OneDnD All about Ardlings

How animalistic are ardlings?


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I think ardlings as written are fine? Its not like one MUST pick those base animal types?

This is why Tiefling was (pre 4e) great. It looked how YOU wanted it to look because the beings of the lower planes are vast and diverse.

I wasn't complaining about them! I think it's a neat idea and am guessing tons of players will play them. I was just speculating on how it came about :)
 

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What's that? You want more 2e planescape art? No problem...

guardinal.png
Tripicus.png
ursinal playing chess.png
ursinal warrior.png
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Akin the friendly fiend.png
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
How do you interpret this? A mostly human head with animal ears on top like an Anime catgirl? or a fully animal head from the neck up like an Egyptian god?

The first thing that came to my mind was "Egyptian god".

Mind you, my brain is also telling me that "outsiders with animal heads" is not at all new to D&D - that back around the time that archons came into the game, there were good outsiders of this form introduced as well. My recollection is that they weren't very powerful, so largely got ignored.

Unfortunately, I haven't found the source for this.
 


I really don't like ardlings. Anthro races are great but the thing is that each one actually gets unique stuff associated with an animal - tortle with its shell, tabaxi with its cheeta run, loxodon with its trunk, et al. Ardlings poach the furry aesthetic without any of the actual animal stuff while aasimar sit on the sidelines with their wing-trait stolen. You got your mashed potatoes in my peanut butter.

If they really think that aasimar are too boring a counterpoint to tieflings, they could go back to the last time they tried to replace them and give us the devas. They weren't knock-off furries, they had a distinct aesthetic, and they had a much richer and more evocative background than the assimar.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Do we even need ardlings? or are they redundant when we already have Aasimar and Shifters?
Expand aasimar to sometimes have animalian features, if they're descended from guardinals, and we don't need ardlings at all.

If WotC wants to put a new species into the core PHB, warforged seem like a much more obvious choice. Players may love anthropomorphic animals, but they really love their magical robot people.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Expand aasimar to sometimes have animalian features, if they're descended from guardinals, and we don't need ardlings at all.

If WotC wants to put a new species into the core PHB, warforged seem like a much more obvious choice. Players may love anthropomorphic animals, but they really love their magical robot people.
so much this, after Autognome in Spelljammer, I really was expecting the return of a Construct race rather than adding another outsider template.

My first thought was Ganesha, the Hindu elephant-headed goddess. THEN I went to Anubis and all of those.

I thought:
1Ganesha
2Yag-Kosha (of Conan fame) - Winged, elephant headed outsider
3 Furry animal heads plus human boobs
4 Egyptian pantheon (and Tawaret as an example of 3)

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Expand aasimar to sometimes have animalian features, if they're descended from guardinals, and we don't need ardlings at all.

You realize that goes both ways? The aasimar could simply be ardlings when the "animal" is a humanoid? Then we don't need aasimar at all.

But thank you, the guardinals were probably the outsiders I was thinking of above.

If WotC wants to put a new species into the core PHB, warforged seem like a much more obvious choice.

Except the warforged are hardly new.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
I have to admit, the thing I like least about ardlings is the name. If they're basically guardinals, why not call them that? (Is it to keep them separate from a monster of the same name?

The only other thing that I think is less-than-great about them is the wings thing. I mean, I like it, but it's a bit too much like Aasimar (for one) and not enough like the given animal (for another).

But they're fine, really. Not the worst race to come to D&D (which would probably be 4e's Shardminds - I liked them okay, but most people (IME) DID NOT.)
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between the 50% and the 75% examples.

I voted 100%, but this is more what I had in mind. Yes, 100% animal head, sure, but the rest of the body is also distinctly not human as well: feline hands and feet, feline proportions, feline fur and markings, a tail, etc.
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Not this, which is what "100%" in the poll seems to be implying. This is a human with a cat's head, and that's pretty awesome for an ancient Egypt-themed campaign setting--but for my homebrew setting, this doesn't really fit.
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And Fitz is right: the worst thing about them is the name. "Ardling" sounds like a D&D race of aardvark-people that nobody asked for. But the concept itself is just fine: I much prefer having one single "animal-people" race option in the Player's Handbook, than a menagerie of three-dozen humanoid options that are identical except for whatever animal head they are wearing and ThiS oNe KoOL fEaTuRe.
 
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Do we even need Ardlings? Not really. All we really need to do is to expand the number of celestials an Aasimar can be descended from. If 1D&D is going to have Tieflings descending from devils, demons and yugoloths, it only seems fair for the Aasimar to come from angels, archons and guardinals. If you want to look like an animal-headed Aasimar, just have a guardinal ancestor. ;)

In previous editions an Aasimar could be descended from any kind of celestial, Guardinals, Archons, Eldaelrin, Angels, Good Gods, etc... So Ardlings are just functionally a cosmetic choice for Aasimars.

There is no reason this cosmetic chouce shouldn't be an option for Tieflings and Genasi as well, their are animal headed fiends like Arcanoloths, Ice Devils, Yeeghunee, etc... And Elementals like Salamaders and the Thunder Serpent (I forget his name).

