Learn about the dual-minded Kalashtar
What are the Kalashtar?
The Kalashtar are humanoids with an appearance similar to Elves, but who share their mind with another being known as a Quori. The Quori come from the plane of dreams (Dal Quor) but were forced to flee their home from the Dreaming Dark who now rule over this plane. The Quori now co-exist within the minds of the Kalashtar granting them unique abilities and quirks while attempting to co-habit amicably.
Ultimately, the Kalashtar want to help the Quori reclaim their home plane and many work to defeat the Dreaming Dark. This is not the case for all Kalashtar though and the Quori do not enforce their will upon their host allowing the Kalashtar to mostly act independently.
The Kalashtar were first introduced in Eberron: Rising from the Last War and are now a playable race in D&D 5e. Below we’ve explained everything you need to know about this race and how to play as one in D&D.
What makes Kalashtar unique?
Each Kalashtar is host to one Quori and while they often know this Quori by name, often, they have little other interaction with the Quori. The Quori do manifest in the Kalashtar in a number of ways, that grant abilities to their host:
- Basic telepathy
- Resistance to psychic attacks
- Eyes that glow bright when focusing or expressing emotion
- Retention of some instinctive memories from the Quori spirit they host
As beings of goodness, the Quori can often struggle with if their host decides to act less altruistically. In such circumstances, a Quori may choose to influence their host, but will still tend to allow their host autonomy.
Kalashtar features in 5e
|Ability Scores||Wisdom +2, Charisma +1|
|Lifespan||About 80 years|
|Languages||Common, Quori and 1 other|
|Traits||Dual Mind, Mental Discipline, Mind Link, Severed from Dreams|
|Book found in||Eberron: Rising from the Last War|
If you want to play as a Kalashtar, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
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 magical spells and effects that require you to dream, like the Dream spell, but not to spells and effects that put you to sleep, like the Sleep spell.
Kalashtar are known for their innate mental abilities and their resistance to psychic damage. When engaging in combat or social situations, it’s important to leverage these strengths effectively:
Exploit psychic resistance: Kalashtar have innate resistance to psychic damage, so try to anticipate opponents that deal this type of damage and position yourself to mitigate its effects. This can give you an edge against certain enemies like Mind-Flayers or Githzarai.
Utilize mental abilities: Leverage your innate mental abilities to gain advantages in combat. Abilities such as the Mind Link feature can be used to coordinate strategies with your allies, allowing for better placement during fights since they will be able to hear you even above the roar of battle.
The Mind Link ability will also prove helpful during exploration and social settings, enabling you to react quickly, and devise effective strategies on the fly.
Rely on Wisdom: Wisdom is one of the most common saving throws, particularly against conditions like frightened and charmed. The Kalashtar’s in-built advantage on wisdom saving throws makes them a great choice for facing down spell casters or creatures that cause these conditions. Having a Kalashtar in the thick of combat against such creatures will help soak up some of these effects.
Which classes work well for a Kalashtar?
As the rules for the Kalashtar haven’t been updated since the custom origin rules released in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, they come with specific ability score increases. Our guide is focused on the officially published version of the Kalashtar, but you can use the custom origin rules in Tasha’s to give different ability score improvements if you choose.
The biggest factors for class choice for Kalashtar are the natural +2 to their wisdom and +1 Charisma. Then also consider they also have resistance to psychic damage and advantage on wisdom saving throws.
Best classes for a Kalashtar
With the above in mind, we’d recommend using the following classes with the Kalashtar:
Monk: Increased Wisdom directly enhances Monk’s key abilities such as Armor Class and their Ki save DC. This is particularly useful when influencing the roll an opponent needs to make to resist your stunning strike. On top of this, the Kalashtar’s mental fortitude makes them more durable. This is particularly important for monks as martials that lack the durability of fighters and barbarians.
Ranger: Rangers provide specific uses to a party and can be relied for perception and survival checks when exploring, both of which are Wisdom skills. Rangers also use wisdom as their spellcasting ability so are enhanced by a Kalashtar’s natural wisdom. Rangers built for melee combat work particularly well as due to the mental fortitude of Kalashtar.
Cleric: With their emphasis on wisdom, Clerics can benefit from the Kalashtar’s bonuses, using their high wisdom to excel in their divine spellcasting abilities. Similar to other classes, clerics that excel in melee combat or that love to get close to the action with something like spirit guardians work particularly well with a Kalashtar’s mental hardiness.
Druid: Similar to Clerics, Druids rely on wisdom for their spellcasting and connection to nature. The Kalashtar’s wisdom bonus can enhance a Druid’s spellcasting abilities. Similar to a cleric, druids benefit from a bit of mental toughness too when getting stuck into close combat (and these abilities work with wild shape too).
Worst classes for a Kalashtar
While the extra defensive capabilities are nice for any class, wisdom and charisma increases just aren’t useful enough for some classes, especially:
Artificer/Wizard: Both of these classes rely on strong Intelligence to excel, but without an innate bonus to this ability, a Kalashtar wizard/artificer just won’t be optimal. Advantage on wisdom saving throws suggests Kalashtar should be nearer the front of battle putting pressure on the enemy, but this is not normally the suggested tactic for this type of spell caster either (unless playing a battle smith or armorer).
There might be an argument to throw a fighter or barbarian into here too as wisdom and charisma aren’t great options for these classes. However, the mental fortitude of the Kalashtar goes a long way to addressing class weaknesses against many spell types for these classes. They aren’t ideal options, but can still work.
Roleplaying a Kalashtar
As with most other playable races in D&D 5e, there’s a huge amount of variety in the personality and capabilities of the Kalashtar. There are features of the Kalashtar that make them unique to other races that should be considered when roleplaying at your table:
- Shared mind: You share your mind with another entity, a Quori. How is your relationship? What do you know of one another? Do you resent their presence? How does the Quori manifest when it wants to get involved?
- Psychic abilities: Your connection with the Quori grants you psychic abilities. How does this manifest when they are performed (perhaps through glowing eyes or a luminous aura)?
- Relationship with the Quori: You have another mind in your own and while it likely exists relatively unobtrusively, the Kalashtar and Quori can have differences of goals and opinions. Is there any friction between you and your Quori? Do you tend to agree on your path? Do you join the fight against the Dreaming Dark or have you forged your own path?
Exhibiting a deep-rooted empathy and understanding, Kalashtar are known for their compassion and insight into the thoughts and emotions of others. They often display a reserved demeanor, yet their interactions are marked by genuine warmth and sincerity. With an inherent sense of morality, they tend to navigate complex ethical dilemmas with a sense of balance, seeking to uphold principles of justice and harmony. Guided by their innate connection to the Quori, they demonstrate a profound sense of purpose and pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.