I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

- William Blake

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Celestial Creation


Celestials are creatures native to the Upper Planes. Many of them are the servants of deities, employed as messengers or agents in the mortal realm and throughout the planes. Celestials are good by nature, so the exceptional celestial who strays from a good alignment is a horrifying rarity. Celestials include angels, couatls, and pegasi.

A typical celestial has the following traits:
Size: any.
Alignment: Lawful Good.
Abilities: varies.
Common resistances/immunities: charm, fear, nonmagical attacks.
Senses: Darkvision.
Languages: Common, Celestial, and many other languages.
Challenge: 2d6.

Habits, diet and habitat

Celestials live in different planes to humankind and often come with a specific mission. Angels and their kind can live anywhere and do not need to eat, drink or sleep. Animal-shaped celestials, such as unicorn and pegasi, are usually more mundane in this aspect.


Appearance & Powers

A celestial’s heavenly nature manifests in their appearance, as auras of gold, shining armor, and feathered wings. When they take humanoid form, they are healthy, strong, and thin specimens. Some celestial are somewhat more mysterious and less human, as if to indicate they are somewhat superior or different from mundane beings (the last eight entries are darker than the rest; use 1d12 if you want a more traditional look).
Attacks. Celestials often carry big magic weapons with impressive special properties. Even when unarmed, their attacks are usually considered to be equivalent to magical weapons.
Some celestials can project attack with beams of radiant damage, auras of fire, and so on (spheres of energy originate on the celestial but do not affect it). Celestials without ranged attacks will often have strong defensive powers (teleportation, invisibility, etc.).
Energy. This table applies to the celestial’s attack and possibility to their features as well – fire halos, radiant wings, lighting auras, and so on.
Animals. Some celestials look like animals - examples are winged lions, golden stags, unicorns, etc. Some were actually animals once, now ascended by the contact with higher powers (in this case, their attacks will probably be unarmed – although some animals may carry weapons in their mouths or possess intelligent weapons that fight by themselves on command). Other celestials have animal features, animal motifs in their clothing, animal companions, or the ability to transform into animals. The list below contains the animals most commonly associated with celestials.
Color/metal. These colors and metals are commonly applied to celestial features – clothes, eyes, wings, hair, skin, etc.

1d20
Appearance
Special Power
1
Halo or aura
Invisibility
2
1d3x2 Wings
Teleportation
3
Glowing eyes
Flight
4
Shiny skin
Truesight
5
Long loose clothing
True hearing
6
Shining armor or bracers
Slaying
7
Animal features
Magic Resistance
8
Clean shaven or bald
Innate spellcasting
9
Silky fur
Telekinesis
10
Oversized weapon
Healing
11
Metallic hair
Flying Weapon
12
Scantily clad
Change shape
13
No eyes or blindfolded
Telepathy
14
Featureless face (or mask)
Plane Traveling
15
Polyhedron head
Etherealness
16
Stony skin
Frightful Presence
17
Iron cilice
Weather Manipulation
18
Covered in eyes
Turn Undead
19
Four or six arms
Regeneration
20
Roll twice
Roll twice

1d6
Melee
Ranged
Energy (d6)
1
Sword
Longbow
Radiant
2
Mace
Cone of energy
Fire
3
Spear
Sphere of energy
Lightning
4
Staff
Cylinder of energy
Force
5
Maul
Line of energy
Thunder
6
Unarmed
None
Psychic

Roll
Animal
Color/metal
1
Lion
White
2
Horse
Gold
3
Eagle
Blue
4
Dove
Rainbow
5
Bull
Orange
6
Lamb
Bronze
7
Wolf
Emerald
8
Stag
Grey
9
Feathered serpent
Yellow
10
Roll twice
Silver

1d20
Distinction
1
Martyred: the celestial still marked by its form of death (roll on the Undead appearance table).
2
Fanatic: the celestial cannot perform the slightest deviation from multiple taboos.
3
Fallen: other celestials shun this one because of ancient sins, which are somehow marked in body and soul (chains, scars, missing wings, etc.).
4
Heavenly beast: the celestial has the shape of an animal with a few features that indicate its true nature. It is intelligent and able to communicate through speech or telepathy.
5
Unassuming: the celestial has the appearance of a common person and avoids revealing its true nature to others.
6
Childlike: the celestial has the features of a child, but is as wise and powerful as any other celestial.
7
Immaterial: the celestial is made of pure energy: a ray of light, a circle of fire, etc.
8
Law Bringer: everyone and everything within certain distance of the celestial is compelled to follow the letter of the Law.
9
Prophet: the celestial has glimpses of the
(ever-changing) future and can sometimes anticipate
10
Punisher: the celestial is willing and able to recall and punish past sins.
11
Genocidal: the celestial is willing and able to recall and punish past sins against entire tribes, villages or families.
12
Flock: the celestial is actually 2d6 tiny creatures (group CR equal to original CR).
13
Unborn: the celestial is the spirit of an unborn person and glimpses mortals as piles of bone, castles as ruins, etc. If future parents are slain it ceases to exist.
14
Wayfinder: the celestial is able to open gates to different planes of existence. The gates will stand for some time even after the celestial is gone or destroyed.
15
Animal friend: the celestial is followed by multiple beasts and can control ordinary animals at will.
16
Scholar: the celestial has encyclopedic knowledge about the world. It collects books, looks for hidden scrolls and reveals secrets.
17
Time traveler: the celestial can travel through time, although it is careful not to disturb its flow.
18
Titan: the celestial has the size of a giant (huge).
19
Watcher: the celestial will observe but not intervene, except in the most exceptional circumstances. If it does intervene, it will be punished accordingly, or even destroyed.
20
Crusader: the celestial will not assist people who worship different deities, and will seek to harm those who follow opposed or malignant gods.


Origins and ideals

Celestials are usually created by deities, but there are other possibilities. Their goals are usually benevolent, but not always. Notice that some deities have draconic laws against insignificant sins (wearing the wrong color in a temple, eating forbidden food, etc.).

Roll
Origin
Ideals
1
Created by a benevolent deity
Protection: I will protect this person (or place, object, etc.) with my life.
2
Ascended mortal
Obedience: I exist only to serve my deity’s orders and further its cause.  
3
Whole species is celestial by nature
Healing: I heal the sick and bring comfort to the wounded.
4
A deity in mortal form (avatar)
Zeal: I must rid the world of demons and all creatures that are evil by nature, no matter the cost.
5
Celestial ancestry
Guidance: I do not interfere directly, but provide guidance and aid so the faithful can fight their own battles.
6
Advanced through time, now trapped in the past
Justice: Let justice be done though the heavens fall. No mercy for sinners!


All art: copyright Peter Mohrbacher.

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