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PC3 Creature Crucible: The Sea People (Basic)

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. . . And you thought you knew everything about the good, old D&D game world!

The Sea of Dread is home to not one, but several aquatic nations. There, underneath the surface, lie mysterious caverns, submerged cities never explored by surface folk, shipwrecked remnants of historic naval battles, and countless frightening guardians of the deep. Discover the power of the Kna, meet the kind people of Smaar, and face the ultimate threat to the fabulous Realms of Undersea.

The Sea People is the third book in the Creature Crucible series that completes the Gazetteer line. It is alos fully adaptable to the 2nd Edition AD&D game.

The Sea People includes:

  • A complete description of the lands under the Sea of Dread, its people and a large, Gazetteer-style map of the submerged kingdoms
  • Separate background and adventure booklets
  • Complete rules on how to create and play Sea Elves, Tritons, Mermen, and other aquatic races
  • New rules detailing underwater spell casting and magical items

Product History

PC3: "The Sea People" (1990), by Jim Bambra, is the third "PC" Player Creature / Creature Crucible supplement. It was published in February 1990.

Origins (I): The Return of the Creatures. TSR's Creature Crucible line clearly followed the publishing pattern of the Known World's Gazetteers, with the early books coming out at a blinding rate. PC3: "The Sea People" was the third published in just six months!

Despite that (or perhaps because of it), the Creature Crucibles weren't as tightly connected as they could have been. For example, "The Sea People" includes a nixie class. They should be faerie people, but instead "The Sea People" completely ignores the work done just a few months earlier in PC1: "Tall Tales of the Wee Folk".

"The Sea People" also makes a notable change to the format of the Creature Crucibles. PC1: "Tales of the Wee Folk" had been meant to cover a "limited region", not "a full size nation", but then PC2: "Top Ballista" (1989) pushed that stricture by detailing an entire city. Now, "The Sea People" went even further. Though the focus of supplement is still on new (monstrous) races, there's also a large description of the Undersea, which encompasses the entire Sea of Dread. In other words, the Creature Crucible series were quickly becoming Gazetteers of their own (with a unique twist).

Origins (II): It Came from the Deep. The Sea of Dread was quickly becoming the most detailed area in the Known World. It debuted in X1: "The Isle of Dread" (1981), then its islands and undersea regions appeared in X7: "The War Rafts of Kron" (1984). Further Dread island adventures were published in X8: "Drums on Fire Mountain" (1984) and XSOLO: "Lathan's Gold" (1984), while some scenarios from AC10: "Bestiary of Dragons and Giants" (1987) could also be located in the area. GAZ4: "The Kingdom of Ierendi" (1987) and GAZ9: "The Minrothad Guilds" (1988) detailed two of the countries of the area and now PC3: "The Sea People" (1990) offered one more sourcebook to help tie everything together.

Origins (III): It Came from the UK. "The Sea People" is also notable for its authors, Jim Bambra, who started out working for TSR UK. By 1990, TSR UK's brief period of publication was ended, but Bambra continued doing occasional work for TSR (amidst his more frequent writing for Games Workshop). Now "The Sea People" marked the end of an era, as it was Bambra's final writing for the Known World, following notable books such as B10: "Night's Dark Terror" (1986) and AC9: "Creature Catalogue" (1986).

Expanding D&D. Like all of the Creature Crucibles, "The Sea People" introduces numerous new racial classes for Basic D&D, including aquatic elves, kna, kopru, merrow, nixies, sea giants, shark-kin, and tritons. Rules for skills of course accompany these new classes. "The Sea People" also contains extensive optional rules for adventuring underwater, expanding on the much briefer rules found in X7: "The War Rafts of Kron".

Exploring the Known World. "The Sea People" provides new details on the Sea of Dread, its history, and who lives where.

Monsters of Note. Some of the classes in "The Sea People" feature unique Known World races. The kopru first appeared in X1: "The Isle of Dread" while the kna debuted in AC9: "Creature Catalogue" (1986).

Though they appear as a common adversary, not a player race, the devilfish are another notable monster in "The Sea People" These creatures are closely related to the ixitxachitl from AD&D, who themselves originated in OD&D Supplement II: Blackmoor (1975). However, when they made the jump to Basic D&D in the Master Rules (1985) they also picked up a new, easier to spell, name.

About the Creator: Bambra's first work for TSR was O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1983). By 1990 most of his work was for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay's popular Enemy Within series, but he'd later produce PHBR6: The Complete Book of Dwarves (1991) for TSR.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Wylie H February 06, 2022 7:22 pm UTC
Does the print version include a poster map?
Customer avatar
Sean M March 04, 2022 4:09 am UTC
Just like other POD books, the map is in the book in cut up page sized pages. I'm pretty sure DMsguild doesn't make posters. However if you buy the PDF with PID bundle it includes printable sheets of the poster map which you can take somewhere and they'll print it off
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This title was added to our catalog on October 25, 2016.