Half-Deepkin

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Half-Deepkin are a fan-made race for the Ravenloft setting of Dungeons & Dragons, created under the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. In issue #9 of Quoth the Raven, the Deepkin - Kuo-toa, Reavers and Sahuagin - of the Demiplane of Dread were reinvented through a lens inspired by the Deep Ones of H.P. Lovecraft. As such, they gained the ability to interbreed with humans; reavers are the most likely to do so (a nod to their inspiration being the Creature from the Black Lagoon), followed by kuo-toa, but sahuagin do it very rarely. When a male Deepkin mates with a female human, they will produce a Half-Deepkin 50% of the time, a pureblooded Deepkin 25% of the time, and a pureblooded human 25% of the time; matings between male humans and female Deepkin always produce pureblooded Deepkin. That said, a woman pregnant with a Deepkin-fathered baby is plagued by terrible nightmares of a raging sea and slithering things lurking in the depths. As such, halfbreed and "human" children of these pairings may be born as calibans instead.

And, of course, you can play one, if you like. The basic idea, to mimic the slow descent into monsterhood seen in The Shadow Over Innsmouth, is to tie the Half-Deepkin race to the "Terror Track" submechanic of the Powers Check. As such, a Half-Deepkin constantly struggles with their tainted blood, and can hasten their descent by embracing evil.

Core Rules[edit]

Half-Deepkin use the Human or Caliban statblock, with the following changes:

+2 racial bonus to Animal Empathy, Knowledge (Nature), Swim and Profession (Sailor)
Half-Deepkin has a Swim speed equal to their land speed.
Half-Deepkin can hold their breath for twice the normal amount of time.
Tainted Heritage: For every 10 years, a Deepkin halfbreed must make a Fortitude save DC 15 as something monstrous awakens within him. The DC increases by 5 points if the character is near the sea. A failed check counts as a failed Powers Check and a progression on the Terror Track of the relevant Deepkin race. The whole transformation process is accompanied by terrible nightmares and a longing for the sea. The progression (or regression) stops once the half-breed reaches Stage 5 (the Creature stage) - he cannot become a Darklord simply through embracing his true nature. Deepkin half-breeds who complete their transformation into fullblooded Deepkin gain the Amphibious and Alternate Form abilities and may freely switch between their true monstrous forms and their original forms as humans. Failed Powers Checks will automatically cause the Half-Deepkin to progress a step on their ancestral path.

Track of the Sea Devil (Sahuagin)[edit]

Stage 1: The character’s body adapts for swimming and he sprouts devolved gills, granting him a swim speed equal to half his land speed and allowing him to stay underwater twice as long as normally possible. As well, he can freely drink salt water to quench his thirst. He purges himself of any weakness and all his ability scores are now at a minimum of 10. However, when drinking fresh water the character must pass a Fortitude save against a DC 5 or vomit the untainted liquid. His slightly-alien appearance grants him +1 Outcast rating.

Stage 2: The character starts shedding his own skin, growing a new layer of tough shark-skin beneath and gaining a natural armour bonus of +2. He also gains Blindsense 30', but this ability only works underwater. He gains the agility of a predator, granting +2 Dex. However, the character grows uncomfortable when not on shore or in the sea itself, receiving a -2 penalty to attacks rolls and skill checks while out of water. Finally his face begins to develop shark-like qualities and his body hair drops in patches, increasing his Outcast rating by +1.

Stage 3: The character gains the Aquatic subtype, his swim speed now equals his land speed and he can breathe underwater indefinitely. He gains +4 to any Hide, Listen and Spot checks while underwater. The character grows tougher, increasing his constitution score by +2 and his natural armour bonus by +1. The character now has full webs between his digits, a back fin and clammy, nearly-hairless skin. His teeth are slightly pointed, his eyes bulge and his nose closely resembles a shark's snout. Vegetables disgust him, and he can only subsist on meat, preferably fish. He gains an additional +1 Outcast rating modifier.

Stage 4: The character's mouth widens and his teeth grow into needle-points, and he also sprouts black claws on his hands and feet. He gains 2 primary Talon attacks dealing 1d4 + Str damage, and a secondary Bite attack that deals 1d4 points of damage, plus half of the character’s strength modifier. While underwater he also gains 2 Rake attacks at his base attack bonus, dealing damage equal to 1d4 + half his strength modifier. Once per day when wounded he can fly into Blood Frenzy, increasing strength and constitution by +2 and reducing his armour class by -2. The Blood Frenzy lasts until either the Sahuagin or his enemy are dead. The character now has the strength of a frenzied shark, gaining +2 to his strength score, and more sharkskin emerges to grant another +1 natural AC bonus. The character is Blinded for 1 round when exposed to bright light, and is dazzled the subsequent rounds as long as the light source remains. The character is now completely hairless and only flakes of mortal skin remain on his almost-shark like form. His eyes bulge terribly and his face is barely recognizable as the human he once was. He gains another +1 modifier to his Outcast Rating.

