Eladrin in DnD 5E explained

These elves are closer to their Feywild origins than their other pointed ear cousins. The Eladrin race was first published in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (MToF), and an updated version was more recently published in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse (MPMM). This is a separate version and does not overwrite the original, it just presents a different way of playing an Eladrin using more current design conventions. Whilst the original is a subrace of elf, the MPMM version is a self-contained race that doesn’t refer to the elf stats in the Player’s Handbook (PHB), whilst still being considered an elf for mechanical purposes.

As fickle as the changing seasons

The Eladrin are elves of the Feywild, in touch with the beautiful and whimsical land that they dwell in, and the energies that suffuse it. Using this energy they can traverse distances in the blink of an eye, and bend the energy to their emotions to create effects whilst they do so.

Their emotions become tied directly to the Feywild, changing their appearance as the seasons change around them. An Eladrin currently experiencing summer would be full of boldness and aggression, unfettered energy, and calls to action. In contrast, an Eladrin experiencing winter would be filled with contemplation and sadness as if the vibrant energy of the world was slumbering. Some Eladrin associate with one season for their entire lives, whereas others transform and shift seasons with much more regularity. 

Things are not as they seem: Playing an Eladrin

Playing an Eladrin gives you the following traits:

Ability Scores – Dex +2, Cha +1

Size – Medium

Creature Type – Humanoid

Speed – 30 ft.

Age – Although elves reach physical maturity at about the same age as humans, the elven understanding of adulthood goes beyond physical growth to encompass worldly experience. An elf typically claims adulthood and an adult name around the age of 100 and can live to be 750 years old.

Darkvision – You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Keen Senses – You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Fey Ancestry – You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

Trance – Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

If you meditate during a long rest, you finish the rest after only 4 hours. You otherwise obey all the rules for a long rest; only the duration is changed.

Languages – You can speak, read, and write Common and Elvish.

Choose your Eladrin’s season: autumn, winter, spring, or summer. When finishing a long rest, you can change your season. Your season affects the following ability.

Fey Step – As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you use this trait, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

When you reach 3rd level, your Fey Step gains an additional effect based on your season; if the effect requires a saving throw, the DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier:

  • Autumn – Immediately after you use your Fey Step, up to two creatures of your choice that you can see within 10 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for 1 minute, or until you or your companions deal any damage to it.
  • Winter – When you use your Fey Step, one creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you before you teleport must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
  • Spring – When you use your Fey Step, you can touch one willing creature within 5 feet of you. That creature then teleports instead of you, appearing in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you.
  • Summer – Immediately after you use your Fey Step, each creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you takes fire damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 damage).

The rules of hospitality: Playing an MPMM Eladrin

Note! The following includes Fey Ancestry and Trance, however, these features differ significantly from the above, despite having the same name.

Playing an Eladrin from MPMM gives you the following traits:

Ability Scores – You can increase one ability score by 2 and a different score by 1, alternatively you can increase three different ability scores by 1.

Size – Medium

Creature Type – Humanoid

Speed – 30 ft.

Age – Like other elves, Eladrin can live to be over 750 years old.

Darkvision – You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Fey Ancestry – You have advantage on saving throws you make to avoid or end the charmed condition on yourself.

Keen Senses – You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Trance – You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep. You can finish a long rest in 4 hours if you spend those hours in a trance-like meditation, during which you retain consciousness.

Whenever you finish this trance, you can change your season, and you can gain two proficiencies that you don’t have, each one with a weapon or a tool of your choice selected from the Player’s Handbook. You mystically acquire these proficiencies by drawing them from shared elven memory, and you retain them until you finish your next long rest.

Fey Step – As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

When you reach 3rd level, your Fey Step gain an additional effect based on your season; if the effect requires a saving throw, the DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier (choose when you select this race):

  • Autumn – Immediately after you use your Fey Step, up to two creatures of your choice that you can see within 10 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for 1 minute, or until you or your companions deal any damage to the creatures.
  • Winter – When you use your Fey Step, one creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you before you teleport must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
  • Spring – When you use your Fey Step, you can touch one willing creature within 5 feet of you. That creature then teleports instead of you, appearing in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you.
  • Summer – Immediately after you use your Fey Step, each creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you takes fire damage equal to your proficiency bonus.

Languages – You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language that you and your DM agree is appropriate for your character.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed walking through the deceptively dangerous forests of the Feywild with us. Have you played an eladrin yet? Are you planning to? If you want to learn more about other race options, check out our races section, or if you want to understand the world’s greatest roleplaying game better, then check out our how to play section. Good luck out there adventurers and until next time, remember, don’t accept any gifts from your fey neighbors!

Editor-in-Chief