The chimeric giants who hail from a far off land
Base Racial Traits
Ability Score Modifiers: (+4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence): Goliaths are incredibly strong and very tough, but not nimble or dexterous thanks to their musculature and burly bodies, and, with their tribal focus on wisdom rather than intelligence, are less booksmart than other races. Size: Goliaths are medium-sized creatures, and gain no bonuses or penalties due to size. Type: Goliaths are humanoid creatures with the Giant subtype, and count as Humanoid(Giant) for all effects relating to race. Speed: Goliaths have a base land speed of 30ft. Vision: Goliaths have low-light vision, and can see twice as far as normal humans in areas of dim lightning. Languages: Goliaths begin play speaking The Regional Language(See Languages of Zheng-Kitar) that reflects their origins(Ssarin for most Goliaths, with a dialect unique to the area) and Giant. A goliath with a high INT can choose from the following languages as bonus languages: (Common, Draconic, Orc, Terran, Auran, Sylvan, or Ezdhûlian) Mountain-born: Goliaths gain a racial +4 to Survival and Climb checks. Goliaths can make standing long jumps and high jumps as if they were running long jumps and high jumps, always negate the first 10ft of fall damage suffered, and they do not need to make Acrobatics checks to cross narrow or uneven terrain. They are always acclimated to and take no penalties from high altitudes. A goliath can engage in accelerated climbing (climbing half his speed as a move action) without taking the —5 penalty on the Climb check. Stone's Endurance: Goliaths have thick, stony hides that resemble the mountainous areas which they call home, and gain a +2 natural armor bonus. Reclusive Sages: Goliaths sequester themselves from the outside world and rarely allow themselves to be seen by outsiders so that they might be closer to nature and the wild, and this inner peace allows them to resist any effect that seeks to overtake their minds. They gain a racial +2 to saving throws and checks made to resist all Mind-Affecting effects. Additionally, they always treat Knowledge(Nature) as a class skill. Powerful Build: Goliaths, with the blood of Giant, Men, and Dwarf running through their veins, have an innate gift which lets them wield their immense size as a weapon. For all purposes, Goliaths may be treated as one size category larger if doing so would be beneficial to them(Gaining all non-ability score and reach based bonuses). A goliath is also considered to be large sized for the purposes of a creature's special attacks that are based on size, such as improved grab or swallow whole. A goliath may wield a weapon designed for a creature one size category larger than themselves without the -2 penalty for doing so. Using such a weapon, your space and reach remain as a creature of your actual size, and do not increase with the weapon as normal. If the goliath gains an effect which similarly makes wielding oversized weapons easier(Such as the Jotungrip ability for the titan Mauler barbarian archetype), it does not stack with powerful build and overrides those benefits of Powerful build, though all other non-weapon bonuses from Powerful Build remain. Goliath count their STR score as 8 higher for the purposes of carrying capacity and lifting weight. Honorary True Giants: Though their origin is shrouded in mystery, Goliaths have grown as a race over the eons and have become a race recognized by the ancient Giant Ancestors as worthy of the True Giant title. Goliaths are capable of entering any structure or space designed for small or larger creatures as if they were the appropriate size, though cannot enter any such space designed for beings below small sized and do not grow when entering such a location designed for larger creatures. This is an innate supernatural ability and a blessing from the planet itself, and cannot be suppressed or negated in any way, even by an antimagic field. Weapon Familiarity: Goliaths' superior bulk helps them wield heavier than normal weapons. Goliaths treat exotic weapons which can be wielded in two hands as martial weapons by Medium creatures, such as bastard swords and dwarven waraxes, as martial weapons.
