DnD 5e - The Locathah Handbook
Last Updated: September 18th, 2020
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances.
- : Good options.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.
I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can't assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won't cover Unearthed Arcana content because it's not finalized, and I can't guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.
The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.
Introduced in Ghosts of Saltmarsh and made playable by Locathah Rising (Affiliate Link). Locathah Rising offers almost no detail on the Locathah beyond their traits, describing them as "proud fish folk". The official art depicts them as somewhat goofy fish-like humanoids with big webbed hands and feet, a comically wide mouth, and whisker-like things similar to a catfish.
Mechanically, the Locathah is uncomplicated, but solidly designed, versatile, and well-balanced. Strength and Dexterity increases on the same race are rare (only the Bugbear and the Locathah have increases to both), you get some natural armor, two good skills, and Advantage on saves against 6 status effects. Limited Amphibiousness makes the Locathah great for an aquatic campaign, but if you have a big enough barrel you can still manage overland travel. The Locathah doesn't have any activated abilities to manage, so despite their unique combination of traits they're very easy to play.
DnDBeyond denotes the Locathah as "Noncore D&D Material", which means that they're only semi-official so you shouldn't assume that you can use them in your campaign without your DM's permission. I consider myself an "amateur expert" on race design in 5e, and personally I would allow the Locathah in my campaigns. They're roughly as strong as most of the races in the Player's Handbook and they don't have any traits that could turn into abuse cases.
Classes (Default Rules)
This section assumes that you're not using the option "Customizing Your Origin" rules presented in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. If you are using those rules, scroll up to the previous section.
No Intelligence increase.
Increase to both Strength and Dexterity are a great start for the Barbarian, and the Locathah's additional skills help to broaden your capabilities beyond hitting stuff. Natural Armor will be redundant with Unarmored Defense, but that's perfectly fine. Leviathan Will will also help protect from a lot of non-damage problems which could take you out of a fight.
Lacking a Charisma increase is hard, but if you don't use your spellcasting offensively you can do reasonably well. Martial subclasses like College of Valor and College of Swords are your best bet.
Without a Wisdom increase, the Cleric is a hard choice. You could try for a martial build like War Domain or something, but you'll still lag considerably compared to other clerics.
Without a Wisdom increase, the Druid is a hard choice but maybe not as hard as the Cleric. Leviathan Will looks like it would work while using Wild Shape, which is an interesting defensive option, and the two free skills are always great. You'll lag behind other druids in terms of spellcasting, but Circle of the Moon could still work well if you avoid offensive spells.
Increases to both Strength and Dexterity mean that you've got flexibility in your weapon choices, but Strength is likely still the better choice. Between a Strength increase and proficiency in Athletics, not focusing on Strength seems like a lost opportunity.
The Dexterity increase and the additional skills works great for the Monk, and Leviathan Will offers some helpful defenses. Strength and Natural Armor will go unused, but that's fine. I think the Monk isn't quite as appealing to the Locathah because it doesn't capitalize on the Locathah's traits as well as the Fighter or similar classes, but it's still a good option.
Dexterity is much less useful for the Paladin than for the Barbarian and the Fighter, but otherwise the Locathah makes a fine paladin. Leviathan Will covers several conditions not already handled by paladin class features, which makes you very hard to incapacitate.
Increases to both Strength and Dexterity make it easier to build a Strength-based build because you can manage decent scores in both at 1st level. Two additional skills help close the skill gap with Rogue, too. Given the choice between the Ranger and the Rogue for a stealty Locathah, I would go for the the Ranger.
The Dexterity increase is all that you really need, but not needing armor is nice and the additional skills are always welcome on a high-skilled class like the Rogue.
No Charisma increase.
No Charisma increase.
No Intelligence increase.