Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Githzerai: Psychic Monks, But Not Cool

Lore: Chillin’ in Limbo

While the githyanki are war-mongers, the githzerai are philosophers. They spend their days in Limbo, dwelling on islands and within fortresses of order within the chaos. Using their psychic powers to maintain their homes and defend them in battle, they are a mighty but mostly peaceful people.

The hierarchy of the githzerai is based on social merit. Those who are wise and mighty become leaders. Great heroes and teachers of the past are used as the base of their lives, as the githzerai seek to emulate them in their day-to-day existence.

Although Gith was the one to free their people, the githzerai revere Zerthimon instead. The monks who best exemplify Zerthimon’s teachings are called zerths. Those who earn this rank are capable of traveling between planes with only the power of their minds. Often times, they are at the top of the hierarchy.

While githzerai interference in realms beyond Limbo is rare, it isn’t an impossible thing. They’ll often set up monasteries outside of Limbo to teach or share the teachings of Zerthimon. Every now and then, they’ll go on an ilithid hunt, called a rrakkma, in which every member of the party must kill at least one mind flayer before they return.

This lore is alright. You’ve got some potential threads to work with here. Perhaps the party could get into one of these monasteries on the Material Plane. Or they could join in on a rrakkma. It isn’t much, but the threads should be enough for at least one decently fun session.

Design: Second Verse, Same as the First

God dammit, it’s the same shit! Again!

It’s the exact same design as the githyanki. Only this one is in a less fancy outfit. Hooray! Such diversity!

Still boring. Next.

Stats: I’m Gonna Punch You… With MAGIC

Once again, we have to flavors of stats to choose from. There’s the weaker githzerai monk and the much stronger githzerai zerth. The former works well as an introductory monster while the ladder works better for higher-level parties.

The monk is surprisingly easy to kill. Their AC is only a few digits higher than 10 and their HP is just below 40. Even a weak party should be able to slay one. Meanwhile, the zerth has an AC just shy of 20 and well over double the HP of the monk. If you want something more dangerous, the zerth is the easy choice.

In terms of melee attacks, they’re both the same. They can each punch you twice a turn and each hit has extra psychic damage stacked on top of it. The only real difference is that the zerth hits harder. Go figure.

They do have a fair few spells to make them a bit trickier, though. The monk has:

  • At will: mage hand
  • 3/day each: feather fall, see invisibility, shield

While the zerth has:

  • At will: mage hand
  • 3/day each: feather fall, jump, see invisibility, shield
  • 1/day each: phantasmal killer, plane shift

Most of those spells are more frustrating than dangerous. Shield alone makes these guys infinitely more difficult to kill. But they don’t really add much to the fight aside from annoyance. If you aren’t careful when using these spells, you’ll find your players being more pissed off than entertained.

Placement

These guys are just a more boring version of the last monster. Their lore is decent, but the design is just as bland as the githyanki and the stats are a recipe for frustration rather than fun. Definitely a disappointing entry.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Githzerai 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. Githzerai <——————
  85. Rug of Smothering
  86. Bugbear Chief
  87. Bugbear
  88. Vine Blight
  89. Twig Blight
  90. Needle Blight
  91. Bullywug
  92. Ettercap
  93. Gas Spore
  94. Cockatrice
  95. Lemure
  96. Solar
  97. Deva
  98. Cyclops
  99. Centaur
  100. Ghost
  101. Fire Elemental
  102. Water Elemental
  103. Air Elemental
  104. Stone Giant
  105. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  106. Earth Elemental
  107. Galeb Duhr
  108. Flying Sword
  109. Crawling Claw
  110. Violet Fungus
  111. Shrieker
  112. Gargoyle

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