Storm King’s Thunder: The Best Books For DMs

The Storm King's Thunder book cover

In Storm King’s Thunder, the Sword Coast and the North find themselves teetering on the brink of turmoil. The Ordening, an ancient giant hierarchy that has long maintained balance and peace among the towering inhabitants of this realm, has shattered. This collapse of societal structure sends shockwaves throughout the land, instigating conflicts that threaten to unravel the very fabric of the Forgotten Realms.

At the heart of this unrest lies the mysterious disappearance of King Hekaton, a ruler whose authority once kept the giant clans united under a common cause. His absence has left a power vacuum, with various giant lords emerging from the seclusion of their domains to wage war against one another and claim supremacy. Their rampages bring destruction to the smaller folk’s doorsteps, leaving towns and cities in ruin.

This campaign sets players against the backdrop of a fractured society, where the delicate balance of power has been disturbed, and the fate of the realms hangs in the balance. The adventurers are thrust into the center of this unfolding saga, tasked with unraveling the mystery of King Hekaton’s disappearance and restoring order to a world plunged into chaos. The journey will take then across the vast snowscapes of the North, South across the Sword Coast, and East into the heart of Faerun.

Between Myths and Legends

In Storm King’s Thunder, the call to adventure begins in the seemingly inconsequential town of Nightstone, where players are drawn into a conflict that stretches far beyond its borders. What starts as a local disturbance caused by cloud giants quickly escalates into a grand quest that spans the breadth of the Forgotten Realms, challenging adventurers to stand against the tide of disorder threatening to engulf the land.

The campaign masterfully blends exploration, diplomacy, and combat, requiring adventurers to employ a diverse set of skills to navigate the complex web of giant society. Each giant lord operates with distinct motivations and strategies, presenting players with opportunities to ally, negotiate, or combat their way through the challenges that lie ahead.

Beyond the immediate threat of the warring giants lies a deeper evil manipulating events for its own nefarious ends. Players must delve into ancient ruins, traverse treacherous landscapes, and confront legendary creatures to uncover the truth behind the disorder. Through its epic scale and deep lore, Storm King’s Thunder offers a campaign that is both a high-stakes adventure and a journey into the heart of the Forgotten Realms.

A World Alive with Conflict

Storm King’s Thunder leverages an open-world design to its fullest, granting adventurers the freedom to traverse the Sword Coast as they see fit. Along the way they encounter a realm where the actions of giants have thrown the natural order into disarray, inviting other dark forces to stake their claim.

At the heart of this narrative is the dynamic interplay of warring factions—giant lords vying for dominance, townsfolk caught in the crossfire, and otherworldly entities seeking to exploit the chaos. Each faction moves with its own agenda, making the realms a living chessboard where players’ actions can tip the balance of power. This design enriches the adventure and also places the emphasis squarely on player choice. Adventurers must navigate this web of alliances and enmities, knowing that their decisions will shape the fate of the North.

The campaign’s focus on meaningful consequences further elevates the experience. Choices made in one of the Forgotten Realms’ towns can resonate across the land, altering the course of the narrative and the lives of its inhabitants. This player agency imbues the adventure with a sense of urgency and significance, as players realize their role in a story much larger than themselves.

Elevating the Experience

Storm King’s Thunder provides a rich foundation for epic storytelling. However, the sheer scope and complexity of the campaign, with its intertwining plots and expansive settings, suggest that there’s room to elevate the experience even further. This is where the wealth of supplementary materials comes into play, designed to enhance and expand upon the adventure laid out in the core book.

To truly capture the essence of the campaign and fully realize its potential, we turn to a variety of additional resources and guides. These products, carefully crafted by seasoned creators, serve to deepen the narrative, enrich the lore, and provide Dungeon Masters with an array of tools for effective campaign management. By integrating these supplemental materials into Storm King’s Thunder, Dungeon Masters can craft an even more memorable and dynamic campaign.

Getting Storm King’s Thunder

A campaign as expansive as Storm King’s Thunder lends itself to a physical book, where you can leaf through the pages as the players move through the Sword Coast. You can get copies at your local gaming store or over at Amazon. If you prefer to keep it all digital, then you can also buy the Storm King’s Thunder – Roll20 VTT. Using a VTT like Roll20 offers dynamic maps, digital tokens, and immersive soundscapes that can make each session feel like a cinematic adventure.

