The Githare an ancestry formerly enslaved by the Illithids which are, after their freedom, divided into two kinds: the strong and agile githyanki and the wise and intelligent githzerai. Players of Dungeons & Dragons 5einterested in ancestry with a rich and conflicted history can find a compelling character in the form of the Gith. If your Dungeon Master has room for a Gith, your character’s racial history and your upbringing within a community of untrusting and wary people can make for interesting interactions with your fellow characters.
This quick guide will help you make a skillful githyanki or a cunning githzerai. Moreover, we’ll share enough of Gith culture and history for you to have a grasp of just how different Gith are from other ancestries in D&D 5e.
Basics: The Traits
Ability Score Increase:INT + 1
Age:Gith, like Humans, reach adulthood when they reach their late teens and live for about 100 years.
Size and Speed:Medium (6ft, leaner than humans), 30ft walking speed.
Alignment:Gith have alignments depending on their classification.
Racial Features:Gith have these racial features:
Languages, of which they can write, read, and speak GIth and Common.
Players who choose to be Gith have the option to be part of the warrior-like Githyanki or the more philosophical Githzerai.
As Githyanki, players can take on the role of legendary warriors that are known to plunder world after world with their red dragons and astral vessels. They have these qualities:
Ability Score Increase:STR + 2
Alignment:Githyanki lean towards Lawful Evil, as displayed by their arrogance and aggression but loyalty towards Vlaakith the lich-queen or whoever they see as their leader.
Decadent Mastery,of which the Githyanki learn a language of their choice and gain proficiency in one skill or tool of their choice.
Martial Prodigy, which grants them proficiency with Armor (Light and Medium), and great swords, longswords, and short swords.
Githyanki Psionics, which grant them access to these spells, of which they have INT as their Spellcasting Ability:
At 1st Level, they learn the Mage Hand cantrip, although the hand is invisible when they cast it with this feature.
If they reach 3rd Level, they can cast the Jump spell once every long rest.
If they reach 5th Level, they can cast Misty Step once after every long rest.
As Githzerai, players can be more systematic and logical compared to their Githyanki counterparts. Most Githzerai focus their efforts learning the mystic arts, giving them these qualities:
Ability Score Increase:WIS + 1
Alignment:Most Githzerai become Lawful Neutral, thanks to their psychic training giving them remarkable discipline.
Mental Discipline,which grants the Githzerai Advantage on Saving Throws against being frightened or charmed.
Githzerai Psionics, which grant them access to these spells, of which they have WIS as their Spellcasting Ability:
At 1st Level, they learn the Mage Hand cantrip, but the hand is invisible when they cast it with this feature.
If they reach 3rd Level, they can cast Shield once every long rest.
If they reach 5th Level, they can cast Detect Thoughts once every long rest.
: The Best Classes To Build
Barbarian:The Gith may be able to tap into primal energies in a more potent manner than others in the Material Plane. A Player who wants to make a Gith Barbarian may posit that the extraplanar nature of a Gith may help them tap into their primal energies more, making their Rage a much more mysterious affair to explore for the entire party. Regardless, a Gith Barbarian is proof that anyone can explode into a rage if their homes and families are at risk, even if it’s from someone in the outer realms.
Of the two Gith variants, the Githyanki can make perfect Barbarians thanks to their innate STR Ability Score bonus. This allows them to give their attacks that added STR boost that can make even the largest of opponents afraid of them. Moreover, their INT Ability Score bonus allows Players to build a Githyanki Barbarian with another class, setting them up for a Multiclass that allows them to spam spells from afar but also punish enemies who dare get within their range.
Central to the Barbarian’s strategy is Rage, which lets them tap into their primal ferocity. With Rage, the Barbarian gets Advantage on their STR Saving Throws and STR checks, as well as bonus damage on melee attacks that increase per level. Moreover, the added resistance to slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning damage makes them fearsome foes on the battlefield. Moreover, as they tap into Unarmored Defense and Danger Sense, a Githyanki with decent DEX investment enables them to dodge damaging spells with ease.
Of all the available Barbarian Primal Paths, perhaps the Githyanki Barbarian might work best with the Ancestral Guardian, Battlerager, or Zealot Primal Paths, especially if their flavor has to do with the Gith coming from an exotic land. However, these Paths also offer unique utility abilities that can make the Gith equally just as useful in the battlefield.
