Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants Review

Published on August 1, 2023, Last modified on March 23rd, 2024

D&D’s latest book provides giant player options, as well as new content for DMs.

Arcane Eye may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn more.

Quick Review (No Spoilers)

What is Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants?

Pages: 192 pages
Early access: August 1, 2023. Official release: August 14, 2023

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is a sourcebook for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons (5e) that is wholly focused on giants. This book explores the role and lore of giants in the D&D multiverse and seeks to provide DMs tools to better use giant in their campaigns. As is the formula for 5e supplements, this book contains a mix of information for players and DMs.

Player options account for approximately 17 pages of this book and include:

  • 2 new giant-related backgrounds (giant foundling and rune carver).
  • 1 new giant-related class (Path of the Giant barbarian).
  • 8 new giant-related feats.
  • 27 new magic items featuring a mechanic from the Rune Knight fighter subclass called “Invoking.”

DM-specific giant lore and information accounts for the remaining 185 or so pages and includes:

  • Tips, world-building and encounter tables, and lore for when you use giants in your game.
  • 18 giant adventure locations that include 1 page of information and a map.
  • 71 new giant-related monsters with CRs varying from 1/2 to 27.


  • The book does a good job of presenting giants as a complex society rather than just a monster to be killed.
  • The “enclaves” are short, easily digestible adventures that will be easy to slot into campaigns, especially when combined with the encounter tables in the previous chapter.
  • The new backgrounds, subclass, feats, and magic items all look solid. The new background + feat mechanics are in full swing in this book, and they make for much more thematic and mechanically interesting choices.
  • D&D Beyond has released a free 16th-level one-shot, Giants of the Star Forge, which shows you how to use the book to make your own giant adventures.


  •  At 192 pages, this book is 30 pages shorter than Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, a similar supplement focusing solely on dragons.
  • It would have been nice to group the adventure hooks in the Enclaves chapter and encounter tables with some semblance of CR suggestions, so you can better prepare adventures for your party.
  • No new spells or races and only one subclass make this book a less sizeable offering of player options than Fizban’s.

In-Depth Review (Spoilers Ahead!)

Player Options

While the character options in Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants are good, I think there will be some disappointment that they dropped two of the subclasses—the Runecrafter wizard and Circle of Primeval druid—that were presented with the Giants Options Unearthed Arcana back in May 2022. There wasn’t any reason given for why they were cut, but there wasn’t a whole lot of positive response online to the “Dino druid” and wizards already have a ton of subclasses, so I’m not sure they’ll be sorely missed.

The main event of player options in this book is certainly the Path of the Giant barbarian. It’s hard to imagine people wouldn’t want to play a subclass devoted to throwing heavy weapons, along with friends and enemies, around the battlefield. Not much has changed from the UA on this one, which is fine because it seemed fun and balanced to start. If you’re looking for an in-depth breakdown on this new barbarian subclass, check out our Giant barbarian 5e guide.

The rest of the character options presented in this book are solid and flavorful. Seeing as the backgrounds now come with mechanically fitting feats, they do much more than simply providing roleplaying suggestions, starting equipment, and skill, tool, and language proficiencies. 

In my opinion, this is a good thing as it leans on the variability that choosing a 1st-level feat provides. For example, choosing the Rune Carver background in character creation gives you the Rune Shaper feat, which allows you to cast certain 1st-level spells. These spells can be cast with spell slots, but they can also be cast for free once a day, allowing martial characters some access to magic.

The feats are all quite strong, as most of the 4th-level feats come with an ASI and a full feat’s worth of benefit. But, as we’ve seen with the latest 5e content and 2024 Player’s Handbook playtests, they also come with a feat tree-esque restriction system, which should balance things out a bit. We’ve reviewed each of these feats in-depth in our separate feat guides:

World-Building and Giant Adventures

This section of the book presents giants as complex societies that aren’t meant to be the monsters of every story. Similar to most supplements, it provides information on different pieces of lore (social structure, customs, factions, etc.) along with rollable tables that you can use to customize your own adventures.

The only issue I see with most of this information is giants will have to be a huge part of your campaign for you to start worrying about how many giants live together in a settlement versus a steading.

As for encounter tables, they aren’t separated by CR, meaning they’re not particularly useful for preparing a combat encounter. They also have an arbitrary “Attitude” mechanic thrown in that would be hard to account for if you were simply rolling to generate an encounter.

Admittedly, they have some interesting non-combat encounters thrown in there, which is good for when you want to express to your party that not all monsters they encounter need slaying.

