So I’m GMing an upcoming RotR campaign that I’m very excited about and could use some advice. Hopefully people don't find this post too long, but I'd certainly appreciate those who can stay to the end. I have a player who is looking to play a half-Tian-Min half-elf Aasimar Thaumaturge wielding an Asp Coil weapon implement. Gives him a cool ranged reaction and some “battlefield controller” type abilities. This can be be represented mechanically by having him choose elf or human ancestry with the Adopted Ancestry feat for the non-chosen ancestry and the Aasimar heritage. Now normally I put a limit on 1 each of Uncommon heritages, ancestries, and backgrounds/archetypes to my games for lore and thematic reasons. In this case Aasimar and a Tian-Min in Varisia are both Uncommon.
In this case however, the overlap with Book 1 characters/themes, especially the Kaijitsus /Tsuto and Nualia is too great to ignore. So much role play potential there, from his mere existence enraging Lonjiku who is reminded of Tsuto to a jealous Tsuto being enraged seeing a version of him that would relate even better to his lover (crush?) than he could. It’s also exciting because my friend is half-Japanese and has always played a half-elf because of the unique feelings of alienation and fetishization a lot of mixed race people feel. So this whole thing lands in an awesome way where I can tie facets of the campaign not only to his character, but even to his personal experience, hopefully tastefully.
So the question is how do so justify this character being in Varisia?
Here’s the recap: Half Tian Min half-elf Aasimar with an Asp Coil. Below I’m going to add these components together and by process of elimination try to reason through his possible origins, and I’d like to see what you all think.
Tian Min + Aasimar:
The two most troubling components. At first this was a no go for me until I remembered something: the existence of the nation of Tianjing in Tian Xia. The only canon nation of Aasimars, interestingly enough, is located right next to Minkai. It’s hard to say how this nation remains populated. Either Aasimar need to be able to give birth to other Aasimar, there are a disproportionate number of Aasimar births surrounding the region for other reasons, or Aasimar the world over know of its existence and move there. The latter the three seems highly unlikely, leaving the former two. If either of these are true it leads to the interesting conclusion that the Tian have more Aasimar than any other ethnicity, and that the Tian ethnicities near Tianjing are even better represented than other Tian. Consequently, Tian Min Aasimar should be more common than the sum of its Uncommon features suggests.
How does he get to the Inner Sea?
If we settle on the idea that an Aasimar is more likely to have an Aasimar child (many people disagree with this assertion and I’m interested in here what you all have to say about that here), then his having a single parent move from Tianjing to perhaps Absalom (perhaps as one of the diplomats that the nation is famous for having?) brings one parent (and potentially him) to the Inner Sea region.
This part isn’t too hard. We could just say his parent meets and falls in love with an elf in Absolom. It’s quite the cosmopolitan city so that’s not too troubling.
Hey, whaddya know? The Asp Coil is sold in the Grand Bazaar. He could have easily picked it up and learned to use it at some point in his life.
How does he get to Varisia?
So my player has expressed interest in the Archaeologist background (with Thassilon Lore), so I’m thinking he somehow got in good with the Pathfinder Grand Lodge in Absalom. They have a lot of records, so he could cultivate his skills and learn a great deal there. Perhaps his unique heritage and his parent’s background helped with getting him access, but given that the Age of Lost Omens has just started and the Pathfinders are scrambling to scrap together records of the changing age, perhaps he was sent to do a little digging or record gathering on Thassilon as well? Perhaps to rendezvous with Quink?
Anyways, this is what I have and I’d love some input or advice on how to make this hold together. The three other party members are a goblin of some kind (undecided), a Wildwood halfling, and someone who is entirely undecided. Thanks for getting to the end.
Tian are not uncommon in Varisia and Neither are Aasimar they are both present plenty in Magnimar and Korvosa. The player could easily be the decent of someone who came from Minkai with the Lonjiku's. Aasimar are a 'common' occurrence in Magnimar as there are several people and cults who venerate the Ephemeral Lords. Prior to earth fall one of the largest Elevn settlements on Golorian is in Varisia so again elf/half-elf no problem. Than there is your item problem which again I don't see as a problem. Varisian's literally travel all of Avistan to trade and venerate Desna. There is mention in the Kingmaker back matter of frequent visits of Varisian traders in the ports of Brevoy the farthest nation East from Varisia on Avistan. Despite Varisia being a frontier that most of the rest of the world doesn't visit they easily because of the nature of Varisian caravans and the three major ports riddleport, Magnimar and Korvosa have near global trade with All of Avistan and most of Northern Garund.