Kalashtar 5e - Race Dungeons and Dragons

Posted by Andrew E. on

Beloved Imaginary Friends

Kalashtar are intertwined with spirits from the realm of dreams, psionic conduits born of two minds and one body. Like bizarre otherworldly spirit animals, these spirits guide the kalashtar through life, though their voices may only be heard as dreams and felt in the psionic powers they bestow. Kalashtar are telepaths, have the most resilient minds, and have true power within the dream realm. Kalashtars are technically unique to the Eberron setting, but these psionic powerhouses are finding their way into countless 5e campaigns. Focus your energy and follow your quori spirit as we go through everything you need to know.

Kalashtar Culture

Each kalashtar is bound to a quori spirit, a being from the dream realm Dal Quor that normally feeds on the psionic energy that emanates from dreaming mortals. Quori and rather anything from the quasi-real world of Dal Quor has a hard time existing within the material plane, so they must take refuge in mortal minds.

Many quori have done this in service to what they call “The Dreaming Dark”, a shadowy lord of nightmares that rules over Dal Quor. Their intentions are not entirely clear, but they’ve been working for thousands of years, and anyone could become an agent after merely having a bad dream. Most other kalashtar work against the dreaming dark, though some follow “The Path of Light” that vows to fight darkness in all its forms.

Beyond this eternal struggle, the largest kalashtar communities exist high in mountain top temples. The original kalashtars were andaran monks that willingly bonded with quori refugees. Their children were born with fused souls, and the kalashtar became something new rather than a mere vessel and passenger. Their formed culture is one of diligence, meditation, intellectuality, and inner conflict. Kalashtar strive to maintain control of their emotions, but their quori half still remembers the wild chaos of Dal Quor and aches deeply for it. 

However, not all kalashtar have the luxury of a traditional upbringing. Many kalashtar exist throughout Eberron and those orphaned or newly created may have little to no understanding about their spirit half. Those with no training may even see their telepathy and psionic abilities as a curse, their quori spirit always haunting their dreams just at the edge of their understanding.  

 Kalashtar are unique to the Eberron setting so some of their lore and culture is inexorably tied there. However, if you plan on running a kalashtar in another setting you may want to discuss options with your DM. The quori spirit can be replaced with really any ghost or spiritual thing that’s appropriate for the setting, as can the “dreaming dark” with any demon or other dark forces.

Kalashtar Appearance

Kalashtar look more or less human. They often have slightly more angular features and are usually on the tall and thin side but are otherwise pretty standard. Most kalashtar dress and act like monks, which goes well alongside their measured and unemotional demeanor. Kalashtar aren’t unfeeling, but several generations worth of monastic traditions are ingrained within them.

It’s when they get fully focused or emotional that their otherworldly half shows through. When a kalashtar embraces an emotion their eyes glow and you can see the faintest outline of their quori spirit hanging onto them like a glimmer or a shadow. The quori spirit itself is a being of dreams, they are normally invisible but can look like literally anything, though they seem to gravitate towards creatures with a lot of eyes and legs.

When you make a kalashtar character, spend some time designing not only the kalashtar but also their quori spirit. Playing a kalashtar means essentially playing one character with two personalities. Figure out how these two halves interact, are they cohesive most of the time or are they split? Are their motivations the same? Where do they disagree? Was your kalashtar raised in a temple to commune with their spirit or did they grow up on the streets without guidance? 

Kalashtar Names

Like the rest of the kalashtar, their names come in two halves. The first half of a kalashtar name is their personal prefix, or rather the prefix for their human half. The last half is the name of the quori spirit that resides inside them. Both halves of their name tend to be 1-2 syllables and are all typically gender neutral. 

Orphaned kalashtar and those who never learned to commune with their spirit will have human names common in whatever culture they were raised in.

 

Quori Spirit Names: Derra, Ghas, Nere, Ozen, Rai, Reilk, Reth, Shara, Tai, Tash, Ulad, Zon, Zoss.

Kalashtar: Biyaulad, Chizon, Durreilk, Hiztash, Khulad, Konari, Telishara, Tozoss, Vonere, Zederra,

Kalashtar Traits

Your kalashtar character has the following racial traits. 

Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 2 and your Charisma score increases by 1.

Age: Kalashtar mature and age at the same rate as humans.

Alignment: The noble spirit tied to a kalashtar drives it toward lawful and good behavior. Most kalashtar combine strong self-discipline with compassion for all beings, but some kalashtar resist the virtuous influence of their spirit.

Size: Your size is Medium.

Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Dual Mind: You have advantage on all Wisdom saving throws.

