Sa-Hogin? Her vagina? Sa-san-gin? Who knows how you pronounce it, all we know is that it hides in the dark depths and wants to eat your face. On the front page of the last adventure, The Spirits of the Salt Marshes, we hope that this symbolic monkfish will experience the long awaited revival.
As we continue our exploration of these creatures, we came across an incredible amount of information, background and statistics. It is one of the most detailed creatures of the OD&D and AD&D. In 2e Sauagin he gets his own book of more than 100 pages. Although we cannot cover all aspects of the Sauagin in this article, we hope to provide the most important elements that made him such a fantastic creature.
Chris will be the first to admit that he never used the Sauagin outdoors when he launched the first two modules of the U-Series, The Secret of the Salt Marshes and Danger in Dunwater. Water travel and underwater adventures were quite rare in the early days of D&D. It was a game for diving in the dungeon, not for sailing. Countless hours were spent drawing maps with traps, secret doors and monsters. It was a love job, but it had to be done in the beginning. The modules were fun, but making your own cards full of surprises and wonders was and still is one of the most exciting things outside the game for DM. Nobody wanted to map the ocean. The island may be like this, but the journey was different. In addition, the description of underwater navigation and adventures in AD&D ‘s Dungeon Master’s Guide was in some places too complex and in others completely vague (this was a common theme in AD&D).
So let’s jump into the water and see what makes Sauagina one of the most terrifying and annoying underwater creatures in all of D&D.
OD&D – Sauagin (Devil of the Depth)
No Appears: 10-60
Reservation class: 4
Dice of blows: 2
% in cave: 30%
Type of treasure: F & A (from Blackmoor Supplementary Table)
Damage/attack: 2-12, or by type of weapon /Gunshot Attack
First introduced in the annex to Blackmoor (1975) , it is clear from the outset that Sauagin will be a great creature of research and development. The description is by far the longest in the appendix and is overshadowed by the length of the page description. Describing them immediately as utterly evil creatures immediately attracts their attention; a clear indication that their only friends are basking sharks and that Sauagins are sadists and cannibals. If it’s not written as it is here, it means they like to torture their wounded and sick.
The interesting thing about these creatures is that we have a pretty clear genesis: The gods fought for the material airplane, melted the ice caps and sunk the plane, just like the whole story of Noah and how we still do it today. Neutral and legal gods created the sea-elves and hemp farmers. The gods of chaos, well, they wanted evil, hence Sauagin. The description even says that similar creatures have aspects of evil, but the Saudi people have them all. The Lords of Chaos!
Black Bog, 1975 TSR Inc.
The Sauagin in OD&D looks like, well, fish samples. Big fish eyes, a mouth full of hundreds of sharp razor blades and long, pointed ears. The ears may indicate that they have some experience with elves, but it can also be a simple coincidence. They have two handles that end in two clamps, such as protrusions and membrane legs, which provide balance on hard surfaces and help with swimming. Finally, they have a simple scaly tail that helps them move and steer and looks like a big bat.
Their ears are very sensitive because they can pick up underwater sounds within a radius of ten miles. What, they seem to get headaches all the time, isn’t it too much to overload the Sauagin? Maybe that’s why they’re stalking us. Extra precision: the sensitive ears, which can absorb underwater noise, are as weak as the boat’s rudders, which cut through the water 10 miles away. I don’t know how they filter out all that noise so they don’t go crazy. Although it is interesting to note that Sauagin’s ears can’t pick up the sound of a swimming creature… so I don’t know what to do.
With their eyes, which are also extremely sensitive, they can see up to half a mile underwater. Bright light will affect them negatively, but it is not clear to what extent. They say that their eyes are so sensitive that they stay 30 meters under water and only go up and down on land at night or during storms. No sunny days on the beach for these guys.
While the Saudis mainly attack with weapons, they have a choice between 6 different attacks during disarmament. Their claws act like claws, and each of them causes 2-12 damage. His feet can grab the creature and act as claws, each of which can also do 2-12 damage while catching the creature. The teeth are sharp and can be used to grab or give back the meat, which can also cause 2 to 12 points of damage. The Sauagin can finally attack with its tail. To avoid confusion, the tail behaves like a pile driver , similar to that of a giant spur (damage caused by a club once every two years). This attack also scores 2 to 12, so as not to confuse us. Although their program allows only one attack per turn… So it’s really about the taste.
