You may be asking yourself why I would do an article bunching Hill Giants and Ogres together. The truth of it that, other than size, they are basically the same creature. Granted, Ogres are of a more diluted bloodline. Nevertheless, they are still Giantkin and directly descended from the Hill Giants themselves. Their personalities match up so perfectly that Ogres have been known to become part of Hill Giant society. Though they are looked upon as inferior to the Hill Giant, due to lack of size and strength.
Picture almost any giant that has ever been portrayed in movies, cartoons, fairy tales, or any other kind of media. What are the things that they all seem to have in common? They’re slow, dim witted, and seem to have an insatiable hunger, especially for human flesh.
These are perfect examples of what makes up a Hill Giant or Ogre personality. They are stupid, self-centered bullies who spend most of their time in search of food. They crash their way through the countryside, devouring anything they can get their grubby hands on. They prefer meat, but will eat anything from vegetation, to rocks, and even dirt if they are desperate enough.
Since they do not have any intellectual pursuits, the Hill Giants and Ogres get bored very easily. This boredom leads to eating as often as possible. They hunt alone or sometimes with dire wolves. But they wont hunt with others of their own kind as that might lead to them having to share. The easier the hunt, the better. Hill giants have been known to eat whole herds of cattle in a single night.
This hunger is the only thing that can overcome the Hill Giants and Ogres overwhelming laziness. The tale of moss covered monster suddenly coming to life in the wilderness and attacking are more often then not, some Hill Giant or Ogre who, after finally getting hungry enough, decides to get up and move when some creature that looked tasty to them came into sight.
(The most common cause of death for the Hill Giant is simply getting so fat that it can no longer move to hunt. They then starve to death, since even members of its own family or tribe are too greedy and lazy to bring each other food)
The fact that they can survive on eating anything (and I do mean ANYTHING) has kept the Hill Giant and Ogres alive for millennia, eating and reproducing like beasts. They see no need to change or adapt. So they remain simple minded and savage.
Hill Giants and Ogres are the most primitive of all the Giantkin. They live in the hills and valleys of the world in homes of mud, timber, and feces. Their skins are tanned from long hours sleeping in the sun. They use uprooted tree and rocks as their weaponry. And they wear hides sewn together crudely as clothing and armor. (The fact that they know nothing of tanning these hides, along with never bathing and atrocious body odor are major contributors in the legendary body odor of the Ogre and Hill Giant.)
Hill Giants and Ogres prefer to hunt humanoids and animals. These are considered small and weak. Larger Creatures that would be harder to kill, simply aren’t considered worth the effort.
Hill Giants and Ogres are too stupid to understand the Ordning. But they do understand “bigger” and “stronger”. And, to their tiny brains, that translates to “in charge”. The Chief of an Hill Giant Tribe, is simply the biggest meanest bully that hasn’t gotten too fat to move around.
(It is rare but, once in a great while, an intelligent Hill Giant will be born and use its sly ways to gain leadership of the tribe. But these periods of leadership don’t usually last long. As the rest of the tribe gets angry when they don’t understand things. And will quickly fall on their smaller but more brainy chief, kill him and eat him.)
Since they have no true culture, Hill Giants have a way of imitating other societies that they have observed while hunting. This can end in quite comical situations, such as a Hill Giant half burying himself in dirt and rocks in imitation of a Halfling in his hobbit hole.
They have also been known to take over towns, after eating all of its inhabitants. They will do their best to imitate the former residents, until finally the town is completely destroyed by the tribe trying to shove its way through doors and windows, much too small to accommodate them.
Conversation with a Hill Giant or Ogre is almost completely devoid of manners or courtesy. Reasoning with them is a hopeless endeavor. Truly, their one redeeming quality is that they are so stupid, that they are terrible at lying. This makes them very direct and brutally blunt. The flipside to this is that they are easily deceive themselves.
If a Hill Giant or Ogre feel that they have been tricked, lied to, insulted, or made fool of in any way, it will fly into a rage. They will soon forget what they were mad about, but they will continue to be angry. Sometimes for up to weeks or months on end. During these fit of rage, they will demolish everything they come into contact with.
When it finally calms down enough to think. The Hill Giant or Ogre may proclaim itself king of the territory. If humanoids live there, they will try to rule through intimidation and terror. Its decisions will be made on a whim,. And woe to its “subjects” should it get too hungry to remember that its a king. In which case, they may become the Hill Giants dinner.
I hope this helps the next time you want to bring a Hill Giant or Ogre into your game.
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