Goliaths are built much like normal Humans, but on a much larger scale. Their bodies are taller, their muscles are stronger, their bones are more dense and resilient, and they, much like the dwarves whose blood and biological traits run through their veins, possess a dual-heart system designed to provide redundancy in case of extreme bodily harm...and like Jotun, they possess the same unique organ known as the "Fomorian Furnace", though it is often inactive or working at less efficiency than it otherwise would. With muscle mass and bone density far in excess of the norm, Goliath possess abnormally high dexterity and jump strength for their size, as well as grip strength, that lets them not only have the deftness of body and strength of muscle to wield weapons far larger than others normally could, but also gives them the power to leap incredible distances in a single bound...this level of abnormal muscle mass is attributed to their origins as a race whose ancestry is unknown, but bears clear traces of ancient experimentation with several different races - notably those of Men, Dwarves, and Giants. Whatever technological or magical force created them or altered them, the Goliaths are towering powerhouses of physical prowess, beating out even the notoriously powerful Orcs for the title. They likewise have a unique anatomy in that their internals are constantly adapted to heights, and have automatic biological pressure modulators(Another sign of their unnatural creation) to automatically adjust them to extreme heights and altitude. Their bodies are almost always thick, enormous, and shaggy - better to endure the cold at the high altitudes in which they dwell - and for this reason, their beards are almost always incredibly long and prodigious things, matched only by Dwarves in their length and impressiveness. Female Goliaths can grow beards, but rarely let them grow out and instead have incredibly long and thick hair on their heads, which is easily braided. Uniquely, Goliaths also are known to possess six digits on each of their limbs(Both hands and feet), possibly as a result of their mysterious and possibly unnatural origins. Similarly strangely, they possess large antler-like horns that sprout from their heads in unique formations and with unique patterns carved into them - which grow larger and more gnarled as they age. The origin of both of these quirks is unknown, but assumed by many to be signs of artificial experimentation on their genome in ages past, and proof of their Chimeric nature. Finally, they each carry a spark of true Giant Essence inside of them, much like their Jotun ancestors, and while it is a small spark, it does mark them as true giants nonetheless.
A typical goliath is larger than the largest half-orc, and towers above other creatures such as Humans. Unlike with most other races, there is no appreciable difference in height or weight between male and female goliaths. Goliaths have gray skin, mottled with dark and light patches that goliath shamans say hint at a particular goliath's fate. Lithoderms—coin-sized bone-and-skin growths as hard as pebbles—speckle their arms, shoulders, and torso. Their skulls have a jutting eyebrow ridge, wide jaw, and occasional lithoderms as well. Female goliaths have dark hair on their heads, grown to great length and always kept braided. Male goliaths generally have hair only on their limbs. Goliaths' eyes are a brilliant blue or green, and they often seem to glow a little from underneath their furrowed brows. As their most distinctive feature, Goliaths possess mighty horned antlers that sprout from their heads that can reach anywhere from six inches to multiple feet in length, growing larger and more gnarled with age just as with mundane deer or cows. These antlers form unique shapes and formations between Goliaths, and are often grooved and patterned in unique and interesting ways. Their bodies are almost always thick, enormous, and shaggy - better to endure the cold at the high altitudes in which they dwell - and for this reason, their beards are almost always incredibly long and prodigious things, matched only by Dwarves in their length and impressiveness. Female Goliaths can grow beards, but rarely let them grow out and instead have incredibly long and thick hair on their heads, which is easily braided. Because their skin mottling has cultural significance, goliaths generally dress as lightly as possible, displaying their skin patterns for all to see. For the same reason, few goliaths would willingly get a tattoo—to draw on one's skin is tantamount to trying to rewrite one's fate. Goliaths instead decorate themselves with jewelry, often sporting ear, nose, or brow rings. A goliath's lithoderms are also common places to embed a gem or two, since they have few nerve endings and stand out on the goliath's body already.
Genetics and Reproduction
Goliath genetics are a fusion of both Men, Dwarves and Jotun, and they have elements of both in them. Taking the best of all races, they are both stable and hardy creatures that possess a strong sense of family like dwarves, but like Jotun they possess an incredibly strong virility without the powerful sex drive and emotional response of their Jotun ancestors. Goliaths reproduce through Sexual Reproduction, and are capable of mating with most any creature biologically speaking. Once impregnated, Goliath females carry their children inside of them for barely longer than 3 months before giving birth - this quick birth and rapid gestation is attributed to their mysterious chimeric origins. However, it is difficult for Goliaths to reproduce - similar to Forest Elves, Goliaths have a low fertility rate and their couplings produce children only 15-20% of the time, and even then the child has a 30-40% chance to come out malformed and twisted - an abomination most usually put out of its misery in Goliath Villages, with heavy hearts and souls. This low fertility rate is once again attributed to their chimeric natures, which makes it easy for them to couple with other races but hard for those couplings to produce viable offspring. Goliaths instead rely on their long natural lifespans to maintain their numbers, as they can live for up to a few centuries unless they die in combat or physical violence.
