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Gillmen


Gillmen descended from humans. Aboleths captured several of these humans and muted them to survive underwater. The gillmen’s ancestors were thus saved from extinction, but at a terrible cost: for centuries, they served the aboleths, physically and mentally twisted into the perfect tools of that ancient race.

In time, the aboleths abandoned their fleshwarped servants. Despite their freedom, gillmen still bear the psychic scars of their race’s captivity. They face the distrust of others, who often suspect gillmen of ulterior agendas.

They view allies warily, wondering if they, too, want only to use the gillmen for their own purposes. Gillmen today are leery of everyone—even of their own kind.

Gillmen appear human at first glance, but the gills on their neck and their vibrant purple eye color give them away. Gillmen have soft, delicate skin in shades of pearly white, peach, salmon, or sandy brown. Their hair is often dark brown or black, but for some it takes on the colors of the sea, and they have thick, expressive eyebrows. Gillmen are physically bound to the sea; they must submerge themselves in water at least once a day or their skin dries and cracks, their organs begin to fail, and they eventually die.

When associating with others, gillmen prefer the company of their own kind, though they sometimes consort with humans or merfolk, usually as traders or messengers.

Rumors persist that some gillmen still serve aboleth masters willingly, moving among coastal regions as spies and saboteurs. The discovery of these agents perpetuates the pervasive belief that all gillmen are—knowingly or unknowingly—thralls to aboleth masters.

Adventurers

Though small gillman communities exist underwater, most gillmen operate independently or in small family groups. They share no overreaching racial goals or desires, banding together solely for survival. Each gillman has unique experiences and motivations that may lead to an adventuring life. Although gillmen are slow to make friends with other races, they are nonetheless a stable addition to any group of adventurers.

Some gillmen are unable to let go of their race’s past.

These adventurers follow rumors of aboleth activity and seek out villains that serve the deep-sea masters. They also pursue powerful allies and artifacts to aid them against the aboleth menace. Gillman adventurers quest for information on why the aboleths first created the gillmen, what purpose the gillmen were intended to fulfill, and why the aboleths gave up their thralls. These gillmen hope to ascertain their history so that it can be put to rest, allowing their people to begin building a unified future.

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Gillmen are vigorous and beautiful, but their domination by the aboleths has made them weak-willed. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, and –2 Wisdom.
  • Type: Gillmen are humanoids with the aquatic subtype.
  • Size: Gillmen are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Base Speed: Gillmen have a base speed of 30 feet on land. As aquatic creatures, they also have a swim speed of 30 feet, can move in water without making Swim checks, and always treat Swim as a class skill.
  • Languages: Gillmen begin play speaking Common and Aboleth. Gillmen with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aklo, Aquan, Draconic, and Elven. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.

Defense Racial Traits

  • Enchantment Resistance: Gillmen gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against non-aboleth enchantment spells and effects, but take a –2 penalty on such saving throws against aboleth sources.

Weakness Racial Traits

  • Water Dependent A gillman’s body requires constant submersion in fresh or salt water. Gillmen who spend more than one day without fully submerging themselves in water risk internal organ failure, painful cracking of the skin, and death within 4d6 hours.

Other Racial Traits

  • Amphibious: Gillmen can breathe both water and air.

Alternate Racial Traits

The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

  • Deep Gillman: Some gillmen live in the deeper ocean and almost never visit the land above the sea. Such gillmen gain darkvision to a range of 60 feet and resist cold 5, in order to survive the lightless depths. This racial trait replaces amphibious and enchantment resistance. Source PCS:ISR
  • Riverfolk Some gillmen groups live in colonies along vast riverways, and have adapted to living on land for much longer periods. Gillmen with this trait have a thin coating of natural oil that keeps their skin from cracking even without water. However, this natural oil also makes such gillmen particularly susceptible to flames, and they gain vulnerability to fire. This racial trait replaces water dependent.
  • Slimehunter Gillmen with this trait are from lineages that have fought against aboleths since the aberrations rescued their human ancestors. They receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against aboleth spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance.
  • Submerged: Gillmen who live in deep water are accustomed to the gloom of the depths. Though these gillmen can venture onto land, they are uncomfortable doing so and must return to the ocean sooner than other gillmen. Gillmen with this racial trait gain low-light vision but must submerge themselves in water every 12 hours or die within 2d4 hours. This modifies their water dependent racial trait. Source PPC:BotS
  • Taskmaster: The aboleth fleshcrafters created some gillmen as overseers among their kin, allowing them to exude pheromones into the air or water. Generations later, the descendants of these taskmaster gillmen retain the ability to influence others. Gillmen with this trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance. Source PPC:BotS
  • Throwback Some gillmen are throwbacks to their land-dwelling human ancestors. Gillmen with this racial trait do not have the amphibious trait, have the human subtype instead of the aquatic subtype, have no swim speed or bonuses to the Swim skill, cannot breathe water, and do not have the water dependent racial trait.
  • Truthseer: Gillmen with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against non-aboleth illusion spells or effects, but they take a –2 penalty on such saving throws against aboleth sources. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance. Source PPC:BotS
  • Venomkissed: Some gillmen display an innate resistance to the toxic creatures of the deep. In gillman communities, venomkissed gillmen take on the dangerous task of domesticating jellyfish, octopuses, sea snakes, and other venomous creatures. Solitary venomkissed gillmen make their homes near beds of poisonous coral and anemones, using the creatures as natural defense. Gillmen with this racial trait gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against poison. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance. Source PPC:BotS

Favored Class Options

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

Random Gillmen Starting Ages
Adulthood Intuitive1 Self-Taught2 Trained3
20 years +1d6 years
(21 – 26 years)
+2d6 years
(22 – 32 years)
+3d6 years
(23 – 38 years)

1 This category includes barbarians, oracles, rogues, and sorcerers.
2 This category includes bards, cavaliers, fighters, gunslingers, paladins, rangers, summoners, and witches.
3 This category includes alchemists, clerics, druids, inquisitors, magi, monks, and wizards.

