Sneak Peek: Play as the Immortal Astral Elf From Spelljammer: Adventures in Space!

When Spelljammer: Adventures in Space cruises in from Wildspace, we'll be introduced to spacefaring races for players to use in their adventures—among which are the astral elves! These otherworldly beings set their sights beyond the mortal realm and have chosen to live on the plane of thought and dream, the Astral Plane. Their deep connection to this vast ocean of adventure allows them to channel the plane's signature celestial light, tap into the knowledge of the multiverse, and achieve immortality.

Today, we’ll reveal some lore behind the astral elves, take a look at their traits, and discuss what kinds of characters you could create with these starry-eyed creatures!

Elves ... From Space!

An astral elf noble poses with their solar dragon

After leaving the side of their god, Corellon, on the Outer Plane of Arborea, astral elves sought to be closer to their deities and thus traveled to the Astral Plane—a realm that connects the Material Plane with the Outer Planes of the gods.

Among the endless silver waves of the Astral Plane, creatures become untethered from their mortal needs. Those that pass into the plane of thought and dream do not age, and they shed the need for air, food, or water. This allows astral elves to live forever as long as they avoid death by some other means. 

Astral Elf Racial Traits

Like their cousins from the Feywild and Shadowfell, the astral elves’ Starlight Step grants them the ability to teleport as a bonus action. While Starlight Step doesn’t have a rider effect like the eladrin’s Fey Step or the shadar-kai’s Blessing of the Raven Queen, being able to essentially cast misty step for free a couple of times a day or more is something that most characters dream of!

The starlight theme doesn't stop there! Thanks to their relationship with the celestial realm of the Astral Plane, astral elves get access to some divine cantrips that are typically reserved for clerics, sacred flame being chief among them. This stellar cantrip can be a tool in any character's utility belt as it deals radiant damage, which is rarely resisted, and targets Dexterity saving throws, which can be useful to exploit the weakness of certain creatures.

On top of all these astral-themed goodies, the astral elf also gets access to a trait similar to the githyanki's Astral Knowledge. This feature allows your astral elf to tap into the knowledge of the infinite multiverse to pick up a skill and a weapon or tool proficiency of your choice each long rest. This enables cool builds that otherwise rely on out-of-reach weapon proficiencies—I'm looking at you heavy crossbow-wielding rogue. Having a proficiency for whatever challenges you're expecting that day can go a long way, too!

We’ll have to wait until Spelljammer: Adventures in Space releases to see the full extent of the astral elf's racial features. For now, let's take a look at what it might be like to meet an astral elf!

An Astral Elf’s Outlook on Life

Just as the Feywild made eladrin emotional and passionate, and the Shadowfell made shadar-kai dreary and somber, the Astral Plane has strongly influenced the behavior of astral elves.

The near-immortality granted by the Astral Plane means time has little meaning for astral elves, even more so than for other elves. The timelessness of an astral elf usually makes them appear melancholic or emotionless to creatures who are affected by the passage of time. Those that seek the aid of astral elves may be frustrated to find that denizens of the Astral Plane usually have no want or need to intervene in scenarios that can simply be waited out. 

That’s not to say that all astral elves are averse to adventure. Astral elves that have grown bored with the monotony of everlasting life may be intrigued, for example, by a group of hot-headed, gun-wielding giff

Building Your Astral Elf Character

A lineup of astral elves in red garbs

The astral elves’ connection to the Astral Plane and timeless, emotionless nature makes them work better for some classes than others. Classes fueled by emotion may be hard to fit with the stoic nature of an astral elf. On the other hand, classes that focus on spiritual fortitude or patient training will be a perfect fit for an astral elf’s personality.

Artificer. Due to their extraordinarily long life span, astral elves often seek creative outlets to occupy their time. This could allow them to master the necessary skills to become an artificer: deft fingers, a keen eye, and an urge for innovation.

Cleric. Most astral elves originally traveled to the Astral Plane to be closer to their gods. Whether they worship Corellon or follow the teachings of another deity, astral elves have a particular inclination to walk the path of a cleric. Imbued with the divine light of the Astral Plane, most astral elves will follow domains of KnowledgeArcana, or Light. That said, the proximity of the Astral Plane to the Outer Planes could allow for a connection to any deity, even one typically unaligned with an astral elf’s values. The free addition of sacred flame will allow your astral elf to pick up other needed cantrips (guidance, anyone?).

Fighter. An astral elf with centuries ahead and behind them might devote themselves to an art form that transcends traditional mediums. Studying the art of war with the cool perspective granted by everlasting life could make an astral elf the perfect Battle Master or Samurai. Plus, the bonus action teleportation you gain from Starlight Step will be a huge boost to your battlefield mobility.

Monk. The rigorous lifestyle and spiritual enlightenment needed to become a monk makes them an ideal choice for astral elves. The astral elf's spiritual nature allows them to thrive at the intense training needed to tap into their body’s ki. An astral elf following the Way of the Astral Self could be trying to permanently separate their body from their astral form, using their connection to the Astral Plane to further their divine mission. On the other hand, an astral elf that follows the Way of the Open Hand could have dedicated their long-lasting life to becoming the ultimate master of martial arts combat. Because monks typically pump their Wisdom modifiers, sacred flame would be a sweet pickup for a ranged option.

Wizard. Wizards are known for their obsessive studying and ability to draw power from intelligence rather than emotion. These facets suit the astral elf’s predisposition, whose long lifespan allows them to research and discover the secrets behind manipulating the universe's fundamental forces. As a wizard, more spell resources like sacred flame and the teleportation offered by Starlight Step are always welcome. Wizards can also make great use of the ability to change out skill proficiencies on a long rest. Need to become an expert in Nature overnight? Just tap into your multiversal knowledge and away you go!

Breaking the Mold

Not all astral elves are aloof immortals. Some might find purpose in telling the stories they learned over their long life, thus making perfect bards. Others might have formed a connection to Pandemonium, an Outer Plane of madness and howling winds, and can channel their connection into a barbaric Rage.

The Wonders of Wildspace Await!

The astral elves are only a glimpse into the unique character options contained within Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, which releases on August 16. The stoic nature of astral elves serves as a counterbalance to the raucous adventures you’ll enjoy while traversing the far reaches of Wildspace and the Astral Sea. Will the astral elves you come across be friends or foes to your party? Only time will tell!

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by Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier (@arcane_eye) is the founder of Arcane Eye, a site focused on providing useful tips and tricks to all those involved in the world of D&D. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house.


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