Cleric:Both the Githyanki and the Githzerai can become powerful Clerics, as the call of a deity isn’t based on the Gith’s physical or mental faculties. A Gith Cleric may hold dear the deity that has reached them, especially if they have different views of godhood and religion from where they have come from. In fact, this factor might make for an interesting story, as a god from another plane communicating to a foreigner to their lands might become the beginning of a good story.
Of the Gith variants, the Githzerai may make more efficient Clerics thanks to their natural WIS Ability Score bonus. This allows the Githzerai to naturally resist mentally debilitating spells, ensuring they don’t get distracted from their role to either support the team or become an efficient damage dealer. Moreover, their innate INT Ability Score bonus enables them to Multiclass into other spellcasters, such as the Wizard, giving them much-needed flexibility in terms of their spells.
The innate Gith Psionics of both the Githyanki and the Githzerai make them efficient for almost any class, as their “free” spells enable them to spice up battles with their mobility and utility, respectively. For the Cleric, perhaps the Githzerai’s Mage Hand, Shield, and Detect Thoughts can come extremely handy both inside and outside of combat. This is most especially the case with Shield, as it grants much-needed defenses without the Gith having to waste a Cleric spell slot to cast this.
In speaking of spells, thanks to the Cleric’s versatile Domain options, Gith Players can choose a Cleric variant depending on their playstyle. If they choose the wisened Githzerai, they may want to choose Knowledge, Light, Order, Protection, or even Unity Domains if they want a Domain that fits their flavor and adds a bit of spice in terms of the Cleric’s spell offerings.
Fighter:The Githyanki may become extremely competent Fighters, especially if they end up travelling to various realms as mercenaries. Thanks to their encounters with various creatures and other warbands, the Githyanki Fighter may be well-versed with various fighting styles, weapons, and combat maneuvers they and the party can use to their advantage - regardless of where they are and what they’re facing.
Of the Gith variants, perhaps the Githyanki can take full advantage of the Fighter’s various features. Both their innate INT and STR Ability Score bonuses make the Githyanki ideal for spellcasting and combative roles, something the Fighter can easily give them. Thanks to the weapon mastery of both the Githyanki and the Fighter, their combined elements can produce a Githyanki that can use almost any weapon with ease and opening a lot of opportunities for combat options.
Thanks to the versatile nature of the Fighter, the Githyanki Fighter can tailor-fit their build to whatever approach they want. If they capitalize on the Ability Score Improvement option, they can increase their Ability Scores to meet a particular requirement for Multiclass or simply pump their character with Feats that can make them a devastating force to meet in the battlefield.
Given the innate INT bonus of the Githyanki, they seem to be a great match for the Arcane Archer, Eldritch Knight, Psi Knight, and Psychic Warrior Martial Archetypes. However, they may also want to Multiclass into Wizard or an Artificer. Regardless of the choice, the Githyanki Fighter should always consider their weapon choice and primary battle tactic, as this will determine if the utilities offered by their chosen Martial Archetype or Multiclass will even be useful to them.
Wizard:The Githzerai can make extremely powerful Wizards, thanks to their connections with the outer realms. Their extraplanar knowledge may prove useful in their studies of magic, as they may encounter concepts that are difficult to understand from those in the Material Plane but much easier for them - especially if they have come from far realms. Years of training and devotion may help the Githyanki tap into their innate mystical energies and unleash the hidden magic within.
Both the Githzerai and the Githyanki can become great Wizards, as they both have innate INT Ability Score bonuses. However, Players who want a safer choice might go for Githzerai for the WIS bonus, which becomes useful against mentally debilitating spells and even Multiclassing into a Cleric. Meanwhile, Gith Wizards work well for Githyanki for Players who plan on Multiclassing into melee classes, such as the Fighter or a Monk.
Thanks to the massive amount of spells in the Wizard’s spellbook, a Gith can become a powerhouse in the battlefield. Moreover, their natural INT bonus makes their spells much more potent and their variant’s extra bonuses give them an edge when it comes to defensive maneuvers, especially when cornered.
The Gith’s innate bonuses make them extremely suitable for almost any type of Arcane Tradition, depending on their choice. Githyanki might want to tap into War Magic, Evocation, and Bladesinger Traditions. Meanwhile, the Githzerai can focus on a particular type of spell to improve and maximize in the battlefield, such as Necromancy for debilitating effects, Divination for buffs, or even Illusion for the handy utility magic.
