It was exhilarating when it was announced that DnD was crossing over with the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering. This led to significant new cards based on iconic DnD monsters, items, and heroes, as well as official DnD supplements for players to run their D&D Campaigns in the vibrant worlds of Magic.
These supplements also included setting-appropriate classes, backgrounds, items, and races. One of those races is the Vedalken, a brilliant DnD race of scientifically-minded blue humanoids. So, if you’re about to play a campaign in a Magic setting, here is a Vedalken 5e Guide to everything you need to know about running a Vedalken character.
Key Info Up Front
- Books: Plane Shift – Kaladesh, Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica
- Best Vedalken Classes: Artificer, Monk, Ranger
- Home Planes: Esper, Kaladesh, Mirrodin
The Vedalken are instantly recognizable thanks to their blue skin tone ranging from a light smokey tint to a deep rich blue. They all look very similar, with small clear hairs that can be hard to distinguish, no outer ear, and small nose bridges.
This can make it hard for foreigners to distinguish between individual Vedalken, but it echoes their cold, utilitarian culture and outlook on the world.
As a species, the Vedalken are defined by their constant hunger for knowledge, computation, and organization. They are well known for constantly harvesting their surroundings and organizing data in visual databases for future retrieval.
The tendency of Vedalken to approach everything as the opportunity to learn and observe often makes other races feel as though conversations with them are a test or experiment rather than a typical dialogue, and they aren’t entirely wrong to feel that way, as Vedalken are known to view others as objects of study rather than equals or other sentient beings.
To carry out their experiments and data organization, the race has turned to artificing, mixing metallic technology with magic. They undoubtedly have a greater connection to artifice than any other race in 5e.
It is so much so that if a Vedalken doesn’t have access to metal to carry out experiments or create magical baubles, they are said to lose their entire identity.
It is also worth noting that the utilitarian nature of the Vedalken leaves them without any cultural art because it lacks a clear purpose. Visitors have also noted that they lack the unnecessary comforts prevalent in other cultures, which can make staying with them rather uncomfortable.
The Vedalken of Esper
In the plane of Esper, the Vedalken are responsible for the considerable advancements brought to society through the use of the magical material known as etherium. They use the material to create incredible new inventions and destructive weapons that they believe to have ended the possibility of war.
Even in Esper, their love for artificing and appreciation for etherium rises above the other races that rely on it. They use it to modify their bodies and replace bodily functions with intricate and more efficient enchantments.
The Vedalken of Kaladesh
Vedalken that hail from the plane of Kaladesh are easily distinguished from their peers because of their extra digit on each hand. This helps make them far more dextrous than Vedalken from other worlds. This branch of the race is also defined by its deep belief that perfection is an unobtainable ideal.
Their lives are characterized by an infinite pursuit of perfection, driving them to iterate and improve everything they can despite knowing they will never create something truly perfect. The Vedalken of Kaladesh know that everything can always be improved, and they find the process beautiful enough to give life meaning.
The Vedalken of Mirrodin
The Vedalken of the plane Mirrodin, known as Mirran Vedalken, diverge the most from what one normally pictures when imagining a Vedalken. This is because, in this plane, they evolved to have four arms and gills on their neck, allowing them to adopt amphibious lifestyles.
It is believed that this was caused by the plane’s mycosynth, a spore-filled vapor that dominates the surface world, accelerated the Vedalken race’s evolution process.
This has left the Vedalken of this plane driven by the search for an answer to what they have dubbed the Origin Query or the question of where their race comes from.
The constant pursuit for answers drove them to dissect every element of matter and life they could manage under the inscrutable restrictions of the plane’s one-time ruler Memnarch.
However, Memnarch’s rule eventually came to an end, which was seen as the death of a mythic figure by most denizens of the realm. But the Vedalken saw it as an opportunity to seize control of the plane and expand their research efforts, which they easily did thanks to the power vacuum that Memnarch’s death created.
To help organize and manage the wealth of knowledge being gained, the Mirran Vedalken split themselves into seven Sanctives, or castes, that are each responsible for a particular area of their experiments.
The Sanctives helped the Vedalken work more efficiently but came at the price of only the leading Vedalken ever knowing the full scope of their discoveries. It also led to many Sanctives isolating themselves from the greater society or even going missing for years at a time while they toiled away on their studies.
The Vedalken have received two official releases for 5e. The first came from an online post with information for players who wanted to run a game in the Kaladesh plane from Magic: The Gathering.
