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The aasimar (plural aasimar)[1] is a race in Dungeons & Dragons. They are a type of planetouched, descended from humans but with a trace of otherworldly holy ancestry.

Appearance and personality

Aasimar closely resemble humans or half-elves. They are usually tall, handsome, and well-liked. Some possess unique traits such as silvery hair or golden eyes that reveal their divine heritage.[2][1]

Most aasimar are descended from one of the humanlike nomadic eladrin of Arborea, the animal-like guardinals of Elysium, or the rare rilmani of the Outlands. An aasimar's appearance and supernatural abilities often reflect their celestial ancestor.[3] As a result of their heritage, aasimar are usually good, and evil aasimar are rare.

A few aasimar are blessed with wings. Among the many rare traits observed among some aasimar include the ability to put animals at ease, silver skin, and doglike ears.[4]

Abilities and traits

Aasimar are exceptionally wise and charismatic, with some noted for their strength. They possess darkvision, able to see without light, and for those allies who cannot, they have the supernatural ability to produce bright light. They are supernaturally resistant to cold, and often other elements like acid and lightning. They have sharp senses, and are difficult to sneak up on.

Aasimar typically live slightly longer than humans, with the oldest on record reaching over 150 years.[3]

Culture

Aasimar are rare, and have no societies of their own. Instead, they live among other cultures and follow the traditions and practices of their hosts. They fit in best in upright, law-abiding cultures, where their strong moral instincts make them a boon to society rather a nuisance.[1]

Individual aasimar are highly likely to become paladins or clerics. They favor large, heavy weapons and polearms. A small but significant proportion of aasimar become arcane spellcasters in service to some noble cause.

In the Forgotten Realms, prior to the Spellplague, aasimar were more common in Mulhorand, where they are the descendents of the avatars of Mulhorandi deities who settled in that region.[5]

Notable aasimar

  • Seraphistus, Prince of Statues, a golden-eyed aasimar thief[4]

Publication history

AD&D 2nd edition

The aasimar first appears in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (1995), a year after the introduction of their evil counterpart, the tiefling. Aasimar player characters can be of any class, but their character level is limited: at best a 17th level cleric or 16th level paladin.[1]

They appear in The Planewalker's Handbook (1996)[3] and Warriors of Heaven (1999)[4].

D&D 3rd edition

Aasimar appear alongside tiefling in the D&D third edition Monster Manual (2000). They became a playable race with the release of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001), which introduced the Equivalent Character Level (ECL) system to allow fans of Drizzt Do'Urden to play more powerful races like drow.

The playable aasimar stats were included in the D&D 3.5 Monster Manual (2003). Aasimar are described in more detail in Races of Faerun (2003)[5].

Creative origins

The aasimar is an original creation of Dungeons & Dragons, a good-aligned counterpart to the evil tiefling. It draws inspiration from popular depictions of angels.

The aasimar is named after the aasimon, a type of celestial.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (1995), p.6-7.
  2. D&D 3.5 Monster Manual (2003), p.209.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Planewalker's Handbook (1996), p.70-71; 81. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "pwh-70" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "pwh-70" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Warriors of Heaven (1999)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Races of Faerun (2003).
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