The tribal Selkies are the decedents of aquatic fey shape shifters that migrated to the material plane ages ago. To a inland dweller, a selkie looks rather similar to a small elf. This has led to the misnomer of ‘sea elves’. In fact a selkie, or seal’folk, is much closer to a gnome or other fey than an elf. While other fey may have an affinity for magic, selkies rely on their physical abilities to live equally on land as they do in water. Selkies tend to keep to themselves and value family and friendship over large societies and politics. A selkie’s greatest possession is her sea skin, which allows her to retake her seal form. This slightly magical skin is a selkie’s last connection to his fey origins and is just as integral to his sense of self as an arm, eye, or free will. The loss of one’s sea skin has led to many tragedies and cautionary tales.

Physical Description:

A life spent constantly battered by river and ocean waters has given Selkies a rough and lean physique for their small stature. They stand slightly taller than dwarves, usually to a height of 4’6" Their long, unkempt hair usually hangs loose to the middle of their back and small patches of hair grow along the back of their necks, shoulders, and arms. Their hair is usually in the range of silver, grey, brown, or black, but shades of light purple or aquatic colors are not unheard of, especially among those with a magical affinity. A selkie’s complexion is fair at adulthood, but quickly hardens with age due to constant exposure to the elements.


Tribal life is the norm among selkie culture. As a people originally driven from their home, selkies quickly learned to rely on each other to survive. Their clans can be as small as a hamlet or as large as a small village. They can often be found along rocky shorelines, isolated peninsulas, or seemingly deserted islands in open open ocean. Territorial disputes are not uncommon among adjacent clans and skirmishes can break out over hunting or fishing ground disputes. Open war is rare due to the lack of unified nations.


A reclusive people, selkie’s tend to keep to their own kind, preferring the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Being a sea faring race, they often trade with, or steal from, passing merchants on land and sea for commodities they cannot obtain on their own. A lone selkie is rare and usually the victim of having their sea skin stolen. While a selkie’s sea skin is fairly mundane, it still retains an individual’s connection to the fey realm. There are tales of the love-struck or jealous land dwellers that steal a selkie’s sea skin and magically hiding it, thereby binding her to the land. These relationships usually do not last as the ritual only compels her to remain with whoever cast it. If a selkie finds her sea skin, the ritual is broken and she usually flees as quickly as possible, leaving behind her captor and any other family or friends that may have entered her life since captivity. Though, if these secondary relationships are truly valuable to the selkie, she may occasionally visit them. Any children born of a selkie and a different parent will either be a selkie or that of their other parent. There is no such thing as a half-selkie, though these children may still possess an affinity for water.


Selkie adventurers are usually forced into the role either by exile from their clan, loss of their sea skin, or by being the offspring of a selkie and land dwelling race. Some are so willful that they choose to leave their clan of their own free accord. Those found away from their homes tend to seek fame by demonstrating their hunting prowess as an individual or as part of a team, hoping that their next prey will be more formidable than the last. Selkies tend to favor the hunter and barbarian classes while avoiding the divine classes. Those that do choose the divine route usually become clan leaders or shamans.


Male Names: Jormu, Krolor, Levi, Nyx, Rakor, Reid, Ryr, Tulyk

Female Names: Iara, Krenka, Loche, Myzu, Naia, Rasor, Sirea, Tyr

Selkie Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.

Age. Selkies mature at age 10-12 and live about 40-50 years.

Alignment Selkies are enthusiastic and wild. Their unsocialized character makes them uncomfortable in large cities with many rules. Selkies are usually Chaotic Neutral. Lawful is uncommon, but still present among shamans or other clan leaders. The lack of a vertical social structure precludes religion, though some selkies choose to offer prayers to gods of the water, fey, or the hunt.

Size. Selkies average between 4’ and 5’6". Their physique reflects their preclusion to life in the wild and is typically lithe to muscular. Your size is small.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.

Aquatic Home. You are proficient with Strength (Athletics) checks related to swimming and you add you proficiency bonus twice to such rolls.

Coastal Weapon Training. You are proficient with tridents, nets, and water vehicles.

Darkvision. Generation in dark, murky water has granted Selkies with improved vision in the dark. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Seal Skin. You possess a personal seal skin that acts as padded leather armor. When wearing this skin, your AC is equal to 11+DEX mod. While wearing your skin, it does not count as wearing armor for the purposes of other abilities or features. If damaged, the skin regains hp at the same rate you do while resting.

Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.


Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.

Diver. You have advantage on Constitution checks related to holding your breath.

Seal Shape. While you possess your personal seal skin, you can cast the alter self spell a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier plus one (min 1). You are limited to the aquatic adaptation and must take the form or similarities of a seal.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by one.

Trader. You are proficient with the persuasion skill.

Swarm Fighting When you enter a square occupied by a friendly creature, you can choose to end your movement in that square. While in the same square, creatures have disadvantage on opportunity attacks targeting either occupant as long as one occupant chose the attacking creature as the target of a melee attack on their prior turn. The occupants are considered one creature for the purposes of area of effect attacks and must take the lower of any saves against such attacks. No more than two creatures can occupy the same square as a result of this ability.


Legacy of the Distant Lords DougShannon