Mental Discipline: You have resistance to psychic damage.

Mind Link: You can speak telepathically to any creature you can see, provided the creature is within a number of feet of you equal to 10 times your level. You don’t need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.

When you’re using this trait to speak telepathically to a creature, you can use your action to give that creature the ability to speak telepathically with you for 1 hour or until you end this effect as an action. To use this ability, the creature must be able to see you and must be within this trait’s range. You can give this ability to only one creature at a time; giving it to a creature takes it away from another creature who has it.

Severed from Dreams: Kalashtar sleep, but they don’t connect to the plane of dreams as other creatures do. Instead, their minds draw from the memories of their otherworldly spirit while they sleep. As such, you are immune to spells and other magical effects that require you to dream, like dream, but not to spells and other magical effects that put you to sleep, like sleep.

Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common, Quori, and one other language of your choice.

Most of the kalashtar abilities are pretty simple, but a couple need some careful consideration to figure out their real utility. Let’s go through them one by one and what they’ll mean for your next character.

Ability Score Increase: Classes only really utilize one mental ability score, so the bonus to both Charisma and Wisdom is a bit awkward. You’re best off shooting for a class that utilizes your larger Wisdom bonus such as Clerics, Druids, Monks, or Rangers.  

 Age: Standard human age, nothing special.

 Alignment: Kalashtar literally have a good-aligned spirit whispering in their ear, so they’re bound to be good unless they rebel hard against their upbringing.

 Size: Normal medium size.

 Speed: Average, not a penalty at least.

Duel Mind: No frills, no conditions, just straight permanent advantage on all your Wisdom saves which is one of the most common saving throws. This ability is strong and straightforward, just make a mark next to your wisdom saves so you remember and enjoy neigh-immunity to a lot of spells and magical abilities.

Mental Discipline: Psychic damage isn’t very common, but damage resistances are nice. Try to remember you have it when it comes up.

Mind Link: I find a lot of players misunderstand this ability at first, so while this is expressly telepathy you have a few hoops to jump through. 

Firstly, until you use an action to enable it other creatures can’t talk back to you telepathically. That means that mind link works well for secret conversations work fine if you have time to burn, but it’s rough using it in combat unless you’re just talking one-way without receiving. If you want to have mind link during combat, your best bet is to activate it every hour so that it’ll be active once combat starts.

Secondly, mind link doesn’t work at all for creatures that don’t understand at least one language, you can’t send thoughts, and neither can they.

Finally, at early levels, you’ll have to hug close to your allies to use mind link, once you get to 6th or 7th level though it’ll usually cover a full battlefield.

So, with those limitations in mind, what good is it? Well, it works wonders for passing information silently. In tense situations where you need to be very careful with your information, having a silent conversation can be invaluable. It requires line of sight, so talking through walls and barriers is a no-go. However, at high levels the spell arcane eye can bypass the whole sight problem. 

Mind Link: I find a lot of players misunderstand this ability at first, so while this is expressly telepathy you have a few hoops to jump through.

Languages: Common plus any language is nice, grab whatever you think will be relevant in your campaign. Quori is sadly an extremely rare language even in Eberron and doesn’t exist elsewhere, it’s unlikely to ever come up.

Kalashtar Builds

Kalashtar stats are a tad strange since you’re gaining bonuses to two mental abilities. Any class that uses either Wisdom or Charisma is a good start, but since 5e is so forgiving there aren’t any wrong choices. If you’re interested in optimizing your character, take a look at the following for some build ideas.

Lunar Dreamer 

Kalashtars already have a +2 bonus to Wisdom which is ideal for a druids, but their mind link ability is perfect for them. Mind link doesn’t care about your shape and doesn’t have any sort of verbal or somatic components so you can use it freely while in your animal form. Circle of the Moon druids especially benefit from mind link as they spend a lot of time in animal forms and blowing away that speech barrier solves a ton of problems.

Lucid Drunk

Kalashtar monks are already a flavor win and that +2 Wisdom bonus is exactly what they need. Not many monks can really benefit from that +1 Charisma bonus though, that’s where the Way of the Drunken Master comes in. While drunken master’s don’t explicitly need Charisma, they do gain Charisma (Performance) proficiency and are really incentivized to use it. 

Dream Realm Warden

Rangers may be mainly martial, but they still greatly benefit from the kalashtar’s +2 bonus to Wisdom. Most don’t care about their Charisma score, but the unearthed arcana Fey Wanderer sure does as it needs the high Charisma for numerous checks. Mind link also gives a ranger a ton of more sneaky opportunities as they stalk the shadows silently.

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Last updated: January 27, 2019

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