Base Cost: 19.5 points
* One of these ability scores will increase by one step, depending on the suit of an Atlantean's chosen weapon skill.
The aquatic humanoids known as Atlanteans are, when you get down to it, a race of magically altered humanoids, changed by some unknown party at some point in the distant past. Under the sea, they have evolved to the point that they can function with deadly efficiency, and have existed outside of human knowledge for years, for the most part - at least, until recently.
Blending (a): all Atlanteans are transparent to visible light, making them virtually invisible under normal circumstances and giving them a generally watery appearance. While wandering about on the surface, Atlanteans benefit from intensity 4 blending if standing against a surface, -2 if just walking about. Underwater however, this power functions, at all times, at +2 effectiveness.
Dual Respiration (s): this power allows all Atlanteans to draw oxygen forth from not one, but two mediums - air or water. While the water is their home, Atlanteans can function indefinitely, if in a properly humidified environment, above the seas. Of course, the lack of an all-pervasive ocean around them make them ill at ease, and they can only withstand dry conditions 'topside' for an hour at most.
Resistance to Cold, Electricity, and Pressure Variance (s): due to the fact that the majority of Atlanteans live on the sea floor, far, far away from the prying eyes of humankind, they have to be a bit more durable than their surface dwelling counterparts. As such, all Atlanteans possess resistance to these three forms of environmental phenomena / attack at intensity 16 (or their Strength score +4).
Unusual Sensitivity (w): due to the nature of water and the shades of light that can easily pass through it, Atlanteans have evolved an increased sensitivity to the blue and green portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Normally, a trade-off occurs in such a situation, but it hasn't been determined which part of the spectrum Atlanteans have lost access to thanks to this change.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Monstrous: though they have the same shape as regular humans, Atlanteans are definitely different in appearance, being wraith-like in their transparency. As such, edge zero (0) characters are at a Willpower score of zero (0) to resist the urge to flee on sight of an Atlantean. Unless he or she is suitably disguised with proper, body-covering clothing, an Atlantean will invariably cause a panic when seen (weak hindrance).
Requirement / Moisture: Atlanteans can continue to function, even out of the water, as long as their environment is somewhat moist. They can only last a maximum of one hour in dry environs before they begin to suffer, however. Such suffering comes in the form of a -1 to their Strength score for each hour of overly dry conditions they endure, which must be recovered normally (weak hindrance).
Geology / Oceanography (i): being undersea creatures, Atlanteans have an innate understanding of how oceans (and other large bodies of water) function. As such, they can apply this knowledge in various ways, but primarily, it helps them to know things about how currents work, the properties of extreme depth, the behavior of marine life, and most of all, the effects of pollution on an underwater climate.
Underwater Combat (a): those Atlanteans encountered by surface folk are typically of the combative kind, on some mission or another to protect their world from interloping humans. As such, most of them will be fully trained in the fine art of fighting underwater, offering them a distinct advantage (they can resolve actions underwater without the usual penalty) against people they've pulled underwater.
Weapon Skill: since those Atlanteans encountered are most often up to something, they are usually highly trained in the use of their own, personal weaponry - if not multiple forms of arms. Keeping this in mind, they are usually skilled in the use of spears, tridents, harpoons, and the like, and can use such weapons (or any other one they've specifically trained in) at a reduced difficulty level.
Generally, Atlanteans hold themselves in higher regard than they do other forms of humanity. Keeping this in mind, know that they will usually come to the aid of their brethren should they find themselves at the mercy of non-Atlanteans, unless they have a specific reason (vendetta, etc...) not to. Other than that, regular contacts for an Atlantean should be determined on a case by case basis.
Guardian: primarily, Atlanteans are unified towards the purpose of protecting their home from the increasingly present threat of humankind. Whether this motivates them to assault undersea craft, coastal industrial plants, or even cruise ships, it definitely makes Atlanteans a threat to human civilization - if rightly so. However, some Atlanteans are Explorers, and they try to enjoy aspects of human culture.
Atlanteans are generally, though not exclusively, the faithful followers of any number of sea deities. They tend to live simple lives beneath the waves, since most everything they need is quite bountiful - and survival can be harsh in a home full of giant squid, octopi and sharks. Recent changes in their waters caused by surface dwellers has made them aware of the threat their counterparts pose to their home, however.
Thus, Atlanteans have been increasingly investigating the surface world of late, leading to numerous encounters with humans on ships, beaches, and even in swimming pools. And while not all of these encounters are inherently hostile, misunderstandings often lead to violence on the part of either the human or the Atlantean in such events... which doesn't help prevent a souring of Atlantean thought towards mundane humanity.
Anatomically speaking, Atlanteans are physically identical to conventional human beings. However, being completely transparent to visible light makes them seem invisible, unless they're moving - which reveals their silhouettes against whatever objects lie behind them. Atlanteans who lose their blending ability (whether temporarily or permanently) generally have a bluish-green skin, hair and eye pigmentation.
Atlanteans generally exist in small numbers and maintain a low technology society, since electronics are hard to develop in salt water environs. While Atlanteans are at the top of their localized food chains, they tend to have a relatively small impact on the ecology around their homes. Atlantean city-states exist mostly in harmony with their surroundings, with but a few exceptions.
Pinning down the exact history of the Atlantean people is difficult, as they have developed in different locations at different times, thanks to the meddling of different gods over the ages. As most known Atlanteans venerate the Greek god Poseidon, it is presumed that he first utilized the process which transforms ordinary humans into sea-breathing Atlanteans, though this is debated by various scholars.
Generally, a clutch of Atlanteans forms when the faithful of one sea deity or another find themselves in imminent danger of drowning. Their patron claims them as his or her own, and transforms them from ordinary folk into Atlantean folk. This not only saves their lives, but gives said deities freshly minted minions with which to do their bidding under the sea - until they die from normal causes, at least.
Those that survive tend to develop communities all their own, some of which merge with others over time and the rest remain apart from other Atlanteans. Thus, any stories you hear about the origins of Atlanteans may be true, for they just might apply to those who are telling the tale. Then again, they just might be pulling your leg in order to keep you from learning their deepest secrets. It's hard to tell with Atlanteans.
The process through which the Atlanteans were created is quite impressive, in that it involves a complete, mystical overhaul of the human body into one which is better suited for an underwater environment. It is believed that some unknown god of the seas originally created this magic, but it has been duplicated time and again by other sea-based deities in a pinch to reward favored mortals.
So, keeping this in mind, it is possible that upon drowning, or near drowning, a character (player character or otherwise) could theoretically be transformed into a brand new Atlantean, though he would be one without the benefit of an Atlantean upbringing, and as such, would lack the three rather useful skills described above (unless acquired elsewhere, at any rate).
Such a being would acquire the powers listed for Atlanteans however, thus making him well-suited for survival under the ocean. However, it would make returning to life on the surface quite difficult considering the considerable change in appearance, but some folks are stubborn - and could very well return as the next great aquatic hero. Or, depending on the circumstances, a sea-themed villain!
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