Learn about the celestial species known as the Aasimar
Placed in the world to serve the forces of law and good, Aasimar are Humans that have been somehow had their biology influenced by a celestial being; as such, they are expected to destroy evil and serve justice. An Aasimar’s lineage grants them additional powers and abilities beyond those normally available to Humans granting them some portion of abilities normally only available to celestial beings. While Aasimar tend to be good-aligned, some Aasimar do fall from the path of goodness and are often known as fallen Aasimar.
Aasimar were first introduced to D&D 5e in Volo’s Guide to Monsters and have since been updated in Monsters of the Multiverse. You can learn everything you need to know to play as one of these angelic beings in our guide below.
What are the Aasimar?
The Aasimar are beings born of at least one Human parent, but where the child has somehow been influenced by a celestial being. This may come from a celestial being mating with a Human or it may come from some latent gene that is manifest later down the bloodline. Either way, Aasimar are very rare beings and as such, many people of the Forgotten Realms are unlikely to have met one before (even many Aasimar haven’t met another Aasimar before). This is particularly the case because Aasimar usually don’t have Aasimar siblings. Celestials rarely mate with Humans, and when they do, it will likely only be once. And when a latent gene is manifest in a child, it’s so rare for it to transform a Human infant into an Aasimar, that it usually doesn’t manifest in siblings.
Those celestials that deign to grant mortals with their lineage, often do so with the purpose to bless mortals with an individual of goodness and a protector and it’s not unusual for Aasimar to be given missions towards some goal to goodness. This is why many Aasimar find their path as paladins or clerics.
While there aren’t subspecies of Aasimar as such, some Aasimar do find themselves in differing circumstances and can be categorised based on these circumstances as the following:
- Fallen Aasimar – An Aasimar tempted by the evil influences may become fallen. This does not mean that this Aasimar is evil, but rather they have done something they shouldn’t have done. Either way, this evil has tarnished their inner light, making them fallen.
- Protector Aasimar – Some Aasimar are given a divine mission to protect the weak and innocent from the forces of evil. Often this mission is given them in their youth so that they can train towards this goal. Such Aasimar are known as Protector Aasimar.
- Scourge Aasimar – Some Aasimar feel an intense desire to eradicate evil from the land. This desire will manifest physically with radiant energy literally emitting from their being. These Aasimar will seek out evil wherever they can find it and purge it by all means necessary.
- Standard Aasimar – Many Aasimar don’t fall into the above categories and are simply defined by their celestial heritage and not by any of the additional criteria above.
Aasimar look like Humans but with some slight differences influenced by their celestial heritage. These differences aren’t as pronounced as those of a Tiefling (a being whose heritage is influenced by an infernal bloodline) but may manifest in a few, small ways. It’s up to you how the celestial lineage might affect the appearance of your character, but these features might include; metallic or white freckles, metallic, luminous or dark eyes, starkly coloured hair, an unusual hue tinting your shadow, a ghostly halo or rainbows gleaming on your skin.
Aasimar tend to be longer-lived than their Human counterparts owing to their divine heritage. Their mortal blood ensures that they are not immortal, but will often live up to about 160 years.
Aasimar are highly empathetic individuals that feel the pains and sorrows of others granting an intense desire to help those in need. This also comes with a heavy emotional burden as the needs of others can be many and not all can be solved easily. Most Aasimar do have a desire and an inclination towards goodness and lawfulness though some Aasimar may differ and may even fall (much as some celestial beings have also fallen from the goodness they once held).
Sometimes, this goodness can manifest in a coldness and even a self-righteous and pious attitude. This can certainly be the case with Scourge Aasimar who adopt a more vengeful streak, even if it is in the name of doing good.
As Aasimar tend to be born to Human parents, they tend to have Human names. As such, it’s best to pick a name that matches the culture your Aasimar was born to from among the Human names of that culture. You might consider the meanings behind such names though as some Humans may consider their child blessed or divinely-touched when they are born which may influence their name.
How to play as an Aasimar
While you can choose to play an Aasimar however you like, the personality you choose may depend on the type of Aasimar that you are. If you are a Fallen Aasimar, you may consider whether you have full turned to evil or whether you live with the regrets of mistakes previously made. If you are a Scourge Aasimar, you might opt for a colder and more pious outlook. You’ll likely view evil with the least degree of acceptance and may consider yourself judge, jury and executioner. A protector Aasimar may feel the burden and urgency of whatever mission they have and perhaps are the more empathetic type of Aasimar. If you do play as a Protector Aasimar, it’s worth discussing with your DM first, what mission you may have been tasked with.
