Happy Father’s Day from the Tribe of Polywugs for 5E D&D

Monster Morale with Meaning for 5E D&D
D&D Ideas -- Piety

Inspired by the Father’s Day holiday celebrating dads across the world as well as my friend Brian Colin from Creature Curation and the World of Revilo I wanted to make something fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons related with my kids. The other day I was taking a walk with my eight year old daughter and I issued a challenge to her: come up with an idea of a race of creatures or a monster to be used in 5E D&D. She has been playing roleplaying games since she was four. Just a few months before her fifth birthday we played No Thank You Evil! by Monte Cook Games and quickly transitioned into 5E D&D. Now with several years of irregular gaming and quite the imagination I wanted to see what she would come up with on her own.

Pollywog Symbiote is a creature from Magic: The Gathering’s Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths set. [Art by Simon Dominic]

Fun frog race for 5E D&D

When I asked my daughter to give me an idea I thought she would say something along the lines of, “Let me think about it,” or, “I will,” and I would have to reminder her several times. I was blown away by her immediate reply about wanting to make a race of tadpole people. She barely had time to draw in a breath before she was a whirlwind of ideas about the race detailed below, taking inspiration from her current obsession with frogs as well as incorporating the serious global health crisis and turning it towards something positive with her creativity.

Before I get into the details let me take this moment to thank all fathers out there raising children. It takes someone special to choose another life as parents do, and we know we typically have to take a back seat for those we are lifting up and showing the world. So thank you!

Without further ado, allow me to present the polywug, small creatures caught by a virus which stunted their growth. They grew distant from their original bullywug culture after the older generations’ evil ways were washed away by childish pranks and a better way of life.

Polywugs

Diminutive

A settlement of bullywugs was hit by a strange affliction that affected the whole society. Fully grown adults had no issues but young tadpoles were far more susceptible. It was detrimental to the growth of such creatures and thereafter every generation grew to only 2 or 3 feet tall. This difference caused them to eventually consider themselves a new creature entirely.

Childish Nature

Most creatures who encounter a polywug only see a childlike humanoid frog race and wonder where the creature’s parent could be. The polywug race has evolved to keep their nature a secret to get the better of other races. Though mischievous, their pranks are generally harmless and childish. Polywugs are good hearted unlike the race they originally spawned from.

More Tadpole or More Frog

Polywugs look like they are in a state of change. Frogs transition from tadpole to frog, but the middle state when they have both a long tail to be excellent swimmers and fully functional limbs are where the polywugs stopped evolving. They are fully adapted to walk and hop about on land or dive into the water and swim and stay underwater. Because of this polywug settlements are mostly underwater.

Ability Score Increase

Polywugs are agile, likable and cunning. You add +1 to your Dexterity, Wisdom and Charisma scores.

Age

Polywugs mature very quickly. They tend to reach maturity within 5-10 years and rarely live more than 40 years.

Alignment

Polywugs are good natured but have a childish view of many things. This way of thinking leans them toward chaotic good. You may choose any alignment when making your character.

Size

Polywugs tend to be around 2-3 feet tall. Your size is Small.

Speed

Your base walking speed is 25 feet. Your swim speed is 35 feet.

Languages

You can speak, read and write Bullywug and Common.

Amphibious

You can breathe air and water.

Croak and Chirp

You can speak to frogs and toads and they can understand and communicate with you. The animals are still limited to their base understandings and their Intelligence scores, but simple concepts of food and a place to hide are known to all.

Where Did They Go?

You are proficient in the Stealth skill. Furthermore you have advantage on any Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in swampy terrain

Hop, Skip and a Jump away

You have advantage on any Strength (Athletics) check made to jump. In addition, whenever you make a long jump or high jump roll a d6 and add the result to the total distance of your jump.

Need more frogs in your 5E D&D?

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Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay nerdy!

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Follow Ted Adams:
The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.

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