Jotun Species in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil


The mighty Giant Vikings of the frozen north

All male race

Base Racial Traits

Ability Score Modifiers: (+4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma) Jotun are creatures who trace their roots back to the very birth of the world, and are considered the primal form of life itself. They are very strong, durable, and wise, but their large bodies have a hard time moving nimbly and they are very gruff and violent.   Size: Jotun are large sized creatures, and gain the penalties and bonuses from it. Jotun gain no additional bonuses to ability scores due to their size. All ability score bonuses are factored into the race.   Type: Jotun are Humanoids with the Giant subtype, and gain all the associated bonuses/penalties.   Speed: Jotun begin play with a base land speed of 30ft.   Vision: Jotun have low-light vision, and can see twice as far as others in low-light conditions.   Languages: Jotun begin play speaking the Regional Language(See Languages of Zheng-Kitar) that reflects their origins, and Giant. A Jotun with high INT may choose from (Common, Necril, Baltairi, Orc, Ezdhûlian, Infernal, Abyssal, and Celestial)   Frostborn: Jotun gain Cold Resist 10 and Immunity to effects caused by Cold Weather Environments. Gain the Prehensile Hair witch hex as a witch of your level that deals 1d6 damage instead of 1d3 and counts its STR score as your STR OR INT score(Whichever is higher). However, you may only animate your beard in this way, and your beard can never be cut, trimmed, sundered, destroyed, or damaged unless you wish it, even when not using this ability.   Blizzard Breath: Once every 1d4+1 rounds, a Jotun can exhale a 30ft cone of frosty wind as a swift action that snap-freezes the ground - all squares within this radius become magical difficult terrain, and automatically attempt a grapple check at a +20 against targets that begin their turn within these squares that, if successful, causes the target to become entangled for 1 round. This duration can stack indefinitely if they continue to stay within the area of difficult terrain. The difficult terrain, once created, vanishes after 2 rounds.   Jotunbody: Jotun count their STR score as 10 higher for the purposes of carrying capacity and lifting weight. Additionally, they count as one size category larger for the purposes of combat maneuvers and treat their size penalty to attack rolls as if they were one size category lower.   Empty-Handed Mastery: Jotun can choose to gain one of the following effects when wielding a weapon by focusing on it for a full round. Once picked for a given weapon, it cannot be changed for 24 hours. These bonuses only apply when the Jotun is wielding the enhanced weapon.  
  • Gain proficiency with it.
  • Apply the Icy Burst Weapon Special Quality to it.
  • Change the damage ability for a weapon from STR to DEX, or vice versa.
  True Strength: Jotun gain two Knowledge skills as class skills and gain an extra skill point for every level they gain. If they already possess all or all but one Knowledge skill, they instead gain a +2 racial bonus to one or two knowledge skills. Additionally, they gain one additional bonus language starting out.   Fan the Undying Flame: Jotun are apocalyptically difficult to kill - whenever a Jotun is brought below 0HP and would normally be considered "dying", they enter a unique state. In this state, while they continue to lose hit points each round as normal, their death threshold functions differently than all other races: each round they are "dying", they can continue to fight and move as if they were above 0HP, but each round at the end of their turn they are not at 0HP or above they must roll 2d20+10 and add it to their "petrification pool" - when this pool's numbers add up to 100, they die as normal as their bodies entirely turn to stone. Taking damage while in this state adds 1/2 the damage total to their petrification pool, and the pool resets to 0 once they are brought back above 0HP. Any magical healing reduces their petrification pool by the total amount healed, and halves the amount a given Jotun petrifies in the following round. A Breath of Life will bring a fully slain, petrified Jotun back from the dead if it would normally apply, but once a raise dead or similar spell is required a Stone to Flesh, Break Enchantment, or Remove Curse spell will also need to be applied in order to restore them to life.   Hlodvi's Concordat: Jotun are capable of entering any structure or space designed for creatures smaller than themselves(Down to such places designed for small size creatures, no smaller) that they would normally not be able to or would have a hard time fitting into as if they were a creature of that size. Their physical size does actually change, but for mechanical reasons and ease of play their mechanics from their original size remain. This is an extraordinary ability and cannot be dispelled or suppressed.

