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Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Giant Hogs of Greyhawk & Blackmoor Dungeons

In response to the Monster Table comparison yesterday, Teenage Visigoth commented that the Basic Set tables "should have kept the giant hogs". This refers to the 3rd level tables in OD&D and Greyhawk, which have an entry for Giant Hogs. This is a now mostly forgotten wandering monster, but was found in both Greyhawk and Blackmoor dungeons:

In Gygax's description of Castle Greyhawk in the Europa zine, Aug 1975, posted here, we learn, "The sixth [level] was a repeating maze with dozens of wild hogs (3 dice) in inconvenient spots, naturally backed up by appropriate numbers of Wereboars."

And in the First Fantasy Campaign (1977), Arneson has Giant Hogs in room 14 on level 5 of the Blackmoor Dungeons: "3 Giant Hogs: AC4, 4 [HD]/17 HTK."

The Hogs are not described anywhere else in the LBBs or Greyhawk, but would fall under "Large Insects or Animals" on page 20 of Monsters & Treasure, a highly variable group that includes all giant animals as well as dinosaurs. Number appearing is 2-16, and the rest of the stats are basically DM's choice: AC2-8, HD 2-20, Damage 2-4 d6. But the stats for Wereboars, which at HD 4+1 are tougher than Gygax or Arneson's Hogs, could be used as a guideline. There's also the Wild Boar in the Monster Manual, which is HD3+3, AC7, Damage 3-12. So we could come up with something like this:

Giant Hog

Move: 120 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 3-4
Armor Class: 7
Treasure Type: nil
Attacks: 1
Damage: 2-12

The Monster Manual also has a "Giant Boar", but they are prehistoric beasts with 6 HD, much larger than the original Greyhawk Hogs.

For an even better take on dungeon hogzillas, see the Purple Pigs at the Rended Press. This creature was inspired by an entry on a 'corrected' 1st print Holmes table.

(This post adapted from some of my posts in a Giant Hogs thread on OD&D Discussion)


  1. I am thinking of the entelodont ...
    see U tube

  2. also a longer video of the 600+ lb hell pig

  3. Those things are damn scary.
    I know a guy who bow hunts the MUCH smaller wild pigs we have around here and he says even those are nothing to laugh at.
    I'd reference movies like Hannibal and Razorback for more scary pig visuals.

  4. I've got Dungeon Swine and Tunnel Boars on my low-life encounter table. such hall hogs serve a variety of purposes in a dungeon: mask presence of wereboars, a nod to dungeon ecology giving monsters something to eat, indicate there are some dungeon residents keeping pigs to eat (poorly), and there is something that might be turning hapless adventurers into hogs somewhere in the dungeon.