The Grick in 5e: Our Guide for DMs & Players

There is no monstrosity more “pest-like” in nature than the Grick. These octopus-faced worms lie in wait in the rocky crags of the Underdark, just waiting for passersby to pass by and become their next meal.

Here’s the down-low on the Grick.

Medium monstrosity, neutral 

Armour Class: 14 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points: 27 (6d8)

Speed: 30 ft.; climb 30 ft.

Strength: 14 (+2)

Dexterity: 14 (+2)

Constitution: 11 (+0)

Intelligence: 3 (-4)

Wisdom: 14 (+2)

Charisma: 5 (-3)

Damage Resistances: Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Non-Magical Sources

Senses: Darkvision 60 feet, Passive Perception 12

Languages: None

Proficiency: +2

Challenge: 2 (450 XP)

Stone Camouflage. The grick has an advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in rocky terrain.

Actions

Multiattack. The grick makes one attack with its tentacles. If that attack hits, the grick can make one beak attack against the same target.

Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) slashing damage.

Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

What Is a Grick?

Gricks are worm-like monstrosities that lurk the passageways that lead through the Underdark. These creatures are passive, ambush predators that lie in wait, concealed among the shadows of the rocky debris of the Underdark.

When potential food wanders by, they strike with their tentacles and beak to try and drag their prey away to be feasted upon.

Explorers may find that Gricks travel in packs led by one fat, overfed Grick around which the other Gricks in the pack congregate.

They make lairs in the tunnels between Underdark locations and follow their food.

Once the people nearby realize that the area has become infested with Gricks, they tend to make alternate routes around the Grick lairs to avoid endangering any more people.

Gricks are incredibly adept at camouflaging themselves among the rocky debris. Their rough, gray skin blends in very well and makes them exceptionally difficult to see, especially in the shadows of the Underdark.

The lairs of Gricks are often filled with the spoils of their hunts. Many of their hunts include sentient creatures that may have carried weapons, armor, or treasure with them.

Seeing as they’re unable even to speak (it isn’t detailed how Grick communication takes place between members of packs) and have no use for such objects, they don’t have arms and hands with which to wield weapons, wear armor, or trade treasure. 

While avoidance is the most popular way for the common folk to deal with Gricks, whether they’re Underdark residents or above-ground peasants, spunky adventurers have been known to seal off Grick lairs.

It will trap the Gricks inside their caves and starve them to death. Once the Gricks have perished inside their lairs, adventurers will ransack the Grick lair and take all the spoils of their previous hunts.

But more than just that, we would like to address something particular: the domestication of Gricks.

Can Gricks Be Domesticated?

No one has ever tried to domesticate a Grick in the public eye, to the best of our knowledge.

However, based on the scientific principles of domestication we can glean from the real world, it should be possible over several generations to fully domesticate Gricks.

Let’s start with defining “domestication.” Oxford Dictionary defines “domestication” as “the process of taming an animal and keeping it as a pet or on a farm.”

Now, there are many reasons one might want to domesticate Gricks.

First of all, they’re adorable, and if you don’t want to keep one in your house, I do not regret to inform you that you might be wrong.

Not only are they cute human-sized puppy dogs, but they also make great guard creatures since incorrect peasants tend to fear them.

Secondly, I’m not sure if you’ve been informed, but you can train crows to rob people and bring you their money in the real world.

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. You could release a pack of trained Gricks that kills people and brings you their sh*t.

Heck, you don’t even have to train them to kill!

You can teach them to scare people into dropping their stuff and then to bring their stuff home to you, where you feed them high-quality meats to keep them healthy and strong! (This idea has been brought to you by the Cult of Rakdos.)

Additionally, Gricks satisfy most of the scientific qualifications necessary to be a candidate for domestication.

  1. The size and organization of their social structure
  2. The availability and the degree of selectivity in their choice of mates
  3. The ease and speed with which the parents bond with their young, and the maturity and mobility of the young at birth
  4. The degree of flexibility in diet and habitat tolerance
  5. Responses to humans and new environments, including reduced flight response and reactivity to external stimuli.

The Size and Organization of Grick Social Hierarchy

Gricks travel in packs that congregate around one overfed Grick.

Because the leader of the Grick pack is traditionally a fat mother-offer, we can assume that it probably doesn’t do all of its own hunting. After all, even the laziest ambush predators still have to exert energy to put food on the table. 

To be so overfed that they’re even described in scientific texts as “overfed” implies that the other Gricks in the pack are bringing back food for their leader.

We can check this off because of this hierarchal structure where the other Gricks are serving one Grick in the pack.

The key here is to install ourselves as the fat, overfed Grick leader in the pack. The other Gricks answer to us now.

The Availability and Degree of Selectivity in Mates in Gricks

It isn’t detailed exactly how Gricks mate and reproduce. However, there’s enough of them crawling the Underdark — and above ground — for them to be considered pest creatures by most societies.

Creatures that gain “pest” status are rarely so picky about their mating that they risk dying out. We can safely check this one off too.

The Ease and Speed With Which Grick Parents Bond With Their Young, and the Maturity and Mobility of the Young at Birth

Again, Grick reproduction is woefully underresearched (in my humble but correct option).