Artificer:Both the Githyanki and the Githzerai may make great Artificers, especially as the inventive nature of Artificers can benefit both combat and society at large. Githzerai may focus on the more spellcasting side of the Artificer, arming them with the capabilities of creating gadgets and implements to help their party members. Meanwhile, the Githyanki Artificer may use their arcane skills to augment their weaponry and unleash hell on anyone who dares harm their party.
Thanks to the innate INT Ability Score bonus of the Gith, they can become great Artificers. After all, Artificers almost have the same skillset as the Wizard, except less spells in place of their innate tinkering specialization. In fact, the Gith can use their innate INT bonus to tap into Magical Tinkering, Infuse Item, and the Right Tool for the Job. They become naturally skilled with many tools of their choice, making the Gith Artificer one of the handiest classes to have especially when dealing in a partially advanced campaign setting.
Given their exotic and foreign flavor, it makes sense for the Gith to become Artificers or seekers and innovators of technology. Moreover, the tinkering abilities of the Artificer make it an ideal match to the weapon mastery or the innate curiosity that the Gith offers them. Again, the spellcasting features and utility features of the Artificer work best depending on the variant using them – as the spellcasting component of the Artificer work in tandem with the innate psionics of the Githzerai, while the utility options of the Artificer work well with the Githyanki’s mobility.
As Artificers are still new, Players have access to four specializations, all of which become useful in certain environments and specifications. For instance, Gith Artificers can become Alchemists if they want to tinker with tools, while they can become heavily protected with the Armorer specialization. They can become ranged fighters with Artillerist and melee powerhouses with the Battle Smith.
: Interesting Character Backgrounds
Anthropologist (Tomb of Annihilation):Adventures where Gith have come from another plane or a far-off land will likely develop a keen interest in the way other humanoids appear, act, and form societies. Players might be interested in making a Gith Anthropologist that’s keen on studying various aspects of humanoids around them, which can greatly help add flavor to the adventure. Other Player Characters and NPCs in the game may help enlighten the Player’s Gith on the various cultures that surround them, all the while opening interesting choices for dialogue which can serve as a great opening for healthy in-game discourse.
Language:Any two (2) languages of their choice
Proficiencies:WIS (Insight), INT (Religion)
Cloistered Scholar (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide):While the Gith Anthropologist focuses more on the cultures and societies of humanoids around them, a Gith from a far-off land may hold knowledge and lore from distant past or their own region, bringing with them new and vital information that may be relevant to the adventure. Aside from this, Gith Closeted Scholar may have devoted decades of their time studying about the most common disciplines present in the adventure’s world and only now just leaving their studies to explore the world around them.
Language:Any two (2) languages of their choice
Proficiencies:INT (History), and choose one: INT (Arcana), INT (Nature), INT (Religion)
Mercenary Veteran (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide):Adventures where Gith have explored far-off lands may have some of them turn into mercenaries in order to earn a living. Interestingly, some Players might choose a Gith Mercenary Veteran - one which may have a tragic backstory of their own or one preparing for a last gig before finally retiring. Moreover, Mercenary Veterans can become great characters in the long run, as they open up a ton of interesting backstory options such as rival mercenaries, a “ghost” from their past, or even a haunting by an incident in their first years as a mercenary.
Tools:Gaming Set x1, Musical Instrument x1
Language:Any one language of their choice.
Proficiencies:STR (Athletics), CHA (Persuasion)
Secret Identity (Out of the Abyss):If the Gith in your adventure follows their lore as a recently freed society, their Illithid slavers may still be on the lookout for them. Your Gith may have a Secret Identity of a long-lost noble, a resistance fighter, or even just a refugee hiding from the prying eyes and the many spies of the Illithid in the game world. Another interesting angle to take here would be making the Gith have a vigilante Secret Identity, where your Gith may have been freeing various slaves from slaving ports with a mask and a costume.
Tools:Disguise Kit, Forgery Kit
Proficiencies:CHA (Deception), DEX (Stealth)
Urban Bounty Hunter (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide):A Gith Urban Bounty Hunter may make for an interesting character choice, especially considering the rather foreign association of the Gith. Perhaps the player’s Gith have incorporated themselves into society well that they’ve made a living as a bounty hunter, capturing escaped convicts and other persons of interest. Alternatively, a Gith Urban Bounty Hunter may come in the form of a famous investigator, travelling the land and known for his unique culture and style of acquiring his targets.
Tools:Choose two from: Gaming Set x1, Musical Instrument x1, Thieves’ Tools
Proficiencies:Choose two from: CHA (Deception), CHA (Persuasion), DEX (Stealth), or WIS (Insight)