In the deep desert the gaoth have established a profitable existence. Their few permanent cities are fabulously wealthy marvels where the proud nomadic warriors return after a battle well fought and a payday well earned.


Art by Naiche Washburn

Physical AppearanceEdit

A race of proud humanoids with backswept conical heads and dexterous feet that resemble hands. They are extremely thin and gaunt with very sharp (angular) features, deep set eyes, and long, forked, pointed ears. They have tight skin the color of tea.They are hairless without even so much as eyebrows. They stand at the same height as men but are a bit thinner. When they smile, small little fangs hint at predatory ancestors.

Originally native to the desert, gaoth are extremely well adapted to hot arid temperatures. The fatty crest on the back of a gaoth’s head stores calories (much like a camel) for long journeys in the desert. They can go many days without water or food as a result. Their bodies are quite efficient and are designed to not waste any nutrients. Despite this, their main danger has been the diseases and poisons, and not the harsh environment. They have very few antibodies and are notably vulnerable to diseases when they do encounter them. This biological flaw has been exploited time and time again by their enemies, and has forced them to be rather hygienic as a culture.


Gaoth government is a plutocracy where a select few of the richest individuals form the governing body. This has created a ruling caste of affluent gaoth known as “saibhir” (or “wealthy ones”), who dictate policy in their small nomadic tribes. In modern day life, gaoth travel as nomadic merchants in large tribal caravans. Many have home cities of fantastic wealth that belong to a single saibhir or possibly a small cabal of them. In fact, all of gaoth culture revolves around money and value. As examples, marriage is a business arrangement and even a casual conversation might involve the exchange of a copper from the less knowledgeable person to the more well versed. Nothing is free in gaoth culture, though some things may be bought as a package deal (“You may draw up to one bucket of water per day from my well for 1 year for 6 copper”). Thievery amongst gaoth is an extreme crime, and the punishment is most severe. In gaoth culture theft is not only a financial matter but a matter of personal honor. Even petty thieves are often branded and/or exiled.

The richest gaoth in a region is known as the “saibhir ri” (or “king of wealth”); the saibhir ri decides the rules and guidelines for cities under his command. Most personal conflicts (such as conflicts of honor) between gaoth are not settled by martial combat, but by litigation or a war of hired champions.

Gaoth are ferocious fighters and many who are particularly skilled become sell-swords. They are exalted amongst their peers and demand high prices. They are called “santach”. A famous santach may have a retinue of lesser santach that follow him into battle and are paid out of his earnings. Gaoth are particularly skilled with wide, flat, circular daggers called “gaoth glaives”, and larger polearms that catch enemies weapons called “gaoth hooks”.


There is a tendency towards defensiveness or at the very least reserved enthusiasm towards outsiders amongst the gaoth. While they can be ingratiating and diplomatic, their relationship with others is always more akin to that of entrepreneur and customer. They regard their “good friends” as business associates or regular customers and will celebrate these profitable relations. Everything for a gaoth is tit for tat and they always have a running tally of who owes them what in the back of their mind. Many accuse them of being craven or too literal and gaoth take offense to this notion. They believe in honor, and profit above all things and when one or the other is called into question they are apt to visit retribution upon the offending party.


Gaoth are aware that others are not as obsessed with finances, and oftentimes a gaoth will simply keep a running tally of what is owed (in each direction) between himself and an individual and tack it onto some formal exchange in the future. Gaoth are not pushy about finances with non-gaoth, and are accepting of their ways. Gaoth know they need friends to make profits and will often associate themselves with lucrative partners despite even the most extreme risk. Gaoth honor is an odd mixture between personal reputation and karmic thought. They see a loss of honor as a black mark on their reputation, and no one wants to deal with a disreputable gaoth.


Gaoth tend to draw from african names (most commonly south african)

  • Male: Amadi, Berko, Chike Kgosi, Kwadwo, Paki, Simba, Zuberi

  • Female: Aba, Chipo, Denisha, Feechi, Hija, Rashida, Zata, Zina

Gaoth Phrases

  • Santach: A skilled mercenary.

  • Saibhir: A wealthy gaoth.

  • Gaoth: “Children of the Desert Wind”. Lit. “wind”.

  • Remsheer: The conical flesh that hangs off the back of a goath’s head. Lit. “Fat of Life”. Called “rem” in common parlance (Lit. “Fat”).

Racial TraitsEdit

  • Ability Score Racial Traits (0): Gaoth are desert dwellers who come from a plutocracy (a government run by wealth). They are hearty and savvy as a result without any significant mental or physical drawbacks. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom

  • Size (0): Gaoth are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

  • Type (0): Gaoth are humanoids with the gaoth subtype.

  • Base Speed (0): Gaoth have a base speed of 30 feet.

