This hungry hungry Hippo is only hungry for one thing.
The Giff is a creature from an ages-old D&D setting called Spelljammer. This world is plainly, D&D in space, and the Giff are mercenaries that inhabit it. They fight for money, and their money is gunpowder. They love blackpowder a ridiculous amount. Combine their love of it, how rare it is in Spelljammer, and now it’s been their currency for a very long time within the lore.
They’re from a society where all are given ranks at birth, and live up to that rank the best they can. The only way for a Giff to move up or down in the world is to have it changed by a member of their race with a higher rank, which leads to the naturally subservient race to behave well so they are not demoted.
The Giff are found on all sorts of Spelljammer ships throughout space, and in large cities or civilizations. Giff are always hired in platoons, so there will always be at least two Giff serving at a time. A platoon of Giff could be hired to invade an Illithid Stronghold, or even just protect a small gambling hall. As long as they get paid, Giff don’t much mind where they are.
You can tell where a Giff is staying because it is in perfect military condition, with the beds made, the gunpowder packed away cleanly, and their boots lined up next to the bed, which has it’s blanket in a tight efficient roll. If a Giff is a slob, their superiors can lower their societal rank at a whim, keeping them in check.
If a Giff is signing on to work for a crew, they usually write it into their contracts that they will be allowed to sit out a battle, rather than fight their own kind. This is a value that is deeply ingrained into Giff society. No fighting each other, no civil wars, just fight for whoever pays, and live your lives as good servants.
Battling a Giff is to be battling their arsenal as well. Giff are expert marksmen, using gunpowder Pistols and Muskets, filling shrapnel grenades, and even just using their big solid hippo-heads to bash in the enemy.
They fight with honor and fury, and will do whatever they can to win, not fearing death.
Once you kill a Giff, their arsenal is yours. This means valuable gunpowder, muskets, pistols, and even a few grenades if they weren’t compromised. You’d even be able to get their ship if it wasn’t too damaged.
A Giff might have something to say about you touching or tasting them, but their sounds, sights and smells sure are something to experience.
The Giff look like clean, humanoid Hippopotamus people, with sharp military outfits decorated in all kinds of badges and ribbons for various reasons and ranks. They have ceremonial swords and knives, and also wear a waterskin-like sack for gunpowder.
They smell like gunpowder, which is quite acrid and sour. Like an acidic candy with a mix of pepper. This smell can be overwhelming, so occasionally the Giff will wear cologne or perfumes, in order to mask that smell and other natural odors.
The sound of a Giff battalion is one of thick British accents, shouting orders, and echoing cracks in the distance. A good portion of those cracks are the shots fired from Pistols, Muskets, and also quite a few bigger booms when barrels of powder and grenades are blown.
The Giff are many things, but mainly just super fun to play. They make for amazing NPCs and intimidating enemies, and the players of your Spelljammer games will know them quick, and see them often. The British accent and shouts of “Good Show” and “My Word” are absolutely hysterical. These creatures are a great compliment to any ship crew, and will honorably fight off Neogi, Mind Flayers, Beholders, and any other cosmic terror!
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Image Sources: Wizards of the Coast
Roll a D20 to see what the Giff have been hired to do.
1: Four Giff hired to play with cats all day.
2: Three Giff hired to hunt down a fugitive.
3: A pair of Giff hired to sit back-to-back in a hallway, and not let anyone through.
4: One Dozen Giff hired to run security at an Elven Banquet.
5: Five Giff hired to escort Gundren Rockseeker to Wave Echo Cave, on an asteroid!
6: Thirty Giff hired to invade a Neogi slave camp, saving the enslaved being top priority.
7: Sixty Giff hired to fight each other. They sit quietly in protest, as fighting goes on around them.
8: Nine Giff hired to run explosives for a Dwarven mining operation.
9: Twenty-One Giff hired to sing a song and do a salute at a funeral.
10: Fifteen very confused Giff stand in a line, while people crawl underneath their legs.