Sauagins do not use their natural attacks very often, because they are usually armed with a poisonous trident and a nail net. A deadly poison is found on the trident, although the description does not mention what poison or what damage it causes. The net will catch the character, and the beards will also do some damage, how much more time do we have to ask… …but my money’s at 2-12. As intelligent creatures, they will try to catch the character in their net and then attack with a trident from a safe distance. Once the character is bloody, the only friends of the Sauaginas, those nasty and angry sharks, will go into a bloody madness and attack. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll probably have to create a new character now.
Sauagins move in large groups and they have thousands of Sauaginian communities to which they will bring their living prey. This allows them to eat, torture or hunt at a time that suits them better. They house their prisoners in cells specially equipped for air-breathing creatures. Enjoy the air while you can, because you’ll probably be used for entertainment in no time. The characters may have to fight warriors or sharks in Sauagina or compete in pits – all hoping to give the kidnappers a great show. The perverted bastards also know that they let their prisoners escape, only to be hunted down and killed in a way that is very painful for the sport. I hope you have something that will get you out quickly, because you’re probably 500-1,000 feet underwater, and sharks are known to swim fast.
After all, our last bite is that there is a king who rules all of Sauagin, and he has nine princes to help him rule as he likes. Anyone can challenge the king for the right to be king, but the king is usually extremely strong and mutated, all Saudi people have a 1% chance of being born with four hands, so it’s best to make sure you know what you’re doing. Generally, the strongest wins, but this must be combined with intelligence and cunning. Oh, and if you lose, they’ll kill you and probably torture you first.
1st – Sauagin (monkfish)
Frequency: Unusual number
Shielded class: 5
Dice successfully: 2+2
% in cave: 25%
Type of treasure: Persons N; I, F, Q(X IO), X, Y in cave
Attack number: 1
Damage/attack: Special attacks, due to the nature of the weapon: See
Special protective equipment as follows: See
Magical resistance: Standard
Intellect: High Alignment
: Straight outlet
Version capacity: Zero
Offensive/defensive mode: Zero
U2 – Dunwater Hazard, 1982 TSR Inc.
On the page about its possibilities, legends and how it works, I realized that this creature was meant to be used often and in different ways by its creators. The problem was that the game was still mainly a dungeon game, and only a few people thought about travelling by sea and fighting monsters like Sahuagin, Krakenor Ixitxachitl (without thinking about it). Except for the U, the AD & D series, the Sauagin has hardly ever been used, but the Sauagin first appeared in the first Manuel des Monstres (1977) , so it’s a plus!
Also known as the diabolical people of the deep or primarily the monkfish, these creatures live deep in the ocean, but only in the warm waters of the tropics. Fresh water and light are despised by the fools, and bright light is harmful to them. Their hatred for the inhabitants of the surface should not be underestimated, and at night they venture ashore to plunder and destroy humanoid villages on the coast. The Sauagin has the ability to breathe air on the surface for up to 4 hours, making its attacks on land fast, violent and effective.
Both during these raids and during submarine battles, the Sauagin has a variety of weapons at its disposal. Most Saudi Arabs wear a trident, a net (only under water) and a dagger, some have a spear and others a crossbow. Even if their weapons are stolen, the Sauagin will remain a feared creature. The scaly body not only provides them with a natural alternating current of 5, but can also attack them with claws on their hands (1 to 2 wounds), speaking legs (1 to 4 wounds) and teeth (1 to 4 wounds). If unarmed, they can attack 3-5 times per turn (depending on their leg position). That gives an unarmed Sauagin 16 points damage! It’s strange that when they have a weapon, they only launch one attack with damage to the weapon (usually 1d6). There is no question of combining melee weapons with unarmed attacks, which is embarrassing because the ability to bite and stab would be rather frightening.
