The history of the githzerai is one of ancient war and ancient slavery. Once of one race with the githyanki under the enslavement of the mind flayers, the githzerai broke away from their illithid masters and then from their gith brethren, sparking a racial war on multiple fronts that has continued into the present. The two gith factions separated and found new homes: the githyanki in the emptiness of the Astral Plane, and the githzerai in the swirling chaos of Limbo. The cause of that split has long been lost, but the ageless bloodfeuds and forays of revenge continue unabated.

Githzerai look quite a bit like humans (but woe to the sod who suggests they’re of the same stock!), except that they are slightly thinner and taller. Also, their features are sharply cut and their faces are longer, but the most notable difference is in their eyes, which range from gray to catlike yellow. Githzerai are a severe lot who don’t dress in bright colors, don’t wear jewelry, and don’t smile, at least not in public. They have no particular dislike of other races (beyond mind flayers and githyanki), but they don’t often grow close to others either; they say what needs to be said and little more. Bards know githzerai make bad audiences; they have no sense of art within them, it seems.

However, githzerai do have fierce passions that burn dangerously. First, as mentioned, the githzerai hate the githyanki. The long-time enemies will never willingly cooperate and will rather try to do each other in. (This hatred isn’t suicidal, though.) Second, the githzerai have a single-minded dedication to the security of their own race, no doubt the result of their never-ending war with the githyanki. Similarly, they are sworn to protect their race on their adopted home of Limbo, since that refuge was only won after millennia of hardship and war; any threat against their haven is met with whatever force is necessary to eliminate it. The githzerai say little of their fortresses on Limbo, lest they say too much, and say even less of other activities. Finally, if githzerai have a sport, it’s illithid hunting. Organized into parties called rrakkma, their youths cross the planes, hunting mind flayer prey.

To the githzerai, there are only three truths: that the githyanki and illithids will never be anything but mortal enemies; that they will allow nothing to hinder the survival of their race; and that no one will ever enslave them again.

Githzerai are roughly two inches taller than humans on average. Females usually range between 4’10" and 5’9" in height, but taller individuals are fairly common. Thinner than humans, they generally weigh 90 to 120 pounds. Males are typically six inches taller and thirty pounds heavier.


  • Githzerai start with a d6 in Agility and Smarts, and can raise these attributes to d12+1 through normal advancement. Their bony frames cannot build muscle in the same way as those of humans, however, so their Strength is limited to a d10 rating at best.

Other Benefits and Drawbacks

  • Githzerai are innately resistant to all forms of supernatural powers, enjoying two points of Spell Resistance. This stacks with the Edge: Arcane Resistance, but does not impede their own magical or psionic powers.
  • Based on old enmity, githzerai suffer a -4 Charisma penalty with githyanki or illithids.
  • Githzerai have thermal vision to a range of 60’, halving all darkness penalties.
  • Githzerai with Psionic powers gain an additional five Power Points.
  • Even githzerai without Psionic powers have some aptitude with them, gaining a random power from the following table, a d4 in the Psionics skill, and five Power Points.
d12 Roll Power
1 Analyze Foe
2 Boost or Lower Trait
3 Burrow
4 Damage Field
5 Darksight
6 Deflection
7 Detect or Conceal Arcana
8 Legerdemain
9 Light or Obscure
10 Mind Reading
11 Smite
12 Succor


Planescape Stix