Never giff up
The Giff are a race of humanoid people with hippo features found in the D&D universe. They are a militaristic race that demonstrate huge amounts of discipline and a desire to keep the orders of those higher up in the chain of command. While they tend to shun art, they do see an artistic beauty in the art of war and even destroyed their own planet in an act of what they consider, ultimate beauty in an orchestrated effort of militaristic prowess.
With the arrival of Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, the giff have become a playable race in D&D 5e. They are often found travelling throughout wildspace on some conquest or on the orders of some commander or another.
Giff Traits in 5e
If you want to play as a giff, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
Ability Score Increase: Giff are strong and surprisingly quick (like actual hippos) and receive a +2 to their strength score and a +1 to their dexterity score.
Personal Attributes: Giff age at a similar rate to humans, achieving adulthood a little earlier and living slightly shorter lives. Giff tend to be lawful in nature due to their strict adherence to rules. There are always exceptions, but these tend to be rare but any alignment is possible. Giff are medium in size but are taller than a typical human at about 7-8 feet tall. They’re also stockier weighing about 850-1,000 pounds.
Speed: Giff have a base walking speed of 30 feet
Headfirst Charge: Giff are able to make a special attack charging headbutt attack. If a giff moves at least 10 feet before their action and end their movement within 5 feet of another large or smaller creature, they can use this as their action. The other creature must make a strength check with a DC of 8 + your strength modifier + your proficiency bonus or take 7 (2d6) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone.
Firearms knowledge: Because Giff have a lengthy history of militaristic tradition and firearm usage, all giff have proficiency with pistols and muskets and ignore the loading property of these weapons.
Languages: Giff can speak, read and write common and one other language of the player’s choosing.
The giff are strong humanoids with hippo features. They stand at about 8-9 feet tall with a stocky, muscular frame and most are gray, black or gold in colour. They often wear uniforms due to their militaristic background and tend to carry multiple firearms on their person. Giff celebrate their achievements in war and will often tattoo their bodies to demonstrate the victories they’ve won.
While they do have powerful tusks and jaws, most giff do not eat meat (though they can digest it), essentially making them herbivores. They also tend to be somewhat magic-averse, tolerating it where necessary, particularly when using it for Spelljammer travel, but do tend to shun the use of magic.
Giff are highly disciplined and as such, make excellent soldiers. The ability to follow orders is highly prized among the giff who themselves, take pleasure from following orders given them. Coupled with their militaristic outlook, this makes them excellent sell-swords and bodyguards as they’re generally happy to work with most other races (for the right price, of course).
The giff have a great love of weaponry, particularly gunpowder and any job that requires them to use weapons or blow stuff up is considered an attractive prospect for any giff. Of particular note are their Spelljammer ships known as great bombards which are essentially giant cannons with ships mounted beneath them. Hiring someone to helm the a great bombard is a challenge as most giff do not use magic and most other races don’t want to go near such a deadly ship.
Giff speak their own language, but as a civilisation that has spread among many other races, most tend to use common, particularly as other races tend to find their gruff language and names difficult to pronounce. Many giff will take on names in common as well as their birth name, preferring the names used by the upper classes.
Giff aren’t particularly religious and have no gods unique to their race, but they will sometimes worship the gods of those that hire them, particularly if the deity is associated with war in some way. They do, however, have a belief system of sorts considering everything to have a purpose. In their case, the giff’s purpose is to follow orders.
Most scholars that have studied the giff consider their unique appearance to indicate that they must have had a single planet of origin at some point. However, wherever that planet is (or whenever it existed) has long been forgotten. At this point, the giff have spread themselves throughout wildspace, integrating with other cultures and on other planets.
Some believe that they giff destroyed their home world in an orchestrated effort to create a militaristic display of ultimate beauty. Others suspect that the destruction of their home-world was an accident while others believe their homeworld was sold long ago. Whatever the truth is has long been forgotten by the giff and their associates.