Aasimon

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Aasimon are one of the four types of "Celestial", or angel, in the first three editions of Dungeons & Dragons. Characterized by their ability to be of Any Good Alignment and their appearance as humanoids with wings and fancy-colored skin, Aasimon are literally nothing more than Christianity-inspired angels, straight out of the general beliefs about them in the 80s, and just using a fancy name to disguise themselves.

Originally called Devas, that ultimately became the name of a specific subset of aasimon. The very first aasimon (the three Devas) appeared in Dragon Magazine #63's "Featured Creatures" article, with the Planetar and Solar appearing in the next issue. Both articles were written by Gary Gygax, and the Aasimon ultimately appeared in the Monster Manual II, released a year later in 1983.

Aasimon were rebranded for Planescape due to the Satanic Panic (because apparently even having freaking angels in a game is demonic), at which point their family tree expanded to include two new members; the Light Aasimon and the Agathinon.

In 5th edition, Aasimon were finally given the honest name of "angels" and were dropped back down to three types; a singular species of Deva, who serve as divine messengers; Planetars, who serve as instruments of divine wrath and vengeance, and Solars, who are direct servitors & stewards of the goodly gods.

Types of Aasimon[edit]

Devas traditionally serve as the messengers of the Upper Planes. The most powerful of all, the Astral Devas, undertake missions to the Lower Planes. The less powerful Monadic Devas undertake missions to the Elemental Planes. Finally, the least powerful, the Movanic Devas, are charged with undertaking missions to the Prime Material.

Planetars and Solars are essentially the archangels of D&D, representing the most powerful servitors of all the Upper Planes. Their focus is predominantly on protecting the Upper Planes or missions of multiverse-shaking importance. The Solars are the very pinnacle of the Aasimon family tree, mightiest of all.

Planetar

Solar

Light Aasimons are the weakest member of the family tree, and essentially equivalent to the Light Archons; a glowing mass of swirling vapor that seeks to support others in doing good by entering a familiar-like bond.

Agathinons are described as the general warriors who protect the Upper Planes and serve under Planetars in the celestial armies. They're described as resembling very beautiful glowing elves.

Playing Aasimon[edit]

In 1999, Warriors of Heaven produced rules for playing as most of the angels of Planescape under the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2e system, and aasimon were no exception.

PC aasimon begin play as 1st level Agathinons and level up normally, using the race/class rules below. At 8th level, assuming the player hasn't fallen, they are given the choice to Ascend, which means be transformed from an Agathinon to the next most powerful form, which goes Movanic Deva, Monadic Deva, Astral Deva, Planetar, and finally Solar. If the player refuses, they stay an Agathinon and can't level any higher. If they ascend, they stop gaining levels in the normal fashion; their hit dice and abilities change to those of the appropriate aasimon and they remain in that form until they have completed seven quests, after which they are presented with the option to ascend again. The exception is the Planetar to Solar shift; Solars are so rare and powerful that DMs are recommended that PC planetars have a 1% (non-cumulative) chance of being offered to ascend after each completed mission, and that PCs who do reach Solar rank should be retired.

An agathinon PC has the following mechanics... additionally, the writeup on universal Aasimon powers mentions they have an ability called "Celestial Reverence" (This ability can only be used in the aasimon's true form, and calls the attention of all mortals within sight. They must pass a Save vs. Paralyzation, or suffer an effect based on their alignment; Good creatures feel overwhelmed with protective love for the aasimon, Neutral creatures are too scared to do anything, and Evil creatures either flee (7 or fewer Hit Dice) or stand paralyzed with fear like Neutral creatures (8+ HD). This effect lasts for 2d6+(1 per level or HD) rounds.) - but this ability isn't mentioned in the agathinon's racial statblock at all. It's up to the DM to decide if this means that it should be ignored or just restricted until and unless the PC progresses to the rank of Deva.

