Learn all about the water genasi
The genasi are descendants of genies that have reproduced with a mortal. Not all genasi have a genie as a parent, some will have been born from 2 genasi parents, others will have dormant genie genes (which is quite a mouthful) from some ancestor that has only materialised with their birth. Whatever the circumstances though, the genasi are art mortal and part genie creatures.
But just as there are different types of genies, there are also different types of genasi depending on their lineage. In the case of the Water Genasi, they are descended from the marids. With this comes a resilience and an affinity with the element of water; powers they can harness to their own benefit.
What are the Water Genasi?
The Water Genasi are individuals with the blood of the marids flowing through their veins as well as that of mortals. In some rare circumstances, a Water Genasi can be created through a phenomenon of water elemental power that might affect a mortal offspring, transforming them into a genasi.
With their mixed lineage, the Water Genasi are born with aspects relating to both their lineages. From their marid aspects, they gain attributes of the elements of the water such as blue or green skin, large eyes and flowing hair. Water genasi tend to be proportionally heavier than most other mortals too. A Water Genasi also gains powers related to their marid lineage such as the ability to hold their breath, having resistance to acid and the ability to cast spells innately that control water.
From their mortal parents, a water Genasi may acquire all sorts of features depending on what kind of mortal the marid mated with. The genasi child of a an elf might have pointed ears while the genasi child of a halfling might appear shorter. While not common creatures, the genasi that do exist tend to be hugely varied in appearance for this reason.
Like many half-breeds, the Water Genasi often live their lives as outcasts having no true home and with the marid generally uninterested in raising their own children. Often, the Water Genasi find themselves living on the edges of society, particularly those with more unusual appearances. There are, however, throughout the planes, those that revere creatures of elemental powers and some genasi can find themselves in high regard in such societies. Others do go to their marid parents to live in the elemental plane of water to serve within a marid household, though this tends to be rare.
Despite the usual habitations of the Water Genasi, some do find there way into communities of genasi while others live within the large cities where many with an unusual nature are largely not eschewed due to the more cosmopolitan nature of such cities.
Playing D&D as an Water Genasi
As with any race, the Water Genasi have a wide variety of personalities and attributes meaning you can play an Water Genasi however you like. You may however, want to consider aspects of your past and your lineage that shape who you are such as:
- Who are your family? – Are you the offspring of 2 genasi or the child of a marid. If you’re the child of a marid, how do you feel about your powerful, but likely uncaring marid parent?
- How do you feel about your differences? – Chances are, you know few creatures that are similar to you, and even if you came from a community of genasi, you may find yourself among many other creatures that are not like you. How do you view your differences to others? Are you proud of your heritage? Ashamed perhaps?
- How has society treated you? – Where you’ve grown up may affect how you’ve been treated and may impact your personality. Did you grow up among other genasi or were you the only one for miles? How did other people treat you? Did they shun you or admire your differences, or were they indifferent? How did these things impact your outlook on life and your personality? Do you hide who you are or have you overcompensated with a brashness to your personality?
Water Genasi Features in 5e
|Ability Scores||+2 to one ability score and +1 to another or +1 to 3 different ability scores|
|Size||Medium or Small|
|Speed||30ft (walking and swimming)|
|Traits||Acid Resistance, Amphibious, Call to the Wave, Darkvision|
|Book found in||Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse|
If you want to play as a water genasi, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
Water Genasi Traits
Darkvision – You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can only see colours in darkness as shades of grey though.
Acid Resistance – You have resistance to acid damage.
Amphibious – You can breathe air and water.
Call to the Wave – You know the acid splash cantrip. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast the water walk spell and at 5th level, can cast the create or destroy water spell, both without requiring material components. You can only do this once until you’ve completed a long rest. You can also cast this spell using any spell slots you have of 2nd level or higher. You can use intelligence, wisdom or charisma as your spellcasting modifier (you choose when you create your character).
Which classes are good for Water Genasi?
With Monsters of the Multiverse allowing playable races to choose any ability score to improve, the benefits of playing an Water Genasi come down to its traits. While Acid Resistance and Darkvision are decent allowing you to see in the dark and take less acid damage (though acid damage is rare), but the innate spellcasting options are fairly poor.
Acid Splash is a decent cantrip, but if you’re a spellcaster, you’ll likely want to take a better cantrip. Water Walk and Create and Destroy Water are very situational and maybe decent in those situations, but aren’t going to get used a lot unless you’re playing in an aquatic themed adventure.
Best classes for Water Genasi
A bard is probably your best option for the Water Genasi. They get very little in the way of attack spells so Acid Splash may be valuable to them and the other 2 spells don’t appear on their spell list so could be useful if playing in a seafaring campaign or somewhere else with plenty of water. Darkvision and Acid Resistance are generally useful so decent options to have.
Paladins also gain a decent bit from the spells available as Acid Splash gives them a ranged option and if at sea, the other spells are useful too. As a melee character, you’ll also benefit from Acid Resistance more than most (but maybe not a huge amount) and Darkvision is universally handy.
With limited spells available and gaining spells not on your spell list, Warlocks stand to gain a decent amount from being a Water Genasi. You might argue that Acid Splash is a little redundant with Eldritch Blast available, but they have their uses in a water based campaign. Darkvision and Acid Resistance should provide as much benefit to you as to other classes.
Worst classes for Water Genasi
Most other classes gain little from a Water Genasi’s abilities with there being so many other races with Darkvision and a bunch with better resistance than acid resistance. Classes that operate well out of combat like rogues and rangers gain little benefit to complement their skills from things like Water Walk and Create and Destroy Water. Unless you’re keen on the Water Genasi for thematic reasons, we’d suggest that there are better options for a well-optimised character build.