Saturday, July 26, 2014



 A couple weeks ago, I previewed some of my very favorite homebrew content that I cooked up for my newest Pathfinder game; specifically, I previewed the Dragon-Touched races (Dragonborn, Kobolds, Guivre). This week we're looking at another strange race that has a long history in Dungeons & Dragons-- Gripplis.

Originally created by Brian Pitzer for the first set of TSR's Monster Cards in 1982, before making their first official book appearance in Monster Manual II (1983), and coming up in several books over the years, Gripplis are a neutral race of frog-like humanoids that live in simple tribes in the jungles and swamps of fantasy worlds. They use nets, blow guns, poisons and the like to overcome large prey like giant insects and to defend their territory from mortal enemies like bullywugs, giants snakes, and giant spiders.

The first time I used these frog folk in one of my games was in the form of "neutral bullywugs" that I introduced in the first module I wrote for my 4th Edition game. They caught a small yellow and black spotted frog person trying to steal from them, who later warned them about bad bullywugs, and, wanting to escape the swamp, took the creature as their prisoner/friend. They came to know the rather Gollum-like character as "Grooki" and he was quite popular with the heroes. He cemented his place in the pantheon of my most memorable NPCs when he served as a deus ex machina to save the heroes from the White Spider Queen and Mother of Chitine, Empress Kytix. He sacrificed his own life to kill an aspect of Kytix and saved the heroes. This sort of sacrifice instantly endeared him to the heroes. So much so, that I had his spirit bonded to a special druid item for Lorifain of the Action Society.

He was a fun character and, when I discovered that he had parallels to Gripplis, I realized I wanted to feature this race in one of my settings. Also, while Pathfinder already has an official Grippli race, I decided to give it my own spin to give the race a unique and useful appeal.

After the jump, will take a look at my homebrew for the Grippli race.


Gripplis stand between two to three feet tall and they usually have mottled yellow or green skin (though some of much more exotic coloration). Their primary concerns are the swamps they call home and their tribal clans. The subsist off of giant insects and fish that call the swamp home, using nets and poison tipped arrows to overcome creatures that are larger than themselves, and live simple lives that revolve around family traditions and survival. Their main interactions with outsiders revolve around their interest in shiny goods, like pieces of precious metals, gems, and even pretty objects of little value, which they barter from other races in exchange for exotic and rare herbs, medicines, and poisons.

While normally neutral, they tend toward good alignments, and an evil grippli is rare indeed. Worshipping nature gods, giant animals, and a vague frog goddess, gripplis oppose those that would destroy their peaceful existence. They especially despise bullywugs, boggards, kuo toa, lizardfolk, and other evil monstrous races that would hunt or exploit them/their swamps.

Gripplis that venture from the swamp are usually seeking fortunes for their families in the forms of these precious metals and herbs.


+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, –2 Strength: Gripplis are nimble and alert, but spindly.
Small: Gripplis are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Grippli: Gripplis are humanoids with the grippli subtype.
Normal Speed: Gripplis have a base speed of 30 feet and a climb speed of 20 feet.
Darkvision: Gripplis can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Jumper: Gripplis with this trait are always considered to have a running start when taking the jump action. Grippli may use Dexterity when determining their jump distance.
Swimmer: Gripplis have a swim speed of 30 feet and gain the +8 racial bonus on Swim checks that a swim speed normally grants.
Slippery: Gripplis can move through areas at least half its size with no penalty for squeezing. It can move through a space at least one-quarter its width using the penalties for squeezing through a space at least half its width.
Languages: Gripplis begin play speaking Common and Grippli. Gripplis with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Boggard, Draconic, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, and Sylvan.

(For alternative traits like toxic skin or gliding, consult the DM)

Male Names: Akro, Bretch, Cark, Dug, Fillp, Grokki, Jeferee, Krokr, Napa, Toby, Yobo,
Female Names: Bonja, Eera, Fala, Hahnah, Joolya, Kapa, Lolo, Osha, Shaega, Vrana, Zo,

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