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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I am cross-posting this here and in a handful of other D&D boards, across the web.

    I have been running undersea D&D campaigns since 1998; first with “Beneath the Pinnacles of Azor’alq” (play-by-post) followed by “Heirs of Turucambi” (chat-based). The campaigns draw from my interests in marine biology and my hobby of keeping saltwater aquariums, coupled with my fascination with various mythological creatures such as hags, dragons, and demons. I started my current game 3 years ago. While I have a stable following of devoted players (thank you, folks!), I occasionally get the urge to step back, look at my game from a distance, and reinvent my approach as Master Storyteller for my players.

    If your current DM approached you with the idea of starting a new campaign set primarily beneath the surface of the sea, what would be your first reaction? Suppose the “core races” were replaced with the likes of sea elves, locathah, and merfolk (or any race that that has a swim speed and the aquatic subtype). Would that be enough to alienate you?

    I set my games on Oerth, the world of Greyhawk. Prior knowledge of the campaign setting is not required. I also tend to scale back on the use of dragons, while overpopulating the world with hags. Again, this is simply my personal signature in my games. Is that the killing blow that distances potential players?

    My games tend to be role-play heavy and combat light. Rolling lots of dice tends to break my “willing suspension of disbelief”. Spending hours speaking in character as a room full of NPCs is my bread and butter. Again, I know this does not appeal to everyone.

    I am aware that life underwater has its limitations; typical potions are all but impossible to imbibe, paper scrolls will quickly disintegrate, and typical metal items are subject to corrosion. Many typical spells may not suitable for underwater casting. Treasure may be similarly altered, as many undersea races value rare corals, pearls, and shells far more than coins and gemstones. This is one of my most enjoyable aspects of the game - creation.

    Some of the best inspiration for an underwater campaign can come from the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, visiting a local aquarium or fish store, and perusing ocean-related materials in a bookstore. Discovery’s “Blue Planet” series and Penguin Book’s “OCEAN” are as invaluable to me as “Stormwrack”.

    With that in mind, what are your preferences, for such an adventure? What would you expect to see, in an undersea game? What would make the campaign memorable, enjoyable, and enduring? What would make you want to spend years exploring the realm of liquid space?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I want a cool setting, with interesting NPCs, cool critters to defeat and a sense of wonder as only living the ocean can do. Seriously, the biggest drawback to underwater campaigns has been a lack of source material. Most water-based campaigns deal with shipboard rules and ship-to-ship combat but not much has dealt with underwater survival. Ever since The Deep by Mystic Eye Games has been out of print, there's been no good campaign setting for underwater adventures. I hope that Sunken Empires fills that niche. I've just picked up a pdf from Paizo so we'll see.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I like the concept of undersea adventures.

    One way of making typical potions easily consumable- the bottles come with a straw, which itself has a cap. Might take a bit longer to consume though.

    A simpler way is to replace them with other edibles.

    I like the traditional undersea monsters- kraken, sahuagin, kuo-toa (if using that Dragon Magazine "Demonomicon: Dagon" article. Maybe expand on those?

    Also- maybe think a lot on the implications of being underwater- sound travels easier, seeing long distances is harder, you can feel somebody else moving nearby by the water movement, even if you can't see them, and so on.

    That plus the three-dimensional movement can make things feel very different.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-07-02 at 06:39 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolius View Post
    ...Suppose the “core races” were replaced with the likes of sea elves, locathah, and merfolk (or any race that that has a swim speed and the aquatic subtype). Would that be enough to alienate you?
    Of course not.

    ...I also tend to scale back on the use of dragons, while overpopulating the world with hags. Again, this is simply my personal signature in my games. Is that the killing blow that distances potential players?
    What? Who'd be irked by this? I am more likely to be annoyed by seeing dragons played completely straight.

