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An upcoming encounter with a dire toad (Monster Manual II 74, 76) has me concerned with its tongue attack. The stat block lists the creature's tongue Attack as tongue +5 ranged and the creature's tongue Damage as tongue. This is singularly unhelpful for several reasons.

  1. Is the dire toad's tongue a natural weapon therefore usable in conjunction with the dire toad's bite when the creature takes a full attack action?
  2. Were the dire toad armed (e.g. spiked armor/armor spikes), could the dire toad take the full attack action to make its weapon attacks (usually suffering a -4 penalty due to nonproficiency) and, although suffering a -5 penalty for making a secondary natural weapon attack, also use its tongue attack?
  3. The tongue is given neither range nor range increment despite being a ranged attack (further, the tongue's not a ranged touch attack--weird but whatever). Does the dire toad's tongue attack have a range increment of 0 ft.?

The tongue attack is unchanged by the D&D 3.5 Revision Update booklet.

(As an aside, the tongue is the focus of the dire toad's extraordinary ability improved grab. If the tongue's usable at 0 ft. this is dumb, but if it's usable at, like, 30 ft. this is awesome, as, instead of dragging its tongued foes toward it like one would expect, to maintain the grapple the dire toad must enter its foe's square, allowing the dire toad to launch itself across the battlefield, Spider-man style, using its foes. That's cool and ridiculous.)

Note: If moderators insist, I'll break this up into multiple questions, but I believe all one's dire toad tongue needs should be met by a single multi-part question.


No discussion of enormous toads is complete without one of the best illustrations in the Monster Manual for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

I love the resignation implied by the dropped sword.

You're welcome. And, yes, the D&D 3.X dire toad has the extraordinary ability swallow whole, too.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This looks good as just one question. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2, 2014 at 10:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have to admit that I laughed so much harder than I should have at that spider-toad reference. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bas Jansen
    Dec 2, 2014 at 11:03

1 Answer 1

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  1. Yes, it is a natural weapon. But I would say: "no, toad can't use its tongue in conjunction with its bite", from extrapolation (see crocodile in SRD). It has two different primary attacks and must choose one of them.

  2. Yes, as with any other natural weapon.

  3. Combat
    Though dire toads are not prone to fighting, they do bite if disturbed. A dire toad’s tongue attack has a range of 10 feet with no range increment.

Also:
This creature uses its tongue primarily to start a grapple (no damage, etc), so one can easily homerule that toad is smart enough to make a touch attack with a tongue.

Description of the Improved Grab says:

When a creature gets a hold after an improved grab attack, it pulls the opponent into its space.

so no Spider-Mans here! : )

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is 3.5 (not PF) so you can actually damage your opponent when you start a grapple (step 3), though you have to wait until subsequent attacks to perform "If you are grappling" actions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wyrmwood
    Dec 2, 2014 at 21:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wyrmwood You can, but not with Improved Grab. Improved grab checks if target is grappled after the attack damage is dealt (and there is no damage with tongue). So if a toad uses Improved Grab through tongue it can't than damage its target with a bite. Only on a next turn with a separate grapple check. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 3, 2014 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I really know that this question is 7 (?!) years old, but the extrapolation from crocodile seems slightly spurious, since the croc's two attacks are at opposite ends of its body... And the toad's are essentially the same organ. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Dec 5, 2021 at 4:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus If I remember correctly, dire toad is from a book which give us no full attack entry. So all we may count on is speculation. You, as a DM, is free to rule either way. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 5, 2021 at 11:07

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