The second is in the official supplemental book Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. The versions have some differences, so it is essential to consider which works best for your character if you’re going to play a Vedalken. Make sure to talk to your Dungeon Master first to check which ones they think make sense for their campaign.
Regardless of the differences, the basic aspects of the Vedalken are shared between the two versions. The first commonality is a +2 to your Intelligence and a +1 to your Wisdom, symbolizing their intellectual nature and desire to pull information from their surroundings.
Both versions also age at the same rate, are not considered mature until reaching 40, and are expected to live up to 500 years. Both types of Vedalken also have a base speed of 30 feet and are usually around six feet tall but are very slender.
They both also tend toward alignments driven by the emotionally detached pursuit of knowledge. Both versions also come with knowledge of the Common and Vedalken languages, with the Kaladesh version coming with an extra language of the player’s choice.
Plane Shift – Kaladesh
The Vedalken from Kaladesh are not as powerful as the ones from Ravnica. Their first unique feature is Vedalken Cunning, which gives them advantage on saving throws against magic that use Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. This solid defensive tool isn’t as universal as the Vedalken Dispassion feature from Ravnica Vedalken below.
The second unique feature of Kaladesh Vedalken is called Aether Lore. This feature allows you to add your proficiency bonus twice to any History checks you make related to magic items or devices powered with aether technology. This is useful for gathering information throughout your campaign but is situational.
Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica
The first unique part of a Vedalken from Ravnica is their Vedalken Dispassion feature. This gives them advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws, which is extremely powerful considering that you also get two saving throw proficiencies from your class.
Their second feature is Partially Amphibious, which allows them to breathe underwater for up to one hour once per long rest by absorbing oxygen through their skin.
The final unique feature of Vedalken from Ravnica is Tireless Precision. Tireless Precision gives the player a few unique proficiencies to choose from. These proficiencies also get the bonus of rolling a d4 to add to checks using them.
The first proficiency you get is with any tool of your choice from all options in 5e. Then, you can also pick proficiency in either Arcana, Investigation, Performance, Sleight of Hand, History, or Medicine.
Roleplaying a Vedalken
When playing a Vedalken character, it is paramount that you act how they are expected to. This means that you should play your character to be extremely analytical, detached from their emotions, and hungry for knowledge and answers.
Playing a character this way will take effort and a bit of learning, but it can be a lot of fun and lead to some great story beats if appropriately handled.
To pull off this roleplaying, it also helps if you focus your character’s skills appropriately. To do this, I recommend focusing your skill proficiencies on knowledge skills so that you can fulfill a Librarian role in your party.
Rolling Arcana and History checks and getting answers to your group’s questions will help your character show off their smarts. Suppose you want to play your character this way.
In that case, I recommend talking to your Dungeon Master before the campaign starts so that you can establish expectations and they know how to prepare this information for their sessions.
However, roleplaying your character’s emotional distance can be a bit more complicated. To do this, I recommend not putting your character in harm’s way for others too frequently or acting too friendly with your party members.
At least, not right off the bat. This aspect of a Vedalken is an excellent opportunity for a fun character arc by having your character build a relationship with their party members as you progress through the campaign.
Roleplaying this part of a Vedalken’s personality can be annoying for other party members, so you’ll have to make sure to walk a thin line. You don’t want your character to be so distant or stand-offish that they come off as a jerk that isn’t fun to interact with.
To help with this, I suggest roleplaying your Vedalken as being friendly to your party members but make it clear that it is mostly to gather information. You can do this humorously, asking blunt questions, turning away from someone you’re talking to immediately after getting answers, or whatever else feels natural to you while you play.
The Best Vedalken Classes
The Artificer is the class that makes the most sense with a Vedalken flavor-wise. The class also works exceptionally well with the Vedalken’s racial features because of its reliance on Tinkerer’s tools, the boosted defense options from Vedalken Dispassion, and the class’ reliance on magic.
Artificers are spellcasters that weave their magic into mechanical creations. It is a complicated class, so I wouldn’t recommend playing it unless you’re familiar with 5e’s mechanics, but it comes with some great options on and off the battlefield.
They can create bots and turrets to assist them in battle, have an accelerated rate for making their magic items, and have spells to boot. I love playing Artificers, and if you’re going for a Vedalken Artificer, it can be a lot of fun to re-flavor your spells to be more mechanical.
I suggest talking to your Dungeon Master about describing your spells to make fireballs come from a launcher on your wrist and other such changes.
