Why are there no colossal giants?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Considering they are, you know, GIANTS, you'd think there would be at least species. Or maybe even a kaiju who is a giant.


I dunno. Basic biology? Humanoid structure doesn't do well at enormous sizes. Additionally, giants in Pathfinder have been written as pretty communal, not solitary. Where would a city or community of collosal-sized creatures exist on Golarion?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Considering how many things in Pathfinder blatantly violate the laws of physics I don't think colossal size humanoids is that far fetched.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Aren't the colossal ones titans instead of giants?


I looked them up. According to the Bestiary 2, they're colossal outsiders, not giants. They are split into 2 different factions, the Elysian are CG while the Thanatotic are CE.

Back in DND 3.5, they were huge outsiders.


Maybe any mortal humanoids that big got killed by the titans for getting above themselves.


OmniMage wrote:

I looked them up. According to the Bestiary 2, they're colossal outsiders, not giants. They are split into 2 different factions, the Elysian are CG while the Thanatotic are CE.

Back in DND 3.5, they were huge outsiders.

So sure, titans do not have the giant subtype. But aside from things which depend on type or subtype, if you're looking for "a really enormous thing that looks like a person" there's nothing you could do with a theoretical colossal giant that you couldn't just use a titan for instead. I don't know if there's a need for a second type of colossal humanoid, since adding one would pretty much just be redundant.


There was a 3e monster called the "mountain giant" that had a hilarious "jump on you" attack, which could be adapted.


Kimera757 wrote:
There was a 3e monster called the "mountain giant" that had a hilarious "jump on you" attack, which could be adapted.

Pathfinder has a Mountain Giant, it's only Gargantuan.

One problem with Colossal humanoids is that a -8 size penalty on attack rolls combined with anything less than a full BAB progression can cause some problems at higher CRs. It's still doable (there is at least one high-CR Colossal aberration), but that does make making the math work a bit harder.


I don't know if they are still canon, but there are also the Gigas, humanoid giants native to some of the outer planes like Hell. In the Council of Thieves bestiary they are described as an intermediary race linking Titans and material plane giants.


Jeven wrote:
I don't know if they are still canon, but there are also the Gigas, humanoid giants native to some of the outer planes like Hell. In the Council of Thieves bestiary they are described as an intermediary race linking Titans and material plane giants.

I believe the few Gigas we've actually gotten stats for are also Gargantuan.

Shadow Lodge

Look, there are limits to how much you can violate the square-cube law.


If you are looking for colossal roughly humanoid outsiders to play the part of giants, there are also humbabas.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
If you are looking for colossal roughly humanoid outsiders to play the part of giants, there are also humbabas.

The humbaba is a monstrous humanoid, not an outsider.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Look, there are limits to how much you can violate the square-cube law.

I dare you to say that to a high-level wizard; they'd take it as a challenge.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Look, there are limits to how much you can violate the square-cube law.

Great! Now I'm envisioning a Gelatinous Cube wearing thick taped up glasses spouting rules-lawyerese.


I just had a thought: you could just give one of the gargantuan ones the giant template. That said, "giant rune giant" sounds pretty silly.


TOZ wrote:
Look, there are limits to how much you can violate the square-cube law.

^_^. Not to mention the square meal law to keep the poor thing fed.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Yqatuba wrote:
I just had a thought: you could just give one of the gargantuan ones the giant template. That said, "giant rune giant" sounds pretty silly.

But does that math check out? Or would the added size penalties actually make him weaker for having the template?


Ravingdork wrote:
Yqatuba wrote:
I just had a thought: you could just give one of the gargantuan ones the giant template. That said, "giant rune giant" sounds pretty silly.
But does that math check out? Or would the added size penalties actually make him weaker for having the template?

Well, he'd be less likely to hit anything and have a poorer armor class, but would have more hit points, better CMB/CMD, and dish out more damage on a hit.


A Rune Giant with a potion of Enlarge Person would do it, as giants are humanoids. Regardless of the actual size, the effect is +2 Str, -2 Dex, -1 AC, -1 to hit plus the extra reach and damage, just like on humans. So it won't do silly damage and its AC isn't good, but it can still hit.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean, one reason to avoid printing colossal humanoids is that if they are the target of "enlarge person" there is no bigger size category to put them in.

So to avoid this can of worms, you make your really big humanoids outsiders.


Mudfoot wrote:
A Rune Giant with a potion of Enlarge Person would do it, as giants are humanoids. Regardless of the actual size, the effect is +2 Str, -2 Dex, -1 AC, -1 to hit plus the extra reach and damage, just like on humans. So it won't do silly damage and its AC isn't good, but it can still hit.

While that does technically seem to be the RAW regarding enlarge person in particular, I doubt it's the actual intention.

