Sahuagin: Shark Lords

The village was empty, the seagulls were strangely quiet, and all we could hear was the surge of the sea.

An account of the aftermath of a Sahuagin Raid

Lore: Devils of the Deep

Known for mercilessly slaughtering their prey, the sahuagin have more than earned the title of ‘sea devil.’ Dwelling within the dark crevices of the ocean, they consider the sea to be their own and all the creatures within it are the blood sport for their hunters.

Sahuagin worship the shark god Sekolah, though only the females of their tribes can channel the magic powers of their deity. As such, they have tremendous power within their society. Because of their worship, they’re also the kin of sharks; even untrained sharks show respect to the sahuagin. Perhaps that is why the sahuagin are driven to a frenzy by the sent of blood?

If not for the efforts of aquatic elves, the sahuagin might rule over all the oceans. Wars are waged between these two as frequently as the tides rise and draw all life in the seas into the conflict. Sahuagin hatred of their enemies burns so deeply that they’ve evolved to combat their foes; being prone to evolution, sahuagin born near elven settlements may just look like a sea elf. None can explain this phenomenon. Though these children are put to good use as spies and spreaders of chaos.

This lore is rife with storytelling potential! From small encounters, like a raid upon the high seas, to massive campaigns, such as war between sea elves and sea devils! Though you’ll need to get creative and use other, stronger monsters if you want to spin a whole campaign around these guys; weak as they are, they’re not really final boss worthy for any players above level five.

Still, solid lore. If you want cool fish monsters, this is certainly a pick.

Design: The Aquatic Chimera

Why does this section have two illustrations? Were the two extra arms really that important?

I appreciate that this monster isn’t just another bipedal fish. Rather, it’s a chimera of multiple different kinds of aquatic creature. Webbed feet like a frog, carapace armor for the shoulder plates, shark-like body and head, the works. It’s far more interesting than just ‘fish but it walks and talks.’

Sorry, Kuo-Toa. You guys look boring.

Understandably, however, there’s still not much new to these guys. We’ve covered tons of aquatic bipedal monsters up to this point. That idea has been squeezed dry at this point. Still, in that category, the sahuagin place fairly high.

Is it as high as a dragon turtle or a beholder? Nope. But it’s something.

Stats: Salmon, Carp, and Catfish

Three monsters, three sets of stats. It’s like going to a nice restaurant and the only protein you can choose is seafood! Luckily, all three versions of this monster share most of their traits, so this won’t take that long.

So… it’s more like going to a restaurant that only serves catfish.

Firstly are their unique abilities: Blood Frenzy, Limited Amphibiousness, and Shark Telepathy. The first is a powerful buff that gives the monster advantage on all melee attack rolls, provided the target isn’t at maximum HP. The second allows them to breath air and water, provided they spend some time in the water every four hours. And the last does just about what you’d expect it to.

Then there are its combat actions. Which is where the three start to separate themselves.

The base sahuagin is the weakest of the lot. Both its AC and HP are about as low as a level three wizard PC. It has plenty of melee attacks, but none of them do anything beyond basic damage. It’s as simple and cookie-cutter as these monsters can get.

A sahuagin priestess is a bit more dangerous. Its AC is the same, but it does have more HP to make up for it. It has the same melee options as the base sahuagin, minus the spear. In its stead, it’s got a list of spells!

  • Cantrips (at will): guidance, thaumaturgy
  • 1st level (4 slots): bless, detect magic, guiding bolt
  • 2nd level (3 slots): hold person, spiritual weapon (trident)
  • 3rd level (3 slots): mass healing word, tongues

Finally, we have the sahuagin baron. Which… is exactly the same monster as the base sahuagin, only it has bigger numbers. The most dramatic change was how it switched the spear out for a trident. This one is clearly supposed to be the big boss, but it falls completely short in that regard.

Honestly, this is only an interesting battle if you include a priestess into the mix. Without those spells, all you’ve got is the most basic slugfest you could get once again. With it, you can make it at least a little more varied and interesting.


This one went downhill a bit more slowly than some others. It’s lore was pretty strong. Then its design was pretty okay. By the time we reached the stats section, all the wind had vanished from the sails.

