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From what I’ve been able to find out, verbeegs have been in the game since the days of AD&D 1st Edition, first appearing in the Monster Manual II. This means the game had already run out of synonyms for “Giant” even back then, since their name is just a scrunched up form of “Very Big”. This is their 4e debut, with somewhat new lore.

The Lore

Verbeegs are a species of small-g giants who live in the same places of the middle world and the Feywild where you might find hill giants and ogres. The typical verbeeg is a lazy and greedy trickster who wants to make others work to keep them in a life of luxury. Their great size and strength helps with this, but they prefer to use their smarts and trickery to get what they want. Even when the con is harder than plain robbery, it’s also often more fun for them.

An example tale here is that of a verbeeg who set up at a river bridge and began charging a toll. The toll was expensive, but the giant promised to only collect it when the traveller came back to their side of the river. Travellers would lie and promise they’d pay, and when they were in the middle of crossing the bridge the verbeeg would lift the entire thing and tilt it towards himself, causing the victim to slide back. “You promised, now pay up!”

A strong verbeeg leader might be able to form a gang with several of his fellows, increasing the scale of their racket. Verbeegs also find it easy to take control of nearby groups of ogres and even hill giants, since their intellectual limitations make them easy to fool. A verbeeg band in charge of a larger ogre or giant band can be a threat to their whole region.

Verbeegs aren’t very big on fighting, despite being giants. They’ll avoid it for as long as possible, preferring to throw minions at the problem or to use trickery to escape and misdirect. If a battle is unavoidable, they favor mobile and stealthy tactics and combat styles.

Contrary to all expectations, verbeegs do have a code of honor they always follow. It consists of two rules: 1) never give a sucker an even break and 2) always keep your word. They can try to twist the wording of a promise quite far and add all sorts of clauses before committing to it, but once they do they must keep it.

I imagine you can make groups of non-hostile verbeegs with the same ease you could make groups of other friendly giants. In that case, the description above would apply to the ones you fight, not to the species as a whole.

The Numbers

Verbeegs are Large Fey Humanoids with the Giant keyword, even though their origin has nothing to do with primordials or capital-G Giants. They have a Speed of 8 and Low-Light Vision. Their signature trait is the hilarious Verbeeg Stealth, which allows them to hide and use the Stealth rules as long as even as single square they occupy counts as providing total cover or concealment.

It's surprisingly effective if you're not expecting it.

Verbeeg Rowdy

The typical verbeeg ne’er-do-well, of the kind you can find operating alone or in command of a gang of ogre patsies. In larger bands they make up the rank-and-file. It’s a Level 9 Skirmisher with 99 HP. It wears hide, carries a shield, and wields a Reach 2 spear in battle.

The spear can be used for basic attacks and for a Skewering Strike that deals more damage and slides the target 5 squares to a position within 2 squares of the verbeeg. Perfect for getting those pesky defenders out of the way. All of these deal bonus damage if the rowdy has combat advantage against the target.

They can also use a Bounding Maneuver as an at-will move action, which cancels any marks on them and allows them to shift 3 squares and to pass through enemy spaces while doing so.

Their Cunning Trick minor action (recharge 5+) is a reach 3 attack vs. Will that does no damage and knocks the target prone on a hit.

If a rowdy has to fight, it’s not gonna stay still, and it’s going to focus on knocking people down and skewering them with its spear before bounding away to safety.

Verbeeg Ringleader

The sort of individual you might fight running a gang of other verbeegs and dumber lackeys, and the one responsible for coming up with their verbeeg plans. It’s Level 11 Artillery with the Leader tag and 91 HP.

Ringleaders are warlord-types and project an aura of Cunning Insight (5) that gives bonus damage to an ally that has combat advantage against their target. They carry Spears but prefer to stay away and use their Longbows, whose basic attacks make the target grant combat advantage for a turn. Distracting Shot (recharge 5+) and also gives an ally in reach a free melee attack against the target.

Finally, the very flavorful Get Them! encounter power allows three allies within 5 squares of the ringleader to make a charge attack for free.

Verbeeg Trickster

This one manage to score a spellbook or two and learn some combat magic. It’s a Level 11 Controller with 115 HP. Their spear strikes knock the target prone on a hit, and they have four spells:

Staggering Bolt is a ranged attack that deals force damage and slides the target 1 square; Blinding Blast (close blast 5 vs. Fort, recharge 5+) deals light radiant damage and blinds for a turn; Bewildering Bolt (encounter) deals psychic damage and prevents the target from attacking (save ends); and Concealing Mist (encounter) creates a zone of mist in a close burst 2. The zone is lightly obscured, and gives any verbeeg that starts their turn inside combat advantage against every enemy outside the zone.

Tricksters want to set their mist zone up and stay inside while they shoot at the PCs outside it with their spells. Staggering bolt helps keep them outside, and Bewildering Bolt is excellent to shut down controllers or ranged strikers for a while. IF there’s a ringleader in the same encounter they’ll also want to stay inside the mist.

Final Impressions

Surprisingly personable and very big fey rascals. I wouldn’t want to make the entire species fit the stereotype, but verbeeg bandits are a nice surprise to spring on players who expect the giants plaguing the land to be dumb brutes incapable of subtlety. Add 4 levels or so to the stat blocks present here and you can upgrade their underlings from ogres to hill giants.

You can have lots of fun as a GM if you have your party fight a verbeeg bandit gang on a series of hilltops crowned by standing stones. It’s both a very fey-themed arena, and gives them plenty of hiding places. “These guys are ten feet tall, how could they sneak up on us like that?!”