With Eberron: Rising from the Last War coming out, many of the long anticipated races have finally become official, no longer requiring the OK from your DM when you want to be a robot or the bard that never looks the same twice. We can now officially play the Changeling, Kalashtar, Warforged, and Shifter, and Wizards was even nice enough to throw in a new race, the Orc of Eberron! However, all of these races have changed considerably from their Unearthed Arcana counterparts. Let’s have a look at two of these races to start off, the Changeling and the Kalashtar.
One of the most anticipated races from Eberron, the Changeling provides an amazing race for anyone looking to play a deceptive, sneaky, ever changing race. Masters of intrigue and disguise, the class itself reflects this in many ways. Changelings provide us with yet another race that increases your Charisma score by 2, but also allow you to increase an ability score of your choice by 1! This allows for very versatile characters, as Charisma is a very solid stat in fifth edition. It serves as the spellcasting ability for FOUR classes – Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer, and Warlock – and greatly benefits classes such as the Rogue, who often rely on deception and persuasion to weasel their way out of crime. Speaking of those two skills, Changeling Instincts allows you to gain proficiency in two, that’s right, TWO face skills, choosing from Deception, Insight, Intimidation, and Persuasion. Free skills are hard to say no to, and allow you to safely pick skills such as arcana for your Sorcerer/Warlock, stealth for your Bard/Rogue, or athletics for your Paladin. Changelings also learn Common and TWO other languages, further reinforcing the role of a party face should you choose to play a Changeling.
Despite all of this, we haven’t even gotten into the main draw of a Changeling, its namesake ability – Shapechanger. As an action, you can completely change your appearance and voice. You can determine the specifics of the change, including coloration, hair length/color, and sex. You can adjust your height and weight, but not to the point of becoming a small/large race. Your statistics stay the same, but for all intents and purposes, you adopt all the physical traits of what you turn into. Unlike the Disguise Self spell, it is not an illusion. If you turn into say, a sahuagin, you gain the physical fins, and someone who tries to determine it is an illusion will be met with a slimy fin. Now, you don’t need me to tell you how crazy awesome this ability is. It’s difficult to put into words how useful this ability can be in so many different situations. You can make amazingly elaborate backstories based off of just this race alone, and coupling it with a class you love will create a memorable character (or characters!) for any campaign.
Perhaps the race I personally am most interested in, the Kalashtar is a compound race, formed from the union of humanity and the renegade spirits from the plane of dreams. Though wise and empathetic, Kalashtar are easily distinguished and have an alien quality to them, and similarly to the changeling, this is reflected in their class! While their UA version gave them a +1 to Strength, Wisdom and Charisma, their official release makes them only the second class – first being the firbolg – to gain a Wisdom increase of 2! They also receive a Charisma increase of 1, leading to a strange stat combination. While the +2 to Wisdom is greatly appreciated by the likes of monks, clerics, and druids, they often do not utilize that extra point in Charisma. Likewise, many classes that are Charisma dependent would rather place a +2 into another stat, often a physical one to help balance them out. Nevertheless, I personally love the stat increases of the class, as they allow for very interesting characters that you’d otherwise not see very often.
Kalashtar come in with a bang with their Dual Mind feature, giving you advantage on ALL of your Wisdom saving throws. With Wisdom being one of the most common saving throws in the game, this ability ROCKS. It’s great for every single class, as being able to roll two dice instead of one to escape that hold person, slow, or other debilitating effect. Mental Discipline gives you resistance to psychic damage. Though not very common, psychic damage can be terrifying whenever it comes into play, so being able to resist that is a definite plus. Mind Link is the defining feature of the Kalashtar, allowing you to speak telepathically to any creature within a number of feet equal to your level times 10, provided they understand at least one language. You can allow the creature to reply with an action, but you can only commune this way with one creature at a time. Still, any form of telepathy is highly valued, as it can help you to escape from many sticky situations, have a secret conversation in front of guards… the possibilities are endless. Lastly the Kalashtar gain the Severed from Dreams ability, being immune to spells that require dreams (for example, the Dream spell!). Very rarely will you see this come into play and it feels like a fluff ability but… still cool! Though maybe not the race optimizers will look at, Kalashtar can create a beautiful dynamic and end up creating very wise characters that your party will look up to.
That’s it for today folks! I didn’t want to bog all of you down with an insanely long article with all of the races, so we will continue covering the races in another article. Which race are you most excited to play? Got any great character ideas lined up for one of these races? Let us know! As always, thank you so very much for reading and we value each and every one of you!