With all that in mind, the Sahuagin are going to #91 on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Mind Flayer
  4. Dragon Turtle
  5. Mummy/Mummy Lord
  6. Nagas (all three of ’em)
  7. Green Dragons
  8. Red Dragons
  9. Blue Dragons
  10. Black Dragons
  11. White Dragons
  12. Silver Dragons
  13. Couatl
  14. Behir
  15. Aboleth
  16. Sea Hag
  17. Lamia
  18. Bronze Dragons
  19. Brass Dragons
  20. Copper Dragons
  21. Gold Dragons
  22. Chuul
  23. Kuo-Toa
  24. Gibbering Mouther
  25. Kraken
  26. Intellect Devourer
  27. Chimera
  28. Death Knight
  29. Fomorian
  30. Bone Devil
  31. Dracolich
  32. Faerie Dragon
  33. Gelatinous Cube
  34. Lich
  35. Peryton
  36. Remorhaz
  37. Orcs (all four of ’em)
  38. Magmin
  39. Kobold
  40. Kenku
  41. Hobgoblins
  42. Night Hag
  43. Green Hag
  44. Black Pudding
  45. Ankheg
  46. Hook Horror
  47. Oni
  48. Purple Worm
  49. Storm Giant
  50. Hill Giant
  51. Empyrean
  52. Efreeti
  53. Grimlock
  54. Minotaur
  55. Dao
  56. Cloud Giant
  57. Manticore
  58. Drow (all four of ’em)
  59. Shadow Demon
  60. Modrons (all five of ’em)
  61. Marilith
  62. Drider
  63. Aarackockra
  64. Azer
  65. Demilich
  66. Spectator
  67. Gray Ooze
  68. Ochre Jelly
  69. Hydra
  70. Rakshasa
  71. Marid
  72. Harpy
  73. Werejackal
  74. Otyugh
  75. Half-Dragon
  76. Cambion
  77. Fire Giant
  78. Nothic
  79. Pixie
  80. Animated Armor
  81. Roper
  82. Banshee
  83. Basilisk
  84. Yochlol
  85. Bulette
  86. Cloaker
  87. Darkmantle
  88. Doppelganger
  89. Revenant
  90. Ghoul and Ghast
  91. Sahuagin (all three) <————
  92. Ettin
  93. Medusa
  94. Pit Fiend
  95. Erinyes
  96. Chain Devil
  97. Bearded Devil
  98. Barbed Devil
  99. Spined Devil
  100. Ice Devil
  101. Mimic
  102. Djinni
  103. Merrow
  104. Nalfeshnee
  105. Glabrezu
  106. Chasme
  107. Grell
  108. Barlgura
  109. Horned Devil
  110. Balor
  111. Shadow Dragon
  112. Myconids (all four of ’em)
  113. Piercer
  114. Werebear
  115. Lizardfolk
  116. Vrock
  117. Dretch
  118. Pseudodragon
  119. Gnolls (all three)
  120. Goristro
  121. Hezrou
  122. Manes
  123. Quaggoth
  124. Frost Giant
  125. Weretiger
  126. Werewolf
  127. Duergar
  128. Quasit
  129. Dryad
  130. Flumph
  131. Goblin
  132. Nightmare
  133. Rust Monster
  134. Wereboar
  135. Wererat
  136. Githyanki
  137. Owlbear
  138. Planetar
  139. Imp
  140. Ogres/Half-ogres
  141. Roc
  142. Clay Golem
  143. Flameskull
  144. Displacer Beast
  145. Carrion Crawler
  146. Githzerai
  147. Grick
  148. Invisible Stalker
  149. Rug of Smothering
  150. Bugbear Chief
  151. Bugbear
  152. Flesh Golem
  153. Vine Blight
  154. Twig Blight
  155. Needle Blight
  156. Mephits (all six of ’em)
  157. Bullywug
  158. Hellhound
  159. Ettercap
  160. Gas Spore
  161. Cockatrice
  162. Lemure
  163. Homonculus
  164. Merfolk
  165. Solar
  166. Deva
  167. Gorgon
  168. Hippogriff
  169. Griffon
  170. Cyclops
  171. Centaur
  172. Ghost
  173. Pegasus
  174. Fire Elemental
  175. Water Elemental
  176. Air Elemental
  177. Stone Giant
  178. Deep Gnome
  179. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  180. Iron Golem
  181. Stone Golem
  182. Earth Elemental
  183. Galeb Duhr
  184. Helmed Horror
  185. Flying Sword
  186. Crawling Claw
  187. Violet Fungus
  188. Shrieker
  189. Gargoyle

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