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Half-Sahuagin

Purpose-bred—or built—half-breeds are hardly a new concept. As experiments, weapons, peacemakers, or simply abominations, half -breeds serve their creators or rebel against them, or are simply cast aside as failures.

The half-sahuagin are perhaps unique among their peers—they were built to be saviors.

Sahuagin are prone to beneficial mutations, which the race celebrates with great power and respect for those who have developed them. Unfortunately, this may not be the appropriate reaction; sahuagin are prone to madness and cruelty on a racial scale, to a level tht sometimes baffles surface -dwellers and even other aquatic races. A small group of sahuagin spellcasters sought an explanation for the more crippling forms of insanity suffered by their people and made a disquieting discovery —the sahuagin bloodline is not stable, and without intervention will degenerate into something barely more than an especially cruel animal. Attempts to inform their people were met with derision and scorn, and eventually these spellcasters and their fellows splintered off to continue their research.

Something had to be done.

Appearance

Half-sahuagin dress and carry themselves with a dignified indifference to their own hideousness. Well aware that neither of their parent races are ever going to find them attractive, half-sahuagin instead emphasize fine clothing, high-quality armor and weapons, and tasteful accessories to project an image of competence and respect with which to make a first impression. Half-sahuagin who do not wear armor often wear clothing made of subtly enchanted cloth, which dries and settles into a looser style when on land. The material has proven surprisingly popular with surface-dweller sailors and fishermen.

The effort these half-breeds spend in dressing well is wisely spent; half-sahuagin are hideous, with fishlike scales covering their skin, blocky features, overlarge teeth, huge eyes and a certain fish-like odor that follows them wherever they go. Half-sahuagin take pains to groom themselves carefully, not wishing to give others further reason to judge or shy away from them than they already have, though this is not always as helpful as they would like it to be.

Demeanor

Half-sahuagin are a patient, thoughtful, and responsible people. Raised not just to leadership but with the expectation that they will help “save” an entire race, these half-bloods tend to think their actions through and have a keen sense of consequences. This is not always a good thing; half-sahuagin often do not get enough sleep, and blame themselves for disaster at times when, really, there was nothing to be done.

The children of intellectuals, half-sahuagin are raised to magic (arcane and divine are equally common) and taken with deep thoughts on societal and global issues. Half-sahuagin engage others in conversation and debate about their worldviews and beliefs about the nature of evil, the purpose of cruelty and suffering, the possibility of redemption, and what it truly means to be a member of a race. Their curiosity also makes them surprisingly insightful and empathetic, and when they are welcome to do so many half-sahuagin genuinely enjoy helping others with complex personal problems. They have a talent for cutting to the heart of complicated emotional and social matters. This talent has a downside—half-sahuagin worry over these questions and the many responsibilities they feel are on their shoulders, and rarely feel as though they are permitted to relax or truly enjoy themselves

Backgrounds

Half-sahuagin are generally created, rather than born the sahuagin rebels that breed them use sorcery to mix the essence of a surface race with their own, creating a stabilized half-breed (the material needed is generally acquired through trade, as a small vial of blood will do). Aside from being expected to eventually breed with sahuagin to stabilize the bloodlines, half-sahuagin are raised to positions of importance within the splinter faction, tasked with research, development, diplomacy, and the acquisition of knowledge and power. Half-sahuagin are raised with a very frank appraisal of the threat facing the sahuagin people, and are told they must do their part in solving the problem.

While this makes half-sahuagin a responsible, thoughtful people, it is also the ethical question they spend the rest of their life grappling with. The rebel sahuagin that raise them range from cruel patriots wishing to secure sahuagin racial supremacy to outcasts from sahuagin society that fled its unending malice. Half-sahuagin wonder if they can “save” their parent race without destroying everything that makes its culture unique—and wonder, too, if it would be wrong to do so. Sahuagin are cruel and malicious, and time spent among surface races makes half-sahuagin very aware that cruelty is not the only method of showing strength.

