Adventure Beneath the Waves With This New Aquatic Race for 5E D&D

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Salutations, nerds! Today, rather than my usual babble I have a playable race for you that should be compatible with Wizard’s Wake, one of the titles over at Nerdarchy the Store or really any other seafaring kind of adventure for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. So without further ado, I present to you, the Thylocanthus, an new playable aquatic race for 5E D&D characters. These seafolk would fit right into the tropical Gylathacean Isles where the magical wreckage of Wizard’s Wake rests amid gorgeous tropical islands or any aquatic underwater adventures. Perhaps they could work with the Order of the Golden Quill or immerse themselves in the goings on around Saltmarsh.

5E D&D aquatic race underwater
It’s D&D so even a trip to a tropical beach retreat involves excitement and danger. [Art by Ashkan Ghanbari]

Playable aquatic race for 5E D&D


“There are a lot of strange beasts in the deeper waters, you’ll find. Strangest of all are the ones that can walk land and speak to us, even if we don’t see them often.” –– Captain Lucen Chareth of the Razortide

The thylocanthi are, for lack of a better term, very much like centaur mermaids. They come in shades of blue and green, both skin and hair tinted to match the ocean where they dwell, with warm colored eyes in any shade of red, orange or yellow.

When in the water, they have a curled fin from the waist down with two smaller fins protruding from either side of it.

On land, they have legs like any other landwalking creature and could easily be mistaken for another kind of underwater species were it not for the two telltale fins along the hips, that remain even out of the water.

Familial Bonds

Thylocanthi are nomadic and carry their eggs on their backs in woven sacks when they move from place to place. As a result the mentality that it takes a village to raise a child is fairly pervasive, since often all of the eggs are carried in the same silken satchel, allowing the entire clan to bond with the entire new generation.

Because they aren’t raised in traditional family units the thylocanthi rarely know who their biological parents were and instead form bonds with the clanmates they are most compatible with. Incest is avoided through sense of smell. Those who are of close familial relation give off a specific scent that the thylocanthi know means they are not fit for mating with.

Thylocanthus Names

Rather than observing specific family names the thylocanthi tend to take the name of their clan as a surname when walking among land dwellers. Although it seems like a small difference at a glance it is a world of difference to a thylocanthus as the entire clan is family to them.

Male Names. Alev, Caldo, Daneel, Ferren, Jas, Mattek, Rehan, Tylo

Female Names. Chessa, Emri, Holle, Jecia, Kya, Moggen, Okaira, Xendra

Clan Names. Silverside, Tidesong, Undertow, Wildweed

Thylocanthus Traits

Ability Score Increase

Your Constitution score increases by 2. Your Charisma score increases by 1.


Thylocanthi reach adulthood by the age of 16 and can live to be 100 years old.


Thylocanthi tend toward law, though those who leave the clans to seek a life of adventure have more of a chaotic lean than others.


Your size is Medium.


Your walking speed is 30 feet. You have a swim speed of 40 feet.


You can breathe water and air.

Two Forms

When in water you have a long curled fin from the waist down like that of a seahorse. When on land, you walk on legs though retain the two fanlike fins on your lower flanks.

False Appearance

You can naturally camouflage the colors of your skin if you hold still for one round, and if you do so, while you remain motionless, you are indistinguishable from being part of the scenery.


You can speak, read and write Common and Aquan.

Would you play a thylocanthus in your 5E D&D games? Do you have any awesome stories of your own underwater adventures to share? If you’re excited about underwater or aquatic adventures you should sign up for Nerdarchy the Newsletter because you’ll get an exclusive coupon code. You can use it to pick up Wizard’s Wake for FREE here.

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Follow Megan R. Miller:
Speculative fiction writer and part-time Dungeon Master Megan R. Miller lives in southern Ohio where she keeps mostly nocturnal hours and enjoys life’s quiet moments. She has a deep love for occult things, antiques, herbalism, big floppy hats and the wonders of the small world (such as insects and arachnids), and she is happy to be owned by the beloved ghost of a black cat. Her fiction, such as The Chronicles of Drasule and the Nimbus Mysteries, can be found on Amazon.

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