Talk:Gith, Variant (5e Race Variant)

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Whew! I do believe that's that. Let me know if it's too powerful or something. I'm always really paranoid about that. -- 16:05, 14 June 2015 (MDT)

--- I love these, and I think your balance very good on the race as a whole. HOWEVER: the racial feat Gith Mental Adept is extremely over powered. if I could suggest a few edits, they are as follows

  • Gith Traits: ability score increase: +1 Dex (not +2)
  • Githzerai Traits: ability score increase: +1 Dex (not wis)
  • Psionic Power: Gith were bred by the illithids as slaves, and possess some of their former masters' advanced mental abilities. You know the mage hand cantrip, though the hand is always invisible. Once you reach 3rd level, learn the jump spell, and gain a 1st level spell slot which may be used once per long rest. At 5th level, you gain 1 spell slot of a level equal to half your character level (round down), which may be used only for spells granted by your subrace. These abilities count as Psionic, and the spellcasting ability for these spells is determined by your subrace.
  • change Gith Mental Adept as follows:
   Prerequisites: must be Gith. If Githyanki, you must have 13+ Intelligence. If Githzerai you must have 13+ Wisdom.
   Through intense training, you have become a paragon of your people's mental abilities.
   * You gain a second spell slot, of the same level as the first, which you may use to cast any racial spells.
   * If you are a githyanki, you learn the tongues and telekinesis spells. If you are a githzerai, you learn the feather 
     fall, shield, and phantasmal killer spells.
   * Any spells gained from this feat use the same spellcasting ability as your Psionic Power racial trait.

--Entropicscholar (talk) 12:42, 7 July 2015 (MDT)

  • I kept the +2 on the grounds that I built them off the "tiefling" template, which features similar spellcasting. And the reason I gave them so many spell slots was to match the Monster Manual version, which has three of each per day. Also, some of the spells they learn are rather corner-case (particularly non-detection). Plus, the "racial spells slots" mechanic seems a bit clunky. Nonetheless, I think I could definitely think of a way to keep the spirit of your suggestions. Thank you for your opinion. Incidentally, I've also written a PC variant for the illithid, and I'd like your opinion on it as well, if you're in the mood. 's over here --SpectralTime (talk) 12:49, 7 July 2015 (MDT)

Some Considerations.[edit]

I really love these ideas, but I would consider a few things for the purposes of balance, because right now I think these are just a smidge out of balance with current 5e races, sub races and their racials.

First, 7th level casting is too high to dip into for a racial. Githyanki getting misty step AND nondetection as a racial is, IMO, too much. You should choose one or the other for the 5th level racial spell and drop the other.

Second, Psychic Defense. Giving unarmored defense to any class that wants it is way too OP. Classes like Wizard, Warlock and Sorcerer aren't meant to be able to achieve Monk, Cleric, Druid and Barb level ACs before even investing at the class level to get them. Especially Wizards, with Bladesinger out now, would be way too OP if a DM let them use this version of a Wizard and didn't have racial restrictions on their Bladesingers. Bladesong letting a Wizard add their Int Bonus to their AC means a Githzerai Wizard would get + Dex, +Wis AND +Int into their AC. Even using the Array, a Wizard could get 18 AC without even having to use spells. Just by investing in +stats, that Wizard could end up with 25 AC without armor, and a simple shield spell could raise that to 30. That's just way too strong.

What I might propose is perhaps allowing the Githzerai to apply their Wisdom mod to AC instead of Dex if they want. This way they still have some kind of armor enhancing racial like you are aiming for, and it would fit the theme of them being able to defend themselves through the power of their will, but wouldn't just stack another modifier. Another thing you could do is treat this racial similar to mage armor in it's execution. Seeing as Mage Armor could arguably be described as defending ones self with the power of their mental magic, you could have this racial change their AC while unarmored to 13 + Either Dexterity Modifier or Wisdom Modifier if you want both represented, or maybe just made it a psychic flavored mage armor that's always on. This would also keep it more in line with being a separate thematic element of the race. Right now, they just get Monk Unarmored Defense, which you might as well just roll into their Monastic upbringing racial. Speaking of which...

