Homebrew Homebrew - Aquatic Heritage

Subtle Knife

Hello, all!

One of my players is keen on playing a Triton using A5E rules, so I thought I'd take a run at homebrewing a heritage that would cover a variety of aquatic species (somewhat akin to how they presented the Construct Heritage).

Please let me know what you think of the balance!


Aquatic Heritage
Merfolk. Tritons. Locathah. Sahuagin. Grung.

The oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and swamps are dangerous and hostile places, and those sentient species that come to inhabit those places become adapted to those harsh realms. All bear some similar adaptations, but the aquatic realms forge their peoples and civilizations into physically different forms: from the more human-like tritons and merfolk, to the piscine Locathah and Sahuagin, or the herptilian grung.

Aquatic elves typically have the Aquatic Heritage Traits and Elven Gifts.

Aquatic Heritage Traits
Varies between species. The most long-lived are the Tritons
Average Life Span
Aquatic Elf​
100 years​
750 years​
1 year​
50 years​
10 years​
80 years​
20 years​
100 years​
5 years​
40 years​
15 years​
200 years​
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and you have a swimming speed of 30 feet.
Amphibious. You can breathe air and water.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Primordial (Aquan)

Aquatic Heritage Gifts

Those who live beneath the waves are forged differently, depending on whether they dwell in the shallows or the depths. In addition to the traits found in your aquatic heritage, select one of the following aquatic heritage gifts.

Deep Ocean Dweller
Deep Sense. You are accustomed to the deepest depths of the oceans, and can detect and pinpoint the vibrations of creatures and moving objects which are in contact with the same water or surface. You have tremorsense out to 30 feet. It can’t detect flying or incorporeal creatures, and it does not count as sight.
Cold and Pressure Resistance. You are acclimated to the cold and pressure of the depths of the ocean.

Reef or Swamp Dweller
Poison Resistance. You are adapted to the various poisonous and venomous creatures that inhabit the region. You have resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against poisons.
Camouflage. You gain a Stealth specialty in camouflage, and you can the Hide action as a bonus action.

Seaborne Warrior
Observant and Athletic. You have proficiency in the Athletics and Perception skills.
Natural Armor. You have tough, scaly skin. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 12 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield’s benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.

Ocean Magic Inheritance
Natural Magic. You know one cantrip of your choice from the Wizard, Bard, or Druid spell lists. You can choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as you spellcasting ability for it.
Control Air and Water. A child of the sea, you can call on the magic of elemental air and water. You can cast Fog Cloud with this trait. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast Gust of Wind with it, and starting at 5th level, you can also cast Wall of Water with it. Once you cast a spell with this trait, you can’t cast that spell with it again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Sea Speaker
Speaker for the Seas. You can cast speak with animals at will with this trait, but you can only target beasts with a swim speed.
Babel Fish. At ease with the peoples of the land and sea, you are proficient with the Culture skill. You know the Friends cantrip. You can cast Comprehend Languages with this trait. Starting at 5th level, you can also cast Tongues with it. Once you cast a spell with this trait, you can’t cast that spell with it again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Aquatic Paragon
At 10th level, those with an aquatic heritage become exemplars of their kind.

Siren’s Song
You gain expertise in all Charisma checks (and your maximum possible expertise die increases to 1d12). If you are a spellcaster, all spells of the Enchantment school are considered spells on your class spell list(s).

Ocean Adaptation
Your swim speed increases to 45 feet, and your darkvision increases to 120 feet (or 240 feet while underwater).

Additionally, while underwater you gain an expertise die on saving throws and weapon attack rolls.

Poisonous Skin
Any creature that grapples you or otherwise comes into direct contact with your skin must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (DC 10+ your proficiency modifier) or become poisoned for 1 minute. A poisoned creature no longer in direct contact with you can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

You can also apply this poison to any piercing weapon as part of an attack with that weapon, though when you hit the poison reacts differently. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 2d4 poison damage.

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