Growth Rate & Stages
Once born, Goliath children grow to adulthood in much shorter periods than most races, and are considered mature adults by age 12. They hit middle age around age 110, old age around age 180, and become venerable around age 225 and die shortly thereafter, with the oldest Goliaths managing to live up to the ancient age of 300. As they hit adulthood at age 12, Goliath children are taken under the wing of their tribe's Shamans and taught the ways of their people, and are brought up learning the extensive lore and history of both their individual tribe and of their people as a whole as the tribe's shamans read their mottled skin's patterns to divine their fate. Once they spend several years learning beneath the watchful eyes of their tribe's shamans, Goliath are sent out to learn beneath the tutelage of a specific full-grown warrior of their tribe who, by tribe law, cannot be their biological parent. They spend years learning and growing with this warrior, and learning the ways of the tribe alongside them, and once this warrior decides their charge is ready and has learned all they can teach, they are declared true adults and given their first third name to reflect the unique way in which they earned the approval of their trainer, or some special event that defined their early life. Because of this intense training, many Goliaths are not considered "true" adults until nearly age 22, ten years after maturity. Once they reach this age, they are inducted into their tribe and are given a position that most suits their personality...for more wild and adventurous Goliath, they are assigned to the tribe's scouts and allowed to range outside the village on adventures and quests, returning occasionally to drop off supplies and other gear to their home. Others might be assigned to the tribe's warriors, others still the tribe's shamans and mystics if they show magical talent, and so on.
Ecology and Habitats
Goliaths are creatures most at home in mountainous areas, rocky hills, and other high-altitude areas. They prefer such extremes to avoid contact with outsiders and other species as much as possible, and their villages are often found in almost inaccessible places along mountainsides unless one has the nimbleness and dexterity of a Goliath. They are incredibly shamanistic, and Goliath revere the stone itself around them as much as they do the life that walks upon it, and follow a very cyclic and wasteless culture. They take what is needed from the surroundings, and often "listen to the stone" for omens and signs of how to act and how to live their lives as well as what to hunt or where to go.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Goliath are omnivores, and can devour most edible things both meat-wise and plant-wise. They are patient, experienced hunters who work in pairs to bring down their prey, and they tend to store their food in cool stone caves near their villages.
Much like their Jotun Ancestors, as the years pass for Goliath, their muscles and bodies begin to break down and decay and, soon as age begins to claim them they become incredibly infirm and soon incapable of most physical activity, though their minds oddly remain keen as ever no matter how old they become. When they come close to death and feel it draws near, Goliath often rise and embark on one final journey, one final "fight", that ends with their bodies hardening and petrifying into solid stone, their skin turning stone grey and their bodies hardening as they turn into nothing more than lifeless stone statues...in this way, Goliath graveyards are frequently dubbed "Stone Forests" by outsiders, who see the towering statues of Goliath long dead and gape in awe at the beauty and somber silence that hangs about such places. These Stone Graveyards are highly revered by Goliath, and only the rarest and most esoteric of Goliath forgo this practice and request to have their stone bodies crushed or torn apart and entombed within the stone of a mountain or rocky area that was significant to them in life. The Goliath themselves believe that the burial or similar destruction of a corpse of their kind will serve the same purpose and ferry them to the afterlife, but will do so painfully, and will cause them undo grief. They instead believe that leaving the bodies of their dead standing as a memorial to the past keeps their history alive, and allows future Goliath to travel to these places to try and commune with the statues of their ancestors for guidance and support. In tough times, after a long while, or when space become a premium in these Stone Forests, Goliath will begin to somberly break apart and bury their solidified dead, starting from the oldest to the newest by bringing them to the place of their birth, or another stone area that held significance to them, and fusing their stone remains with the surrounding rock. This way, they believe, the souls of the dead will be allowed to finally return to the stone from which all Goliath are born and continue their journey onwards into eternity.
Female goliaths have dark hair on their heads, grown to great length and always kept braided. Goliaths' eyes are a brilliant blue or green, and they often seem to glow a little from underneath their furrowed brows. Goliaths are notorious for their beards, which are almost always incredibly long and prodigious things, matched only by Dwarves in their length and impressiveness. Female Goliaths can grow beards, but rarely let them grow out and instead have incredibly long and thick hair on their heads, which is easily braided.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Goliath are almost exclusively found in the mountainous regions of the world, and are almost never found outside of them unless they choose to leave and go adventuring, are exiled, or go as part of their tribe's scouts.
Goliath are believed to be less intelligent than baseline humanity, but this is factually untrue - their simple lifestyles simply put more emphasis on wisdom than intelligence, and they have the same capacity to learn as humans do.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Goliath eyes are capable of seeing nearly twice as far as Humans in conditions of low-light, and they have heightened perceptions such that they are capable of analyzing and taking in the details of their surroundings in a span measured in milliseconds and even microseconds, allowing them to take in a room in an eyeblink, or analyze their surroundings during treacherous clifftop jumps or while navigating dangerous mountaintop paths.
