Book Review: Storm King’s Thunder

Storm King’s Thunder, by Wizards RPG Team

If you are familiar with the various Norse heathen myths of frost giants and other forms of giants who were at odds with the Norse gods than a lot of this book’s mythos will not be too familiar.  If you are familiar with the general sense of D&D as a game and the way that it freely adapts the heathen myths of cultures into adventures for role playing gamers, this particular book will not be too surprising, as it shows some good giants and some neutral giants and some evil giants all fighting over their place in the general order and also dealing with old and new enemies and pondering the ancient history of areas like Waterdeep.  Although this is by no means a very large book, to play this book out based on its contents could take a very long time and could lead to someone’s character being leveled up from 1 to over 10 without any great difficulty.  As for me, giants aren’t the sort of enemies that I would most want to deal with so this particular book wasn’t all that appealing to me, but if you want a campaign that seeks to defuse tensions between Giants and dragons, this is certainly a way of doing it.

This book is a bit more than 200 pages long and is divided into 12 chapters and various other materials.  The introduction shows the giants and their struggles and the disappearance of King Hekaton as well as a synopsis of the adventure.  After that there is a discussion of the giant upheaval that this campaign involves (1) and the rumblings in various areas that require the protection of special NPC’s (2).  A very large chapter shows the peoples of the north and a suite of random encounters in all kinds of places that offer considerable challenges to parties (3).  After that the campaign provides an adventure to the eye of the All-Father (4), a fight in the den of the Hill Giants (5), a fight in the canyon of the Stone Giants (6), a frozen city of the Frost Giants (7), a forge of the Fire Giants (8), a castle of the Cloud Giants (9), and a hold of the Storm Giants (10) to provide even more combat opportunities to advance the characters.  After all of this there are additional aspects to the campaign involving a fight against the Kraken (11) as well as an attack on a dragon in the desert (12).  In addition to that there are appendices which provide linked adventures (i), magic items (ii), creatures (iii), and special NPCs (iv), as well as various figures and maps for the party to use.

Even if this isn’t the sort of campaign I would find most interesting for a D&D party I was involved in to run, I have to respect the sheer ambition of the people who made this book in thinking of how to integrate the problem with giants and their wars and struggles into the standard world.  That ambition is sometimes breathtaking when one sees the sort of random campaigns that are planned for parties that go virtually anywhere in the game during this campaign, and certainly makes for compelling content that provides one with friends and enemies and the potential to gain considerable power (including the building of a tower if one does one of the quests well; if you know me you know I’m all about the property investments).  In reading this book I was struck by the way it was elegant in offering a lot of action but doing so with very little space, which means that this book would likely require having other books around as well to run the campaign, which most GMs would have anyway, it must be admitted.  I can think of at least some people who would want to run this adventure and for whom it would take quite a bit of time to do so.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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