July 14, 2017

Familiars – Under the Sea

Notes from the Nails: use the porcupine fish twice, you say? No, I'd never do such a thing.

Extended Familiars

By tradition, familiars take the forms of beasts, but we have decided to break away from that to offer some stat blocks based on non-beast creature types. At the end of the day, a familiar is an extraplanar spirit in the shape of a beast, so why not let them take the shapes of constructs, undead or fey?

Under the Sea

Those of you who follow us on Patreon may have noticed that the High Seas Update has opened up a strong lead in the October poll. The race is not over yet, but the mere thought that we might be writing a nautical setting book has inspired me to stat up a collection of aquatic familiars. The perfect complement for one of our merfolk!

Awakened Kelp
Tiny plant, unaligned

Armor Class 11
Hit Points 3 (1d4 + 1)
Speed 5 ft., swim 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
9 (-1)13 (+1)12 (+1)3 (-4)12 (+1)7 (-2)

Senses passive Perception 13
Languages -
Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Amphibious. The awakened kelp can breathe in both air and water.

Actions

Strangle. Melee Weapon Attack: +1 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled if it is Small or Tiny (escape DC 9).


Man o' War
Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 11
Hit Points 1 (1d4 - 1)
Speed 0 ft. swim 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
1 (-5)13 (+1)8 (-1)2 (-4)11 (+0)3 (-4)

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages -
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Water Breathing. The man o' war can only breathe in water.

Natural Buoyancy. The man o' war floats, even if it is unconscious, paralyzed, stunned or dead.

Persistent Stinger. After the man o' war dies, its stingers remain potent for 1d4 days. Any creature that touches it during that period is subject to its Sting attack.

Actions

Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) poison damage.


Moon Jelly
Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 11
Hit Points 1 (1d4 - 1)
Speed 0 ft., swim 25 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
1 (-5)13 (+1)8 (-1)2 (-4)11 (+0)3 (-4)

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages -
Challenge 0 (0 XP)

Water Breathing. The moon jelly can only breathe underwater.

Bioluminescence. The moon jelly sheds dim light in a 10-foot radius.


Porcupine Fish
Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 2 (1d4)
Speed 0 ft., swim 35 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
2 (-4)14 (+2)10 (+0)1 (-5)8 (-1)2 (-4)

Damage Resistances poison
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages -
Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Water Breathing. The porcupine fish can breathe only underwater.

Actions

Toxic Spines. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage plus 1 poison damage.


Starfish
Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 7
Hit Points 3 (1d4 + 1)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
3 (-4)5 (-3)12 (+1)1 (-5)6 (-2)4 (-3)

Senses passive Perception 11
Languages -
Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Water Breathing. The starfish can only breathe in water, but can hold its breath in air for up to 10 minutes.

Regeneration. The starfish regenerates 1 hit point at the start of its turn. If it takes acid or necrotic damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the starfish's next turn. The starfish only dies if it starts its turn with 0 HP and doesn't regenerate.

Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 0 ft., one creature in the starfish's space. Hit: 1 slashing damage.


Terrapin
Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 2 (1d4)
Speed 10 ft., swim 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
4 (-3)6 (-2)11 (+0)3 (-4)13 (+1)5 (-3)

Senses passive Perception 11
Languages -
Challenge 0 (0 XP)

Amphibious. The terrapin can breathe in both air and water.

Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.


Thunder Eel
Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 11
Hit Points 3 (1d4 + 1)
Speed 10 ft., swim 40 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
3 (-4)12 (+1)12 (+1)2 (-4)12 (+1)6 (-2)

Senses passive Perception 11
Languages -
Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Water Breathing. The eel can only breathe in water.

Actions

Shock. Melee Magic Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 lightning damage.


Urchin
Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 10 (natural armor)
Hit Points 4 (1d4 + 2)
Speed 5 ft., swim 10 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
2 (-4)5 (-3)14 (+2)1 (-5)8 (-1)5 (-3)

Senses passive Perception 9
Languages -
Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Amphibious. The urchin can breathe in both air and water.

Spiny Defense. Any creature within 5 feet of the urchin that hits it with a melee attack takes 1 piercing damage.

Actions

Spines. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.




12 comments:

  1. I think this might be a bit lacking in deep sea aberration critters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gods, are you people never satisfied?

      Fine, fine. Keep your knickers on. I'll add aberration familiars to the to-do list.

      Delete
  2. Ugh why would I want an urchin? Filthy thieving ragamuffins, the lot. Better to leave them on the streets and take the porcupine fish.

    As always, excellent work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think most of these could've had 1d4 instead of 1 damage (like the electric eel, for example), but overall this seems nice. I did hope for a spongebob reference, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh... I've never actually watched spongebob. It didn't even occur to me, sorry.

      The reason for using 1 instead of 1d4 is because they're CR0. They're not really allowed to do proper damage. Also a lot of them would be 1d4-X, which would average to 1 or 0 anyway.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. I'm so happy I couldn't even apostrophe properly!

      Delete
  5. Singing crabs unda da sea down where its better down where its wetta down unda da seaaaaaaa

    ReplyDelete
  6. Some of the choices here seem odd to me.

    Assuming it was created by the Awaken spell, the awakened kelp should speak a language.

    The man o'war and moon jelly are blind in real life (without any other special senses to compensate), and the man o'war can't move itself, while the moon jelly is an extremely weak swimmer and not normally luminescent. If you want to rename the moon jelly and keep its stat block, try a lanternfish.

    Perhaps you could give the porcupine fish proficiency in Intimidate, due to its ability to puff up.

    Starfish are really slow; a "fast" one can move 9 feet per minute, and they can't swim. To compensate you could give it a burrowing speed and the spider climb ability.

    You could rename the "thunder eel" after a real animal, the torpedo ray. It could also have proficiency in Stealth.

    Sea urchins can't swim, but you could use that stat block for a sculpin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, so, D&D is a fantasy game. I'm coming at this from the perspective of a game designer, not a marine biologist, so you'll have to rationalise a lack of realism as these being fantasy species, or that I've exaggerated things for comedic effect.

      Blindsight is a good idea, I'll admit; I've have included that if I'd thought of it at the time.

      The thunder eel is supposed to be a non-existent creature. To be honest I probably should have categorised it as a monstrosity, to be clearer about that. And let's say that a tiny piece of kelp isn't strong enough to be fully awakened; that's why it's Int 3.

      Delete
    2. Singing crabs motherfucker,
      Singing crabs

      Delete