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True Blue Nerds
Old veterans of the Magic the Gathering multiverse, Ravnica is the first opportunity for D&D players to take up the blue mantle. Vedalken are researchers, seekers of truth, with the complexion of a popular primary color. Studious, logical, and quite often adept at the arcane, vedalken are perfect for bringing some law and order into your next adventuring party. Grab your best research notes and some theoretical physics textbooks as we go through everything you need to know.
Sadly, we don’t have much of the vedalken culture on record, or rather, most of the culture we do know doesn’t apply to the vedalken you’ll actually have an opportunity to play. Most races exist on multiple planes within the Magic the Gathering multiverse, and while vedalken exist on Ravnica they’re not exactly major players there.
What we have for the vedalken is more like a collection of common personality traits rather than any sort of culture or history. Vedalken are perfectionists in everything they do, and they tend to find everything and everyone else as “less than perfect”. This is more of an opportunity for them than a problem, as they constantly work to perfect, complete, and fix the many problems they find in the world. Many people regard them as emotionless; their stoic blue faces rarely betray any hint of emotion. But they do feel just as deeply as other races, they just have difficulty showing it. Vedalken are cool, calm, and collected, and even amidst disaster a vedalken is often the rational voice of reason.
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Vedalken on Ravnica have all those same traits of logic and reasoning, and they tend to get along with the guilds who share some of those sentiments. Usually they’re drawn to the Azorius Senate or the Simic Combine, and rarely they’ll end up in the scientific but uncontrolled laboratories of the Izzet League.
The seemingly endless bureaucracy of the Azorius is easy to understand and strangely appealing to many vedalken. The senate is an institution of logic and rules, even if those rules have been made nigh impenetrable and overly complex. When citizens are summoned into the senate for some ruling or court order it’s quite common to see a vedalken hard at bureaucratic paperwork signing papers in triplicate.
The more idealistic vedalken often find themselves at home in the Simic Combine. The Combine is a place of academia, research, and projects intended to improve both lives and life itself. The Simic has a poor track record when it comes to morality, but their heart or at least their mission statements are in the right place. The clear logic of Simic vedalken is prized, and it’s quite common to find them hard at work in Simic laboratories and habitats. Their dedication to whichever cause or project that catches their imaginations often leads them down the path of self-augmentation, and transformation into Simic Hybrids.
Finally, the Izzet League sometimes calls to those vedalken that have prioritized knowledge itself over the wisdom of seeking it. The Izzet are largely concerned with scientific accomplishment, surviving the experiments is a secondary worry. Izzet vedalken tend to be on the more rational end of the league, wild by vedalken standards but still reliably keeping the lights on and the engines that drive the city turning.
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Picture the “smart aliens” from a random sci-fi movie then turn them blue and you’re most of the way there. Vedalken are largely humanoid, besides their blue skin the most notable outward feature is their lack of external ears. Vedalken are a bit on the tall side at 6 to 6 ½ feet, and tend to have slightly larger heads, with broad flat noses. In a lot of ways, they’re quite similar to firbolgs, again just more blue. At a more detailed level their skin is also strangely porous, and they breathe through their skin.
Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot of variation to play around with when it comes to vedalken, they’re humanoid, blue, and that’s about all you’ve got. You can slide that blue shade from light to dark perhaps, but their base physiology is rather unified. I recommend focusing on your vedalken character’s guild for determining their appearance. An Azorius vedalken may have clerical robes, lawmage rune encrusted armor, or bureaucratic sigils of office dangling from their neck. A Simic vedalken might have minor biological or technological augments integrated into their bodies, or perhaps a simple lab coat hiding a few biologically mutated pets. An Izzet vedalken may dress in flamboyant robes and sparking diodes of their own design, goggle lines still marking the soot from a previous experiment.
Vedalken have single names divided by gender. They are named by their parents but usually pick a new name for themselves as a rite of passage as they reach adulthood.
Male Names: Aglar, Bellin, Dallid, Firellan, Kavin, Koplony, Lomar, Mathvan, Modar, Nebun, Nhillosh, Nitt, Otrovac, Ovlan, Pelener, Rill, Trivaz, Uldin, Yolov, Zataz
Female Names: Azi, Barvisa, Brazia, Direll, Fainn, Griya, Hallia, Katrille, Kovel, Lilla, Mirela, Morai, Nedress, Ossya, Pierenn, Roya, Sestri, Triel, Uzana, Yaraghiya, Zlovol
Your vedalken character has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase: Your Intelligence score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age: Vedalken mature slower than humans do, reaching maturity around age 40. Their life span is typically 350 years, with some living to the age of 500.
Alignment: Vedalken are usually lawful and non-evil.