Ability Score Minimum/Maximum: Strength 9/18, Dexterity 8/18, Constitution 8/18, Intelligence 10/18, Wisdom 12/20, Charisma 11/18
Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Wisdom
Class & Level Limits: Fighter 8, Ranger 8, Paladin 8
Hit Dice: As per class, no bonus for high Constitution.
Armor Class: 7, decreasing by -1 for each level above first until it hits AC 0 at level 8.
Proficiencies: Agathinons are automatically proficient in all weapons, but cannot specialize or wield edged weapons in combat. They have the following nonweapon proficiencies: Animal Handling, Animal Lore, Animal Training, Blind-Fighting, Charioteering, Planar Direction Sense, Planar Sense, Planar Survival (Upper Planes), Running, Tracking, and Swimming.
Special Abilities:
  • Shapeshifting: Athaninons can shapeshift at will into any creature with a size equal to their own and of equal or fewer Hit Dice. In their alternate form, agathinons gain the Armor Class, movement, attacks, damage per attack, special attacks and special defenses of their chosen form, but retain their own Intelligence, alignment, level/hit dice, hit points, THAC0, magic resistance, and morale.
  • Regardless of form, agathinons radiate magic, and make saving throws as per a priest of twice their level (maximum 14th level).
  • At 1st level, agathinons have 20% Magic Resistance, and are immune to Death spells. They can also use the following spell-like powers, 1 per round, at will: Comprehend Languages, Sense Evil, Detect Magic, and Read Magic.
  • At 2nd level, agathinons become Immune to Positive Energy and can cast priest spells (see table below). They do gain the spell bonuses for high Wisdom.
  • At 3rd level, agathinons gain the power to shapeshift into inanimate objects. Good creatures carrying these objects can Turn Undead as if they were clerics of the same level as the agathinon and can cast any 1st level Cleric spell at-will. Evil creatures take 1d12 damage if they touch the object. Agathinons also gain new at-will spell-like abilities at this level; Aid, Augury, ESP and Know Alignment.
  • At 4th level, agathinons become immune to Disintegration and Life-Draining.
  • At 5th level, agathinons become immune to non-enchanted weapons (+1 or better to harm) and gain the SLAs Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, and Hold Person, all usable at-will.
  • At 6th level, agathinons can Teleport Without Error 1/day.
  • At 7th level, agathinons can cast Cure Serious Wounds 1/day.
  • At 8th level, agathinons can become Ethereal at will and cast Cure Serious Wounds 3/day.
  • Agathinons with the Ranger or Paladin class gain their class features at the appropriate levels, save that clerical spellcasting progresses as per the table below.
Special Hindrances:
  • Agathinons cannot attack in their true form; they must assume humanoid or animal form to fight. Additionally, in humanoid form, they can only wield blunt weapons.
  • Agathinons can only cast spells when in humanoid form.
  • Agathinons cannot use their abilities or powers to commit evil acts, assist evil individuals, or endanger innocent lives (either deliberately or unconsciously). Like Paladins, the gods will punish them for misdeeds, typically by stripping away powers until they successfully atone.
  • Agathinons must attack any evil they encounter, unless the situation prohibits such an action.
  • Agathinons must never lie, steal or cheat, or be punished as per committing evil acts.
  • Agathinons gain no benefit from either mundane armor, magical armor, magic items that boost armor class, or spells that boost armor class. They also gain no benefit from spells or magic items that boost magic resistance.
  • Agathinons cannot cast the Reversed form of any cleric spells they cast - for example, they can't cast Cause Wounds.
Agathinon Level Cleric Spell Level 1 Cleric Spell Level 2 Cleric Spell Level 3 Cleric Spell Level 4
1 - - - -
2 1 - - -
3 2 - - -
4 2 1 - -
5 3 2 - -
6 3 3 1 -
7 3 3 2 -
8 3 3 2 1

Sense Evil: This functions like the spell Detect Evil, except an aasimon can detect evil within 100 feet, and can also learn the background, nature and name of any evil creature whose eyes the aasimon gazes directly into.

The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape
Upper Planes: Aasimon - Angel - Animal Lord - Archon
Asura - Eladrin - Guardinals - Lillend
Middle Planes: Formians - Githzerai - Inevitable - Marut
Modron - Rilmani - Slaadi - Kamerel
Lower Planes: Alu-Fiend - Baatezu - Bladeling - Cambion
Demodand - Erinyes - Hag - Hordling
Imp - Kyton - Loumara - Marilith - Obyrith
Succubus - Tanar'ri - Yugoloth
Transitive Planes: Astral Dreadnought - Githyanki
Inner Planes: Azer - Elemental - Genie - Grue - Mephit
Salamander - Sylph
Sigil: Dabus - Cranium Rat
High-ups: Archangel - Archdevil - Archfey
Archomental - Demon Prince