||Exceptional to genius (15-18)
||Individual P; Lair Hx2
||2-8 (away from lair)
||12, 96 in Limbo
||Per class and level
||Per class and level
|No. of Attacks:
||Per class and level
||Per weapon type
||Average to steady (8-12)
||Per class and level
Githzerai are the monastic, chaotic neutral counterparts to the githyanki (q.v.
). The two races share a stretch of time in history; the githzerai are the
lesser and more repressed offshoot of the original people that the warrior Gith
helped to escape the slavery of the mind flayers millennia ago.
Githzerai are very similar in appearance to their githyanki cousins, although
they tend to look much more human. Their features are for the most part
unremarkable, with vaguely noble countenance. Their skin tone is that of human
caucasian flesh. Githzerai dress simply, wearing functional clothing and favoring
The githzerai are unadorned and ruthlessly straightforward with their combat
and magic. Their strong resistance to magic seems to make up for their generally
inferior fighting ability.
||Level (add 3 if thief)
The armor for each githzerai varies according to class. Mages have AC 10.
Fighters and fighter mages have differing armor -- AC 5 to AC 0 (6-1d6). Thieves
have AC 7.
Githzerai have Hit Dice according to their class and level, and their hit
points are rolled normally. Their THAC0 is determined per class and level, as well.
Fighters and fighter/mages may receive more than one attack per round -- other
githzerai have one attack per round.
On rare occasions, a githzerai will progress as a thief. These thieves seem to
have some significance to the strange githzerai religion. Although they are
never known to become leaders in any capacity, these thieves are an exception to
the maximum level of 9th, often progressing up to 12th level of experience.
Just what role these thieves play is unknown.
Githzerai fighters of at least 5th level have use of silver swords
. These magical weapons are two-handed swords +3
that, if used in the Astral plane, have a 5% chance of cutting an opponent's
silver cord upon scoring a hit (see The Astral PlaneDMG, page 132), though mind barred individuals are immune. These weapons are of powerful religious value to the
githzerai and they will never willingly allow them to fall into the hands of
outsiders. If this happens, the githzerai will go to great ends to recover the
All githzerai have the innate power to plane shift to any plane. This is rarely done except to travel back and forth to the
Prime Material plane where the githzerai have several fortresses.
Habitat/Society: The githzerai were originally offspring of a race of humans that were freed
from slavery under mind flayers by a great female warrior named Gith. These men
and women did not, however, choose to follow Gith's ways after they revolted
against their slavers. Instead, they fell sway to the teachings of a powerful
wizard who proclaimed himself king -- and later, god -- of the people. The
githzerai then separated themselves from the githyanki, beginning a great racial war
that has endured the long millennia without diminishing.
Githzerai can progress as fighters, mages, or fighter/mages, and thieves. They
will rarely attain levels above 7th and, in any case, will never progress
beyond 9th. The githzerai, who worship a powerful and ancient wizard as though he
were a god (he is not), are destroyed before they have enough power to become a
threat to their ruler.
If encountered outside of their lair, githzerai will usually be in the
|One supreme leader
||9th-level fighter or 4th/7th-level fighter/mage
||6th-level fighter or 4th/4th-level fighter/mage
||mages of 3rd-5th level
||fighters of 3rd-5th level
||fighter/mages of 3rd/3rd level
|20-50 lesser githzerai
||evenly distributed between the three possible classes and of 1st-3rd level
A thief, if present (10% chance), will replace one of the lower level
githzerai and will be of 6th-10th level.
The githzerai dwell primarily on the plane of Limbo. They have mighty
fortresses in that plane of chaos and their position there is very strong. Typically,
one of these fortresses contains approximately 3,000 githzerai led by a single
supreme leader. This leader has absolute control over the githzerai, including
the powers of life and death.
The githzerai hold only a few fortresses on the Prime Material plane, but
these are particularly strong holdings, with walls of adamantite rising as huge
squat towers from dusty plains. Each houses approximately 500 githzerai, including
a supreme leader.
On Limbo, however, the githzerai presence is very strong. Living in cities
typically of 100,000 or more, the githzerai enjoy total power over themselves on
an otherwise chaotic and unpredictable plane. One notable example of this is the
city Shra'kt'lor. This large githzerai capital is composed of some 2,000,000 githzerai living
in great power. Shra'kt'lor serves as both a capital and as a headquarters for
all githzerai military matters. The greatest generals and nobles of the race
meet here to plan githzerai strategy for battling both the githyanki and the mind
flayers. There is likely no force on Limbo that could readily threaten the
power of Shra'kt'lor or its many inhabitants.