The Sauagin’s only underwater friends are sharks, which have not changed since its introduction. Sharks follow simple one- or two-word commands, and I bet the command word is usually kill. With the exception of sharks, everyone who lives in the sea hates the Sauagin. Sample guide Sample guide comes out so that even the evil ixitxachitl, think of the manta rays that are priests who hate saaginas, are explained. If one of the dirtiest creatures in the sea hates you, you know you’re a bad, bad person… …the thing about fish.
The social structure is important and highly organized because they are a legitimate evil, just like the devils they worship. They have a king who rules all the people, with nine princes who control the fief like devils. The King’s location is shrouded in mystery because he allegedly lives in a huge underwater city built in a deep gorge. Don’t try to find them, because there would be more than 5000 of them, and they don’t even include noble kings, guards, queens and of course concubines.
The monster guide says that every prince rules over a small group of saagins, but I think small is a relative concept. Each cave contains 1 baron, 9 guards, 30 to 120 females, up to 40 incubators and 80 eggs. It is further specified that the Sauaginas Group will consist of one head and one lieutenant for every 10 members of the group. The number of representations indicated that 2 to 80 Sauagin had to be found at the same time. So that means: A Saudia group can consist of 80 people, then the group consists of 80 fighters (2+2 HD), 8 lieutenants (3+3 HD) and 1 leader (4+4 HD). Let’s hope you drive very fast, because nobody wants to interfere.
Sauagins 1. History is shrouded in mystery. One theory about their origins is that they were created by evil gods. First, the evil people were freed from the legitimate evil gods and the deluge that took place long ago on a material level; then the legitimate neutral gods created elves and sea nephews to compensate Sauagin. The Tritons, one of the Sauagin’s many deadly enemies, believe that they are remotely linked to the Sea Elves and that they were created by immersion.
U3 – The Last Enemy, 1983 TSR Inc.
And finally we got to the point where the Sauagin became really popular: the U series. This adventure series was published by the British branch of TSR (somehow without mentioning it) and shows a lot of Sauagin in the first three adventures: U1, U2 AND U3. These adventures are among the most emblematic modules of D&D and are responsible for increasing the popularity of marine life.
2nd – Sauagina
Climate/training: Moderate/salt water
Frequency: Unusual organisation
Duty cycle: Night
Power supply: Carnivore
Treasury: N (I, O, P, Q (x10), X, Y
Intellectual: Top (13-14)
Orientation: Legal no.
Shielded class: 5
Suggested: 12, swimming 24
Impact load: 2+2
THAC0 : 19
Attack number: 1 (or see description)
Damage/offensive: 1-2/1-2/1-4/1-4 or type of weapon
Special attacks: See description
Special protective equipment: See description
Magical resistance:. Zero
Size: M(6′), some L(9′)
BP value: 175 /Lieutenant: 270/ chef: 420/ price: 650/baron: 975/Prinz : 2,000
Sample guide, 1993 TSR Inc.
Where do you start? Originally it seemed that we had made a little adjustment here and there, and the rest of the Sauagin was the same from the 1st, but for a small book? The Monkfish (1997) – A monstrously mysterious book of more than 100 pages about Sauagin alone. Seriously, it’s a huge amount of information, and we can’t handle it all unless you want the article to be 100 pages long and you fall asleep. We will correct most of this information, but if you really want to know more about the Sauagin, you can find it here in the DM Guild.
With such a long book, there’s a lot to go through… but most go into more specific details about the history of the Sauagin in the first book. Let’s look at some new things for our bad fish.
Although the story that Sauagin was created by the gods during the great flood still exists in Year 2, it is only mentioned as a myth about his creation, and it is even unlikely that it ever happened. For the first time the great shark god Secola is also mentioned; it is clear that no one really knows the true origin of the Sauagian people, but Secola has helped to spread them in our world in a material way.
Anglerfish, 1997 TSR Inc.
Other stories say that Sauagin is descended again from humans or elves, but not by the insane will of the evil gods, but by time and evolution. It is interesting and also very strange that the book explicitly points out that Sauagin’s larynx resembles the larynx of people and elves. This is of course unique for Sauagin, because no other fish or sea species has this. The air bubble of the Salagin resembles the lungs of the elves, although the Salagin cannot breathe air. It is important to note that this resemblance is characteristic of elves, not sea-elves. Because the sea-elves appeared as a race quite quickly, the physiology of the saagin and the sea-elves is very different.
