Saturday, October 10, 2009


I never did comment on Griff's previous post on the Githzerai, which is a bit odd, since they've been one of my favorite races/monsters for many years, ever since the Gith races appeared on the cover of the Fiend Folio. With the second Player's Handbook 3 debut article, the githzerai are reintroduced, and they're still as interesting as ever.

Quiet, terse and brooding? Check. Excessively austere? Check. A no-brainer as a monk (the one class that I always want to play, but never seem to)? Check. Racial history of oppression and rebellion? Check. What's not to love? Even the racial power, Iron Mind, is terrific, both representing the build of the race as well as providing a very useable, useful ability in combat.

The psychic/psionic links harken back to the original creature, as well as helping to fit even better with the 4e monk. I have to say, though, that while psionics have somewhat redeemed itself in Griff's eyes, to me, it's Just Another Power Source, becoming, in a sense, less unique than in previous editions of D&D.

The racial feats, as they do for many races, either modify or enhance the use of the racial power, which is something that I've really only noticed in passing, since I tend either play a race like human, which is lacking a racial power, or have so many plans for the feats in the character's build that I ignore/overlook what goodies might be available through my racial power. The githzerai's racial feats provide many interesting possibilities, which might actually be a problem, since the racial power itself is very nice as it is!

And after all that, I don't think I'd play a githzerai, nor allow one in a campaign I was running. The reason? Their alienness to the "regular" world. Sure, you can forgive one "odd" race once in a while, provided the rest of the party was "normal", and the githzerai took pains to hide his or her origin. Playing in a solo campaign would also work, with a background of outcast githzerai, travelling on the material plane looking for yadda yadda. And higher-level campaigns would also work, if they started in foreign planes, where the githzerai's appearance wouldn't be so odd. Okay, so I've provided a bunch of exceptions to my "no githzerai" rule, and they're all possibilities with my group, but I would be interested to see a 1st-level, non-planes-originating campaign containing a githzerai -- oh, unless the whole concept is "a party of misfit races in the regular world, trying to make a life, fulfilling their dreams, and avoiding further subjugation by mind flayers."


Arthur said...

i love the githzerai monk in this edition. though i have to disagree on your not githzerai in my campaign policy. my lfr monk was dragged from his training monistary in a different plane to this one my mindflayers intent on capturing more slaves.After the slave ring was broken up by some high level adventures he was freed into the world only to end up in pit fits in tymanther after a human slaver witnessed his talents and captured him in the night. After many years pit fighting further increasing his skills he escaped and now has joined an adventuring party in hopes of eliminating all slavery and becoming a force for freedom. His obvious character traits are a hatred of slavery an a burning fury when under conditions such as imobblized followed by a vendeta aginst those who place such affects on him.
he fits in well with the party of normal races dwarves, elfs e.t.c and i really belive that if you put some effort into character creation there is no reason for any race to be excluded from a campaign

Crwth said...

I agree - if effort is put into the character creation, then I'm always willing to bend any rules regarding allowed classes and races. Sometimes I can expect such effort from my players, sometimes I cannot.