As I am sure everyone is aware by now the Giff have made their way to 5E and will be making their way to tables with the release of the new SpellJammer books on Aug 16th of this year! I have always loved the look of the Giff and their unique lore but with them just coming to 5E I figured there may be some who just don’t know who they are! So that must be remedied!
Hailing from the Crystal Sphere, there are best known for being space-faring hippo mercenaries! They are very disciplined people and are strictly organized. They are well-known strategists and amazing in the art of battle. Let’s look at it this way, the lore says one of their favorite hobbies is maintaining their armor and equipment. Nothing more exciting than that. What a well-oiled machine their society must be, but also a dull boring existence. While boring to most, they greatly enjoy the structure and are known to show no real difference between males and females of their kind. They get along with just about every other race but do prefer the company of their kind. So you can just imagine an older retired Giff looking over their collection of weapons, spending their days polishing them. But how did they get there? How can you use one in your upcoming game?
Note that all the numbers we are using are out of the UA that they were involved in so some of this may change on release but I doubt it changes too much.
They make amazing fighters with their Damage Dealer and Hippo Build racial features. The Damage Dealer allows you to reroll 1’s on a damage die for a melee attack once per turn. More damage is always handy. The Hippo Build feature gives them advantage on Strength-based ability checks and Strength saving throws. Comes in handy when you want to be the up close and personal tank!
Not mentioned above was their love for spoken word storytelling. One idea could be to build a Bard around the race and have fun with them always regaling the tavern with their adventures and all the abilities that come with it, but they would be able to handle themselves well in a scrap. Could be fun, especially if you love the more roleplay heavy side of DnD.
But this wouldn’t be a TMT article without how I would use this lovely new race in the most insane way ever. With the Giff, nothing makes me laugh harder than the huge, regimented, spacefaring hippo Rogue! Just imagine a hippo trying his best to stealth through a dimly lit building and slinking across the walls past a guard. There are ways to make it actually viable, such as using the swashbuckler subclass, but in my mind, an assassin rogue Giff is one of the best comic relief characters I can think of!
How would you use a Giff? What class and subclass do you think fits their racial features best? Let us know in the comments or feel free to find us on social media and let us know! Until next time!