Introduction

Athamaru are interesting fish-like humanoids that have symbiotic relationships with coral and tame giant eels as both pets and mounts. Thematically they’re a great addition in a genre of games where aquatic playable characters are almost exclusively either merfolk or some variety of humans with webbed feet. Mechanically, they leave a lot to be desired.

Like most aquatic races, the Athamaru is most effective in the water where its feats often work at longer range, and where eel mounts can actually function. However, even then, their feat options aren’t fantastic. The Athamaru’s most consistently effective feats are the Emit Defensive Odor feat chain, which allows you to weaponize a fishy smell.

The Athamaru’s Heritage options are similarly poor. 3 of the 4 provide benefits which most Ancestries typically improve with Ancestry Feats. However, the Athamaru has no such feats, making the Heritages feel entirely detached from the Athamaru’s Ancestry Feats. A Versatile Heritage is a huge improvement here.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

Athamaru Ancestry Traits

  • Hit Points: 8 is standard.
  • Size: Medium. The Hopeful Athamaru Heritage raises that to Large.
  • Speed: Slow on land, standard in the water.
  • Attributes: Great Attributes for many martial builds, as well as classes like the Cleric and the Druid.
  • Languages: Athamaru language plus Common is standard.
  • Senses: Low-Light Vision.

Athamaru Heritages

  • Coral Athamaru (HotW): This is effectively Breastplate with the Aquadynamic and Comfort traits. It’s useful for classes that wear medium armor in underwater campaigns, but otherwise it’s easily replaced by manufactured armor.
  • Hopeful Athamaru (HotW): Fear effects are common, but you’re probably here for large size so that you can take up more space on the battlefield. None of the Athamaru’s Ancestry Feats capitalize on this large size, unfortunately.
  • Kaleidoscopic Athamaru (HotW): If you can make effective use of concealment, such as by using the Eat Fire cantrip to produce clouds of smoke, you can make this extremely impactful.
  • Quilled Athamaru (HotW): Fairly standard for unarmed strikes from an Ancestry. However, the Athamaru’s Ancestry Feats do nothing to expand on this capability.

Athamaru Athamaru Feats

Level 1

Level 5

  • Coral Growth (HotW): Food is rarely tracked in Pathfinder. This is not a survival game.
  • Growing Eel Friend (HotW): Potentially useful in an underwater campaign, but on land this is actively harmful because you can no longer keep your eel in a bowl.
  • Noxious Odor (HotW): Sickened is an excellent debuff. Emit Defensive Odor is only once per day, but this makes it a great option against big enemies.
  • Riptide Mount (HotW): If you have an aquatic mount and you’re in the water, you’re almost certainly already riding your mount in any situation where this would apply.
  • Skilled Swimmer (HotW): Excellent in an underwater campaign, but otherwise useless.

Level 9

  • Coral Detoxification (HotW): How often are you being poisoned that you need this? What would cause poison like this in a siuation where you can afford 2 Actions to deal with it like this?
  • Emissary Assistance (HotW): This can be handled with a wand or a scroll.
  • Moray Eel Mount (HotW): The Bonded Animal feat is massively more effective despite the automatic success on checks to command the animal provided by Moray Eel Mount. If you want a mount, you should get an Animal Companion.
  • Persistent Odor (HotW): A nice improvement to Persistent Odor, but not essential. Definitely take this if you plan to take Rapid Pheromone Recovery.

Level 13

Level 17

  • Coral Lifeline (HotW): Nice insurance, especially for front-line characters who take a lot of hits.
  • Moray Ambush (HotW): Great for sneaky melee builds.
  • Offensive Odor (HotW): The damage boost is modest, and the 15-foot cone will likely never hit more than 2 targets, and even then only rarely.