    My games tend to be role-play heavy and combat light. Excellent. Rolling lots of dice tends to break my “willing suspension of disbelief”. Ditto. Spending hours speaking in character as a room full of NPCs is my bread and butter. Again, I know this does not appeal to everyone. Sod those people. If one thinks that play by post should concentrate on dice, one is a loon.

    I am aware that life underwater has its limitations; typical potions are all but impossible to imbibe, paper scrolls will quickly disintegrate, and typical metal items are subject to corrosion. Many typical spells may not suitable for underwater casting. Treasure may be similarly altered, as many undersea races value rare corals, pearls, and shells far more than coins and gemstones. This is one of my most enjoyable aspects of the game - creation.
    I once tried to co-create an aquatic setting with a focus on Sahuagin. We never quite got far, but stone tablets being the best replacement of scrolls and the sahuagin eagerly trading with dwarves were planned.

    With that in mind, what are your preferences, for such an adventure? What would you expect to see, in an undersea game? What would make the campaign memorable, enjoyable, and enduring? What would make you want to spend years exploring the realm of liquid space?
    As was stated before: Interesting characters to interact with, riveting and twisting plot lines. I personally also love vague, grey and grey morality and situations where the right choice is far from clear. Allowing for multiple ways to solve a problem are a must-have. If the players pick a laughably inefficient method which takes several times as long, or have one startling leap of genius and solve what was supposed to be a major villainous plot in minutes, if it should work logically, it should be possible in-game.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Seriously, the biggest drawback to underwater campaigns has been a lack of source material
    You really need to add the Blue Planet DVDs (also available on iTunes ) and DK Books OCEAN to your reference library. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    A simpler way is to replace them with other edibles.
    I use soft corals (mushroom, etc) as the basis for infusions.
    Last edited by Aeolius; 2010-07-02 at 08:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I finally got to take a look at Sunken Empires. I'm quite impressed with it. I'm sure it will give you ideas.

    Aeolius, I meant D&D sources -- not dvds about oceans, though those are nice too.

    Here is a magic item that I considered submitting to Paizo's contest but I chickened out. It doesn't have the "wow" factor that a real wondrous item needs. Also, I'm not that good with making magic items so if you see a mistake in it, let me know.


    Waterproof Parchment
    Aura: Faint conjuration CL: 1
    Slot: None, Price: 26 gp (for 5 sheets), Weight:

    DESCRIPTION
    These sheets of parchment closely resemble mottled waxed paper. They maintain their integrity even if submerged in saltwater. Waterproof parchment is frequently used when scrolls are needed in watery environments or in severe weather. Writing on waterproof parchment requires no special inks though waterproof inks are necessary for making underwater scrolls. Waterproof parchment dissolves into pulpy goop if it comes into contact with acid (DC 13 Fortitude save negates).

    CONSTRUCTION
    Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, grease, parchment Cost: 13 gp (includes the cost of 5 sheets of parchment).

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2012-03-07 at 10:13 AM.
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Waterproof Parchment
    I have something similar, with a Sand to Stone spell... "sandstone" tablets are quite common, in my game, as are sandstone castles and the like. One storm giant lived in a massive "drip castle" made permanent by multiple uses of the spell.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Aeolius, you've mentioned before that you haven't actually statted out a lot of stuff for your campaign. I suspect that is the reason why your campaigns tend to be heavy on role-play and light on combat. I try to balance both.

    My major concern is that I've seen many threads on an underwater campaign but very little actual homebrewing for one. Hence, most threads die from sheer apathy. I saw it happen on the WotC's website and this is not the first thread on this topic.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
    my creations in homebrew signature thread

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    My major concern is that I've seen many threads on an underwater campaign but very little actual homebrewing for one. Hence, most threads die from sheer apathy. I saw it happen on the WotC's website and this is not the first thread on this topic.
    Like This WotC Thread that effectively died out years ago? It wasn't the first, nor will it be the last. I am nothing, if not persistent.

