Archives of Nethys

Core Races | Other Races


Gillmen

Source Blood of the Sea pg. 8, Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon), Inner Sea World Guide pg. 310 (Amazon), Pathfinder Campaign Setting pg. 19 (Amazon)
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Gillmen descended from humans hurled into the sea when Earthfall shattered Azlant. Aboleths captured several of these humans and muted them to survive underwater. The gillmen’s ancestors were thus saved from extinction, but at a terrible cost: for centuries, they served the aboleths, physically and mentally twisted into the perfect tools of that ancient race.

In time, the aboleths abandoned their fleshwarped servants. Despite their freedom, gillmen still bear the psychic scars of their race’s captivity. They face the distrust of others, who often suspect gillmen of ulterior agendas. They view allies warily, wondering if they, too, want only to use the gillmen for their own purposes. Gillmen today are leery of everyone—even of their own kind.

Sometimes called Low Azlanti, gillmen appear human at first glance, but the gills on their neck and their vibrant purple eye color give them away. Gillmen have soft, delicate skin in shades of pearly white, peach, salmon, or sandy brown. Their hair is often dark brown or black, but for some it takes on the colors of the sea, and they have thick, expressive eyebrows. Gillmen are physically bound to the sea; they must submerge themselves in water at least once a day or their skin dries and cracks, their organs begin to fail, and they eventually die.

When associating with others, gillmen prefer the company of their own kind, though they sometimes consort with humans or merfolk, usually as traders or messengers. Rumors persist that some gillmen still serve aboleth masters willingly, moving among coastal regions as spies and saboteurs. The discovery of these agents perpetuates the pervasive belief that all gillmen are—knowingly or unknowingly—thralls to aboleth masters.

Gillman Adventurers: Though small gillman communities exist underwater, most gillmen operate independently or in small family groups. They share no overreaching racial goals or desires, banding together solely for survival. Each gillman has unique experiences and motivations that may lead to an adventuring life. Although gillmen are slow to make friends with other races, they are nonetheless a stable addition to any group of adventurers.

Some gillmen are unable to let go of their race’s past. These adventurers follow rumors of aboleth activity and seek out villains that serve the deep-sea masters. They also pursue powerful allies and artifacts to aid them against the aboleth menace. Gillman adventurers quest for information on why the aboleths first created the gillmen, what purpose the gillmen were intended to fulfill, and why the aboleths gave up their thralls. These gillmen hope to ascertain their history so that it can be put to rest, allowing their people to begin building a unified future.

Gillman Racial Traits

+2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, –2 Wisdom: Gillmen are vigorous and beautiful, but their domination by the aboleths has made them weak-willed.
Medium: Gillmen are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Aquatic: Gillmen are humanoids with the aquatic subtype.
Normal Speed: Gillmen have a base speed of 30 feet on land. As aquatic creatures, they also have a swim speed of 30 feet, can move in water without making Swim checks, and always treat Swim as a class skill.
Amphibious: Gillmen have the aquatic subtype, but can breathe both water and air.
Enchantment Resistance: Gillmen gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against non-aboleth enchantment spells and effects, but take a –2 penalty on such saving throws against aboleth sources.
Water Dependent: A gillman's body requires constant submersion in fresh or salt water. Gillmen who spend more than 1 day without fully submerging themselves in water risk internal organ failure, painful cracking of the skin, and death within 4d6 hours.
Languages: Gillmen begin play speaking Common and Aboleth. Gillmen with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aklo, Aquan, Draconic, and Elven.

Gillman Alternate Racial Traits

Replaces Amphibious, Enchantment Resistance

Deep Gillman
Source Inner Sea Races pg. 215
Some gillmen live in the deeper ocean and almost never visit the land above the sea. Such gillmen gain darkvision to a range of 60 feet and resist cold 5, in order to survive the lightless depths. This racial trait replaces amphibious and enchantment resistance.

Replaces Enchantment Resistance

Slimehunter
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Gillmen with this trait are from lineages that have fought against aboleths since the aberrations rescued their human ancestors. They receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against aboleth spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance.

Taskmaster
Source Blood of the Sea pg. 9
The aboleth fleshcrafters created some gillmen as overseers among their kin, allowing them to exude pheromones into the air or water. Generations later, the descendants of these taskmaster gillmen retain the ability to influence others. Gillmen with this trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance.

Truthseer
Source Blood of the Sea pg. 9
Gillmen with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against non-aboleth illusion spells or effects, but they take a –2 penalty on such saving throws against aboleth sources. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance.

Venomkissed
Source Blood of the Sea pg. 9
Some gillmen display an innate resistance to the toxic creatures of the deep. In gillman communities, venomkissed gillmen take on the dangerous task of domesticating jellyfish, octopuses, sea snakes, and other venomous creatures. Solitary venomkissed gillmen make their homes near beds of poisonous coral and anemones, using the creatures as natural defense. Gillmen with this racial trait gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against poison. This racial trait replaces enchantment resistance.

Replaces Water Dependent

Riverfolk
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Some gillmen groups live in colonies along vast riverways, and have adapted to living on land for much longer periods. Gillmen with this trait have a thin coating of natural oil that keeps their skin from cracking even without water. However, this natural oil also makes such gillmen particularly susceptible to flames, and they gain vulnerability to fire. This racial trait replaces water dependent.

Submerged
Source Blood of the Sea pg. 9
Gillmen who live in deep water are accustomed to the gloom of the depths. Though these gillmen can venture onto land, they are uncomfortable doing so and must return to the ocean sooner than other gillmen. Gillmen with this racial trait gain low-light vision but must submerge themselves in water every 12 hours or die within 2d4 hours. This modifies their water dependent racial trait.

Throwback
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Some gillmen are throwbacks to their land-dwelling human ancestors. Gillmen with this racial trait do not have the amphibious trait, have the human subtype instead of the aquatic subtype, have no swim speed or bonuses to the Swim skill, cannot breathe water, and do not have the water dependent racial trait.

Gillman Favored Class Options

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, Gillmen have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored class.

The following options are available to all Gillmen who have the listed favored class.

Bard (Blood of the Sea pg. 9): Add 1/2 to the bard’s Bluff checks to fool someone and gain a +1/2 bonus on the bard’s Sense Motive checks to sense enchantments.
Fighter (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1 to the fighter’s CMD when resisting two combat maneuvers of the character’s choice.
Investigator (Blood of the Sea pg. 9): Increase the total number of points in the investigator’s inspiration pool by 1/3.
Medium (Blood of the Sea pg. 9): Increase the medium’s spirit bonus by 1/6.
Monk (Blood of the Sea pg. 9): Add 1 foot to the monk’s swim speed. In combat, this option has no effect unless the monk has selected it five times (or another increment of five).
Rogue (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): The rogue gains 1/6 of a new rogue talent.
Sorcerer (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add one spell known from the sorcerer spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the sorcerer can cast.
Wizard (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add one spell from the wizard spell list to the wizard’s spellbook. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level he can cast.