Ok, here's a quick pitch for a game project I've been chewing over. The Clay that Woke
showed me that maybe it's not as radical as I thought so, if you'll bare with me, I'll share some ideas I've been having:"Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread."Setting
The Year is 1642 and England is at war with itself! Brother fights brother as Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army clash with Royalist forces for control of the nation. These are the last years of the giants whose ancient presence in these isles will be extinguished by the first flourishes of modernity. Players take on the role of the giants, nomadic humanoids 25-50 feet tall who have lived alongside the Britons since the dawn of time, with their own culture being passed from giant to giant through the centuries - tales of great warriors and ancient grudges. Giants are fearsome in battle, ugly as hell and greedy opportunists on top of it all - often seeing themselves literally above the suffering of the little men. Conflict with "Christians" has been regular but it's mostly Giants coming down from the hills to extort small communities with threats of violence or "sell" their "services" for livestock and beer.
The ancient laws of England state that every parish must be responsible for the upkeep of longbowmen in their defence against roving giants. The killing of a giant in this way is rare, although the advent of cannon and musket has radically changed this tenuous balance. Giants, for all their lack of empathy with humans, are very interested in the bloodlines of the little men and will hold grudges against those who do them harm for generations to come. Giantslayers are folk heroes but the threat of retaliation is very real. Giants are territorial and the longest-lived are those who've made pacts of mutual interest with the humans living in their "thrall," though this can lead to destructive combat between Giants fighting for influence.
Giants are keen warriors, effective with tree-trucks and boulders as well as fists and feet. Blades of iron of any size are uncommon but are a sure signs of a Giant's prowess and successful extortion of human metallurgy on a vast scale for giants have no forges of their own. The Kings of the Little Men have sometimes called the Giants to a moot, as is their ancient right, and Giants have gone to fight in human wars for wine, horses, gold and amnesty for their crimes. Charles I fears the giants and Cromwell holds them in high contempt but both Royalists and Parliamentarians would rather buy off the local Big-Men than have them interfere in their battleplans.Gameplay
Players take on the role of a wandering Giants in 17th Century England. Giants are primarily motivated by hunger and rely greatly on human contact for sustenance, which brings them into a range of conflicts and relationships (hunting and foraging are less dangerous options but the pickings are slim when your stomach can house a large family with room to spare!). PCs will be able to move around a large map with an eye on campaign play and potentially PvP activity: making "Demands" of human villages and considering "offers" from the same, developing relationship with communities (both for good and bad) and with other giants (who are, after all, rivals for resources). Sandbox gameplay with good relationship/grudge maps motivating players to interfere with one another's activities and resource gathering. Giant-fights'll be the star of the show: I've written a nice little damage table that gives them the feel of Shoho moster-movies - lots of collateral damage and fall out for any humans caught in the vicinity.
As campaign play wears on I'd hope players would call for one side or the other in the Civil War and in doing so seal the fate of the Big Men. Bonus Round
In addition to writing this up into a little gamebook, I'd also like to write a section converting the Giants of England and Wales into D&D-terms to help GMs include this content in pre-existing campaigns, so more focused on dealing with Giants as a race on the human scale. Really, this game's a dumb conceptual Joke anyway - you're playing the monster from the manual fighting against adventuring parties played by the GM.
Let me know if this pleases you or fires up your imagination. I'm interested in moving away from traditional party-play and into a more greyscale world of inhuman motivations and complex relationships. You know, playing the monster. tl;dr - you are one of the most powerful land creatures to ever grace the earth but your numbers are fewer every year. Conflict, banditry and the brutal politics of Hunger are your Jam. Help me brainstorm how to represent this through gameplay?