Giff Guide 5e

Published on November 21, 2022

Anything but subtle, giff can cause some major destruction and make some major noise in the process.

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What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the giff will be right for your 5e character build.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your giff. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.

  • Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.

What are Giff in 5e?

Source: Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

Giff are hippo-human hybrids that tend frequent the Astral Seas of Spelljammer campaigns. Their large stature, proficiency with firearms, and brash nature tend to make quite the impression on other travelers that giff meet along their journeys.

Giff 5e Traits

Ability Score Increase: Being able to choose between +2 ASI, +1 ASI, or +1, +1, +1 ASI means that you can pick exactly what your build will need.

Creature Type: Humanoid is the default creature type for playable races.

Size: Medium is the default creature type for playable races.

Speed: Standard 30ft walking speed and a swimming speed. This can be useful for when your campaign heads underwater, but is pretty situational.

Astral Spark: Adding extra force damage to attacks is always a nice bonus. This feature excels because it can apply to simple and marital weapons and can be applied after the you know the attack hits. This is a solid boost to any weapon-wielding build, especially because you can use this prof. modifier times per long rest.

Firearms Mastery: This is entirely campaign-specific but, if you can use it, is a huge buff to your ranged capabilities. This feature essentially contains partial abilities granted by the Gunner and Sharpshooter feats. First, you can ignore the loading property of firearms, allowing you to attack multiple times each turn. Then, you can ignore the disadvantage of shooting at long range. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll assume that firearms are available in your campaign because otherwise, why would you want to play a gun-toting giff?

Hippo Build: Advantage on STR-based checks and saving throws is nice for athletics checks, but its main boon comes from receiving advantage on grapple attempts.

Which 5e Classes Work With Giff?

Giff are built for martial characters, in more ways than one. Their Astral Spark only applies to weapon attacks and provides a solid damage boost and their Hippo Build can greatly enhance your grappling capabilities. Keep in mind that one of the giff’s best features, Firearms Mastery, is very campaign-specific. It’s best to ask your DM about the availability of firearms in your campaign world before you build a character centered around them.

Artificer: Even though the flavor is on point, the fact of the matter is that artificers are usually better off casting cantrips than devoting resources to guns.

Barbarian: Some bonus damage on your attacks is nice, but Rage already gives you advantage on STR checks and saving throws.

Bard: Nothing here for a bard.

Cleric: Nothing here for a cleric.

Druid: Nothing here for a druid.

Fighter: Some extra damage and advantage on STR checks and saving throws are solid boons for a fighter, especially if they've gone for a Tavern Brawler build.

Monk: Nothing here for a monk.

Paladin: Some extra force damage to boost your damage output and advantage on STR checks and saving throws are solid boons for a paladin.

Ranger: The added force damage is useful for any ranger build, though the Hippo Build feature is only useful for STR-based builds.

Rogue: Nothing here for a rogue.

Sorcerer: Nothing here for a sorcerer.

Warlock: Nothing here for a warlock.

Wizard: Nothing here for a wizard.

Sources Used in This Guide

  • BR: Basic Rules
  • GotG: Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants
  • SotDQ: Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
  • ERLW: Eberron: Rising from the Last War
  • EEPC: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
  • EGtW: Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
  • FToD: Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
  • GGtR: Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
  • MotM: Monsters of the Multiverse
  • MToF: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
  • MOoT: Mythic Odyessys of Theros
  • PAitM: Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse
  • PHB: Player's Handbook
  • SAiS: Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
  • SCoC: Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
  • SCAG: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
  • TCoE: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
  • TTP: The Tortle Package
  • WBtW: The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
  • VRGtR: Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
  • VGtM: Volo's Guide to Monsters
  • XGtE: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. He is a Adamantine best-selling author of Strixhaven: A Syllabus of Sorcery on DMs Guild and is a contributing author at D&D Beyond. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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