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D&D Race Guide: How to Play a Githyanki

4 Minute Read
Mar 28 2023
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With many ways to use their ability score points and natural psionics, there are a lot of reasons to make your next character a Githyanki.

This race of Astral-Plane-dwelling warriors is perhaps most well known for being mortal enemies of and previously enslaved by the Mind Flayers. Usually arrogant and aggressive, they come from a militaristic society. And even at their most open-minded, they can come across as smug and sarcastic. But this may help make them an even more fun character to play.

A lanky people with skin tones of yellows, greens, and browns, githyanki complement their physical prowess with psionic might, instilled in them by mind flayers and cultivated over eons in the Astral Plane. Now all githyanki can use their psychic bond with that plane to access splinters of knowledge left behind by beings who travel, live, and die among the silver astral clouds.”

Githyanki Traits

There are quite a few benefits to picking this lesser-known player race during character creation. And like the Harengon, players have a lot of freedom in how they want to make their character. Githyanki characters can add two points to any ability score of their choice plus another one point to a different score. Or, the player can instead choose to add one point each to three different ability scores.

But most interestingly, they have access to Psionics. This includes a few extra spells including Mage Hand to start, Jump at the third level, and Misty Step at the fifth. Gith can also use Intelligence.

Githyanki traits differ slightly between Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, but we will go over the differences in little a bit.

Best Classes

Given the freedom that you have in character creation, there are a lot of right directions to go in with a Githyanki, and very few wrong directions. Fighter feels like a natural and obvious choice for this class. And adding the Psionics and magic to the otherwise mostly magicless class could be a strong choice. Misty Step and Jump could allow a character to get away from potential blows and crossover difficult terrain with ease.

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Rogue would also be a good choice. And Mage Hand for a Rogue who isn’t an Arcane Trickster would be quite the boon. Both of these classes would also benefit greatly from some of the variant abilities, depending on the book you’re building your Gith out of. For example, Astral Knowledge’s bonus proficiency is almost always useful.

Variants

Giths are borken down into Githyanki and Githzerai. While they share a history, at some point in their ancestry the groups broke off. And now they have slightly different abilities. Both can be found in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and with their slight differences you’ll want to pick carefully depending on the character you hope to build.

Of course, Githyanki differs a great deal between the two books, so you’ll have quite a bit to choose from.

Monsters of the Multiverse gives your Githyanki Astral Knowledge. Which, in practical terms, gives the player extra proficiency in a skill and weapon of their choice that lasts until their next long rest. Their Psionics also gives resistance against psychic damage and a choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as their spellcasting modifier.

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The Tome of Foes in comparison has Decadent Mastery which gives an extra language and skill proficiency of the player’s choice, but Intelligence is the spellcasting modifier.

Similarly, Githzerai in Monster of the Multiverse has Githzerai Psionics, which gives them the Shield and Detect Thoughts spells as well as the same choice in spellcasting modifier along with resistance to psychic damage. The Tome of Foes Githzerai have Wisdom as their spellcasting modifier.

Tips & Tricks

If you’re playing a Gith, make sure to take advantage of the Psionic powers as well as all of the boosts and advantages that the version you’ve picked gives you. If your character has access to Mage Hand and Misty Step, use them to get into trouble. Use it to get out of trouble. Use it to make make the session more fun.

Githyanki is a player race with a lot of freedom to make exactly the character you want. So be sure to think a lot about the player class and subclass you’ll be aiming for right from the get-go and allot ability score points accordingly. And of course, read up on Gith lore, the relationship between the Githyanki and Githzerai, and the relationship between Gith and Mind Flayers. Because I almost guarantee you that your Dungeon Master will be reading up on those things and introducing NPCs and enemies accordingly.

Have you ever played a Gith or had one in your party? Would you play a Githyanki or a Githzerai? Which book would you use for their stats? Let us know in the comments!

Happy adventuring!

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