Alchemist (Eberron: Rising from the Last War/Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
The Alchemist subclass is about crafting potions and tonics to buff your allies and debuff enemies. It fulfills a support role on the battlefield and can do so by itself, although it is unlikely ever to reach the healing numbers of a dedicated Cleric.
This is still a strong option for Vedalken characters, but since they aren’t typically very caring about others, I would personally go for one of the other options.
Armorer (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
Do you like Iron Man? Of course, you do; who doesn’t? The Armorer allows your character to don a magical suit of armor that never leaves their body and functions like a fantasy interpretation of the iconic Marvel hero.
The class is extremely strong and is a great martial option for the Vedalken because of its ability to use Intelligence for attack and damage roll bonuses. It also has a couple of different options for building it, depending on whether you want to take the tanky Guardian Armor or the stealth-focused Infiltrator Armor.
Artillerist (Eberron: Rising from the Last War/Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
This subclass is about building turrets on the battlefield. The turrets are great because they can shell out big damage for a low cost while having a few different types to help you react to the situation.
This includes turrets that push enemies away or shoot flames to damage multiple enemies. This subclass also comes with a unique spell list that helps boost the Artificer’s spellcasting abilities.
Battle Smith (Eberron: Rising from the Last War/Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
Battle Smith is the Artificer’s second martial subclass that gives you a mechanical pet to command in battle. This is a solid Defender class but doesn’t come with as many options as the Armorer.
Suppose you do go with this subclass for your Vedalken. In that case, however, it can open some interesting roleplaying opportunities by having your mechanical pet be the only thing that your character feels any love toward.
The Monk is a strong option for a Striker Vedalken build that focuses on shelling out damage. Mechanically, Vedalken is a good fit for the class because of its defensive features with mental attributes. Their bonus skill proficiency goes a long way to give the class more utility outside combat.
However, if you want to play a Vedalken Monk, you have some heavy lifting regarding your character’s backstory and roleplaying. There are a few ways to do so, but Vedalken culture doesn’t naturally align with a Monk’s ways, so you’ll need a decent story to explain how your character came to the class.
However, this can open up some enjoyable roleplay avenues, so don’t count this as a negative unless you dislike roleplaying.
Way of Mercy (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
This subclass is focused on using your Ki points to heal and harm. You can heal yourself or your allies and use them to deal bonus necrotic damage to enemies.
Generally, it is a very strong Monk option, mainly because it allows you to heal yourself enough to not rely on your party for healing, which can free up spell slots and actions for your party members. Flavor-wise I don’t think this subclass makes the most sense with a Vedalken character, but you can explain your way around it.
Way of Shadow (Player’s Handbook)
This subclass is for Monks that stick to darkness to jump out and surprise their enemies. It comes with some flashy and cool mechanics, but it can be difficult to get as much out of it as you can with other subclasses. However, the Way of Shadow is a bit more friendly to a Vedalken character and is still a strong option in its own right.
Way of the Ascendant Dragon (Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons)
I love this subclass’ flavor for a Vedalken because it is so easy to imagine one of their kind aligning themself with a powerful being for promised knowledge.
Mechanically, this subclass is also very strong and makes the class easily fit a Blaster role that handles crowds. This subclass won’t make your character a min-maxed nightmare for your Dungeon Master, but it is still a ton of fun to play.
Way of the Astral Self (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
Another excellent fit for a Vedalken, the Way of the Astral Self focuses almost entirely on Wisdom for its abilities. It allows your character to summon a physical manifestation of their Ki capable of attacking enemies and helping out on the battlefield.
It is a mechanically solid subclass, while its flavor is also a good setup for Vedalkens, who turned to Monk teachings because of a spiritual connection.
Way of the Drunken Master (Xanthar’s Guide to Everything)
This subclass is focused on giving the player hit-and-run options to increase the survivability of the Monk. However, it doesn’t come with as many offensive options as other Monk subclasses, so don’t pick this one if you’re hoping to crush enemies.
This one also doesn’t make the most sense with a Vedalken, but it can work if you put in the effort on a solid backstory.
Way of the Four Elements (Player’s Handbook)
Making the Way of the Four Elements work can be difficult for newer players. The subclass focuses on addressing some of the Monk’s biggest pitfalls in its core mechanics, but in doing so, it offers players a lot of subpar options that can trap their progression if they aren’t prepared.
This isn’t a reason to completely avoid the subclass, but if you go this route, I recommend taking your time picking options whenever you level up.
