Sunday, May 22, 2016

Grippli player character race

The grippli (humanoid tree frogs that first appeared back in 1982) seem to have recently become a somewhat popular choice for a player character race for those who want to try something a little different. My girlfriend became fond of them when they made their appearance in the Pathfinder game. I have, since 5e has come out, seen a few different takes on them. This would be mine. I hope you enjoy it.

This picture is from Greywiki.


The grippli are humanoid tree frogs. They are a reclusive race, living deep in tropical swamps and jungles. They are nervous of outsiders, frequently using elves or fey as intermediaries.

Peaceful Hunter Gatherers

Grippli eat fruits and insects. Small insects are trapped in large quantities, while giant insects are hunted in much the same way humans hunt large game. Grippli hunt with snares and nets, as well as blowguns and occasionally spears.

Grippli commonly gather herbs to make poisons, potions and herbal tinctures. They trade rare herbs and extracts with other races in exchange for brightly colored baubles such as polished glass and quarts. Grippli are not at all warlike, but they have been known to make rapid raids to steal bright colored clothing to decorate their homes with.

Grippli only rarely wear brightly colored clothing for decoration, or for the practicality of having pockets. Most of the time a grippli will only wear a belt or loin cloth to hang weapons and the like from.

Secluded Swamp & Jungle Villages

Grippli live in villages made of small wood or mud huts, either hidden on the ground in deep shaded areas beneath swamp and jungle foliage, or built in the boughs of large trees. There may be a ceremonial area on the ground where they have bonfires. Each village is led by a tribe mother, who is a female of unusual height (almost 4 feet tall) who is capable of emitting a poisonous musk cloud. She is usually accompanied by one to three males, who are also of unusual height (around 3 ½ feet tall).

The tribe mother is divinely ordained with absolute authority, said to have the blood of their nameless froglike goddess in her veins. Most day-to-day decisions are left to experienced hunters, but only the tribe mother can speak for the tribe when negotiating with outsiders.

Grippli grafts are generally simple in nature, made from the sorts of things that are found around their villages such as wood and stone. They depict their goddess in sculptures of wood or stone, appearing as a bulbous frog with vibrant rainbow skin. Spiders and snakes are frequently depicted as demons and evil spirits.


Most grippli are perfectly happy staying close to their village. It is a rare event for a grippli to become curious enough about the outside world to want to venture forth to experience it. Sometimes a particularly adventuresome grippli might leave his or her village to seek out trade opportunities for things like gems or metal. Metal is highly prized, and metal heirlooms are deeply cherished.

Grippli Names

Grippli don’t place much importance on names as a general rule. Grippli only possess a given name, and are frequently known by a nickname when among other races. Common names include Bullgup, Chirk, Quartle and the like.

Grippli Traits

Boosted Ability Scores. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Age. Grippli are born as tadpoles and become fully formed within six months. Grippli effectively reach adulthood at 12 years of age, though don’t become fully sexually mature until 30 years, and can live up to 180 years.

Alignment. Grippli are usually neutral in alignment. Grippli lean much more to the benevolent than the malevolent, so they are more likely to deviate towards good. Evil grippli are extremely rare.

Size. Grippli are typically 2 ½ to 3 feet tall, weighing roughly 30 lbs. Your size is Small.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You have a climb speed of 20 feet.

Darkvision. Accustomed to nocturnal living as much as diurnal, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Camouflage. You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made in forest and swamp environments.

Leap. You always count as having moved at least 10 feet when you make a long jump or high jump.

Grippli Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the blowgun and the net. Additionally, you have proficiency either with the herbalism kit or the poisoner’s kit (your choice).

Languages. You can speak Common, Grippli and the Batrachian Common tongue that may be used to speak to other froglike humanoids such as bullywugs. Grippli is composed of croaks, groans, clicks, and squeaks. Grippli has no written form. Furthermore, it is rare for grippli to learn to read and write in other languages, as traditionally only the tribe mother is permitted to create written records.

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