One of the prime motivations among the githzerai is their war with the
githyanki. These offshoots of Gith's original race are obsessed with this war of
extermination. They often employ mercenaries on the Prime Material plane to aid them
in battling the githyanki. The evil, destructive nature of the githyanki makes
the hiring of mercenaries to fight them a relatively simple task.
Legend of the Zerthimon: In githzerai lore there is a central figure that is revered above all others
-- Zerthimon. The githyanki believe him to be a great god that was once a man.
According to githzerai lore, when the original race broke free of the mind
flayers, it was Zerthimon that opposed Gith, claiming that she was hateful and unfit
to lead the people.
There ensued a great battle and the people were polarized by the two powers.
Those that chose to support Gith became the githyanki. Those that supported
Zerthimon became the githzerai.
Zerthimon died in the battle, but in his sacrifice he freed the githzerai from
Gith. The githzerai believe that someday Zerthimon, in his new godly form,
will return and take the them to a place on another plane.
Zerths are special among the githzerai, acting as focal points for the attention of
Zerthimon. The githzerai believe that when Zerthimon returns for them, he will
first gather all of the zerths and lead them to their new paradise. It might be
said that the zerths are the center of githzerai religion. Unfortunately, they
are not free from religious persecution.
The wizard-king (whose name is not known) that rules over the highly
superstitious githzerai would like very much to stamp out the legend of Zerthimon. The
wizard-king believes that this legend challenges his authority, and very likely
it does. However, he has never been able to rid the githzerai of this legend
and he is now forced to tolerate it.
Rrakkma bands: Although the githzerai are not a bitter or overly violent race, they still
tend to hold a strong enmity and hatred for the race of illithids that originally
enslaved the gith race so many thousands of years ago. By human terms, that may
be a very long time to hold a grudge, but the githzerai see the mind flayers
as the cause of the split of the Gith race and much of the hardships the
githzerai are forced to endure. Thus large rrakkma (in the githzerai tongue) bands are
often formed to hunt mind flayers. These bands typically consist of 30-60
githzerai warriors led by the githzerai equivalent of a sergeant. For roughly three
months, these bands will roam the outer and inner planes, searching for groups
of illithids and destroying them utterly. The rrakkma bands are very popular
in githzerai society and it is considered to be an honor to serve in one.
The githzerai fortresses on the Prime Material plane tend to be very large
affairs with great, impenetrable walls. Wherever these fortresses stand, they
destroy the landscape for miles. No plants or animals live within many miles of the
fortresses and the land is reduced to wasteland around them. It is not known
if the effect is just the land's reaction to the "other-planar" stuff of which
the castles are constructed, or if githzerai mages magically produce the effect
in order to keep material beings away from these fortresses.
The most likely purpose of these fortresses on the Prime Material plane is to
keep tabs on the githyanki. The githzerai, not being a particularly
war-mongering or violent race, have no desire to conquer the Prime Material plane like the
githyanki do. However, the githzerai realize that if their enemies have a
strong hold on the Prime Material plane, they will become more powerful and thus
will hold power over them. The githzerai carefully monitor the progress on the
githyanki and lead coordinated, focused strikes against strongpoints of the
githyanki, thus hampering their ability to expand and grow in the Prime Material
During these attacks, the githzerai will not intentionally attack the natural
denizens of the Prime Material plane (humans, demihumans, humanoids, etc.), but
they will never sacrifice a well-planned attack on the githyanki just to
preserve life. With the githzerai, the ends will always justify the means.
Like the githyanki, the githzerai really have no part in the Blood War (q.v.) of the fiends. They seldom venture to the lower planes, and only then for
matters of absolute importance. The githzerai find the bloodthirsty, destructive
nature of the fiends to be distasteful, so they will typically not deal with
those creatures for any reason. They coexist with the slaadi, and githzerai are
rumored to have mental powers beyond those described here.
Ecology: For as long as men have known of the ability to travel the planes, they have
wondered at the natural power of the githzerai to wander from plane to plane at
will. Although man and githzerai are not natural enemies, battles are
frequently fought between the two races, due in part to some humans' desire to capture a
live githzerai for study. To date, no such creature has been secured.