Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is a treasury of giant adventure ideas, but it won't have huge appeal for players or anyone adventuring at lower levels. With such slim scope and an increased price, this is a book that'll please the few rather than the masses.
DnD Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is a classic case of depth without breadth. The latest Dungeons and Dragons book tunnels deep into the world of Giants, offering a laser-focused look at one particular monster. It narrows its scope further by catering mainly to Dungeon Masters – and ones that want to create gargantuan encounters for high-level adventurers. There’s glory in these pages, but the book’s appeal certainly isn’t giant.
A bit of housekeeping before we dive into a full review. Wizards of the Coast kindly provided a copy of Glory of the Giants for this review, and the thoughts presented are based on an initial readthrough rather than extensive playtesting. And yes, this is the book that features AI art – though since Wizards of the Coast apologized, this hasn’t been factored into the final Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants review score.
As the name implies, Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is a DnD book entirely dedicated to giants. It provides a detailed look at Giant society, from the mightiest DnD gods to the mundane things you’d find in a Giant’s bag. This also includes some (limited) player options and a wealth of encounter features for DMs – all in line with the book’s gargantuan theme.
Glory of the Giants is heavily inspired by Norse mythology. Vikings were very en vogue in the late 2010s, so D&D is a little late to the party – and the narration and lore occasionally feel tired because of it. Regardless, the theme still has a lot to offer – if you want official Thor and Loki DnD character builds or a DnD encounter with gods of the Norse pantheon, this book is a great place to start.
The first chapter of Glory of the Giants covers character options. At a measly six pages, there’s not a lot to cover – a single subclass for the DnD Barbarian, two DnD backgrounds, and eight 5e feats. This book will be compared a lot to Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons thanks to their similar structure, and Fizban’s is a much better investment for pure player options.
There’s not much quantity here, but the quality is still impressive. Wizards of the Coast nailed the Barbarian subclass so hard in playtesting they left it unchanged in the final book, and for good reason. This is a Barbarian that channels the elements, grows enormous, and makes thrown DnD weapons their specialty – and we’re keen to bring it to our table.
The feats on offer feel pretty powerful, though many of them are locked behind prerequisites. Several feats are also directly tied to the Giant backgrounds, making these feel well-fleshed-out.
Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is almost exclusively a book for DMs. Chapters two to six focus on crafting convincing Giant characters and settings. Basically, it’s a book filled to the brim with tables – encounters, items, plot hooks, you name it.
This is an excellent resource for any Dungeon Master who wants to begin writing their own DnD one shots and DnD campaigns but doesn’t know where to start. Glory of the Giants explores huge Giant Enclaves that you can populate as you please, as well as smaller adventures with individual Giants.
Wizards of the Coast has worked hard to ensure no Giant encounter feels stereotypical or same-y. It’s clear these creatures are more than just lumbering behemoths, with no fate other than the end of an adventurer’s blade.
To add further variety, Giants also aren’t the only creatures you’ll run into. Glory of the Giants introduces plenty of Giant-adjacent creatures, from elementals to humanoids to Giant geese and tics. Existing Giants in the Monster Manual also get new variants to keep things fresh (many of which involve cults, rune magic, or the undead). The bestiary is the real treasure at the heart of this book, with over 70 DnD monsters to work with.
Varied though these monsters be, most of them have one thing in common: a hefty challenge rating. This, combined with encounters designed for levels 11 and onwards, means Glory of the Giants mainly caters to high-level D&D parties.
Most sourcebooks and adventures are designed for levels one to ten. If you’re looking for a rare morsel of high-level, official D&D content – you’re in luck! If you’re one of the many who predominantly play at lower levels, Glory of the Giants might not be worth the $40-ish it’s selling for.
Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants is one of the first books affected by Wizards of the Coast’s recent price rise. It’s also 30 pages shorter than your average 5e book.
Quality will always trump quantity, and Glory of the Giants offers exciting new options for players and DMs alike. But with such limited player options and such a narrow focus on high-level adventures, it’s tough to recommend Glory of the Giants to the majority of D&D players.
It’s a great book, but not one every DnD player needs to own.