D&D (2024) Mix multispecies traits

Yaarel

He Mage
With regards to the 5e Aasimar, I wish they were more like their Pathfinder 1st Edition counterparts. The Aasimar in 5e are tied to the angels even though there are different kinds of Celestials. In Pathfinder 1st Edition, you could be a generic Aasimar (one who is unaware of what kind of Celestial sired their bloodline) or you could be an Aasimar from one of 6 specific heritages- Angel, Archon, Azata (PF1's take on 3e's Eladrin), Agathion (PF1's Guardinal), Garuda and Peri (PF1's take on 3e's Asura).
As far as I can tell, if the Ardling lists as options the ancestries from Celestia (Aasimon), Elysium (Guardinal or Beast Lord), and Arborea (something like a dryad-treant), then this Ardling would have a similar feel to the Pathfinder Aasimar. Other ancestries can be added later, like from Bitopia. Meanwhile an ancestry from a specific creature like Couatl or Kirin or Pegasus can probably use the Elysium humanimal option.

(I will also read up on the PF Aasimar to get a better sense of its traits.)


It's not really a choice really. While the first of their kind migrated to the Material Plane from the Beastlands via planar portals, latter generations of Ardlings would have been born on the Material Plane and would have seen it as the native plane. No magic required. ;)
Heh, even an Ardling who is born into the Material Plane might want to choose to return home to the Astral Plane, and use magic to translate their Material body alive into an Astral though construct.
 

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Yaarel

He Mage
With regard to Celestial flavor, the relevant damage types for any angelic attacks and resistance should be Psychic and Radiant. Compare the thematics:

• Psychic (Astral thought, idealism, angels inflicting awe and fear, angelic Telepathy language, ethical alignments, virtual reality thought constructs, spiritual visions, "book of life" record keeping, etcetera, are all mental flavors)

• Radiant (light, creation made out of light)



The PF Aasimar looks simple. Mainly light spells and perceptiveness. The differences between planar origins seems strictly appearance and flavor without mechanics?
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Earlier I mentioned the name of plane "Arcadia" is problematic because it refers to a specific reallife ethnic group, making its identification with a specific alignment problematic.

But maybe the same name (or similar name) can have a completely different meaning, by deriving it instead from the word "arcade".

Architecturally, an "arcade" is a passage way of arches, often to support high vaulted ceilings. In place of ceilings, it can also be opensky, or with glass roofs, allowing the sky to shine thru between the arches. The repetition of arches down a passageway can look visually beautiful.

Often an arcade is for a shopping area with stores along the passage way.

Between the appealing architecture of repeating arches, the spiritual symbol of a journey, and the shopping areas along it, even the connotation of video arcades − all of this feel very Lawful to may.

Heh, I am already visualizing AI artwork depicting "arcade architecture" passageways.

Maybe the plane of "Arcada" (without the -i-) is all about good business ethnics.
 
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The PF Aasimar looks simple. Mainly light spells and perceptiveness. The differences between planar origins seems strictly appearance and flavor without mechanics?
Aasimar (15 RP) – d20PFSRD This link will provide you with the racial traits, alternate racial traits and the details for the variant Aasimar heritages in PF1.

The Alternate Racial Traits in PF1 is one of the things I like about this edition of Pathfinder. If you don't like a particular racial trait because it doesn't do anything for your chosen class or character concept, you can swap it out with an alternate racial trait of equal value. Each alternate racial trait will mention which standard racial trait they're replacing or altering.

With regards to the variant Aasimar heritages, I like the Idyllkin Aasimar. If I was to make an Aasimar character for PF1, they would be the descendant of a Draconal Agathion, Draconal – d20PFSRD That way I could play something that looks like a Half-Dragon without being the actual deal. 😋 Since Idyllkin Aasimar can be a Monk with either a Neutral Good or Neutral thanks to the Enlightened Warrior half-feat, I would play a Monk with the Scaled Fist archetype to complete the illusion that he is a Half-Dragon. Scaled Fist – d20PFSRD
 

Yaarel

He Mage
The Ardling is no more for the 2024 Players Handbook. Altho there is some fondness for it, the survey feedback for the second version of it remained poor. A main criticism is, it is mechanics without a story. To be fair, I have sense of their story − from looking at 2e Beastlands, so the link with Guardinals and Beast Lords (2e Animal Lords) is clear enough. The designers have this in mind too. But 5e has been silent about the Upper Planes. If the UA Ardling description explained its connection to the 5e Tabaxi, that might have been enough story. Oh well. Too bad it wont be in 2024 core to make humanimal concepts accessible, like Aaracokra and Tabaxi and many more. We probably will see the Ardling again somewhere in the future. But since it wont be in the 2024 Players Handbook, I removed the Ardling from the Original Post. I intended to modify some of its mobility traits anyway for better balance.


Now that the Ardling is out. There is no conflict with the Aasimar species being core. It is popular, parallels Tiefling, and deserves to be in the 2024 Players Handbook.

Genasi needs to be in the 2024 Players Handbook, as it is more popular than the Gnome.


