Genasi are an inherent contradiction. Each genasi embodies the potential chaos of air and fire, the order of earth and water, or the ferocity of thunder and lightning. Genasi manifest one of these facets of their elemental soul at all times. Their race is passionate and nearly as diverse as humans. Genasi can be found almost anywhere.

Physical Qualities

Every genasi constantly manifests an element. (Genasi have no neutral, nonelemental state.) All genasi are born with one elemental manifestation, a genetic trait that is handed down from his or her parents. Some genasi learn an additional manifestation in late adolescence or adulthood, and a rare few have several.

Genasi are of roughly the same size and proportions as humans, though they tend toward broader physiques that are evidence of their physical strength. A genasi's body is etched with energy lines that glow in a color associated with the element that the genasi is manifesting. The energy lines on a genasi's body appear in a pattern that is common between members of the same family and sometimes between natives of the same area. The specific configuration of energy lines on each genasi's face and head is distinctive, varying between individuals the way fingerprints differ between humans. Even when genasi change their elemental manifestation, each one retains his or her unique facial energy lines. To show off the energy lines etching his or her body, a genasi often wears clothes that leave at least some portion of his or her body uncovered.

Genasi skin tones and "hair" also vary depending on which element an individual is manifesting. Genasi don't have actual hair—the substance that appears to cover their heads during different manifestations is a magical expression of their elemental nature.

The physical qualities that genasi display when using different elemental manifestations are summarized below.

  • Earthsoul: Brown skin; golden energy lines and eyes; bald with golden energy lines glowing on the head.
  • Firesoul: Ruddy bronze skin; fiery orange energy lines and eyes; flickering flames coming out of the energy lines on the head.
  • Stormsoul: Purple skin; silvery energy lines; glowing crystalline silver spikes on the head.
  • Watersoul: Seafoam green skin; bright blue energy lines; bald with blue energy lines glowing on the head.
  • Windsoul: Silver skin; light blue energy lines; glowing blue and gray ice crystal spikes on the head.

Genasi have an average life span comparable to that of humans, roughly 75 years. Some members of the race can live to the age of 90 or 100.

Playing a Genasi

Generalities about a genasi's elemental manifestation are sometimes contradicted by the race's changeable nature. In most regions where genasi live, the dominant manifestation is the one most closely associated with the region's environment. The most extreme example of this truism occurs in underwater communities, where it’s essentially impossible for a genasi to survive without the watersoul manifestration.

In a city whose construction features a number of elevated features and possibly a lot of earthmotes (such as Airspur, the capital of Akanûl), the vast majority of genasi have the stormsoul or windsoul manifestation. In a hot climate or a place where creatures of flame hold sway (such as the city of Memnon in Calimshan), firesoul is the most prevalent manifestation. Genasi are noted for their presence in Akanûl, Calimshan, and Returned Abeir, but smaller pockets of genasi can be found most anywhere.

Genasi who have more than one manifestation think of themselves as having multiple personas. A genasi who is quick-tempered and passionate while manifesting firesoul might be a much more deliberate person while manifesting earthsoul. When free from the demands of travel or conflict, genasi who have multiple manifestations sometimes change manifestation as a method of expressing their mood or their intentions.

Genasi philosophers believe that genasi were created as a compromise between chaos and the world's divinely crafted forms. A few genasi internalize that contradiction and struggle to eliminate one or the other of their natures, becoming maniacs of chaos or disciples of order, but those genasi are the exception. Most simply enjoy the connections that their elemental nature gives them to the world.

As children, genasi express only a single manifestation. In all but a few areas of Faerûn, however, genasi know family members and childhood friends who have manifestations other than their own, so that they grow up knowing the diverse elements their race is connected to.

Ambition and pride have strongly influenced genasi culture. Genasi are constantly aspiring to improve their station. Their societies bubble with a constant pressure for recognition of true strength and competence. In consequence, genasi social structures are nowhere near as stable as those created by other races.

Genasi have no longstanding animosity toward any other races. Neither can they be said to be sure friends of any other race—not even their own. In human cities, some genasi prefer to deal with one group of friends while manifesting one element and keep a different circle of friends in another manifestation. Other genasi find friends who can deal with all their forms.

Genasi Characteristics: Capricious, exotic, free-spirited, haughty, headstrong, impulsive, independent, passionate, quick-tempered, quixotic

Male Genasi Names: Emere, Garel-kai, Jett, Kad-dim-sul, Ki-amar, Mariz, Sardis, Sha-karn, Yuriel, Zan-kyri

Female Genasi Names: Ashar, Gwind, Len-jes, Jenda-shan, Jerra, Mai-sal, Mara-kai, Nari-lana, Son-liin, Valandra, Vanri

Genasi Adventurers

Three sample genasi adventurers are described below.

Mariz, genasi warlord

Mariz is a genasi warlord. Despite starting his life with the stormsoul manifestation, he was drawn to the sea. His acquaintances aren't sure whether Mariz has become a pirate on the Sea of Fallen Stars or whether he hunts pirates on the Sea of Fallen Stars. The story seems to vary depending on Mariz's mood. All they're certain of is that he mastered the watersoul manifestation in time to save his life when he was involved in a battle at sea, and that he now adventures intending to earn enough money to buy his own ship and a magic arsenal to avenge himself upon those responsible for his first ship's destruction. As long as Mariz still has his sword and his quick wits to help keep them alive, Mariz's friends are inclined to help him get his ship and then go along for the voyage.

