Have you ever felt the need to expand your mind? Or perhaps to try and play as someone struggling with multiple minds within you? The Kalashtar might be a step in the right direction. Introduced in Eberron: Rising from the Last War, the Kalashtar are born of two worlds. The struggle to bring their mind into check is so beyond normal human understanding that it barely shows on their face or in interactions they have with others. So, our Kalashtar 5E guide will try and put two minds into one perspective.
Kalashtar 5E Lore
Kalashtar hold within them a spirit, called a Quori, from the plane of dreams. This bond is shared by all Kalashtar, though each one holds a different spirit within them. This causes their eyes to glow bright when expressing emotion or focusing hard, as the spirit aids them in either self-defense or their self-intrigue. However, when not revealing their spiritual side, they look similar to elves or even Half-Elves.
Their bond to the spirit world is not as sturdy as one may seem. The Kalashtar may know the name or nature of the spirit within them, but they have very limited conversations with said spirits. Primarily, Kalashtar draw upon instinctual memories that the Quori provide. The Quori, meanwhile, stays out of the way of the Kalashtar’s motor functions or emotion… But, being permanently possessed does cause the Kalashtar to have some minor quirks or strange behaviors that others might find interesting at best. It also causes the Kalashtar to have natural psychic abilities, such as basic telepathy and resistance to psychic assaults.
The Dream-realm of Dal Quor is no longer safe for the Quori that dwell inside of Kalashtar. It is ruled by evil spirits, which many of the Kalashtar dedicate their lives to trying to shift. By devoting themselves to the Path of Light, they attempt to shift the balance and allow the Quori to return home. However, the Dreaming Dark are a force dedicated to causing nightmares and assassinating Kalashtar whenever they can.
Kalashtar that grow up away from their communities are typically less virtuous than the Quori inside of them demand. This can cause mood swings and internal conflicts, as selfishness is against a Quori’s nature. However, being spirits of dreams, the Kalashtar and Quori must eventually work together, or risk revealing the Quori to the evil nightmares that hunt it.
Kalashtar names, if they grow up in Kalashtar communities, are based on the spirits that dwell in them. For instance, if the Quori’s name is Haled, the Kalashtar’s name might be Nulahaled. These prefixes should be personalized, with rough consonants meaning a tough Kalashtar holds that spirit.
An isolated Kalashtar might be named in the same way a Half-Elf is named in whatever community raised them.
Kalashtar are a bit too unique to have subraces, so we have to deal with what we’ve got! Your DM can shift things around for you, but this is what the writers of the Eberron book have in store for us.
- +2 Wisdom, +1 Charisma. That’s rough! Wisdom is a great stat, benefiting your saving throws and improving the most common skill check in the game. Wisdom saves specifically are really dangerous to fail! Charisma is less useful; Charisma saves are rare, but Charisma skill checks can be very common depending on your party type. Maybe not quite as useful as Perception, though. This is a bad combination to have, though; no class that wants a ton of Wisdom also wants much to do with Charisma. They just don’t mix too well.
- Medium Size, 30 ft Speed. The traditional setup for a race. You’re about the same height and weight as a half-elf, giving you no significant tactical advantages.
- Dual Mind. As I said earlier, Wisdom Saving Throws are by far the most essential saving throw in the midgame or lategame. If you plan on getting to around level 6 or so, you’ll reach a point where rolling twice on Wisdom saves will feel great.
- Mental Discipline. Psychic damage is way too hard to find. A few enemies might attack you with it, but those enemies will be few and far between. Still, a resistance is a resistance, and you might be able to tank a spell that you couldn’t otherwise with this. That’s worth something.
- Mind Link. One of the more impressive racial telepathies. The range is short, but you get to allow the target to talk back to you. That’s worth a lot, and lets you make plans with your party or NPCs without too much effort. This is like having a permanent spell effect on you! However, remember that you can get responses from one person at a time… though you can still talk with as many people as you’d like.
- Severed from Dreams. One of the most minor racial features possible. If you’re specifically getting targeted by someone who really wants to try the Nightmare spell, then sure. But… You’re not even resistant to sleep effects or anything! This is great flavor, but not important mechanically… At all!
