A belt of giant strength,[3][4][5] or a girdle of giant strength,[1][2] was a magic belt that imbued the wearer with greater strength,[3] like that of a giant.[1][2][4]

Strong as a giant, says his belt.

Description[edit | edit source]

Generally, there were several types of belts of giant strength, each corresponding to a type of giant. The more powerful the belt, the rarer it was. In order of power, they were:[1][2][4]

However, in some time periods, the number of belt types were reduced, and were just known as belts of giant strength.[3][5]

Powers[edit | edit source]

When donned, the wearer became much physically stronger (unless they were already somehow more powerful than a giant[1][2][4] or had other specific sources of strength enhancement[3][5]), but would remain the same size. As such, they would deal more damage with physical attacks, smash open doors more easily, carry more weight, and hurl (heavier) rocks further. They could also have a higher chance to hit foes, as well as pry open bars or lift gates.[1][2][3][4]

The additional physical power bestowed open the wearer did not accumulate with other sources of magical strength.[1][2][3][4][5] However, there were exceptions, such as when a pair of gauntlets of ogre power or magic warhammers like the Hammer of Thunderbolts, were equipped alongside the belts.[1][2][3][4]

History[edit | edit source]

These magical items drastically changed throughout the history of Faerûn and beyond, from their names to their powers.[1][2][3][4][5]

Prior to 1371 DR[edit | edit source]

A belt of giant strength before 1371 DR.

Prior to 1371 DR, they were known as girdles instead of belts, and looked very similar to ordinary belts. In these times, there were six distinct types, each representing the six types of giant. Belts of frost giant strength were more powerful than belts of stone giant strength. These girdles could only be worn by clerics, fighters, and thieves.[1][2] They had a sale value of approximately 2,500 gp.[1]

1371 DR to the Spellplague[edit | edit source]

After 1371 DR, and up to the Spellplague, these items became known as belts of giant strength. The belts themselves also became generic in both power and name. The belts no longer scaled with respect to the strength of the giant, instead providing an enhancement to the wearer strength; they became known as only belts of giant strength, i.e., the giant type was not included. There appeared to be two main types of belt during this period: belts of giant strength +4 and belts of giant strength +6. They appeared as broad leather belts that were studded with iron, and could be made by very skilled crafters, as long as they knew the bull's strength spell. The lesser version sold for about 16,000 gp, whilst the greater version sold for 36,000 gp.[3]

The Spellplague to the Second Sundering[edit | edit source]

After the devastation of the Spellplague, these belts appeared to greatly decrease in power, and became even more generic. Similarly to the previous time period, they slotted around the waist, and were made of rough leather that was studded with chunks of stone. However, instead of having multiples varieties, there was just one, which had a price of approximately 25,000 gp.[5]

Instead of increasing the wearer's strength in all activities, they only made the wearer slightly stronger in some of their abilities and provided increased damage. They did not allow the wearer to have an increased chance of hitting the foe, or improve other combat skills. Only once per day, the belts allowed the wearers to make a more powerful attack.[5]

After the Second Sundering[edit | edit source]

Following the Second Sundering, these belts reverted to their unique giant types, but were still known as belts instead of girdles. As prior to 1371 DR, there were six types, but two functioned the same: the stone and frost giant varieties (as these giants has the same strength in this era). These two belts provided the same strength, but looked different. All the belts had different designs.[4]

Notable Owners[edit | edit source]

Vasos Flameslayer wearing his girdle of frost giant strength.

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Prior to 1371 DR, the belt of frost giant strength was superior to the belt of stone giant strength. However, following the Second Sundering, they were of the same power. See the History section for more information.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Card Games
Video Games
Curse of the Azure BondsSecret of the Silver BladesPools of DarknessBaldur's Gate II: Shadows of AmnBaldur's Gate II: Throne of BhaalTales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Gary Gygax (1979). Dungeon Masters Guide 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 145. ISBN 0-9356-9602-4.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 David Cook (April 1995). Dungeon Master Guide 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 226. ISBN 978-0786903283.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 248. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 155. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 252. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  6. R.A. Salvatore (September 2014). Rise of the King. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-6515-0.
  7. R.A. Salvatore (September 2014). Rise of the King. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 192. ISBN 0-7869-6515-0.
  8. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (DM's Sourcebook of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  9. Rick Brown, James Ward (1991). AD&D Trading Cards 1991 series, #523, "Gershom". TSR, Inc..
  10. Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 121. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
  11. John Terra (November 1997). Four from Cormyr. (TSR, Inc), pp. 67–68. ISBN 0-7869-0646-4.
  12. Rick Brown, James Ward (1991). AD&D Trading Cards 1991 series, #120, "Thunderstorm". TSR, Inc..
  13. Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 112–113. ISBN 0786966769.
  14. Rick Brown, James Ward (1991). AD&D Trading Cards 1991 series, #608, "Vasos Flameslayer". TSR, Inc..
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