Thursday, June 14, 2012


I have a feeling that gripplis are going to get a lot more popular as soon as the Advanced Race Guide comes out.  (James Sutter is already showing the love.)  What can we say about them ahead of time?  Like halflings, gripplis are a doughty mixture of courage and caution—their small size and dangerous jungle homes demanding ample portions of both.  Living high in the canopies, they hold even their neighbors at arm’s length…especially when their neighbors (keches, charau-ka, girallons, and carnivorous apes of all stripes, as well as kobolds, jungle catfolk, and nagas) sometimes treat them as lunch.  PCs will likely find gripplis to be useful allies, but one wrong step will have nets and arrows raining down upon them.

Gripplis rangers save explorers from a giant wasp attack.  Pleased to have captured such delicious insects for their tribe—and envious of the large folk’s gems—they invite the explorers to join them for the night in the canopy.  But to comfortably reach the grippli settlement, the explorers will have to be magically reduced in size.

The emperor’s court musician, a marimba player of surpassing skill, is a grippli bard.  When he dies, the emperor commands his body be borne back to his home village, and his son invited to take his place.  The only danger in the journey should be the usual jungle hazards…but an assassination attempt just as the pallbearers set out indicates other forces are at work.

The most notable grippli village cannot be found on any map.  To avoid threatening hordes of charau-ka, Shambling Home moves about the jungle like a leafy Baba Yaga’s Hut.  A circle of grippli druids is responsible for animating the trees that hold the village aloft.

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 149

Darth Vader voice: “The desire to base an entire grippli adventure on the Ewoks and not tell the players till after is strong in this one.”

Does anyone know if the Fat Goblin Games’ Racial Ecologies: Guide to the Grippli is good? How about the rest of the line?  On the whole I tend to be very skeptical of third-party stuff (and I vastly prefer books to PDFs), but these look pretty cool, and you can’t argue with the $1.99 price.

(A bit more about my third-party feelings, especially since I don’t want to give Fat Goblin a black eye they haven’t earned: I’ve raved about Sword & Sorcery on these pages plenty of times, and I’ve got Coliseum Morpheuon from Rite Publishing headed toward me as we speak (I browsed it in the store, put it back, and when it was gone the next week my curiosity of course became obsession).  But on the whole, non-Paizo or -WotC stuff leaves me cold.  Even when the ideas and writing are good, editing/quality control is almost always sloppy (even from authors I usually trust—a testament to the invisible power of good editors).  And third-party books are almost always over-designed, with so many “Oh, this will be so cool-looking” border elements and page backgrounds that the entire effort ends up muddy and hard to read, especially in black and white.  After one too many burns, I avoid on principle unless I’ve held the product in my hands and been impressed…but a $1.99 price tag might persuade me.)

This (which, I neglected to say yesterday, I had a very, very minor hand in,) is still going on.  The Blue Angels flying over my office is more than a little distracting…mostly in a good way.

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