Is it just me, or is ‘aasimar’ a poor design choice?
I’m just talking about the word itself, which appears to have no connection to any real-world myth or legend, near as I can tell. Considering that the aasimar first appeared in Planescape, maybe it was part of the re-branding effort that saw devils and demons become ‘baatezu’ and ‘tanar’ri’ to divorce D&D from the Satanic Panic of 80s.
Ironically, a better term for the hybrid offspring of mortals and divine beings can be found in the Bible:
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown. Genesis 6:4 (NRSV)
There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them. Numbers 13:33 (NRSV)
Ability Score Increases: Nephilim gain a +2 bonus to their Wisdom score and a +1 bonus to their Strength score.
Age: Nephilim reach maturity at same time as humans, but they have lifespans measured in centuries.
Size: Nephilim are Medium-sized creatures.
Speed: Nephilim have a base walking speed of 30 feet.
Celestial Legacy: Nephilim know the resistance cantrip. At 3rd level, they can cast command once and regain the ability after completing a long rest. When they reach 5th level, a nephilim can cast fear once and regain the ability after completing a long rest.
Divine might: Nephilim count as Large-sized creatures for the purposes of calculating how much they can lift, carry, and push. They also count as Large-sized creatures when subjected to forced movement effects and when attempting a forced movement effect against another creature.
Giant Presence: Nephilim gain proficiency in Persuasion and Intimidation.
NEPHILIM WARRIOR OF RENOWN
photograph by Annie Leibovitz
Adventurers might encounter an individual from an earlier generation of nephilim, with a closer connection to their divine forebears.
Large humanoid (celestial)
AC: 18 (heavy armor) | HP: 110 (10 Hit Dice) | Speed: 30 ft.
Str: 19 | Dex: 11 | Con: 16 | Int: 12 | Wis: 14 | Cha: 15
Multiattack: The nephilim makes two attacks with their broadsword.
Broadsword melee weapon attack +7, 10 ft. reach, 1d10+4 slashing damage.
Cast a Spell: The nephilim can cast spells as a 10th level paladin.
What’s this Nephilim’s Deal? (Roll 1d8):
1 – There is Only War: They want nothing more than to crush enemies, drive them before them, and hear the lamentations of somebody. (Neutral Evil)
2 – Mayhem: They just want to watch the world burn. (Chaotic Evil)
3 – Melancholia: They’ve seen it happen before, and they’ll probably see it happen again. (Chaotic Neutral)
4 – Word is Bond: They’re upholding an oath that was sworn long ago and remains undischarged. (Lawful Neutral)
5 – Gimme the Prize: They’re always on the search for a new challenge. (Chaotic Good)
6 – Enlightened: If they could change, then anyone can change. (Neutral Good)
7 – Service is Love: They’ll put everything on the line for a just cause. (Lawful Good)
8 – I am the Way: Only they know what is right for these foolish mortals. (Lawful Evil)