Aquatic elves can live either in or out of the water, but most prefer homes in the watery depths of oceans and seas. They establish small communities, uniting with other aquatic elves as needed for protection but remaining largely independent. Some of these communities are built partly above and partly below the water, with half-elves of aquatic descent living in the open air, while their aquatic kin make their homes below.
Aquatic elves consider themselves an enlightened people capable of appreciating life in more dimensions than other creatures. When they do interact with other races, they often appear aloof and dismissive, as though bored or distracted, though this is not necessarily the case.
Aquatic elves are simply thinking of what wonders they might find during their explorations of their watery environs.
Considered beautiful by many elves, humans, and similar surface races, aquatic elves are a graceful and quick-witted people. Their skin can be the pale white or gold of beach sand, the russet of living coral, or the green-black of deepwater kelp. Often, aquatic elves’ coloration adjusts to their usual environment over time, sometimes changing over the course of a few generations. Their hair is long and silky, rippling with shades of blue and green. Aquatic elves have delicate, translucent webbing between their fingers and toes, allowing them to swim adroitly through the water.
Groups of aquatic elves are known to specialize in searching ruins for pieces of art, historical records, and magical artifacts from sunken and forgotten empires.
Those exploring the submerged debris of long-lost cities sometimes partner with adventurers of other races to overcome dangerous traps or guardians. Prideful as they are, aquatic elves know that other creatures can contribute specialized abilities to an expedition, though they are happiest working with gnomes, halflings, and surface elves, as these creatures are likely to return to the surface when their business beneath the waves is done. Some aquatic elves distrust humans, who they believe conceal expansionist motives and have a reckless disregard for danger—especially as concerns ancient and dangerous magic. Aquatic elves ally with gillmen only when necessary, as they worry that any such collaboration could be a part of some deeper aboleth scheme.
Aquatic elves believe that life is more vivid underwater than on land and that exceptional possibilities—both material and spiritual—exist for aquatic explorers. Aquatic elf adventurers, particularly those with no obligations to family or community, seek out hidden caverns, new species of plants or animals, and undiscovered ruins in the deepest reaches of the ocean, believing that their journeys lead to personal spiritual evolution.
As with surface elves, aquatic elves often have an aptitude for arcane magic, and the lure of lost power can draw aquatic elf adventurers far from familiar environments.
Arcane practitioners venture into submerged abandoned sites associated with other races, such as cecaelias or merfolk, hunting for lost magic items or forgotten spells; these expeditions often bring the aquatic elves into conflict with the races that consider the ruins their own. Aquatic elf adventurers may even leave the ocean and travel on dry land to pursue rumors of particularly powerful treasures, no matter how thinly substantiated.
When they do so, they prefer to ally with surfacers who know the area well (or hire one or more guides or specialists), as they harbor an unnatural fear of getting lost while on land and being unable to return to their vibrant ocean homes, even though they suffer no physical detriments from being on land for extended periods of time.
- Ability Score Modifiers: Aquatic elves are nimble, both in body and mind, but their form is frail. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, and –2 Constitution.
- Size: Aquatic elves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Type: Aquatic elves are Humanoids with the elf and aquatic subtypes. Creatures with the aquatic subtype can move in water without making Swim checks. Aquatic creatures always treat Swim as a class skill.
- Base Speed: Aquatic elves have a base speed of 30 feet and a swim speed of 30 feet.
- Languages: Aquatic elves begin play speaking Common and Elven. Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Celestial, Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
- Elven Immunities: Aquatic elves are immune to magic sleep effects and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
- Keen Senses: Aquatic elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
- Elven Magic: Aquatic elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items.
- Weapon Familiarity: Aquatic elves are proficient with rapiers, short swords, tridents, and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Low-Light Vision: Aquatic elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Other Racial Traits
- Amphibious: Aquatic elves can breathe both water and air.
|110 years||+4d6 years
(114 – 134 years)
(116 – 146 years)
(120 – 170 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.
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||5 ft. 4 in.||+2d8 in.
(5 ft. 6 in. – 6 ft. 8 in.)
|110 lbs.||+(2d8×5 lbs.)
(120 – 190 lbs.)
|Female||5 ft. 4 in.||+2d6 in.
(5 ft. 6 in. – 6 ft. 4 in.)
|90 lbs.||+(2d6×5 lbs.)
(100 – 150 lbs.)
Alternate Racial Traits
The following racial traits may be selected instead of the standard aquatic elf racial traits.
- Deep Sea Dweller: Aquatic elves who live far beneath the surface have adapted to the inhospitable conditions of the ocean depths. Aquatic elves with this racial trait gain darkvision with a range of 60 feet and cold resistance 5. This racial trait replaces low-light vision and elven immunities.
- Surface Features: Some aquatic elves appear almost indistinguishable from surface elves. Their coloring, height, and weight all suggest those of a surface elf, and the webbing between their digits is almost transparent. Aquatic elves with this racial trait gain a +4 bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks when attempting to pass themselves off as surface elves. This racial trait replaces keen senses.
- Surfacer Antagonist: Aquatic elves generally distrust humans, but for some, the suspicion has become festering hatred. Those who have lost loved ones to human aggression or have watched humans loot artifacts from venerated undersea ruins view all humans as enemies. Aquatic elves with this racial trait receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humans. This racial trait replaces elven magic.
Favored Class Options
The following options are available to all aquatic elves who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the class reward. In addition to the options below, aquatic elves may select any favored class options available to elves.
- Arcanist: Add 1/4 to the arcanist’s caster level when casting spells with the water descriptor.
- Cavalier: Add 1 skill rank to the cavalier’s mount. If the cavalier ever replaces his mount, the new mount gains these bonus skill ranks.
- Druid: Add 1 hit point to the druid’s animal companion. If the druid ever replaces her animal companion, the new animal companion gains these bonus hit points. For a druid whose nature bond gives her a cleric domain, select one cleric domain power at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the druid’s Wisdom modifier. The druid adds 1/2 to the number of uses per day of that domain power.
- Fighter: Choose a weapon from the following list: rapier, short sword, trident, or any weapon with “elven” in its name. Gain a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using that type of weapon (maximum bonus +4). This bonus does not stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects.
- Magus: Add one spell from the cleric, druid, or wizard spell list with the water descriptor to the magus’s spellbook. This spell must be at least 1 level below the highest spell level he can cast. This spell is treated as 1 level higher unless it also appears on the magus spell list.
- Ranger: Choose a weapon from the following list: longbow, shortbow, or any weapon with “elven” in its name. Reduce the penalty on ranged attack rolls underwater made with this weapon by 1.
- Summoner: As long as the summoner’s eidolon has a swim speed, add 5 feet to its swim speed (max +20 feet).
- Witch: When casting a witch spell underwater, add 1/3 to the effective caster level of the spell for the purpose of determining the spell’s duration.
- Wizard: Add 1 to the wizard’s caster level check when attempting to cast a spell with the fire descriptor underwater.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Keith Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Clinton J. Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Ed Greenwood, Stephen S. Greer, Jeff Grubb, James Jacobs, Michael Kortes, Tito Leati, Mike McArtor, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Eric Nelson, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Leandra Christine Schneider, David Schwartz, Amber E. Scott, Stan!, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, James L. Sutter, Greg A. Vaughan, Jeremy Walker, and JD Wiker.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Sea © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Author: Amber E. Scott.