Basic Information


Jotun are creatures defined by their massive, hulking bodies that tower over smaller trees and men alike. As beings descended from Titans of yore, Jotun have a large amount of muscle mass on their hulking frames that are defined by their two legs, two arms, and head placed atop their torso. Jotun have a well-developed circulatory system that pumps the lifeblood of their bodies across their internals and limbs at a pace nearly three times that of smaller races, their hearts thundering at a rapid pace to keep their blood flowing as fast as lightning...a fact which serves to keep them warm even in the most frigid of conditions. They have incredibly durable bones and muscles as strong as bands of iron, and are easily strong enough to nearly snap a tree in half with their bare hands.   The most famous part of Jotun anatomy, however, is a unique gland that only they are said to possess within their bodies that they refer to as the "Fomorian Furnace", a small gland that only becomes active when Jotun come close to death or when they learn to tap into it...upon its activation, it excretes a massive amount of chemical concoctions, adrenaline, and sheer testosterone into their bodies which often serves to increase their physical prowess manyfold but also sends them spiraling into a frenzy of rage. It is also this "Fomorian Furnace" that allows Jotun to continue living, breathing, and staying conscious so far after they should have fallen into unconsciousness and even death as the chemicals and raw adrenaline booming through their bodies sustain them and keep their souls anchored to their bodies with sheer furious force.   Jotun are almost universally incredibly hairy creatures, and almost all sport thick beards and long, thick hair that cascades from their head and chin in equal splendor. Their hair is also said to grow nearly twenty or thirty times quicker than any other creature present on Zheng-Kitar quickly that Jotun can shave their heads bald and chins bare and return to hair that cascades down to the waist and to a beard that drapes down to the stomach and waist in barely over a week. Many modern scholars assume this freakish hair growth rate of theirs is a result of their Species' adapting to protect themselves from their cold environments.

Biological Traits

Jotun are incredibly hairy, and the color of their hair can vary between individuals but tends to be much darker and thicker in colors such as blacks, dark reds or purples, and so on. The thickness, makeup, and texture of the hair adorning their chins and heads can also vary to a similar degree. Jotun tend to have a large amount of muscle mass, but are capable of gaining more or losing it entirely based on their lifestyles. They can vary wildly in height but are almost never found smaller than twice the size of an adult human male or more.   Jotun are universally a male race, and as such all possess male reproductive organs, testosterone, and other bodily processes. Having no females among their number they often rely on the titanic Dai-Yukai or females of other races to birth new children, though they are just as often used by them for the same purpose. Additionally, Jotun are spoken of at the truest and purest descendants of the ancient Titans and Primordial Giants, and thus not only possess large amounts of muscle mass, but also attribute their varying immense sizes and innate talent for variety in both martial, intellectual, and other pursuits to this heritage.

Genetics and Reproduction

Jotun, like most species on Zheng-Kitar, reproduce through sexual reproduction...however, since they are an all male race they themselves have come to rely on other races to allow them to reproduce.   For the Jotun, their desires burn as hotly as the blood that pumps through their veins, and they very commonly enjoy getting together with other races, particularly the mighty Dai-Yukai or other strong races, to satisfy their massive hedonistic appetites, meaning that though they require other races to reproduce, they rarely stop seeking such creatures out to satisfy these urges, meaning Jotun often maintain a steady population.