And why stop at animal heads, why not a Dragon headed Abashai themed Tiefling, or even a five headed descendant from Tiamat.

I encourage you all to encouraged WotC in your feedback to make Ardlings a cosmetic feature for all Planetouched races.
 

I have to admit, the thing I like least about ardlings is the name. If they're basically guardinals, why not call them that? (Is it to keep them separate from a monster of the same name?

The only other thing that I think is less-than-great about them is the wings thing. I mean, I like it, but it's a bit too much like Aasimar (for one) and not enough like the given animal (for another).

But they're fine, really. Not the worst race to come to D&D (which would probably be 4e's Shardminds - I liked them okay, but most people (IME) DID NOT.)

They ARE Aasimar, the difference between Aasimar and Ardlings lore wise is completely cosmetic as Aasimar could always be descended from Guardinals, Archons, Egyptian/Mulhorabdi Gods, and other animalistic celestials.
 

Corinnguard

Adventurer
In previous editions an Aasimar could be descended from any kind of celestial, Guardinals, Archons, Eldaelrin, Angels, Good Gods, etc... So Ardlings are just functionally a cosmetic choice for Aasimars.

There is no reason this cosmetic chouce shouldn't be an option for Tieflings and Genasi as well, their are animal headed fiends like Arcanoloths, Ice Devils, Yeeghunee, etc... And Elementals like Salamaders and the Thunder Serpent (I forget his name).

And why stop at animal heads, why not a Dragon headed Abashai themed Tiefling, or even a five headed descendant from Tiamat.

I encourage you all to encouraged WotC in your feedback to make Ardlings a cosmetic feature for all Planetouched races.
Pathfinder 2nd edition had something like this for it's Genie-kin versatile heritage. Any celestial, fiend or primal dragon that something elemental about them were now capable of being the ancestor of a particular Genie-kin. This made a certain amount of sense even though it began to blur the line between the different kinds of planetouched in that RPG.
 



They ARE Aasimar, the difference between Aasimar and Ardlings lore wise is completely cosmetic as Aasimar could always be descended from Guardinals, Archons, Egyptian/Mulhorabdi Gods, and other animalistic celestials.
I could see it being something of a taxonomy thing, where enough concrete differences are observed in celestial-born planetouched that people start using different names for them. Kind of like how you have tieflings, fey'ri and tanarukks (though those are divided along the mundane parent race) that all have distinct differences in abilities and appearance.

As for the race itself, I'll repeat what I said on Reddit. The concept, I like. The whole Egyptian god vibe is one I can dig for sure. The particulars of their abilities on the other hand... there's not really much conceptual meat there. It's like someone tasked the intern with with a basic celestial template writeup. Whether the abilities are useful or not is kind of beside the point. They're just boring.

Personally, I'd look for a more concrete concept than "aasimar, but with animal heads." The first word that comes to mind when I picture an animal headed human (other than "Egypt") is "mysterious." We're talking about a race that is hard to get a read on just based on facial expressions. So I say lean into that. If aasimar are traditionally about embodying the divine, make ardlings revolve more around mystery. Make them questors, diviners, judges.

There are any number of other ways they could go with the race, but damn, "generic holy dude with a horse head" isn't it.
 

I could see it being something of a taxonomy thing, where enough concrete differences are observed in celestial-born planetouched that people start using different names for them. Kind of like how you have tieflings, fey'ri and tanarukks (though those are divided along the mundane parent race) that all have distinct differences in abilities and appearance.
I'm against Fey'ri and Tanarukk being separate races, they're just Tieflings that have either Elvish or Orcish heritage (and the ones in 3e are more Half-Fiends/Cambions than Planetouched).
 

I could see it being something of a taxonomy thing, where enough concrete differences are observed in celestial-born planetouched that people start using different names for them. Kind of like how you have tieflings, fey'ri and tanarukks (though those are divided along the mundane parent race) that all have distinct differences in abilities and appearance.

As for the race itself, I'll repeat what I said on Reddit. The concept, I like. The whole Egyptian god vibe is one I can dig for sure. The particulars of their abilities on the other hand... there's not really much conceptual meat there. It's like someone tasked the intern with with a basic celestial template writeup. Whether the abilities are useful or not is kind of beside the point. They're just boring.

Personally, I'd look for a more concrete concept than "aasimar, but with animal heads." The first word that comes to mind when I picture an animal headed human (other than "Egypt") is "mysterious." We're talking about a race that is hard to get a read on just based on facial expressions. So I say lean into that. If aasimar are traditionally about embodying the divine, make ardlings revolve more around mystery. Make them questors, diviners, judges.

There are any number of other ways they could go with the race, but damn, "generic holy dude with a horse head" isn't it.

There is nothing in the mechanics that suggests Ardlings are different from Aasimar flavour wise, the heads have no mechanical heft.

Honestly I like the flavour too, I just see no reason to make it unique to one type of Planetouched when it can fit others. And honest given how they do mix race creatures now you cam basically have Fey'ri, just mix Tieflings with Elves.
 

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