Over on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel, Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a closer look at the aasimar for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons with an eye towards what character classes fit well with this playable race from Volo’s Guide to Monsters. As always they start with a broad look at the race both mechanically and thematically, diving deeper into each subrace with expected and unexpected class choices. Whether your aasimar character for 5E D&D is fallen, protector or scourge, they posses powers granted from their celestial heritage including darkvision, resistance to necrotic and radiant damage and the ability to heal with a touch. On top of all these amazing abilities, aasimar receive a special link to an supernatural being too. The angelic guide doesn’t carry any explicit mechanical attributes. But it is a really cool aspect of a character to explore and incorporate into your roleplaying.
Angelic Guides and you in 5E D&D
We’ve shared quite a bit of content here on the website about the aasimar from different perspectives but to my knowledge the angelic guide remains unexplored. So much of the material for 5E D&D folds intriguing information into mechanical content and these are very often incredibly useful for players! In the aasimar description, the angelic guide is described along with suggested names and nature of this supernatural entity.
“An aasimar, except for one who has turned to evil, has a link to an angelic being. That being—usually a deva—provides guidance to the aasimar, though this connection functions only in dreams. As such, the guidance is not a direct command or a simple spoken word. Instead, the aasimar receives visions, prophecies, and feelings. The angelic being is far from omniscient. Its guidance is based on its understanding of the tenets of law and good, and it might have insight into combating especially powerful evils that it knows about.”
Talk about extra flavor! In Critical Role Campaign 2, guest player Mica Burton joins the Mighty Nein for an adventure and her scourge aasimar druid Reani leans into the angelic guide for an important facet to her character. Several fantastic roleplaying segments between Mica and Dungeon Master Matt Mercer help the player make character decisions and steer the course of her actions. This is a wonderful example of how a bit of flavor material for any part of a character can become an extraordinary part of their entire persona.
Essentially an angelic guide creates an opportunity for a DM to engage with a player and provide insights or adventure hooks in an organic way. For the player it’s a chance to connect with the campaign setting in a special way too. Many character features hint at or suggest these sorts of connections like warlocks, clerics, many backgrounds and more. What I enjoy about the angelic guide is the unambiguous nature of the relationship. This is no mere suggestion of an entity your character might be linked with — it straight up states the angelic guide exists and provides guidance.
Unless the aasimar is evil, then the angelic guide abandons them. But this could be a fantastic story opportunity too! A fallen aasimar on a path of redemption sounds like a terrific character arc, and incorporating a desire to reconnect with the angelic guide they once new raises the stakes even higher.As a player or DM I relish any opportunity to collaborate with others in the group or adventuring party and I strongly encourage you to do so too. Even the most kick-in-the-door players tend to get a kick out of encountering things related specifically to their characters. Imagine a half-orc barbarian smashes the door down and sees a squad of orcs in the room bearing the same tribal symbols, a ranger interacting with their Favored Enemy or a thief running afoul of the local thieves’ guild. Maybe nothing comes of these scenarios beyond a nod to the character. But the door is open for players to walk through and collaborate together to create unique, immersive stories together.
An aasimar’s angelic guide is no different. Consider this passage from Volo’s Guide to Monsters where the aasimar is described:
“As DM, you take on the role of an aasimar’s angelic guide and decide what kind of advice or omens to send in dreams. The deva, or other celestial being, is your chance to add special roleplaying opportunities to the game. Remember, a deva lives in a realm of absolute law and good. The deva might not understand the compromises and hard choices that mortals must grapple with in the world. To the deva, an aasimar is a prized student who must live up to high, sometimes inflexible standards.”
So the next time you are creating a new 5E D&D character, whether it’s an aasimar or any other combination of race, class and background, take some time to really read through the material. There might be amazing creative opportunities for both yourself and to share with the rest of your group. Your aasimar character might regularly communicate with their angelic guide, even if the conversation is one sided. Any time you can contribute to the storytelling through your character choices is also a window into worldbuilding with the DM. Maybe the celestial aspect of the campaign setting is left vague either by design or overlooked. Your aasimar adventurer and their angelic guide might be the perfect way to explore and develop this part of the setting together!