Spelljammer Astral Elves: Spelljammer's Elves In Spaaaaace!

WotC has a preview of Spelljammer's upcoming Astral Elves over on D&D Beyond (following on from their preview of the Giff last week). Astral Elves can teleport as a bonus action, use divine cantrips, and 'tap into the knowledge of the infinite multiverse' to pick up new proficiencies after a long rest. https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/1291-sneak-peek-play-as-the-immortal-astral-elf-from

WotC has a preview of Spelljammer's upcoming Astral Elves over on D&D Beyond (following on from their preview of the Giff last week).

Astral Elves can teleport as a bonus action, use divine cantrips, and 'tap into the knowledge of the infinite multiverse' to pick up new proficiencies after a long rest.


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Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Heh. It sucks for me.

I love the astral elf.

But I sympathize with the groans about the bloat of elf races.

4e systematically reduced the D&D elf traditions down to three essential elves. Eladrin, elf, drow. To good effect.

5e even carried over these three from 4e, as high, wood, and drow. But then the self-discipline ended pretty much immediately. The elf races explode into shadarkai, sea elf, eladrin proper, Eberron shadow mark elf, Wildemount palid elf, and now astral elf.



I want to go back to reducing elf races down to three − but I want the astral elf to be one of these three!

It seems to me:
• 5e astral = 5e eladrin = 5e shadarkai = 5e aevendrow = 4e eladrin = 3e FR sun = 1e grey = 1e faerie = 1e valley
All of these are primarily magical. These have or do well to have Misty Step and a cantrip as race features. Everything else is cultural backgrounds.

• 5e high = 5e Eberron shadow mark = 5e Wildemount palid = 3e FR moon = 1e high = 5e udadrow = 4e/3e/1e drow
These are a gishy blend of physicality and magic. Everything else is cultural backgrounds.

• 5e wood = 5e sea = 5e lorendrow = 5e Eberron drow = 4e elf = 3e FR wild = 3e FR wood = 1e wood = 1e grugach
These are primarily physical − often to the point of rejecting magic albeit primal magic might persist. Everything else is cultural backgrounds.



Even now. A systematic simplification back down to three elf races only − as long as each of these three has mechanics that are versatile with freedom of choice, and as long as the backgrounds offer enough mechanical oomph to handle significant cultural capabilities − can satisfactorily represent all of the hundred-plus elf races in the D&D traditions.
 
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