Preview 3 Fearsome Frost Giants From Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants!

Editor's Note: On August 4, we became aware that an artist used AI to create artwork that appears in Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants and that previously appeared in this article. Read our statement on the use of AI here.

In Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants, your party can go all in with adventures featuring one of Dungeons & Dragons’ most iconic primordial powers, the giants. Explore the realms and enclaves of the giants themselves, take a deeper dive into their lore, and face off against a new bestiary of massive monsters in this book.

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants also takes some familiar faces from D&D and adds new monster builds and interpretations. Take, for example, our old pals, the frost giants. The book builds on their inspiration from Norse mythology and mixes in some new lore that’s unique to D&D.

Let’s take a look at the new frost giants that can be found:

Frost Giant Ice Shaper

Frost giants are often known as mighty warriors, rampaging their way across blizzard-stricken battlefields with their war horns, and forging power structures in the ordning based on sheer might. But frost giant ice shapers, the warrior clerics of frost giant society, weave powerful magic through their mastery of runes. 

Frost giant ice shapers are physically as hardy as any other warriors in their enclave, but they surpass the others by harnessing the sheer elemental power of air and water. This extra layer of power on top of their physical strength usually leads ice shapers to claim positions of leadership among their enclaves. Frost giant ice shapers summon their power from frost rune-inscribed ice or similar objects that act as the source of some of their most potent abilities.

One of the most fearsome abilities that a frost rune grants an ice shaper is the power to summon 1d4 ice wolves (which use the winter wolf stat block). These elemental wolves fight alongside the ice shaper and gain a +6 bonus on their attack and damage rolls when they’re within 30 feet of the giant. This ability allows the giant to cycle through an unending supply of minions to tire out a party and grind through their hit points and spells without even breaking an icy sweat.

Frost Giant Ice Shaper Tactics

The major appeal of this new frost giant is that it adds a layer of magical attacks to a being typically focused on using brute strength. These giants will certainly be a challenge for high-level characters, and their ice wolves make them a tempting choice for DMs whose parties are used to facing up against a single target and moving on. The sudden appearance of wolves can dramatically change the landscape of a battle.

If you want to throw your players a bone, narrate how the ice shaper’s rune-inscribed object glows whenever they summon or control their wolves. This may signal to the group to focus their attacks on the source of the giant’s power. 

Using Frost Giant Ice Shapers in Your Game

Because the power of their runes allows frost giant ice shapers to easily ascend to leadership roles in their enclaves, there’s a great opportunity to use one as the larger threat among an already challenging group of giants. 

They function as clerics within their society, so roleplaying one with a deep spiritual connection to the power within their runes opens up a lot of opportunities for different types of encounters with them, either in combat or through social interaction with your players. They could be antagonistic from the start, or perhaps they could be open to sparing the tiny lives of your little band of adventurers, if they’re able to aid them in some way.

Frost Giant of Evil Water

A frost giant in scaled armor and wearing a finny helmet wields an axeThere’s a new frost giant who has gone all in on evil, Elemental Evil that is. The frost giant of Evil Water is tied to the Princes of Elemental Evil featured in Princes of the Apocalypse. The Princes of Elemental Evil are godlike beings from the elemental planes. They lead devoted cults and seek to use their respective elements for sheer destruction.

Frost giants of Evil Water are cultists of Olhydra, the Princess of Evil Water. Believing that ice is the ultimate form of water’s naturally destructive forces, this brand of frost giant is dedicated to leaving as much cruelty in their wake as possible.

While they’re often viewed as heretical within the ordning, Evil Water giants will often keep their allegiance a secret and attempt to push their communities toward the behaviors that appease Olhydra’s lust for violence. For their service, Olhydra grants her giants the ability to breathe water, making them a threat on land as well as underwater.

Art by Olivier Bernard

Frost Giant of Evil Water Tactics

Frost Giants of Evil Water carry massive harpoon weapons that they can fire using the Multiattack action on each of their turns. Not only does the harpoon damage their targets on a hit, but they grapple them and can be used to reel them in. Further, the target will take damage whenever it tries to escape the grapple.

The ability to pull characters into water gives the DM an opportunity to unleash surprise attacks. The frost giant’s harpoon can also be an effective way of preventing characters from helping each other, such as by pulling a healer away from a character low on hit points or by preventing a martial character from defending a more squishy caster.

Using a Frost Giant of Evil Water in Your Game

Evil Water cultists fit incredibly well into a seafaring campaign, either as a baddie to face off against at the end of a quest or even as a particularly brutal enemy that emerges during a random encounter. Imagine your players’ surprise when one of these harpoon-bearing brutes rises up from under the tides. Olhydra’s goal is to flood the world and plunge it all into her nightmarish, icy depths, a scenario the party would likely wish to avoid by defeating her brutal servants.


What’s scarier than a frost giant? How about a vengeful undead frost giant? Frostmourns are what might happen when you don’t solve your frost giant infestation in an ethical way. A frost giant killed through some dishonorable means can rise up again as a frostmourn. That means a cunning party who tries to avoid a dangerous combat by killing a giant in their sleep might find themselves being stalked by a mummified giant’s corpse looking for that sweet, sweet vengeance.

There’s a lot to freak out about with a frostmourn, but easily the most terrifying ability that these ghoulish giants gain is the power to turn its targets into frozen statues. A creature petrified in this way has a single hit point and will shatter if they take bludgeoning damage, killing them.

Frostmourn Tactics

Since a frostmourn is an undead creature driven by vengeance, they make a pretty brutal enemy to throw at your party. A great way to lean into this in combat is to have them focus on attacking a single target. Characters who don’t take the threat of a frostmourn seriously could end up as the shattered remains of an ice statue after a simple unarmed strike from a frostmourn.

Using a Frostmourn in Your Game

A pre-existing frostmourn would work well as an encounter in a game set in the frozen north, amidst a horror-themed survivalist adventure like Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, for example. But the true fun of the frostmourn is the ability to set it up if you have a party that likes being particularly sneaky or dishonorable. If you know your party is one that might find some clever way of defeating a frost giant without facing them directly in battle, having the frostmourn return later in the campaign seeking vengeance would be an excellent twist.

Big Things Are In Store

If these expansions on the classic frost giant pique your interest, and you’re excited to check out their full stat blocks as well the expanded roster of giants from all parts of the ordning, be sure to check out Bigby Presents: Glory of the GiantsHere’s an overview of what to expect in the book:

The Ettin Ceremorph, Or What Happens When a Giant Undergoes Ceremorphosis
by Kyle Shire
Path of the Giant Barbarian: Hurl Your Enemies With This New Subclass!
by Damen Cook
First Look: Giant Foundling Background and Strike of the Giants Feat
by Mike Bernier

Riley Silverman (@rileyjsilverman) is a contributing writer to D&D Beyond, Nerdist, and SYFY Wire. She DMs the Theros-set Dice Ex Machina for the Saving Throw Show, and has been a player on the Wizards of the Coast-sponsored The Broken Pact. Riley also played as Braga in the official tabletop adaptation of the Rat Queens comic for HyperRPG, and currently plays as The Doctor on the Doctor Who RPG podcast The Game of Rassilon. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


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