Last Updated: April 25, 2022
Kalashtar are a race of humanoids bound to good-aligned spirits from the Dreamlands, the plane where minds travel to when they sleep. The Kalashtar originate in Eberron, seeing their first appearance as a playable race in 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.
With the custom origin rules in place, the Kalashtar becomes an effective option for martial classes who are frequently vulnerable to mind-affecting problems like spells and special abilities which might frighten or charm them, as well as to Psychic damage which is rare but basically impossible for most martial characters to avoid.
Regardless of whether you’re using the custom origin rules or now, the Kalasthar’s capabilities are almost exclusively defensive. While they do provide excellent benefits, they don’t help your character actively do anything (except potentially sneaking around language barriers with telepathy), so be sure that your class features and skills offer enough options to make you useful.
Table of Contents
RPGBOT uses 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. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
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.
The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.
RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
Kalashtar Classes (Customizable Origins)
This section assumes that you’re using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. If you’re not using those rules, scroll down to the next section.
Between spells and infusions, artificers are generally very durable, but they don’t have good Wisdom saves and they don’t have a way to get resistance to psychic damage. The Kalashtar’s additional defenses patch those vulnerabilities.
Barbarians have poor Wisdom saves, and the conditions which target Wisdom saves are typically very problematic for barbarians. Advantage on those saves provides a significant defensive benefit.
Path of the Totem (Bear) offers resistance to every damage type except psychic, so the Kalashtar neatly fits in to fill that defensive gap, making bear totem absurdly difficult to kill.
While people generally worry about their front-line martial characters being frightened or mind-controlled or whatever, bards are just as vulnerable. Advantage on Wisdom saves is a good defensive benefit. Bards can also make excellent use of the Kalashtar’s telepathy, allowing them to serve as a Face without worrying about languages.
Psychic damage is rare and clerics are already great with Wisdom saving throws, so the Kalashtar adds very little.
Psychic damage is rare and druids are already great with Wisdom saving throws, so the Kalashtar adds very little. Telepathy appears to work while using Wild Shape, which is a nice convenience, but not enough to make the build especially effective.
Fighters have poor Wisdom saves, and the conditions which target Wisdom saves are typically very problematic for fighters. Advantage on those saves provides a significant defensive benefit.
Psychic damage is rare and monks are already great with Wisdom saving throws, so the Kalashtar adds very little.
One uncommon damage type isn’t a huge problem for the Paladin and their saves are already great thanks to Aura of Protection and proficiency in Wisdom saving throws, so the Kalasthar adds very little to the Paladin.
Despite their partial dependence on Wisdom, rangers’ Wisdom saves still aren’t great so they face the same vulnerabilities as barbarians and fighters.
The ability to communicate telepathically is nice for a class that typically depends on remaining undetected, and the Kalasthar’s racial telepathy is the best available (there are many telepathic races, almost all of them with unique telepathy mechanics). Advantage on Wisdom saves coupled with the Rogue’s Evasion provides broad defensive coverage. So as long as your Constitution saves are decent you’re very resilient.
Sorcerers aren’t proficient in Wisdom saves like warlocks and wizards, so constant Advantage on those saves is helpful. Otherwise, there’s not much here.
Warlocks are already proficienct in Wisdom saves. Advantage certainly doesn’t hurt, and the Warlock’s saves won’t match a cleric or a druid, but it’s not useful enough to make it a great build.
Wizard are already proficienct in Wisdom saves. Advantage certainly doesn’t hurt, and the Wizard’s saves won’t match a cleric or a druid, but it’s not useful enough to make it a great build.
Kalashtar Classes (Default Rules)
This section assumes that you’re not using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything or the updated version of the race published in Mordenkainen’s Monsters of the Multiverse. If you are using those rules, scroll up to the previous section.
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 cleric. 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.