Sea Devils, Scourge Beneath the Waves

“On the contrary, his view is entirely that of Themistocles: for he holds that the master of the sea must inevitably be master of the empire.”
-Cicero, Letters to Atticus

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

The Sea Devils

Known on the surface world as sea devils, these shark-like humanoids make up the ruling class of the vast undersea Karcharos Empire. Despite their reputation for mercilessness, they are more than willing to engage in largely peaceful relations with surface dwellers as well as undersea neighbors, with a few exceptions. They have been enemies of the sea elves since time immemorial, and have also had a long running series of wars with folk such as the tritons and naluali’i. In the latter case they nearly wiped out the naluali’i civilization, conquering its island cities, destroying all navigation charts noting their location, and leaving them empty save for small scout contingents.

In the Name of Empire

With the exception of its half dozen or so consistently hated foes, the Karcharos Empire might treat other folk—either beneath the waves or on the shores—as anything from trading partners, to foes, to well-supported client states, to slave populations, depending entirely on what suits the Empire most at the time. The laws of the Empire are often oppressive, even to its citizens, but are deeply concerned with order and stability and so are extremely unforgiving of capricious or wasteful rulership. They are stable and profitable trading partners so long as the Empire feels that trade is more beneficial than subjugation, and are a dangerously efficient foe when that conclusion is reassessed.

The Divine Hunt

Religion in the Karcharos Empire varies by province and client state, worshiping some or all of a broad pantheon depending on local custom, but there are a few universal commonalities. One deity whose worship is mandated across the empire is known by many local names but is generally referred to as The Great Hunter, an immense divine shark. Also mandated by imperial law is the worship of the Imperatorum Regum, the title of the supreme leader of the Karcharos Empire, as a living demigod. This worship is only mandated towards the current holder of the office, however, and many who died in foolish military campaigns were posthumously stripped of their divine status by high priests at the order of their successor. Furthermore, not mandated by law but nevertheless worshiped by sea devil populations across the empire (and by many of their client state populations as well) are ancestral household tutelary spirits of those warriors and hunters who earned honor in their lifetimes.

Sea Devil Names

Each sea devil has three or more names: a personal name, the name of their greater clan, a family name, and sometimes one or more honor names. Honor names are usually for a battle, military campaign the individual was victorious in, or a great opponent or monster they defeated.

Example Masculine Names: Actaeus, Argyron, Atabyrius, Chalcon, Chryson, Damnameneus, Damonax, Euxantius, Lyktos, Megalesius, Mylas, Nicon, Ormenos, Simon, Skelmis

Example Feminine Names: Amphitrite, Astakide, Ceto, Crataeis, Dexithea, Halia, Kalypso, Makelo, Pallas, Scylla, Tethys, Thalassa, Thetis, Thousa

Example Clan Names: Agios, Antiphatos, Cecropios, Gygios, Hieros, Lacedaemonios, Nabios, Ogygios, Pyrros, Sthenelos, Tholos, Thraxos

Example Family Names: Aragmos, Bebilosios, Cheimarródios, Doxomanis, Embakchevos, Fagésoros, Goís, Kavadis, Lexithiros, Myelopoiós, Sakespalos, Volaios

Example Honor Names: Eskivelos, Deltesoros, Hydros, Ixatharnos, Kevoros, Mangaios, Nukuhivos, Vitilevos, Sonsorolos

New Species: Sea Devil

    Common Personality Traits: Hungry, hidebound, glory-seeking
    Common Physical Traits: Tooty grin, cryptic gaze, proud bearing
    Splinter Race Feats: Magnae Gentis, Patriciae Gentis, Pellacis Gentis, otherwise you are “Permarinus”
    Type: Medium biped folk with a Reach of 1. Your maximum wounds equal your Constitution score.

  • Attributes: +3 to the lower of Constitution or Wisdom, -3 Charisma
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Amphibious: ou may breathe freely in air or water. (Impurities in the water may affect you much as gasses do air-breathers.)
  • Torpedo: Your speed while swimming increases by 30 ft.
  • Natural Attacks: You gain Bite I and two Claw I natural attacks (see FC, page 235). If you gain a natural attack from multiple sources, the attack’s grade becomes equal to the highest single grade + 1 per additional benefit granting the same attack, to a maximum of V (e.g. Bite IV, Bite III, and Bite I become Bite V).

New Species Feats

Magnae Gentis

One of the most common variations on the sea devils’ form are individuals are exceptionally large and born with four arms. These frequently seek glory in combat professions where their size advantage and ability to wield more pieces of equipment are particularly beneficial.
    Prerequisites: Sea Devil, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: Your size increases by one step (maximum Large); if you’re already Large or bigger, your Reach increases by 1 instead (maximum 2). You may simultaneously hold and ready up to four 1-handed, two 1-handed and one 2-handed, or two 2-handed weapons or objects. You also gain a +1 bonus with skill checks made as part of a Grab action if two or more of your hands are free. However, your speed is reduced by 5 ft.
    This feat does not grant additional attacks.

Patriciae Gentis

Some sea devils are born with a closer bond to the sharks they resemble, gaining an instinctive understanding of the beasts and inheriting some of their traits and mannerisms.
    Prerequisites: Sea Devil, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: Survival is an Origin skill for you. Also your unarmed and natural attacks gain bleed. Finally, you gain an additional +5 gear bonus to track bleeding prey and suffer no penalties to track such characters underwater.

Pellacis Gentis

Another physical variation among the sea devils that is particularly known to outsiders familiar with their species are those who, for some reason lost to the ages even among sea devil records, are born very closely resembling the sea elves they fight against so bitterly. Instead of being seen as an ill omen, these individuals are pampered and treated with great honors by the Karcharos Empire…and trained from childhood to become spies and infiltrators on behalf of the regime that treated them so well.
    Prerequisites: Sea Devil, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: In order to distinguish you from a sea elf, characters must succeed on a Notice, Search check with a DC equal to 20 + your Disguise bonus, and species penalties to Disguise checks are determined as if you are an elf. Additionally, you gain 1 additional language and when taking the Basic Skill Mastery feat you have access to a new skill pair: Dastard (Blend & Sense Motive).

Legal Appendix

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All material in this document following the Playtest Version sidebar and prior to the Legal Appendix that is not otherwise designated as Product Identity is Open Game Content.



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