- Languages. Quori is basically Kalashtar-only, unless your DM has a Quori campaign set up for you. The free language should fill in holes for your party, be based on where you lived in your backstory, or a really common language. Great languages to choose are things like Sylvan, Draconic, Celestial, or even basic stuff like Dwarven or Giant.
Unsurprisingly, the Kalashtar is built to be a caster. They have an immense focus on two class options… but, they aren’t too bad for a few other classes.
Good Classes for Kalashtar
- Bard. +1 Charisma is enough to ensure your bard can reach +3 with Standard Array. That means your spells are at maximum effectiveness. That’s great! If that wasn’t enough, you essentially have permanent Tongues on a single target and great mental resistances. The Wisdom isn’t completely wasted; your Bard can be really good at spotting things with Expertise, for instance. It’s not the best bard, but it’s fun.
- Cleric. A much more reasonable choice. The Charisma isn’t perfect, but the +2 Wisdom certainly is. Clerics need to be as prevalent in the battle as possible, so being nearly immune to Wisdom saves is great. Telepathy is good since you’re going to be a major leader on your team, though less important than for Face classes. This is a great choice for a midrange or pure caster build.
- Druid. Like Cleric, Druids love the Kalashtar’s +2 Wisdom… Though the +1 Charisma is only good for being really persuasive with chipmunks and dogs. Telepathy is fine for the Druid, but nothing special. What is special is being resistant as all get-out to Wisdom saves! This is a really great combo, since you can replace your physical stats with Wild Shape.
- Sorcerer. Fine. +1 Charisma is enough, just like Bard. The Wisdom isn’t wasted, you’ll be great against Wisdom DCs, and telepathy works well with a Charisma class. Intimidate people with nothing more than your mind! Far from the best Sorcerer, but still a very good Sorcerer.
- Warlock. Basically a repeat of Sorcerer! Telepathy is not very important for a Warlock, but you can use your Charisma well, and telepathy with Persuasion or Intimidate can be a ton of fun. You do lose a bit of your power, since you don’t care about many racial traits (other than Dual Mind). Still, thanks to your good Charisma, this is a great choice.
Bad Classes for Kalashtar
- Artificer. No Intelligence increase? That’s not great. The Artificer doesn’t benefit much from any racial ability other than Dual Mind, and there are better races for the Artificer with similar abilities (like the Gnome). If you’re looking for optimal, this isn’t it.
- Barbarian. Not Strength, Constitution, or racial traits to help with melee combat? Not the best combo!
- Fighter. No Strength or Dexterity. Telepathy can be fun, and the Dual Mind can combo alright with Indomitable. But… That’s just not worth your bad damage output early on. You have better damage-dealing opportunities.
- Monk. If you’re coming into a campaign at level 3, you might be able to make an Astral Self Monk work fine. But, if you don’t, your low Dexterity is just not going to cut it. If you’re going to make a melee, non-caster Kalashtar, this is your best choice. However… Best doesn’t mean great.
- Paladin. The +1 Charisma can’t carry your lack of Strength or Dexterity. A good class must be able to remove threats from the battlefield. You just don’t have the chance to hit your Smites like you would if you went full Cleric or Warlock and tried to be a frontliner there. Not world-endingly bad, but you have better choices.
- Ranger. Like the Paladin, your +2 Wisdom is great, but not having any firepower support is too rough. You need to be able to take out threats with more than just good DCs on spells when your spell list is not that aggressive, or relies on melee attacks.
- Rogue. The Rogue Kalashtar is neat, but without Dexterity, you’re going to be worse at taking out those important threats. If you really want to try this out, the Inquisitive or Mastermind might be worth some consideration.
- Wizard. No Intelligence boost, you don’t really care about Telepathy… There’s no reason to play a Wizard when Kalashtar make fantastic Clerics and fine Sorcerers. You can have a great time playing a tankier class that you’re more effective with.
Kalashtar have great flavor, but are bottlenecked into caster roles by their stats. You can make them work with some melee classes, but these spirit-filled warriors are best using their innate psychic powers and boosting those up. Try them out for your next Bard, Cleric, or Druid!
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