Storm King’s Thunder (D&D RPG)

storm kings thunder moduleThis year, Dungeons and Dragons is all about the giants. The various types of giants (fire, hill, cloud, etc…) have gone to war with each other to determine the best kind of giant. Since the release of of 5th edition, Wizards of the Coast has picked an overarching storyline and theme for the year’s releases. This year focuses on a disruption of the natural order of giant seniority, and the infighting between the giant types to get higher in the pecking order. Player characters get caught up in the political intrigue and can even steer the outcome in one way or another before the tale’s final denouement.


Storm King’s Thunder (RPG adventure)


The central product in the year’s line of materials is a Nordic-themed 256 page hardcover adventure. The Storm King’s Thunder takes 1st level characters just starting out in their careers into a whirlwind of situations requiring wit and brawn, topping out at a climactic finale somewhere above 11th level. Set in the popular Forgotten Realms Sword Coast area (think Baldur’s Gate, etc…), the adventure pushes the characters into contact with each of the giant types. Hill Giants are raiding villages, Fire Giants are kidnapping people, Frost Giants are raiding ports, and Cloud Giants have parked their flying castles over the major towns in the area.




The diversity of people and places is the greatest strength of the story. Unlike the past few published adventures, Storm King’s Thunder is very non-linear. The third act in particular, where players encounter lairs of the different types of giant, can be completed (or not even completed) in nearly any order (along with several optional side-quests.) To help with the complexity of the open-ended options, the book is very well organized with many handy tables and indexes to help a GM find the information they need. Even after the adventure is completed the book will serve as an excellent guidebook to the Sword Coast area in general due to its extensive background on the various towns and settlements in the area, even down to prominent NPCs in each location. It wouldn’t be hard to play an entire second campaign, just using the background information provided on the area. One other high point is the inclusion of Rune Magic (special magic abilities inscribed on magic items that can be transferred over onto new magic items.)


storm kings thunder module


Storm King’s Thunder is my favorite 5th edition adventure so far. The book is laid out so well that it makes running a more open “sand box” style adventure possible. It also provides players many opportunities for non-combat solutions to tricky situations. Sure, players can still fight their way through most things, but it is always nice to have options. Some may find the length of the adventure (depending on how thorough the region is explored and the options the players take) to be on the short side. I think the added depth of information about the region makes up for a shorter adventure as the information in the book can prove useful far past the conclusion of the adventure. Besides, I’d rather play an enjoyable, solid shorter campaign than a long, drawn-out inferior one.

I highly recommend Storm King’s Thunder for groups looking to start a new campaign as well as for GM’s looking for good background material on the Sword Coast region.



Icons of the Realms: Storm King’s Thunder (minis)


For the past few years, WizKids has been coordinating with Dungeons and Dragons and the Pathfinder RPG to make themed sets of miniatures that match up with current popular storylines. Each set is randomly sorted into “boosters” containing four figures. For the D&D adventure Storm King’s Thunder, WizKids has cooked up a set of 45 giant-themed figures. The rarest figures are named NPCs from the adventure itself.


storm king promo


I was able to look through several boxes of figures and was quite pleased with the contents. Most boxes had a giant of one type or another and the additional pack-in figures were cool as well – like the flame-headed Azur (fire-dwarf) or the insect-like Thri-kreen. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of several pixies, lending the “giant-sized” giants a nice comparison of scale. (In game terms, most of the giants are listed as “huge”, one step up from “large.”) Several of my giant figures came with its weapon separate from the main figure. This was then attached to the figure’s hand to create a more expansive looking figure that would otherwise not be able to fit within the box.



Note the “large” wolf front center. I do like the tiny pixie in flight…


My one complaint would center around the two “large” figures in the set (as opposed to the huge ones.) Since most of the boxes contain some sort of giant figure, it was disappointing to open up a box and find a slightly larger than normal wolf taking up the spot normally occupied by a giant figurine. It probably isn’t as big a deal if you’re buying up many boxes to get a large set, but if you only buy one or two, it could feel like a raw deal just to get a wolf on steroids instead of a looming giant figure.


storm king minis fire giant


As always, painted miniatures are not cheap, and the MSRP of a box of 4 figures runs just over $15. That’s pricey to some, but a good deal to others (compare it to dinner & a movie or a videogame.) That said, this set is a great source of giant figures, something that is otherwise hard to specifically collect. If you want to have some big figures looming over your players at your next adventure (Storm King’s Thunder, for example) the Icons of the Realms: Storm King’s Thunder is a great resource.



Assault of the Giants  (Boardgame)


Storm King - Assault-of-the-Giants boardgameRounding out the Storm King physical game offerings this year is a new boardgame entitled Assault of the Giants, releasing spring 2017. Not much is known at this point aside from its theme. Players each get one of the six types of giants to control (a 2-6 player game) and then thunder around the board claiming settlements and gathering resources (as well as some good old fashioned conflict.) Included in the game are 14 giant-sized miniatures (4+ inches tall) to present a pretty epic looking board.



Storm King’s Thunder (online RPG)


storm king - Neverwinter

Not to be left out, the D&D online RPG Neverwinter is adding content around the story. Famous Forgotten Realms characters Wulfgar and Catti-brie assist players against the Frost Giants in the north and high level players can go through an entire campaign around the storyline of Storm King’s Thunder. In addition, a new tier of Dungeon will also open up for players wanting a higher level of challenge.




storm king thunder neverwinter screenshot


That’s it for the Storm King’s Thunder line. There are a few other D&D books coming out that we’ll look at later…

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