Dancing on Pinheads for Fun and Profit -Aasimar 5e
Aasimar are the angelic answer to tieflings as they are the offspring of humans and celestial beings. The aasimar are bastions of divine power, both human and at once otherworldly. The power of celestial good runs through their veins, but just as not all tieflings are evil, not all aasimars embrace the divine origins of their celestial ancestor. They waited in the wings for a while but now Critical Role's Yasha Nydoorin has brought aasimars into the spotlight. Playing an aasimar can be a perfect excuse for triumphant paladin-esque righteousness or self-reflective moral conflict. Ascend Mt. Celestia with us as we go through everything you need to know.
Quite similarly to tieflings, aasimar don't have a culture of their own. Aasimar are rare, and they can spring up in any nation or culture due to divine intervention or simple ancestry. Unlike tieflings though, aasimar are rarely left to their own devices by their otherworldly patrons. As an aasimar grows up, they will receive holy directives from their angelic guide, usually angelic devas who will gently encourage them to vanquish evil. Aasimars are true mortals though and can choose to follow or ignore these holy edicts as they see fit.
Playing an aasimar means playing a character with a lot of expectations hanging over them because of their celestial blood and baggage to deal with. Most pass for relatively human, but once their celestial powers manifest, they're marked by destiny. Holy patrons make their demands while the forces of darkness seek any chance to wipe out a paragon of virtue before it can really blossom. Aasimar lives are always filled with conflict, one way or the other.
Typical aasimar features in most cases aren't that different; aasimar can pass for humans, usually quite fit and attractive but human, nonetheless. Some will have an odd tell, like pupil-less eyes, odd-eye colorations, or strangely tinted hair or skin, depending on their aasimar bloodline. Very rarely, they'll even have angelic feathers growing with and interwoven into their hair in a prominent display of their aasimar heritage. Generally, though, aasimar aren't eye catching until they power up. Aasimar have a transformation ability, where they tap into their divine power and let their true angelic nature shine through. Work with your Dungeon Master to discuss who your celestial parent might be based on any non standard human appearance.
When making your aasimar, the full breadth of humanity is your creative space. It's the hints and little things that make it unique. Try making some little tells and hints that reflect their divine power hiding just within their mortal coil. For a scourge aasimar, maybe they burn hot and steam rises off them when they get angry. For a protector aasimar, perhaps there seems to be a glow about them that brightens the room. For a fallen aasimar, maybe the shadows seem to cling to their pallid flesh.
Aasimar births aren't really anything special. So it makes sense that while a bit anticlimactic, aasimar are born to normal humans and as such get normal human names. The names of whatever human cultures exist in your setting are appropriate for your aasimar character.
Your aasimar character has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase : Your Charisma score increases by 2.
Age: Aasimar mature at the same rate as humans, but they can live up to 160 years.
Alignment: Imbued with celestial power, most aasimar are good. Outcast aasimar are most often neutral or even evil.
Size: Aasimar have the same range of height and weight as humans.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision : Blessed with a radiant soul, your vision can easily cut through darkness. 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.
Celestial Resistance : You have resistance to necrotic damage and radiant damage.
Healing Hands : As an action, you can touch a creature and cause it to regain a number of hit points equal to your level. Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest. This racial bonus isn't amazing, but can be a clutch racial trait.
Healing Hands : You know the light cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.
Aasimar have a bunch of great abilities, let's go through them one at a time.
Ability Score Increase: +2 to Charisma, which is useful for characters who want to be "the face of the party" and it's the primary casting ability for Bards, Paladins, Sorcerers, and Warlocks.
Age: You live much longer than humans even though you're born to them, there's some great role-playing opportunities here with the drama of outliving loved ones or the pride of being a long-lived family elder.
Alignment: Understandably good leaning, though if you play a fallen aasimar you should shift to evil or neutral.
Size: Normal medium size, move along.
Speed: Bog-standard movement.
Darkvision: They seem to try and play this up but it's standard darkvision. Not terribly special but very nice to have.
Celestial Resistance: A damage resistance is worth quite a bit, and aasimar get resistance to TWO extremely common damage types. I even recall some grumblings claiming this ability as proof that aasimar are overpowered. For now, just write them down and try to remember your resistance when you get blasted by a moonbeam or inflict wounds.
Healing Hands: Healing for your level is nothing to sneeze at. Though it's obviously outclassed by healing spells and class healing abilities, having a spell like ability for emergency healing in your pocket can save a character's life. It only recharges on a long rest, so try to save it for emergencies.
Languages: Common and celestial. DMs love divine objects and McGuffins so celestial has some high odds of showing up in your adventures.
