Bullywug Variants for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

Just about every real animal in the world has been made into a humanoid in Dungeons & Dragons at some point or another. And bullywugs are no exception. Let’s see what we can come up with today.

Here’s what to expect in this article:

  • What is a bullywug?
  • How do 5e bullywugs fight?
  • What 5e bullywug variants are needed?
  • 5 variants for 5e bullwugs PLUS a bonus new playable race.

What is a bullywug?

Like many of the monsters appearing in the 5e Monster Manual, bullywugs have been hopping around since first edition. Originally conceived by Gary Gygax and his son Luke, these anthropomorphic frog men were the antagonists of two first edition modules, Dwellers of the Forbidden City and Needle.

Here’s what they looked like back then:

bullywug-1e
“Hey, bro! What’s HOPpening?”

Now, in 5e the little froggy dudes are described as super evil showboats that live in authoritarian societies led by the biggest (fattest?) of their kind.

How do 5e bullywugs fight?

Keith Ammann has some great tactical advice for DMs running bullywugs. You can read it here: Bullywug Tactics.

Here’s the TL;DR version:

  • PC’s are likely to run into bullywugs in swamps.
  • More than likely, bullywugs will attack by ambush thanks to their stealth skill and swamp camouflage.
  • Since they are fast swimmers, they will try to take advantage of nearby water ways, too.
  • They’re relatively tough for their challenge rating, but will still come at groups with large numbers, preferably 3-1.
  • Bullywugs are inherently cowards. A single hit is enough to send them running off into the swamps.

What bullywug variants are needed for D&D 5e?

Humanoids are pretty easy to create variants for in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Most of the humanoids in the Monster Manual have a leader variant such as the goblin boss or bugbear chief. And sometimes, they have two levels of leader variants like the hobgoblin with the hobgoblin captain and hobgoblin warlord. I imagine bullywugs aren’t much different.

From the fluff, we know that the bullywugs are lead by unusually large bullywugs, typically a king or queen. Also, doing some research on the ol’ Wikipedia, there’s some other interesting fluff notes for these guys:

  • Bullywugs form organised bands led by at least one large individual, or sometimes a tribal shaman or great chief.
  • Some bullywugs are more intelligent than others, and that these groups use armour, shields, and weapons, and tend to dwell in caves or deserted human habitations; the less advanced bullywugs hate these groups and make war on them. Second edition dubbed these smarter guys as advanced bullywugs.
  • The bullywugs have a fearsome God they revere named Ggorulluzg. According to Wikipedia, “This ‘dreadful lurker in shadow’ is described as resembling ‘a breeding of octopus and giant frog; its body is much as the latter, but its head is bulbous and misshapen, with a soft beak, two great staring eyes, and six trailing tentacles.’ If engaged in combat, Ggorulluzg will “fix its loathsome gaze on a single individual”, causing the victim to become paralysed with fear. The demigod attacks with claws and tentacles (sophisticated bullywugs claim the god bears an array of great iron axes), and non-edged weapons often bounce harmlessly off the soft flesh covering its skull.”
  • There was another bullywug god named Ramenos. Unfortunately, Ramenos’ following has declined greatly over the years. His tribal shamans are primitive and weak and serve their tribal leaders, and must regularly become intoxicated with plant alkaloids. Drunk witch doctors frogs!

I don’t know about you, but that sure does give me a lot of ideas for 5e bullywug variants!

5 variants for bullywugs for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition.

We’ll start things off the old-fashioned way with a bullywug king/queen who lords over all the bullywugs and a bullywug boss that leads the raiding parties. These will be bullywugs stepped up from the base 5e stats.

Next, we’ll make the bullywug spinoff race, advanced bullywugs. We know these guys are smarter than their swamp cousins. In my head, these guys are the product of a red slaad implanting a bullywug with its eggs, creating a bullywug/slaad hybrid. I’ll also create a playable race for this sect of bullywug to add to your player options.

I haven’t really had the chance to stat up a major monster yet, so creating Ggorulluzg should be fun. Plus, all of his abilities are pretty much laid out for me in the fluff.

For the requisite swamp shaman archetype, a bullywug shaman of Ramenos should be fun to make. They’re basically low-level druids that get toasted before charging head first into combat.

These 5th edition monster variants are free for you to use in your Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Just not commercially. And the art isn’t mind… borrowed!

 

advanced-bullywug

Advanced Bullywug

Medium humanoid (bullywug), chaotic neutral


Armor Class 16 (chain shirt, shield)

Hit Points 19 (3d8 + 6)

Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.


Abilities Str 13 (+1), Dex 12 (+1), Con 14 (+2), Int 10 (+0), Wis 11 (+0), Cha 10 (+0)


Skills Survival +2

Senses passive Perception 10

Languages Bullywug

Challenge 1 (200 XP)


Ambiphious. The bullywug can breathe air and water.

Magic Resistance. The bullywug has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Speak with Frogs and Toads. The bullywug can communicate simple concepts to frogs and toads when it speaks in Bullywug.

