Short and dexterous, grippli resembled bipedal tree frogs. Swamp-dwelling grippli typically had gray-green skin, often mottled with darker colors such as green and brown. Grippli who dwelled in rainforests displayed a wider array of skin colors, such as bright yellow, blue, or red. Their skin smelled of old and wet plants, and appeared wet to the touch, but was actually dry. Grippli were quite small, with most individuals standing around 2 ft (0.61 m) tall, and weighing around 30 lb (14 kg). Older and more powerful grippli could be twice as tall and heavy. They were deft climbers and jumpers, and could easily camouflage themselves in their native jungle environment. Grippli could see well in the dark. They were long-lived, with some individuals reaching the venerable age of 700 years.[note 3] They had a very low birth rate; a grippli female typically only gave birth to roughly six children in her lifetime.
They spoke their own language, Grippli, and could croak other languages with some difficulty. Most grippli were illiterate, and considered all forms of writing taboo, except if performed by a tribe mother.
They had a love of bright colors, and occasionally raided parties of travelers to obtain colored garments. Despite this, grippli rarely used much clothing beyond simple belts and loincloths. Grippli homes were decorated with brightly colored bits and bobs.
They were uncommonly intelligent, and could easily acquire new skills and learning. Despite this, Grippli almost never felt the need to manufacture anything themselves. Metal tools and weapons were treated as prized heirlooms.
Grippli engaged in trade with other peoples only rarely, when they were convinced the other party was not a threat. Due to their love of bright colors, grippli often purchased worthless, colored baubles from dishonest merchants. Grippli were intelligent enough to realize these merchants were taking advantage of them, but did not care overmuch since the baubles had great value to them.
The frog folk tended to use weapons such as nets and poisoned darts, preferring these because they did not hamper climbing. They only rarely used arms made from metal, and usually did not wear armor in combat.
Grippli could apply strategy and tactics when needed, especially to overcome a more powerful foe. They favored the use of ambushes and traps to give themselves an advantage.
Grippli congregated in small villages consisting of houses made from mud-brick and wood. These were mostly situated on the ground, but a few settlements were built into the branches of large trees. A village typically consisted of anywhere between ten and sixty individuals, with a roughly equal distribution of sexes. These villages were often overseen by a tribe mother, who kept multiple mates. Although tribe mothers were the official leaders, most day-to-day governing was handled by elder male grippli.
The grippli pantheon consisted of their primary, frog-like deity, as well as a number of evil snake and spider gods. The tribe mothers oversaw religious matters in their villages, and were believed to possess a measure of the frog-deity's blood.
Since grippli maintained few records, and none of them were historical in nature, little was known of the origin of the frog folk. One popular theory maintained that grippli had always lived as they did: peacefully, secluded, and in harmony with their local environment.
Following the Procession of Justice in the Year of the Striking Lance, –247 DR, Exarch Thelasand IV of the fallen empire of Jhaamdath fled into the Wetwoods and was taken captive by grippli. A rieldoxia word crystal containing his thought images was discovered in an excavation outside the grippli settlement of Urml in the Year of the Spur, 1348 DR.
- The grippli village of Urml in the Wetwoods of the Vilhon Reach had a population of roughly 200. The settlement was led by the venerable tribe mother Oluusious.
- The Mindulgulph Mercenary Company, known for its very diverse membership, had a squad of grippli mercenaries in the 1360s DR.
- ↑ Grippli height is mildly inconsistent across sources, so the full span is presented here. The lowest height is derived from Dragon #262 (p. 32), while the tallest height is from Dragon #324 (p. 85).
- ↑ Grippli weight is also inconsistent. The lightest weight is derived from Dragon #262 (p. 32), while the heaviest is from Dragon #324 (p. 85).
- ↑ Dragon #324 (p. 87) states that grippli are "venerable" at 140 years old, with a maximum age of 220. Although this is the most recent source, this wiki gives precedence to Realms-specific material. The Vilhon Reach ("Dungeon Master's Reference," p. 48), features a 400-year-old grippli, which is in accordance with earlier sources on grippli lifespans.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Jim Butler (1996). The Vilhon Reach (Dungeon Master's Guide). (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 0-7869-0400-3.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Joshua Cole (October 2004). “Winning Races: Grippli”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #324 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 84–87.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 James Wyatt (August 1999). “Half-Pint Heroes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #262 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 31–32.
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 180. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 71. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.