However, we can ascertain from their pack status that they probably don’t leave the young to fend for themselves. After all, who would bring back food for the fat leader if they threw out all the babies?

Gricks are surprisingly mobile creatures because they’re so lazy that they often won’t move unless they’re being starved.

An adult Grick can move at the same speed as a human and climb much faster.

The Degree of Flexibility in Grick Diet and Habitat Tolerance

Gricks do not suffer from sunlight sensitivity like many of the residents of the Underdark. They even venture up to the surface if they get starved out of their preferred Underdark lairs.

This indicates a high degree of flexibility in diet and habitat tolerance that fledging Grick herders can use to their advantage!

Grick Responses to Humans and New Environments, Including Reduced Flight Response and Reactivity to External Stimuli.

The typical Grick response to a human is to eat them. However, they’re not exceptionally reactive creatures.

If they don’t think they can eat you, they’ll probably just ignore you. They certainly aren’t going to turn tail and run at first sight of danger.

This quality is essential to have when trying to domesticate a species. Creatures with strong flight responses or highly aggressive reactivity can be difficult or even dangerous to domesticate.

While Gricks generally respond aggressively, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to tempt a Grick with meat. After all, Gricks are excessively lazy, and an easy meal would be quite the offer that a Grick wouldn’t have the sense to refuse.

How Long Would It Take To Fully Domesticate Gricks?

The hardest part about domesticating Gricks would be the space cost. You’d need to have enough space to care for a large number of Gricks without overcrowding them.

Generally, domestication occurs after about five or so generations, but to achieve five generations of Gricks means you need to have enough breeding pairs to prevent inbreeding.

Still, a tenacious Grick farmer should see their labor start to bear fruit around the fifth generation of Gricks. Once a creature reaches generation five in captivity, they’re generally considered wild animals no longer.

Final Thoughts About Domesticating Gricks

As we can see from the information presented, Gricks are scientifically strong candidates for domestication. They possess all the qualities required for a species to integrate into a domesticated lifestyle successfully.

A Player’s Guide To Hunting Gricks

Gricks aren’t exactly easy to find. They’ve got extraordinary camouflage abilities and don’t make a habit of living in places inhabited by humanoids.

However, if you travel through any rocky outcrops of any kind, we can guarantee that a Grick will find you. Once you’ve found a Grick, it’s not much further.

Gricks don’t possess exceptionally high damage output. They can’t wield weapons. Their armor class is relatively low. Their HP pool is similarly low.

However, they are resistant to all non-magical physical damage. So, focus on magical damage for the best outcome.

Watch out for other Gricks. Gricks travel in packs, and while one Grick is barely even threatening to level 2 characters, several Gricks could threaten high-level characters. Keep an eye on the ceiling; Gricks can climb.

Gricks are most common in the Underdark but may be found above ground. When above ground, they may post up in rocky areas, climb into trees, or really find any place to hide and ambush their prey.

If you were thinking of trying to talk a Grick down from fighting you, don’t waste your breath. They can’t speak any known languages and have no means to communicate with humanoids. They’re pest animals for a reason.

Gricks can be a formidable foe at low levels, even with their truthfully very mediocre stat pool. However, most parties will quickly scale out of range for a single, lone Grick as they have no Area of Effect skills and low modifiers. 

Additionally, their multiattack relies on them to land the tentacle attack even to make the beak attack. So, characters with a high Armor Class don’t have much to worry about since the Grick probably won’t be able to hit them.

A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Gricks

Gricks don’t talk and do not qualify as intelligent life. So, don’t worry about having to roleplay as a Grick. The extent of your roleplay will likely be roaring, screaming, and screeching.

However, choosing to include Gricks in your campaign means working with their middling stats to create a compelling encounter.

One of the easiest ways to create a compelling Grick encounter is to multiply the number of Gricks.

Make sure you don’t add too many Gricks to this hunting pack, or you may end up killing your party by way of messing with the initiative order.

Still, too few Gricks is barely a challenge and may be over before your party can properly even get into “combat mentality.”

If the Gricks are above ground, they are likely to be found in a group. While Gricks generally travel in packs, above-ground Grick packs are more tightly knit than those traveling through the Underdark.

Gricks can’t be reasoned with as they don’t speak any language. However, if they understand one type of communication, it’s food.

If your party offers the Grick food, it could be reasonable to allow them to skip the encounter. If there are multiple Gricks, they may need to present food for each individual Grick before being allowed to pass.

While you probably can’t tame and keep an adult Grick as a pet, you could potentially tame an infant Grick. As we’ve stated, these creatures are ideal candidates for domestication. 

Final Thoughts

Gricks are one of Dungeons & Dragons’ most universal monsters. They’ve been present in the source material since the Second Edition, and there’s no sign of them going away any time soon.

Whether you want to hunt Gricks or keep them as pets, there are plenty of them out there for you to find!

As always, the essential part of any game of D&D is that everyone involved is having fun. Every group needs to decide what works best for them.

So, good luck, have fun, and happy questing!