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The Grung player race (from the One Grung Above supplement, released to raise funds for Extra Life) has the Poisonous Skin trait:

Any creature that grapples you or otherwise comes into direct contact with your skin must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. A poisoned creature no longer in direct contact with you can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

You can also apply this poison to any piercing weapon as part of an attack with that weapon, though when you hit the poison reacts differently. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 2d4 poison damage.

My questions:

  1. If I (as a druid) Wild Shape into any creature with skin, is that enough to make me "physically capable" of using the Poisonous Skin feature?
  2. If I Wild Shape, do my natural piercing weapons (such as Bite) qualify as weapons for the purpose of applying the poison to an attack?

A RAW answer is strongly preferred.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's in a gray area: it was released by WotC but it is not AL Legal. You can get it on the DMs Guild. \$\endgroup\$ – Merudo Apr 8 at 21:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch which definition of "homebrew" are you using? I personally don't consider WotC released content to be "homebrew". \$\endgroup\$ – Merudo Apr 8 at 22:04
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No, not unless your new shape is physically capable of producing poison.

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense. -pg67 PHB

You may, for example, be able to enter into a Barbarian's Rage, or attempt a Fighter Manuever. However, this is a physical trait, similar to darkvision, so unless the new form also has the trait, you do not benefit from it. You may have skin, and your new form may have eyes, but your skin does not become poisonous, and your eyes do not gain darkvision.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My reading of the ability is that my new shape has a skin, therefore I'm physically capable to use the feature. The poison part is not a requirement but is instead the benefit of the feature. \$\endgroup\$ – Merudo Apr 8 at 21:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe you are interpreting that line incorrectly. It says you don't gain abilities that you had in your true form unless the new form also has them. So if you have darkvision and Wild Shape into a cat, you no longer have darkvision. But if you Wild Shape into tiger, it has darkvision naturally so you still have darkvision. The question is akin to a human, that doesn't have darkvision to begin with, if they Wild Shape into a tiger, do they now gain darkvision? \$\endgroup\$ – MivaScott Apr 8 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ It becomes a question of whether it is a Physical Trait or a Cultural one. If your skin physically produces poison, then your new body would not. If you culturally cover yourselves with poison, then you could make an argument that the new body will as well. Halflings would still benefit from Brave, dragonborn would not benefit from their Breath Weapon. Grung are Immune to Poison, so an argument could be made that it is cultural, however, your new form would not benefit from this Poison Immunity unless they already had it, and would, therefor, poison themselves. \$\endgroup\$ – JohnOutWest Apr 8 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnOutWest VGtM describes the Grung, noting that they are "Naturally Toxic. All grungs secrete a substance that is harmless to them but poisonous to other creatures." An argument might be made that player character grung are obviously not the same as NPC monster grung but at that point I think you're not arguing in good faith. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 8 at 22:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer In that case, it reinforces my main point that it is a Physical trait and would thereby not transfer over to the new creature. \$\endgroup\$ – JohnOutWest Apr 8 at 22:42
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Ask your DM*

* And hope they don't have a bias against amphibians

As the Grung is not an officially released race, it is not clear how it interacts with class features and may not be fully baked. While you can look at the rules to try and parse how this works, the fact that we don't fully understand the initial poison mechanics of the grung makes it hard to give a rules-based answer as to whether or not it would work. A lot of this is because the Grung race itself seems like it's more homebrew - but the real issue is that the race doesn't describe how that mechanic works fully enough to rule on (which may be an issue stemming from it's creation.)

The following is from its description on DMs Guild (emphasis mine):

Summaries of the characters from the new Twitch streamed game in all their glory, plus the officially UNOFFICIAL grung traits used to created them...

Disclaimer: Outside of a certain surrogate character, this document in no way makes grung a legal, playable race in the D&D Adventurers League, or any other campaign where the Dungeon Master hates amphibians with an excess of apostrophes in their names… and yes if you’re not immune to poison and you must touch the grung to heal it… you get to make a saving throw.

If you're the DM, you should consider in deciding as to whether or not the thing that makes the Grung poisonous is available in its wild shape form. Not necessarily how it delivers it, but how it produces the poison.

If you and your DM thinks it makes sense, then roll with it. If not, then don't.

The race is from a twitch event

The Grung was created for a twitch event by WoTC and was released as a supplement to Tomb of Annihilation whose sales would benefit ExtraLife. They seem to go out of their to state this is far from official, but in a very tongue-in-cheek way.

The creation of the race seems to have been for this event and their clarification on it's level of officialness and lack of detail makes it difficult to review the race in terms of currently existing rules. Because this sits outside the official rules, it will very much be up to the DM to decide how and if this interaction will work (and if they'll allow this race at all.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related question by NautArch spawned by this conversation: How are materials on DMs Guild classified? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 9 at 0:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells I think it does. You can't necessarily give a rules based answer for something that isn't living within the rules based system. This appears, for all intents and purposes, to be unofficial homebrew style material, which makes it difficult to know the specifics of how it works to apply the official rules to it. My point is that because of that, it will be up to the DM rather than up to the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 9 at 12:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch strong disagree. Just because a given set of rules is homebrewed/unofficial doesn't stop us from trying to read and interpret them in a way consistent with the game's official rules. 5e is already full of cases where the interaction of different rules is not explicitly, precisely described by the game and the DM must make adjudications for their table; this really is no different. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 9 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Totally fair. For me, it's hard to assign a rules value to something I don't understand because it was homebrew. And this, for all intents and purposes, feels homebrew to me. Because the basis for the poison effect isn't clear, it's unclear how to adjudicate it within the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 9 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch VGtM does describe the Grung in detail as monsters, and makes clear that their poison is a natural secretion. I think it's probably fair to say that One Grung Above should not be read in isolation from the details provided in VGtM. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 9 at 21:13

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