I've looked online for information regarding Giant-kin bows and all I can find on the topic is the weight and weapon size for them.
Per The Complete Book of Humanoids (PHBR10)

  • giant-kin long bow 125gp 8lbs G speed 10
  • arrow 1/12gp - G - P - 1d8 1d8

This is all I can find online and in the hand books I have. My questions:

  1. Is there a larger bow then this (my current character is a 10' giant-kin firbolg with a 20/94 strength whatever that means...)
  2. If so, what is the cost wieght and other info in the bows?
  3. What is the range of the arrows or are they the same as normal arrows
  4. Are there different types of arrows?

2 Answers 2


Using a giant-kin bow as a firbolg

To answer in order

  1. It's as big of a bow as you'll find
  2. You've got the stats
  3. +50% range for the giant-kin long bow.
  4. As with other bows/arrows, if you find magical arrows they'll each have the features of that kind of magical arrow.

But firbolgs start out as melee fighters, not bow fighters

Granted, you can work through the details with your DM and find solutions, but:

"The entries for weapon and nonweapon proficiencies list each humanoid race's initial selections. Unless the DM approves another proficiency, or a special kit is taken, PCs of a particular humanoid race must select their initial proficiencies from their lists." (p. 16, Complete Book of Humanoids)

Initially, as a Firbolg, you won't begin the adventure as proficient with a bow. Your can ask your DM to approve the bow proficiency, or, you may need to wait a few levels to add proficiency with that bow to your PC's list of proficient weapons. That will be governed by whatever class you end up playing.

Firbolg's initial weapons proficiencies are with: club, halberd, 2H sword {they wield human sized two-handed swords one-handed}, giantkin halberd, giantkin 2H sword (Source: Complete Guide to Humanoids (this is consistent with the MM entry))

If you want to begin with proficiency with the bow, you may want to choose the voadkyn rather than the firbolg for your starting PC race. Up to you.

Once proficient, you will be able to fire 2 arrows per round with basic proficiency, both of which get your strength damage: so each one is 1d8 + 7 on a hit. I am not sure how you arrived at that strength score (20/94%) during character generation: I'll leave it to you and your DM to figure out if the damage bonus is greater than a +7. (The +7 is based on a strength of 19). If the 20/94% damage bonus is higher than +7, then sub in that bonus for the +7 above.

As with most things in AD&D: work with your DM. You may end up having to accept a non-proficiency penalty for each attack roll until you can earn a proficiency slot for that bow. Or, you can (hopefully) talk your DM into letting you begin as proficient with that weapon.

(Thanks to @Glazius for assistance in preparing this answer)


The giant-kin bow is listed as a Gargantuan (G) weapon. Firbolgs are Large creatures, so two-handed they can wield up to Huge (H). Something giant size would be unusable. It seems likely that this was an oversight on the author's part though, as a number of the starting proficiencies for Firbolg are giant-kin weapons sized as G. I would rule they are actually size H.

That said, under the Firbolgs entry: When using weapons of their own make (huge double-sized versions of human weapons), firbolg can wield them with both hands to inflict double damage.

There are additional rules for giant-sized weapons in Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff (TSR 11413), where Huge size giants get weapons that do double normal damage. By those rules, a hill giant's two handed sword would do the same damage as, but be one size larger than, a firbolg's two handed sword. So these rules wouldn't be favorable to you, but are technically available.

Finally, Dragon Magazine #109. It's a whole chart for converting weapons size/damage for just about every humanoid size category going up to Titan. It also has rules for the increased hurled and propelled missile ranges of these larger weapons.


  1. As Korvin pointed out, this issue of Dragon was published before 2e. 2e was originally designed to be backward compatible with 1e, though that was abandoned around 1993. See: Is it possible to mix different versions of AD&D?
  2. I wasn't satisfied just linking the above interview with the author of the 2e Core Books, as I knew this was addressed somewhere in officially published materials. Greyhawk Adventures (TSR 2023) was published in 1988, a year before 2nd edition. My copy has a pow bubble on the cover that states it is compatible with both 1e and 2e. Inside the book itself, the new rules address discrepancies between 1e and 2e where they come up (for example, size categories). I know this topic was addressed in length in another book's intro though.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sweet, Dragon Mag reference. 👍 I think that's from the AD&D 1e era (1985), but that's a good resource. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2020 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for pointing that out. I updated my answer to reflect that information, and also included some additional information regarding 2e backward compatibility. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2020 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is expected, based on core rules, that weapon sizes follows creature sizes: tiny, small, medium, large, huge and gargantuan. The G on weapon tables in TCBoH following this line of thought, should be for gargantuan, but it is obvious that the author uses G for Giant-kin weapons, since dagger and bow are same size. Maybe for emphasize the nerf where giants only have bonus damage from strength with giant-kin weapons. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Nov 30, 2020 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I already upvoted this answer, but I want to thank you for introducing me to the term pow bubble. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2, 2020 at 16:21

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