Growth Rate & Stages

Jotun children grow to adulthood and full size by the time they hit 25 years of age, but they are not truly considered adults by their peers until they hit age 50 due to Jotun cultural beliefs.   Jotun continue to grow in size as they age, and age slower than most creatures but age incredibly quickly compared to other true giants.   As they hit full maturity around age 25, Jotun are expected and basically required by their tribe to serve time on the coastal raiding parties or, if a village lacks ample access to large bodies of water, to serve time on the raiding parties and fighting force that serves the village to raid nearby settlements or attack those who come near to gather more food and valuables. In this way, Jotun gain large amounts of martial experience as they are pressed into is during this time many Jotun leave on adventures of their own, eager to test their martial might out in the world and develop their skills in exotic locales and with different friends or enemies.   Once 10 years have passed with them serving in raiding parties or adventuring, Jotun are expected to return home to their villages to spend the next 10 to 15 years of their life learning a craft from their brothers of the it smithing, hunting, foraging, fishing, or sailing, Jotun develop their off-the-battlefield skills during these years, although rare exceptions are sometimes made that allow Jotun to study abroad with "Masters" of a given craft elsewhere in the world. Regardless Jotun are not truly considered adult until they reach age 50 or so, after they have spent nearly 25 years of their life fighting and learning a craft, after which they are free to pursue whatever adventures or traits they desire. Because of this, Jotun are often highly talented beings.   Jotun hit middle age around age 150, grow old around age 200, and become venerable around age 250, "dying" some decades later as they turn to stone in their dying moments.

Ecology and Habitats

Jotun can exist in most climates, but their unique physiology means they are most comfortable in cold climates and in places near the ocean or rarely near rivers and lakes...otherwise, they will tend to overheat in warmer climes. Jotun are a deeply spiritual people who believe in "sharpening one's axe and mind in equal measure", and as such live relatively in balance with the natural world around them.   However, Jotun tribes often subsist when resources run scarce or even when the fancy strikes them by sending out raiding parties to hit nearby settlements and pillage essential supplies to ensure the continued existence of their village and tribe. Assuming a Jotun tribe has ample resources and is in a plentiful era, they can often be reasoned with for protection or for some good or commodity, and can even sometimes seek out civilizations and settlements to trade with those who live there instead of raiding them. In this way, Jotun tribes in an area become both a blessing and a curse, as the frenzied giants can just as easily go to market to trade the massive pelts of their prey for food and supplies as they can raid towns and settlements to take them by force.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Jotun are omnivores, and are rarely picky with what they shove down their gullets so long as it is habitable and at least passably tasty.

Biological Cycle

As they grow, Jotun begin to produce less hair, and as they reach old age their hair is said to turn bone white and stop its growth altogether and harden to become nearly unbreakable but remains mostly just as flexible as before. This makes the hair of truly old Jotun an incredibly treasured commodity by Jotun tribes, as it can be woven into incredibly strong armor and used for adornments to remember the fallen by.   As the years pass for Jotun, their muscles and bodies begin to break down and decay and, soon as age begins to claim them they become incredibly infirm and soon incapable of most physical activity, though their minds oddly remain keen as ever no matter how old they become. When they come close to death and feel it draws near, Jotun often rise and embark on one final journey, one final "fight", that ends with their bodies hardening and petrifying into solid stone or sometimes ice, their skin turning stone grey or icy blue and their bodies hardening as they turn into nothing more than lifeless stone this way, Jotun graveyards are frequently dubbed "Stone Forests" by outsiders, who see the towering statues of Jotun long dead and gape in awe at the beauty and somber silence that hangs about such places.   These Stone Graveyards are highly revered by Jotun, and only the rarest and most esoteric of Jotun forgo this practice and request to have their bodies burned on funeral pyres, or burned on wooden longships. The Jotun themselves believe that the burning or similar destruction of a corpse of their kind will serve the same purpose and ferry them to the afterlife, but will do so painfully, and will cause them undo grief. They instead believe that leaving the bodies of their dead standing as a memorial to the past keeps their history alive, and allows future Jotun to travel to these places to try and commune with the statues of their ancestors for guidance and support.   In tough times, after a long while, or when space become a premium in these Stone Forests, Jotun will begin to somberly burn their solidified dead starting from the oldest to the newest by sending them out upon wooden longships and igniting them aflame with scorching heat of their own concoction that burns hot enough to sunder even stone. This way, they believe, the souls of the dead will be allowed to finally return to the skies and continue their journey onwards.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