Of course elves don’t like that, and they reject the idea that such evil creatures can be associated with them in any way, and even sleeping creatures find them less evil than the Sauaginians. The famous elf, Tiguran Maramrind, strongly advocates that monkfish only enjoy killing as a dwarf, not as an elf. This tells us how much the elves hate dwarves, as we suspect. Unfortunately there is no confirmation of this fact, and it doesn’t seem necessary to think that monkfish are distant relatives of underwater dwarves.
Most Sauagians hate and fear magic so much that they kill all their priestesses, except one who shows magical powers. This means that as soon as a wizard casts a spell, he’s the target, even if he’s above the worst warriors. This hatred of magic stems from superstition, although many superficial residents mistakenly believe that they don’t understand magic because they don’t understand it.
The Sauagin regards environmental disasters such as volcanic eruptions and seaquakes as supernatural events that originate in pristine depths. Seafish know that magic is a manifestation of supernatural power, so they automatically treat it and treat anyone who can possess it with suspicion.
The Sauagins know that those who possess magic can have unpredictable powers and can kill them quickly before these powers can be absorbed into them. Moreover, they are only suspected of creatures with magical powers that were not given to them by Secola. and therefore suspicious of anyone who is not a Saudi, and of creatures that need to be killed on the spot. But if they accidentally receive your dagger… Well, the magic objects they have in their hands aren’t so bad, because that’s their business.
Technology Finally, and most surprisingly, the Sauagin has a knowledge of metalworking. Sauagin has all the knowledge and skills needed to work with metal. Sauagin builds his forges in the air-filled halls of the royal cities, because only the king can have a forge. He uses them mainly for his private work, because many types of metal weapons are recovered from monkfish after their enemies have been slaughtered. Most blacksmiths in Sauagh are Malenti because they are more tolerant of the open air. That’s why Malenti is one of the king’s most precious subjects. The rest of the population doubly despises them for their genetic mutations and for working in the heat, smoke and flames of the forge.
Sample guide, 1993 TSR Inc.
A small remark about Malenti, a sauaginian that looks exactly like the sea-elves, but that retains some of the Sauaginian’s skills. They are normally fed to sharks after birth, but if several of them are born in a year, one of them may work in a forge or serve as a spy for farm animals, because they can easily live in marine communities without being discovered.
3rd/3.5e – Sauagina
Dimensions/type: Humanoid sample (water)
Dice successfully: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +1 1
Velocity: 30 ft. (6 square), floating at 60 feet.
Reservation class: 16 (+1 dex, +5 of course), sensory 11, flat foot 15
Basic attack/detection: +2/+4
Attack: Heel +4 melee (1d4+2) or trident +4 melee (+3) or heavy crossbow +3 range (1d10/19-20) Full Attack : Trident +4 close combat (+3) and bites +2 close combat (1d4+1); or 2 coupons +4 close combat (1d4+2) and bites +2 close combat (1d4+1); or heavy crossbow +3 within range (1d10/12-20) space/training: 5 feet / 5 feet special attacks : Blood rabies, libertine 1d4+1
Special characteristics: Blindness 30 feet, dark vision 60 feet, sensitivity to fresh water, mild blindness, shark talking, water dependent
Saving: Strong +3, Ref +4, Will +4
Skills: Str 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 14, Delete 13, Cha 9
Skills: dealing with animals +4, hiding +6, listening +6, profession (hunter) +1, driving +3, jamming +6, survival +1 (all underwater)
Benefits: High mental strength, multiple attack
Environment: Hot water
Organisation: Solo, couple, team (5-8), patrol (11-20 plus 1 lieutenant 3rd level and 1-2 sharks), group (20-80 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 lieutenant 3rd level and 1 chef 4. Level, our 20 adults plus 1-2 sharks), or Trident (70-160 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 Level 3 lieutenant for 20 adults, 1 Level 4 leader for 40 adults, 9 Level 4 guards, 1-4 Level 3-6 owners, 1 Level 7 priestess and 1 Level 6-8 baron plus 5-8 sharks
Challenge Note: 2
Guidance: Ordinary legal proceedings
Transport: 3-5 HD (medium), 6-10 HD (large) or symbol class
Level adjustment: +2 (+3 when four are armed)
The 3.5th Sauagin is largely similar to earlier versions. The book of more than 100 pages is not readable, so the summary is quite simple and refers to previous editions. However, there are some small changes, and we can look at that.
