Sahuagin – A Devilish Oceanic Race for D&D 5th Edition and Pathfinder


Deep within endless trenches of the oceanic depths lies a race of creatures guaranteed to strike terror into the souls of many a sailor.  They’re given many names among seafarers – Sharkmen, Sea Devils, Sea Raiders, and countless others.  Whether any of these detractor names hold any weight or accuracy is to be determined.  However, anger and xenophobia is quite close to fact amongst the Sahuagin.  Any fool who’d dare tread upon their territory is soon greeted by endless waves of relentless raiding parties; attacking crewmen, infiltrating ships, and sometimes destroying the ship piece by piece.  Whether or not the attacks are deserved is up to whichever side of the raid you’re on!

Within their deep kingdoms, Suhuagin life is complex.  These beings live under a strict caste system based on personal merit.  Those capable of building, growing, and creating are on the top; while those who are less capable are largely ignored or sometimes relegated as parasites.  Those in the middle are used as defenders against threats both aquatic and land dwelling.  While some could argue that stealing from land beings goes against their meritocracy, they envision it as payment trespassing on properties where intruders are not wanted.  However, there are many marked safe points where one can meet with a Sahuagin, in an effort to visit their underwater realm.  Woe to any fool that doesn’t prepare for a dive through deep water and intense pressure.

Author’s Note: I was originally going to do this for just D&D 5, but one of my blog buddies encouraged me to open this option up to Pathfinder as well! And so, I am!

Sahuagin – 5E

Ability Score Increase – You gain a +2 bonus to Constitution and +1 to Wisdom, due to the sturdy and perceptive nature of Sahuagin.

Age – Sahuagin usually reach adulthood around age 10.  The typical maximum age for Sahuagin is around 70 years, with the rare exception.

Speed – You have a land speed of 25 feet, as well as a swim speed of 35 feet.

Mostly Amphibious – You can stay on land in addition to living in water; you may breathe both air and water.  However, you must be exposed to enough water to cover your body once every 24 hours.  If you fail to do this, you begin suffocating.

Superior Darkvision – You gain Darkvision out 120 ft., instead of the standard 60 ft.

Light Sensitivity – Due to living in dark murky depths, your sight isn’t well adapted to bright places. You gain disadvantage on attack rolls and Perception (Wisdom) checks using sight while exposed to direct sunlight.

Bite Attack – You are proficient in a bite attack that does 1d4 piercing damage, utilizing strength. In addition, it can be used as off-hand attack. As you gain levels, your bite gains power.  Upon reaching level 6, your bite increases to 1d6.  At level 12, increases to 1d8.  At level 18, it increases to 1d10.

Sahuagin Weapon Training – Some Sahuagin aren’t the type to fight using their toothy maws, but prefer to craft their own weapons instead. Others combine both for deadly tactics. You gain proficiency with Glaives, Heavy Crossbows, Nets, and Tridents.

Deep Lurker – You gain proficiency in either the Perception or Survival skill.

Languages – You are capable of speaking and writing Common and your own language, “Sahuagin.” You also have the ability to speak with Sharks within 60 feet of you, similar to the “Speak with Small Beasts” ability of the Forest Gnome.

New Feat – Scion of the Deep Beings


Prerequisites: Sahuagin Race

  • You gain a +1 bonus to Wisdom.
  • Your natural weapons can use Dexterity now.
  • Once per short rest, you can spend 10 minutes to surround yourself in a thick layer of water.  This layer of water protects you from drying out and counts as being submerged in water.  This water barrier has your Level + your Constitution in temporary Hit Points.  This effect lasts until you lose your temporary HP or after 1 hour.
  • You may use one of your Sahuagin Weapons as a focus for spells, if you cast spells.



Sahuagin – Pathfinder

Ability Scores – +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma; Suhuagin are sturdy and well aware of their surroundings, but they are far from pleasant.

Powerful Swimmer – Sahuagin start with a swim speed of 40 feet.

Weapon Familiarity – Sahuagin are familiar with Tridents and Heavy Crossbows. They are automatically proficient them.

Darkvision 120 ft. – You see out 120 ft. in darkness.

Light Sensitivity – You are dazzled while in a bright light source.

Amphibious – You are capable of breathing both air and water.

Water Dependent – A sahuagin’s body requires constant submersion in fresh or salt water. Sahuagin 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.

Languages – You begin knowing Sahuagin.  If your intelligence is high enough, you can learn Common, Elven, Infernal, Sylvan, Aquan, or Aboleth.

Alternate Racial Traits

Adjusted to the Light – Your Darkvision is now just 60 ft. and you lose Light Sensitivity.

Savage Bite – Your jaws deal a nasty bite attack. This attack does 1d4 piercing damage. This replaces Weapon Familiarity.

Shark man
Some interpretations of Sahuagin look like this. Though, anyone by the pirate islands of Nelanther will attest these are the Sahuagin!

Art Credits:
Sahuagin – Titan Slicer
Razor Coast Cover Art – Wayne A. Reynolds.

Created by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.  Original creature is property of Wizards of the Coast.


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