Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

Origins of the PCs: Aasimar

First introduced to Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, aasimar are a planetouched race descended from humans and celestials or other good-aligned outsiders. They were originally introduced as part of the Planescape setting.

As descendants of angels, devas and other celestial beings, aasimars are natural bastions of light and purity. Their powerful personalities and pleasing appearances make them much admired in human communities while simultaneously enhancing the abilities that they learn from their classes.

While not every aasimar is good, most are, and their racial abilities make them natural adventurers and crusaders. Many are also deeply religious, as they are living proof of divinity, and take up roles such as paladins and clerics.

Which Aasimar is the Right Aasimar?
Since the aasimar was released in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, there have been a number of revisions to the class, often flipping back and forth on a few key racial features.

The last revision of the aasimar race can be seen in both the Planar Handbook and Races of Destiny. In this version, the aasimar's light ability has been replaced with daylight, meaning that the Light to Daylight feat from Races of Faerûn is no longer a viable option for such characters.

In addition, if you're looking to play as an aasimar character that does not have a level adjustment, talk to your Dungeon Master about the alternate rules for "lesser aasimar" from the Player's Guide to Faerûn.

Aasimar Strengths

  • High Wisdom
  • High Charisma
  • Unaffected by effects that target humanoids
  • Access to darkvision
  • Ability to cast daylight as a spell-like ability
  • Bonuses to Listen and Spot checks
  • Resistance to acid, cold and electricity damage

Aasimar Weaknesses

  • Level adjustment

Playing a Aasimar
Aasimar are an incredibly powerful race. They aren't weighed down by a lower ability score like most, like their fiendishly-spawned kin the tiefling. Their only drawback is a +1 level adjustment, meaning that as a player, you must be sure to make every single level count. If aasimar are deficient in anything, it would be stealth. Their abilities are geared more towards discovering subterfuge rather than participating in it.

Aasimar enjoy both a high Wisdom and a high Charisma score, making them ideal at both social and observational skills and natural leaders for their parties. In addition, their minor resistance to several energy types makes them more able to withstand more exotic attacks, like spells or breath weapons.

The aasimar's skill bonuses are effectively the equivalent of the Alertness feat. An aasimar wizard, or more likely a sorcerer (or bard with the Summon Familiar feat), will have a +4 bonus to both Listen and Spot (when their familiar is within a close enough range) before any skill ranks or ability score bonuses are factored in.

The aasimar's daylight ability is a natural foil to the tiefling's darkness. In a dungeon environment however, daylight can be extremely useful on it's own, especially as a way to help guide characters without darkvision.

Class Suggestions
Aasimars are at their best with their favored class: the paladin. The aasimar's ability score enhancements are a boon for almost every paladin class feature, and their energy resistance makes the class that much more difficult to defeat. A close second is the cleric class, which benefits in the same way, but not to the same extent.

Not all aasimars devoted to divine magic are clerics and paladins though. The druid is a very legitimate choice. Not only are their spells improved by a high Wisdom, but the high Charisma also allows them to tame animals much easier than their fellows. Likewise, the spirit shaman (Complete Divine) provides a number of abilities that are enhanced in the aasimar's hands coupled with spellcasting.

When dealing with combat-focused classes, aasimars do best when focusing on their Wisdom. The monk is an obvious choice, as they benefit from a higher unarmored AC bonus and improved stunning fist save DCs. Also, consider the fighter, especially when paired with the Combat Form feats from the Player's Handbook II. The knight (Player's Handbook II) is also a good choice for a combat-oriented character, especially one that focuses on mounted combat, while using their personality-based abilities to thin enemy ranks.

If arcane magic appeals to you, sorcerer and bard are both good choices. Sorcerers can also be augmented by the Celestial Sorcerer Heritage feats from the Player's Handbook II which provides them with a number of good-themed abilities at the cost of spell slots.

The favored soul (Complete Divine) provides a number of divine casting options which can be useful to the aasimar, including several features that synergize or overlap with their racial abilities. Multiclassing the favored soul with the paladin class is an excellent way to provide a character with both moderately powerful spellcasting, extremely high saving throw bonuses and fairly decent combat abilities.

Complete Warrior provides a pair of classes that will appeal to the aasimar. The samurai, appropriate for Oriental-styled characters, can easily serve as the equivalent to the paladin as it provides a number of combat options that they will excel in. Those few non-good aasimar characters may want to look at the Hexblade class, which provides a paladin-styled character that's reliant on arcane magic.

