Githyanki Martial Tradition – Part 2. Innate Psionics

Dunamin's picture

“I had my eyes trained on the gith, but somehow I still didn’t see him coming. I was dead certain my aim would strike true, but it seemed like my sight did not relay the information to my sword arm. Then I stumbled over nothing, my focus blurred, and suddenly my blood was all over his blade. Last thing I remember was yielding.”

- Noel, recently resurrected planewalker

Githyanki are psionically gifted by nature and many skillful warriors learn to incorporate their inherent powers fluently in the fighting forms they practice. The following section explores the heights of such potential; talents that usually only are fully realized among elite warriors of their kin, though which the more common githwarriors may approach over years of training and field service.

The most typical example of natural githyanki psionics that go beyond norm takes the form of telekinetic enhancement or hindering of movement. Defensively, the gith might occasionally manage to push the strikes of its foe just slightly off, if not directly deflecting them with telekinetic force. The influence is often minor enough that it goes unnoticed by observers, but even for a less practiced gith the hair-thin adjustment during a lunge could mean the difference between a fatal blow and a grazing strike. Sages usually point to this practice as one of the main reasons why there is so little emphasis on shields in githyanki martial tradition.

The same principles work equally well when the gith is on the offensive (as is more often the case), with subtle telekinetic force guiding its blade to strike true or with greater force. Yet the real potential more often lies in disrupting the foe’s form, leaving him off-balance if not overtly exposed for a lethal hit. The gith will often lure its opponent into a lunge or challenge his footwork, making it easier to trip him with modest telekinetic force.

Finally, the gith might seek to enhance personal momentum more directly. Experienced and mindful kineticist-focused warriors simply manage to get around faster on the battlefield or perform acrobatics that border on defying gravity. A true expert might at times slide just enough to reach an opening without moving his legs, or jump back on his feet from prone using only his mind to push off the ground.


Telepathy is another common discipline employed in combination with swordplay. A well capable gith warrior might cloud the mind of his foe at critical moments, make it appear as if his location is slightly off, or otherwise disrupt sensory input. The natural telepathic powers that giths are gifted with rarely grow beyond modest potency in absence of actual psionic devotion, but masters in the field know that a well-timed “mental push” can be just as devastating as a forceful one.

On a larger scale, githyanki employ telepathic mind-links for communication to devastating effect. Strike teams with excellent psions effectively pool their senses mentally, leaving them almost impossible to surprise or hide from. Seasoned warriors will execute attack sequences with perfect coordination, striking as one mind operating through multiple vessels. There is nothing more terrifying for a mind flayer than picking up such coordinated telepathic chatter from a rrakkma band closing in.


The first indication that an elite githyanki team has been deployed in battle is typically through their notorious teleportation drop-ins. Though such psychoportative talents rarely matches up to teleportation magic of mighty fiends and exemplar planar races, some giths nevertheless reach aptitude enough to use them effectively in conjunction with sword strikes or other forms of attack.

A truly skilled warband trains for coordinated teleportation maneuvers where single foes (particularly mind flayers) are suddenly and simultaneously engaged as giths pop in above and behind it, or a clustered enemy force is shattered as giths sequentially pop in with a wide sword sweep and roll, arriving in quick succession from different angles until the enemy formation has been thoroughly broken.

Such means of instant transportation is a further motivating factor for gith bravado since they also provide a quick escape route. Githyankis might be seen fearlessly jumping off buildings to strike at flying foes, or remain operating a vessel on a collision course until the last moment, knowing that they can instantly relocate to safer grounds nearby.


Those that truly practice the way of the mind often find additional ways of gaining an advantage in a fight with the remaining psionic disciplines. Examples include powers of psychometabolism that meld together hand and weapon for greater effect, powers of psychokinesis that heat the weapon of its enemy until they drop it, and the like.

Zimrazim's picture
Joined: 2007-01-14
For those githyanki who

For those githyanki who have clairvoyance as a racial abillity, it's useful for scouting as well as (in conjunction with telepathic ability) pinpointing locations for teleportation.

While specialized githyanki archers aren't extremely common, the dimension door ability makes them brutal, particularly on ground that is already favorable to them.


BoGr Guide to Missile Combat:
1) Equip a bow or crossbow.
2) Roll a natural 1 on d20.
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Goth's picture
Joined: 2009-03-02
I'm looking forward to part

I'm looking forward to part 3.




Stay peery, we'll tumble to the dark of the sod.

Samloyal23's picture
Joined: 2004-05-25
Re: Githyanki Martial Tradition – Part 2. Innate Psionics

Telepathy can let a blood know what an opponent is planning, letting trips and feints be seen through, too.


I'm Samuel M. Wright, and you're not.

Chaotic_Goth1431's picture
Joined: 2010-01-12
Re: Githyanki Martial Tradition – Part 2. Innate Psionics

Excellent work! This really clarified my own views/theories on githyanki warfare and enabled me to create a few solid characters from that race.

**Githzerai characters proceed to curbstomp me in righteous fury! XD**


So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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