Third, Monastic Upbringing. History and Persuasion are not skills I would associate with the Monastic life. Regardless of which cultural considerations you use for representing the Monastic lifestyle, both East and West are Esoteric, which means Religion is the obvious choice for the skill, and considering you're giving a heavy AC modification racial ability, I would limit it to just Religion.

  • I always appreciate feedback!
First, I'd agree if not for the fact that nondetection is a really corner-case spell. I was on the fence about even including it for a while, but I ultimately asked myself how frequently it would really even come up, let alone break the game. It's self-only, any character with it is almost certainly going to be in a party of people who aren't going to be mind-shielded, you get the picture. I guess I just feel it's different from something like misty step that's going to be useful on a fairly regular basis. Besides, unlike the tiefling, on whose template they were built, the racial spells are pretty much their only big "racial trait," and deferring many of them until higher levels can sting in a low-level game environment.
Second, daggome it. Stupid game designers, always willing to break the game in favor of the wizard. When I wrote that, I was given to understand that every alternate method of AC calculation would always override any other method of AC calculation, but studying the rules, you're right. Maybe an explicit note that it does not work with any bonuses from class features? I don't really want to just drop it completely, but...
Third, that might be true of most other real-world monasteries, but the githzerai are explicitly nonreligious. Their monasteries are places of meditation and scholarship rather than religious contemplation. Thus, they get History, from being educated about the past events that shaped their race, or Persuasion, from learning to dispassionately debate and argue points. More to the point, neither one is a skill that they have natural stat bonuses for, devaluing them at least a little.
Similarly, it's why the githyanki also don't get proficiency in skills that use the stats they have racial bonuses to, though I'm sure I don't need to explain the reasoning for giving a bunch of Astral pirates Athletics and Intimidate.
Thanks again for responding at all! --SpectralTime (talk) 17:59, 7 June 2016 (MDT)
  • If nondetection is the cornerstone spell for them, then drop misty step at 5th level and give them nondetection at 5th level instead. Nondetection as a spell is, at its highest level, a 3rd level spell casting it with a slot. It wouldn't be a problem to just do it that way. As for their lack of racial traits? In 3.5 both sub-races had Darkvision. Is there a reason you didn't give the general Gith race standard Darkvision?

There's a difference between spells or abilities that modify the AC formula and spells or abilities that add a bonus to AC. Unarmored defense modifies the AC formula, so does non-shield armor, Mage Armor the Spell, Barkskin ect. Anything that reads "Your AC is/becomes ..." modifies the formula. None of these types of AC can work together. You cant use Mage Armor and Unarmoed defense, or Barkskin and a suit of armor. You basically get one of these forms of protection and you have to choose which you utilize for your AC when you have multiples.

But then there are things like a Shield, or Shield of Faith spell, or Bladesong and whatnot, that read "Add +X to your AC" these things work in conjunction with your AC and are considered AC bonuses. If you try to write this version of unarmored defense not to accept bonuses to AC, you're just gimping the ability to beyond pointless because it will never scale in the higher game.

It's current iteration is OP in the early game though, because it allows ANY class to get near tank-level AC without having to invest for it. The cost of Armor, the Spellslots or class abilities ... the things that get you where you want to go are part of the balancing factor of who gets what and when they get it. Armor has a monetary value and a weight factor, as well classes that creep into the higher end of armor trade inferior utility/spellcasting/offensive prowess to get there. Classes that get that utility have to invest their class resource to become comparable in AC to armored classes, or their class is balanced around their ability to modify their AC in nonstandard ways ... like with unarmored defense. Races aren't balanced to introduce a racial that is on par with class features.

