Dragon's-Eye View: Celestials, Angels, Devas

It looks like angels are regressing just a bit back to a collection of winged humanoids with varying skin tones, though I guess to be fair the solar mixes it up by having two pairs of wings. I mentioned last time angels were brought up that I find the whole winged humanoid look boring. Not only do so many look very similar, but it does little to evoke an unearthly quality--because, winged elves and a winged template--and unless they are wearing their stat blocks on their sleeve, certainly does not inspire any awe.

Unfortunate--for me anyway--but not exactly unexpected.

The latter half of the article asks questions about whether they should have genders, faces, legs, how big their weapons should be, and the overall appearance of the deva. My feedback, again, would be that I think that they should not have distinctly humanoid forms. Genders, mouths, and legs are all fine depending on the rest of the angel's form, but making them so human downplays their nature.

I think that, if they must have humanoid angels, that the lowest tier could have a largely humanoid shape (and thereby by the ones most likely to communicate with mortals), while the upper echelon would have more alien and abstract shapes.


  1. In my setting I made the angels robots, and now I can't really see them any other way.

    I liked the Angels in D&D 4e – they looked like an unknowable tool of a divine intellect. No mouths, weird bodies, fairly genderless, humanoid only in shape but definitely not akin to a people. They clearly were not something that developed naturally as a species.

  2. Makes me think of Asura's Wrath, which was awesome. I agree that the angels in 4E were better in that they did not clearly look like most any Medium humanoid with the winged template. This is one of those things that I am chalking up to tradition.

  3. Why not model angels along traditional lines? They used "fear not" as a greeting for reason. The angels of the second choir of the first sphere, the cherubim (the winged babies are actually called "putti") are described as having four wings covered with eyes, four faces (a man, an ox, an eagle and a lion), a lion's body and an ox's feet, while the angels of the third choir of the first sphere, the ophanim or "thrones" are beryl-colored wheels, their rims covered in hundreds of eyes, and the angels of the first choir of the first sphere, the four seraphim (literally "burning ones" or "serpents") are six-winged creatures from which emanates such bright light, that not even other angels can look at them. The Quran describes one of the archangels (I forget which one), as a four-winged giant stretching through several heavenly spheres, covered in eyes, while Azrael, the angel of death, is said to have four faces and four hundred wings, body covered in tongues and an eye for every living inhabitant of Earth.

  4. This is actually something I suggested in a previous article, here http://daegames.blogspot.com/2012/12/wandering-monsters-celestials.html

    I find them to be much more interesting and other-worldly than a collection of winged humanoids.


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