Jotun faces are brutish things, and almost all Jotun have a medium to large amount of thick facial hair that adorns their chins and cheeks, hanging off their faces like thick ropes of twine as big as tree trunks or mortal men. Jotun are incredibly hairy creatures, and often have immense manes of hair, thick eyebrows, and large but beady eyes that appear harsh at first glance.   Their eyes are often muted and reserved in color, from grey, cool blue, white, or black...though rarely they can have different more vibrant colors and even more rarely, they can have eyes entirely lacking in pupils that are simply solid white or silver that give them appearances similar to the smaller Goliath.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Jotun, being incredibly hairy and are often outcasts from civilized lands, tend to make their homes in the cold and/or desolate locations in the world, far from the lands of civilization where they can herd their beasts of burden and set down their villages without fear of interference. Often, they settle and can be found near the it ocean or river, Jotun often go on coastal raiding missions or simply rely on the water for food and succor, so they can often be found near such places.

Average Intelligence

Jotun are deceptively smart, and though many see them as brutish vikings of the frozen tundra(For good reason, because they often are), their society also means that each Jotun sharpens their mind in unison with their weapons...meaning they are often smart, wise, and learned of the ways of the world. Given time, Jotun can become highly intelligent in many fields and can approach genius-level intellect with sufficient time and dedication to it, though most do not reach this high as they balance martial prowess with wisdom and smarts.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Jotun are creatures with keen eyesight since they are naturally seeing most of the world from a high vantage point, but on top of that their eyes are highly adapted to conditions of light thanks to their Giant heritage, letting them see nearly four times as well as normal creatures in conditions of low light.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Jotun names reflect their untamed, wild, and barbaric nature, primarily drawing from the Norse and Scandinavian lexicons and syllabaries to form their names. Their names are tough, strong, and have flowing and simultaneously biting syllables, yet each name reflects a Jotun’s true nature in the Giant tongue, and few things carry as much weight to the tribal, barbaric Jotun as one’s true name, as it tells them many things about who they are and where they have been. Being the male half of the Giantkin of Venau, the Jotun’s names are exclusively male.   Male: Torrad, Sigemund, Gardar, Bodvar, Hundolfr, Thorhall, Bjorn, Ornolf, Kotkell, Ozur, Ufi, etc…


Jotun believe their history to be a long and storied one that traces its roots back to the beginning of the world when the Titans walked the realms...born from the first dregs of the dying god Atlas after he gave his life to birth reality and thus the gods, The Titans were said to be a race that formed the first and most ancient life on the world and the Planes. Beings of immense, overwhelming power, these Titans would soon make war on the gods eons later, jealous of their power and desiring to take the Planescape for themselves. The Jotun believe that after the Titans were all killed or were all banished, they were formed from shards of the Titan's divine energies that lingered in the Material Plane long after their chaotic war with the gods had ended, taking form and inheriting the legacy of those once mighty primordials.   In this ancient time the Jotun believe they were born from these ancient sparks of Titankind, growing to a fraction of the size of the Titans and inheriting a portion of their might as well. Jotun believe that they alone inherited the true souls of the Titans, and other True Giants are simply pretenders, fakes, and imitations made long after they in possibly stronger or more durable forms, but fakes nonetheless. They see themselves as the true "Giants", and take pride in this legacy. They are one of the few races that yet possesses a record of history that dates back beyond the Age of Sapphires, and this history tells a tale of a race that has lived in quiet seclusion for eons, slowly growing and adapting to the times, sometimes falling and experiencing setbacks, and that tries to maintain a distance from the rest of the world, who they believe seldom wants them in any fashion.   Jotun have existed in some form or fashion for as long as any can remember, quietly remaining on the sidelines of most events that transpire on Zheng-Kitar and contenting themselves to continue their traditional ways, honor their ancestors who came before them, and raiding and pillage the settlements that rise and fall near their villages. This is perhaps attributable to their ancestry that can supposedly be traced back to the Titans, from whom they have perhaps inherited a bit of the immutability and permanence their ancestors were known for.
Alternate Racial Trait List:   Jotun Alternate Racial Traits  
Racial Feat List:   Jotun Racial Feats  
250 years, though many Jotun die in combat before they reach old age.
Conservation Status
Jotun are somewhat rare compared to other races, but unlike races like the Dai-Yukai they are by no means endangered, simply reclusive and tribal.
Average Height
14ft - 20ft (4.2 - 6.1 Meters)
Average Weight
800lbs - 1,050lbs (362.87kg - 476.27kg)
Average Physique
Jotun bodies can vary wildly from one Jotun to another but are generally Tall, well-built, and muscular but can be somewhat lanky.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Jotun skin is generally ashen grey or other muted colors and they have few customs that require them to mark or daub their skin beyond war-paints and other simple tribal markings. Their skin can range in color from muted grey to white to even a dull blue, while their hair typically remains as a lighter color such as white, grey, blue, and rarely other colors such as black.
Related Ethnicities

