Creatures of the Underdark, the Grimlock, can be found within the depths of the Material Plane. As descendants of humans who have lost their way back in the past, they have adapted to the dark world before them. This is a great creature for encounters set underground as players explore.
What is Grimlock 5e: mechanics and requirements
- Size: Medium humanoid
- Alignment: neutral evil
- Hit Points: 11 (2d8+2)
- Speed: 30 ft.
- Skills: Athletics +5, Perception +3, Stealth +3
- Damage Immunities: Blinded
- Senses: Blindsight 30 Ft. Or 10 Ft. While Deafened (Blind Beyond This Radius), passive Perception 13
- Languages: Undercommon
- Challenge: 1/4 (50 XP)
- Blind Senses: the Grimlock can’t use its blindsight while deafened and unable to smell.
- Keen Hearing and Smell: The Grimlock has an advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.
- Stone Camouflage: The Grimlock has an advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in rocky terrain.
- Spiked Bone Club: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach five ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) bludgeoning damage plus 2 (1d4) piercing damage.
Advantages and drawbacks
- Immunity: Grimlocks are immune to blindness, making them well-adept to navigate the Underdark, which saves the Dungeon Master from rolling disadvantage for their attack roll.
- Good Senses: The Grimlock has both blind senses and keen hearing and smell, which deems them a formidable hunter. Even if deafened, the Grimlock can navigate its surroundings with a range of 10 ft. These traits can allow this creature to go in search of prey around dark spaces with little to no light with ease, making it perfect for an underground setting.
- Mob material: Given the Grimlock’s low challenge rating, damage output, and hit points, it is a great creature for creating a swarm. With this, players can go up against a whole mass of Grimlocks, depending. As a Dungeon Master, it is up to you to determine how many you would put your party up against.
- Special feature: With the Stone Camouflage ability, “The Grimlock has an advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in rocky terrain.” Given this feature, it helps the creature to blend in with the rocky environment of the underground.
- High saving throw: The highest saving throw of the Grimlock is its strength which is very useful if the Dungeon Master is up against spells that call for a strength saving throw and even class abilities that do as well.
- Uncommon language: The Grimlock can only speak and understand Undercommon, which is not a common language compared to other languages such as Elvish, Dwarvish, etc. Unless your players have this language proficiency, they might have much luck trying to communicate with the Grimlock.
- Low damage: The Grimlock can only deal a maximum of 7 bludgeoning damage and four piercing damage, which does very little to the hit points of high-level players and characters.
- Low armor class: Grimlocks have a low armor class of 11. Thus, players have a higher chance of dealing hits on this creature during combat.
- Low ability scores: In Grimlock’s stats, three out of six of its ability scores are negative modifiers which include wisdom, intelligence, and charisma. This challenges the Dungeon Master if their players use spells and abilities that require wisdom, intelligence, or charisma saving throws.
- Handicap: The Grimlock has a handicap called “blind senses.” If the Grimlock creature is deafened and hindered from its sense of smell, the Grimlock can no longer use its blindsight.
Best uses for Grimlock 5e
1. The Keeper of the Underdark
In a Dungeon and Dragons session where players are searching for something that catches their interest, such as a tip or a quest found underground, you can put an obstacle to spice up the journey.
The Underdark resident, the Grimlock, can stop them from stepping further to their goal. The Grimlock could be a formidable guardian or keeper, protecting a valuable treasure or guarding a secret entrance. With this kind of encounter, the party members can figure out ways to peacefully or violently handle the Grimlock.
2. Henchmen of Darkness and Evil
The Grimlock could be a loyal servant and lackey for a powerful villain who has been terrorizing the Underdark. Using Grimlocks as henchmen for your underground antagonist can add more to their fearsome reputation and befitting the location’s theme.
As a Dungeon Master, you may have these Grimlocks set out to go after the party in an attempt to take them down. This gives more opportunity to this creature to even have them as a recurring monster sent by their master to both annoy and keep players on their toes.
3. An Underground Maze
The underground world is a maze of mysteries ranging from hidden relics to ancient ruins. The Grimlock could be a part of a larger puzzle or riddle the players must solve to progress.
Since they are not the brightest creatures, the Dungeon Master can use their creative prowess to implement them. A suggestion that can be explored is keeping helpful clues with the Grimlocks that the players can use to progress. The party may steal or even collect it as loot after slaying the creature.
4. The Not-So-Dark Side
Deviating from Grimlock’s typical evil nature, you can create an individual Grimlock of good alignment. The Grimlock could be an outcast of its society, or even disinterested in life in the Underdark.
As a misunderstood creature, the players must help by possibly clearing its name or defending it from those who fear or hate it. This allows the party to redeem this creature.
Perhaps, down the line, the Grimlock they helped may benefit the party by joining them in their adventure. Or they may even offer them useful resources such as information, items, and services.
Advice and final thoughts
Take your players to a whole new world below the surface. In the midst of darkness, the Grimlock can be a great creature to encounter for your party members when delving deeper down the Underdark.
Whether used as a guardian, a mount, a puzzle to solve, or a recurring foe, the Grimlock can be a memorable and creative addition to any story. Its unique abilities, such as its blindness and heightened senses, can also add interesting challenges and opportunities for the players to interact with and overcome.
This creature is best if you want to put it up against low-level characters and players. But if you want a bit of a challenge for the party, it’s a great idea to create a swarm of them. The Grimlock is a versatile and interesting creature that can add great flavor to a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
Grimlock 5e FAQ
What kind of environments are Grimlocks typically found in?
Grimlocks are typically found beneath the surface world within the Underdark. As creatures of the dark, the Grimlock has evolved and adapted to conditions with minimal lighting making them great navigators of the underground.
Would the Grimlock 5e work for someone in exchange for goods and services?
Most definitely, but it is important to note that the creature may not be interested in material goods such as gold, jewels, etc. Most of them can be found to have more interest in goods and services that can benefit their livelihood. But as the Dungeon Master, feel free to be creative with the creature’s motives to make them unique and special to your campaign.
Can Grimlocks be a playable race for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign?
Though they are not an official playable race in Dungeons and Dragons, Grimlocks can be played by players. However, it would require a bit of homebrew, research, and collaboration with the Dungeon Master.