome Giants is the Overhand Lob feat so giants can use their Str to hit with thrown weapons. One of my favorite encounters, both from a design and actually running-it standpoint was a giant sniper. He hurled boulders from extreme range and elevation, hiding between each shot. It was a great encounter inspired by the film Enemy at the Gates and made viable by using Str to hit with thrown rocks.

Many thanks to Cromlech to the review!

One of our giant templates is called the Forgotten. They are giants unstuck from reality by disaster or design, becoming walking vivesections. I got the idea for them from this excellent discussion on the nature of eldritch abominations.

I highly recommend everyone take a moment to read the whole thing; especially if your nightmares are boring.

What makes Eldritch Abominations like The Old Ones so incomprehensible.

mikekozar_work wrote:
The Abominations, as you aptly described them, are to us as we are to that benighted creature. They exist in dimensions beyond our own, whose nature we can hardly guess. When they appear to us, we see only fragments of their bodies - long stretches of writhing flesh, glistening with juices that should not exist outside of a body, which whip through the air and vanish back where they came from in a way that our minds simply refuse to accept. Witnesses have tried to describe these as great tentacles, words failing them in the presence of such incomprehensibility. Those who heard the stories seized on this, and explained them as resembling cephalopods. This is a comforting lie, as there is nothing in the most stygian depths of the darkest sea that is not our beloved brother compared to the horrors of the Abominations.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I read the full article. I even followed some of the discussions and posted links. And I, uh...well. I don't wanna be friends anymore. : )

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and shop. Cheers and great work!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and shop. Cheers and great work!

Thank you sir! Your review is greatly appreciated! If you are curious, a few posts back I included a link to the Forgotten's inspiration that you may enjoy.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As always, thanks for the review End!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

The newest adventure path is all about giants! Get this book to spice up your giant encounters, make them memorable and horrifying, and surprise your players!

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / The Genius Guide to Gruesome Giants (PFRPG) PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.