Although Githyanki might not be the most popular among the playable races in the Forgotten Realms and Dungeons & Dragons, they have a highly important role in Baldur’s Gate 3. With one of your companion characters being a Githyanki, Lae’Zel, and the general presence they have in the main narrative, playing as a Githyanki will open up a lot of unique options for the player character. Githyanki are an alien race of beings to the Forgotten Realms, they inhabit the Astral Sea and are intrinsicely linked to the Illithids.
“What would become of this multiverse if githyanki didn’t guard the Astral Plane from the illithid menace? What would reality become if beings of thought ruled the plane of thought?”
Githyanki – or Gith – are tall and slender humanoids with rough, leathery yellow skin and bright black eyes that are sunken deep in their orbits. They have long and angular skulls, with small and highly placed flat noses, and ears that are pointed and serrated in the back side. They typically grow either red or black hair, which they styled in topknots. And as s a result of their long period of enslavement and manipulation by the mind flayers, all githyanki possess some form of psionic abilities. They are all capable of minor telekinesis in a similar fashion to the mage hand spell and could also hone their abilities to become capable of innately casting jump and misty step.
Githyanki are typically cruel, arrogant, and aggressive. The few exceptional individuals who deserted from the rigid githyanki militaristic society tended to develop a disdain for rules. The high value they placed on individuality also caused them to become ambitious and self-centered.
Even the most open-minded githyanki came across as smug, sarcastic, rude, and overconfident, but they were generally capable of withstanding adversity without complaining. Clever and resourceful, githyanki adventurers were not known for their loyalty or ability to make new friends, but they were extremely persistent in the face of danger.
Githyanki society was extremely well organized and orderly. It had a martial and meritocratic structure, with no regard for blood ties, and with both males and females training heavily in magic and combat. Although they were loyal to each other, they were also fiercely individualistic. Githyanki military hierarchy was divided in companies of ten warriors, each led by a sarth. Each group of ten sarths was in turn supervised by a kith’rak, and every group of ten kith’raks was led by a “supreme commander”. At the top of the hierarchy stood the leader of all githyanki, Vlaakith. Vlaakith CLVII is primarily jealous and paranoid, willing to eat the souls of those who reached a certain level of strength, regardless of the kind, to secure her position and bolster her own personal strength. The insane lich sought to ascend to the ranks of divinity.
Vlaakith is revered as much as some other cultures worship Gods, and has a presence within Baldur’s Gate 3. Vlaakith was the name of many rulers of the githyanki race after the disappearance of Gith, the rebel leader that united them against the illithids. The original holder, Vlaakith I helped seal the pact between the red dragons and the githyanki. All subsequent queens of the githyanki were named after her.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1 and your Strength score increases by 2.
- Age. Gith reach adulthood in their late teens and live for about a century.
- Size. Gith are taller and leaner than humans, with most a slender 6 feet in height. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 9 metres.
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Gith.
- Alignment. Githyanki tend toward lawful evil. They are aggressive and arrogant, and they remain the faithful servants of their lich-queen, Vlaakith. Renegade githyanki tend toward chaos.
- Decadent Mastery. You learn one language of your choice, and you are proficient with one skill or tool of your choice. In the timeless city of Tu’narath, githyanki have bountiful time to master odd bits of knowledge.
- Martial Prodigy. You are proficient with light and medium armor and with shortswords, longswords, and greatswords.
- Githyanki Psionics. You know the Mage Hand cantrip, and the hand is invisible when you cast the cantrip with this trait.
- When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Jump spell once with this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the Misty Step spell once with this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.
- Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells. When you cast them with this trait, they don’t require components.
Best Class for Githyanki
Because of their affinity for more melee based improvements, what with their increase to Strength and Intelligence as well as their weapon and armor proficiency. Furthermore, they gain access to some highly useful and versatile spells which lend aid to their combat prowess. But when it comes to which class is ideal for Gith, we would say that you can’t go wrong with Fighter or Wizard. Specifically Eldritch Knight as their secondary stat requires high Intelligence. But having the bonus to Strength, martial prodigy and Psionics means that Gith are highly versatile races but are particularly skilled in martial classes and more Strength focused ones.
- Githyanki statistics and racial traits make them effective Eldritch Knights, Warlocks or Wizards, given the bonuses and proficiencies they get. Specifically, Wizards are capable of using medium armor, making Dexterity a less important ability score.
- Greatsword and Longsword training are also useful for building Melee-oriented Wizards or Warlocks, allowing them to pursue Heavy Armor builds with Dual Wielding or even Great Weapon Master feats later down the road.
- Power Builds include using the Circlet of Intelligence (automatically grants 18 Intelligence) allowing you to push that stat down to ‘9’ at Character creation in anticipation of acquiring this very powerful item.
Githyanki in Baldur’s Gate 3
From the opening cinematic, we can see just how important and involved Gith will be in the story. It’s only to be expected considering the main premise and narrative hook involves illithids and their effect on the main player. The world reacts to Githyanki as if they are indeed aliens, they are abnormal and people will have different interactions with you if you are Gith.
Githyanki are peerless warriors from the Astral Plane, known for their legendary silver blades and red dragon mounts. They seek the total destruction of mind flayers, whose ancient empire enslaved the githyanki for millennia
This obviously both opens and closes a lot of narrative doors, which is great because it allows you to truly experience the game differently. So no matter the first playthrough, if you didn’t play as a Gith, it may be worth a new playthrough as one just to see how different it’ll be. Which opportunities will be open or closed to you depending on your choice of race.