Tuesday, July 28, 2015


These are the three most common types of angels of Hesaya, Centerra's predominant religion (and only true religion, in theory). Doctrine holds that there are 77 types of angels, who are infinite in number. Other “religions” have their own “angels”, but these are considered to be false angels—creatures only slightly different from demons. (Just as magic births demons, so does great faith summon angels. But aside from that, angels and demons blend into each other; they are a spectrum, not a binary.)

Hesayan angels are agents of the heavenly bureaucracy and all of its attendant courts. Angels do not come from heaven—instead they are manifested in a certain location with a singular task already in their minds. For this reason, many angels you meet will only be a few days old, at most.

Other angels are guardians of people, places, or things. If a person is especially holy, an angel might appear to defend them when they are threatened. Paladins of the Church often seal holy places and call upon angels to guard them.

Angels are beyond knowledge. They operate on an instinctual level, according to the principles that formed them. They do know necessarily know scripture, or how to purify oneself before entering the inner sanctum of cathedral. This is because they are already holy, and everything that they do is good and righteous. At least according to the Church.

The Hesayan Church worships Zulin Who Is Truth as the ruler of heaven and earth. He is an air god, and so Hesayan angels are creature of the air. For this reason, Hesayan angels are sometimes accompanied by air elementals and/or invisible stalkers.

The Bringers of the New Dawn believe that God is dead, the Devil rules this world, and only by extinguishing all life will the planet be allowed to enter the next cycle. This will resurrect the dead, God included, and set the world right. They believe this is the only way to end suffering (since death, disease, and old age are unnatural inventions of the Devil). The Dawnbringer cult is mostly men and women, but angels number in their ranks.

Centerran angels are big on lightning. It's because they want to distinguish themselves from demons and their hellfire.

Although each of these angels has a pair of unique abilities, they can be easily shuffled around or omitted if you want to customize or simplify your angels.  In fact, I encourage it.

Angels sometimes give you treasure when you do them a great service.  Alternatively, you could rob them, because this is D&D, and you can rob anything.

Angelic Treasure [d6]
1. Elixir of Angel Wings. Exactly like a potion of fly, except that the duration is 1 day, or until you take an aggressive action, whichever comes first.
2. Holy Wheel. Can float above your forearm like a shield +1, or behind your head like a huge stationary ioun stone that gives +1 AC. Either way, it glows as bright as a torch when you are in combat.
3. Lightning Sword. It's a sword+1. It can be used to shoot a 5d6 lightning bolt, but then it becomes a normal sword until you can get it baptized in a church. Every time it is baptized it must be given a new name; it is the name of the lightning bolt.
4. Breastplate of the Martyr. AC as chain +1. Once per day, when an ally is takes damage, you can intercept that damage and take it for them.
5. Horn of Amity. Only works once before falling to pieces. If blown, everyone in 50' must make a save (as if from charm person). If they fail, treat it as if they were charmed by every other person in 50'.
6. Prayer of Sainthood. Only works once. When read aloud, a holy person (paladin or cleric of Hesaya) or angel immediately ascends to heaven in a beam of light. If they are unwilling to go, they can petition heaven to stay (make a saving throw). If they go to heaven, they immediately leave the game with all of their gear.

All angels have the following minor abilities:

Mercy – A creature that is wounded by an angel feels no pain, just warm blood on their skin. A creature that is killed by an angel feels no dread, only peace.

Judgement – A player who looks into an angel's eyes must make a save. If they succeed on their save, the angel cannot read their soul. If they fail their save, the angel learns all of your sins and good deeds (according to its own morality) over a 10 minute period. Shorter time periods reveal fewer sins and good deeds. This doesn't reveal a players thoughts, intentions, or full history. It merely reveals a player's best and worst actions.

I am ADON, Bringer of Light

Angel, Wheel (Ophanim)

HD 3 AC plate (no basic attacks)
Fly 18 Int 16

Aura of the Eternal Cycle – Each enemy that begins its turn within 50' must save or repeat the actions of their last turn (or as close as possible).

Bolt of the Martyr – Usable at will. Target directly underneath the angel takes 1d8 lightning damage (no save, 50' range). Before damage is rolled, any other creature within 50' can declare their love for the primary target. If this happens, the lightning changes direction and the primary target takes no damage while the creature that loves them takes 2d6 lightning damage (no save). Players are made aware of this option by divine knowledge transference, but also by the angel's booming monotone.

Tactics: Float above people like scary halos and announce their sins to the world; in combat, each angel picks the target it suspects to be the wickedest and focuses fire.

