Grath, The Gaunt Ones (3.5e Race)

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The Grath are a result of a massive Divine suicide.

Long ago, the gods of their home world- tormented and driven mad by their own people- killed themselves and threw their own dimension into an chaotic, undead state. Trapped between existence and non-existence, the fragments of what that world used to be: its spirits, people, emotions and desires all came together and eventually crowned the finishing blow on this dying world. That entire dimension slipped deep into oblivion, forever forgotten and gone. Yet somehow, whether by mercy or raw willpower, some of its shattered aspects lived on and reformed on another dimensional plane- these beings are the Grath.

The Grath appeared on the world all at one time-- and in all sorts of places. Randomly a Grath would appear in a forest, in the middle of the ocean, in someones closet-- It didn't matter where. They simply appeared all at once, one day. The Grath have no memory of where they came from, or even under what circumstance. Their appearance in the world was as good as a rebirth for them. At first the world rejected them. They were called "The Gaunt Ones" and were thought of as many things: as curses, as signs of the ending times, as zombies, angels... almost anything. They were rejected by almost all the Divine and often even hunted down and killed. However, the Grath weren't especially dangerous and Grath have absolutely no sense of kinsman-ship with other Grath. When the Grath appeared, they stumbled into societies and, if allowed, integrated as comfortably as a foal among horses. Grath that were allowed to, took on aspects of that society: their culture, language, habits etc. Grath have a natural affinity for layman work and take to farming, shop-keeping, crafting and such jobs. In time, the world began accepting them, though many still fear them. The Grath, as a whole, have no sense of race and group most beings as "sentient" and "non-sentient" groups, rather than "orcs" or "humans". Without a sense of wholeness as a race, they lack a culture of their own, but tend to also lack bitterness towards those who racially judge them.

The time of the Grath first appearing in the world is called "Day of the Gaunt". It occurred in the early spring season and many Grath consider this their birthday. The Grath have absolutely no knowledge of anything before the Day of Gaunt. There is no Divine, Mystic, Arcane or otherwise power that can see back into dimension the Grath come from. Even a Wish gives little insight into their past. Their history is forever lost in oblivion.


Grath always have some kind of detrimental quirk that varies from one to another. Each Grath technically represents some theme, symbol, emotion or flaw-- though, they may not be aware of this theme themselves. As a whole the Grath are laid-back, slow and weird. It's hard to find two Grath that are the same because of how they integrate and their inability to recognize kinsman-ship. The Grath see themselves as part of the culture they'd been accepted into, or else as solitary loners of their own accord. For better or worse, Grath are known for being straight-forward and terrible liars, as well.

Physical Description[edit]

Grath appear as sickly thin, gaunt elves, detached at the waist. Their torso uncannily floats just above their legs. This phenomenon best marks a Grath, though not all Grath share this feature. Some Grath have a lightly-glowing orb situated where their stomach would be, while others are completely connected between their body and legs. Some Grath have their hands detached from their arms or feet detached at the ankles, too. A rare few have no neck as well. While their bodies are not entirely connected, they can not move freely from the body. They must keep a rigid humanoid form, such as by keeping hands a set distance from the wrist, moving the rest of their legs to move their feet, etc. At best, they can rotate theses forms at a full 180 degrees, but even this is a clumsy movement for a Grath. If a hand or such is pulled from the wrist with enough force, it rips the hand from the Grath himself, just like cutting off a humans limb(and just as painful). Removed floating limbs follow the rules of severed limbs.

Grath often have features that are described as "extreme". Usually sharpened and elongated features- such as abnormally wide mouths, large eyes, sharpened teeth or elongated feet. Some Grath have been described as "doll-like", though usually not "attractive". They're missing most of their normal internal organs, making them gaunt and sometimes mistaken for zombies. Their skin can come in a multitude of different colors, but generally have an ashen or pastel shade. Grath have no body or facial hair(but still have a head of hair and maybe even sideburns). There is no physiological differences between male or female Grath. Most Grath seem to just pick a gender and stick with it. A Graths hair color is generally white, though they can be anything in the infrared spectrum(red, blonde, purple, blue...) or black. Almost half of the population have albino qualities. Additionally, when a Grath shifts alignment or major perspective change, their hair begins to grow a different color. Because of this, most Grath have 2-3 different colors in their hair, completely naturally. They can not reproduce.


