Deep One

Deep ones are an ancient species of hybrid fish-men, somewhere between landwalkers and fish. They are eternal, evolving from their terrestrial forms only to slip back into an increasingly aquatic and fish-like nature as they age.

Deep ones regularly mate with terrestrial humanoids, but their ancestry cannot be ignored. Over time, they hear the siren call of the ocean and become increasingly fish-like over time until their true nature is revealed. This can be torturous for adolescent deep ones, who are often cut off from their deep one parent only to spontaneously manifest their new abilities. This transformation can result in ears that eventually slough off, glassy and bulging eyes, losing hair on the head, and rubbery blue-gray skin.

As the age, deep ones cannot be confused with other humanoids. Their appearance combines fish, human and amphibian-like traits, with grayish-green, slippery skin with white stomachs. They have scaled, ridged backs, as well as webbed hands and gilled necks. They have gaping, fish-like heads with lidless eyes.

Deep ones have a primordial affinity with the sea, the missing link between land-dwellers and sea creatures. They are not wholly fish, or frogs, or humanoids, but a blend of all three. Their legacy goes back millennia, which is why they have mastered the primordial ooze and can even influence them.

Male Names: Alvin, Buckminster, Caine, Delvin, Ellington, Forest, Milburn, Morven, Renshaw, Whitbeck

Female Names: Claire, Elma, Frieda, Gleda, Irvette, Lutie, May, Reta, Sophia, Wilfreda

Family Names: Brink, Crowley, Derane, Emsworth, Garthside, Harding, Newbery, Salvodore, Spalding, Stone, Yeardley, Zelroth


  • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2 and your Dexterity score increases by 1.
  • Age. Deep ones mature to adulthood by the age of 16 and reach adulthood in their 20s. After that, age has no grip on them.
  • Alignment. Most deep ones begin life as neutral or have some aspect of neutrality in their alignment. If they are indoctrinated into the cult of the deep ones, they inexorably turn toward evil.
  • Devolution. Your body devolves into a full deep one over time. You choose one enhancement now and one at 5th level.
    • Claws (1st level). Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
    • Healing Factor (1st level). Your deep one ancestry boosts your natural healing. When you roll a 1 or 2 on any Hit Die you spend at the end of a short rest, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
    • Limited Telepathy (1st level). You can telepathically speak to any other deep one you can see within 30 feet of you. This process of communication is slow and limited, allowing you to transmit and receive only simple ideas and straightforward concepts.
    • Standing Leap (1st level). Your long jump is up to 30 feet and your high jump is up to 15 feet, with or without a running start.
    • Underwater Adaption (1st level). You grow gills on your neck and webbing between your fingers. You can breathe air and water, and gain a swim speed equal to your walking speed.
    • Deep One Endurance (5th level). You can focus yourself to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
    • Guardians of the Depths (5th level). Adapted to even the most extreme ocean depths, you have resistance to cold damage. You’re also acclimated to the pressures of the ocean, including depths below 20,000 feet.
    • Natural Armor (5th level). 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.
    • Powerful Build (5th level). You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
    • Shoggoth Lord (5th level). Oozes have an extraordinary affinity with your people. You can communicate simple ideas with oozes. They can understand the meaning of your words, though you have no special ability to understand them in return.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Aquan and Common.
  • Size. Deep ones stand between 5 and 6 feet tall and average about 150 pounds. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Gothic Adventures. Copyright 2021, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page