Vedalken are a race of partially-amphibious, blue-skinned humanoids resembling earless humans in body paint. Introduced in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, vedalken have a cultural drive to pursue improvement toward perfection. They tend to be rational and private, and are driven toward intellectual pursuits like history, medicine, and picking pockets for some reason.
Mechanically, the Vedalken is an excellent option if you want to play a clever spellcaster, but they lack anything to support a class which uses weapons. Their ability increases are in Intelligence and Wisdom, and no class can make use of both (disregarding skills). Beyond that, they match the Gnome’s Gnome Cunning feature, providing significant protection against many spells, and Partially Amphibious largely removes the need for spells like Water Breathing. Perhaps most notable is Tireless Precision, which offers a proficiency in a skill and a tool plus a bonus d4 on the roll whenever you use either. The skill list is limited, but still contains several excellent options, and there’s nothing stopping you\ from combining it with Expertise.
The custom origin rules interact strangely with the Vedalken due to their Tireless Precision trait. The rules allow you to pick any skill rather than those from the list, but the bonus d4 technically isn’t addressed. As a DM I would rule that the d4 applies to whatever skill and tool you choose, but be sure to discuss it with your DM before making assumptions.
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.
We will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, in handbooks for official content because we can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. We also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and we 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 the article will be updated accordingly as time allows.
Vedalken 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 doubling your proficiency bonus with tools and Tireless Precision, no one can compete with the Artificer’s capabilities with tools. Vedalken Dispassion provides a helpful defense which nicely complements the Artificer’s typically very high AC, and protects you from things that can’t be handled by things like Absorb Elements or infusions.
A skill and a tool give the Barbarian something useful to do outside of combat, and Vedalken Dispassion protects you from effects which can usually incapacitate martial characters with ease.
Fun fact: musical instruments are classified as a tool. That’s right! You can get a 1d4 bonus with your favorite instrument! You also get an extra skill, which could absolutely be Performance in order to get a d4 added to that, too. Then, with the rules in Xanathar’s you can combine your proficiency in an instrument with a Performance check and potentially add both d4’s and roll at Advantage, potentially with Expertise depending on which Expertise options you take at level 3.
Beyond that fun interaction, Tireless Precision can also add a d4 to one of your favorite skills, stacking with Expertise to make you profoundly good at whichever skill you choose.
Clerics don’t have much use for tools, and their saving throws are mostly already good since they’re proficienct in both Wisdom and Charisma saves.
Druids don’t have much use for tools, and their saving throws are already good since they’re proficient in both Intelligence and Wisdom saves.
A skill and a tool give the Fighter something useful to do outside of combat, and Vedalken Dispassion protects you from effects which can usually incapacitate martial characters with ease.
An extra skill helps close the skill gap between the Monk and the Rogue, especially with the extra d4 to somewhat make up for Expertise. Monks are proficienct in Strength and Dexterity saves until you get Diamond Body at level 14, so Vedalken Dispassion provides an extremely useful defense until you hit that point.
An extra skill and a tool will help you expand beyond Face skills. Vedalken Dispassion provides some protection on mental saves until Aura of Protection comes online. Because this build is so incredibly defensive, I recommend putting your ability score increases into either Strength or Dexterity and Constitution and focus primarily on offense, otherwise you’re fall into tank falacy territory.
The Ranger’s Wisdom saving throws aren’t so bad as the Barbarian or the Fighters, but they’re not proficienct in any mental saves, so Vedalken Dispassion is a great defense. Tireless Precision helps close the skipp gap between the ranger and the rogue.
Using Tireless Precision on your favorite skill (I recommend Stealth or a Face skill like Persuasion) puts you well ahead of nearly any other skill user. Rogues are great at mitidating damage from attacks (Uncanny Dodge) and from area damage (Evasion), but mental saves are often a problem, so Vedalken Dispassion is a nice defense.
Note that the rules which allow you to replace redundant skill/tool proficiencies only apply to backgrounds, so if you choose Thieves’ Tools with Tireless Precision, you are giving up an additional proficiency in exchange for that d4. It’s probably still a good idea.
An extra skill will help you expand beyond Face skills, and Vedalken Dispassion is a helpful defense since sorcerers have relatively poor mental saves compared to other full casters.
An extra skill will help you expand beyond Face skills, but their saving throws are mostly already good since they’re proficienct in both Wisdom and Charisma saves, so Vedalken Dispassion isn’t hugely important.
Wizards don’t have much use for tools and have few good skill options. Their saving throws are mostly already good since they’re proficienct in both Intelligence and Wisdom saves, so Vedalken Dispassion does little to address the Wizard’s frailties.
Vedalken Classes (Default Rules)
An Intelligence increase is all that you really need to succeed as an artificer. Vedalken Dispassion will offer some additional protection against spells, so you’ll be very durable if you equip yourself well. Be sure to get proficiency in Perception to capitalize on the Vedalken’s Wisdom increase.
Bad ability spread.
The additional skill/tool proficiencies and Tireless Precision are the only thing which really caters to the Bard.
Wisdom increase and Vedalken Dispassion.
Wisdom increase and Vedalken Dispassion, which should still work in Wild Shape since it’s a mental trait rather than a feature of your body. You won’t get to be a partially-amphibious wolf, sadly.
Bad ability spread.
The Vedalken’s best option for a martial class, but it’s not a good choice.
Bad ability spread.
Bad ability spread.
Bad ability spread, which is a shame because combining Expertise and Tireless Precision seems like so much fun. Maybe worth 1-levle multiclass dip?
No Charisma increase.
No Charisma increase.
An Intelligence increase, and Vedalken Dispassion will help protect you. You’ll still be frail, but when some other spellcaster tries to mind control you you’ll have some extra protection.