Giants typically have the extraordinary ability rock throwing:

A giant of at least Large size can hurl rocks weighing 40 to 50 pounds each (Small objects) up to five range increments. The size of the range increment varies with the giant’s variety. A Huge giant can hurl rocks of 60 to 80 pounds (Medium objects). (Monster Manual 119)

However, I've found giants' limited rate of rock-tossing inadequate for my purposes. See, each Monster Manual giant, whether it takes a standard attack or a full attack, makes just one attack with a thrown rock.

Is the only thing preventing a giant from making iterative attacks with its rocks the giant's lack of the feat Quick Draw (Player's Handbook 99), and taking the feat is enough for the giant to realize those iterative thrown rock attacks?


2 Answers 2


I think Quick Draw won't help.

The reason is, rocks aren't in easy reach1 (not in scabbard or quiver), and presumably you can't do much to change that. They are unwieldy and bulky, and a giant probably picks them one-by-one from the ground with a move action. Your regular character for example won't be able to quick draw a javelin lying on the ground near her feet.

Yes, maybe if your giants made an ambush and readied a position with a series of boulders on some kind of a stair or ledge of appropreate height to easily pick rocks from it and they aren't forced to move from there... maybe then you may treat aforementioned ledge as some equivalent of a scabbard and let Quick Draw feat to work.

  1. Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat [...] requires a [action type changed by Quick Draw feat] action. This action also applies to weapon-like objects carried in easy reach, such as wands. If your weapon or weapon-like object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of easy reach, treat this action as retrieving a stored item.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Applying a weight factor of 8, the equivalent for a Medium character would be to throw stones of 5 to 6 pounds (2 to 3 kg) or 3x the weight of a Javelin. I don't see a Medium character with a bandolier or pouch of rocks where each weigh 5 to 6 pounds indeed :( \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2018 at 11:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. There's no restriction against a Medium creature using the feat Quick Draw to draw forth an orc shotput (the final 3.5e version appearing Dungeon #118 64 ), and that's just a big metal ball weighing 10 lbs., and that means a Medium creature can make iterative attacks with Small orc shotputs that each weigh 5 lbs. However, you're right in that I don't really know how the dude carries them, but were I a fantasy warrior who'd dedicated my life to mastering the orc shotput, I'd like to think I'd find a way. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2018 at 11:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear, a true giant's carrying capacity is immense: any Large true giant will have light load that's over half a ton! Carrying 10 45-lb. rocks in a sack seems much more convenient than relying on rocks that so happen to be present in the environment. And, while we're discussing real-world issues, a sling stone (not sling bullet) is an actual free rock that can be drawn forth by anyone from its container—likely a small sack—as a free action. (I'm not trying to prove this answer wrong or anything, BTW; instead, I'm just hoping this answer considers all the angles.) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2018 at 12:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I think your sack is the same as my ledge. I mean, my last paragraph says: if you can invent reasonable way for giants to put numerous boulders in easy reach, it enables Quick Draw. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2018 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I somehow see rock jugglers becoming a thing amongst giants.... \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 10, 2018 at 1:41

Yes - and there are alternatives

Monster Manual p 120 describes the typical giants' "big leather shoulder sacks", dispels the myths remaining from 1e/2e and then says:

In truth they usually hold a few battered and smelly personal items, a supply of throwing rocks, some less than fresh rations and some personal trinkets.

The key sentence for Draw or Sheathe a Weapon is:

If your weapon or weaponlike object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of easy reach, treat this as retrieving a stored item.

If the shoulder sack is considered to be a grimy handbag/manbag (as appropriate) slung over the master shoulder and hanging down the non-master side of the body, it is not "out of easy reach", although given the infinite variations on equipment carriage it will always be the GM's call. While finding one specific item in such a bag might be time-consuming (we have all seen people going through their bags for ages looking for that missing receipt or loyalty card) plunging a hand in to grab the first big throwable rock out of a supply of same is pretty simple. In some instances it might be appropriate for an action to be taken opening the sack on the first round of combat only (eg where it has been laced shut while climbing or in inclement weather).

If there was a better-resourced stone-throwing giant who is stocking different ammunition types to throw (silver, cold iron, barrels of pitch) then they can afford to get a custom sack to let them locate particular ammunition by touch, just as many adventurers have sheaths, Ehlonna's Quiver etc in D&D and soldiers have load-bearing equipment today.

Alternatives to rapid fire

While there are numerous variables, rapid fire may not be the best way to boost damage. For GMs who really want to dish the hits out to their players there is the Hulking Hurler prestige class (Complete Warrior page 40-42). The Two-Handed Hurl Trick "Meteor Strike" will deal quite impressive damage to a single target in a single round - base damage + 3 x Strength modifier (1 x Str mod for standard, 2 x Str mod for the trick). This can be further boosted if Ranged Power Attack is taken as the last trick in the prestige class.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks - edited to remove reference to 1.5 x Str mod for two-handed throw \$\endgroup\$ Jul 11, 2018 at 2:04

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