Many fans consider Dungeons and Dragons the ultimate role-playing experience. With its extensive lore, thousands of character builds, and giant community, no game will be identical to another. The options of races, classes, and moral alignments ensure that.
But 5e, the current edition, has attracted new players thanks to its more malleable nature. The 4th edition was more rigid while the 5th edition lets campaigns be a bit more fast and loose. It also incorporates more unique species into the game and lore such as Tieflings and Aasimar.
Though not nearly as storied as their infernal counterparts, Aasimar can be found in Volo's Guide to Monsters. These part-Celestial, part-human creatures bridge the lines of outcast, hero, and inquisitor. But what else do fans need to know about them?
10 Origins And History
The Aasimar do not share the same origins as a species as storied as Elves. They came about as a result of Wizards of the Coast wanting to maintain parity among the species. Basically, the Tieflings got cursed by Asmodeus and became Infernal Tieflings by and large. So D&D needed a celestial or angelic counterpart to this new influx of horned devils.
Of course, the idea of a half-human, half-angel offspring is not revelatory. They’re more commonly known as Nephelim within Christianity or video games like the Diablo series. But as far as other aspects of the Aasimar go such as their deity service or region of origin, WotC left the slate quite a bit blanker than that of the Tieflings’.
9 The Difference Between Aasimar And Devas
Devas are to Aasimars what Corellon was to the Elven species. Well, not quite, but there’s a long explanation behind the lukewarm analogy. It dates back to -8,350 and the ancient human civilization of the Imaskar Empire. There was a mysterious plague that led to a labor shortage. Therefore, a bunch of lazy wizards got together to bring workers in from different times and regions across space to enslave them.
The god of the sphere wherein Toril resides, Eo, pled to a wild space god named Tah for help. Some of his pantheon agreed to send avatars of their divine power to help these people, but then they further split themselves into divine incarnations to fight for the slaves. These are Devas which are not the same as Aasimar but are often called Aasimar.
There also might be more lore available on the Devas than on the actual Aasimar.
8 Aasimar Physiology And Anatomy
Though the origin of the race is not set in stone, most Aasimar are part-human and part-Celestial. Their ancestry, however, can include other races such as Fey and Gale. This ancestry is what dictates their eye, skin, and hair colors. The species is also plane-touched with exceptional dark vision and invulnerability to fear effects.
They mature at the same rate as humans, but do not age as quickly and live longer, too. Curiously, it is not clear whether divine lineage dictates Aasimar production. They cannot reproduce like humans, Elves or Tieflings would. Instead, Aasimar are manifested, sometimes later in a child's development, and are not dictated by bloodlines. That means that one sibling can become an Aasimar while another remains "normal."
7 Aasimar Culture
There is no real and definitive Aasimar culture due to how Aasimar are created. One can't even coin a phrase such as the "Aasimar diaspora" because they just pop-up out of nowhere. The only culture to speak of, in fact, is simply the genetic pact Aasimar have with deities.
Aasimar are more common in Mulhorand, the land where they were originally created. But most Aasimar will go their whole lives and not meet another of their kind. Some can also be found in places like Waterdeep or areas of the Outer Planes, as well.
The driving force behind Aasimar ideology is the deity service they must abide by and their generally good alignments.
6 Protectors Vs. Scourges
There are two main sub-races within the main species known as Protectors and Scourges. Protectors generally feature literal halos, feathery wing remnants on their backs, and are extremely vigilant. They're the more common sub-race and get a Wisdom bonus along with attacks that deal extra radiant damage whilst in their "Angel mode." This is an ability that allows them to grow wings, fly, and glow once per long rest.
Scourges, in contrast, are more "Holy Fire" and "Scorched Earth" since fire literally comes from inside them. Some will even wear masks such as members of the Jiéshù rì cult. They generally come from a warrior heritage and maintain focus on destroying evil. Their special ability fills a 10ft. radius with divine fire that burns any creature within it (including allies and themselves).
Which sub-race an Aasimar becomes is determined by their ancestry and choices in life. Any Aasimar, regardless of sub-race, can become Fallen.
5 How Aasimar Can Become Fallen Or Redeem Themselves
Aasimar, like plane-touched species, naturally come with a +2 charisma bonus. This extends even to the Fallen Aasimar. This isn't necessarily a sub-race, but more of a moniker that expresses itself physically by changing a person's appearance. Unlike regular Aasimar, Fallen ones will have black eyes, more pallid skin, and sprout spectral, leathery wings instead of the normal angel feathers.
An Aasimar "falls" by "being touched by evil" in their youth. This can be someone manipulating them or life experience turning them cynical or vengeful. However, no matter how "evil" a Fallen Aasimar might be, they can redeem themselves through good deeds and recommitting to their deity of choice.
The designation of "Fallen" extends to Aasimar who reject their celestial guides, as well. But some Fallen Aasimar will follow Ashmedai, supreme lord of the Great Gates of Hell.
4 Their Ironic Hatred Of Tieflings
Wizards of The Coast have more than hinted at the idea that they wanted a counterbalance to the perceived “demonic” Tieflings. They wanted a race that was part angelic, but still human enough to be playable. This may serve as the primary explanation for why the Aasimar have such a distaste for Tieflings.
The loathing doesn’t even make sense when players really dig into the lore behind both species. Think about it: both the Aasimar and Tieflings are maligned and shunned from most societies. They are different, so they must be bad, right? They could feasibly share the same hurt and pain in a Seymour Guado kind of way.
But this is all conjecture or perhaps fodder for a Bad Company “buddy cop” D&D campaign.
3 Their Kindred Feelings Toward Fellow Half-breeds
Speaking of those intense feelings of isolation, Aasimar prefer other mixed races for company. This can include half-elves, which are more common, but also half-orcs, too. Most D&D lore would suggest that most societies and cultures are extremely dismissive or abusive of mixed-species individuals. So naturally, Aasimar gravitate toward people who have shared experiences.
Again, this makes for fantastic story opportunities in the 48 Hours unlikely teammates department. A half-orc cleric and a Fallen Aasimar meet in a tavern then accidentally end up rescuing the town from a goblin attack? Throw in a rogue Tiefling, and that’s a party that’s sure to get attacked constantly.
2 Which Deity Should Your Aasimar Serve?
The beauty behind the fact that Aasimar can pop up out of nowhere is that they can then worship whomever really. Aasimar, as a species, are not beholden to one pantheon of gods. Many of them serve the Mulhorandi pantheon simply because their ancestry ties back to them. However, Aasimar found in other regions might worship that culture’s gods instead.
For instance, an Aasimar in the Outer Planes might serve an Elven or Dwarven god. This includes many deities such as the Drow/Dark Elf goddess Eilistraee and the human god Milil. Their alliance generally boils down more to geography than it does to a desire to serve that deity.
1 They Make The Ultimate Role Playing Character
Some D&D players like to have more structure when they create characters. They might pick an Elf given their rich history or even a Tiefling for their unique background. But with the Aasimar, players can truly tailor their stories to be completely original. The character is the blankest slate of all that also happens to be able to grow wings and burn people.
The combinations are endless when it comes to Aasimar D&D characters. One could play as a Fallen Aasimar dedicated to the Drow goddess Eilistraee or a Scourge Aasimar warlock whose celestial patron is a deva of a deity like Arawai, goddess of life and fertility. Evil Aasimar are very rare, but still playable options, as well.
Feeling cautious about how Sifu will turn out eventually