Size: Tall and slender, Vedalken stand 6 to 6½ feet tall on average and usually weigh less than 200 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Vedalken Dispassion: You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.
Tireless Precision: You are proficient in one of the following skills of your choice: Arcana, History, Investigation, Medicine, Performance, or Sleight of Hand. You are also proficient with one tool of your choice.
Whenever you make an ability check with the chosen skill or tool, roll a d4, and add the number rolled to the check’s total.
Partially Amphibious: By absorbing oxygen through your skin, you can breathe underwater for up to 1 hour. Once you’ve reached that limit, you can’t use this trait again until you finish a long rest.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common, Vedalken, and one other language of your choice.
Vedalken aren’t terribly complex, simple, but good. To understand why, let’s go through each trait one at a time and break down what they’ll mean for your character.
Ability Score Increase: +2 to Intelligence and +1 to Wisdom. This is a rare “double mental stat” race, which pushes you fairly hard into casters, particularly Artificers and Wizards.
Age: This is a big chunky lifespan that can easily include some otherwise “historical” events. Feel free to play around with your age as a venerable 450-year old or as a “young buck” under 100.
Alignment: Very little fluff on this one, just straight-up lawful and usually non-evil. This shouldn’t be a problem for most builds you’re most likely to make as a vedalken, but it does make justifying a vedalken barbarian even harder.
Size: A bit on the tall side but otherwise standard medium size.
Speed: Normal 30-foot movement, not a huge boon but doesn’t hurt either.
Vedalken Dispassion: Dang, just dang. This is powerful and is the race’s primary trait. There’s not a ton to discuss about it either, it just works, and makes you substantially more resistant to every mental effect. This is generally a passive thing, but also consider taking the lead on traps and encounters where mental saves are common, since you’ll be so much better at resisting them.
Tireless Precision: Free proficiencies are great, and this takes it a step further, making you essentially a “specialist” in one skill and one tool. They give you some excellent options here, picking thieves tools especially (since most “artisan” tools rarely get used) can make you the party safecracker all on its own.
Partially Amphibious: Essentially this works as an hour of water breathing per day. Note that this doesn’t grant you a swim speed, just stops you from drowning for an hour. Remember you have this to fall back on when selecting spells, you can likely skip water breathing.
Languages: Common, Vedalken, and another one of your choice. Vedalken is extremely obscure and is unlikely to ever come up. Use that language choice to nab whatever seems likely to come up in your next adventure.
5e is easy to work with, and even if you create a “sub-optimal” character it’ll still function and work just fine alongside the power builds. Nothing you create will be “wrong”, but it may not utilize the abilities you gain to their full potential. If you’re interested in creating a vedalken character that makes the best use of their innate abilities, the following build concepts are a good starting point:
Azorius Guildmage (Tough Wizard)
Vedalken with their bonuses to both Intelligence and Wisdom are uniquely equipped to pull off Cleric/Wizard multiclassing. I recommend making Intelligence your highest stat, and getting Wisdom up to at least 13, and strangely Strength up to 13 as well. Take your first level as a cleric with the forge domain and take all future levels as a wizard and select the school of abjuration. Forge domain is granting you a complement of cleric spell slots for healing, heavy armor proficiency, and proficiency with shields, and an ability that grants your armor a bonus point of AC. The school of abjuration gets you a ward that has a hit point maximum equal to twice your wizard level + your Intelligence modifier that can take hits instead of you. Put on some chainmail and grab a shield. Now put it all together and at 3rd level (1 cleric level/ 2 wizard levels) you have a caster with AC 19, 7 free temporary hit points, and access to healing spells. That’s one tough wizard!
Simic Researcher (Smart Druid)
Circle of the shepherd is probably the most thematically appropriate here, but really any druid will do. Druid spellcasting and animal transformation strategies share a common weakness in Charisma saving throws. A charmed or frightened druid is unlikely to be any use at all. Vedalken dispassion neatly covers this weakness, and while the Intelligence bonus isn’t fully utilized, the Wisdom is still needed here, and a Vedalken druid will sail right through a lot of effects that would send other druids spiraling.
Izzet Guildmage (Explosive Artificer)
In all fairness, any vedalken wizard or artificer build will be a winner. The +2 bonus to Intelligence is amazing in both cases, and the vedalken dispassion makes you incredibly resilient to most mental effects. One of the best combinations as a vedalken though is to take the Izzet engineer background and taking levels in artificer. Artificers suffer in dealing damage output for their first few levels, and the Izzet engineer background uniquely grants you access to some powerful spells (mostly chaos bolt). Then simply select the artillerist specialty and start blowing stuff up. Still though, any vedalken wizard or artificer build here will do wonders.
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Last updated: January 27, 2019
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