Instincts: Accompany holy people and steer them away from sinners; protect holy books; expose secrets; praise Zulin Who Is Truth.

Ophanim look like golden wheels with eyeballs along the rim. They revolve along all three axes when they fly, like a cartwheel sinking underwater. They speak with a host of voices, like a choir. Unlike other angels, they are capable of reciting all scripture perfectly (they sing it, in fact). They are largely logical and emotionless, but they become agitated when priests or holy books are threatened. (However, they don't react if/when innocent people die.)

Droning Utterances of the Ophanim [d4]
1 – “I am Adon, bringer of light!”
2 – “It is good and right to give thanks to Zulin Who Is Truth.”
3 – “I have seen the gate. I have seen the key.”
4 – “Blessed be the martyrs, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Encounters [d3]
1 – 1d3 ophanim have appeared above a child in the village and has begun instructing them in the scripture. In a different land, a ruler is hiring deniable assets to bring the child to him. He doesn't necessarily want to harm the child or the angel, he's just curious. This sort of thing smacks of prophecy and destiny, and he hates being out of the loop.
2 – After performing a great service for the church, 1d4+1 ophanim appear above the party and demand that the party excavate a forgotten church, long lost in a distant part of the swamp. The place is inhabited by a peaceful hag and several ogres, but the ophanim will help you kill him. Afterwards, they demand that you bring all of the books and minor relics to the Great Cathedral in Coramont—a task that will take several months.
3 – An exceptionally powerful ophanim (HD 7) of the New Dawn has appeared in the city during a holy day and trapped the city in a time loop. It did this so that the people would always be happy, and always be on their best behavior. Only the players are aware of this, because of some reason I'm sure your DM can invent. To escape this groundhog day, they need to find the rogue ophanim and destroy it. The ophanim watches the city from inside the clocktower, where it blends in with the mechanisms. 2d6 cherubim serve it.

Variants [d3]
1 – Minor Ophanim lack the Bolt of the Martyr. They serve as support for other units in combat, harassing enemies with their Aura.
2 – Ophanim Golems are actual golden wheels inhabited by an angelic spirit. They're statistically identical, except that they have 5 HD and leave a huge golden wheel as loot when they die. They are the treasures in the dungeon.
3 – Ophanim can also be the literal wheels on a flying chariot. The driver might be a seraph, or a powerful cleric.

Angel, Sentinel (Seraphim)

HD 6 AC chain Sword 1d6 + 1d6 lightning + curse
Fly 18 Int 16

Curse – Players struck by the angel's sword must save or the symbol for “enemy of heaven” appears on the player's forehead. Whenever creature takes fire damage, they take an additional 2 points of damage. This stacks up to 5 times. This curse is permanent until removed.

Immaculate Beauty – If the angel is at full health, any creature that attempts to damage it must succeed on a save or hesitate, being unwilling to actually strike at such a thing. If the angel hasn't made any aggressive action, this save is at a -4 penalty. Attempting to damage many angels at once (such as with a fireball) requires a single save with a -2 penalty for each angel after the first.

Tactics: Fight intelligently; Gang up on most threatening targets so the curse can stack; Rely on their beauty to keep them safe, rather than keep watch.

Instincts: Protect the innocent; it is a joy to serve; seek out the beautiful and convert them if necessary.

Seraphim are guardian angels, usually. They guard the lonely places of the world. They know nothing except their feelings, which they trust instinctively. To them, nothing worth nothing ever came out of a book. The only true things are feelings. (They respect the holy books, but those words are not from books, they are heavenly words that are momentarily recorded in books.)

If left alone for a long time, a seraph will convert its surroundings into a beautiful environment. Even in foul dungeons, the party might pass through a couple of beautiful rooms before finding the seraphim responsible. When swung, their swords sing clear, dulcet notes.

Unique Seraphim Feature [d6]
1 – All metals in 50' seem to turn to gold. All other materials turn snow white.
2 – No wings. Held aloft by a flock of doves plucking at her robe, while she reclines.
3 – Head has four faces, one on each side. Head revolves.
4 – Like a giant, naked, muscular albino, wearing only a ribbon.
5 – Has anywhere between 2 and 8 arms at any given moment.
6 – Bleeding from sacred stigmata. Blood turns to rose petals when it hits a surface.