Random Gillmen Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4 ft. 10 in. +2d10 in.
(5 ft. – 6 ft. 6 in.)
120 lbs. +(2d10×5 lbs.)
(130 – 220 lbs.)
Female 4 ft. 5 in. +2d10 in.
(4 ft. 7 in. – 6 ft. 1 in.)
85 lbs. +(2d10×5 lbs.)
(95 – 185lbs.)

3rd Party Publisher Favored Class Options

  • Aegis: Add resistance to cold +1/2 to the aegis’ astral suit. This does not stack with the energy resistance (cold) customization option. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Alchemist: Add one formula from the alchemist’s formula list to the character’s formulae book. This formula must be at least one level below the highest formulae level the alchemist can create. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Antipaladin: If the fiendish servant has a swim speed, add +1 foot to the fiendish servant’s swim speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the antipaladin has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as 30 feet, for example. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Arcanist: Add one spell from the arcanist spell list to the arcanist’s spellbook. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level she can cast. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Barbarian: Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made underwater (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Bard: Add +1/2 to the bard’s saving bonus against nonaboleth enchantment spells and effects. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Bloodrager: Add a +1 bonus on caster level checks to cast spells underwater. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Brawler: Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made underwater (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Cavalier: Add +1/4 to the cavalier’s banner bonus. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Cleric: Whenever the cleric uses her channel energy ability to heal, all healed creatures receive a bonus to the Swim skill equal to 1/2 for 1 minute. Each additional time the cleric selects this ability, the bonus increases by +1/2. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Cryptic: The cryptic gains +1/6 of a new insight. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Dread: The dread gains +1/6 of a new terror. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Druid: Add +1 foot to the druid’s swim speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the druid has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as 30 feet, for example. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Gunslinger: Add +1/4 point to the gunslinger’s grit points. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Hunter: Add +1 foot to the hunter’s swim speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the hunter has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as 30 feet, for example. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Inquisitor: Add +1/2 on Intimidate, Knowledge, and Sense Motive checks made against creatures with the aquatic or water subtype. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Investigator: Add one formula from the investigator’s formula list to the character’s formulae book. This formula must be at least one level below the highest formulae level the investigator can create. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Magus: Add +1/4 point to the magus’ arcane pool. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Marksman: Add +1/3 to damage rolls made with ranged or thrown weapons when expending focus on Psionic Shot. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Monk: Add +1/4 point to the monk’s ki pool. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Ninja: Add +1/4 point to the ninja’s ki pool. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Oracle: Add a +1 bonus on caster level checks to overcome the spell resistance of creatures with the aquatic or water subtype. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Paladin: If the mount has a swim speed, add +1 foot to the paladin’s mount’s swim speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the paladin has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as 30 feet, for example. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Psion: Add +1/2 power known from the psion power list. This power must be at least one level below the highest power level the psion can manifest. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Psychic Warrior: Add +1 foot to the psychic warrior’s swim speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the psychic warrior has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); a speed of 34 feet is effectively the same as 30 feet, for example. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Ranger: Add a +1/3 bonus to the ranger’s favored terrain (water). [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Samurai: Add +1/4 number of times per day the samurai can use his resolve ability. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Shaman: Add a +1 bonus on caster level checks to overcome the spell resistance of creatures with the aquatic or water subtype. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Skald: Add +1/2 to the bard’s bonus against non-aboleth enchantment spells and effects. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Slayer: The slayer gains +1/6 of a new slayer talent. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Soulknife: The soulknife gains +1/6 of a new blade skill. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Summoner: If the summoner’s eidolon has an aquatic UM base form, add +5 feet to the range of the summoner’s life link ability. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Swashbuckler: Increase the total number of points in the swashbuckler’s panache pool by +1/4. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Tactician: Add +1/4 to the tactician’s strategy daily uses. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Time Thief: Add +1/6 of an additional d4 to one skill check or ability check when you spend a mote to boost such a check. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Time Warden: Add one spell known from the time warden spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the time warden can cast. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Vitalist: Add +1/2 power known from the vitalist power list. This power must be at least one level below the highest power level the vitalist can manifest and may not be changed when the vitalist regains his daily power points. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Warpriest: Whenever the warpriest uses her channel energy ability to heal, all healed creatures receive a bonus to the Swim skill equal to 1/2 for 1 minute. Each additional time the warpriest selects this ability, the bonus increases by +1/2. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Wilder: Add +1/3 power known from the wilder power list. This power must be at least one level below the highest power level the wilder can manifest. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Witch: Add a +1 bonus on caster level checks to overcome the spell resistance of creatures with the aquatic or water subtype. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Hal MacLean, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor.

Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Sea © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Author: Amber E. Scott.

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Favored Class Options. © 2014, Jon Brazer Enterprises