Grippli

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3e Grippli.jpg

Everyone knows that Dungeons & Dragons has the Lizardfolk. Some even remember that it also has Serpentfolk, in the form of the Yuan-Ti. But who honestly remembers that it also has frog-folk? Not just the Bullywugs, made infamous for their appearance in the 80s cartoon, but an an actual PC race of goodly-aligned treefrog folk?

Well, it does. The Grippli are actually one of D&D's oldest races; they first appeared in the TSR's Monster Cards, way back in 1982, and subsequently appeared in first edition's Monster Manual II. They went on to reappear in the first Monstrous Compendium Appendix for Greyhawk and then in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monstrous Manual for 2e. They received PC writeups in Dragon Magazine for both 2e (#262) and 3e (#324), and even made the jump to Pathfinder in the Advanced Race Guide.

Grippli are a timid, somewhat xenophobic but friendly race of Stone Age tribal frog-people. Matriarchal, they worship a nameless frog-goddess and attribute to her all of the good things in life, like abundant water, plentiful bugs to eat, and a generally quiet existence. Often preyed on by giant snakes & spiders, as well as other serpentine or arachnid-based monsters, they tend to form elaborate mythologies in which such creatures are demonized as evil spirits and monsters. Needless to say, they're absolutely terrified of Lolth, although the Queen of Spiders is more likely to ask "who the fuck are they?" than return their enmity.

Unlike what you'd expect, Grippli actually live an extremely long time - when they first appeared, they could live to be over seven hundred years old (and in 2e Drag-Mag, it claimed their max age was "600 years plus 2D100 years"), and even though this was cut down to a comparatively meager 180 years in 3e, that's still a hell of a long time for a bunch of frogs. Fortunately, they don't reproduce often; females only become fertile about once 30 years.

Surprisingly, grippli initially had psionic powers when they first appeared in 1e, but lost this trait in 2e.

Grung are basically their less-famous poison-skinned evil counterparts.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Stats[edit]

Modified Minimum Ability Scores: Dexterity (8), Intelligence (8), Wisdom (6)
Modified Maximum Ability Scores: Strength (16), Charisma (16)
Ability Score Modifiers: +1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma
Class Restrictions and Max Levels: Fighter 8, Ranger 9, Shaman 7, Thief 10
Multiclass Options: Fighter/Shaman, Ranger/Shaman, Fighter/Thief, Ranger/Thief
Natural Armor Class: 9
Base Movement: 9, Leap 15
Special Advantages: Can Climb trees and non-sheer rock at Mv 9, can leap 15, double their jumping distance, have a base chance of 100% when trying to climb, grippli thieves gain +60% to Climb Walls, enemies suffer -3 to surprise rolls to detect a grippli if it is alone or with other "silent" races, infravision 30 feet
Special Disadvantages: Grippli can only start play with a single metal item equivalent to a Medium-sized weapon, and must select all other base gear from a Stone Age tech list
Monstrous Traits: Inhuman appearance, bestial odor (old, wet vegetation)
Superstitions: Fear snakes and spiders
Weapon Proficiencies: Dart, Net, Shortsword, Dagger, Knife, Javelin, Spear, Blowgun
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Lore, Animal Noise, Artistic Ability, Blind-fighting, Cooking, Dancing, Danger Sense, Drinking, Eating, Fast-Talking, Fire-Building, Gaming, Healing, Herbalism, Hiding, Hunting, Jumping, Local History, Observation, Poetry, Pottery, Religion, Rope Use, Set Snares, Survival, Swimming, Tightrope Walking, Tumbling, Weather Sense, Weaving, Winemaking
Available Kits: Tribal Defender, Wilderness Protector, Oracle, Wandering Mystic, Scavenger
Thieving Skills: Pick Pockets +5, Open Locks -10, F/RT -, Move Silently +5, Hide in Shadows +10, DN -5, Climb Walls +60, Read Languages -15

D&D 3rd Edition Stats[edit]

+2 Dexterity, -2 Strength
Small
Base land speed 20 feet
Climb speed 20 feet
Low-Light Vision
Weapon Familiarity: Bolas and Nets
Bug Hunter: Gripplis have a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against Vermin
Dodge the Predator: Gripplis gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against Animals and Vermin, losing this bonus at any time when its Dexterity bonus to AC is nullified
+2 racial bonus on saving throws vs. poison
Powerful Leaper: +4 racial bonus to Jump checks, always count as having a running start when leaping
+2 racial bonus on Move Silently
Illiterate
Favored Class: Ranger

Racial Variant: Psionic Grippli Trade Bug Hunter racial feature for the Wild Talent feat from Expanded Psionics Handbook.

Pathfinder Stats[edit]

+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength
Small
Type: Humanoid with Grippli subtype
Base speed 30 feet
Climb speed 20 feet
Darkvision 60 feet
Camouflage: +4 to Stealth checks made in marshes and forests
Swamp Stride (Ex): Move through mundane, swamp-based difficult terrain at full speed; this does not protect against magically altered terrain
Weapon Familiarity: Nets

Racial Variations:

  • Glider: Replace Swamp Stride with the ability to glide, halving falling damage and being able to move horizontally a distance equal to half the vertical distance traveled. Gliding cannot be used if the grippli is wearing heavy armor, is carrying a heavy load, or otherwise incapacitated.
  • Jumper: Replaces Camouflage with the ability to be considered to always have a running start when making Acrobatics checks to jump.
  • Princely: Replaces Swamp Stride and Weapon Familiarity: Nets with Weapon Proficiency: Rapier and +2 to Diplomacy and Intimidate.
  • Toxic Skin (Ex): Replaces Swamp Stride and Camouflage with the ability to excrete grippli toxin once per day. This poison can either be spread over the grippli's own skin to ward off creatures using unarmed strikes/natural attacks or smeared on a weapon to envenomate it. Once excreted, the poison remains viable for 1 hour before drying up and becoming useless.

Racial Feat: Agile Tongue A trained grippli's tongue stretches to 10 feet and can be used to make Sleight of Hand checks, perform the Steal and Disarm combat manuevers, make melee touch attacks, and pick up items weighing no more than 5 pounds.

The Races of Pathfinder
Player's Handbook: Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human
Advanced
Race Guide:
Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
Bestiaries: Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
Adventure Paths: Being of Ib - Kuru
Inner Sea Races: Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
Ultimate Wilderness: Vine Leshy
Blood of the Sea: Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton
Planar Adventures: Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi