Baldur’s Gate 3: Githyanki, Explained

Baldur’s Gate 3 is the first new entry in the mainline series in almost twenty years, and Dungeons & Dragons has changed a great deal since then. The Forgotten Realms campaign world has also undergone a lot of changes, and players are more likely to run into Githyanki than they were in the past.

The first trailer for Baldur’s Gate 3 established that Mind Flayers would be a major enemy in the game, and the second trailer confirmed that the Githyanki wouldn’t be far behind.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3 Console Ports Hinted At In Cross-Save Update

Githyanki In Dungeons & Dragons

The Githyanki are a race of yellow-skinned humanoids that dwell on the Astral Plane. They were originally slaves of the Mind Flayers, but they rebelled and formed a new society of their own. The Githyanki created their own cities on the Astral Plane, where they developed a militaristic society that shunned outsiders.

Their enslavement under the Mind Flayers allowed the Githyanki race to develop their psychic abilities, giving them incredible mental durability. The Githyanki also made a deal with Tiamat, the evil goddess of dragons, which put several Red Dragons under their control. As such, the Githyanki gained the means to enter the Prime Material Plane and go on raids, allowing them to invade almost all of the D&D campaign worlds in search of treasure.

Despite their wicked reputation, the Githyanki have an important role to play in protecting the Prime Material Plane. The Githyanki despise Mind Flayers and their armies might be the only thing holding them back. The trailer for Baldur’s Gate 3 shows just how scary a single Mind Flayer ship can be, and that could happen a thousand times over if the Githyanki aren’t around.

George R.R. Martin’s Githyanki

The origins of the Githyanki predate Dungeons & Dragons, as they were kind of stolen from George R.R. Martin, the creator of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. In Martin’s 1977 novel Dying of the Light, an alien race known as the Githyanki are mentioned in passing. A British writer named Charles Stross decided to use the Githyanki name for a race he was using in his homebrew D&D campaign. Stross later submitted this race to White Dwarf magazine, and it ended up in the first edition of the Fiend Folio. Martin didn’t become aware of this until years after the Githyanki were established as part of D&D, and he’s never caused any issues over the name.

Githyanki In Baldur’s Gate 3

The developers of Baldur’s Gate 3 are making Githyanki a big part of the game. It’s possible for players to create a Githyanki character and have them stuck on the Prime Material Plane, as the game starts out with the protagonist trapped on a Mind Flayer ship that ends up in Faerun. Githyanki characters are based on the ones from D&D, so they gain +1 to INT and +2 to STR at creation, as well as the ability to cast the Mage Hand cantrip. This would make them the ideal choice for the Eldritch Knight subclass. One of the party members the player can use in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a Githyanki Fighter named Lae’Zal, who is trapped on the same ship with them at the start of the game.

Baldur’s Gate 3 starts out with a Mind Flayer ship attacking the city of Baldur’s Gate and kidnapping its citizens, in order to turn them into monsters. The ship is attacked by Githyanki dragon riders, and it’s forced to flee. It seems the conflict between the Githyanki and the Mind Flayers will play a major role in Baldur’s Gate 3, and the player can involve themself in the conflict by becoming one of the Githyanki.

Next: Baldur’s Gate 3’s Character Creator Uses Scans Of Real People

Baldur’s Gate 3 enters Early Access on October 6, 2020.

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Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.

Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.

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