    Feel free to peruse the library at my website, for other particulars: Heirs of Turucambi

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Threads die out because most gamers have plenty of real world ideas but lack the mechanics for implementing those ideas in game.

    For an underwater game, you need a way to deal with breathing and pressure. Sound underwater travels much farther but sight is more limited unless you have alternative light sources. The solutions for these can be either mechanical or magical in nature.

    Many resources are already available just not in one place. The gnomish submersible from Arms and Equipment is an example. You can also find the stats for the hippocampus and zataran, which is a turtle so big that it can be mistaken for an island. Unfortunately, none of that book is open content.

    I've often thought that having a series of zatarans rather than islands would be interesting. The zatarans would migrate seasonally so you have islands that aren't in the same places. It also gives the PCs something to do since the native inhabitants on the zataran would bestow the honor of steering the zataran on them. That could be an adventure all by itself.

    Imagine if you find the time when the giant seahorses are giving birth. It would be an underwater rodeo as the PCs try to capture the offspring as giant seahorses aren't particularly paternal.

    I also recommend looking at EnWorld's Creature Catalogue website as many creatures in 3.5 format can be found there. http://www.enworld.org/cc/. If you look under converted monsters, these are monsters that have all been updated to 3.5. They've recently updated 10 new aquatic creatures so it's quite relevant to this topic.

    If you ever wanted the stats for a sea unicorn, now's your chance.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
    my creations in homebrew signature thread

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    You can also find the stats for the hippocampus and zataran, which is a turtle so big that it can be mistaken for an island. Unfortunately, none of that book is open content. I've often thought that having a series of zatarans rather than islands would be interesting.
    Granted, the zaratan and hippocampus are not WotC's intellectual property. They are mythological creatures that far predate D&D.

    I have a zaratan in my game, though it has been dead for centuries. Its shell serves as a floating prison for the krampus, the male offspring of a night hag and second night hag shapechanged into male form.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Gaming books published under the open game license let you which information is open content and which isn't. The names do not have to be product identity for a book to contain no open game content. Most of WotC's books contain no open game content and state so clearly.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
    my creations in homebrew signature thread

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    True... but one need not use WotC's stats, to make a hippocampus or zaratan. Even the term "blackwater" is open for use (blackwater, graywater, etc), so long as you don't steer too close to WotC's wordage.

    One of these days I will stat out my blackwater ninjas, phosphyre witches, deepsong bards, etc etc....

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    More than anything, I would like to see a SETTING. Something like the set of Eberron chapters which outline organizations, how classes fit into the setting, and describe the places PCs come from. Eberron even includes an adventure in the last chapter to kick off your campaign.

    The biggest problem with an aquatic campaign would be the lack of firm footing for players. If you're playing D&D, you know you're usually in a half-Tolkienesque universe where dwarves drink beer, elves are annoying, and you have to save the populace from raiding orcs and goblins. There are tons of literature, movies, and video games which explore exactly what a generic fantasy setting is.

    If you're in an aquatic setting, then the only media you might be familiar with is The Little Mermaid.

    If you can sit down and concretely define races, cultures, nations, organizations, professions, and a little bit of history, then you have a setting where a player can say, "oh, cool, I'd like my character to be affiliated with these groups" and suddenly you have involvement and fun.

    I also think that merfolk, aquatic elves, sahaguin, and the other D&D aquatic monsters are terrible player races. They're bland caricatures, and nobody knows where to start when playing them. (That's why I started on this, and I'll start working on it again if anyone manifests interest.)

    Race doesn't have to be integral to a setting (you could say that the only sentient race is merfolk, I'm fine with that,) but if it gets used, it must be well-defined and it must help players create characters that they want to play.
    "...I worry that modern gaming is gradually shrinking the wide spectrum of gameplay mechanics into a single narrow red bar with "KILL" written on it sideways. Exploration, navigation, puzzles, platforming, all gradually shrinking away until only one thing remains, being taken by the hand from room to room, moving on only when nothing remains alive in each one." - Yhatzee Crosshaw

    Check out our zombie survival sandbox video game!