  • Languages (1): Gaoth begin play speaking Common and Gaoth. Gaoth with high Intelligence scores can choose from any language (other than secret ones).

  • Merchant Lifestyle (2): All of gaoth society revolves around money and trade. A gaoth gains a +2 racial bonus on all Appraise, Diplomacy, Profession (merchant) and Sense Motive checks relating to the buying and selling of goods.

  • Desert Nomads (3): Gaoth require half the food and water rations a typical human does, and gain a +4 bonus on Survival checks in the desert. In addition they can exist comfortably in temperatures up to 120 degrees.

  • Handwalker (2): Gaoth have dexterous feet that resemble hands. This second set of hands cannot wield weapons, but does allow them to retrieve small stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action.

  • Compromised Immune Systems (-2): Gaoth have a -2 penalty against poison and diseases.

  • Weapon Familiarity (2): Gaoth are proficient with scimitars, khopesh, sickles, and falchions, and treat any weapon with the word “gaoth” in its name as a martial weapon.

Racial Points: 8

Random Gaoth Starting AgesEdit







(21 - 26)


(22 - 32)


(23 - 38)

1 This category includes barbarians, oracles, rogues, and sorcerers.

2 This category includes bards, cavaliers, fighters, gunslingers, paladins, rangers, summoners, and witches.

3 This category includes alchemists, clerics, druids, inquisitors, magi, monks, and wizards.

Random Gaoth Height and WeightEdit


Base Height

Height Modifier

Base Weight

Weight Modifier





120 lbs

+2d10x5 lbs






85 lbs

+2d10x5 lbs


New FeatsEdit

Desert SpiderEdit

Your feet are particularly dexterous and thus you are able to manipulate things quite well.

Prerequisites: Gaoth, Climb 8 ranks, Hand and Foot

Benefit: You gain a climb speed equal to your land speed.

Gaoth EyesEdit

Your keen eyes are adept at spotting the best deals.

Prerequisites: Gaoth, Appraise 3 ranks

Benefit: You gain a +2 racial bonus on any Appraise checks to determine the value of items and to Spellcraft checks to identify the properties of magical equipment.

Gaoth Grappling [Combat]Edit

You use your feet as effectively as your hands in a grapple.

Prerequisites: Gaoth, Hand and Foot

Benefit: You gain a +2 racial bonus on grapple checks.

Gaoth Sellsword [Combat]Edit

Your aptitude for combat is matched only for your willingness to sell it.

Prerequisites: Gaoth, base attack bonus +5, Dexterity 13

Benefit: You gain a +1 morale bonus on Initiative checks and gains a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls with any weapon with “gaoth” in its name.

Hand and FootEdit

Your feet are particularly dexterous and thus you are able to manipulate things quite well.

Prerequisites: Gaoth, Climb 1 rank, Dexterity 13 or base attack bonus +5 or Monk 5

Benefit: You ignore the penalty associated with accelerated climbing on Climb checks.

Normal: You normally suffer a -5 penalty on Climb checks for trying to move at half your speed (rather than one quarter of your speed).

Palm Tree Stance [Combat]Edit

You have learned to wield a shield with one of your feet.

Prerequisites: Gaoth, Hand and Foot

Benefit: You can wield a shield with one of your feet but cannot move while doing so. The shield wielded may not be a tower shield. While in this stance you suffer a -2 penalty to your CMB against trip and bullrush combat maneuvers.

Surefooted NomadEdit

Your years of wandering have granted you a sure foot.

Prerequisites: Gaoth, Acrobatics 3 ranks

Benefit: You may ignore the first 5 feet of difficult terrain you encounter per turn and treat it as if it were normal terrain. This allows you to charge through at least 5 feet of difficult terrain.

New WeaponsEdit

Gaoth GlaiveEdit

Light Exotic Weapon

A gaoth glaive is a circular blade on a sword hilt about the size of a large frying pan. Their edges are kept razor sharp. Some have ornate or serrated edges. Their flat center is often decorated with cloth, canvas, or even exotic fabrics decorated with patterns. Their flat side is used a striking surface to swat away incoming attacks. A creature proficient in the use of a gaoth glaive wielding it gains a +1 shield bonus to his AC. If he wields more than one, this bonus stacks.

Gaoth HookEdit

Two-Handed Exotic Weapon

A gaoth hook is similar to a gaoth glaive except that it is mounted on a long spear shaft; the circular blade has a hole in the center for catching weapons. Unlike a gaoth glaive, it does not provide a shield bonus when used. The area just below the head of this weapon is often adorned with tassels and cords that distract an opponent and get tangled in pronged weapons.



DMG (s)

DMG (m)






Gaoth Glaive

12 gp





1 lb.



Gaoth Hook

24 gp





10 lbs


Disarm, reach

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• System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E.Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

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