In combat situations it appears that the Sauagin can attack with his hind legs while swimming. The legs have claws at the ends, with which they can rake as they pass. This attack gets an attack bonus of +2 and each leg makes 1d4+1. He doesn’t do much damage, but he’s not too poor for his CR.
Sample guide 1, WotC 2003
Can I complain about art for a while? The 2nd started with her, and the 3rd continues the tradition of making strange sea lizards. I have to say, they’re not as scary as they are weird… cute. In the book Sea Devils (1997) there were at least some great works of art for them…because it wasn’t for me.
In the rest of the game Sauagin also gets the ability of Bloody Madness. Once a day Sauagin can go crazy after he’s been hurt. He will scratch and bite until he or his opponent dies. Sauagin wins with +2 in STR and CON, but gets a -2 penalty from AC. Sauagin can’t terminate this ability voluntarily, so he’ll fight to the death. Blood madness is also identical to the barbarian’s capacity for anger. The angry monkfish should be a spectacle, although visibility will probably be quite poor once the blood starts to infect the water. Besides… Because he can swim faster than your character, you better be prepared to fight to the death.
The structure of the Sauag company is basically the same, but there is one interesting aspect. If in previous editions there was only one king who ruled the whole breed, the description is as follows: The Sauagian kings ruled over much larger areas and lived in cities with a population of up to six thousand In addition, it is said that the kingdoms generally covered an entire coastal area. That’s an interesting change. It says nothing about the kingdoms fighting for power, so we have to assume they can work together during the war. Parallel to these changes, there is no longer any mention of the devils they originally worshipped, only Secola.
Publication 3.5 also assumes that Ixitxahitl is the Sauagin’s mortal enemy. The sea-elves hate them the most in an airplane, followed by the Tritons. This shows the depth of their hate, given that they hate everyone but themselves and sharks. Wars with sea-elves last forever, and when they are at high altitudes, trade and sea voyages can kill people in battle.
Finally, the 3.5e offers the possibility to change saaginas by teaching them. Rangers are the men’s favourites; no wonder they accept humanoids (elves) as their favourite. Women prefer clergy and have access to the realms of evil, law, power and war; they worship the great shark god Secola.
4th – Sauagina
Predator Sauagin – Lvl 6 SoldierSecondary Humanoid (Water) XP 250 Initiative +7 / Emotions +4; Low Light Vision HP 70; Blood 35 AC 20; Power 19, Reflex 16, Will 15 Speed 6, Swim 6> Trident (standard, optional) – weapons. +11 against AC; +5 damage, and the target is marked until the end of the next turn of the Sauag thieves: We also see blood fever > trident (standard, optional) – firearm. Range 3/6; +11 against AC; +5 damage. The Sauagin must retrieve his trident before he can launch it again (immediate reaction if the enemy moves to the flank; optional) – Rifle. Predator Sauagin leads the main attack on the enemy in close combat.
Blood vengeance: The Sauagin gets a +1 bonus for attacks and a +2 bonus for dice damage against bloodthirsty enemies.
Alignment Chaotic Mal / Languages Abyssal
Str 20 (+8) | Con 14 (+5) | Dex 14 (+5) | Int 10 (+3) | Delete 12 (+4) | Cha 10 (+3).
Sampling guide 1, WotC 2008
Um… (Clears throat) I don’t know if you’ve got it, but something about these guys is really different from the first incarnations, you know? If not, check their alignment. Chaotic evil. It is now an interesting change, especially because 4th shows that they have a strictly hierarchical society and that every sauagier knows his place. But maybe it’s their ability to cause blood frenzy… not so sure.
Nevertheless, the Sauagin is presented in the first Sample Manual (2008) and shows four different possibilities of Sauagin. We have Sauagin-Garden, level 6 Minions, Sauagin-Robbers, above the statistics, Sauagin-Priest, level 8 Artillery Samples, and Sauagin-Baron, level 10 Rough Leader. These guys are stronger than in the past, and they are not party jokes that you can find in a low or medium level game, and they are just as scary as in the previous versions.
