When discussing how to adapt the race to Mystara (which is something we Mystara fans like to do), someone (Cthulhudrew?) pointed out how similar Goliaths were to an obscure D&D monster called Stalwarts. Stalwarts first appeared in AC9 Creature Catalog (1986) for the BECMI D&D edition (sometimes called Red Box, Classic or Basic). Paleologos' excellent discussion at The Piazza about the origin of AC9 monsters has not been able to trace this creature to any earlier product suggesting this is the first apppearance of this race.
|An actual Goliath|
Both Stalwarts and Goliaths stand around 7 feet and are exceptionally strong. Both races love competitive games. Stalwarts are said to enjoy challenging strangers to physical competitions. If they lose they will serve the winner for a month, but not to the point of risking their lives. The Creature Catalogue was limited in detail on the physical appearance of the Stalwarts, but did come with an illustration that didn't quite match that of the Goliath even though the things in its face might either be Goliath style markings or shade. In any case, I tried to fix this with my colorized version of the illustration above. See the original here:
|Stalwart from AC9 Creature Catalogue|
So, while there is no real evidence of the Goliath being based on the Stalwart, the similarities are remarkable. I like how so many of the monsters, races and classes in later editions of D&D are still the same ones who appeared in the 70s and 80s. And even if these two races are unrelated, I like to think of them as the same thing.
What do you think?