Stage 5: The character becomes a true Sea Devil, a predator of the Misty Seas. His type changes to Monstrous Humanoid, and his swim speed now equals double his land speed (typically 60 ft.). He gains another +2 bonus to strength, a +1 bonus to natural armour and the Multiattack feat. Finally he develops a kinship with sharks, gaining +4 racial bonus to Handle Animal checks when working with them and being able to communicate telepathically with any sharks within 150 feet, although he can only use simple commands such as "prey" and "flee". The character also becomes lawful evil in the unlikely event he wasn't already. At that stage, the creature seeks out the nearest Sahuagin settlement to claim his place and prove his devotion to the Great Devourer. However, the character can only stay out of water for 1 hour per 2 points of constitution or start suffocating, and his aversion to fresh water increases. When immersed in fresh water he attempts to immediately flee. If he can't flee he must make a Fortitude save DC 15 or become fatigued. He must repeat the save every 10 minutes regardless of its results. The character is humanoid only in slight form and gains a final +1 modifier to his Outcast rating.

Track of the Deep One (Kuo-toa)[edit]

Stage 1: The character becomes slightly piscine in body, gaining a swim speed equal to half his land speed and being able to stay twice as long underwater as should be possible. Their skin exudes a layer of slime which makes them slippery, granting them a +8 racial bonus to Escape Artist checks. No web, mundane or magical, can confine the character’s slippery body. The character’s mouth begins to warp into an unusually wide arc and their eyes bulge ever so slightly from the sockets. The strange appearance of the character now increases their Outcast Rating by +1. Most costal communities are familiar with this trait. Commonly referred to as the “Innsmouth Look”, this appearance is associated with sinister folk. Thus amongst natives to the seashore, the character suffers a further Outcast Rating increase of +1.

Stage 2: The character's eyes become large and bulbous like a fish's. These great rolling orbs focus independently of one another, allowing the character to see any moving object or creature, even if it is invisible or ethereal. Furthermore, the character gains a +4 bonus to Search and Spot checks. The character develops dark insight, gaining +2 Wis. Abrupt exposure to sunlight or brighter light Blinds the character for one round, and he is dazzled for every round afterwards. The character’s large bulbous eyes and widening mouth increase his or her outcast rating by +1.

Stage 3: The character becomes a creature of the depths; his swim speed now equals his land speed, he can stay underwater indefinitely and gains the Amphibious special quality. He becomes inhumanly agile, gaining a +2 bonus to dexterity. He also gains Alertness as a bonus feat. However his face is now that of a fish, and he exudes the powerful scent of oil and rotting fish, bestowing an additional +1 modifier to his outcast rating and granting a +2 circumstance bonus to Wilderness lore attempts to track him through scent. Characters at this stage will not let themselves be seen by humans, preferring the darkness of the depths to the light in the world of mankind.

Stage 4: The character becomes immune to poison and paralysis as his metabolism becomes unlike that of any creature of this world. His slime coating grants him Electrical Resistance 10, and he can produce a powerful adhesive from his body oil and other materials which requires 1 hour of work and 20 gp worth of material. After applying the adhesive to a shield or a similar surface it forces anyone who makes an unsuccessful melee attack against the character to pass a Reflex save DC 14 or have his weapon yanked from his grasp. Creatures using natural weapons are automatically grappled. Releasing the weapon or breaking from the grapple requires a Strength check DC 20. The adhesive lasts for 3 days or until it is used up. The character grows maliciously cunning, gaining a +2 bonus to intelligence. Finally, he gains the feat Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Pincer Staff), developing innate understanding how to master the traditional weapon of the Kuo-Toa. As the character becomes more like an amphibian he or she mutates physically once more. The character’s skin shifts colours with his or her mood. Her skin becomes an inflamed red when angry, a silvery white when calm and a dull grey when frightened. This increases the characters outcast rating by +1 and gives opposing characters a +2 circumstance bonus to sense motive checks.

