The Locathah: A RM Conversion

Copyright Kerry Drake © 2003

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Always operating in teams, the larger the better, locathah have developed tactics that enable them to beat their deadlier rivals."

The locathah are a humanoid race of aquatic nomads. They roam warm coastal waters.

Standing 5 to 6 feet tall and weighing 150 to 200 pounds with skin covered in fine but tough scales, the locathah male is an imposing figure. Their scales vary in color from an ivory yellow on the stomach and neck to a pale yellow on the rest of the body. The fins of their ears and spine are ocher. Large eyes are designed to enhance underwater vision and the ear fins enhance hearing. Females are distinguished from males by a vertical ochre stripe marking the egg sac. On the surface, locathah have a typically fish-like smell. They speak their own language; 10% also know another aquatic language.

Combat

Always operating in teams, the larger the better, locathah have developed tactics that enable them to beat their deadlier rivals. Furthermore, when away from their homes they ride giant eels that act as both mounts and allies.
A typical locathah force is armed as follows:

Lance: 20%
Crossbow: 30%
Trident: 30%
Short Sword: 20%

Lacking claws or teeth a locathah cannot do damage if it is disarmed. If that happens, it will grapple a foe (if armed locathah are present), look for weapons, or flee. Locathah only battle to the death if cornered or if their home is threatened.

Habitat/Society

Locathah have developed a society similar to that of surface humans. They have a well-developed hunter-gatherer society and a strong sense of territory. Locathah make their lairs in rocks carved into castle-like strongholds. These aquatic castles are very similar to their surface counterparts. Openings are protected by stout doors, shutters, or coral bars. Often 4d4 moray eels are used as guard beasts. There is a 50% chance that Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish may be used as traps. A herd of giant eels is kept at the edge of each stronghold.

Organized in tribes of 20 to several hundred, locathah have a communal society. Each band of forty locathah has a leader (Level 6) and four assistants (Level 4). Large clans of more than 120 locathah are led by a female chieftain (Level 7) accompanied by 12 guards (Level 5).

Clan chieftains are prolific egg layers. The eggs are gathered into well-guarded nurseries where they hatch after five to six months. Hatchlings are raised communally but each is assigned a "parent", a non-warrior adult that takes personal responsibility for that hatchling.

Locathah shamans are priests of up to 5th level.

Ecology

Locathah are omnivorous. Clans have both aquatic farmers and hunter-gatherers, leading to a varied diet for all clan members. The locathah's stone-age technology is limited to manufacturing weapons, tools, and ornaments from available materials. More advanced or magical items are scavenged from sunken wrecks, invaders, and drowning victims. Although they defend their territories against hostile invaders, locathah cooperate with non-hostile visitors, especially traders. Locathan coral carvings and jewelry are highly valued by art collectors and are traded for forged metals, ceramics, and durable magical items. Locathah can be hired to assist travelers in their realm. They also collect tolls from fishermen using locathah territorial waters.

Locathah never voluntarily leave the water. They are almost helpless on land. They are limited to slow crawls because they are unused to supporting their own weight. The use of magic to fly or levitate will negate this helplessness. They risk swift suffocation as their gills dry out; after ten minutes, a surfaced locathah suffers 1 point of damage each round. If the locathah immerses itself in water, the damage is halted.

Locathah always try to recover captive locathah or their bodies. If such are detected aboard a ship, other locathah might first demand the return of their kin or simply sink the boat by holing its hull.

Appendix A: RM Statistics

LEVEL 3C
BASE RATE 8, Swim 96
MAX PACE / BONUS Jog / 0, FSpt / 10
MOVEMENT SPEED CR / MF
ATTACK QUICKNESS MF
SIZE/CRIT M / --
HITS 40D
ARMOR TYPE(DB) 3(30)
ATTACKS 25We
# ENCOUNTERED 20-200
TREASURE jj
BONUS EP A
OUTLOOK(IQ) Normal (AV)

(-)-(X@)-(O)-(-)-(-)-5; 6' tall.

Appendix B: Revised System Reference Document Entry

Medium Humanoid (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), swim 60 ft.
Armor Class: 14 (+1 Dex, +3 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+1
Attack: Longspear +2 melee (1d8/x3) or light crossbow +2 ranged (1d8/19-20)
Full Attack: Longspear +2 melee (1d8/x3) or light crossbow +2 ranged (1d8/19-20)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: -
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 11
Skills: Craft (any one) +6, Listen +6, Spot +6, Swim +8
Feats: Weapon Focus (longspear)
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Company (2-4), patrol (11-20 plus 2 3rd-level sergeants and 1 leader of 3rd-6th level), or tribe (30-100 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 3rd-level sergeant per 10 adults, 5 5th-level lieutenants, and 3 7th-level captains)
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +1

Although humanoid in shape, locathahs are clearly more fish than human. The average locathah stands 5 feet tall and weighs 175 pounds. Females and males look very much alike, although the former can be recognized by the two ochre stripes marking their egg sacs.

Locathahs speak Aquan.

COMBAT

Any battle with locathahs usually begins with the creatures loosing volleys of bolts from their crossbows; underwater, their crossbows have a range increment of 20 feet. If they have managed to set up an ambush or other trap, they continue to employ crossbows for as long as possible. Otherwise, they close to bring their longspears into play. Although primarily used for fishing, these spears make formidable weapons.

Locathahs lack teeth, claws, and other natural weapons, so they are not especially dangerous if unarmed. A weaponless locathah will generally turn and flee.

Skills

A locathah has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered.

It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Appendix C: Open Gaming License and Legal Matters

This article: "Locathah: A RM Conversion", Copyright © 2003 by Kerry Drake, is an Open Gaming article.

This article is covered by the Open Gaming License. The title "The Locathah: A RM Conversion" is Product Identity, all other material in this article (except the entirety of Appendix A and the Open Gaming License itself) is Open Game Content. Appendix A is Closed Content and may not be reproduced without permission of the author and The Guild Companion. Portions of this work are derived from the System Reference Document, Copyright © 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.

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System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

"The Locathah: A RM Conversion", Copyright © 2003 by Kerry Drake, first published by The Guild Companion (http://www.guildcompanion.com)

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