Also, it looks like they’re including options on encounter tables for Monsters of the Multiverse, which is a first, and have done it quite well. The encounter tables all have 12 options, but the last two of each table feature MoM monsters. If you don’t have the book, you roll a d10, but if you do, you can expand your options by rolling a d12.

My favorite part of these DM tools is the 18 modularly built giant adventure locations. Each comes with a one-pager describing the area and proposing adventure hooks, some of which tie into the previously mentioned encounter tables. These locations also come with a map, which, when combined with the info provided, can provide tons of help when it comes to preparing a giant-adjacent session.

Unfortunately, these well-designed and thought-out locations are somewhat marred by the fact that the “adventure” suggestions in each location don’t have any ties to CR, which will make these resources difficult to use for newer DMs who rely on that level of guidance.

Magic Items

With 21 new magic items, the options from this book are plentiful. There’s only one downside: the items in the book all have a rarity of rare or above, meaning you can only start playing with them at later levels and can’t give out too many without your party becoming too powerful. 

I personally would have rather seen a couple choice items with a fully built-out rune system, similar to the tattoos in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, to present a more unique offering. But, you can easily poach the “Invoking” mechanic and transfer it to other items to jumpstart your venture into enhancing weapons with runes.

The “Invoking” system they’ve come up with is pretty neat. Essentially, each magic item has a passive ability, but you can also invoke the rune inscribed on the item to produce a once-a-day effect that recharges at the next dawn. This makes for interesting resource management, but be careful with these items. They could easily skew the power level of your players if you’re playing in a campaign that doesn’t frequent multiple encounters per day.

Giant Bestiary

This book features 71 new monsters and, as is inevitable with giant-related creatures, the CR is skewed towards the upper end of the spectrum. 

There are 11 Tier 1 creatures, 21 Tier 2 creatures, 17 Tier 3 creatures, and 16 Tier 4 and above creatures. On top of providing some new types of giant creatures (death giants, fensirs, etc.), they also provide a couple “cycles” of monster creatures that reimagine each of the giant subtypes (hill, rock, ice, fire, cloud, and storm) in different ways.

What if an ice giant succumbed to the power of an Elemental Evil? What if they devoted themselves to a demon lord? What if they mastered rune magic? What would a distant elemental relative of an ice giant be like? I quite liked all these cycles as it gives you a lot of choices to work with when you want to include a specific type of giant in your campaign.

Maybe you’re heading to an ice giant’s lair and want to stock up on some creatures that aren’t just vanilla ice giants, or maybe you’re heading into the Nine Hells and want to throw some giant-devil hybrids at your players. Either way, these stat blocks will be useful.

Where it’s applicable, they also have stuck firmly to the redesigned spellcasting mechanics for these monsters. The stat blocks feature “spell attacks” that take the place of most offensive spells, as well as spell-like bonus actions or reactions that don’t actually count as spells but produce effects akin to spells. Then, their spellcasting feature is reserved mainly for non-combat abilities that reflect effects the monster would be able to produce based on its nature.

There are also stat blocks for each of Annam’s (the giant’s All-Father) grandchildren, Stronmaus, Memnor, Surtur, Thrym, Skoraeus, and Grolantor that range from CR 22-27. These are huge stat blocks that each come with a “cradle” which holds their slumbering forms. Once the cradle is defeated, it releases the scions within.

Unfortunately, these stat blocks are huge bags of hit points and legendary resistances. For example, if you were to fight the Cradle of the Hill Scion and then the Scion of Grolantor, you’d be dealing with 804 hit points and 11 legendary resistances. Also, their actions aren’t particularly interesting, usually amounting to a weapon attack, two slams, or some ranged attacks.

They do all have a recharge effect as well as a bonus action or reaction to shake things up, but the lack of Legendary Actions, interesting spells, or unique actions will make these fights struggle to produce variation.

What’s the Verdict

At the end of the day, Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is quite comparable to Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, which is a solid book full of useful information when wanting to incorporate a certain monster type into your campaign.

However, in my opinion, I prefer setting sourcebooks, like Mythic Odysseys of Theros or Van Richter’s Guide to Ravenloft, to monster-focused supplements such as these.

One of the biggest draws is certainly the character options. With an awesome-looking barbarian subclass, 2 interesting backgrounds, and a whopping 8 feats, there’s plenty in here to add some giant options to your table.


With some interesting player options, modular adventure components, fun magic items, and a giant bestiary, Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is a solid purchase.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. He is a Adamantine best-selling author of Strixhaven: A Syllabus of Sorcery on DMs Guild and is a contributing author at D&D Beyond. Follow Mike on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.