Goliath Race Guide 5e: Story and Abilities of Reclusive Nomads

Last Updated on October 31, 2023

Goliath Features, Abilities and Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
  • Age. Goliaths have lifespans comparable to humans. They enter adulthood in their late teens and usually live less than a century.
  • Alignment. Goliath society, with its clear roles and tasks, has a strong lawful bent. The Goliath sense of fairness, balanced with an emphasis on self-sufficiency and personal accountability, pushes them toward neutrality.
  • Size. Goliaths are between 7 and 8 feet tall and weigh between 280 and 340 pounds. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Natural Athlete. You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.
  • Stone’s Endurance. You can focus yourself to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
  • Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
  • Mountain Born. You have resistance to cold damage. You’re also acclimated to high altitude, including elevations above 20,000 feet.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant.

Stone’s Endurance is the stand-out here. You can simply decide to take less damage. Just roll a dice and subtract the number from any incoming damage.

I used this all the time on my Goliath Barbarian. It’s absolutely a game-changer ability.

What D&D 5e Classes Are Good for the Goliath

Goliaths are strong and sturdy people, and as such make great fighters or barbarians.

Barbarian – Wonderful spread of stats for barbarian. Everything about this race reflects this class’s build. Stone’s endurance will be a great addition to any build.

As I mentioned, I played a Goliath Barbarian in the Sunless Citadel campaign a while back. Here he is on DnDBeyond.

You can see how I specced him out.

Fighter – For any strength-based fighter this is a great choice. Athletics proficiency is going to free up some space in your class based proficiencies.

Goliath Appearance: General Looks Found Among Them

It is said that a goliath looks as if they were carved from a mountain face. Goliaths stand above most other races, between 7 and 8 feet tall.

Their skin is often the pale brown or grey of stone and is just as solid. 

Looking at a goliath, one might assume that tattoos hold a rich piece of their tradition, however, most goliaths will never allow tattoo ink to come close to their skin.

The dark lines that cover their bodies are part of their natural appearance. 

These often symmetrical markings do hold a place in their belief system, and are thought to hold the truth to an individual’s destiny. 

Goliaths also have small protrusions of bone over the whole of their bodies, most notably along their shoulders, arms, and legs.

These protrusions are called lithoderms, and look like small coin-shaped plateaus across the rippling mountain range of muscle a goliath is built out of. 

Goliath Names

Goliath naming tradition provides individuals with three names. Their birth name is given by their parents, and like the rest of their tradition, does not reflect gender in the least.

Typically this name is simple, up to three syllables long, and composed of harsh consonants and short vowels. 

The second name is a nickname or an honor-based name given by elders of the tribe or the tribe chieftain. These names reflect the deeds or accomplishments of an individual.

Naturally, these names change over time when a goliath conquers some new task and their life or does something otherwise notable. Goliaths also carry this tradition to relationships they make with people of other races they meet.

If a character in your party slays a dragon you may refer to them as Dragonslayer, or Wyverndeath. 

The final name a goliath carries is their clan or family name, often five syllables or more and ending in a vowel.

Birth Names: Aukan, Eglath, Gae-Al, Gauthak, Ilikan, Keothi, Kuori, Lo-Kag, Manneo, Maveith, Nalla, Orilo, Paavu, Pethani, Thalai, Thotham, Uthal, Vaunea, Vimak

Nicknames: Bearkiller, Dawncaller, Fearless, Flintfinder, Horncarver, Keeneye, Lonehunter, Longleaper, Rootsmasher, Skywatcher, Steadyhand, Threadtwister, Twice-Orphaned, Twistedlimb, Wordpainter

Clan Names: Anakalathai, Elanithino, Gathakanathi, Kalagiano, Katho-Olavi, Kolae-Gileana, Ogolakanu, Thuliaga, Thunukalathi, Vaimei-Laga

The Story of the Reclusive Goliath People 

It is said that a group of humans once climbed the Columns of the Sky to seek answers from their Gods, and in doing so became the first of the nomadic Goliath race.

Others believe that this race is descended from stone giants or earth genasi.

While the true origin of the Goliath people is a mystery, their culture is set in the stone of the mountains they call home.

Goliaths are a nomadic people, living life among the mountain peaks and allowing fate to take them where they need to be.

Competition being perhaps chief among these, a goliath strives to be the best possible version of themselves for the good of the tribe. Success is looked upon with great honor and pride.

Failure is avoided at all cost, although it is used as a tool to strive for further improvement. 

As such, goliaths love to win, but never at the expense of an unfair advantage. Almost as a code, goliaths seek to maintain a level playing field with any opponents.

They tend to look down upon any sort of monarchy with arbitrarily chosen leaders. 

Their gender roles, or lack thereof, reflect this opinion as well, and they see no innate difference between genders when it comes to the responsibilities they carry in society.

With all of the emphasis on greatness, it’s no surprise that goliaths look down upon the weak. Those who cannot pull their weight, whether due to permanent injury, old age, or what have you, are left behind.

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