It is not uncommon for half-sahuagin to leave home in an effort to find answers to these difficult questions, and their “parents” encourage it as long as the half-sahuagin continues to send back knowledge, wealth, or items of power to fuel their research.

Many of those who leave never truly go back “home”.They find peace amongst the surface-dwellers and escape the impossible burden placed upon them. Those that do eventually return come back wiser for their trials, and so the experiments continue, in an effort to save the sahuagin from themselves.

Adventures

Half-sahuagin tend not to be full-time adventurers; they leave home on a specific mission, or to gain some distance from the difficult problems they’re faced with. Overwhelmingly, halfsahuagin favor magical classes, with only a very few of the least talented entering more martial careers. Half-sahuagin respect members of all classes but are more fascinated with how those skill sets fit into cultures, and may ask endless questions about what it means to have a role in society and how such people are treated.

Half-sahuagin have an odd relationship with surface races. Raised with a strong sense of cultural pride, half-sahuagin often begin with a carefully concealed attitude that other races are less than they are. Actual interaction with these cultures disabuses them of this notion with remarkable swiftness, which does not make their concerns over “saving” the sahuagin any easier to deal with. Having encountered the idea that other races have ideas and values worthy of emulating, most half-sahuagin gladly engage with them on topics small and large, looking to better themselves through learning

Racial Traits

Ability Score Adjustments

+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: A half-sahuagin moves like they lack bones and is perceptive and instinctive, but has difficulty expressing themselves to others at times

Size

Medium: Half-sahuagin are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size

Type

Humanoid (aquatic, crossblood): Half-sahuagin are humanoid with the aquatic and crossblood subtypes

Humanoid Heritage: At first level a half-sahuagin must choose from the dwarf, elf, or human subtype. They gain the chosen subtype in addition to any other subtypes they possess

Other Racial Traits

Slow Speed: Half-sahuagin have a 20-ft. base land speed and a 30 ft swim speed; they may move in water without making Swim checks, and always treat Swim as a class skill. Though graceful in the water, they are clumsy and slow on land

Resilient Physiology (Ex) A half-sahuagin has a magically modified physiology; a side-effect of this process has caused it to be resistant to influence, granting it a +4 racial bonus on saves against poison, disease, and transmutation spells.

Blood in the Water (Ex) A half-sahuagin mimics the ferocity of their parents. Once per day as a fre action they can frenzy, gaining a +2 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution but a -2 penalty to AC for 1 minute. They gain the ability to rage, increase the bonuses rage grants to Strength and Constitution by 2 instead of the normal benefits of this racial trait.

Amphibious (Ex) Half-sahuagin can breathe water or air indefinitely.

Slippery (Ex) A half-sahuagin’s slippery flesh grants a +4 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks

Blood Tracking (Ex) A half-sahuagin has finely-tuned senses for blood. They have the scent special quality and gain a +10 racial bonus on survival checks to track a blood trail

Low-light Vision (Ex) A half-sahuagin can see twice as far as a human in dim light

Languages: Half-sahuagin begin play speaking Common and Goblin. Half-sahuagin with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Elven, Giant, Gnoll, Halfling, or Undercommon

Alternate Racial Traits

Shark Speech (Su): Some half-sahuagin retain a rudimentary form of telepathic communication with sharks at a distance of 150-ft. This allows the use of the Handle Animal skill with sharks out to that range. This replaces blood in the water.

Favored Class Options

Barbarian: Add +1 to the total rounds of the barbarian’s rage.

Cleric: Increase duration of emotion effects and spells generating from the cleric by 1 round.

Daevic: Add +1/4 daily uses to your racial blood in the water ability.

Psion: Add +1 on Spellcraft checks.

Stalker: Add +1/6 of a d6 of the stalker’s deadly strike.

Wizard: Add +1 on Spellcraft checks.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Bloodforge, © 2017, Dreamscarred Press, LLC; Author: Matthew Ryan Medeiros, Jade Ripley, based on material by Owen K.C. Stephens