To understand the tritons you must understand where they came from.
They hail from the Plane of Water, a place akin to a never-ending ocean.
Eventually, they drove the creatures away, but in doing so led them to portals that took them to the material plane.
Driven by a sense of honor the triton sent a group on an expedition to the plane of existence we know and love with the intentions of protecting them from any evil entities wishing to come through the sea.
That was centuries ago, and since then they have established many underwater civilizations devoted to that purpose.
It is only recently that they’ve begun trading and venturing out more into the rest of the world that is the material plane. As such, they can be a bit off-putting. They tend to think very highly of themselves.
Citing their self-given role as caretakers of the sea, they expect to be looked upon with great respect and esteem.
Naturally, they assume everyone is grateful for all they’ve done and are shocked when someone hasn’t heard of their race’s great deeds.
Don’t worry, they’ll be more than happy to elaborate.
It’s not uncommon for a triton to phrase requests as orders, or be extremely boastful of their many accomplishments.
Alternatively, triton’s that explore the surface world may view it with great awe and wonder, having only ever experienced the hazy blue-green of life in the sea.
Tritons are also a deeply religious people, with each triton being tied in some way to the church of their creator-god Persana. It is believed that he created the triton race out of sacred water from the Plane of Water.
A priest of Persana holds a very high status among the triton society, often acting as a judge, a military commander, or a city architect, their duties expanded far beyond spiritual leader.
Triton Abilities And Traits: What Characterizes The Triton People
- Ability Score Increase. Your Strength, Constitution, and Charisma scores each increase by 1.
- Age. Tritons reach maturity around age 15 and can live up to 200 years.
- Alignment. Tritons tend toward lawful good. As guardians of the darkest reaches of the sea, their culture pushes them toward order and benevolence.
- Size. Tritons are slightly shorter than humans, averaging about 5 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and you have a swimming speed of 30 feet.
- Amphibious. You can breathe air and water.
- Control Air and Water. A child of the sea, you can call on the magic of elemental air and water. You can cast Fog Cloud with this trait. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast Gust of Wind with it, and starting at 5th level, you can also cast Wall of Water with it. Once you cast a spell with this trait, you can’t cast that spell with it again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
- Darkvision. 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.
- Emissary of the Sea. Aquatic beasts have an extraordinary affinity with your people. You can communicate simple ideas with beasts that can breathe water. They can understand the meaning of your words, though you have no special ability to understand them in return.
- Guardians of the Depths. Adapted to even the most extreme ocean depths, you have resistance to cold damage.
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Primordial.
There are very few official playable races that are comfortable in an aquatic setting, but many scenarios where being one can prove to be helpful.
Not every campaign may bring you to pirate ships upon the high seas or to an underwater civilization, but almost every DM will bring you near a pond, or even just a moat around a castle.
The uses for being able to breathe water are plenty, and a creative player will find more than your DM could possibly expect.
Plus, you have a swim speed of 30 feet! Normally swimming would cost you an extra foot per foot of movement, but you were quite literally born to swim and suffer no consequence.
I’m a huge fan of racial spells, and the triton comes with some powerful ones. Each of the three spells you gain through this race are control spells that can change a battlefield, or be used for great utility outside of combat.
Not to mention, wall of water is a free 3rd level spell! Aside from dragonmark variant races from the eberron setting, this is the only race that offers you a 3rd level spell, and it’s not a weak one at that.
Being able to create a wall of water means being able to protect your party from a vast amount of foes at one time (especially if you freeze it).
The benefits for this race don’t stop there. Cold resistance means being able to not only protect yourself in battle against anything dishing out cold damage, but also being able to survive extreme cold conditions.
Your resistance means that you’ll automatically succeed on saving throws against exhaustion, which I’ve seen almost kill unprepared parties. You gain darkvision, which is basically a gimme at this point but is so useful.
To top it all off you gain Aquaman’s silliest ability. You can talk to aquatic creatures… sort of.
They understand you, which should make you feel right at home as you order those poor dolphins to attack the pirate ship your friends are on. Pretty niche ability, but it’s got good flavor.
What Classes Are Well Suited to the Triton?
The Triton is fairly unique in offering you three ability score increases, with half-elf also offering three, and humans just giving them out to every ability.
As such your options are a little more spread out than most races, reflecting the fact that as an isolated species they filled all roles.
As such any race that benefits from at least two of the increases (strength, constitution, and charisma) will give you a good build. Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Sorcerer, and Warlock all fit the bill here.
A few notes:
- Although Bard uses charisma for spellcasting, and can benefit from constitution, I’ve decided to leave them out because triton offers no bonuses to dexterity.
- This is a huge benefit for any melee fighters. Having a swimming speed means that if you ever get into combat underwater you won’t receive the normal disadvantage on any melee attacks.
Barbarian – Benefits from strength and constitution.
Fighter – Benefits from strength and constitution. All subclasses except for eldritch knight would be good choices, eldritch knight is going to want intelligence for their spellcasting. A
Paladin – Benefits from all three abilities. More than just a perfect match up of stats, this offers you a race that feels very similar to paladin already with all of their righteous protector attitude.
Additionally none of the spells are available to you through your class, giving you the ability to create some incredible synergy that will feel new to paladin.
Sorcerer – Benefits from charisma and constitution. All three of the spells you’ll gain are native to a sorcerer, which means that you can free up some known spells for other things you might be more excited about, without losing out.
Warlock – Benefits from charisma and constitution.
Triton Appearance: Aquatic Adaptation
Tritons are very similar in appearance to short elves, standing about 5 feet tall, that have spent a great many years adapting to life in the sea.
Their skin color typically ranges from blue to green but can take on pink hues in rare circumstances.
Their hair tends to be a darker tone of blue to green and is worn in long manes or braids. Braids tend to be the more common choice among tritons who have chosen a martial path in life.
Their adaptations to the sea don’t just stop at water breathing. Tritons have webbed feet and hands, and even display small dorsal fins on their calves and forearms.
They also have a nictitating membrane, a film that forms a transparent inner eyelid, which protects them from water and small debris.
Triton Names: Masculine and Feminine
Triton names are often two or three-syllable names followed by a surname which is the name of their home followed by a “th”.
Masculine names tend to end in an “s” and feminine names tend to end in an “n”.
Some triton names are as follows:
Masculine Names. Corus, Delnis, Jhimas, Keros, Molos, Nalos, Vodos, Zunis
Feminine Names. Aryn, Belthyn, Duthyn, Feloren, Otanyn, Shalryn, Vlaryn, Wolyn
Surnames. Ahlorsath, Pumanath, Vuuvaxath