Standing Leap. The bullywug’s long jump is up to 20 feet and its high jump is up to 10 feet, with or without a running start.


Actions

Multiattack. The bullywug makes two melee attacks: one with its bite and one with its shortsword.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) bludgeoning damage.

Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

 

bullywug-boss-2

Bullywug Boss

Medium humanoid (bullywug), chaotic evil


Armor Class 15 (chain shirt)

Hit Points 39 (6d8 + 12)

Speeds 20 ft., swim 40 ft.


Abilities Str 14 (+2), Dex 14 (+2), Con 15 (+2), Int 7 (-2), Wis 11, Cha 9 (-1)


Skills Stealth +4

Senses passive Perception 10

Languages Bullywug

Challenge 1 (200 XP)


Ambiphious. The bullywug can breathe air and water.

Speak with Frogs and Toads. The bullywug can communicate simple concepts to frogs and toads when it speaks in Bullywug.

Swamp Camouflage. The bullywug has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in swampy terrain.

Standing Leap. The bullywug’s long jump is up to 20 feet and your high jump is up to 10 feet, with or without a running start.


Actions

Multiattack. The bullywug makes two melee attacks with its pike.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

Pike. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) piercing damage.

Tongue. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 10 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 + 1 bludgeoning damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 12). And if the target is Small or smaller, it is pulled up to 10 feet towards the bullywug, and restrained until the grapple ends. If the target is grappled and in range, the bullywug may make one bite attack against it as a bonus action. The bullywug can grapple one target at a time with its tongue.

bullywug-king

Bullywug King/Queen

Large humanoid (bullywug), chaotic evil


Armor Class 16 (breast plate)

Hit Points 114 (12d10 +48)

Speed 30 ft., swim 60 ft.


Abilities Str 18 (+4), Dex 14 (+2), Con 19 (+4), Int 8 (-2), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 11 (+0)


Saves Con +7, Wis +4

Skills Intimidation +3, Stealth +5

Condition Immunities frightened

Senses passive Perception 11

Languages Bullywug

Challenge 5 (1,800)


Ambiphious. The bullywug can breathe air and water.

Speak with Frogs and Toads. The bullywug can communicate simple concepts to frogs and toads when it speaks in Bullywug.

Swamp Camouflage. The bullywug has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in swampy terrain.

Standing Leap. The bullywug’s long jump is up to 30 feet and its high jump is up to 15 feet, with or without a running start.


Actions

Multiattack. The bullywug makes two attacks with its battleaxe.

Battleaxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage, or 15 (2d10 + 4) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Stoke Fear (1/day). Each creature of the bullywug’s choice that is within 30 feet of it, can hear it, and not already affected by Stoke Fear gain advantage on all melee attack rolls until the start of the bullywug king/queen’s next turn, but attack rolls against an affected creature have advantage until the start of its next turn.

Tongue. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 15 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 15), pulled up to 15 feet towards the bullywug, and restrained until the grapple ends. If the target is grappled, the bullywug may make one bite attack against it as a bonus action. The bullywug can grapple one target at a time with its tongue.

 

bullywug-shaman

Bullywug, Shaman of Ramenos

Medium humanoid (bullywug), chaotic evil


Armor Class 12 (16 with barkskin)

Hit Points 32 (5d8 + 10)

Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.


Abilities Str 12 (+1), Dex 12 (+1), Con 14 (+2), Int 8 (-1), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 9 (-1)


Skills Stealth +3

Condition Immunity frightened

Senses passive Perception 12

Languages Bullywug

Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Ambiphious. The bullywug can breathe air and water.

Perpetually Intoxicated. The bullywug has disadvantage on nonmagical attack rolls and ability checks. In addition, when the bullywug rolls damage for a spell it can reroll up to two damage dice. It must use the new rolls.

Speak with Frogs and Toads. The bullywug can communicate simple concepts to frogs and toads when it speaks in Bullywug.

Spellcasting. The bullywug is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). The bullywug has the following druid spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): druidcraft, poisonspray, produce flame
1st level (4 slots): fog cloud, goodberry, thunderwave
2nd level (3 slots): barkskin, spike growth
3rd level (2 slots): call lightning, conjure animals (amphibians only)

Swamp Camouflage. The bullywug has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in swampy terrain.

Standing Leap. The bullywug’s long jump is up to 20 feet and its high jump is up to 10 feet, with or without a running start.


Actions

Multiattack. The bully makes two attacks, one with its bite and one with its quarterstaff.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

Quarterstaff. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage, or 5 (1d8 + 1) bludgeoning damage if wielded with two hands.

 

Ggorulluzg

Ggorulluzg

Huge aberration, chaotic evil


Armor Class 19 (natural armor)

Hit Points 287 (23d12 + 138)

Speed 40 ft. swim 80 ft.


Abilities Str 26 (+8), Dex 16 (+3), Con 22 (+6), Int 12 (+1), Wis 19 (+4), Cha 15 (+2)


Saving Throws Dex +10, Con +13, Wis +11

Skills Intimidation +9, Perception +11

Damage Resistances lightning

Damage Immunities bludgeoning, necrotic, poison; piercing and slashing that is nonmagical

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frigthened, poisoned

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 21

Languages all, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 23 (50,000 XP)


Ambiphious. Ggorulluzg can breathe air and water.

