Dungeons & Delvers: Ishim

I initially got the idea for ishim while working on the Dungeon World version of A Sundered World.

Angels are a big deal in A Sundered World, what with all the decaying heavenly kingdoms and god-corpses floating about. But, I think all angels just looking like winged humans, sometimes with blue or green skin, is boring, so I looked to Christian angels for inspiration.

Cherubim, seraphim, and ophanim all made the cut, but I was also going to include devas (the 4th Edition spin on the classic aasimar) anyway, because it was based on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign and I figured people would expect that sort of thing.

And then I found the ishim: these guys are usually ranked at the bottom half of the celestial totem pole, and in the Jewish hierarchy are described as man-like beings, which was perfect for a humanoid celestial race.

So I renamed devas to ishim, changed their flavor/lore from angels reincarnated as mortals to weak angels further de-powered by the death of their god, and then to make them even more interesting let you effectively choose something similar to a cleric domain.

For Dungeons & Delvers we kept the concept pretty much the same: ishim are the weakest of angels, you choose a domain from your god that you most embody, radiant resistance, Religion bonus, and the stat mods coincidentally make them pretty ideal for both clerics and paladins.

But while playing Dungeons & Delvers with our daughter, she chose one of those WizKid aasimar minis with the transparent wings for her character. She figured the wings would let her fly, and even though I've never seen anything in Dungeons & Dragons that lets aasimar or devas fly without some sort of class power, prestige class, paragon path, or late-game feat, I was all for it.

Which got me thinking: why not make that the norm? It would certainly make ishim stand out from all of the other races!

Kobolds in A Sundered World and Dungeons & Delvers are based on Germanic mythology. They aren't dragon-y halflings, but spirit folk with inherent magical abilities. Hearth kobolds get fire resistance and can generate fire, while mine kobolds can see in the dark and slowly phase through stone.

It's the latter ability that sparked some early controversy, because it sounds like a really big deal at first glance, but after seeing a few mine kobolds in action (I'm also playing one in Melissa's Heart of Hemskil campaign) I can say that it's not "breaking" anything, and none of the other players have complained about it.

Personally I don't think at-will flying is as much of a deal as some people (I used to frequent the WotC forums back when they had forums), but I admit that it could be more consistently useful than walking through stone, especially since kobolds can't bring others with them.

So just to be sure and fair we held a poll, asking if people wanted to stick with the domain feature or swap it out for wings. We even let people choose if they preferred the wings having a limited duration, or if the wings started out pretty tame and got better over time.

At-will wings ended up winning, albeit not by much (unless you count all of the votes for at-will wings and wings plus durations and/or upgrades), so here's the new ishim as it will appear in Red Book (so far, might change it later):

Size: Medium
Ability Score Modifier: +1 to either Wisdom or Charisma. Like kobolds, you only get one stat bump, and it can only be to one of two stats.
Speed: 30 feet
Skill Bonus: +1 to Religion, because angel.
Radiant & Necrotic Resistance: 5 + level. Shane, one of the players in our Tuesday games, suggested adding necrotic. I figured it was more common but not nearly as common as fire and cold damage, and radiant damage almost never comes up with the opposition, so I don't think it's that big of a deal.
Celestial Wings: As a Swift Action you can manifest feathered wings, granting you a fly Speed of 20 feet. At 10th-level this Speed increases to 30 feet. The wings will tear through clothing if necessary. If you're wearing metal armor or in a tightly enclosed space, they do not appear.
Languages: Common, Supernal.

You can fly while encumbered up to a point, though you go at half-Speed, and if you're too encumbered (at a point where you could still walk really slowly) you can't fly at all.

Racial classes will be in Red Book, and since as mentioned above the poll was somewhat close, we're going to include an option for swapping out wings for the domain racial feature they currently get, though if you just use that anyway it won't "break" anything.

Additionally, racial talents will allow you to upgrade your wings (and also domain options): you'll be able to use them to protect yourself, transform them into energy, have them grow eyes to prevent you from being surprised, and also grow extra sets so you can fly around faster.

Big thing for ishim is being able to ascend at levels 5, 10, and 20 into higher angelic spheres (assuming you stick with the ishim racial class long enough).

(NOTE: I wanted to do something way different than the obvious cleric or paladin, so the art depicts a female ishim warlock with the star pact, asking a tiny tentacled horror about something she's observing using the eye in her left hand, which she got due to her pact and the 1st-level Sign class feature. It'll be used for the ishim race section in Red Book.)

UPDATE: Melissa colored it:

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Apothecary, is now available.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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