The lineage is pretty clear - from Norse legend, through Pratt and De Camp's Compleat Enchanter stories, to Gygax's G1-G3 modules. Add a little giant lore from here, there and elsewhere, and you're in business. I really want to stat the Great Pumpkin, picturing something like a dumb beholder, but that seems like a job best saved for Halloween.
Researcher in social science and appreciator of hexy wargames, role playing games, interactive fiction, board games, and CCGs. I've learned a lot doing design and rules editing work on the side for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG. But this blog is mostly about other things.