G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (1978)

The first thing that is apparent when you pick up Gary Gygax’s Steading of the Hill Giant Chief is how small it is – it comes in at a whopping 8 pages.

The start of a seven module campaign (two more G-modules, followed by three D-modules and wrapped up with Queen of the Demonweb Pits), it can actually serve as a continuation of both Temple of Elemental Evil and the Slave Lords A-modules, making it the middle point of a whole lot of classic dungeon crawling.

This is classic hack-n-slash stuff – the goal is to go to the steading and kill everyone there to ensure the evil giants and their underlings stop raiding the local countryside. Sure, some deeper conspiracy is afoot, someone is uniting the evil giants, but that is, at this point in the story, secondary to being the best possible murder hoboes you can be.

The Giant modules represent for me my best experiences with first edition AD&D. My group played through them a couple years back after completing the four Slave Lords modules, with an eye toward ending at the Demonweb Pits. My character, perhaps my all-time favorite, was a thief with a short sword of quickness and a ring of invisibility – essentially a one-man monster Cuisinart. It was glorious.

We petered out after G3. And now we come to the ulterior motive of this (and all of this week’s posts): public begging. Hambone, oh great and wise DM of first edition – can we pleaaaaaaaaaaase play D1 sometime this year? I need to backstab some unsuspecting monsters.

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