Giants dominate many of the islands and coastal areas of the Sea of Silt, wading across it to plunder the communities of smaller races where they find them. In some lost millennium, as a bizarre experiment or perhaps as some sort of curse, giants were magically crossbred with humans. Half-giants are now fairly common, especially to human controlled lands at the edge of the Sea of Silt.
Half-giants are a race that has been used as slaves for as long as they have been known. Bred to be gladiators and soldiers.
It is important to note, however, that half-giants are a race born of a magical union in the distant past; half-giants can only reproduce with one another.
A half-giant is an enormous individual, standing between 10 and 12 feet tall, and weighing in the neighborhood of 1.600 pounds. Their features are human, but exaggerated.
Half-giants are a race of enormous demihumans who have adapted to a variety of lifestyles in the many harsh terrains of Athas. The origins of the race are unclear. While it is known that the race is spawned from the union of human and giant and the nature of that union was certainly magical, its original purpose is unknown.
Simply put, a half-giant gains terrific size from his giant heritage, but also inherits that race's dull wits. His human background, however, provides him with an interest in communication and cooperation, not to mention more reserved traits such as curiosity, a willingness to learn, and a general tendency toward kindness. At any rate, half-giants are capable of far more kindness than their often tyrannical, bloodthirsty giant kin.
On the contrary, having insufficient history and overall intelligence to have their own culture, half-giants tend to readily adopt the cultures of other creatures they admire or associate with. Half-giants are very imitative creatures, eager to fit into new situations as they present themselves.
Half-giants sometimes collect into communities of their own, though they most often adopt the culture and customs of those creatures that are nearby. When near an elven nation, for instance, half-giants will form their own hunting and raiding parties, adopting the ways of the elven marauders. They won't mix with the elves, neither will they fight with them. In most instances, imitative half-giant communities will compete directly with the race whom they are likening themselves to. It is their great size and combat prowess that keeps their competitors at a safe distance.
Half-giants can switch their attitudes very quickly, taking on new values to fit new situations. A half-giant whose peaceful farming life is disrupted by marauders may soon adopt the morals of the very renegades who sacked his village.
Though no one knows for certain, half-giants seem to be a fairly young race, perhaps only a few tens of centuries old. There is no half-giant culture common to all of their kind.
A half-giant character can be a Cleric, Fighter, Gladiator, Psionicist, or Ranger. Further, a fair array of multi-classed choices are available to half-giant characters, as detailed on the multi-classed combinations chart (see Dark Sun Boxed Set).
Half-giant characters add four to their initial Strength scores and two to their initial Constitution scores. They subtract two from their initial Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, however.
Half-giants double their hit die rolls no matter what their character class. Add any bonus for a high Constitution score after doubling the roll of the die.
All personal items such as clothes, armor, weapons, food, etc., cost double for half-giant characters. Other considerations, such as transportation or lodging, are also considerably more expensive when they are available at all. In areas not dominated by half-giants, things such as buildings, furniture, wagons, boats, etc. aren't made to support their weight. Even in cities, they tend to camp outside to avoid destroying things.
To reflect switching attitude, one aspect of a half-giant s alignment must be fixed, and chosen during character creation. The other half must be chosen when they awaken each morning. They are only bound to that alignment until they sleep again. (See Chapter 4, Alignment in Dark Sun Boxed Set). For example, a half-giant may have a fixed "lawful" alignment. Every morning, he must choose to be lawful good, lawful neutral, or lawful evil.
Half-giants are friendly and eager to please those they meet. Others who accept them find that half-giants quickly adopt their lifestyles and skills, even their values. A half-giant character who is presented with a new situation should examine the roles of the people there, determine where he might best fit in, and then start performing the tasks necessary.
For example, a half-giant character who happens upon a dwarven stone quarry may watch the dwarves, then start quarrying stone himself. He won't work with the dwarves, necessarily but, if he can make a living at it, he will continue to quarry stone just like his neighbor dwarves do.
This is not to say, however, that half-giants are strictly bound to perform as those they see around them, nor are they restricted from moving on. On the contrary, if the situation is not beneficial or if the half-giant would not perform well (living in the trees like the halflings, for instance), he won't imitate it. Also, half-giants are not bound to a piece of work or a lifestyle the way other races are —they seldom have regrets or reminiscences about what has gone before. They simply aren't as emotionally attached to their lives or works.
Persons playing a half-giant character should be prepared to switch goals and lifestyles easily, usually based on the charismatic individuals their character meets. Remember, though, that due to size alone, half-giants make excellent fighters. Always remember their great size and roleplay accordingly. Dungeon Masters should not mindlessly allow the character to fit easily through human-sized doorways or ride in a tiny wagon. Similarly, they must not forget that he can see in many second story windows, reach things humans cannot, and lift things humans would never consider lifting.
The notes given on roleplaying each race are also very important, since a character earns additional individual experience point awards when played according to these racial descriptions.
- Dark Sun Boxed Set. 2nd Edition. TSR Inc.