Good Celestial angelics: Aasimar
Neutral "Primordial" (!) angelics: Genasi
Evil Fiend angelics: Tiefling


Lets look more in depth at the Aasimar. Since the name is a bit distracting, maybe respell it Awsimar? Maybe call it something else entirely? I am ok with calling the species "Angel". Angel can mean various things, including a human transfiguring into an angel. "Angelic" or maybe Greekesque Aggelikos, Aggeloi?

Think on the name. Aasimar parallel Tiefling. Tiefling have three Fiend Ancestries, and by implication, seven. Similarly, the Aasimar.

The three Celestial Ancestries of the Aasimar would be: LG "Montan" (Mount Celestia, here understood as "the" Mountain of the Celestial planes), TG Elysian, and CG Arboreal.

All seven Celestial Ancestries would be: LLG "Arcadan", LG Montan, GLG Bytopian, TG Elysian, GCG Beastlander, CG Arboreal, and CCG Ysan.

Brief notes about the more obscure planes.

LLG Arcada is a realm of architectural order and it fits to add shopping "arcades", namely passageways of repeating arches with shops along them. There is an obscure LN Astral species, Mercane. They are "quiet money" owners of multiplanar corporations that buy and sell artifacts, relics, and other powerful magic items. I am thinking of making them the "Angel" of the Lawful-by-Lawful-Good plane of Arcada. 5e Spelljammer mentions the Mercanes. Arcadia is a reallife ethnic group, making is problematic to equate with a specific alignment. But Arcada as in "arcade" works suitably.

GLG Bytopia is a plane of Gnomes. It makes no sense that only Gnomes can be the Good-by-Lawful-Good alignment. It is fine if some Gnomes are there, but the plane needs to be about more. I have in mind the dimensional opposites: Up versus down, Right versus left, Forward versus backward, and Past versus Future. This would where the multiverse derives its space-time fabric.

GCG Beastlands is familiar by now. The Aasimar with a few feat choices would actually absorb the Ardling.

CG Arborea. Formerly the Eladrin, who is now full-on Elf. "Arbor" means "tree". So a plane of forests and plants works well. The Angelic would be something like Dryad-Treant species.

CCG Ysgard. The concept of Chaotic-by-Chaotic-Good works well as a realm of personal freedoms, choice, and nonconformity. Actually, Ys in Norse (ys-) means "the commotion of crowds", which evokes crowds of extremely diverse persons in community together. The presence of fiery Múspelheimr and earthy Niðavellir already suggest elemental themes. Maybe make Ysgard a realm where the Elements are highly responsive to the desires of each individual. By extension, the elemental powers that can associate with Aasimar, especially the PF Aasimar, can all come from this plane Ysgard specifically. Norse are a reallife ethnicity, making it problematic to equate them with a specific alignment, especially since the reallife traditions referred are incongruous with the assigned alignment. But it seems for the inhabitants and elements to behave in highly individualistic ways. If so, the name Ys works well enough.


I have in mind an Aasimar with special feats organizing by plane.
 


Yaarel

He Mage
Yeah, "ah-". I assume English would pronounce the aa- like aardvark.

But when I see aa-, I tend to read it as either å- (something like awe or the o in ore), or a-a with two syllables.

Calling them the "Awesomer" actually makes sense thematically. Everyone would know who this is. Maybe to put a lampshade on it, "Awsimar".

Spelling it "Ahsimar" might work too?


Or maybe all them the Angelic or something similar. Then make Aasimar those Angelics who specifically have Aasimon ancestry.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
In 5e, "Hades" − including Niflheimr (albeit properly "Niflhel"), "Plouton", and the "Underworld" − are now the plane of Shadowfell.

The "Gray Waste" is a traditional D&D name for the True Evil plane. However, everything in it is now gone and empty. It all relocated to Shadow.

It seems necessary to completely rethink the Gray Waste.

The only thing we know for sure is, there are Yugoloths in the Gray Waste.


The idea occurred to me before, but I didnt appreciate then how necessary it is to populate the Gray Waste with ... something.

Gray Waste = Far Realm

Specifically, the Evil plane divides into two levels: Gray Waste and Far Realm under it (farther away).

Yugoloth has an Aberration vibe anyway.

Yugoloths are Aberrations that are the natives of the upper plane Gray Waste.

Thus, Aberration is kind of Fiend, alongside Devil and Demon.

The location of the Far Realm implies the Aberrations are typically True Evil. Yet this makes sense, optimizing between both collective Lawful and individual Chaotic, whichever best achieves the deepest and swiftest destruction of all reality.


Giving Aberration to the plane of the Evil alignment does the plane a favor. The Yugoloths have been somewhat bland, especially for such an important plane. But Aberration is similar but popular flavor.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I notice in the 5e cosmology map, there is no Concordant Opposition. Where one expects it, one instead finds the Elemental Chaos.

By implication, the Elemental Chaos is the True Neutral plane.

Specifically, the Elemental Chaos would be the part of the Astral Plane where the Elemental Primordials reside, the same part, from where the Elemental Planes materialize. This is also where the Genasi come from.

Essentially, the Elemental Chaos is the unstable outer ring of the plane. The plane becomes increasingly stable as one arrives toward the center of the plane, where the Spire and Sigil locate. While other planes tend to have layers, above and below, this plane has a "outer" and "inner". The inner hub is Concordant Opposition, where the spire is at its center. The outer wheel is the Elemental Chaos.
 


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