[RPG] How to play a dumb and stupid and Intelligent Hill Giant


The Hill Giant (DW p.272) is described thusly:

Ever seen an ogre before? Bigger than that. Dumber & meaner, too.

In addition, it has the move

  • Do something stupid.

However, it has the tag Intelligent.

How should I interpret these two characteristics–dumb/stupid vs. intelligent–that seem, to me, in direct opposition?

Best Answer

There's no conflict. The intelligent tag sets a very low bar — it just means that it's a type of creature that has more than instinct or animal cunning going for it. Its definition is:

It’s smart enough that some individuals pick up other skills. The GM can adapt the monster by adding tags to reflect specific training, like a mage or warrior.

“Smart enough” doesn't mean it needs to be Socrates or Buckminster Fuller,* it just needs to be more than D&D-style Int 1 or 2. So it's intelligent, in contrast to a tiger or a slime or a zombie. It can learn, and make mistakes, and do things that are stupid in the sense that intelligent beings can do stupid things.

* Though if you're playing DW for a bit of comedy, a Hill Giant with enormous spectacles, a slate cliff face covered in chalk-boulder scrawls, and surrounded by fabulous (and dangerous) Rube Goldberg inventions made out of rocks and sticks would be pretty great.