For Dungeon Masters looking to harness the full potential of Storm King’s Thunder, you should also pick up Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants. This tome further expands on the society of giants, offers giant-themed class and background options, additional creatures, magic items, and more. It’s also offered for Roll20 with Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants – Roll20 VTT edition.

Campaign Guides and Enhancements

Navigating the Storm King’s Thunder campaign can be as daunting as facing a rampaging giant lord. To aid Dungeon Masters in crafting a memorable and cohesive adventure, a plethora of campaign guides and enhancements have been developed. These resources are invaluable for deepening the narrative, expanding the lore, and providing tools for effective campaign management.

A Guide to Storm King’s Thunder serves as an essential primer, offering insights into the adventure’s structure, key locations, and major factions. It equips DMs with strategies to seamlessly weave the story’s elements into a cohesive whole, ensuring players remain engaged from the mysterious beginnings in Nightstone to the epic confrontations in the courts of giant lords.

For a comprehensive toolkit, the Storm King’s Thunder – Complete DM’s Bundle includes maps, guides, cheatsheets, and more. It’s designed to streamline session preparation, offering ready-to-use resources that enhance the gameplay experience for both DMs and players.

To contextualize the adventure within the larger Forgotten Realms, Forgotten Realms Guide To Faerun offers a deep dive into the lore, geography, and history of the setting. This guide is invaluable for DMs looking to ground the campaign in the rich tapestry of the D&D universe, providing background information that can spur countless side adventures and character backstories.

Lastly, Volo’s Complete Subrace Handbook expands character creation options, introducing 80 subraces and variants that bring a new level of depth and personalization to the player characters. This handbook is perfect for players seeking to inhabit characters that are as unique and varied as the giants they will encounter.

Together, these guides and enhancements not only enrich the Storm King’s Thunder campaign but also provide DMs with the tools to adapt the adventure to their players’ interests, creating a truly customized and immersive D&D experience.

Expanding Adventures

For Dungeon Masters looking to enhance the epic journey of Storm King’s Thunder with more exploration and challenges, several additional adventures can be seamlessly integrated into the main storyline. These expansions offer diverse quests and deepen the adventure’s complexity and intrigue, providing players with unforgettable experiences beyond the core narrative.

Triboar Filler Quests offers a collection of side quests centered around the town of Triboar, a key location in the campaign. These quests not only provide additional context and depth to the town and its inhabitants but also come with VTT compatible maps, making them an ideal choice for online play.

Storm King’s Barrows: Tombs and Crypts of the North explores the ancient history of the North, inviting adventurers into the tombs and crypts lying hidden across the landscape. These sites, rich with lore and treasure, provide unique challenges and opportunities for heroism.

Hunted presents a scenario where the adventurers must discover what is killing the livestock in a remote community. Following the available leads results in a discovery of twisted abominations that show something much more sinister at work. This short adventure can be inserted as a side quest into your campaign when the characters are beterrn 5th and 7th level.

The Night of the Rise – Adventure offers a quest to deal with a bandit captain sends the characters across the land, and on the way discover an alternate solution. It gives the players the option to use their roleplaying skills to resolve things, or throw down and fight as they see fit. This can be inserted virtually anywhere in the campaign.

By incorporating these adventures into Storm King’s Thunder, DMs can provide their players with a richer, more diverse adventures that extends beyond the battle against the giants.

Enhancing Encounters

For Dungeon Masters aiming to diversify the encounters within Storm King’s Thunder, a suite of resources is available to enhance the campaign’s variety and complexity. These supplements offer a range of ready-to-use encounters that can be easily integrated into the adventure, adding depth to the journey through the North and the Savage Frontier.

Urban Encounters for Neverwinter breathes life into the city of Neverwinter, one of the key locations in Storm King’s Thunder. This resource provides a collection of 20 encounters that can occur within the city’s walls, a map of the city, and 50 quick names for NPCs. These encounters offer unexpected challenges and easy opportunities for roleplay.