Innate Spellcasting. Ggorulluzg’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks). He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: detect magic
3/day each: blightdispel magic, invisibility
1/day each: control weather, teleport

Fear GazeIf a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of Ggorulluzg and the two of them can see each other, Ggorulluzg can force the creature to make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw if Ggorulluzg isn’t incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature is frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to Ggorulluzg’s Fear Gaze for the next 24 hour.

Legendary Resistance (3/day). If Ggorulluzg fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. Ggorulluzg  has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. Ggorulluzg ‘s weapon attacks are magical.

Speak with Frogs and Toads. Ggorulluzg can communicate simple concepts to frogs and toads when it speaks in Bullywug.

Swamp Camouflage. Ggorulluzg  has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in swampy terrain.

Standing Leap. Ggorulluzg’s long jump is up to 40 feet and its high jump is up to 20 feet, with or without a running start.


Actions

Multiattack. Ggorulluzg makes four attacks: one with his bite, one with his claws, and two with his tentacles. He can use his Swallow or Tongue instead of his bite.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it is grappled (escape DC 18). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and Ggorulluzg can’t bite another target.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d8 + 8) slashing damage.

Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d6 + 8) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it is grappled (escape DC 18). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and Ggorulluzg can’t use his tentacles on another target.

Tongue. Ranged Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (1d12 + 8) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Large or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 18), pulled up to 30 feet toward Ggorulluzg, and restrained until the grapple ends. Ggorulluzg can grapple one target at a time with his tongue. If the target is grappled, Ggorulluzg can  make one bite or swallow attack against it as a bonus action.

Swallow. Ggorulluzg makes one bite attack against a Large or smaller creature he is grappling. If the attack hits, the target takes the bite’s damage, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the target is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside Ggorulluzg, and it takes 21 (6d6) necrotic damage at the start of each of Ggorulluzg’s turns. Ggorulluzg can have only one creature swallowed at a time.

If Ggorulluzg takes 30 damage or more on a single turn from the swallowed creature, Ggorulluzg must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate the creature, which falls prone in a space within 10 feet of Ggorulluzg. If Ggorulluzg dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by him and can escape from the corpse by using 15 feet of movement, exiting prone.


Legendary Actions

Ggorulluzg can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Ggorulluzg regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Attack. Ggorulluzg makes one claws attack or one tentacles attack.

Shadow Jaunt. Ggorulluzg magically teleports, along with any equipment he is wearing or carrying, up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space he can see. Both the space he is leaving and its destination must be in dim light or darkness.

Chomp (2 actions). Ggorulluzg makes one bite attack or uses his Swallow.


Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Ggorulluzg can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects; he can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row.

  • Ggorulluzg calls forth a bolt lightning to any space he can see within 100 feet of him. Any creature in the space where the lightning bolt hits must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 27 (6d8) lightning damage and is stunned until the end of its next turn, or takes half damage on a successful one and is not stunned.
  • Until the next initiative count 20, each bullywug or frog that Ggorulluzg can see may use their bonus action to make an extra melee weapon attack.
  • Until the next initiative count 20, all bullywugs and frogs within the lair are enraged, causing them to have advantage on melee weapon attack rolls and causing attack rolls to have advantage against them.

Regional Effects

The region containing Ggorulluzg’s lair is warped by his magic, creating one or more of the following effects:

  • Within 6 mile of the lair, frogs, toads, and other amphibians are more aggressive, grouping into swarms and attacking.
  • Nonmagical lights sources fail to give off dim light within 1 mile of the lair.
  • If a humanoid spends at least 1 hour within 1 mile of the lair, that creature must succeed on a DC 17 saving throw or become poisoned. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw can’t be affected by this regional effect again for 24 hours. If Ggorulluzg dies, these effects fade over the course of 1d10 days.

 

bullywug-hero

Bullywug Playable Character Race

Your bullywug character has the following racial traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Dexterity score increases by 1.

Age. Bullywugs have shorter lifespans than humans. They reach maturity at about 15 years old and can live to 75.

Alignment. Bullywug are chaotic creatures, having slaadi blood in their veins. They are generally chaotic neutral in outlook.

Size. Bullywugs are around 6 feet tall and weigh between 110 and 150 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and you having a swimming speed of 30 feet.

Amphibious. You can breathe air and water.

Bite. Your large mouth is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to  1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the 1 point of damage normal for an unarmed strike.

Magic Resistance. You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Speak with Frogs and Toads. You can communicate simple concepts to frogs and toads when you speak in Bullywug.

Standing Leap. Your long jump is up to 20 feet and your high jump is up to 10 feet, with or without a running start.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Bullywug.

 

Thanks for reading!

And that’s it for the B’s. From here, I’ll be moving on to the C’s starting with the fiend-children, Cambions.

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