Grippli eat fruit and insects, trapping small insects in large quantities and hunting giant insects like humans hunt stags. Grippli are in turn hunted by many jungle predators, in particular giant snakes and spiders. Lizardfolk and kuo-toa may also hunt grippli, though they have strict taboos against eating grippli flesh. Grippli are the enemies of bullywugs. They are nervous around strangers, and often use wild elves or fey as intermediaries. Powerful predators such as green dragons sometimes enslave whole villages of grippli; at such times, they tend to accept their fate rather than waste lives in futile rebellion.
Grippli can live to be 700 years old, but have an extremely low birthrate, giving birth to only six or so young in all that time. They understandably defend their young ferociously. Females become fertile at 25-year intervals after maturity (which they reach around 30 years).
Grippli crafts are generally limited to simple objects made from vines, wood, and stone. They cherish metal heirlooms, which they must get from other races. They use snares, nets, poisoned darts, and the occasional sword or dagger. On rare occasions, they may use blowguns or spears. It is common for them to make poisons, potions, herbal tinctures, and alchemical goods. Most grippli homes are decorated with polished glass, quartz, and other brightly colored baubles they trade for with other races in exchange for rare jungle herbs and extracts.
Grippli are found in tropical swamps and jungles. Typical grippli villages are made of small wood or mud huts built on the ground, hidden in the deep shaded areas beneath heavy jungle foliage, or in the boughs of large trees. A ceremonial area on the ground may contain remnants of bonfires.
Each grippli village is led by a tribe mother, a female of unusual height (almost four feet tall) with the ability to emit a defensive musk cloud. She is accompanied by one to three mates, each three to three-and-a-half feet in height. The tribe mother is said to have a touch of the blood of their goddess within her. In theory, the tribe mother is divinely ordained with absolute power, but in practice she leaves most day-to-day decisions to experienced hunters. Still, only the mother can speak for the tribe when negotiating with outsiders.
According to lore, grippli have a "simple faith in a nameless froglike goddess... depicted in sculptures of wood or stone as a bulbous frog with vibrant rainbow skin." Most other races believe she may technically be a forest spirit rather than a true deity, but she's a goddess as far as the grippli are concerned. Others suggest she might be a relatively benign aspect of another nature goddess "Spider and snake creatures round out the grippli religion as demons and evil spirits." Those few grippli who know of the gods of other races consider Lolth to be the chief enemy of their race, though the Spider Queen herself pays them little attention.
Typical physical characteristics Edit
The average grippli stands two and a half feet high and weighs 25-30 pounds, although particularly ancient warriors may have twice that height, with an equivalent increase in mass. Their bodies are essentially identical to frogs, but they have humanoid hands and prehensile feet.
Grippli love brightly colored clothing, but wear it only for decoration, or for the sake of having pockets. Most grippli only wear thin belts or loin cloths to hang weapons or other items from.
Grippli Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Dexterity Size: Medium Speed: 20 feet, Climb 20, Swim 20 Vision: Darkvision Amphibious: A grippli can breathe both air and water. Frog’s Legs: A grippli is always considered to have a running start when making a jump check. When making a long jump, it automatically passes the Strength checks to clear a low obstacle and to keep its footing upon landing in difficult terrain. When making a high jump, a grippli doubles its Strength modifier to determine the distance it reaches. Up Tree, Under Water: A grippli has a Climb Speed of 20 feet and a Swim Speed of 20 feet. Subraces: Choose between the Savage, Princely, Treetop, Mystic or Psionic Grippli subraces.
Savage Grippli Ability Score Increase: +1 Strength Bug Hunter: A Savage Grippli receives Advantage on attack rolls against vermin; these are Beasts and Magic Beasts based on invertebrates, such as spiders, wasps, flies, centipedes and scorpions. Additionally, it increases its Armor Class by +1 when fighting such foes.
Mystic Grippli Ability Score Increase: +1 Wisdom Servants of the Mother Frog: A Mystic Grippli knows the Guidance cantrip. At level 3, it can cast Fog Cloud as a 1st level spell once per long rest with this trait. At level 5, it can cast Spike Growth as a 2nd level spell once per long rest with this trait. All spells cast with this trait use Wisdom as their casting ability score.
Treetop Grippli Ability Score Increase: None. A Treetop Grippli only receives the +2 Dexterity for being a grippli. Patagia: So long as a Treetop Grippli is not restrained, paralyzed, encumbered, equipped with medium or heavy armor, or otherwise rendered immobile, it takes no damage from falling distances. When falling, it may move forward, covering a horizontal distance equal to half the vertical distance travelled. At 5th level, a Treetop Grippli gains a Fly speed of 10 feet. Treetop Dweller: A Treetop Grippli loses its Swim speed entirely.
Princely Grippli Ability Score Increase: +1 Charisma A Civilized Weapon: A Princely Grippli has automatic proficiency with either the Rapier or the Longsword, chosen at character creation. Courtly Charms: A Princely Grippli doubles its Proficiency Bonus when making Charisma (Persuasion) checks.
Psionic Grippli Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence Amphibious Sagacity: A Psionic Grippli can communicate telepathically with one creature at a time, so long as both it and the desired creature are within 30 feet of each other. Additionally, a Psionic Grippli can cast a variant of the Mage Hand cantrip at will, using Wisdom as its casting ability score. This variant follows all of the normal rules for Mage Hand, but the “hand” is invisible.