The Grath assimilate themselves into local societies. So as long as the society accepts them, they tend to get along very well and rarely understand the difference between themselves and, say, a centaur. The Grath are occasionally shut out of societies that are fearful of them. Because of their appearance and unusual diet, they're considered unholy by some societies and forbidden to enter some. There is a wide spectrum of reactions to Grath, both good and bad.


Grath tend to be Neutral alignments, but may be any.


The Grath have no physical homeland. The Grath wander the land they appeared at and either wander forever or find a civilization they can merge with.


Grath have a particularly tough time with religion because the Divine have a tough time with the Grath. The Grath are from a world outside of the one they live in now, making their past and futures blurred, radical and amorphous. Deities cannot see a Graths destiny or their past history and, in some cases, cannot recognize a Graths existence at all. For these reasons the Divine avoid interfering with Grath directly.

However, especially when a Grath merges with a culture with a heavy emphasis on the divine, Grath do take on religions and favored Deities. Even if said Deities don't like them back.


Grath take on the language of the first culture that they submerge themselves in. Grath generally like communicating with other creatures


A Grath appears with no name, but often will take on the first name they are given. Occasionally a Grath will name itself. The Grath are not opposed to using numbers and other nontraditional words in their name, so as long as they like it. Grath rarely like to change their name, or even their title thereafter.


When a Grath dies, it releases its spirit into the Material Plane. The Grath becomes a Will O' Wisp of whatever color best suited the former Grath. A Grath spirit is different from an actual Will-O' Wisp. It cannot communicate at all and constantly acts as if frightened, unless around other Grath spirits. They always avoid danger and generally hang around the places the Grath knew in life. They have a special inclination to travel to the moon, too- especially for safety. It is said that the moon is their final resting place.

The Grath spirit loses all of its former ambitions and thus can not be a PC. A Grath can be raised from the dead just as any other character, but the spirit must be physically retrieved or unobstructed.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • −2 Strength, −4 Dexterity, +8 Constitution, −2 Intelligence, −2 Wisdom, −2 Charisma: Grath are tough to kill, but are generally ugly, uncoordinated and useless individuals.
  • Humanoid
  • Medium
  • Grath base land speed is 20 feet.
  • Otherworldly Diet (Ex): A Grath gains no benefits from eating normal food and will immediately become sickened if it eats raw, cooked or living meat. Grath can eat rotted and necrotic meat and ignores any diseases related to doing so, however they aren't inclined to do so. Grath usually eat chewable minerals, dirt and long-dead plants. All Grath love salt.
  • Lungless (Ex): Grath do not need to breathe and can exist underwater or in a vacuum. However, most are terrible swimmers. Some enjoy breathing as a hobby.
  • Ageless: Generally, the Grath wholeheartedly believe they have a maximum age (ussually they assume it's the same as the race they're closest to), but no one has ever seen a Grath die of old age. Grath appear the same age all their life.
  • Naturally Honest: Grath have a -2 racial penalty on Intimidate and Bluff skill checks
  • Otherworldly Essence: Grath have a hint of other-worldliness to them that makes them clouded from deities and weird to common-folk. At the DMs discretion, a Grath automatically takes a flaw. This flaw cannot make the Grath mute. Additionally, all Spells derived from the Divination school have a 20% chance to fail (just like Arcane spell failure due to armor) if cast by or targeting a Grath.
  • Only Generation: Grath have no discernible heritage and are unable to reproduce. Grath cannot benefit from heritage-based feats, templates or classes.
  • Automatic Languages: a Grath may automatically know the language of the culture it starts out within, excluding hidden/forbidden languages.
  • Favored Class: Fighter, Barbarian, NPC
  • Level Adjustment: +2

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Grath Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Any 4' 5" +7d6 40 lb. +(1d20(× 10) lb.

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