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomar_of_Uointer View Post
    If you're in an aquatic setting, then the only media you might be familiar with is The Little Mermaid.
    Which is why I always try to steer my players towards "Blue Planet" and "OCEAN".

    I also think that merfolk, aquatic elves, sahaguin, and the other D&D aquatic monsters are terrible player races. They're bland caricatures, and nobody knows where to start when playing them.
    I do tend to keep sea elves, merfolk, and locathah as the "core" races for my game, but by no means do I limit it to that. I have a few inspirations that I tend to reference often. I also tend to change races around a bit. My locathah, for example, are a hermaphroditic race (happens with fish quite often) born into a caste system based on their coloration (they are colored like larger angelfish .

    a half-Tolkienesque universe where dwarves drink beer....
    Sweetsponge soaked with inkwine is the libation of choice, in the local waters.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomar_of_Uointer View Post
    I also think that merfolk, aquatic elves, sahaguin, and the other D&D aquatic monsters are terrible player races. They're bland caricatures, and nobody knows where to start when playing them.
    That's why any good world-building should start with designing the culture and history of the nations. This is my opinion, at least.

    Then again, as pointed out above, in this case even designing the biology of the races and nations might be necessary to get a good start.

    Come to think of it, designing humanoid aquatic races is actually not mandatory, even pointless. Merfolk, fish-like people who are essentially smart fishies with hands, will swim far faster than a humanoid which after all has a shape designed for land. I would like to play an octopus-based species. Imagine for instance gentle druidic people based on this. Under the sea, who needs antropomorphism when you have tentacles?
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2010-07-04 at 03:15 PM.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I wonder how undersea adventuring might mesh with the 4E rules?

    Racial paragon paths for each of the common undersea races, some powers and weapons designed specifically for the underwater setting, hazards, magic items, artifacts, Feywild and Shadowfell material (the "Seawild", and the "Shadowsea" might be good names) and so on.

    Throw in some archfey, maybe refluff the Dark Pact to represent pacts with forces that can only be contacted in the deepest ocean trenches, and so on.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-07-05 at 12:54 PM.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    I wonder how undersea adventuring might mesh with the 4E rules?
    Dedicated undersea rules might be the only way I would touch 4e with a 10-meter cattle prod.

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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    A few monsters ideal for undersea adventures have made it into 4E (water elementals, krakens, sahuagin, kuo-toa, an aquatic demon in MM2, sharks, Dagon, etc) but at the moment it would need a lot of homebrewing to be a filled out campaign.

    Still, if one's fellow players are using the 4E ruleset, a 4E game with lots of extra homebrew aquatic content might be quite fun.
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    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    One thing I''ve noticed is that despite the fact this is a homebrewer's forum, many people still prefer "official" rules. Unearthed Arcana has rules for Aquatic Races, which is one place to start. That information is also available in the online SRD: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/ra...m#aquaticRaces

    You can find other aquatic monsters using this: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...filter=Aquatic. Obviously, not all are suitable as player character races but it gives you more options. I rather like the malenti version of the sahuagin in aquatic campaigns. People tend to forget about them.

    The bigger question is how many races do you really need or want?

    You can always play an awakened animal such as an awakened dolphin or awakened shark and play it with class levels. An awakened shark 1st level Barbarian could be fun. Of course, not having hands is a problem but it isn't insurmountable.

    Here's a free web enhancement for Stormwrack from WotC called Korpru Ruins: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060306a.

    This forum also has a bunch of races that would suitable for an underwater campaign:

    The Ocun by ErictheRed http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=51.

    My Cecaelia http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4216596

    Here is my favorite wiki: it has open game content from published sources: http://grandwiki.wikidot.com/publication-list.

    I highly recommend that everyone take a look at this one!