Nari-lana, genasi swordmage

The genasi swordmage Nari-lana became a student of magic, swordplay, and her windsoul manifestation while growing up. She aspired to follow the assault swordmage tradition, eventually becoming one of the anarchs of Shyr. She was well on her way to earning a place of power in the community when one day her entire swordmage school was outdueled by a wandering eladrin swordmaster. That event changed Nari-lana's life. She was thrilled by the new techniques and hidden powers the eladrin had demonstrated, and she realized those techniques weren't going to come to her while she stayed at home, so she set out for a life of challenges and questing. She likely won't again meet the eladrin who bested her school, but if she does, she intends to show him the powerful sword magic she has learned on her adventures.

Garel-kai, genasi wizard

Garel-kai served as an apprentice to a human wizard while growing up in the great city of Waterdeep. His master abruptly disappeared a few months ago, leaving Garel-kai with a bit of knowledge, an unsatisfied sense of adventure, and a sudden desire to travel in other lands. Garel-kai isn't ready to admit it aloud, but he is extremely curious about what awaits him in lands more heavily populated by genasi. He's not sure yet whether he is looking forward to living among others of his kind or whether he will long for a return to his days as a dweller in the City of Splendors.

Genasi Racial Traits

Average Height: 5' 7"–6' 2"
Average Weight: 130–225 lb.

Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal

Languages: Common, Primordial
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Nature
Elemental Origin: Your ancestors were native to the Elemental Chaos, so you are considered an elemental creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
Elemental Manifestation: Choose one elemental manifestation: earthsoul, firesoul, stormsoul, watersoul, or windsoul. That manifestation is part of your nature. (The Extra Manifestation feat lets you add additional manifestations and change your manifestation.) Each elemental manifestation offers particular benefits and provides an associated encounter power. Your appearance changes based on the element you are manifesting.

Earthsoul: You gain a +1 racial bonus to your Fortitude defense, a +1 racial bonus to saving throws, and the earthshock power.

Firesoul: You gain a +1 racial bonus to your Reflex defense, resist 5 fire, and the firepulse power.

At 11th level, the resistance improves to 10 fire.
At 21st level, the resistance improves to 15 fire.

Stormsoul: You gain a +1 racial bonus to your Fortitude defense, resist 5 lightning, and the promise of storm power.

At 11th level, the resistance improves to 10 lightning.
At 21st level, the resistance improves to 15 lightning.

Watersoul: You can breathe underwater. You also gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against ongoing damage and the swiftcurrent power.

Windsoul: You gain resist 5 cold and the windwalker power.

At 11th level, the resistance improves to 10 cold.
At 21st level, the resistance improves to 15 cold.

Earthshock Earthsoul Genasi Racial Power
The earth moves in response to your stomping foot or slapping hand, buckling to knock your enemy to its knees.
Minor Action Close burst 1
Target: Enemies in burst that are touching the ground
Attack: Strength +2 vs. Fortitude, Constitution +2 vs. Fortitude, or Dexterity +2 vs. Fortitude
Increase to +4 bonus at 11th level, and to +6 bonus at 21st level.
Hit: The target is knocked prone.
Special: When you gain this manifestation, choose Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity as the ability score you use when making attack rolls with this power. This choice remains throughout your character’s life and does not change the power’s other effects.

Firepulse Firesoul Genasi Racial Power
As an enemy lands a blow, retributive fire ignites from your arms and fists.
Encounter ✦ Fire
Immediate Reaction Melee 1
Trigger: An enemy hits you with a melee attack
Target: The triggering enemy
Attack: Strength +2 vs. Reflex, Constitution +2 vs. Reflex, or Dexterity +2 vs. Reflex
Increase to +4 bonus at 11th level, and to +6 bonus at 21st level.
Hit: 1d6 + Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity modifier fire damage.
Increase to 2d6 + Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity modifier fire damage at 11th level, and to 3d6 + Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity modifier fire damage at 21st level.
Special: When you gain this manifestation, choose Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity as the ability score you use when making attack rolls and damage rolls with this power. This choice remains throughout your character's life and does not change the power’s other effects.

Promise of Storm Stormsoul Genasi Racial Power
The lightning living within you calls out to its companion, the thunder. Sparks dance across your skin, and the air around you seems to darken and rumble.
Encounter ✦ Lightning, Thunder
Minor Action Personal
Effect: Until the end of your next turn, you deal an extra 1d8 damage with any lightning or thunder power you use.
At 11th level, increase your extra damage to 2d8. At 21st level, increase your extra damage to 3d8.

Swiftcurrent Watersoul Genasi Racial Power
Your form ripples like water as you flow forward, whipping past enemies and rubble in a graceful but deadly surge.
Move Action Personal
Effect: You can shift up to your speed over ground or liquid terrain. You take no penalties for squeezing during this movement, can move through enemy spaces, ignore difficult terrain, and take no damage if the surface or substance you move across would ordinarily deal damage to you.

Windwalker Windsoul Genasi Racial Power
You harness the power of the winds. Air swirls about you, lifting you from the earth.
Move Action Personal
Effect: Fly 8 squares. If you don’t end your move on solid ground, you float to the ground without taking falling damage.

Play a genasi if you want …

  • to struggle or experiment with the order and chaos of your existence.
  • to look for adaptability in personality and physical appearance.
  • to be a member of a race that favors the swordmage and warlord classes.

Character Races
Player's Handbook DragonbornDwarvesEladrinElvesHalf-ElvesHalflingsHumansTieflings
Player's Handbook 2 DevasGnomesGoliathsHalf-OrcsShifters
Player's Handbook 3 GithzeraiMinotaurShardmindWilden
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide DrowGenasi
Character Races

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