They still worship Secola and make great sacrifices to satisfy the endless hunger of the great demon shark. They still hate all other creatures except sharks, and they constantly kill and steal for supplies instead of trading with them. It is interesting to note that in the manual of the monster 4th it says that they sometimes make short term pacts with other evil creatures such as vampires. So it can be fun to include underwater vampires with Sauagin’s henchmen in your next campaign!
Besides the base, the Saouagins don’t hold up very well on the 4th and seem to lose most of the popularity they won in the previous versions.
5th – Sauagina
Sauagin / Medium humanoid (Sauagin), legal malfeasance
Armor class12 (natural armor) / Impact points22 (4d8 + 4) / Speed30 feet …, floats 40 feet.
STR 13 (+1) | DEX 11 (+0) | CON 12 (+1) | INT 12 (+1) | WIS 13 (+1) | CHA 9 (-1)
FeelingsDark vision 120 feet…., Passive perception 15 / LanguagesSauagin
Call to1/2 (100 XP)
Bloodlust. The Sauagin has the advantage of being able to melee any creature that doesn’t have all its health points.
Restricted amphibians. Sauagin can breathe air and water, but should be submerged at least every 4 hours to avoid suffocation.
Telepathy with sharks. With limited telepathy, Sauagin can conjure up any shark within a radius of 120 feet.
Multiple attack. Sauagin makes two attacks in close combat: one with his bite and the other with his claws or spear.
The bite. Melee weapon attack: +3 hits, range 1.5m, one target. Blow: 3 (1d4 + 1) breaks damage.
The claws. Melee weapon attack: +3 hits, range 1.5m, one target. Breath: 3 (1d4 + 1) cut.
The spear. Close Combat or Long Range Attack: +3 to hit a target at a distance of 5 feet or 20/60 feet. Kick: 4 (1d6 + 1) impact damage or 5 ( + 1) impact damage in a two-handed attack in close combat.
Sample guide, 2014 WotC
The Sauagin is in the sample’s manual and… I’m not saying it’s a bad change, but they’re much weaker now. The reason for the serious harassment of this once great and powerful monkfish is inexplicable. In general, Sauagin is only half of the professional qualification, while the other two, Sauagin-Priest and Sauagin-Baron, are only CR 2 and CR 5 respectively. Low level players may find this type of game unpleasant, but there’s nothing to be afraid of if you don’t get attacked by 10-60 of them at once.
One of their best features is that they get an advantage on all attack roles against creatures that have lost even one kicking point. It’s a little cute, and it’ll make your miscreants jealous. Although we’re talking about envy, let’s talk about his looks… I think I liked it better when they looked like weird lizards… …now it’s just… …weird eel creatures.
After the 3rd or 4th before the Sauagins, little has changed in the legends, and they keep the nickname of monkfish because they are so mean, not to mention the fact that they used to worship devils. They follow Secola, the god of sharks, and only women are worthy of his authority as priests of his will. By joining the Secole, all sharks understand that the Sauagin must not be a prey and refrain from attacks.
The Sauagins regain their ability to give birth to Malenti, the Sauagine, which bears a striking resemblance to the Water Elves, and they use it as a spy in the cities of the Water Elves. Malenti causes a lot of paranoia under the water elves, and if they are found in a colony, it usually means that Sauagin will launch an attack soon. To go a little further into the Sauagin, there is another passage in the Monster Guide Volo (2016) that raises another question about the Sauagin. You’ll find it on page 115 when it comes to Triton’s story:
Over time, the newts noticed that their former elementary opponents had calmed down. Expeditions in the depths showed that octopuses, sauagans and much worse enemies had fled from the water to reach the material plane.
The 5th launches a wrench at the source of the Sauagin… …maybe they’re really coming out of the seaplane! But, uh… There’s nothing about it in the monster’s handbook, so just go through the sentence.
And that’s Sauagin’s story! We can’t wait to learn more about these creatures in our last WotC adventure, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, , and maybe we can learn a little more about how this monkfish was created!
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