If you're looking to make a competent healer character, look no further than the healer class (Miniatures Handbook). Not only do they have Wisdom-based spellcasting, and a number of extraordinarily useful restoration abilities, but they also cast cure spells that are enhanced by a higher Charisma score, allowing them to get more bang for their buck. Combined with a class that provides mounted combat ability, like the knight, this class can easily turn from defense to a devastating offense in the blink of an eye.

If you're in a campaign with psionics, both the psychic warrior (Expanded Psionics Handbook) and the divine mind are excellent choices. If you're a campaign with incarnum, look at the incarnate or the soulborn class (Magic of Incarnum). While the aasimar doesn't automatically excel with incarnum-based classes due to their average Constitution scores, they can do quite well in them. In addition, the aasimar has the ability to take substitution levels in the incarnate class that makes them much more martial-minded. Finally, if you're in a campaign that uses martial maneuvers, consider the swordsage class (Tome of Battle) which provides the aasimar with abilities in a similar bent to the monk class.

Feat Suggestions
Like tieflings, aasimar have little in the way of racial feats available to them, and strangely enough, the two share some feat options that can enhance them both.

As stated earlier, the Light to Daylight feat (Races of Faerûn) is no longer a viable choice for aasimar characters. Instead, consider Magic in the Blood from Player's Guide to Faerûn. This feat will provide the character with more uses of their daylight ability. If you want a different option, try Godsight from Lost Empires of Faerûn which provides the aasimar with a number of spell-like abilities based on vision.

Improved Energy Resistance (Races of Faerûn) can be taken by an aasimar character up to three times, each time improving their energy resistance for one type. An aasimar favored soul that's taken a wider variety of energy resistances can take the feat up to five times.

The Celestial Bloodline Feat (Races of Faerûn) allows the aasimar to cast protection from evil and bless as spell-like abilities. At the same time, it opens up the option to later take the Outsider Wings feat and gain the ability to fly, or to take the Eyes of Light feat and gain the ability to use a searing light spell-like ability in place of the normal daylight ability.

Aasimars looking to be a little 'more human' might also want to take the Human Heritage feat from Races of Destiny. Not only does it provide the character with extra skill points, but it also opens up new avenues for them, by allowing them to be treated as humans for meeting prerequisites.

Prestige Class Suggestions
Aasimars are extremely adaptable to a variety of roles, so they can likewise benefit from a large number of prestige classes. Here are some examples of prestige classes that you might want to consider.

Glorious Servitor (Lost Empires of Faerûn) - This is the only prestige class made specifically for the aasimar (and their fiendish-kin: the tiefling). A paladin or cleric (or paladin/cleric) can meet the fairly steep requirements fairly easily. The benefits are improved defenses, improved combat abilities and the ability to take on an animal form and well worth the time required.

Chameleon (Races of Destiny) - This requires that the aasimar take the Human Heritage feat from the same book. It provides the character with a wide variety of abilities, which can be switched out on a regular basis to keep the class fresh and new. The benefit is that the character will almost always be a benefit to the party.

Ordained Champion (Complete Champion) - For aasimars in service to Heironeous, this can be an extremely easy choice. Not only does it provide a continuation of some of their previous class's abilities, it also provides a number of abilities to turn them into a divine-powered engine of destruction.

Morninglord of Lathander (Player's Guide to Faerûn) - This light-focused class provides aasimar worshippers of Lathander with a number of abilities based around the deity's portfolios: sun, creation, and healing. Characters with the Eyes of Light feat (Races of Faerûn) can also convert an extra searing light per day after the 3rd level.

Sun Soul Monk (City of Splendors: Waterdeep) - This is a class made for aasimar monks. Not only do they continue on their martial path, but the class also provides them with a number of light and fire-based abilities that mesh well with the aasimar's racial abilities.

