Against the Giants

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As I’ve mentioned before, I came to Dungeons & Dragons differently than most, I think. It was several years before I entered a game as a player character, being thrust into the role of Dungeon Master from day one. It’s a role I have pretty much had ever since. In all, I have governed a character only a handful of times. Each one was memorable and I owe a debt to the three DMs who held court over those few sessions — Laurell K. Hamilton, Mike Duncan, and the guy who lorded over us most often, Shaun Keenan. I have served as a DM in some epic campaigns, hundreds upon hundreds of sessions over countless hours, surely numbering well into the thousands. As a player, it is far, far less, but still, they were, each and every one of them, magical, but none as much so as my very first outing, when I rolled up a first level fighter, Wulfram Wyrmflame, and went up Against the Giants.

No, that is not a typo. First level Fighter. Against the bloody Giants.

G2

It was actually G2 — The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, to be more accurate. The Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club were meeting at my friend Brent Smith’s house, gaming on his parent’s dining room table (a very nice table that still bears the dice scars from those sessions).

Me and my buddy Doug Gentry, also coming into the game at first level, were invited to attend.

Laurell K. Hamilton (Doug’s cousin) was in attendance, as were John Fleck, Clark Brady, John Hall, Marty Chaplin, Keith Tucker, Brent (of course), and our Dungeon Master – Shaun Keenan.

The party was a standard mix of fighters, clerics, thieves, and magic-users — all around 10th level, except for Doug and I. It was thrilling, but, being low level, I will readily admit that I spent the majority of the time hiding behind rocks as Giants rained boulders down upon us. I loved every bloody minute of it and, whenever a creature was suitably damaged enough, I was more than happy to run in and poke it with my bastard sword.

One of the more memorable moments was when John Fleck’s beloved thief, Sotirod (yes, that’s Doritos spelled backwards), met his untimely end when he lowered himself by rope down int a dark hole and right into the mouth of a white dragon.

Good times :)

Against the Giants is my second favorite module series ever, topped only by The Keep on the Borderlands. Gary Gygax put together a challenging and rewarding adventure that has stood the test of time.

As a DM, I have run Against the Giants somewhere in the neighborhood of a half dozen times. I’m pretty damn close to dusting it off and running some of the old gang through it again, for old time’s sake. And who knows, maybe a much higher level fighter by the name of Wulfram, battle worn and scarred now, will come out of retirement and have another go at the Giants as well.

G2 yeti

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2 Responses to “Against the Giants”

  1. Shaun Keenan Says:

    Hey, I don’t know about the “lorded over” thing but those were epic dungeons. I am trying to decided whether the published “shake and bake” dungeons were better than the home made ones…

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