Two races, one lifestyle

As an all-male race from the point of their inception, Jotun history has been forever intertwined with the towering titanesses known as the Dai-Yukai - as a similarly all-female race since their inception, these two races have partnered together to survive and thrive in their frigid homelands, both races True Giants and both towering paragons of Giant Strength...Jotun and Dai-Yukai tribes are typically found melded together or at the least nearby each other, working alongside one another to survive and thrive...though they vie for dominance in the relationship nonetheless, a struggle which the titanic Dai-Yukai have historically won most of the time.   This has put the Jotun in a vassal status to the towering women known as the Dai-Yukai, but to the Jotun it is of little consequence - this conquest of their people is one based on true strength and fair challenge, and they cannot deny the natural, towering strength of their mates, and the fair chance they receive each time to claim dominance for themselves. As such, these races are often found working together with several Jotun and Dai-Yukai tribes working together beneath a central Dai-Yukai Chieftain who directs the tribes under her command.   Though many might assume this relationship is a humiliating one to the Jotun, they see it as no issue - the Dai-Yukai do not particularly oppress them or their lifestyles, and merely exert the right to rulership over their tribe as earned by victory through combat and strength - otherwise leaving the Jotun free to pursue their own goals so long as they now work towards the betterment of the Dai-Yukai tribe that rules them. This has led the two species to enjoy a very close and incredibly tight relationship, as they rely on each other for survival and reproduction and so much more on a daily basis, enduring the blistering extremes of the frosty wastelands together.

Scholarly Vikings

The ideal of 'strength' has long since permeated Jotun society to its very core - but the notion of 'strength' that the Jotun believe in is altogether more nuanced and manifold than many assume it is for the towering vikings. The Jotun believe in the ideal of 'True Strength' - a notion which encompasses many things, and means much more than just martial and physical strength. Each warrior and Jotun strives towards this ideal of 'True Strength', often moving their entire lives towards this goal with varying results...and in pursuit of this goal, they stop at nothing, from raiding parties on other villages, to studies of ancient texts and ruins, to studies of nature and why things work as they do.   'True Strength', to the Jotun, is a concept that involves much more than martial or physical strength - it is the strength of body as well as mind, of having the wisdom to know your battles and your foes, to understand the workings of the world...of having both the curiosity to ask 'why' and the scholarly drive and dedication to seek answers to those questions. It is a concept deeply rooted in many things, and to achieve this true strength Jotun believe in studying books and bettering one's mind as much as they do sharpening one's axe - for while martial prowess is a thing needed first and foremost to secure the survival of a Jotun village in the SHORT TERM, they believe that only 'True Strength' and an understanding of many things can ensure the prosperity and stability of the village in the long term.   This leads many Jotun to go on journies of discovery, to find distant lands to study ancient texts and gather forgotten lore to better themselves and their tribe both - and this cultural emphasis on 'True Strength' has put them at odds somewhat with their mates, the Dai-Yukai, who lack such a manifold and complicated, almost zen and monk-like belief in 'true strength', instead placing faith in the power of their bodies and the strength of their souls.


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