What I proposed doesn't drop it completely, but it brings it more in line with how AC works at the lower levels. Either suggestion would be fine. The version that makes it a racial Mage Armor is consistent with Warlock Armor of Shadow, which can be gotten as early as level 2 and would still be beneficial to any character, in situations where they might lose their armor and whatnot. Its still a niche value. Same thing with making it allow the player to Swap Wis Bonus for Dex Bonus to AC. Even a Cleric in this scenario would have to drop themselves down to medium or even light armor if they wanted to take advantage of the wisdom bonus to AC, but it would free them up not to have to consider Dex so much, so while it might not ultimately increase their AC beyond the levels the traditional ruleset gives them, it provides flexibility value.

On the final point. I can see how there's a racial flavor to those skills that I missed. Still, if you're going to give a race a racial ability that manipulates their AC, then I would consider dropping it to 1 skill proficiency, or drop them both altogether.

  • Re-thought the AC thing, which should, after all, be corner-case, like access to nondetection. You're right. Changin' it.
See, here's the thing: you can only see that it's a third-level spell, and therefore must be "OP." But, frankly... have you, personally, ever been in a game where having a single character with the ability to cast non-detection on his- or herself would have been super-duper useful? It's a corner-case benefit, and it's one of the spells they have in the Monster Manual this edition. It's also why I'm comfortable making them the only race in the game to get a third-level racial spell: because it's not that useful and not that likely to come up.
I really hope they don't actually have darkvision in the 5e Monster Manual, my major source for all this, and I just somehow missed it. 'Cause not only would that be embarrassing, but I'd have to drop the racial skills to give them darkvision instead, which is a much blander ability all around, useful or no. (And they do not. Whew!)
Also, it's not both skills, it's one or the other. --SpectralTime (talk) 05:30, 8 June 2016 (MDT)

This Githyanki argument is less about the power or OPness of getting nondetection (or even misty step for that matter, which is arguably a MUCH better spell) and more about the fact that no other race in the game continues to grow as a caster, regardless of their class, into 7th level. With Drow Elves and Tieflings you see the same thing - their racial magic cuts off at level 5. This is mostly about staying consistent with the mechanics of the game itself. You may feel that their racials are kinda boring if you nerf their casting, but Mental Resistance, the way you wrote it, is very nice and makes up for that.

Speaking of Mental Resistance. You should consider changing the language of it to be consistent with the PHB. Something like "You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or restrained.

And no, they don't have Darkvision in the MM ... but Darkvision has been rolled into low-light vision in this edition, and it makes sense for them to have low-light, seeing as the astral plane is just a fantasy theme for space. Also, Seeing as both of these races were player races ion 3.5, you might consult some of that for your interpretation of them in 5e and they did have it in 3.5th ed. Not that much needs to be done.

  • Honestly, I'll admit that it's a bit of an irregularity. But... I dunno. I guess I'm not sure why breaking precedent is that important at this juncture, ya know? I don't really want to give them a disadvantage, but...
Heh. Someone else added that "restrained" after the fact. Originally, it was just "charmed." But... I guess both make sense, and "restrained" is a fairly rare and corner-case condition anyway.
I dunno... I could just give that to the githyanki instead of non-detection, or only have it function in the Astral Plane. But... I'm just trying to hew to this edition's vision of the gith, ya know? And I think there's a constant dim light on the Astral Plane this edition anyway. Besides, that edition had LA, and screw that noise! --SpectralTime (talk) 13:30, 8 June 2016 (MDT)


So! I noticed almost immediately that I had also reverted important documentation at the bottom of the page, and attempted to restore it. Got an error message, underflow error? Something like that. So I tried to undo my edit, work back from there. Couldn't do that either. I don't know how to fix this, or if I can. --SpectralTime (talk) 16:01, 1 August 2020 (MDT)

Think it's working now. Sorry. --SpectralTime (talk) 16:03, 1 August 2020 (MDT)
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