Adventures in the Great City in the Clouds…

THIS IS PART OF A COLLECTION OF IDEAS FOR BUILDING OUT A LESS-THAN-COMMON ADVENTURE WHERE YOU CAN PUT YOUR OWN DUNGEON OR NPCS–THINGS THAT TEST THE PLAYERS AND PC’S ABILITY TO THINK DIFFERENTLY.

So, What’s This About?

There could be any number of reasons for having to deal with a city designed for true giants. Like, not just “Large” creatures, but at least Huge. 15’x15′ imprint instead of 5′. Creatures that stand 20′ high (two stories, mind you). Giants. Unequivocal. For the most part, imagining “commoners” of that giant race. Low HP, low attack, low strength (for a giant).

A city OF giants. Like on a mountain top somewhere. Roll-back civilization to a prior level to give the players some feel for “realism” without having to wonder why a fully advanced and intelligent giant civilization hasn’t ruled the world yet. The normal “PC-oriented” world has animal husbandry for agriculture, has the technology of scale like water wheels or mills for grinding corn, breed quickly, etc. This is a place where the city wall is boulders piled up (60ft to 80ft., irregularly), where food is scarce and population is low. Imagine less a giant city and more a giant peasant village with a giant palisade.

But with hundreds of giants.

Anyhow. So, something the PC’s want is in the “palace” or “castle”–for anyone speaking Giant; but it looks like a three story (giant stories) lopsided keep carved half into a mountain cliff. Even approaching the city “gate” is a trial. Take every normal dimension and x3 it; take mass/weight and x9.

Steps? Nearly 2ft. high each. That’s easy enough to jump up onto, or climb up onto–but Con Saves for exhaustion after X number of them (maybe x = Con).

Doors? A Normal Oak door? What? 30 or 40 pounds, enough that you might have to lean into it if it was a weaker PC. We’re talking a mass of closer to 200 or 300 pounds. Strong characters have to work together (advantage) to shove one open. Very few enormous locks around, so most doors are just big and either barred or not from the inside. Though a lock that’s the size of a microwave oven might give the Rogue headaches. Picking it is difficult where found. Can easily see where the tumblers are, but takes a lot of strength to budge that iron and tools are nearly useless. Disadvantage on that.

Giant creatures? Abound here. Play that up. A giant rat is a real pain. A giant Eagle is dangerous. Maybe they keep Giant Boar in pens and whatnot. Lots of things to wreck a party if they’re careless.

The whole place is sprawling. Loose “cobblestone” (boulders) paths abound. Hewn “bricks” the size of bathtubs. Very awkward terrain (often difficult, sometimes really easy). And to emphasize the difficult of being there? It’s not flat. Like a proper poorly carved out mountain settlement, lots of upward paths and stairs carved from rocks or houses with odd stoops at odd angles. The place is a constant climb and physically demanding journey.

What Kind of Mission Could It Be?

Maybe an escape scenario. The Giant King (or Chief or whatever) welcomes them in. Maybe even has them carried in to be polite, and wants news of the world. Deny the players covenient geography in this sprawling 15 mile giant city/village and sprawling mountain habitat. He gave the orders and his servants are honest, but his motivations are more dire. He’s struggling with a dragon (red) for control of this mountain. It has gotten to the point where they may go to war. But his people are not particularly wealthy, though the dragon would be foolish to just try and subjugate them. He wants to buy friendship and these PC’s have money. Those tiny coins that the dragon seems to love, but the Giant King truly doesn’t understand. And tiny little swords that shine with magic. Also an oddity, but fine.

They’re to be tribute. Maybe that buys the Giant King another few years to figure something else out. The Giant King is honest about this and candid. He doesn’t regard the little people as “people” anyway.

The party breaks free and the Giant King bellows for all his thanes and all his servants to find the “little people” and bring them back (alive or not, he screams). The PC’s are in an escape episode…

Running through a GIGANTICALLY built tower, trying to escape it–hiding, sneaking, dodging, fighting when they must… it’ll take at least a day to get out of the tower short of powerful magical means, which means camping/hiding in weird nooks and crannies.

Out into the streets while the common giants all search for them–they’ve been promised a reward of several giant boar for the winter if they find the little people. Giant Wolves (dogs) are loosed. Hawks. The “gates are shut”.

PC’s are in a non-magical dungeon-city. And escaping? just means they know there’s a damn dragon out there somewhere.

The physically demanding nature of fleeing “slowly” such a place and having to maybe kill relatively innocent giants (many in the population are just being and surviving and doing what their king says) which may offer interesting role play for Lawful characters or Good ones.

Maybe one group of giants the runty ones at 15′ high, are sort of a thieves guild of sorts. They want to kill the PCs outright and are better at finding them. They want to cause the dragon to murder the king. They may find the PCs and offer to show them the way out and hide them, but its clear they’re lying–more conflict!

Where This Shines?

This one is a bit Disney, really… it thrives on the ability for the DM to create larger-than-life situations in the environment (I’m not even sure that’s a pun, in this).  Climbing a giant broom (which is a pine tree broken in half and upside down with the boughs and branches tied and braced flat.  Hiding in cupboards.  Using the DMG’s alternative rules for climbing onto big creatures to attack them.

Fighting off enormous cats or dogs or rats while sleeping in a giant breastplate.  Swinging over a giant forge on a chain.

It lends itself to grand gestures.

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