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The Art of Being a Monster: Sahuagin


Your mobility in the sea is the heart of your advantage and should be given a central role in your fighting style. Utilize reach weapons and ranged weapons that can be thrown without loss of speed or power through water. By combining a free mobility in the water with attacks unaffected by the sea, opponents can be fought from relative safety where they cannot retaliate effectively. Against foes on land, quick attacks from the water or hit and run tactics let you retain the defensive advantage of the water while still striking targets that think they are safe on land. For foes equally skilled in the water, nets and entangling weapons can remove their mobility to create openings for similar tactics against land creatures.

F: Fight the fighter from a distance, and keep out of their reach. You can move through the water easily and they cannot. Nets and pinning spears or coral traps will slow them down if they can move in the water. Reach weapons let you strike from beyond their limited movement. On land, they will try to engage you and position you away from the water. Return the favor by pushing them into the water or tactically engaging to deny them the chance.

T: The thief will have trouble getting into position to flank or sneak up on you, but continue to maneuver as if they can. Long tridents and thrown nets will work best to keep you out of a knife’s short thrust or swing. On land, they will be best positioned to surprise you as you return to the water or leap from it to attack. Patience will be your ally, as they will be hard pressed to push into the water, where you can safely wait for ample opportunities while peppering them with thrown weapons.

R: Arrows do not fly well in the water, so use it, the reefs, the seaweed, and disturbed silt for cover and concealment against the ranger. Attack back at a range or with reach weapons in swim-by attacks. If you must engage on land, make your attacks and return to cover. Use distractions so the ranger cannot simply wait to fire until you leave the water for an attack.

W: A wizard will either be singularly outfitted to do the most harm to you, even underwater, or entirely useless until you get on the land. Careful spying of any group with magical potential will be the first step and the second step is to not let them use spells. Put the wizard in the water where they’ll have trouble casting anything with words, drag them in with nets, traps, or physical might. For a wizard equipped with spells able to destroy water, repel it, or attack directly through it, retreat is often the best option. In the case of being unable to retreat, such wizards should be ensared with nets, attacked with thrown weapons, and blocked from having line of sight by rocks or coral.

The Navigated Reefs of Sahuagin Wit

It wouldn’t do to survive the harsh world of the deep seas only to be gutted and served up by land mammals. The thrust of a trident and the weight of a net are powerful tools, but it is cunning that will be your greatest asset. The subtle pull of a clever plan is as unstoppable as the tides, but there are dangers in strategies, sharp corals of flawed thought and foolishness. Learn to dive around these hazards as easily as the razor-sharp shells of the ocean.

  • Learn the shipping lanes and major merchants. Never allow your plans to cut into their profits unless you intend to make an enemy of them.
  • Make every effort to stay abreast of the maritime laws and customs of the local seafaring people, especially any customs you can take advantage of such as parley.
  • When attacking a fleet, always strike for the flagship and its captain first, waste no time on the periphery. Do not play with your food.
  • Marine wildlife make excellent beasts of burden, attack animals, or a way to disguise your plans as natural misfortune on the part of your enemies.
  • Take advantage of currents and dangerous reefs to let the sea do your work for you. Learn about hazards on the land above to use them the same way.
  • Do not leave yourself without a way to call the ocean, whether you rely on magic to bring yourself back to the ocean or to call its waters to you.
  • Invest in viable magical and non magical weapons that function well underwater and above the surface. Self-propelled projectiles, divine, necrotic, psychic, sound, or light based attacks will function well enough in both.
  • Practice tactics and strategies to get your opponents and their armies into or out of the water.
  • Utilize the water connections made by humans and other land-farers to move to and act from places they would not expect. Train your body to be comfortable in both salt and fresh water.
  • Recruit and domesticate surface creatures, bestowing them with magic or abilities to survive underwater, so that you can call upon unexpected powers to face against your enemies.
  • Ensure that you have fallback lairs, disguises, and protections on land as well as sea, and that you can survive in them for much longer than would be expected if not indefinitely.
  • Cultivate tales of sea curses, dangerous reefs, and rumors of ruinous treasures that you hunt for. Bolster these with misdirection, false activity, and theatrical appearances. Do not under any circumstances boast about found treasures, special powers, or boons.
  • Hide your weapons and magic behind primitive decoration of driftwood, sea plants, and shells.
  • Pretend to be fascinated but ignorant of surface culture and technology. Offer to release prisoners you do not care about in exchange for this type of information.
  • Save drowning sailors and passengers that suffer ill fortune in your territory. Leave traces of evidence as to your intervention while weakly disclaiming any rescues if they are brought up.
  • Do not approach a target above the water without a means to dry yourself off immediately after exiting the water. Dripping water is both a trail to you and a tip-off to your presence.
  • Find allies on land, monsters or humans, that complement your abilities but do not compete for your goals. Some of them should know your true form but others should be kept in the dark, depending on how powerful they are, their trustworthiness, and how offended they are at being lied to.
  • Any land creature that willingly enters the sea to oppose you should not be underestimated. Assume that they have a plan, piece of equipment, or magic that they expect will give them the upper hand. Prepare means of dispelling such tactics as part of your regular tactics.
  • Do not attempt to take or hold land above the sea, it will go as poorly as land creatures attempting to take or hold your own territories. An exception is to when the land or fealty is freely given to you.
  • Provide aid to coastal communities near your territory that fall on hard times. Drive fish towards their fishing boats, cause treasures to wash ashore, and help them recover from dangerous storms. A healthy town in your debt, or even one that doesn’t know you helped, is much preferable to a desperate one with nothing to lose. At the very least, it wouldn’t do to let your flock become unhealthy.

Keeping with the tide of wisdom presented above, it will be easy to swim circles around your opponent’s, land and sea. Falling into the traps of ignorance and self-delusion is something that should be left to the water starved sailors drifting cluelessly through the oceans. Sahuagin are above such weaknesses and will take what is their due.



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