Way of the Kensei (Xanthar’s Guide to Everything)
I recommend avoiding this subclass while playing a Vedalken. Not only does its flavor not make very much sense with Vedalken culture, but the wording of the subclass’ features makes it very frustrating to play because of contradictions.
If you want to go with this subclass, I recommend using the optional class features introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything or talking with your Dungeon Master about options to make it more fun to play.
Way of the Long Death (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide)
This subclass is about making the Monk a tanky martial class. While it lacks offensive damage options, the defensive capabilities of this subclass more than make up for it. It is also very mechanically simple, so if you want to ensure your character doesn’t die, this is a good option.
Way of the Open Hand (Player’s Handbook)
The Way of the Open Hand is the Monk’s default subclass, and it does an excellent job of using its exclusive features to empower the Monk’s core mechanics. It also is a great starting place for new players who aren’t sure how to play a monk and can be solidly effective in combat.
Way of the Sun Soul (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
The Way of the Sun Soul gives the Monk more ranged attack options, but its features are ultimately too underpowered to be worth picking it up.
This subclass usually burns through Ki points extraordinarily quickly, leaving you feeling underpowered and out of options early on in fights. Avoid this one unless you’re looking for a challenge or don’t want to have fun.
Mechanically the Ranger gets very similar benefits from Vedalkens as the Monk class. The race’s mental saving throw defenses help keep it safe from magical attacks, while the bonus skill proficiency increases its utility outside combat even more.
I also really love Rangers flavor-wise for Vedalken. The idea of a character growing up in a society driven by technology and the constant pursuit of knowledge foregoing that to live a more relaxed life through a relationship with nature is great.
This opens up the opportunity for a fascinating backstory and a unique take on a Vedalken character that is fun to play and fun for your party to interact with.
Beast Master (Player’s Handbook)
The Beast Master is the iconic Ranger subclass that gives you a pet companion that you can control to fight alongside you in combat. It is a very powerful Ranger option and gives you some fun roleplay options and interactions with your pet.
It also goes well with a Vedalken character, as the pet companion is a great excuse for why your character grew toward nature.
Drakewarden (Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons)
This subclass is a dragon-themed Beast Master that brings some unique options that are both fun to play and powerful.
Fey Wanderer (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
Fey Wanderers are Rangers that travel throughout the Fey plane, making them an excellent option for Vedalken that are looking to observe and learn about the life and magic of the Fey or want to be Faces.
Gloom Stalker (Xanthar’s Guide to Everything)
The Gloom Stalker is a Ranger dedicated to the dark of dungeons or the Underdark. It is exceptionally capable in campaigns that feature those settings frequently, but if your campaign doesn’t include them almost constantly, this subclass can feel like a waste of time.
Horizon Walker (Xanthar’s Guide to Everything)
The Horizon Walker has a lot of stealth options similar to the Gloom Stalker but is all about traveling through the different planes, making it an excellent option for Vedalken that want to learn about every plane of existence throughout their travels.
Hunter (Player’s Handbook)
One of the basic Ranger subclasses, the Hunter uses its ties to nature to travel undetected through wilds before striking its prey with precision and lethality.
Monster Slayer (Xantahr’s Guide to Everything)
The Monster Slayer shares a lot with the Hunter in a more distilled and simple way. This makes it a great jumping-on point for new players, but its flavor doesn’t align itself too well with the Vedalken unless you play it as your character slaying monsters to study their anatomy or behavior.
Swarm Keeper (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)
This subclass is very cool in its flavor and features and allows the player to command a swarm of small creatures rather than just a single pet companion. If you go this route, I would suggest even talking to your Dungeon Master about the swarm as a legion of small drones built by your Vedalken for some fun and unique flavor.
Question: What 5e Books are the Vedalken in?
Answer: The Vedalken are found in the book Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and the online supplement Plane Shift – Kaladesh.
Question: What Classes are the Vedalken Best for?
Answer: The classes that the Vedalken work best for are Artificer, Barbarian, Monk, Ranger, and even Fighter.
Question: What Planes are Vedalken from in Magic: The Gathering?
Answer: The Vedalken are found in Kaladesh, Esper, and Mirrodin.
The Vedalken are an exciting and unique race in DnD, thanks to their origins in Magic. They have many fun possibilities for players to explore and play around with, but before you set your heart on a Vedalken character, you should talk to your Dungeon Master to ensure they’re okay with you playing the class.
They may even be okay with you playing one in a non-Magic setting, which could be a great way to shake up an official DnD setting or homebrew world.
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