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Fomorian Guide 5e: How to Play This Particular Giantkin

Huge giant, chaotic evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 149 (13d12+65)

Speed 30 ft.

      STR DEX         CON          INT    WIS         CHA

    23 (+6)       10 (0)   20 (+5)       9 (-1)       14 (+2)      6 (-2)

Skills Perception +8, Stealth +3

Senses darkvision 120 ft.

Languages Giant, Undercommon

Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Actions 

Multiattack. The fomorian attacks twice with its greatclub or makes one greatclub attack and uses Evil Eye once.

Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Evil Eye. The fomorian magically forces a creature it can see within 60 feet of it to make a DC 14 Charisma saving throw. The creature takes 27 (6d8) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Curse of the Evil Eye (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). With a stare, the fomorian uses Evil Eye, but on a failed save, the creature is also cursed with magical deformities. While deformed, the creature has its speed halved and has disadvantage on ability checks, saving throws, and attacks based on Strength or Dexterity.

The transformed creature can repeat the saving throw whenever it finishes a long rest, ending the effect on a success.

Source: Monster Manual

What Are Fomorians?

Cursed and wicked, the Fomorians are the most hideous and cruel of giantkind. Disfigured by a magical curse that affects all Fomorians, these monsters have warty heads, misshapen limbs, and wicked hearts.

Once a handsome race, the Fomorians were disfigured after they attempted to conquer the Feywild. The Fey united against the Fomorians and retaliated, cursing them with their magical deformations. The Fomorians have plotted revenge ever since.

Dwellers of the Underdark, Fomorians are deadly hunters, rarely showing mercy to the prey they hunt. These monsters are quite fond of mammal meat and will eat humanoids, devouring them, or forcing them to toil as slaves. Torture is their favorite spice. 

Here is a cool Fomorian Miniature by the way if you’re into that. I love miniature painting 😉

Are Fomorians Giants?

Fomorians are giantkin, meaning their ancestry includes humanoid as well as giant. Like all giantkin, these creatures can trace their lineage back to Othea, mother of all giants.

Legends state that Othea produced four sons from her union with Ulutiu, Lord of Ice. One of these four sons was incredibly beautiful. He was the first Fomorian.

Giantkin are smaller in stature than true giants, but they still tower over humans, elves, and other races. Fomorians can’t throw boulders at their enemies, as their larger cousins are known to do, but they do speak the giant language.

Each Fomorian has an “evil eye” that it can use to curse other creatures. This evil eye is usually yellow, like a cat’s eye, and bulbous. 

The Curse of the Evil Eye

The elves who recorded the history of the Fomorians recall a time when these giantkin possessed unrivaled magical abilities and brilliant minds. But the Fomorians only obtained outer beauty, and their hearts were full of cruel desires.

Eventually, the Fomorians turned their minds toward warfare and attempted to conquer the Feywild. Seeking to take the Feywild’s magic for their own, the Fomorians unleashed terror upon its inhabitants. The Fey fought back, cursing the Fomorians. 

From that time on, the Fomorians have had exteriors that reflect their viscous hearts. The magical curse twists every Fomorian, leaving them with painful disfigurements.

These misshapen bodies make Fomorians difficult to clothe. For this reason, Fomorians usually piece together clothing looted from their victims, relying on their Natural Armor to protect them in battle.

After they were cursed, Fomorians fled underground, finding a new home among the deadly monsters of the Underdark. 

Where to Find Fomorians

Fomorians make lairs in the Underdark, typically near sources of water, fish, and mushrooms. Fomorians rely on others to harvest their food for them, making slaves of any unfortunate creatures that come near their lair.

When these slaves outlive their usefulness, Fomorians eat them as well. A Fomorian lair is usually decorated with the skulls and bones of the dead, victims of their ravenous hunger for flesh. These “decorations” serve as a warning for intruders. 

Rarely venturing to the surface, these giantkin are skilled in Perception and Stealth. While they prefer to smash their enemies with a greatclub, Fomorians also take delight in using their Evil Eye ability to inflict magical deformities on any would-be heroes or heroines that cross their path.