Silver Crusade

What I want to see is any sort of Pathfinder giant using a reach weapon in something cannon. I was once called upon to GM the end book of Rise of the Rune Giants. The PCs were absurdly optimized using every trick in the book. They had been sailing through this adventure path, stomping every encounter. They asked me to challenge them.

My approach was to get the giants more organized and to arm them all with longspears. Suddenly the PCs with 25' reach were taking AoOs from giants with a 30' reach. The giants soundly defeated the PCs, causing the PCs to flee the region. Finis.


SuperJedi224 wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
If you are looking for colossal roughly humanoid outsiders to play the part of giants, there are also humbabas.
The humbaba is a monstrous humanoid, not an outsider.

Gaah, brain. The "non-" before the "outsider" didn't make it to my fingers, there; thanks for the correction.


SuperJedi224 wrote:
Mudfoot wrote:
A Rune Giant with a potion of Enlarge Person would do it, as giants are humanoids. Regardless of the actual size, the effect is +2 Str, -2 Dex, -1 AC, -1 to hit plus the extra reach and damage, just like on humans. So it won't do silly damage and its AC isn't good, but it can still hit.
While that does technically seem to be the RAW regarding enlarge person in particular, I doubt it's the actual intention.

Not sure what this means. What do you think the intention was?


blahpers wrote:
SuperJedi224 wrote:
Mudfoot wrote:
A Rune Giant with a potion of Enlarge Person would do it, as giants are humanoids. Regardless of the actual size, the effect is +2 Str, -2 Dex, -1 AC, -1 to hit plus the extra reach and damage, just like on humans. So it won't do silly damage and its AC isn't good, but it can still hit.
While that does technically seem to be the RAW regarding enlarge person in particular, I doubt it's the actual intention.
Not sure what this means. What do you think the intention was?

The modifiers specified in the spell are obviously assuming the creature starts as Small or Medium. I'm pretty sure the intention of Enlarge Person is to increase the size category by 1 step and then adjust the size modifiers to AC, attack rolls, etc. based on the new size category (which may result in greater than a +/-1 adjustment.)


If a Medium creature was increased to Large by the Giant Template, it would gain a +4 size bonus to Str and Con. The intention of Enlarge Person is not to mimic that - it's to give them bonuses appropriate for a Level 1 spell.


Matthew Downie wrote:
If a Medium creature was increased to Large by the Giant Template, it would gain a +4 size bonus to Str and Con. The intention of Enlarge Person is not to mimic that - it's to give them bonuses appropriate for a Level 1 spell.

The Giant template is something distinct from Enlarge Person, yes. But Enlarge Person is still a 1-step size increase even if it only gives +2 to Strength.


Enlarge person and standard size changes are statted out so that many of the bonuses and penalties cancel out so there is less math involved. This is not the case with the template, which is pretty much designed to make a foe more dangerous in a thematic way, the template has no pretense of balance that simple size changes have.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, one reason to avoid printing colossal humanoids is that if they are the target of "enlarge person" there is no bigger size category to put them in.

So to avoid this can of worms, you make your really big humanoids outsiders.

Well, mythic enlarge person increases the target's size by 2 categories, meaning gargantuan giants still have this issue. That said, I would simply rule the spell doesn't work, just like how it says you can't apply the giant template to a colossal creature (or the young template to a fine creature for that matter)


Yqatuba wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, one reason to avoid printing colossal humanoids is that if they are the target of "enlarge person" there is no bigger size category to put them in.

So to avoid this can of worms, you make your really big humanoids outsiders.

Well, mythic enlarge person increases the target's size by 2 categories, meaning gargantuan giants still have this issue. That said, I would simply rule the spell doesn't work, just like how it says you can't apply the giant template to a colossal creature (or the young template to a fine creature for that matter)

The extra size category from Mythic Enlarge Person explicitly doesn't apply if it would increase the target's size beyond Huge, so that's a nonissue.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Yqatuba wrote:
Considering they are, you know, GIANTS, you'd think there would be at least species. Or maybe even a kaiju who is a giant.

I like the notion that there might be larger giants on the elemental planes appropriate to their types.

A miles-deep chasm within the plane of earth could be inhabited by truly massive stone giants, in adjacent cliff-side cities, while a sea of molten corundum in the plane of fire might be sailed by massive celestial-template fire giants with colorful gemstone armor (made from the colorful molten stone around their island kingdom) and led by colossal fire giants with the half-celestial template. (I wanted a non-evil kingdom in the plane of fire that was powerful enough and / or useful enough as a supplier of exotic fineries to avoid getting rolled by the efreeti who otherwise mostly dominate the plane.)


There is always Baleful Polymorph.

If you've been turned into a frog, every human is a colossal giant!

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Why are there no colossal giants? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.