Encounters [d2]
1 – Two seraphim guard a hole in the side of a cliff. They warn people away by telling them that “the prison of Melchior is not safe” but really all they're doing is making people curious what sort of dungeon is down there.
2 – While the party is still planning the best way to rob the little church down the street, a clear voice shouts from outside the tavern. It is 1d4 seraphim, demanding that the party come outside and receive summary judgment (death). The angels are hesitant to enter the tavern, but if the players don't exit, they'll start evacuating the innocents before storming the building. If the party acts quickly, it's possible to escape or kill the angels before the town priest gets here and finds out exactly what the party was planning.

THESE little assholes
Angel, Messenger (Cherubim)

HD 2 AC chain Bow 1d6
Fly 18

Magic Arrows – A cherub can put a charm, love*, or sleep effect on an arrow as they fire it. Save negates. (*love is similar to charm, except the effect is romantic instead of friendly, and the caster chooses who the target falls in love with.) These arrows still deal damage, unless the cherub prefers that they didn't. Love and charm effects last as long as the cherub is alive.

Remorse – A creature that kills a cherub must make a save at the beginning of their next turn. If they fail, they cannot take any offensive actions (defensive actions are fine). They get a save at the beginning of all subsequent turns to dispel the pacifism. 

Tactics: Hide in the upper reaches of a room; lead opponents on a merry chase; abuse their magic arrows.

Instincts: Make attractive and/or nice people fall in love with each other; make sure no one ever loves ugly and/or mean people; do things that babies do (touch an interesting texture, throw food on the floor, pet a puppy shyly, nurse at a breast, fall asleep on soft things, wake up crying).

Despite looking like fat, flying children, the cherubim are warriors. They only act like babies outside of combat. They often appear to deliver messages, or to carry one. They are attracted to maternal people, and despise rude or mean people. Not enough to attack them, but they will ply their infantile conspiracies against you secretly. Some cherubs are lieutenants, and carry golden arrows with unique powers.

Cherubim are extremely important, for one reason: they are engineering the birth of the messiah.  You think saviors are born just by chance?  It requires hundreds of generations of careful breeding to bring about the right collection of genes and environmental factors to create the next Prophetess.  Cherubim are the geneticists of the angels (although they have no concept of DNA, which might not even exist in Centerra).

What do this cherub's golden arrows do (save negates)? [d4]
1 – Target disappears in an explosion of live doves (who are permanent). They reappear two turns later.
2 – All of the target's wealth turns into scripture describing how wisdom and piety are the real forms of wealth.
3 – Splits into 3 arrows. The cherub makes 3 attacks against different targets.
4 – Target is compelled to confess a sin. If the character or player won't, the arrow damage is tripled. No save.

Encounters [d4]
1 – Cherubs have singled out a single party member (possibly seeking revenge) and are trying to make him/her fall in love with embarrassing things. If allowed to escalate, they're try making the party members fall in love with the same embarrassing stuff, just to stir up jealousy. This shit has got to stop.
2 – When you reach the dragon's lair you find out that it's been charmed by a flock of small cherubs. They have a big plan, and it involves this dragon.
3 – Cherubs in the dungeon. They won't let you past unless you bring them a mommy. A beautiful mommy.
4 – A cherub wants help. It needs you to bring a prince worthy of falling in love with its favorite princess.  Go kidnap a prince.  For love.

Variant Cherubim [d2]
1 – Anti-cherubim have arrows that cause fear, rage, and sadness. They say that they are harvesting courage, calm, and happiness in order to make arrows out of them, for other cherubim.

2 – Giant cherub boss with 8 HD. Ballista-size toy bow does 3d6 damage and all magic arrow effects have a 10' radius. Accompanied by 2d6 mommies (level 0 commoners).


  1. " They speak with a host of voices, like a choir. Unlike other angels, they are capable of reciting all scripture perfectly (they sing it, in fact)."

    How do you pull this off at the table o_O?

  2. You are very good at coming up with things that make the monsters playable. Good job.

  3. Very cool; yet again you strike a compelling storybook feeling while still producing something gameable.

    I'm going to give you one nitpick, though: in Hebrew, the -im ending is a plural suffix; angelic names such as "seraphim" are plural, with the singular form being "seraph." And so on.

    Yes, it's a fantasy world with fantasy angels that operate by non-Judaic rules. But still, FYI.

    1. No, that's a good thing to know. I'm a recovering grammar and spelling pedant; I still enjoy learning proper ways to pluralize words like octopus and syllabus. Hebrew is no exception.

  4. Does the prayer of sainthood only effect yourself? If not, do you get to choose the target? If so, does the pope get a good bonus on his save?