Stage 5: The character becomes an otherworldly, inhuman thing. His type changes to Monstrous Humanoid (Extraplanar), and he gains a bonus of +2 to his wisdom score as the darkest secrets of the Ancients are revealed to him. His teeth sharpen into needlepoints, granting a bite attack dealing 1d4 points of damage. By joining hands, Kuo-Toa Arcane spellcasters can produce a stroke of lightning. They must join hands to release the bolt of lightening, but must only remain within 30ft of one another as the charge builds. Each bolt requires 1D4 rounds of charging before it can be released. These bolts of electricity deal 1D6 points of damage for every caster involved in the charging, but deal only half damage when the victim makes a successful reflex save against a DC equal to 13 plus the number of casters involved. The character has completed the final stage of the mutation; his or her eyes now protrude from the top of a bullet-shaped head, their hands and feet become wide flippers, while their ears and nose vanish into their froglike skull. The character is now clearly inhuman and gains a final +1 modifier to his outcast rating. His alignment becomes neutral evil in the unlikely event it wasn't already, and he usually seeks out other Kuo-Toa to aid his nefarious goals.

Track of the Predator (Reaver)[edit]

Stage 1: The character grows webs between her fingers and toes granting him a swim speed equal to half his land speed. Undeveloped gills sprout on his neck allowing him to stay underwater twice as long as would normally be possible. However, the webbing between his digits interfere with actions which require manual dexterity, imposing a -1 penalty to all attacks with manufactured weapons and -2 penalty to Pick Pocket skill checks. Furthermore, the character's slightly inhuman appearance grants her +1 Outcast rating.

Stage 2: The character's nails harden into tiny black claws and his original set of teeth fall off over the course of a week as she grows rows upon rows of tiny sharp teeth. These changes grant the character two claw attacks and a bite attack, dealing 1d4 and 1d3 points of damage respectively. These attacks are natural weapons, with the claws serving as primary weapons and the bite being secondary. His skin also grows slightly scaly, giving her +2 Natural AC, and develops a slight tone ranging from dark green to mottled brown. The character develops a strong appetite for raw meat, the bloodier the better. As he becomes even more fishlike, he gains another +1 penalty to his Outcast rating.

Stage 3: The character gains the Aquatic subtype, granting him a swim speed equal to his land speed and allowing him to breathe underwater indefinitely. The character also becomes stronger and tougher than a normal member of his race, gaining +2 to Strength and Constitution. While underwater, the character receives a +2 racial bonus to Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Profession (Hunter) and Wilderness Lore checks. The character's behaviour grows bestial and degenerate and he finds it harder to control his base urges, losing 2 points of Intelligence and Wisdom. The character also feels more at home in water than on land, suffering a -2 morale penalty to all attack rolls, saves and checks while out of water. He gains +1 Outcast Rating as his mouth widens and his face becomes like that of a monstrous fish.

Stage 4: The character's eyes become bulging like those of a fish, granting him dark vision 60'. His monstrous claws and teeth grow larger and tougher, increasing their damage to 1d6 and 1d4 points respectively. His swim speed increases by 20 ft. as he becomes more adapted to the sea, and he grows agile, gaining 2 points of dexterity. The character's skin becomes even darker, more hardened and scaly, gaining further +2 Natural Armour class. The character's webbed feet are unsuitable for walking on land, decreasing his land speed by 20 ft. The character develops a taste for the flesh of sentient creatures, preferably land-dwelling humanoids. The character loses the ability to speak in a coherent human voice, and is only able to communicate in gurgles, hisses and ultrasonic whispers only other Reavers hear. Reaver spellcasters must gain the Still Spell feat to be able to cast spells normally. As the character degenerates into a sea monster in mind and body, he gains +1 Outcast rating.

Stage 5: The character becomes a true Reaver. He gains the Monstrous Humanoid type and is no longer a Humanoid. The racial bonus to the relevant skills while underwater increase to +4. The character's physical power is truly superhuman, granting him an additional +4 bonus to strength and a +2 bonus to constitution as well as the Improved Grab special quality when hitting with her claw attacks. The character's skin is a dark green color and fully scaly, granting him a further +2 Natural Armour class bonus. These hardened scales are sharper, granting him the Cutting Scales special attack. The character can only remain out of water for one hour per point of Constitution, after which he begins drowning (see the DMG rules). His mind becomes that of a savage beast, gaining another -2 Int and -2 Cha. He feels a strange calling towards the Sea of Sorrows and is guided towards the nearest Reaver school where he can claim his rightful place. The character gains a final +1 Outcast Rating, topping it at +5. He is completely unrecognizable as the person he once was, his alignment shifts to Chaotic Evil if was not already.