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Gathlains are a race of half-plant fey native to the world of Golarion, setting of the original version of Pathfinder. They resemble lithe, fey humanoids, almost like elves the size of halflings, but with large wings made up of wood, bark, vines and leaves; thanks to the magic inherent in their bodies, these vegetative wings allow them to fly. When we say gathlains are half-plant, we're not using hyperbole. Gathlains are an asexual species (though they vary from androgynous to male or female-seeming), and thusly they can't reproduce through sexual activity. Instead, the First World is home to huge, magical trees, that cast off massive wooden seeds which drift through the air for hundreds of miles before ultimately landing and hatching into gathlains. These "mother-trees" are the only ways that gathlains can procreate, and so you'd think they'd be particularly protective of them, but as far as we know, they aren't.

Being biologically sexless, though for some reason they do still have libidos and romantic desires, does have its impact on gathlain society. They have little understanding of gender, and less interest in it; the various taboos and traditions about gender-based social roles or partnerships are seen as "quaint" (or, perhaps more accurately, "stupid"). Gathlains do what they want, and any apparent gender they have is no consideration at all - this is most evident in their raucous romances, which are born of melodramatic or fanciful encounters without any concern for what the resultant gender pairing seems to be. They also lack a tradition of gender-based naming, instead striving to make their names interesting on an individual level; known gathlain names include Agollia, Armath, Arnonwy, Brazial, Dwynnen, Eirgara, Finnath, Gummow, Inirha, Marcanth, Nirialu, Sollowy, Tiltiu, and Urhiod.

Even by fey standards, though, gathlain "society" is anarchic at best. Defined by their inquisitiveness and fickle nature, and perhaps because gathlains can't be guaranteed of even encountering others of their own kind, gathlains prefer to integrate into the culture of other races - but such arrangements are always fundamentally temporary, although for a fey "temporary" can mean decades spent together. What little gathlain society there is exists due to their shared love of art, discovery, experimentation, and storytelling; these fey constantly seek new ways to look at the world, and gathlain leaders are often popular explorers followed primarily as idols worth emulating and as sources of intriguing gossip. They readily become adventurers, striving to entertain themselves and sate their immense curiosity about the world around them, which often compels them to migrate to the Material Plane; those who remain in the First World seek the strangest parts of their home plane and try to learn about its most unusual inhabitants. They favor spellcasting classes and skilled classes such as bard or rogue.

Gathlains are known to feel a peculiar fondness for gnomes, and adventuring gathlains often seek to travel with gnomes, or least mingle with their communities for a time. However, gnomes often find gathlains too flighty, foolish, and undisciplined for their tastes.

...Yes, you read that right. These bastards are so mischievous and capricious that even gnomes tend to get fed up with them!

Gathlain first debuted in the Pathfinder Bestiary #4, and then were expanded upon in Ultimate Wilderness.

Pathfinder 1e Stats[edit]

+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 Constitution: Gathlains are quick, with dynamic and engaging personalities, but are rather fragile.
Small: Gathlains are Small and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on combat maneuver checks and to CMD, a +2 bonus on Fly checks, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Normal Speed: Gathlains have a base speed of 30 feet and a fly speed of 40 feet (poor maneuverability).
Low-Light Vision: Gathlains can see twice as far as humans in dim light.
Natural Armor: Gathlains have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—entangle, feather stepAPG (caster level equals the gathlain’s character level).
Languages: Gathlains speak Common and Sylvan. A gathlain with a high Intelligence score can choose from the following languages: Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Halfling, and Orc.

Alternate Racial Traits[edit]

Flighty: Some gathlains are too easily distracted to miss anything going on around them. They gain Perception as a class skill and gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against patterns and effects that cause the fascinated condition.

This replaces natural armor.

Honey Whisperer: Some gathlains keep bees of all sizes, collecting their honey and sometimes even riding the largest of them. They can use Handle Animal and wild empathy to influence vermin as if they were animals with an Intelligence score of 1.

This replaces natural armor.

Intense Curiosity: Some gathlains habitually fixate on someone or something nearby and examine its every detail. When taking 20 on the check, they gain a +4 racial bonus on Perception and Survival checks to find and follow tracks and to predict the weather.

This replaces spell-like abilities.

Otherworldly Gossip: Many gathlains excitedly share every last bit of gossip they can find. These gathlains gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks to gather information and on checks with one Knowledge skill of the gathlain’s choice. Once the choice of Knowledge skill is made, it can’t be changed.

This replaces spell-like abilities.

Soaring Agility: A gathlain whose seed spends a long time drifting through the air before coming to rest grows with a natural aerial agility. Gathlains with this racial trait have Good maneuverability (+4) and gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks originating from at least 20 feet below the gathlain.

This replaces natural armor.

Titled: Certain gathlains play at the games of courtly intrigue that dominate much of First World culture, assuming titles that other fey may or may not recognize. These gathlains treat Bluff, Diplomacy, and Knowledge (nobility) as class skills.

This replaces the feather step spell-like ability.

Tree-Born: Some gathlains take after their tree ancestors, standing more firmly but moving more slowly. They have no Constitution penalty but have a base speed of 20 feet and a fly speed of 30 feet (clumsy maneuverability).

This replaces the penalty to Constitution and alters speed.

Tree Dialect: A rare few gathlains are born with the knowledge of an ancient way of speech that allows them to communicate with trees. Once per day, they can cast speak with plants (trees only) as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to the gathlain’s character level.

This replaces spell-like abilities.


The Races of Pathfinder
Player's Handbook: Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human
Race Guide:
Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
Bestiaries: Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
Adventure Paths: Being of Ib - Kuru
Inner Sea Races: Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
Ultimate Wilderness: Vine Leshy
Blood of the Sea: Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton
Planar Adventures: Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi