Those touched by the influence of the elemental planes of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water are rare, but known to the prime material worlds as the genasi. Very few know, however, that there are other elemental planes that rest between those four and also between those four and the positive and negative energy planes. These are the para-elemental and quasi-elemental planes and very rarely, there are genasi who have been shaped by their primordial energy.
Unlike the typical genasi, para-elemental and quasi-elemental genasi are not usually the result of mingling between planar entities like genies and mortal races of the Prime Material. The natives of the para-elemental and quasi-elemental planes are often far too alien for that. Instead, a para-elemental or quasi-elemental genasi is usually the result of mortal races coming into contact with extreme elemental forces that can transform their bodies and souls so profoundly that the effects can even manifest in later generations.
Your genasi character has certain characteristics in common with all other genasi.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Age. Genasi mature at about the same rate as humans and reach adulthood in their late teens. They live somewhat longer than humans do, up to 120 years.
Alignment. Independent and self-reliant, genasi tend toward a neutral alignment.
Size. Genasi are as varied as their mortal parents but are generally built like humans, standing anywhere from 5 feet to over 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Primordial. Primordial is a guttural language, filled with harsh syllables and hard consonants.
Subraces. In addition to the four major subraces of genasi detailed in other, official sources, there are the para-elemental genasi of Ice, Magma, Ooze and Smoke and the quasi-elemental genasi of Lightning, Mineral, Radiance, Steam, Ash, Dust, Salt, and Vacuum.
[Editors Note: A very special thank you to my friend Em, who worked with me to create the crystal genasi, plays a wonderful one named Ell in my Planescape campaign, and really encouraged me to put together this whole project. You can find her and her charming artwork of Ell and many other characters at https://www.twitter.com/etruffery]
Where the Elemental Plane of Earth nears the humming energy of the Positive Energy Plane, the dirt and stone gives way to expanses and caverns of crystals and gemstones infused with the power of creation. Mystics and arcanists prize these crystals for their ability to focus psionic power or to provide life to inanimate constructs, but prolonged exposure to this plane can have radical effects on the mortal body. Those who are not killed outright as their bodies fail to cope with the influx of energy are transformed into something else. They become crystalline plane-touched and can even pass down this nature to future generations in the form of crystal genasi.
A crystal genasi's body is made of a flexible, organic, crystalline material that can move like a typical mortal form but is otherwise very alien. Crystal genasi features tend to be colorful and vivid. Their eyes twinkle in the light and their hair is vaguely translucent. Their skin is opaque and is usually either very pale and opalescent or dark and shimmering, but just below the surface of this skin, their bodies are composed of a luminous gemstone-like material.
Crystal genasi are alien, but curious. Their penchant for not quite understanding most beings and their desire to study them and learn might be mistaken as aloof or cold, if crystal genasi were not also generally very positive and friendly. Instead, they typically come off as genuine, curious, and perhaps a bit clueless about how the people of the multiverse behave. Crystal genasi who go into adventuring often do so to learn more about people outside their plane and they tend towards paths that possess arcane magic or psionic talent.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Alien Mind. Because your mind is so strange and compartmentalized, you have resistance to psychic damage.
Shiny. Infused as they are with positive energy, crystal genasi can channel that energy through their crystalline bodies and focus it into a blinding shimmer. They may cast the light cantrip at will, but the range is Self, as they are only able to cause their own crystalline bodies to sparkle and shimmer. At 3rd level, they may cast the blindness spell at 2nd-level without any need for components or a spell slot. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this spell. Once a crystal genasi casts blindness with this ability, they may not use it again until they complete a long rest.
Crystalline Body. Though crystal genasi do bleed (a colorful, shimmering blood), they are capable of sealing off parts of their bodies and even removing them without grievously wounding the whole. As a reaction when struck by a critical hit, you may negate the critical damage, turning it into a normal hit. Once you use this feature, you may not use it again until completing a long rest. Additionally, as an action, a crystal genasi can detach pieces of their body without causing themselves damage. The exact benefit or detriment of doing so is left to the DM's discretion; removing a hand might make it easy to escape being bound, but also impossible to wield a two-handed weapon. Assuming the crystal genasi does not lose their separated body part, they may reattach it during a short rest. If a crystal genasi does lose a detached body part, they may only replace it by obtaining crystal from the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Mineral. If they somehow lose more than half of their body this way, a crystal genasi immediately goes to 0 hit points but is stabilized and unconscious until brought in contact with the positive energy-infused crystals of their native plane.
Angrily rising into the scorched sky between the peaks of the Elemental Plane of Earth and the vast Sea of Fire on the Elemental Plane of Fire are the volcanic mounts known as the Fountains of Creation, or the Para-Elemental Plane of Magma. The mountains here regularly explode with pyroclastic flows of superheated gas, thunderous flaming boulders, and deadly-hot magma. Most mortals who visit the Fountains of Creation perish, their bodies consumed in the volcanic earth and flame. But rarely, and miraculously, a handful survive, becoming something between mortal and elemental. They and their descendants become magma genasi, their bodies and souls infused with the power of volcanoes.
Magma genasi typically have dark, rough skin in tones of slate gray, earthen brown, or obsidian black. Lines of orange-red criss-cross their flesh where the veins bearing their superheated blood glow through. A magma genasi's eyes are red, orange, or yellow and their hair is typically either ashen gray, dark black, or bright red, though many shave their heads to avoid the risk of their hair catching aflame in their homelands. Their skin is warm to the touch, in what would seem feverishly so to those not native to the Fountains of Creation.
Often caught between the cruelty of the dao and the tyranny of the efreet, magma genasi carry chips on their shoulders and short fuses. Because of their temperment and their abilities, they make poor slaves, and the efreet and dao have been known to wipe them out in order to claim their volcanic homes. As a culture, the magma genasi bear deep anger and have short tempers and they will not suffer those who threaten them. Those who leave the Fountains of Creation to become adventurers struggle to keep their fury in check and can often be found on the front lines of any battle, where they vent this rage against those who have earned it.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Darkvision. You have darkvision up to 60 feet.
Blood of the Volcano. Whenever a creature within 5 feet of you hits you with a melee attack, your superheated blood burns the attacker back. The attacker takes fire damage equal to half your character level, rounded down (minimum of 1 damage). Once per long rest, as a reaction to taking damage from a melee attack, you can choose to erupt, forcing everyone in a five foot radius to make a DC13 Dexterity saving throw or take 2d10 fire damage. On a successful saving throw, they take half damage. If you are struck with cold damage, you may not use either feature of Blood of the Volcano until the end of your next turn.
Molten Grasp. The fire that burns within you gives you the ability to start fires with a touch. As an action, you can magically ignite a flammable object you touch with your hand. At 3rd level, once per long rest, you can cast the spell heat metal, but with a range of touch.
In a remote region of the Elemental Plane of Water, a massive, crackling sphere of light rests in the sea, a gate to the Positive Energy Plane. The water around the sphere churns and roils, and a great maelstrom swirls for miles as the sea is drawn into the radiance. When the water meets the gate's energy, it flash-boils, filling the sky above the maelstrom with thick clouds of steam which rise and cool into a vast canopy of clouds and mist that occasionally glows with soft colors. Mortals who approach the sphere are almost always irrevocably destroyed, unable to contain the vast energy the sphere radiates. Sometimes, though, the emitted energy from the sphere mixes with the steam to give birth to something new: beings who exist halfway between form and fog, the mist genasi.
Mist genasi have skin, hair, and eye tones in pale and soft-hued colors. Combinations of pale gray, soft blue, lavender, and pink are common, as are swirling patterns on their skin or gradients of color in their hair. Most mist genasi wear their hair long and loose or in voluminous curls, with the ends trailing off into strands of mist and fog. Some, but not all, mist genasi have pointed ears, ranging from subtle points to long, swept-back ears where the points trail into mist.
Mist genasi live on floating, crystalline islands teeming with greenery, shrouded and secluded within the clouds and fog. This allows them to live largely peaceful, contemplative lives, and the ephemeral nature of their surroundings encourages an ascetic outlook. Some mist genasi long to see what lies beyond the mist, however, and set out across the planes. Among those mist genasi who become adventurers, their calm and thoughtful demeanors often lead them to become clerics or monks.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Unclouded Vision. Your vision is never obscured by fog or mist and you have advantage on saving throws against charm and illusions.
Soothing Presence. Your calming presence can bolster your allies. You can use an action to touch a charmed or frightened creature and calmly speak reassuring words to them (the creature must be capable of understanding your language). Doing so allows them to immediately make a new saving throw against the effect at advantage. Once you have used this ability, you must take a long rest before using it again.
Of Mist and Fog. The elemental mists are as much a part of your nature as your mortal form. Once per long rest, you may cast the spell fog cloud, without any components needed. At 3rd level, you can cast the spell misty step once per long rest.
Between the Elemental Planes of Earth and Water lies a vast expanse of sludge and muck. Closer to the Plane of Earth, the mire is a thick and threatens to entomb anyone who travels through it. As the expanse nears the Plane of Water, it thins out to a slimy, acidic sea. Most mortals exposed to the primordial forces of Ooze do not survive to tell the tale, leaving only preserved remains buried in the muck. But those who do are often changed, leading to the creation of ooze genasi.
The appearance of an ooze genasi can vary, but all have a slimy outer "skin" and soft, malleable bodies. Some have skin tones of rich, deep brown, while others shimmer in almost-translucent blues and greens. Often, their eyes are the same color or similar to their skin tone and their "hair"--if they have it--is merely an extension of their slime-coated bodies.
Ooze genasi are expressive beings, both proud of their self-reliance and bitter at their lot in life. Whether they are broody or dramatic, an ooze genasi wears their heart on their sleeve. Those that end up in an adventuring life tend to fall in with a bad crowd, using their natural talents as thieves, pirates or other "scum."
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Acid Resistance. You have resistance to acid damage.
Amphibious. You can breathe air and water. Additionally, you can breathe even in murky sludge-filled environments.
Slippery. Your coating of slime makes you remarkably hard to pin down. You have advantage on any check to escape grapple or restrained conditions. You also have advantage on any check to escape any physical bonds.
Semi-Amorphous. Your skin, musculature, and skeleton are all much more flexible than those of a typical humanoid. You may squeeze into any space large enough for a creature two size categories smaller than yourself and you suffer no penalties squeezing into a space large enough for a creature one size smaller than your own (see Squeezing into a Small Space on page 192 of the Players Handbook). This ability does not extend to your possessions and gear; those must be able to fit through the smaller space on their own or be left behind.
Typically obscured by the haze and smoke that hangs in the furnace sky of the Elemental Plane of Fire, a strange, twinkling satellite orbits the plane along an unpredictable route, a source of great concern to the astrologers in the City of Brass. The efreet call it the Wandering Lamplight and the azer know it as the Starlit Engine, but to the residents that live upon and within the mysterious satellite, it is known simply as Beacon. It is a small moon of steel and brass clockwork built to contain a pulsing core of flickering light: a permanent gate to the Positive Energy Plane. Within and atop this clockwork cage, towering buildings of metal and glass have been erected, illuminated by glass globes and tubes filled with glowing gases. Dozens of different species from the Plane of Fire and beyond have made their home here, but perhaps the most mysterious residents are the only natives of Beacon: the radiance genasi who emerge from the satellite's core.
Radiance genasi have black or dark purplish skin covered in splotches, stripes, or patterns of glowing, luminescent light. Their hair, like that of fire genasi, sometimes seems made of fire itself, but a radiance genasi's hair glows with pale, soft pastel colors in stark contrast to their dark skin. The irises of their eyes also glow in a similar fashion, sometimes but not always the same color as their hair. In fact, the rare radiance genasi has eyes of two different colors, or eyes that slowly and continuously shift in the color of their glow.
Most radiance genasi live out their entire lives on Beacon, at home in the urban canyons and shifting clockwork of the satellite. But particularly ingenious and curious radiance genasi find the way elsewhere, sometimes to the City of Brass far below and sometimes farther out across the planes. No matter where they end up, radiance genasi are always quick-fingered, fleet of foot, and crafty. They are sometimes drawn to a life of adventuring simply because they cannot stand still, and those who take up this life often become rogues, artificers, or monks of strange, esoteric philosophies.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Darkvision. You have darkvision up to 60 feet. In darkness, radiance genasi can see by sensing the ambient radiance in objects and creatures, which is invisible to most.
Speed of Light. Your base walking speed increases by 10 feet.
Flickerfire. As an action, a radiance genasi can charge up their bodies with radiant energy, enveloping themselves with a flickering glow and causing disorienting after-images to hang momentarily in the air as they move. This ability lasts for 1 minute and during that time the radiance genasi does not provoke attacks of opportunity when they move outside of a hostile creature's reach. They may also move through a space occupied by a hostile creature, though this movement counts as difficult terrain. When they move through a space occupied by a hostile creature this way, the hostile creature takes radiant damage equal to half the genasi's level (round down). No matter how many times the radiance genasi moves through a single hostile creature's space in a single turn, they only suffer this damage once per turn. The genasi may, however, move through multiple hostile creatures' spaces and each one suffers this damage separately. Once they use this ability, a radiance genasi may not use Flickerfire again until completing a long rest.
[Editors Note: The inspiration and initial design/mechanics for this version of smoke genasi came from Anna Landin, a friend, a talented artist, and a player in my Planescape campaign. She has an excellent Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/annalandin and can be found on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/AnnaLandin.]
For millennia without end, djinn and efreet raiders cross the border between the Elemental Planes of Air and Fire to raid each others' holdings. These battles leave only smoldering embers, furnace-hot winds, and thick smoke, which serve as camouflage for the next incursion. These choking clouds are deadly to most mortals, but to those who adapt and survive, the Para-Elemental Plane of Smoke offers hidden sanctuary, shifting schemes, and powerful secrets. Over the ages, these survivors have been shaped by this border plane into the smoke genasi.
Smoke genasi are humanoid in form, though they sometimes manifest the barest traces of their original lineage. Some appear largely human, but others may have small horns, slightly pointed ears, or small, soft scales as a faint reminder of a progenitor that adapted to the Smoke. They almost universally have dark skin, varying from jet-black to soft gray, and many smoke genasi have gradients of these shifting skin tones across their bodies. Some rare smoke genasi have reddish-orange and dimly luminous freckles on their faces or skin, and even those who do not have been known to brand themselves with glowing marks as a form of self-expression. Their eye color varies from light and smoky irises that are barely distinguishable to a dark and unreadable black. No matter their eye color, though, when they are in full darkness, their irises glow a dim red-orange, like dying embers. Smoke genasi hair is often dark and comes in every style and texture, though it is common for the tips of their hair to drift off into formless smoke that trails subtly behind them as they move. Smoke genasi have the smell of smoke that clings to them at all times, sometimes varying with their mood between wood smoke, a pleasant incense, or the terrible odors of a greasy oil fire or burning flesh.
These natives of the Smoke are generally charming and attractive, but are also typically seen as untrustworthy. The Border Plane of Smoke is full of layered schemes and shifting alliances of convenience and the smoke genasi are adept at saying just the right things, even when you would be inclined not to believe them. Not all smoke genasi are so self-serving, but even the most genuine smoke genasi's words come with a certain seductive quality that makes others question their intent.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Darkvision. You have darkvision up to 60 feet. Smoke genasi see in the dark by sensing the heat in their surroundings and when in full darkness, their eyes glow reddish-orange like smoldering embers.
Smoke and Mirrors. You can cast the spell misty step without requiring a spell slot or components. Once used, you cannot use this ability again until completing a short or long rest.
Dissipate. Touched by the elemental substance of their home, a smoke genasi's body is less solid than those of other races. As a reaction when hit by a weapon attack, you can choose to dissolve into smoke and let the attack pass harmlessly through you. Once you use this ability, you may not use it again until completing a long rest.