Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted hop into One Grung Above to examine the grung as a playable race for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. D&D players from all over (myself included) fell in love with these small humanoid frogs who made their 5E D&D debut in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Despite their monster entry showing grung as neutral evil slavers, the accompanying art portrays them as cute and the One Grung Above one shot from 2017’s Stream of Annihilation showcased how fun a party of grung adventurers can be. The stats and features for grung player characters have been around for a couple of years through the Dungeon Master’s Guild and were recently added to D&D Beyond to the delight of an army of grung aficionados, with all monies Wizards of the Coast would receive from sales of the product donated to Extra Life. But all that is only prologue to what I’m interested in exploring — creating some special grung feats for 5E D&D characters. So let’s get into it.
Prestige of racial feats in 5E D&D
Introduced in Elemental Evil Player’s Companion and more prominently later in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything racial feats exemplify what it means to be a quintessential member of a particular race. Racial feats highlight the strengths and special traits associated with a race. As a reminder feats are an optional rule allowing you can forgo taking an ability score improvement to take a feat of your choice instead. You can take each feat only once, unless the feat’s description says otherwise. The DM decides whether feats are used and if so perhaps restricting some and not others. It’s up to a DM and the players in the game to decide on these options.
“A racial feat represents either a deepening connection to your race’s culture or a physical transformation that brings you closer to an aspect of your race’s lineage. The cause of a particular transformation is up to you and your DM. A transformational feat can symbolize a latent quality that has emerged as you age, or a transformation might be the result of an event in the campaign, such as exposure to powerful magic or visiting a place of ancient significance to your race. Transformations are a fundamental motif of fantasy literature and folklore. Figuring out why your character has changed can be a rich addition to your campaign’s story.” — from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
So far in official 5E D&D content no single race has more than two racial feats, and this feels like plenty of opportunity to create some special grung feats for players who really want to play a grung character who relishes in being grung. There’s a strong temptation to explore ideas for feats related to jumping and poison, two prominent traits of grung. We certainly don’t want to diminish grung Water Dependency. It would take away a great narrative tool and also it wouldn’t portray the best of being grung if a major component of their lives no longer applied.
Instead there’s two fantastic pieces of grung culture, society and biology sitting right there in VGtM. Ability Score Improvements notwithstanding I’d load up on these 5E D&D grung feats and play a paragon of pollywogs.
Grung Racial Feats
Your elite warriors learn to create a unique vibration that affects living creatures in a debilitating way and you’ve learned this elite technique. As an action you can make a chirring noise to which grungs are immune. Each humanoid of beast that is within 15 feet of you and able to hear it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.
You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
Through a combination of herbal tonics and ritual magic you become elevated in grung culture. You change color and are inducted into your new caste in the same way a juvenile of the caste would be. From then on, you and your progeny are members of the higher caste. Aside from any narrative implications your new caste might bring, your Poisonous Skin changes to reflect your new caste and color. You gain the following benefits:
- Increase your Dexterity or Constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Your Poisonous Skin gains the following features in addition to the standard qualities:
- Green. The poisoned creature can’t move except to climb or make standing jumps. If the creature is flying, it can’t take any actions or reactions unless it lands.
- Blue. The poisoned creature must shout loudly or otherwise make a loud noise at the start and end of its turn.
- Purple. The poisoned creature feels a desperate need to soak itself in liquid or mud. It can’t take actions or move except to do so or to reach a body of liquid or mud.
- Red. The poisoned creature must use its action to eat if food is within reach.
- Orange. The poisoned creature is frightened of its allies.
- Gold. The poisoned creature is charmed and can speak Grung.
- White. The poisoned creature can’t take reactions. (What the heck is a white grung?!)
When you select this feat choose one of the options below. You can select this feat multiple times. Each time you do so, your new selection’s grung poison replaces your old one.
More grung and frog themed goodness
Here are a few more resources for grung fans. You might find any or all of these stuff inspiring for your grung character for new options or ideas to develop grung culture and society in your 5E D&D campaign setting.
- One Grung Above
- Muckwuggle the Frog God
- Keep an eye out for an upcoming post from Nerdarchist Ted featuring the Croak Cloak magic item
- Grung Paper Miniatures
- Grung Tribe Paper Miniatures & Jungle Tomb Battlemap
- We Are Grung
- Volo’s Guide to Monsters