Dungeons & Dragons has expanded into space. The new Spelljammer sourcebook introduces several new intergalactic races and places that will blow your mind. One of the most exciting additions is the space elf or Astral Elf 5e.
What is an Astral Elf 5e?
Astral Elves are space Elves. Astral Elves originated in the Feywild but migrated to the Astral Plane or Silver Void thousands of years ago. As a result, they acquired stellar powers and a starry sparkle in their eyes.
Though Astral Elves share a common lineage with terrestrial Elves, they have some unique characteristics. They do not age in the Astral Plane, so they have a warped sense of time. Their longevity is just one of the adaptations that separate them from terrestrial Elves.
Astral Elf 5e Traits
Astral Elves are medium humanoids. They have a typical speed of 30ft. Since Astral Elves follow the lineage format, players can choose where to place their ability scores. Astral Elves follow standard rules for playable races in 5e DnD.
Astral Elves are different in appearance from other Elves. Since they are children of the Astral plane, they can take on any otherworldly manifestation. Artists depict them with many different skin tones and markings.
Their choice of clothing and armor can also vary. However, they will have an ethereal way about them. Think of any slender alien race from Star Trek or Star Wars and you’ll have a good starting point. They can have the appendages of a Twi’lek or the green Skin of an Orion, anything not typical of a terrestrial being.
Life in the Astral plane also makes its mark on Astral Elves. There is no time in the Silver Void, Astral Elves can be thousands of years old. They only age when they travel away from the Deep Astral. These Elves might travel away to have and raise their children to a certain age.
Their longevity can have different effects on each Astral Elf. Some sink into melancholy. Because they have seen it all, they are excited by little. Others spend their time mastering skills and creating endless works of art. Others travel the multiverse as adventurers. Once they leave the Astral Plane, these Elves can expect to live at least 750 years.
Astral Elf 5e Features
Spending most of their lives in the Deep Astral Plane gives Astral Elves special features. Beyond having a story simmer about them, they also have some unique features paired with similar characteristics all Elves share.
Darkvision: Darkvison is not a unique skill. Most races and lineages have darkvision. It can be helpful.
Fey Ancestry: Fey Ancestry is common to Elves and Half-Elves. This feature means this character has advantage on saving throws to prevent the Charmed condition. Though common for Elves it is instrumental in negotiation and dealings with other Etherial beings.
Keen Senses: Keen Senses means the Astral Elf has a wise nature. They automatically have proficiency in the Perception skill.
Astral Fire: Astral Fire allows the Astral Elf to cast spells even if they are not a magic-using class. Because of their time in the Astral plane and connection to the Feywild, Astral Elves can choose between the cantrips Sacred Flame, Dancing Light, and Light.
Using the Light cantrip, the Elf can touch an object and cause it to radiate Light for 1 hour. Light is a valuable trick to aid the party in a dark dungeon. The caster can apply Light to an object that a hostile person wears or hold if they fail their DEX saving throw. This feature of the Light spell can be useful for tracking purposes. If a target tries to escape, the Astral Elf can tag them so the party can pursue them.
Dancing Lights cantrip is another practical choice. The caster can create up to four dim lights. These lights can move around in range. They can make different shapes a used as a distraction.
The Sacred Flame cantrip is the most tactically decisive cantrip offered with the Astral Fire feature. This cantrip can cause 1d8 radiant damage at level 1 if the target fails a DEX saving throw. Though this cantrip does take action to complete, it can be convenient, especially at lower levels. Having a spell that does radiant damage is always a great thing in the dungeon.
Trance: Elves do not need to sleep; instead, they enter a trancelike state. By using this feature, Elves can gain the same benefits humans gain from 8 hours of sleep. The DM will have to decide if this means Astral Elves do not need to engage in other light activities for the remaining Long Rest period.
Trance Proficiencies: After finishing their Trance, Astral Elves gain proficiency in one skill and one weapon of their choice. Astral Elves draw these proficiencies from the shared collective knowledge of all Elves. They tap into this knowledge during their Trance. They maintain their new proficiencies until they complete another long rest. This feature makes the Elf adaptable to many situations.
Starlight Step: Starlight Step is similar to the level 2 spell Misty Step. Astral Elves can teleport to a point within 30ft. The space must be unoccupied. An Astral Elf can use the Starlight Step ability as many times per day, equal to their proficiency bonus. They regain this ability after a long rest. Players can use it to escape from Grapples and move across the board freely and quickly without inviting attacks of opportunity.
[GameCows Note: The Radiant Soul ability was removed upon Spelljammer’s release, but you can still find the Unearthed Arcana rules on the Wizard of the Coast website if you want to include them in your game.]
Playing an Astral Elf 5e
Astral Elves can be suited to many different classes. Since Spelljammer uses the lineage model for ability score bonuses, there isn’t one class that would be the “best.” However, a few racial features would lend themselves to a stealth or support class like Bard or Rogue.
Rogues would put the Starlight Step feature into practice. It would allow them to appear in buildings and locked rooms. It would also allow them to perform near-perfect Sneak Attacks. Bards would also benefit from Starlight Step. They could increase the impact of their performance or distraction.
Bards and Rogues would also benefit from the Trance Proficiencies feature. This feature allows the player to add a weapon and skill proficiency. The feature is excellent for support classes. The player can choose a different proficiency in preparing for a battle or anticipating a trap-filled dungeon.
Astral Elves are wise by nature. Their Keen senses allow them to increase perception. This skill is helpful for all classes. When playing an Astral Elf, it is crucial to consider their understanding of time. Though Astral Elves may be more aware of their surroundings, they will be clueless about how long a plan might take to execute.
Players can build a character around Astral Elves’ longevity by emphasizing their disconnect with time. Their experience in the Astral Plane allows for many great roleplaying opportunities.
Astral Elf 5e FAQs
What’s the difference between an Eladrin and an Astral Elf?
The main difference between the Astral Elf and the Eladrin Elf is the Eladrin’s use of seasons. Eladrin Elves express their emotions in the form of seasons. The season the Eladrin Elf chooses affects their mood and how they use their Fey Step feature.
Can Astral Elves teleport?
Astral Elves have the Starlight Step feature that allows them to instantly move up to 30ft. This ability may appear as though they are teleporting.
What is the lifespan of an Astral Elf?
In the Astral Plane, Astral Elves can live for thousands of years. On the Material Plane, they live on average for 750 years.
Are Astral Elves immortal?
Astral Elves exist in a realm where there is no time. Because they do not experience time, they can live indefinitely. However, Astral Elves age similarly to other Elves when not in the Astral Plane.
Jillian started learning Dungeons & Dragons in 2014. After being encouraged by a friend to make a character, she became fully involved in character creation and later became an awesome Dungeon Master. Jillian strives to use her creativity to spread her knowledge of DnD and interpret the ruleset.