Three subraces of aasimar exist: protector aasimar, scourge aasimar, and fallen aasimar. Choose one of them for your character. By the way, you might spot stats for a "variant aasimar" floating around, don't use those. They were in the dungeon master's guide well before we got the new and official rules for aasimar in Volo's Guide to Monsters and they're way worse anyway so don't bother. Let's go through each subclass and how their abilities stack up.
An aasimar who was touched by dark powers as a youth or who turns to evil in early adulthood can become one of the fallen - a group of aasimar whose inner light has been replaced by shadow.
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 1.
Necrotic Shroud: Starting at 3rd level, you can use your action to unleash the divine energy within yourself, causing your eyes to turn into pools of darkness and two skeletal, ghostly, flightless wings to sprout from your back. The instant you transform, other creatures within 10 feet of you that can see you must each succeed on a Charisma saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier) or become frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
Your transformation lasts for 1 minute or until you end it as a bonus action. During it, once on each of your turns, you can deal extra necrotic damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell. The extra necrotic damage equals your level.
Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
Ability Score Increase: A bonus to strength pushes you towards martial classes and combined with your bonus to Charisma it works particularly well for paladins or warlocks.
Necrotic Shroud: A burst of fear can get you out of a tight spot, but the short range means you really need to be in the thick of things to reap the benefits. The bonus necrotic damage is also great but be aware that resistance or immunity to necrotic damage is pretty common, especially among undead.
Protector aasimar are charged by the powers of good to guard the weak, to strike at evil wherever it arises, and to stand vigilant against the darkness. From a young age, a protector aasimar receives advice and directives that urge to stand against evil.
Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Radiant Soul: Starting at 3rd level, you can use your action to unleash the divine energy within yourself, causing your eyes to glimmer and two luminous, incorporeal wings to sprout from your back.
Your transformation lasts for 1 minute or until you end it as a bonus action. During it, you have a flying speed of 30 feet, and once on each of your turns, you can deal extra radiant damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell. The extra radiant damage equals your level.
Ability Score Increase: There's not a lot of classes that need both Charisma and Wisdom. Though this subclass should be your obvious choice if you want to push into a Wisdom-based class such as the Cleric for the on-point lore or to take advantage of the flight as a Monk.
Radiant Soul: Flight is amazing even if it only lasts a minute, and the extra radiant damage is sweet (radiant is very rarely resisted as a damage type). Save your transformation as an ace in the hole and grow those beautiful wings when you need that extra edge.
Scourge aasimar are imbued with a divine energy that blazes intensely within them. It feeds a powerful desire to destroy evil - a desire that is, at its best, unflinching and, at its worst, all-consuming. Many scourge aasimar wear masks to block out the world and focus on containing this power, unmasking themselves only in battle.
Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Radiant Consumption: Starting at 3rd level, you can use your action to unleash the divine energy within yourself, causing a searing light to radiate from you, pour out of your eyes and mouth, and threaten to char you.
Your transformation lasts for 1 minute or until you end it as a bonus action. During it, you shed bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet, and at the end of each of your turns, you and each creature within 10 feet of you take radiant damage equal to half your level (rounded up). In addition, once on each of your turns, you can deal extra radiant damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell. The extra radiant damage equals your level.
Ability Score Increase: You're going to need those extra hit points from a high Constitution score, since your transformation hurts you as well. Take this bump and lean hard on those hit points.
Radiant Consumption: First off, this has the potential to deal a LOT of damage to mobs of enemies over the course of a few rounds. Secondly, it also hurts you. Best used by a martial class that wants to get stuck into combat, with a high Constitution to hopefully soak up some damage. Half your level may not seem like a lot, but it is automatic damage that uses a type that's rarely resisted, pure gold.
Their celestial heritage is a bit confusing, as aasimar ability scores lend themselves toward casters, but their actual abilities lead towards martial characters. 5e is incredibly easy to work with, so don't feel tied down but the most optimal aasimar builds utilize both their spellcasting and martial prowess. Take a look at the following builds for a bit of inspiration on your next aasimar character:
Paladins perfectly line up with the bonuses to Charisma and Strength granted by a fallen aasimar (evil aasimar). The "Oath of Conquest" grants an ability at 7th level called aura of conquest that freezes your opponents in place if they're afraid of you, which your necrotic shroud can easily provide. Go scare those do-gooders into submission.
Hexblade warlocks want two things that the scourge aasimar provides, a big bonus to Charisma and more damage. Scourge aasimar need to be able to recover hit points reliably, which hexblade's curse provides, assuming you can take down your cursed foes. It's a match made in heaven, or at least heaven adjacent.
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Last updated: January 27, 2019
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