Fog Giants are an offshoot species of the Cloud Giants in Dungeons & Dragons, characterized by their dwelling on land in misty territories, where their milky white skin and silvery-white hair better enable them to blend into their environments. Whilst often perceived as dull-witted and brutish by outsiders, they are in fact a highly intelligent and cultured race, which helps explain why they share the position of their Cloud Giant cousins in the Ordning.
Physically, they are characterized by excessive amounts of body hair (although, weirdly, they don't grow facial hair), their distinctive pallor, the length at which they wear their hair, and the fact their arms and legs are extremely well-muscled, if not disproportionately so, due to their culture revolving heavily around games and contests of throwing and strength. They have extremely sharp senses of smell and hearing, and are also particularly adept at rock throwing even by giant standards.
Living in caves, canyons, or thickets, which are themselves located in the most inaccessible areas of marsh, swamp, forest, or coast, fog giant life revolves around two activities: hunting and playing. The men spend most of their time wandering in groups, typically foraying up to a dozen miles from their base camp at a time, in order to secure the food that they need to feed themselves and their families, whilst the women look after the children at home. The bulk of their diet is made up of (typically spit-roasted) meat, with a particular taste for flesh from hooved animals - centaurs despise fog giants, because the giants consider centaurs to be as valid as horses, cattle, deer and elk when it comes to filling their bellies. However, they also have a sweet tooth and relish consuming fruits or confectioneries when they have access to them. Like many other giants, they're also avid drinkers of liquor, although they don't distill their own.
When not hunting, or sometimes even whilst on the hunt, fog giants like to relax by either smoking milkweed pods in giant wooden pipes (which humanoids find disgustingly bitter) or through their games of strength, skill and fighting abilities. The favorite game of fog giants is called “copsi” and consists of the giants pairing off to toss larger and larger boulders to their partners until one of the pairs misses its throw.
Because of their size, fog giants consume a large quantity of food, and require a considerable territory per hunting group to support themselves. The giants will often place territorial markers of boulders and logs to define the boundaries between their hunting territories. They do not look kindly on anyone who tears down or moves these markers. Their regular pathways are hard to hide, and are instead trapped with deadfalls of rocks and logs to discourage trespassers. Territorial disputes sometimes flare up between groups, especially in times of bad hunting. Friendly disputes can sometimes be resolved by a game of copsi or an arm-wrestling match. Fog giants fighting amongst themselves will generally throw rocks and fist-fight, rather than use swords.
In general, fog giants don't mix well with other races, but the race displays a human-like flexibility of alignment (although giants of a given hunting group will usually share the same alignment, to keep squabbles down) and so it's impossible to truly generalize things. They usually will just try and avoid the smaller races, but they're not completely antisocial; trade in goods and services with other races is well-established, particularly when it comes to securing liquor, sweets and, above all else, refined silver. This precious metal is of deep importance to fog giants, and they hold it as sacred. By tradition, a young giant may not mate until he has obtained at least one large ornament of silver. Usually, the young giant joins with several others in a quest to find one (or acquire enough treasure to buy one).
Fog Giants debuted in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition, in the original Fiend Folio. They would be updated to 2e in the Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix, and from there be reprinted in the Monstrous Manual.
A quasi-official update for the Fog Giants appeared in Mordenkainen's Fiendish Folio #1 for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Here they were retconned as Cloud Giants who were exiled for being too poor.
The place of cloud giants in the ordning—the set of values and expectations that determines their rank in giant society—is driven by wealth. Whoever is the richest, and can prove it via display, is at the very top of their ordning, but even the lesser Cloud Giants tend to be incredibly well-off by other races' standards, with castles richly decorated with beautiful art and rare resources. And then, there's Fog Giants.
Cloud Giant society puts a lot of stock in the trading of wealth- gift-giving and betting are time-honored traditions amongst Cloud Giants, and fortunes among them wax and wane. Inevitably, some incompetent or just plain unlucky giants will lose the game, and lose hard. A destitute Cloud Giant is almost an oxymoron in the Ordning, so anyone who doesn't have any wealth to call their own will be kicked out of their clan and left to fend for themselves, becoming Fog Giants. Such giants are desperate to regain the respect of their peers, and the only way they can do that is by regaining the wealth that defines a Cloud Giant. And without the social games normal Cloud Giants play, the only real way to do that is via theft.
Though they live as ruthless raiders, fog giants remain tasteful and refined in their desires. They remember their former wealth and power with a bitter mix of longing, regret, and shame, seeking always to replace the grandest treasures they once possessed. Simple coins, gems, or trade goods do nothing to satisfy the giant’s desires. Instead, they seek out grand works of art, wondrous jewelry, and beautiful sculptures.
Fog giants are powerful warriors, but they prefer to use threats and intimidation to get their way. A fog giant seeks out news and rumors of treasures that appeal to its sense of refinement, then tracks down and treats owners of those treasures to a show of force. Kicking down the gate of a backwater duke’s castle, slaying a dozen or more guards, then calling for parley is a typical fog giant strategy—followed by an offer to leave the duke alive in return for a treasure or two.
Forced to dwell in exile in the lands of the small folk, many fog giants develop an interest in those folk. Using a combination of threats and the promise of vast reward once they return to their proper station, a fog giant lures desperate criminals, cunning bandits, and other raiders into their service in the dismal wilds they inhabit. These giants prefer to work with ambitious humans, renegade elves, and greedy dwarves—all folk they see as properly civilized. They treat orcs, goblinoids, and other “barbarian” types as pesky vermin, best killed or driven away.
When a fog giant accumulates followers, it sets them to the task of rebuilding the giant’s collection of wondrous, expensive treasures. Its favored servants are civilized folk who can mingle among the rich and refined. These agents take note of treasures that might interest the fog giant, who then plots heists, raids, and other stratagems to seize the chosen prize. A giant might undertake a carefully planned robbery, making extensive use of magic to cover their presence. Or it might engage in a brute-force raid that involves tearing off the roof of a merchant’s home, seizing what they seek, and stalking away before the town watch can rally.
Clever, ambitious, and greedy, many fog giants build up whole networks of bandits, raiders, spies, and criminals. In some cases, such a network might grow large enough that minions in the lower ranks are ignorant of their leader’s true nature. Fog giants who amass such organizations think of themselves as exiled nobles, and often take on such fanciful titles as Duke of Robbery, Baron of Bandits, or Lord of Larceny.