As Kiruna reached the mouth of the cavern, she realized the heat was emanating from two towering braziers, one on either side of the entrance. Deep gouges - now she could see they were runes, of ancient origin - ringed their bases and rims, their lines and curves carved by instruments far larger than any she could wield.
Her eyes adjusted slowly to the darkness within the stone giants' home. On the walls, she could make out stunning friezes and portraits, all carved in bas-relief with artistry like none she had seen back home is in Shadowdale. Kiruna stood for a moment, gazing upon these immense figures and faces, her reverie broken only by the realization that she was shivering; no, not shivering, but being shaken. The floor was quivering, and, echoing in the depths of the darkness, footsteps approached.
Enter the world of Faerun's giants as first revealed in Troy Denning's "Twilight Giants" trilogy of novels. Giantcraft presents game material based on those characters and events, including the following:
- Statistics for Princess Brianna, Tavis Burdun, and others
- A section on player-character giants and giant-kin
- A chapter on giant religion
- A new magic-using class, the runecaster
- Details on giant rune magic
- Detailed lairs for the main giant types found in the Ice Spires and their environs.
Read about the levendhule, the forbidden "living cave"; uncover the secrets of the Ordning; learn the history of the sons and daughters of Annam. Dungeon Masters and players alike are certain to find invaluable information in this latest Realms sourcebook.
Familiarity with the novels is not necessary to use this accessory.
FOR7: Giantcraft (1995), by Ray Winninger, is the seventh book is the prestige Forgotten Realms series. It was published in September 1995.
Expanding the FORs. Giantcraft continued the prestige FOR-series supplements, which examined "elements" of the Forgotten Realms setting. Like the rest of the series, it was published as a squarebound trade paperback with a gloss-on-matte cover.
Contentwise, Giantcraft follows in the footsteps of the earliest FOR books, FOR1: Draconomicon (1990) and FOR2: The Drow of the Underdark (1991). Like these predecessors, FOR7 spends much of its page count detailing the culture of a "monstrous" race. In fact, it does so with a bit more attention to the Realms than the earlier books, including sections on Realms history and deities, as well as details on the Ice Spire Mountains in the Realms.
As with all TSR books published after 1994, there's no module code on Giantcraft. The interior actually refers to it as "FOR6", but it's properly the seventh book in the FOR series, following FOR5: Elves of Evermeet (1994) and FOR6: The Seven Sisters (1995).
A History of Giants. Giants are one of the most iconic monstrous races in Dungeons & Dragons, thanks in large part to their eponymous role in the G-series of "Giants" modules (1978) - the first adventures that TSR published for AD&D. They got some nice attention in the 80s in Mayfair's Role Aids Giants (1987) supplement for AD&D, and again in TSR's Bestiary of Dragons and Giants (1987) for Basic D&D. However, going into the 90s, they'd faded from the scene, as TSR began to focus more on "stories" than on "killing monsters."
Enter Troy Denning. Troy wrote the "Twilight Giants Trilogy" of novels for the Forgotten Realms, consisting of The Ogre's Pact (1994), The Giant Among Us (1995), and The Titan of Twilight (1995). This series presented the first extensive view of D&D giants in almost a decade, and it was also the first serious look at the giants of the Realms. That trilogy in turn led to the publication of Giantcraft, which includes game stats for some of the people and places from Denning's trilogy.
Expanding the Realms. FOR7 represents the first appearance of the Ice Spires from the Twilight Giants Trilogy in an RPG product. They appear to be the same mountain range that's called the "Ice Mountains" elsewhere. Similarly, this supplement marked the first detailed info on Realms giants in an RPG supplement. Sadly, the historical era called the "Time of Giants" isn't covered in Giantcraft.
Monsters of Note. Giantcraft marked the first appearance of the Realms' Ice Spire Ogres, who would reappear in books like the Villains' Lorebook (1998) and the fan-created "Bestiary of the Realms: Volume 1" (2003). It also introduced the shadowhound.
A Reused Cover. Giantcraft rather surprisingly reuses the cover from Monster Manual II (1983). By the mid-90s, TSR had a pretty huge collection of full color artwork; they often reused it for interior pages and even built their Spellfire (1994) CCG around reused artwork. However, reusing artwork from one cover to another was very unusual.
About the Creators. Ray Winninger was a prolific RPG author in the 80s and 90s, best known for his work at Mayfair Games on the DC Heroes and Underground RPGs. Giantcraft was Winninger's only AD&D supplement - although he also did writing at TSR for Buck Rogers XXVc, Marvel Super Heroes, and Top Secret/SI.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, editor-in-chief at RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.