Fishmen (3.5e Race)

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The Ictherai, more commonly known as Fishmen, are one of two humanoid species that inhabit and rule the seas (the other being the merfolk).


Fishmen as a whole tend to be of a "neutral" temperament, though they are known for having short tempers.

Physical Description[edit]

Fishmen are more fish-like than merfolk, usually looking like a combination between a man and a fish or other aquatic creature, such as an octopus, manta ray, or sawshark; however, they still have legs. They also have gills between their shoulders and necks, sometimes covered by their clothing, as well as often having webbed hands. Depending on species, they may have multiple limbs (mainly extra arms). Size may also differ greatly between individuals, however the average male height is around 6'6", while the average female height is 5'10".

Their gills only work when they are in water. On land, they can breathe with their lungs like humans do. However, their gills cannot breathe in air, like a normal fish cannot breathe in air through their gills.

They are physically several times as strong as normal humans from birth and this difference is magnified underwater, where a human's power is cut in half, while fishmen not only are completely unhindered, but are even strengthened. As a whole, in the midst of battle, the fishman race can be considered unstoppable in their natural habitat - the sea.

Fishmen often have unique abilities, matching those of the species they are based on, that make them further superior to ordinary humans outside of the physical strength difference.

Many Fishmen, particularly of note being Pirates, also adorn symbols across their bodies to represent their group association.

Relations and Lands[edit]

Fishmen tend to stay towards coastal areas when not in their underwater cities. Those that travel inland however, will almost always stay near a river or other source of water.

Fishmen usually get along well with merfolk. Their relations with other races differ dependent on the race. Stereotypical fishmen consider humans to be an inferior, weaker species. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Human relationships towards Fishmen was defined with their definition of both them and merfolk as "fish" instead of "men".

Despite these prejudices, most Fishmen who live above the ocean are often Sailors, legal or otherwise, and considered some of the best sailors possible due to their natural strength and amphibious capabilities.

Fishmen also have a racial hatred of the Slave Trade, due to their history of enslavement by other races, very often Humans and Drow.

Alignment and Religion[edit]

Fishmen can be of any alignment and revere the gods of the sea and water.


Fishmen speak Common and Aquan.


Fishmen names are water related, and usually similar to species of Fish. Those that aren't, are usually Common or similar to those of Merfolk.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution
  • HumanoidHumanoid (AquaticAquatic)
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, they have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • A Fishman's base land speed is 30 feet. He also has a swim speed of 60 feet. Can also run underwater as long in straight line.
  • Fishmen Blood: Allow access to special Feats depending on the sub race of Fishmen
  • Amphibious (Ex): Fishmen can breathe normally, both on land and in water, and do not suffer penalties when using a spell with vocal components underwater.
  • Pressure Resistance (Ex): Fishmen are immune to effects of deep water.
  • Darkvision: Fishmen can see in the dark up to 120 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and Fishmen can function just fine with no light at all.
  • Racial Bonus: Fishmen gain a +8 Racial Bonus to any movement-related check while swimming. This includes checks such as Tumble to move past hostile targets. Fishmen also have the ability to take 10 on any swim check that would not be considered part of an exceptional situation (I.E. A fishman cannot take 10 to escape the pull of a whirlpool, for example.)
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Aquan.
  • Bonus Languages: Undercommon, All fish related animals
  • Favored Class: Fighter, Pirate (3.5e Class)
  • Level Adjustment: +1

Race-Specific Feat[edit]

Fishmen Blood: A Fishman has different abilities dependent on what specific ocean-creature he is physically similar to.

Cephalopod Fishmen[edit]

  • Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Fishman must hit an opponent of any size with his arms attack. He can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If he wins the grapple check, he establishes a hold and automatically deals bite damage.
    • Octopi and Squid Fishmen has a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks.
    • Octopi and Squid Fishmen has 4 extra arms for the purposes of multiple attacks.
  • Ink Cloud (Ex): He can emit a cloud of jet-black ink 10 feet high by 10 feet wide by 10 feet long once per minute as a free action. The cloud provides total concealment, which is normally used to escape a losing fight. All vision within the cloud is obscured. Losing a fear check will require the player to use this ability.

Puffer Fishmen[edit]

  • Inflation (Ex): A Puffer Fishman can inflate himself by swallowing water or air. Inflation is an immediate action, while deflation is a move action. An inflated Fishman is considered one size larger for purposes of defending against size-based special attacks such as bull rush, overrun and swallow whole attacks. Furthermore, inflation causes the Fishman's spines to stand erect, allowing it to utilize its spines special attack.
  • Poison (Ex): A Puffer Fishman's spines and many of its internal organs are poisonous. The save DCs are Constitution-based.
    • Spine poison: Injury (spines), Fortitude DC 12, initial and secondary damage 1d6 Con.
    • Organ poison: Ingestion, Fortitude DC 12, initial and secondary damage 2d6 Con.
  • Spines (Ex): Any creature striking an inflated Puffer Fishman with handheld weapons or natural weapons takes 1d6-1 points of piercing and slashing damage from his spines, and expose them to the Fishman's poison. Note that weapons with exceptional reach, such as longspears, do not endanger their users in this way. A Puffer Fishman may also use his spines offensively.
  • Level Adjustment: +3

Shark Fishmen[edit]

  • Blindsense (Ex): A Shark Fishman can locate creatures underwater within a 30-foot radius, and twice that while underwater.
  • Keen Scent (Ex): A Shark Fishman can notice creatures by scent in a 180-foot radius and detect blood in the water at ranges of up to a mile.
  • Improved Bite (Ex): A Shark Fishman's bite is considered one size category larger than the Fishman himself. Their bites are also considered as lethal piercing/slashing attacks.
    • For a Medium-sized Fishman it is as follows: Bite +7 melee (1d8+4). A Large-sized Fishman is Bite +10 melee (2d6+7).
  • Level Adjustment: +2

Shell Fishmen[edit]

  • Iron Shell (Ex): A Shell Fishman can make its body have a extra +5 on armor for 1d6 turns per 5 minutes.
    • Shell Fishmen has a +4 racial bonus on natural armor.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Fishman Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
15 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d6
Table: Fishman Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
35 years 53 years 70 years +2d20 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Fishman Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 6' 6" +2d10 140 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Female 5' 10" +2d10 120 lb. × (2d4) lb.


The Race-Specific Feat is an evolving entry, feel free to add more dependent on what group of Ocean creatures the Fishman is of.

  • Note: They have to be non-Mammalian oceanic creatures.

--Gederas (talk) 06:43, 31 July 2013 (MDT)

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