Most Fomorians live in small groups and often make their homes in caves. Fomorians roam the Underdark looking for Mushroom Forests, often battling for control of them once found. These wondrous and deadly forests serve as an excellent food source for the Fomorians.

As a testament to their cruelty, Fomorians paint the walls of their cavernous homes with the blood of their victims, sometimes stitching together horrible mockeries of the dead using severed limbs.

Fomorian Culture

Fomorian society is based on physical strength and domination. They live in small groups deep below the surface, within the vast subterranean caves of the Underdark.

These giantkin form strict hierarchies enforced by violence. Fomorians will take other creatures as slaves, forcing them to harvest food or perform other labors. Distrustful by nature, Fomorians rarely make alliances with outsiders.

Because Fomorians are a cursed race, most creatures take little pity on them. As a result of the magical deformities bestowed upon them by the Fey, these monsters are unable to hurl stones and rely on greatclubs to bash their prey.

Against more formidable enemies, Fomorians use their Evil Eye ability to unleash a curse of their own. Chaotic evil by nature, Fomorians rarely form lasting bonds with others, giant or otherwise. 

The only time Fomorians will form agreements with outsiders is when they fear the power of the other party. In these situations, Fomorians are typically only as loyal as they are afraid.

Any agreements or pacts made between Fomorians and other evil creatures usually deteriorate rapidly if the Fomorians realize they have the upper hand. In these circumstances, the Fomorians may choose to devour the other member(s) of the pact.

Because Fomorian society is based on power and perceptions of strength, these creatures have an innate desire for authority. Desiring power for themselves, a Fomorian will betray, dominate, and terrorize others at every opportunity. Fomorians seize power at all costs. 

How Should Players Fight Fomorians

Players who find themselves face-to-face with a hideous Fomorian should keep their distance. Using ranged attack will keep players from getting smashed with a greatclub. 

Spells that increase a player’s Charisma score will be helpful against Fomorians. Character’s targeted by a Fomorian’s Evil Eye ability risk taking 6d8 of psychic damage on a failed saving throw.

What’s worse, Fomorians can use this ability to inflict magical deformities on the players, punishing them with a temporary version of the Fomorian curse.

Characters stricken by the Curse of the Evil Eye have disadvantage on ability checks, saving throws, and attacks. The character’s speed is also halved. A player cursed this way can repeat the saving throw after a long rest.

How Should a DM Run Fomorians?

An encounter between the party and a Fomorian—or a group of Fomorians—is likely to go sour quickly. Fomorians are known for decorating the entrance to their layers with the corpses of the dead.

This is meant to intimidate strangers who come wandering into their territory. They’re not exactly the friendlies of giantkin.

Fomorians aren’t unintelligent, and they speak both Giant and Undercommon. While Fomorians are extremely capable and viscous hunters, they’re unlikely to fight to the death if they feel outmatched.

In fact, if the players appear formidable, a Fomorian may be willing to strike a temporary truce. Of course, the Fomorian will likely betray the party as soon as the monster gets a chance.

Adventures in the Underdark usually involve high-level players, so running into a Fomorian is unlikely in the early stages of most campaigns. Hopefully, the players will have plenty of options to use against these giants, including magic items and spells, by the time they run into them. 

As a DM, feel free to use these creatures as you see fit. Just because the Fomorians are cursed doesn’t mean they can’t find redemption. Some of the best DnD adventures involve bending the rules and lore in surprising ways. 

A Giant Conundrum

The Fomorian’s story is tragic. The once beautiful race fell into depravity and wickedness, ending up cursed forever by the Fey. Players patrolling the caverns and tunnels on the Underdark might run into Fomorians, especially if they travel near sources of water and Mushroom Forests.

Don’t expect any sympathy from a Fomorian. They prefer torture to diplomacy. Unless the players are looking to get pulverized into a pulp, they should avoid picking a fight with a Fomorian. 

Fomorians carry little of value, so don’t expect to find much in the way of treasure after a fight with them. They say fighting monsters is its own reward.