by Christopher Perkins (Dragon #312)
You are drawn first to the being's fiery, piercing eyes, then to the long mane of coppery-red hair that crowns its pale head. Marble-white flesh covers the being's stately frame. Its legs end in birdlike talons with ruby-sharp claws, and wings of crackling flame spring from its narrow shoulders.
The asuras (ah-soo-rahs) serve deities as messengers and heralds. At other times, asuras are sent on missions of retribution to other planes, bringing divine wrath to those who have angered a power of the Upper Planes. Asura are frequently viewed as impudent and violent by other celestials, but the majority of asura take pride in their roles as bringers of "justice."
Asuras and the lawful angels view each other with a great deal of contempt, but as creatures of good, neither group turns to violence or other underhanded methods for dealing with the other.
Making an Asura Character
Outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar, Good)
Asuras have good ability scores, natural armor, combat excellence, and spell-like abilities. They are passionate and powerful beings.
An asura character begins with a fly speed, immunity to fire, two claw attacks, and a racial bonus on saves against certain attack forms. The class has a useful special ability or ability score increase at every character level, making it a truly formidable being for its low Hit Dice.
Asura characters possess the following racial traits.
- Starting Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Cha. Asuras are forceful and compelling.
- Medium size.
- An asura's base land speed is 30 feet. It also has a fly speed of 60 feet (good).
- Darkvision out to 60 feet.
- Immunity to fire.
- +4 racial bonus on saving throws against petrification, charms, and compulsions.
- Automatic Language: Celestial.
- Favored Class: Asura. The best multiclassing choice for an asura is fighter or cleric, but asuras are competent at any class.
The asura's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).
All the following are class features of the asura monster class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Asuras are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (light, medium, and heavy), and with shields (except tower shields).
Feats: An asura receives one feat at 1st level and additional ones at 4th and 10th level. After 14th level, it gains feats normally according to its character level, as shown in Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits. Asuras gain the bonus feat Improved Critical (claw) at 14th level.
Claws: An asura has two claw attacks that are natural weapons dealing the indicated damage plus Strength bonus.
Burning Wind (Su): An asura can beat its wings as a standard action and generate a searing wave of heat. At 3rd level, the heat deals 1d6 points of damage and affects all creatures in a 10-foot radius. At 6th level, the radius extends to 15 feet. At 9th level, the damage increases to 2d6 points.
Spell-like Abilities: Starting at 2nd level, an asura can use detect evil, detect good, discern lies, holy smite, magic circle against evil (self only), polymorph (self only; humanoid forms only), and true seeing the indicated number of times per day. The asura's caster level is equal to its Hit Dice from class levels (save DC 10 + spell level + asura's Charisma modifier).
|1st||1d8||+1||+2||+2||+2||(8 + Int mod) x 4||1||Feat, subtypes (chaotic, extraplanar, good), 2 claws 1d6, +2 natural armor|
|2nd||2d8||+2||+3||+3||+3||8 + Int mod||2||+2 Wis, damage reduction 5/cold iron or evil, detect good 1/day, detect evil 1/day|
|3rd||2d8||+2||+3||+3||+3||-||2||+2 Str, +2 Dex, burning wind 1d6 (10-ft. radius), discern lies 1/day|
|4th||3d8||+3||+3||+3||+3||8 + Int mod||3||Feat, +3 natural armor, 2 claws 1d8, spell resistance 11|
|5th||3d8||+3||+3||+3||+3||-||3||+2 Cha, detect good 3/day, detect evil 3/day, spell resistance 12|
|6th||4d8||+4||+4||+4||+4||8 + Int mod||4||+2 Con, burning wind 1d6 (15-ft. radius), immunity to petrification, magic circle against evil 1/day|
|7th||4d8||+4||+4||+4||+4||-||4||+4 natural armor, polymorph 1/day, spell resistance 13|
|8th||5d8||+5||+4||+4||+4||8 + Int mod||5||+2 Wis, discern lies 3/day, detect good at will, detect evil at will, spell resistance 14|
|9th||5d8||+5||+4||+4||+4||-||5||+2 Str, +2 Dex, burning wind 2d6 (15-ft radius), holy smite 1/day|
|10th||6d8||+6/+1||+5||+5||+5||8 + Int mod||6||Feat, +5 natural armor, true seeing 1/day, spell resistance 15|
|11th||6d8||+6/+1||+5||+5||+5||-||6||+2 Cha, immunity to charms and compulsions, spell resistance 16|
|12th||7d8||+7/+2||+5||+5||+5||8 + Int mod||7||+2 Con, true seeing 3/day, spell resistance 17|
|13th||7d8||+7/+2||+5||+5||+5||-||7||+6 natural armor, discern lies at will, spell resistance 18|
|14th||8d8||+8/+3||+6||+6||+6||8 + Int mod||8||+2 Str, Bonus feat: Improved Critical (claw), true seeing at will, spell resistance 19|