The universe of Dungeons & Dragons is always expanding. Players and Dungeon Masters alike can enjoy new settings, classes, races, and other novel features with every module, expansion, supplement, and homebrew. One of the newest additions to the world of D&D is the Goliath, a type of playable character that is a mix between a giant and a human.
The Goliath is a race, not a class, so it might be the very first trait that you choose when laying out the foundation for a future character. Despite the reputation of the Goliath to be a hack and slash class, that isn't to say that they aren't versatile. Here are a few tips for building your Goliath in D&D.
10 Choose Three Names, As Is The Custom Of The Goliath
Speaking of completing the first few spaces in your Goliath's character sheet, you might want to write small and save some space. Every Goliath has three names, and this is an important part of your character's backstory. Your character will have a given name along with a nickname and a clan name. Nicknames are given to recognize memorable deeds, like Icewalker or Treecarver, and are often inspired by the rough, mountainous lands where the Goliaths live.
Clan names tend to be longer, sometimes consisting of two names joined by a hyphen, and this can change as Goliath clans unite or break apart. This depends on location, so your DM might need to help you.
9 Read The 3.5 D&D Supplement "Races Of Stone"
Races of Stone was released in August 2004 as a supplement to the 3rd edition of the Player's Handbook. It reviewed the two classic races of the Gnome and Dwarf and introduced the new Goliath race.
This isn't just a great resource for players who want to experience the power of a Goliath. The book also has some useful information for anyone playing the other races featured, along with plenty of inspiration when it comes to character development and creation. Read up on information about Prestige Classes and character options, like ideal feats and stat bonuses.
8 Roll A Tanking Class, Like A Fighter Or Barbarian
A Goliath character tends to be between six or seven feet tall and weighs about 300 pounds, so roles in the party are obvious from the start. Not only does the Goliath carry almost everything, but they're also expected to either do or take most of the damage in fighting situations.
The Goliath can try and have a lower profile depending on their class, moral alignment, or general personality, but they're just too big for activities that require stealth or staying covert. An up-front fighting class is the best option.
7 Don't Bother With Casting Classes, Because Stats
Sorcerers, Wizards, and Mages are the main spellcasting classes of D&D. Each class differs when it comes to how they use their powers and where they acquire them, but what they have in common is the stats required.
Intelligence and Charisma are the most important abilities for spellcasters, and Goliaths, unfortunately, don't have the required bonuses to be successful. The limited options available to casters when it comes to armor are another reason for a Goliath to avoid the spellcasting classes.
6 A Goliath Makes A Decent Paladin Or Cleric
There are combination classes available for the Goliath players that are keen on having a few spells in their repertoire. Paladins are one of the common tanking classes and a party always appreciates a tanky Cleric who can both heal and take some hits.
The Paladin, a class that's typically Lawful Good, actually fits nicely with the Goliath, who comes from a culture that values the Lawful alignment in social behavior. A Goliath Cleric might have an interesting backstory that involves an isolated monastic order.
5 Your Moral Alignment Is Lawful
Every Goliath isn't of the exact same moral alignment, and of course, there are always the few characters that break the mold. This doesn't have to be Lawful Good, either, just Lawful, so there's plenty of room for nuance.
The exact alignment of your Goliath will depend on the details in their backstory, so you could also be Neutral or even Evil. This is another factor that makes the Goliath a good fit with classes that are drawn to Lawful moral alignments, especially the Lawful Good paladin.
4 Take Advantage Of Your Athletic Abilities
Once you get past the fact that you're not going to be the smartest or most beautiful member of your adventuring party, it's time to focus on what does make a Goliath strong, literally.
Your Strength is automatically increased by 2 and your Constitution by 1, plus you're a Natural Athlete, which means you're proficient in the Athletics skill. This handy for virtually every activity associated with adventuring, like climbing, jumping, and swimming, giving you a bonus should you meet a challenge while doing any athletic activity.
3 Other Role-Playing Tips
Goliaths have a unique way of speaking, dressing, and living their daily lives that sets them apart from other races. This is another instance when the details in Races Of Stone come in handy, but on the other hand, the module you're using or the game your DM is curating might have other possibilities available.
A Goliath doesn't have to be from the mountains, for example, but perhaps from a river valley, a harsh desert, or a vast subterranean cave network. The class of your Goliath might worship a specific deity that requires them to adhere to a set of rules or a specific moral alignment.
2 Feats For Tanking, Health, And Opportunity
Every D&D player can customize their character to a greater extent with Feats. Combine the Athlete skill you already have with related abilities like Grapple, which improves your skills in hand-to-hand combat, or Martial Adept, which gives you the ability to perform more complex moves in combat.
Grapple requires a strength of more than 13, which your Goliath will most definitely have. Martial Adept is ideal for any fighting class, a likely calling for any Goliath character. Those are just two examples of the many Feats you can choose to build on your character's existing strengths.
1 Best Possible Spells And Cantrips
Goliaths that choose a class with some spellcasting ability will be proficient in defensive magic, like basic healing spells or abilities that can illuminate dark spaces. Goliaths who chose the path of the Cleric will have access to cantrips like Hand of Radiance and Resistance. Goliath Paladins don't have access to Cantrips but can cast spells like Bless and Detect Poison starting at level one.
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