Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Secrets of sha-Arthan: The Ga'andrin

Last Summer, I presented one of the nonhuman species of sha-Arthan, the Chenot. Today, I'd like to present another, the Ga'andrin. They're one of the most common nonhumans in the setting, governing several significant realms, as well as many minor ones.

A ga'andrin by Zhu Bajie


Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum Level: 12
Armor: Any, including shields
Weapons: Any
Languages: Tana’a, Janeksa

Ga’andrin (gah-ahn-DREEN) are a species of wiry, vaguely reptilian beings known for their aggression and fortitude. They stand about 5½’ tall and weigh 120 pounds. Ga’andrin are rivals and occasional allies of Man, ruling several realms of their own. They are redoubtable warriors whose legions are feared across sha-Arthan.

Alien Mind

Owing to their unusual thought processes, Ga’andrin are immune to the adept disciplines ESP, suggestion, and telepathy. The immunity is natural and cannot be suspended, even by a Ga’andrin who wishes to do so. The immunity also applies to psychogenic devices that mimic the effects of these disciplines.


Ga’andrin can use all types of weapons and armor.

Leap Attack

With sufficient room, Ga’andrin can leap up to 10’ forward, granting a +1 bonus to the first attack roll after the leap. If armed with an impaling weapon, the attack counts as a charge and deals double damage on a successful hit.


Ga’andrin believe that all living things generate an energy they call shaina p(shy-NAH), which they can sense. While most human sages scoff at such notions, it remains clear Ga’andrin can sense something, which enables them to detect living beings within 60’, even in total darkness. This shaina-sense makes Ga’andrin harder to surprise, reducing the chance to 1-in-6 under most circumstances.


  1. Hmmm. Shaina sense only helps with living creatures, so undead and constructs and maybe elementals(?) still surprise them normally, as would traps that don't involve releasing living critters. The leap attack ability will mean they favor impaling weapons, so spears and pike and thrusting swords and tridents should be popular. Lets their infantry hit as hard as charging cavalry with a lance without needing space to get up to speed, which certainly contributes to that fearsome reputation their military has.

    Looking at the chart, there's no column for Fortitude saves (which are referenced below it, and I assume cover poisons and diseases). Attack progression seems pretty restrained - sort of a cleric pace?

    Are humans getting various classes while non-humans are using race-as-class, or is everyone getting racial progression with classes acting as some kind of overlay/modifie that's applied to them?

    1. Nonhumans use race-as-class, while humans can choose from adept, adventurer, scion, sorcerer, and warrior.

  2. Oop, the chart also doesn't have a Mental attacks column, which is also mentioned below it, and the "V" column is unkeyed. Are "V" and "P" supposed to be Fortitude and Mental equivalents and the key is wrong?

  3. Are these...skeksis? They are very cool, even if they are not skeksis.

    Will there be several Ga’andrin classes? One of the things I appreciate about ACKS is that there are multiple elf classes so not all non-humans are cookie-cutter.

    I also like Dick's recommendation about their legionnaires having a "cavalry charge" attack due to their leap capability. Gives them a distinct racial fighting style that humans cannot imitate.

    1. There will probably be other Ga'andrin classes eventually, but I haven't given them much thought yet, since the campaign hasn't begun and I'm not completely sure how my impressions of them will develop through play.

    2. Their soldiers (actually any member of the race) have the pseudo-cavalry charge benny built in. Just make sure they're carrying an impaling weapon, which I imagine are really popular with these folk. Infantry who can trot up to ~10' away and then leap in to land a double-damage attack will be a terror to fight against. They'd probably adopt tactics to maximize the trick too. Front rank leaps in one round while the rest of a formed unit holds back just within leaping range, then the first wave cautiously backs off as the second rank leaps over them to launch fresh attacks. It would take practice and training to do reliably without getting tangled up, but probably no more so than learning to stand in a shield wall or stay in a phalanx formation.