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Dungeons & Dragons: Everything You Need To Know About One D&D’s Ardlings

One D&D is coming, and with it will be a whole host of new rules, races, and modules for your playing pleasure. And, while we only have one document of rules to playtest right now, the One D&D Character Creation Unearthed Arcana gives you plenty to think about.

There are a ton of new goodies to unpack that will influence what you think about the new edition, but the one that might have surprised you most is One D&D's new race, the Ardling, which is included instead of some of the more traditional races, like half-elves and half-orcs. You may have never heard of these celestial-blooded creatures before, but they have the potential to add some interesting elements to your games.

7 They're Descendants Of The Upper Planes

Like Teiflings, Ardlings are creatures with ancestry touched by other planes. However, instead of having a hellish fire in their heart, Ardlings have a taste of heaven. Rather than hailing from Avernus or Thanatos, they came from Ysgard and Elysium to couple with mortals.

How and why an Ardling exists, doesn't influence your alignment. You could play a good Ardling or one that would rather hang out with Asmodeus than the rulers of Mount Celestia. But, regardless of their attitude, all Ardlings are born with an affinity for celestial magic, meaning that even the most hateful of their kind can still heal you, but only if they feel like it.

6 They've Got Animal Heads

Sure, there are a lot of rules that influence whether or not you'd want to play an Ardling, but let's just get this out of the way: All Ardlings have animal heads. Why? Well, canonically it has to do with their celestial heritage. In D&D, the upper planes are associated with angels, sure, but also with noble beasts and creatures like the Pegasus and hound archons. Instead of adopting the usual method and making an angelic descendent, Wizards is dipping into obscure wells of lore to create this new race of being.

On the other hand, Ardlings also probably have animal heads because anthropomorphic animals are extremely popular in D&D, to the point that they're getting difficult to keep track of. You've got rabbit people, you've got turtle people, you've even got Owl people. Why not just make one race that can stand in for them all?

5 They're Completely New

If you've never heard of an Ardling before, you're not alone. Though clearly designed to be a good counterpoint to the Tefling's evil heritage, most players are more familiar with the Aasinmar, the Ardling's more dull-looking cousin. For a long time, these celestially touched crusaders were Good's answer to Evil, but One D&D seems to have superseded them with a race ripped straight from Egyptian mythology.

It's probably for the best. Aasimar doesn't look much different from the humans they're descended from, and never really captured the imagination as Teiflings did. Whether Ardlings will match up is anyone's guess, but that doesn't change the fact that like Beholders and Mind Flayers before them, they are unique to Dungeons & Dragons.

4 They Don't Fear Death

It must be good having divine blood. Sure, people might stare at Aardlings because they have a pig's head, but they don't let that bother them. People like that aren't mean, they're just terrified of their impending deaths, and it gets to them.

Even if someone calling them Boar McBoarface gets on their nerves, they can rest easy in the knowledge that the Aardling's extended lifespan will let them massively outlive these mortal tormenters. While they might not live as long as an Elf or a Dwarf – since they only live about 200 years on average – they're fully embracing life.

3 They Can Enjoy The Sun All Day

Living so close to the sun, it's no wonder that creatures in the upper realms have adjusted to the climate. Instead of hiding inside from its radiance, they've chosen to embrace it, and even use it in spells to sear their enemies with divine light.

It's no wonder, then, these inheritors of a celestial lineage, can enjoy their time in the sunshine. They're resistant to radiant damage which, as anyone who's been on the wrong end of a guiding bolt can tell you, is a pretty good thing. Theoretically, this also means that a day at the beach would be a lot more pleasant.

2 They Can Sort Of Fly

There's a reason Dragonborn don't have wings, and it's not because they're impure descendants of Dragons. Flight can break D&D. The DM can throw as many pit traps, walls, and gaps in reality as they want, but once you can fly those obstacles no longer apply to you. You can just avoid them.

It's probably because flight is so overpowered that the Ardling's Angelic Flight ability is so limited, and only allows you to fly for one round per use. Sure, sprouting golden, ethereal wings for thirty seconds is cool, but not particularly useful. Plus, why would a being with a goat head know how to fly in the first place? It's the little things about this game that keep you guessing.

1 There Are Three Different Kinds Of Aardling

The nine alignment system is almost as old as D&D. Though Wizards of the Coast has shied away from it mechanically, it's so baked into existing cosmologies that the creators at Wizards have created entire planes associated with each alignment. This is especially apparent in the upper planes. Arboria, Ysgard, and the Beastlands are Chaotic Good. Arcadia, Mount Celestia, and Bytopia are Lawful Good, and Elysium is neutral good.

Ardlings also depend on this system to determine their powers. Depending on which plane you're associated with, you'll have either an Idylic, Celestial, or Exalted legacy, which in turn determines what racial spells you unlock. They are also supposed to determine what kind of animal head you have, but let's be honest: If you want a toad head, you'll get a toad head.

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