The following are an interpretation of the Nephilim, the race of human-angel hybrids from Jewish legend. It combines lore from several sources, particularly the Bible and the Book of Enoch.
The product of a human mother and a fallen Celestial father.
“The Nephilim were in the Earth in those days, and also afterwards, when the Sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore them children – those were the mighty men of old, heroes of renown.” – Genesis 6:4
Ancient stories tell of times when the powers of Lawful Good sent down their Celestial servants to watch over the world. In some versions of the story it was the Ultimate God himself that commissioned an army of Angels to be sentinels against evil. According to the tales, as the Celestials spent more time upon the Earth they began to lose their heavenly purity. Eventually, some of the angels started to lust after human women, and longed to have families just like mortals. Abandoning their posts, the angels fell from heavenly grace to become the lovers and husbands of human women. The children born from those unions were tall and strong, but possessed of wild passions and boundless desires. Such children, and their descendants, are called Nephilim.
In the eyes of the unfallen Celestials, a Nephil (the plural form is Nephilim) represents a degradation of the spirit, rather than an uplifting of the material. Damned from birth by the powers of Heaven, Nephilim learn to rely on their own considerable prowess to achieve the fame and power they instinctively crave. Although most Nephilim come from ancient linages that date to the first falling of the angels, Nephilim continue to be born to wholly human mothers who either marry or are seduced by disguised Celestials.
The souls of Nephilim are cursed by Heaven to remain earthbound, often becoming incorporeal undead such as Ghosts, Wraiths, or Specters after death. Only the direct intercession of a deity can allow the soul of a Nephil to go on to the afterlife. The nations of the Nephilim therefore have reputations for being haunted places of great evil.
Nephilim appear to be muscular, well-built humans of unusually tall stature. Both males and females average about 7 feet in height, although exceptionally tall specimens may reach 8 feet. Their bodies are otherwise identical to ordinary humans. Armor and clothing sized for ordinary humans will be too small to be worn by a Nephil.
Nephilim are identical to humans in most ways, except for their size. They eat and drink the same things, and perform all the same biological functions. They have the same lifespans as ordinary humans. If a Nephil mates with an ordinary human the child will be a human, albeit an especially tall one. The children of two Nephilim, however, will also be Nephilim. Thus, there are many Nephilim who are many generations removed from contact with Celestial beings. The product of a Nephil breeding with an Elf will be a Half-Elf that is “of men”. In the strange circumstance that a Nephil mates with an Orc or Half-Orc, the child will be identical to an Ogre.
Psychology & Behavior:
Since Nephilim are tall, strong, and hardy, they tend to have been well-liked as children. Many Nephilim grow up with a sense of entitlement, and a strong impatience when they don’t get their way. Adult Nephilim are frequently viewed as egotistical, even megalomaniacal.
Nephilim do everything on a large scale. They are prone both to acts of great heroism, and massive evil. When Nephilim build structures they always endeavor to make them as large and imposing as possible. Nephilim love to build palaces with myriad rooms dedicated to single activities. They prefer clothing that is ornate, expensive, and voluminous. Their arms and armor will always be decorated, and Nephilim prefer to use large and imposing weapons. Nephilim love to feast, and will waste extraordinary sums on entertainment. They prefer to take many lovers at the same time rather than settle down with a single mate.
A Nephil’s emotions tend towards extremes as well. A happy Nephil can spend days engaged in debauchery, while a sad one will spend weeks in seclusion. Angry Nephilim wipe out entire villages, while a Nephil in love will literally scale mountains and slay dragons for the object of their desire.
Nephilim generally don’t like having limits on their own behavior, although they frequently have no problem with imposing them on others. They are drawn to positions of command and power, or else they become wandering heroes who swear allegiance to nothing but their own glory. Many Nephilim will create cults around themselves, and gleefully accept the adulation and even worship of ordinary humans.
Nephilim often love to hunt, and are renowned for their bravery and ability to bring down large and dangerous prey. Many Nephilim make their living hunting monsters, and may decide to adventure simply for the opportunity to kill dangerous beasts (and be seen doing it).
Despite their ancestry, Nephilim are never of Lawful Good Alignment. They are usually Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Evil.
Nephilim tend to do well in in human society, often becoming Royal Champions, military commanders, personal bodyguards, and elite soldiers.
In their own nations, the Nephilim have human-like societies, except that everything will seem exaggerated to the eyes of ordinary humans. Holidays last longer and are more intensely celebrated, the cuisine is more intensely spiced and favored, the costumes worn by people are over-elaborate, the titles of nobility are excessively long, the architecture is grandiose, and simple events like a casual greeting can become the basis of lifelong feuds.
In some places, Nephilim have established themselves as a noble class ruling over ordinary humans. In those places the noble culture will seems as ostentatious as that of a Nephil nation, although such extravagance may not be reflected in the way the ordinary people live.
Relations With Other Races:
Nephilim prefer human companionship. They often find Elves to be grating, since the Elfin sense of racial exceptionalism clashes with the Nephilim’s belief in their own superiority. Nephilim look down on the smaller races such as Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings, both as a matter of physical fact and social condescension. The Nephilim tend to view Half-Orcs, Orcs, and other Humanoids as useful tools of war, and nothing more.
The exact nature of the relationship between the Nephilim and the various race of Giants is unclear. The Nephilim regard them as kin, and sometimes say that the Giants are actually the product of ancient Nephilim mating with fallen angels themselves.
Extraplaner Type: All magic and effects which target Extraplaner creatures affect Nephilim. Likewise, their angelic blood means they can use any objects and magic limited to Extraplaner creatures, especially of a Celestial nature. This is despite the fact that Lawful Good Celestials hate Nephilim.
Heaven’s Enmity: Lawful Good Celestial creatures regard Nephilim as the worst kind of abominations, more detestable than even demons and devils. A Lawful Good Celestial creature will always react negatively to a Nephil, and will always interpret the character’s words and actions in the worst possible light. Only a direct order from the deity they serve will ever cause a Lawful Good Celestial creature to aid a Nephil in any way. Nephilim can never benefit from healing or other miracles from Lawful Good Clerics or Paladins.
Extreme Emotions: Nephilim are more strongly affected by magic or drugs that create or alter emotions. Such magic or effects will be twice as strong as usual, including having their durations doubled. Nephilim save against such effects normally, however.
Preferred Classes: Ranger, Fighter, Barbarian and Knight. Naturally, Nephilim can never be Paladins.
Attribute Adjustment: +2 Strength, + 2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom
Size: Medium (Sometimes Large)
Movement: 30 feet
Starting Languages: Common