On the Elemental Plane of Earth, chaggrins appeared as hideous bipedal lumps of clay. Their tiny eyes gleamed with light. When encountered on the Prime Material Plane, chaggrins often looked like large moles or hedgehogs, though their skull-like heads made it evident that they were not normal creatures. Though only measuring a few feet in length while in this form, chaggrins could weigh 140–210 pounds (63–95 kg).
Chaggrins could change their shape at will. While in their humanoid shape, they could merge into any surface of earth or stone. They could not move about while merging with the earth or stone, but could wait and hide. They used this ability to surprise unsuspecting targets.
The sharp claws of the chaggrin were capable of inflicting serious wounds to their enemies. A favored tactic was to latch on to their target so the struggling enemy damaged itself further. While in hedgehog form, the chaggrin's quills also damaged their enemies.
Chaggrins were completely immune to any earth-based magic. In fact, the presence of a chaggrin within 40 ft. (12 m) of such magic would dispel it. This included permanent spells. Magical items were unaffected by this.
The dao sometimes enslaved chaggrins for use as diggers. Chaggrins lived in extended families, but often fought each other over various matters. Mates were found by stealing them from other families.
Exiled chaggrins often visited the Prime Material Plane. It was not uncommon to find them serving sinister creatures from the Underdark such as duergar and derro. Gnomes worshiping Urdlen considered chaggrins to be sacred creatures.
Aside from the crysmals, who used their psionic powers to transform them into servants, most inhabitants of the Elemental Plane of Earth killed any chaggrins they came across because they consumed valuable minerals. Chaggrins were considered a delicacy by earth elementals. Elemental mages often kept chaggrins around to dispel earth-based magic.