Civilization and Culture
Goliath Names are wholly unique amongst the races of Zheng-Kitar, and are generally personified by a combination of values, as Goliath First Names tend to have wildly different naming schema than their clan names. Goliaths of Zheng-Kitar have 3 names. They start their lives with a first name and a clan name, but once they've come of age, a third name is given related to his or her most impressive deed thus far. This name can change throughout life, both for better and for worse, and a better name could be given when a new deed is more impressive than the previous, or a worse name can be given as a type of punishment. Goliath First Names are characterized between races by short, guttural consonants and vowels such as 'G-', '-eig', '-og', '-ak, '-ahk', '-ag', and 'K', and other short yet biting and guttural names fit well with Goliath society. Female Goliath First Names follow a similar schema, but lean towards more gentle sounds such as 'au', 'u', 'ea', 'vi', or 'eo'. Goliath Clan names can be as varied as the stars in the sky, but have a very tribal feel to them and typically describe the conditions the tribe lives in or most often sees, such as 'Lavaflow', 'Stonetorc', 'Warmaker', 'Peacebond', 'Aleflow', and similar names. Goliath third names can easily be mistaken for titles, but are treated with high levels of respect and veneration amongst the Goliath peoples, as to have a third name is to have proven oneself in life. Examples of these include 'Strongjaw', 'Stonebreaker', 'Rockfriend', 'Longleaper', etc. Goliath First Names: Grog, Sieg, Gurt, Geis, Kron, Logrun, Venahk, Kogak, etc... Goliath Clan Names: Lavaflow, Stonetorc, etc... Goliath Third Names: Strongjaw, Stonebreaker, Farshot, Rockspeaker, Mountainleaper, etc…
Goliath are not a plentiful people, but are numerous enough that they need no conservation. They are rarely seen outside of their mountain and other high altitude villages and citadels, as they rarely venture down out of the mountains or hills.
8.2ft - 11.8ft (2.5m - 3.6m)
360lbs - 445lbs (163kg - 201kg)
A typical goliath is larger than the largest half-orc, and towers above other creatures such as Humans. Unlike with most other races, there is no appreciable difference in height or weight between male and female goliaths. Lithoderms—coin-sized bone-and-skin growths as hard as pebbles—speckle their arms, shoulders, and torso. Their skulls have a jutting eyebrow ridge, wide jaw, and occasional lithoderms as well. Their bodies are almost always thick, enormous, and shaggy - better to endure the cold at the high altitudes in which they dwell - and for this reason, their beards are almost always incredibly long and prodigious things, matched only by Dwarves in their length and impressiveness. Female Goliaths can grow beards, but rarely let them grow out and instead have incredibly long and thick hair on their heads, which is easily braided.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Goliath skin is typically stone grey or light brown, with varying degrees of darkness or lightness. Goliaths' eyes are typically brilliant gem-like colors, and they often seem to glow a little from underneath their furrowed brows. Their hair is often ginger, brown, black, or other darkish colors - and is almost always thick and easily braided.
Fearsome Horned GiantsNow, they exist as a reclusive breed of Giants which are not so unknown nor as feared as the Giants of the Frozen North such as the Jotun or Dai-Yukai, but instead treated with a mixture of fear and respect - they can be found rarely in towns, and the locations of their villages are often known to nearby settlements - if only as a place to avoid if possible. They have mostly developed a history of non-interference with other races, but their legacy is one that cannot be denied, as they have proven themselves time and again on the field of war, politics, and more - and though their numbers are small, their overwhelming power more than makes up for their low numbers, as a single Goliath Warrior is more than match for a dozen human soldiers - and is as strong and mighty as an ox.
A people misunderstoodAnd prove themselves the ancient Goliath did, in spades. Contests of strength were performed, warriors dueled, and Goliath and Dwarf sat side by side around a fire exchanging stories about their lives - and found they were not entirely too different. The drinks shared by ancient Goliath and Dwarf set the stage for the bond between these races that has endured into the present - both races respect each other immensely, and Dwarves often claim Goliaths to be 'The only breed of giant not worth killing' - a true testament to their racial friendship. Other races, however, view the goliaths with a mixture of fear and respect still, not understanding their tribal, violent, head-knocking and bravado filled culture and mislabeling them as murderous giants.