Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Githyanki: The Astral Asshole

There are nine paragraphs of lore to these guys. Surely one of them must be interesting, right? They can’t all be boring! Right?

Lore: Plunderers of the Multiverse

Githyanki ride astral vessels and red dragons to plunder worlds across the plains. Ever since they won their freedom, their sole purpose has been conquest. All because of their leader, the dread lich-queen: Vlaakith.

They loath the other races of the multiverse and will raid them endlessly, no matter what distant plane they may live on. After a raid, they’ll leave their victims with just enough resources to survive. Do not mistake this for kindness. They only keep them alive in order to raid them again at some point in the future.

In the language of their people, ‘githyanki’ means ‘followers of Gith’. Gith was the one to unify them and organize the warfront. When they died, Vlaakith took over and forbade worship of any deity aside from her. She leads them in their xenophobic war efforts against the multiverse, especially against their two worst enemies: the mind flayers and the Githzerai.

During their slavery, gith knights forged swords of silver to combat the mind flayers. Now, these weapons are considered sacred to the Githyanki. They become more powerful in the hands of their master. To them, a silver sword is a sacred thing, one that they’ll go to war in order to claim.

In the uprising, Gith sought out any allies they could find. This lead him to the Seven Hells, where he appealed to Tiamat herself for aide. Only the Queen of Evil knows what really happened in that meeting. All that is known is that when Gith returned, he did so with the red dragon Ephelomon, who proclaimed his kind to be the eternal allies of the githyanki. Not all dragons honor this alliance, but most don’t consider their would-be allies as enemies.

Those who dwell within the Astral Sea do not age. So, in order to raise their young, the Githyanki will build outposts in the Material Plane. These double as military academies, where the young learn to harness their psychic and combat abilities. Once they grow to adulthood, they are given a sacred trial: to slay a mind flayer. When they accomplish this, they are allowed passage back into the Astral Sea.

Okay! There’s some stuff to work with there! Nothing particularly amazing, but there are some fun plot threads to work with! Maybe the players could attack one of these military bases or fight off an invasion. Perhaps a more chaotic party could aide a young Githyanki in slaying a mind flayer! With a little creativity, you can get some fun stuff out of these guys!

Even if they look super boring.

Design: What’s that disease that makes your skin yellow like a lemon?

Yeah, it’s that. It’s like if an elf had that.

At least strike a pose or something!

What is there to say? This is one of the least interesting designs we’ve seen yet! He’s a yellow motherfucker in ornate armor with a sword. He just looks like an elf that is done with everyone’s shit. This looks more like something a player character would use. One who likes to play gross and somewhat annoying characters.

Even then, there are dozens of better options.

I don’t have anything else to say about this. Just looking at it puts me to sleep. Boring. Next.

Stats: I’ll Kill You With My Mind… And This Sword

We’ve got two flavors to work with here! Do you prefer a classic warrior? Or maybe a knight?

The warrior is the weaker of the two. Their AC is decently high, yes, and their HP sits at a respectable 50ish. The knight is definitely their superior, though; their AC is only one higher, sure, but their HP nearly doubles that of the warrior. If you want something that’ll take time for your players to kill, the ladder is definitely the stronger option.

Offensively, neither one is to be sneezed at. The Warrior’s greatsword is fairly dangerous to lower level parties and the knight’s silver sword is even more dangerous. Plus, both have added psychic damage, which immediately puts the party’s barbarian on the ropes. In a duel, either one is a dangerous foe.

Not to mention their spells. Because they just had to have magic too. These guys don’t want a slice, they want the whole damn pie!

The warrior has:

  • At will: mage hand
  • 3/day each: jump, misty step, nondetection

Meanwhile, the knight has:

  • At will: mage hand
  • 3/day each: jump, misty step, nondetection, tongues
  • 1/day each: plane shift, telekinesis

Those are some annoying spells right there. Nothing world-shattering. But certainly annoying.

Overall, these guys make for a pretty decent fight. No one member of the party has an advantage over them, be they martial fighter or spellcaster, and their spells make for an extra layer of challenge. It isn’t as terrifying or as memorable as some of the monsters higher up on the list, but it certainly isn’t bad.

Placement

The Githyanki is slightly better than I thought it would be. Their lore is decent and they’ve got some alright stats. Nothing incredible, but not bad. The only aspect that I really don’t like is their design. A decent mid-range monster.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Githyanki on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Bronze Dragons
  14. Brass Dragons
  15. Copper Dragons
  16. Gold Dragons
  17. Chuul
  18. Gibbering Mouther
  19. Chimera
  20. Death Knight
  21. Fomorian
  22. Bone Devil
  23. Dracolich
  24. Faerie Dragon
  25. Ankheg
  26. Storm Giant
  27. Hill Giant
  28. Empyrean
  29. Efreeti
  30. Dao
  31. Cloud Giant
  32. Drow (all four of ’em)
  33. Shadow Demon
  34. Marilith
  35. Drider
  36. Aarackockra
  37. Azer
  38. Demilich
  39. Spectator
  40. Marid
  41. Cambion
  42. Fire Giant
  43. Animated Armor
  44. Banshee
  45. Basilisk
  46. Yochlol
  47. Bulette
  48. Cloaker
  49. Darkmantle
  50. Doppelganger
  51. Ghoul and Ghast
  52. Ettin
  53. Pit Fiend
  54. Erinyes
  55. Chain Devil
  56. Bearded Devil
  57. Barbed Devil
  58. Spined Devil
  59. Ice Devil
  60. Djinni
  61. Nalfeshnee
  62. Glabrezu
  63. Chasme
  64. Barlgura
  65. Horned Devil
  66. Balor
  67. Shadow Dragon
  68. Vrock
  69. Dretch
  70. Goristro
  71. Hezrou
  72. Manes
  73. Frost Giant
  74. Duergar
  75. Quasit
  76. Dryad
  77. Flumph
  78. Githyanki <—————–
  79. Planetar
  80. Imp
  81. Flameskull
  82. Displacer Beast
  83. Carrion Crawler
  84. Rug of Smothering
  85. Bugbear Chief
  86. Bugbear
  87. Vine Blight
  88. Twig Blight
  89. Needle Blight
  90. Bullywug
  91. Ettercap
  92. Gas Spore
  93. Cockatrice
  94. Lemure
  95. Solar
  96. Deva
  97. Cyclops
  98. Centaur
  99. Ghost
  100. Fire Elemental
  101. Water Elemental
  102. Air Elemental
  103. Stone Giant
  104. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  105. Earth Elemental
  106. Galeb Duhr
  107. Flying Sword
  108. Crawling Claw
  109. Violet Fungus
  110. Shrieker
  111. Gargoyle

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