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2010-07-06 at 04:48 AM.
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    One thing I''ve noticed is that despite the fact this is a homebrewer's forum, many people still prefer "official" rules.
    I suppose it's easier to persuade players to use alternate rules, if they have a common frame of reference, thus my use of aquatic goblins, orcs, gnolls, kobolds, etc. To some, it may look like re-skinning. But there is something to be said for being able to grab some stats from d20srd.org and and go.

    In my current game, the PC roster includes a sea elf ninja, merfolk shugenja, viletooth lizardfolk druid, and oceanid monk/wizard/oneiromancer. We had an awakened octopus psion, but that player disappeared.
    Last edited by Aeolius; 2010-07-05 at 06:18 PM.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Such races might be allowed ones, but antropomorphism underwater is still something which strikes me as counter-intuitive, especially as you claim to be very interested in marine biology.

    I frankly propose we start making a new undersea campaign setting. I would probably try to handle the squiddly species.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Maybe play up the fact that just because it looks like something mammalian, doesn't mean it is.

    Take merfolk- they have hair. What if their hair is actually not keratinous at all- but akin to the tendrils of the Hairy Frog- a way of getting a lot of surface area for cells to absorb oxygen through the water?

    In effect, the creature is wearing its lungs/gills, on top of its head.

    Or they could be an electrosensory organ, or some other exotic thing.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-07-06 at 03:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I rather liked the look of mer-people from the Harry Potter movies as an example of what they should look like.

    Spoiler
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    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2010-07-06 at 04:27 AM.
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
    my creations in homebrew signature thread

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I was talking about humanoid shape in general actually. Arms are useful, but unless you dwell on the bottom and can only swim only in short bursts like lobsters with their hydrojet-power, legs are worthless to a sea creature.
    Brewing a new setting (3.5 ed D&D). The setting is complete and ready to play.
    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
    The above post was probably snide, snippy, tongue in cheek and/or opinionated. Consult your sense of humour before vexation. If still vexed, attempt to cease giving a damn. Thank you for reading this public service bulletin.

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I noticed that they dropped the "horizontal fish tails" concept that's common in depictions of merfolk- and gave them vertical tails instead.

    The back half of the Potter merfolk looks very much like a shark.
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    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    So how would they [meaning the HP merfolk} be statted up? I particularly liked the bug-eyed, sharp fanged look. Added another picture and posted my aquatic race as well just to add more stuff to this thread.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2010-07-06 at 04:45 AM.
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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    I'd probably use the same stats as ordinary merfolk- treat the fangs as not big enough to give the creature a bite attack.

    Possibly remove the "amphibious" property and give them something nice to compensate, if the campaign involves almost no surface activity.
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Take merfolk- they have hair. What if their hair is actually not keratinous at all- but akin to the tendrils of the Hairy Frog- a way of getting a lot of surface area for cells to absorb oxygen through the water? In effect, the creature is wearing its lungs/gills, on top of its head.
    When I was making the gnass, an undersea analog of the gnoll, I picked the hairy frogfish for my inspiration:


    Granted, some fish, like the stonefish, have a notable growth of algae:

    (My inspiration for the hair triggerfish. Yes, I also have mighrain haddock and limpet minds, as well ;) )

    Of course there is always the fur-bearing trout

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    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Undersea Adventures: Comments, Concerns, & Concepts

    Merfolk "regional differences" could be accounted for by making their fishy parts resemble different kinds of fish.

    You could meet sharkfolk, pufferfolk, barracudafolk, and many others.

    Maybe throw in some feats to play to the various types- like one that allows the merfolk to puff themselves up and gain a bonus on Intimidate checks, or maybe skin that counts as spiked armour.

    (Of course, I'm pinching this idea off Serpent Kingdoms, which does this with yuan-ti- which can resemble different kinds of snake and have feats to reflect this. Still, I like the idea.)
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-07-06 at 09:05 AM.
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