View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Nephilim (PEACH)

2017-05-02, 09:34 AM
So I decided to take a hand at homebrewing a race for 5e, the Nephilim. In real world mythos, Nephilim or half-angels (or at least those descended from angels and half-angels, it can get a bit complicated) who are typically seen as abominations and their angelic progenitors cast out for the crime of copulating with mortals. I'm not the first to homebrew this race, but the direction I decided to come from involved essentially making them a counterpart to the Tiefling race and tooling their racial abilities similarly. Just with a celestial bent rather than a fiendish one. A few other differences I put in were that the Nephilim population is primarily nomadic, living in traveling caravans not unlike gypsies. I tried to leave their relationship with the Tieflings open-ended with some having an instinctual dislike for each other that likely stems from their opposing heritages while others bond over mutual suffering at the hands of superstitious and judgemental societies.

I also included a trio of race-specific Feats in the style of the recent Race Feats UA.


Nephilim are perhaps one of the most tragic existences in the world. Their ancient heritage can be traced back to mighty celestials who were charged with defending the mortal races from the capriciousness of the fey, the depravations of fiends, as well as inscrutable eldritch beings. These celestials became fond of their mortal charges, perhaps overly so, and from these unions the first nephilim were born. But even though their heritage is opposite the Tiefling, they suffer much the same stigma for celestials are forbidden from physical union with mortals and those ancestors of the Nephilim were cast out and are now counted among the Fallen.

Children of the Fallen

They may not stand out quite as much as the Tieflings, but Nephilim are still quite recognizable to those who know what to look for, and in general are on the recieving end of much the same stigma as the heirs to fiendish blood are despite the Nephilim's celestial heritage. Their telltale features consist of perpetually flawless skin and hair no matter their living conditions and their eyes are, like the Tieflings, a solid color with no visible sclera or pupil. The eye colors can be a bit different though, consisting of black, blue, white, violet, or copper. Their hair tends towards lighter colors as well, such as varying types of blond, silver or white, pale pink or orange, and even light green.


Nephilim, like Tieflings, exist in sparse populations all over the world and lack a homeland of their own. They are frequently greeted with mistrust and many religious institutions decry their very existence as an abomination. Those few who stay in towns and cities are often forced to eke out a meager living however they can manage, but most have fled the cities and joined or formed nomadic caravans where they are not reviled for what they are, at least not openly. Some groups even revere them for their celestial heritage and the powers that come with it, though these tend to be the exception, not the rule.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of how they are viewed is that they are neither abominations of evil nor inheritors of good. They are simply people, like any other.

The Tiefling Question

Can the descendants of celestials coexist with the spawn of fiends? The answer is... complicated. Some members of both races have claimed an instinctual dislike of the other on sight, while others have found comraderie in their mutual suffering at the hands of society. But for the most part, they leave each other to their lives, being neither more aggressive nor more sympathetic than they are with anyone else.

Nephilim Names

Nephilim frequently have names reflective of the culture or area they are born in. However, there is a distinct tendency for Nephilim parents to give their children 'angelic' names more often than any other race and more than a few names have been passed down through the Celestial language they retain.

Male Celestial Names: Cael, Castiel, Gabriel, Michael, Malach, Hariel, Samuel, Ramiel, Zadkiel

Female Celestial Names: Parisa, Seraphina, Ariel, Evangeline, Laila, Dina, Charmeine, Eralah, Tien

Ability Score Increase: Increase your Charisma by 2 and your Wisdom by 1.

Age: Nephilim tend to mature at the same rate as humans, but can live a bit longer.

Alignment: Nephilim have no innate inclination to Good or Evil. Some seek to honor their celestial heritage by doing good while others give in to the stigma and hate the world throws at them and still more simply try to live their lives the best they can however they can manage. There is a slight leaning towards Lawful alignment among the population, but not an overwhelming one.

Size: Roughly the same size as a human, Nephilim are medium creatures.

Speed: Base walking speed is 30 feet.

Truesight: From your angelic ancestors you inherited a version of truesight. Invisible creatures and objects, as well as many illusions, appear translucent to your eyes for up to 60 feet. However, it can often take a successful Perception or Investigation check (DC 15) to tell the difference.

Divine Essence: You are resistant to Radiant damage.

Celestial Legacy: You know the Thaumaturgy cantrip. At 3rd level, you may cast Guiding Bolt once per day as a 2nd-level spell. At 5th level, you may also cast Lesser Restoration once per day. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.

Nephilim Race Feats:

Angelic Wings
Prerequisite: Nephilim
You have manifested the most iconic physical trait of your celestial ancestors: wings.

- You sprout angelic feathered wings. You have a flying speed of 20 feet if you aren't wearing armor and aren't exceeding your carrying capacity.

Divine Radiance
Prerequisite: Nephilim
Your body has a radiance to it that magic brings out readily and wards you against the dark powers of necromancy.

- Increase your Intelligence or Wisdom by 1.
- Whenever you cast a spell, you glow with radiant light illuminating bright light for 30 feet and dim light for an additional 30 feet.
- You are resistant to Necrotic damage.

Blessed Grace
Prerequisite: Nephilim
You are a blessed individual. Those things you do well, you perform with innate style and grace.

- Increase your Dexterity or Charisma by 1.
- When you make an attack roll, saving throw, or skill check that you have proficiency in, roll an additional d4 and add it to your total.

Edit: So I discovered the Aasimar today. And aside from some historical fluff and a few stylistic choices, they're effectively identical to what I've made here. Whoops. Oh, well, the race feats can still work. Just substitute 'Aasimar' for 'Nephilim'.