Beginner's Guide to Grungs
Dungeons & Dragons characters come in all shapes and sizes to suit the imaginations of their players. If you want to play a tower of muscle, you play a goliath. If you feel inspired by Falco of Starfox fame, you can play an aarakocra. And if you want to play a character as small of stature as they are toxic of skin, then grungs may be the race for you!
Grungs are a fierce, proud race of tree-dwelling, amphibious, frog-like humanoids that typically hail from jungle and rainforest climates. They are only three feet tall on average, but are fierce combatants despite their size, relying on their natural advantages and ingenuity over sheer power. If playing a swashbuckling amphibian like Kermit’s portrayal of Captain Abraham Smollett in Muppet Treasure Island or a froggy hero like My Hero Academia’s Froppy interests you, then a grung is a great place to start! Just don’t use Starfox’s Slippy Toad as your source of inspiration. …please.
A grung tadpole reaches adulthood within the span of a single year, and can go on to live half a century if it is healthy and clever. During its first year of life, a young grung will quickly change from gray to one of six colors. These colors are more than an aesthetic, and determine the grung’s social standing and life path. A grung always inherits its color from its progenitors, and a grung’s skin corresponds to their caste in society. The hierarchy is as follows…
Grungs with management potential and a passing amount of leadership qualities are likely to be purple. They are capable enough to organize lesser grungs, but not capable of shouldering the burdens their betters can tackle.
While a grung’s caste is set from birth, it can be altered. On exceedingly rare occasions, an individual grung that achieves great feats may be elevated to a higher caste! By means of special potions and rituals, the grung’s color will change to match their promotion. Not only the individual, but all that grung’s future offspring will enjoy the higher status, so it is a tantalizing motivation for the lower castes to do their best in their respective societal roles!
A grung tribe’s natural environment puts them in close contact with many natural enemies and threats. As such, grungs employ every possible tool at their disposal to ensure their survival. They have powerful legs that enable them to leap surprising distances given their diminutive stature, and a mucus secreted by their fingers and footpads make them adept climbers. This combination gives them escape options if an enemy catches them off guard, which is unlikely thanks to their powers of observation. Grungs know to stay aware of their surroundings at all times, keeping both bulbous eyes out for threats.
All grungs have an innate natural defense to punish predators who see these adorable-looking humanoids as a tasty snack. Their skin secretes a thin poisonous substance that is harmful to non-grungs. Even touching a grung can have toxic consequences. Grung warriors coat their armaments in their own poison in order to weaponize it more effectively. Their poisonous nature leaves them unaffected by the poisons of other creatures and plants.
Should their senses or their reflexes fail them, a grung in danger can always escape into the water. Amphibious by nature, grungs can breathe underwater as easily as in the air. This affinity for water is actually a biological necessity, however. A grung that does not spend at least an hour per day in or under the water begins to dry out, and their health quickly deteriorates. A dry grung is a dead grung, so you’re unlikely to find these frog-like folks far from a nearby river, swamp, or lake.
Though they can pursue any class in D&D, grung rangers and grung rogues are particularly fearsome thanks to their natural dexterity, awareness, and comfortability with making optimal use of otherwise unfriendly environments. A grung monk can make great use of its natural poison by making several unarmed strikes, exposing its target to its poisonous skin and turning its natural defense into a powerful weapon.
As per the D&D supplement One Grung Above, a grung player character earns the following benefits:
Ability Score Increase
Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Grungs stand between 2 ½ and 3 ½ feet tall and average about 30 pounds. Your size is Small.
You have proficiency in the Perception skill.
Your base walking speed is 25 feet, and you have a climbing speed of 25 feet.
You can breathe air and water.
You’re immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.
Any creature that grapples you or otherwise comes into direct contact with your skin must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. A poisoned creature no longer in direct contact with you can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
You can also apply this poison to any piercing weapon as part of an attack with that weapon, though when you hit the poison reacts differently. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 2d4 poison damage.
Your long jump is up to 25 feet and your high jump is up to 15 feet, with or without a running start.
If you fail to immerse yourself in water for at least 1 hour during a day, you suffer one level of exhaustion at the end of that day. You can only recover from this exhaustion through magic or by immersing yourself in water for at least 1 hour.
You can speak, read, and write Grung.
What is the best grung character idea you have? What in particular excites you about grungs? Was the Muppet Treasure Island reference too forced? Let us know! Reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in our Discord!