Aasimar Features in 5e
These features are based on the features found in Monsters of the Multiverse. You can play as an Aasimar using the rules found in Volo’s Guide to Monsters instead which also provides slightly differing rules for Fallen, Protector and Scourge Aasimar.
|Ability Scores||+2 to one ability score and +1 to another or +1 to 3 different ability scores|
|Size||Medium or small|
|Lifespan||up to 160 years|
|Languages||Common and Celestial|
|Traits||Celestial Resistance, Darkvision, Healing Hands, Light Bearer, Celestial Revelation|
|Book found in||Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, Volo’s Guide to Monsters|
If you want to play as an Aasimar, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
Darkvision – Like many races, aasimar have darkvision allowing them to see 60ft in dim light as if it’s bright light and in darkness as if it’s dim light.
Celestial Resistance – Aasimar have resistance to necrotic and radiant damage.
Healing Hands – Aasimar have a natural ability to heal that increases in potency as their proficiency bonus increases. As an action, you can touch a creature and roll a number of d4s equal to your proficiency bonus. The creature regains a number of hit points equal to the total rolled. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Light Bearer – Aasimar know the Light cantrip using charisma as your spellcasting ability.
Celestial Revelation – When you reach 3rd level, choose one of the revelation options below. Thereafter, you can use a bonus action to unleash the celestial energy within yourself, gaining the benefits of that revelation. Your transformation lasts for 1 minute or until you end it as a bonus action. Once you transform using your revelation below, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest:
- Necrotic Shroud – Your eyes briefly become pools of darkness, and ghostly, flightless wings sprout from your back temporarily. Creatures other than your allies within 10 feet of you that can see you must 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. Until the transformation ends, 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 damage equals your proficiency bonus.
- Radiant Consumption – Searing light temporarily radiates from your eyes and mouth. For the duration, 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, each creature within 10 feet of you takes radiant damage equal to your proficiency bonus. Until the transformation ends, 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 damage equals your proficiency bonus.
- Radiant Soul – Two luminous, spectral wings sprout from your back temporarily. Until the transformation ends, you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed, 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 damage equals your proficiency bonus.
Which classes work well for Aasimars?
When choosing a class to play as for your Aasimar, it’s worth considering the abilities they have and what will work well with a given class. The Celestial Revelation ability is the main one for Aasimar and while you can only choose one of these revelations, it allows for some variety that make Aasimar good for pretty much any class, you just have to pick a matching revelation.
Best classes for Aasimar
The Aasimar are very much built for melee combat. Darkvision is good for tanks that will want to be at the front of the party and Necrotic Shroud and Radiant Consumption are ideal for characters in the thick of combat as they do damage to a small area around the character. You also get resistance to Necrotic and Radiant damage which is handy for someone in the firing line and few races get 2 resistances. Some extra healing abilities are handy for any class as there’s no guarantee that your healer will be available.
The slight issue to consider is the effectiveness of Necrotic Shroud is dependent on your charisma, so you’ll get the most mileage out of this ability if you’re playing as a charisma-based class. For this reason, Aasimar tend to work best as paladins more than any other class. You might also see the benefits from something like a exblade warlock or a college of swords bard who are both charisma-based melee classes, though there are better fits for the Aasimar.
With that in mind, the best classes for an Aasimar are:
Depending on the build of your character, you might also include clerics and druids in this list as they can also be melee based as well. Artificers might have gotten the nod if you were going with an armourer or a battle smith, but they often want to be using their bonus action on other things rather than their Celestial Revelation.
Worst classes for Aasimar
We’d argue that there aren’t really any bad classes for Aasimar, but if you do choose to have Necrotic Shroud, you’ll likely want to pick a charisma based melee class like a paladin. But because your Celestial Revelation has a couple of other options to choose from, you can adapt your Aasimar to most classes, even those that may not want to be in the thick of combat like a wizard or sorceror by taking Radiant Soul instead (which does increase the damage of attack spells and gives you flight, which is useful for ranged classes).