Mythic Encounters elevates the stakes with encounters designed to feel epic and monumental. This supplement introduces powerful new mechanics to 36 high level monsters, along with new spells and magic items. This is ideal for crafting encounters that highlight the heroes’ growing reputation and power as they navigate the giant-infested landscapes of the North.

Encounters in the Savage Frontier provides 24 encounters specifically tailored for the wilderness areas that players will traverse in Storm King’s Thunder. With a wide variety of difficulty levels, this resource ensures that travel between key locations is anything but mundane, no matter the party level.

Encounters in the Savage Arctic extends the adventure into the frostbitten reaches of the North. This supplement offers 6 encounters and 8 adventures suited for icy landscapes. These encounters not only test the adventurers’ resilience the oft feared frozen northlands.

By incorporating these resources into Storm King’s Thunder, Dungeon Masters can ensure that their campaign remains dynamic and engaging with encounters that add extra excitement.

Magical Arsenal

The clash of giants offers not just epic battles but also the opportunity to discover magic artifacts steeped in giant lore. These resources can equip Dungeon Masters with a plethora of unique magical treasures that deepen the narrative connection to the world of giants.

King Hekaton’s Collection of Giants Magic Items presents 130 magic items, each with its origins tied to the lore of the giants. From weapons forged in the fires of giant forges to mystical artifacts passed down through giant royalty, this resource allows DMs to reward players with items that carry the weight and history of the campaign’s central figures.

Monster Loot – Storm King’s Thunder offers a comprehensive list of loot for each monster appearing in the main campaign book. This ensures that every encounter has the potential to yield unique and thematic loot. It adds an extra layer of excitement to combat encounters, as players know that defeating these formidable foes might grant them access to powerful magical items and resources.

The addition of thematic magic items and artifacts enriches the players’ journey, providing tangible rewards that reflect the grandeur of the campaign’s giant-centric saga.

Classic Inspirations

Storm King’s Thunder draws heavily from giants-themed adventures across D&D many editions. These classic D&D products have either inspired or can complement the Storm King’s Thunder campaign, offering a further look into the lore of giants and providing additional content for enriching the current adventure.

Against the Giants (1e) is the cornerstone of giant lore within D&D, originally introducing players to the concept of the Ordning and the detailed society of giants. This series of three adventures sets the precedent for the thematic elements explored in Storm King’s Thunder, offering a nostalgic return to the roots of giant conflicts within the D&D universe.

Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff (2e) offers the original 1e adventures, plus a sequel that could serve as a prelude to Storm King’s Thunder. This adventure reinforces the themes of heroism and resistance against overwhelming odds, providing additional context and challenges related to the giant races.

Revenge of the Giants (4e), using D&D 4th edition rules, encapsulates a modern take on the giant-themed adventure, blending elements of war, strategy, and the cosmic consequences of the giants’ actions. This resource can offer DMs alternative narratives and encounters that can be adapted to fit within the framework of Storm King’s Thunder, enhancing the campaign with fresh perspectives on the age-old conflict.

By using these classic inspirations for their Storm King’s Thunder campaign, DMs can pay homage to the legacy of giants within the D&D universe while offering players a more comprehensive and enriched gaming experience.


Storm King’s Thunder presents an epic narrative that challenges adventurers to navigate the complex politics of giantkind, confront formidable foes, and ultimately shape the fate of the Forgotten Realms. This campaign is not just about battling giants; it’s an exploration of themes such as honor, legacy, and the small but significant role individuals play in the vast machinations of the world. With its deep lore, sprawling landscapes, and intricate plot, Storm King’s Thunder offers a journey that is as rewarding as it is challenging.

The resources outlined in this blog post serve as invaluable tools for Dungeon Masters looking to enhance the Storm King’s Thunder experience. These supplements deepen the narrative and expand the scope of the adventure. You are encouraged to delve into these resources, integrating them into your campaigns to create a more immersive, dynamic, and memorable experience. Whether it’s through the inclusion of additional adventures that explore the lore of giants or utilizing detailed maps and encounter supplements, each addition serves to elevate the campaign.

Embrace the journey, forge your path through the land of giants, and leave your mark on the world of the Forgotten Realms.

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