New Material

Aasimar Paragon

Aasimar are the descendants of long-ago matings between celestials and humans. They have but a modicum of celestial blood flowing through them, but this is enough to set them far apart from mere humans. They are tougher, more observant and they have greater mental capacity along with some of the spell-like abilities and resistances of their ancestors. Most aasimars are good, indeed their very being urges them towards a life of piety. Some however turn away from their origins and become twisted, yet beautiful villains, often insane and hunted by their brethren. Whether good or evil, some aasimar look within themselves, becoming paragons among their kind.
    Adventures: Driven to do good deeds, aasimar find adventuring a natural path. In no other vocation can one get the opportunity to free oppressed kingdoms, to save damsels in distress or to slay fiendish monsters. Their strong personalities attract other, like-minded individuals, soon forming adventuring parties that travel the land and soon pass into legend.
    Characteristics: Aasimar paragons are, for lack of a better term, visible. They stand tall against the forces of evil and chaos, and even stand out among humans due to their beauty. Often not given to becoming politicians or rules, they may become stoic or aloof in an attempt to distance themselves from petty squabbles. They are loyal to their allies, friendly to strangers and deadly to those who align themselves with evil.
    Alignment: Overwhelmingly, most aasimar paragons are good, and most of them are also lawful. Those few who slide into evil are tormented by their own internal nature and become incredibly violent as a result.
    Religion: Aasimar are living proof of the deities of good. They are often quite religious. Even those who do not choose to follow the path of a cleric or paladin still become fervent worshippers and see their adventures as crusades.
    Background: Divine power comes naturally to most aasimar. Those who become aasimar paragons merely begin focusing on this connection and meditate upon it. By studying themselves, they gain insight into the inner workings of celestial creatures and thus more about their capabilities, eventually learning to surpass them. Aasimar paragons aren't just another channeler of divine energy, they see themselves as coming closer to divinity.
    Races: Aasimars are generally accepted by most good and neutral-aligned races, and so they are trusting of most other races. Tieflings however are greatly distrusted, at least until they have proven themselves as forces of good in the eyes of the aasimar. They get along best with humans, whom they share cities and a heritage with, and humans get along well with them in turn.
    Other Classes: Aasimar paragons get along best with paladins and clerics, whom they identify best with. They also respect fighters, rangers and monks for their fighting prowess. They tend to distrust rogues for their focus on less than honorable tactics, and both wizards and sorcerers who can use their magic to summon evil creatures into the world under the false assumption that these beings can be controlled. The focused rage and wild ways of the barbarian is also disliked, but those who possess a good heart can find themselves fiercely defended by the aasimar paragon.

Game Rule Information
Aasimar paragons have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Aasimar paragons tend to take an active role in combat. Constitution is extremely important as it keeps them from being killed, and Strength allows them to deal more powerful blows. A high Wisdom and Charisma are important for many of the aasimar paragon's class skills.
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills
The aasimar paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (the Planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the aasimar paragon prestige class.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Aasimar paragons are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields (but not tower shields).
    Improved Resistance: At 1st level, one of the aasimar paragon's natural energy resistances (acid, cold or electricity) are improved from 5 to 10. The character may choose which energy resistance is improved, but once the choice is made it cannot be changed.
    Daylight (Sp): At 2nd level, an aasimar paragon can use their daylight spell-like ability three times per day.
    Skill Bonus (Ex): At 2nd level, the aasimar paragon's racial bonus to Listen and Spot checks improves to +4.
    Ability Boost (Ex): At 3rd level, an aasimar paragon's Charisma score increases by 2 points.

Table 1-01: The Aasimar Paragon
Level Base Attack
1st +0
Improved resistance
2nd +1
Daylight, skill bonus
3rd +2
Ability boost (Cha +2)

Enhanced Vision [General]
By precisely manipulating the light around you, you can focus your vision more precisely, allowing you to see things you might have otherwise missed.
    Prerequisites: Daylight as a spell-like ability.
    Benefit: You can spend a daily use of your daylight spell-like ability as a standard action to gain a +5 competence bonus on Search checks for 10 minutes per caster level.
    This ability does not function in areas of magical darkness.
    You also gain one extra daily use of your daylight spell-like ability.

Instinctive Daylight [General]
After training your abilities to new limits, you are able to instinctively dispel darkness.
    Prerequisites: Daylight as a spell-like ability.
    Benefit: You can use your daylight spell-like ability as an immediate action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
    You also gain one extra daily use of your daylight spell-like ability.

Light of Truth [General]
By expanding your efforts, you can bring even invisible creatures to light.
    Prerequisites: Daylight as a spell-like ability.
    Benefit: If you spend a full-round action to use your daylight spell-like ability, you create invisibility purge instead.
    You also gain one extra daily use of your daylight spell-like ability.

Did you like this article? Then try:

Bookmark and Share