DnD 5e - The Kalasthar Handbook
Last Updated: July 25th, 2020
I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances.
- : Good options.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.
I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can't assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won't cover Unearthed Arcana content because it's not finalized, and I can't guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.
Kalashtar are a race of humanoids bound to good-aligned spirits from the Dreamlands, the plane where winds travel to when they sleep. The Kalashtar originate in Eberron, seeing their first appearance as a playable race in Races of Eberron back in DnD 3.5 in the Races of Eberron supplement.
Kalashtar's racial traits center around the mind, including increases to Wisdom and Charisma, Advantage on Wisdom saves, resistance to psychic damage, and limited telepathy. While these capabilities are powerful, they also pigeon-hole the Kalashtar into spellcasting classes.
No Intelligence increase.
Resistance to psychic damage seems really exciting for the Berserker because you can have resistance to all damage. Unfortunately, that's not enough to make you a good barbarian.
While the Kalasthar's Charisma increase isn't as good as their Wisdom increase, +1 is still plenty for any full spellcaster. The Kalashtar's telepathy offers a unique tool, especially for a bard that does a lot of sneaking, infiltration, or other subterfuge.
The Kalashtar's Wisdom increase and their defensive traits work great for the Cleric. Between high Wisdom, proficiency, and Advantage on Wisdom saving throws you're all but guaranteed to pass Wisdom saves.
The Kalashtar makes a great druid for the same reasons that they make a great druid. Additionally, since their racial traits are all mental rather than physical they persist while using Wild Shape. For example: you can use Mind Link while using Wild Shape, allowing you to communicate effectively without reverting to your normal form.
No increases to physical ability scores.
The Wisdom increase helps, but it's not enough to make you a good monk and none of the Kalashtar's other traits meaningfully support the Monk. This is probably the Kalashtar's best non-spellcaster class option, but it's still a very hard choice, which is unfortunate because thematically I think a kalashtar monk would be very interesting.
The Charisma bonus is not enough on its own. The Paladin is likely the Kalashtar's best martial class option, but it's still a bad option.
Without a Strength or Dexterity increase, the Ranger is a really difficult option. Wisdom adds to your spellcasting, but without an ability increase to support your damage output and Stealth you'll fall behind on some of the class's biggest functions.
Without a Dexterity increase, the Rogue is a difficult option. Still, Telepathy and a Wisdom increase are an interesting option for rogue subclasses like the Inquisitive which emphasize Dexterity-based options less.
While the Kalasthar's Charisma increase isn't as good as their Wisdom increase, +1 is still plenty for any full spellcaster. Sorcerers don't tend to be stealthy, but you can rely on magical invisibility and telepathy to remain undetected in combat and still support your allies. If you use Sublte Spell and spells which don't make attacks or require saves, you can remain invisible for long periods and still be effective by supporting your allies or acting indirectly.
While the Kalasthar's Charisma increase isn't as good as their Wisdom increase, +1 is still plenty for any full spellcaster. Telepathy is a neat option, but warlocks aren't skill-heavy like the bar so stealth is less of an option (though it is still an option) and with limited spell slots you can't make invisibility a go-to tactic like the Bard or the Sorcerer could. The Warlock is still a good option, but it lacks the synergies between racial traits and class features which make the Bard a great option.
No Intelligence increase.