Vicious, bloodthirsty, and only befriended by sharks, Sahuagin are your party’s best incentive to never sleep in a coastal village on a moonless night.
Sahuagin are also known as sea devils and “devil men of the deep” and are so unpleasant that the only creatures that they don’t have an issue with are sharks. They hunt for food and sport, and while they will probably keep away any time there’s daylight, any oceanside villages or ships are in danger of a Sahuagin attack. Even unforgiving of their own kind, injured or disabled Sahuagin are often cannibalized to maintain a strong community.
Armed with nets, spears, and three to five attacks per turn, Sahuagin are formidable foes to take on. While more confident underwater, they are organized attackers in any venue, swarming ships from all sides, attacking explorers from behind, and dropping nets on unexpecting victims. The Sahuagin have even been known to take down a giant squid or kraken for food and pleasure.
About .5% of sahuagin have four arms, which can be used in combat as extra weapons in very specific circumstances. 1% of a community can look like sea elves but with all of the viciousness and abilities of a Sahuagin. When under saltwater they can locate any creature within a thirty foot radius, but are sensitive to freshwater and light. Unfortunately, a Sahuagin would likely figure out if you were trying to coax it into light or fresh water since as they have pretty high intelligence scores. This also, unfortunately, means that they’re likely to understand at least one language your character is speaking but have no interest in talking or compromising, or bargaining.
Fourth edition does what fourth edition does and breaks the Sahuagin down into four types with specific traits and skills. The Sahuagin guard engage in one on one combat with their tridents, rapidly moving from one victim to another. The sahuagin raider are cleaver and patient hunters who wait for the most opportunistic moment before overwhelming their target. Sahuagin priests have spells and use them from a safer distance, but will also attack with their trident if close combat becomes necessary. And finally the Sahuagin baron has healing powers as well as extra arms for extra claw attacks.
5E Sahuagin are very similar to 4E Sahuagin with the standard variety, priestesses and barons all with similar abilities and traits to their previous edition counterparts. Now they communicate with their shark companions telepathically, and when Sahuagin are hatched looking similar to aquatic elves they are trained to be spies and assassins, but their viciousness, and bloodthirsty nature are all exactly the same.
Have you encountered a Sahuagin in D&D? Was your party underwater or above the waves? How difficult was the encounter? Let us know in the comments!